59th General Assembly
"THE SECURITY COUNCIL MISSION TO HAITI (MINUSTAH)"
Intervention by Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, 
Permanent Representative of Brazil to the UN
Public Session, Security Council, New York, 13 May 2005

Madam President,

The primary objective of this meeting consists in introducing the report of the Security Council mission to Haiti, held from 13 to 16 April, in conjunction with a visit by the ECOSOC’s Ad Hoc Advisory group on Haiti (document S/2005/302). It also provides an opportunity, though, to
start gathering Member States’ opinions with a view to renewing MINUSTAH’s mandate. I am informed that Ambassador Allan Rock, from Canada, who led the visit by the ECOSOC
group, will also present a report on that mission’s activities in due time. 

I also take this occasion to thank, once again, the Haitian authorities for their hospitality and the SRSG, Juan Gabriel Valdés and his team for their support and for the excellent and professional work they are performing. 

The visit by the Security Council mission, which I had the privilege to lead, was the first one of its type to a Latin American or a Caribbean country. The decision to hold it was adopted in the course of the open debate on Haiti promoted by the delegation of Argentina during its Presidency  last January. The actions of the Mission benefited from a high level degree of participation, as all the 15 Council members were represented; 14 Ambassadors were present, of which 10 Permanent Representatives, including the President of the Security Council, in April, Ambassador Wang. In view of its unprecedented nature, the holding of the Mission was in itself quite significant and constitutes a clear indication of the concern and interest of the Council for the current crisis in Haiti.

The Council Mission met with members of the Transitional Government, including Interim President Boniface Alexandre and Interim Prime Minister Gérard Latortue, as well as
representatives of the main political parties and of civil society. In addition to its stay in Port au Prince, the mission visited the cities of Gonaíves and Cap Haitien. In-depth discussions with MINUSTAH personnel helped the Mission enhance its understanding of MINUSTAH’s activities 
diversified actions in the implementation its mandate.

The main conclusion deriving from the visit is that the international community is committed to supporting Haiti in today’s decisive turning point in the country’s history to achieve peace and stability, to mitigate its immediate social and economic tribulations and to assist progress towards the road to sustainable development, while observing Haiti’s sovereignty. In line with that, it cannot and should not act in Haiti’s stead. The Mission has called on Haitians
themselves, particularly the Transitional Government, to carry out their State responsibilities and take advantage of this historic opportunity for gaining full ownership over their future.

The Mission report now before the Council contains a detailed description of its activities and findings in the areas of security, political transition, elections, human rights, development and humanitarian situation, institution building, regional relations, ant the organization of  MINUSTAH. I would like to stress the main messages and recommendations which were highlighted in the report. 

There can be no genuine stability without comparable advances in the creation of a safe and secure environment; in the political dialogue with a view to national reconciliation; in the observance of human rights and in the promotion of social and economic development. 

Notwithstanding the fact that the deep-seated root causes of unrest in Haiti, including poverty, require a long-term approach, a number of very serious issues are be dealt with in the short and medium terms. 

Holding elections late this year constitutes indeed the most pressing and visible challenge for the Haitians and the International Community. Free, fair and inclusive elections must take place in accordance with the established timetable. Even though they should not be seen as a universal remedy, elections are essential for the formation of a legitimate Government, thus concluding the political transition period which started more than one year ago. 

In Haiti, the Mission stressed that there is no alternative to elections and that all political parties that publicly reject violence should be entitled to participate in the electoral process. The result of the vote should be respected by all actors. In that regard, it recalled in its report that, in accordance with the Haitian constitution, “democratically elected authorities must take office on 7 February 2006”.

The technical and political preparation of the elections should continue to be closely monitored by the Council on a regular basis to ensure that it remains on track. Additional resources will be required, to cover an estimated gap of around US$ 22 million. The Mission has strongly encouraged the timely disbursement of committed funds. 

MINUSTAH and the Transitional Government should launch a broad-based civic education program so as to ensure the broadest possible participation of the Haitian population in 
the upcoming elections. The Mission is of the opinion that there is an urgent need to establish appropriate arrangements for international electoral observation. 

