Statement by by Fergus Eckersley, UK Political Coordinator at the UN, at the Security Council meeting on the situation in Haiti

FE HAiti

I’d like to welcome the Special Representative and thank her for briefing. We wish you every success in your new role. We’d also like to put on record our gratitude to all UN staff in Haiti who work in very challenging circumstances. I’d like to thank the Executive Director of UNODC for her briefing and I welcome the Foreign Ministers of Haiti and the Dominican Republic to the chamber.

Colleagues, as we’ve heard today, the situation in Haiti remains bleak and it is getting worse.

Like all of us in this room, the UK is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation: the dramatic increase in homicides and kidnappings. The widespread instances of gang rape and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated by gangs as a means to strike fear into communities. The recruitment of children into gangs, indiscriminate sniper fire in civilian areas and high food insecurity. All of this has contributed to what the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called “a living nightmare”. It is tragedy that the Haitian people – and women and children in particular – continue to experience this horror on a daily basis. It should be a wake up to the international community

We strongly support the High Commissioner’s appointment of an expert on human rights in Haiti earlier this month following the request of the Human Rights Council.

As set out in the Secretary-General’s report, it is clear that the Haitian National Police remains over-stretched and under-resourced to tackle the immense security challenges it faces. There needs to be a coordinated international effort to assist in Haitian-led efforts to tackle the underlying causes of gang violence. We recognise the need for a response to Haiti’s request for further international assistance and we support further Council discussions on this.

Colleagues, we note the installation of the High Transitional Council as a positive step towards implementing the 21 December political accord. We welcome recent moves towards a broader political dialogue and call once again on all actors to redouble their efforts to reach a consensus. This Council should be ready to consider further sanctions designations of those who seek to undermine the peace and stability of Haiti.

Above all we must support every effort for Haitians to come together to overcome the political impasse and to agree a roadmap that creates conditions for successful democratic elections and for a better long-term future for Haiti.

Published 26 April 2023