Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Debate on MINUSTAH
National Statement delivered on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Debate on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), 18 July 2017, New York.
I associate myself with the statement that will be made by the European Union later this morning.
Let me join others in thanking Special Representative, Sandra Honoré, for her comprehensive briefing to the Council and for her and MINUSTAH's invaluable work.
Your briefing, Madam Special Representative, and the Secretary-General's report, underline the progress made in the consolidation of democracy and stability in Haiti. The restoration of constitutional order, with the inauguration of Jovenel Moïse as president, and the formation of a government under Prime Minister Lafontant, is indeed a milestone which has opened a window of opportunity for Haiti's future.
Building a better future for Haiti will take time and continued determination. In addition to progress on the political track, further judicial reform, including fighting corruption and impunity, improving access to justice, and penal reform will be crucial for Haiti's socio-economic development. These efforts will also create better conditions for private investment. Strengthening the Rule of Law, respect for Human Rights, and further strengthening the Haitian National Police Force must therefore remain top priorities. Delivering on the expectations of the Haitian people will require an inclusive process, where all actors, including national authorities, political parties, civil society and the private sector, work together to deliver the necessary reforms. Women have a key role to play. Their full, equal and effective participation is particularly important.
MINUSTAH has played a significant role in supporting the progress we are now seeing in Haiti. Its institutional memory and key resources need to be used strategically during the transition period and beyond. It is particularly important that MINUSTAH's work on gender mainstreaming and against sexual and gender based violence is not lost in the transition process. Therefore, it is essential that a strategic focus, coordination and budget for gender issues are maintained, and that adequate reporting on these matters takes place. We commend the Secretary-General for the many examples of work on gender and SGBV in the report.
As Haiti moves forward into this new phase in its development, the partnership between the government, bilateral donors as well as the UN must also evolve. It is essential that the UN "delivers as one" in its support to national efforts. The Global Focal Point on Police, Justice and Corrections on Rule of Law could continue to play an important role in coordinating the UN in this regard. In addition, an integrated and joined up UN presence in Haiti - during and after the transition - will be needed to address the risks and drivers of instability. This includes efforts to reduce social inequalities, help spur economic growth, and strengthen trust in institutions.
Adequate planning for MINUJUSTH, the successor mission to MINUSTAH – including for the hand-over to the UN Country Team and how that Country Team is best configured – will be critical. Planning should take place in the spirit of the Sustaining Peace agenda and with a focus on long-term and inclusive development.
While the Secretary-General reports that 'Haiti appears to be on a steady path towards institutional and political stability, it is important that the UN and the Security Council remain ready to support this process. As the needs in the country change we will need to consider how best to use the different instruments in the UN toolbox to ensure peace and security and achieve sustainable peace and development.
I join others in acknowledging the concerns pertaining to cholera and sexual exploitation and abuse related to the UN presence in Haiti, which were raised during the Council's recent visit. We welcome the intensified cholera response that has resulted in a significant decline in suspected cholera cases, and we were happy to co-sponsor the General Assembly resolution in support of the Secretary-General's new approach to eradicate cholera and build resilience in Haiti. We also welcome efforts to strengthen protection from sexual exploitation and abuse and the outreach efforts described in the report. Zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation and abuse for all peacekeepers and UN staff, uniformed as well as civilian, should be the only acceptable benchmark. Victims need to be protected, assisted and provided with the necessary rehabilitation, while perpetrators must be brought to justice.
To conclude, the progress that Haiti has seen could not have been achieved without the resilience, strength and determination of the Haitian people. Sweden will remain a committed partner for Haiti as it continues on this new chapter in its development.