The Mission also supports a long-term dialogue, with the involvement of all sectors of Haitian society, with the aim of developing a common vision of Haiti’s future.

Security must continue to be reinforced so as to allow free and fair elections with a large participation of theb Haitian population. Special security arrangements may be
needed for a limited period of time in the months preceding band immediately following the elections. Such measures include establishing better coordination procedures between
the HNP and MINUSTAH. The report also stresses the need to ensure more coordination between MINUSTAH’s civil police and military components by, inter alia, making the Joint Mission Analysis Cell operational as soon as possible. 

The Transitional Government should accelerate its DDR program, with the assistance of MINUSTAH. Members expressed their concern over the reported DDR funding gap which should be addressed without delay.

HNP must urgently be reformed, so that it can obtain the trust of the citizens and be counted upon to provide public security. Such reform should be planned and executed by the
Transitional Government with the support of MINUSTAH and bilateral partners.

All actors must abide by human rights standards without exceptions. Combating impunity and promoting respect for human rights are urgently demanded by both the Haitian people and the international community. 

The Mission stresses the importance of rebuilding Haitian institutions, such as the judicial and penal systems, many of which are barely functioning, so that the population can trust the State structures. The Mission calls upon the international community to provide assistance to that end, including in terms of capacity building. 

Strong, additional measures to assist the judicial system must be examined with the Haitian authorities. MINUSTAH’s mandate should be amended to allow international experts to assist and participate in this effort, as may be required. 

Rapid implementation of quick impact projects (specially those that create large number of jobs) would also help to increase participation in the elections by increasing the self- confidence of the Haitian population. 

The Mission renews its appeal for the accelerated disbursement of the funds pledged by international financial institutions since the July 2004 International Donors Conference on Haiti, and strongly supports the Cayenne follow-up donor conference to be held preferably
no later than July. It calls on all donors to resume a full cooperation with Haiti by supporting the priority areas identified by the Transitional Government, namely infrastructure, road repair and construction, energy generation and transmission, reforestation and management of water resources. 

The ECOSOC Ad Hoc Advisory Group could play an important role in establishing a long-term institution building and development strategy. 

In order to improve the Haitian population’s understanding of MINUSTAH’s mandate and its role in Haiti, the mission recommends that MINUSTAH urgently develop and implement a pro-active communications and public relations
strategy. 

Madam President, 

In my own national capacity, I would like to point out that the most urgent task we are confronted with today consists in ensuring the minimum required conditions to the success of the transition period in Haiti, thus making the first step towards a long-term recovery. In line with that,
and taking into account a common understanding regarding the need of a long-term UN presence in Haiti, Brazil believes that a 12 month period for MINUSTAH’s next mandate is now
required. 

Despite the substantive improvement of the security situation in Haiti the environment still remains volatile. Given the history of violence during former elections in Haiti, Brazil believes that special security arrangements may be needed for a limited period of time in connection with the elections. Given the nature of potential threats in Haiti, we consider that the UN civilian police should enhance its participation in the provision of security. 

It is imperative to ensure adequate funds to carry out the DDR program. It is also urgent to expedite the reform of the HNP, with emphasis put in providing adequate training and 
equipment, in accordance with internationally accepted standards. Nevertheless, there can be no sustainable progress in that area if there is not a coordinated reform of the Judicial system. International experts and capacity-building programs could play a role in that area, in cooperation with the Haitian authorities. 

As to the political area, the Security Council should continue to insist on and support the holding or free and fair elections in accordance with the agreed time-table for the subsequent taking office by the newly elected authorities. Potential interested international observers should be deployed, with a view of ensuring respect for democratic standards. 

In the economic area, it is essential to speed up the implementation of quick impact projects and to establish a long-term strategy towards sustainable development in the country. Priority areas indicated by Haitians themselves should be taken into account. 

Finally, I wish to thank my colleagues at the Council for giving me the opportunity of leading the Security Council Mission to Haiti.

Thank you, Madam President.