Statement by H.E. Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro
Permanent Representative of Brazil
to the United Nations
Debate of the Security Council on Haiti
New York, 13 September 2010
Thank you, Mr. President.
I thank SRSG Edmond Mulet for his briefing and, more importantly, for his dedication and able stewardship of MINUSTAH under very challenging circumstances. I also thank Ambassador Leo Merores for his remarks today.
The Secretary-Generalís report before us justifies renewed hope about the future of Haiti. Despite immense human and material losses, stability was maintained, the country is making important strides in its recovery and key political processes were resumed. The Haitian people are to be commended for such accomplishments.
Consolidating these achievements and facing the challenges ahead require strong leadership from the government and sustained international support in three priority areas: security; recovery and reconstruction; and elections.
The fact that the security situation has remained stable is encouraging. We were also glad to learn that the deployment of the additional troops authorized by the Council is near completion. The surge in police personnel allowed for the expansion of UNPOL tasks, which is critical at this stage. In our view, the level of authorized contingents must be maintained.
It is reassuring that several measures were taken and others are being planned to ensure the security of Haitians living in IDP camps, in particular women and children. This is of utmost importance. We encourage MINUSTAH to continue to focus on the safety of IDPs, with special attention to protection from sexual and gender-based violence. The task will be made easier through the enhanced community violence reduction programs and QIPs.
Two other important areas merit the Missionís attention: the increase in the circulation of weapons and the transshipment of certain drugs. The latter is especially worrisome, in light of its potential for undermining institutions upon which Haitiís future depends.
In the long-term, these problems can only be solved through capacity building and the strengthening of Haitian institutions. We were therefore pleased that 900 new recruits began training at the Haitian National Police Academy earlier this month. Efforts must be redoubled to make up for the quantity and expertise of personnel lost in the earthquake. We urge the international community to further support the HNP. I am glad to report that the Brazilian Federal Police has been providing specialized training to Haitian agents in several areas.
Eight months after the tragedy, it is reassuring that the most urgent and basic humanitarian needs of the Haitian population are being met. We are deeply grateful to all those who worked selflessly and generously for this to happen.
Nevertheless, recovery is far from finished and reconstruction remains an immense challenge. The most pressing need is ensuring the best protection possible against hurricanes and flooding. We note that several steps were taken in this regard and urge the Government and MINUSTAH to stay focused on this matter.
For recovery to move forward and reconstruction to gain speed, three measures seem to be of particular importance: the removal of debris; the identification and preparation of land for resettlement; and the immediate implementation of reconstruction projects. These aspects are interrelated and equally important, but today I wish to briefly comment on the last one.
The constitution of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission and the Haiti Reconstruction Fund were very important steps and we commend all those who made it possible. The approval of the first batch of projects by the Commission surpassing 1 billion dollars testifies to its relevance. What is urgent now is to fund them and do so in a way that breaks a pattern of international assistance that has not so far contributed to strengthening the Haitian State. In this regard, it is worrisome that less than 10% of the assistance pledged so far is expected to be channeled through the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, as reported. Brazil has given 55 million dollars to the Fund, including 15 million dollars in direct budgetary support. It is important that pledged resources be quickly disbursed and that they be channeled in a way that supports Haitian priorities and institution-building.
While the operational capacity of the Government is being restored, MINUSTAHís provision of logistical support and technical expertise to the Haitian authorities as per Resolution 1927 is of particular importance. We were pleased to learn of the steps taken in this regard and of measures now being planned. In Brazilís view, it is absolutely essential that all efforts be made to provide such assistance as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.
The November elections will be very significant. They will further consolidate the notion of regular constitutional transfer of power and allow for the full restoration of legislative mechanisms and the completion of urgent constitutional reforms, thereby helping to create a more favorable environment for economic growth and investment. For these gains to be fully made, the vote must be free, credible and transparent in a calm and secure environment. We hope and expect all political parties in Haiti will act in this spirit.
MINUSTAH, the OAS, and bilateral partners are already working closely with the Haitian authorities to support their preparations for the poll. Brazil has donated 500 thousand dollars. More financial contributions and constant political support are needed. We urge all donors to be as generous and agile as possible.
Eight months after the earthquake, much has been achieved and much more remains to be done. The international community has a unique chance to assist the people and the Government of Haiti in building an effective State and further strengthening their nation. We should seize this opportunity with determination and a long-term perspective of our common interests.