H.E. ambassador raymond wolfe
permanent representative OF JAMAICA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
ON BEHALF OF THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM)
TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
ON THE QUESTION CONCERNING HAITI
New York, 9TH SEPTEMBER 2009
It is my distinct honour to speak on behalf of the 14 Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). We welcome this opportunity to again assess recent developments in our sister Caribbean Member State.
Like any closely knitted family, we in CARICOM continue to be concerned about any situation which negatively affects any one of us. The natural affinity we share goes far beyond being neighbors sharing the same hemispheric space or common bodies of water. Undoubtedly, we face similar challenges, although perhaps at different magnitudes, and so our participation in this debate here today comes not just as a matter of duty but by a common desire to see Haiti return to the path of sustainable stability and security, thereby enhancing the prospects for economic growth and prosperity of its citizens, as I think all of us around this table have emphasized.
CARICOM welcomes the Secretary-General's report, as contained in document S/2009/439. This latest report, provides an overall assessment of the current situation, and from our vantage point, there are encouraging developments despite the serious setbacks which we described in our presentation to this august body earlier in April of this year and those as described in this latest report by the Secretary-General.
While the situation remains tremendously complex, we note that during the reporting period there was increased political cooperation in a number of very important areas, including the holding of Senatorial elections, the adoption of key legislation and the pursuit of inclusive dialogue on a number of major issues facing the country. These achievements Madame President, were made against the backdrop of a "generally calm" security environment, hinged largely on efforts aimed at institutional support and strengthening of the State, including capacity building and technical assistance in crucial areas of governance, and to some extent on the improving capacity of the National Police, and the results of an overall reduction in community violence.
Madame President, we as CARICOM Member States, readily acknowledge that the gains identified over the reporting period, while they may seem incremental, were not achieved overnight but are the results of the fortitude, resilience and determination of the Haitian people to rise above and surely, beyond their circumstances. As an extension to their fortitude, resilience and determination, the international community must continue to extend the necessary support and assistance in providing the platform, upon which the fundamental changes so crucial for Haiti's reconstruction and socio-economic development can finally be irreversibly constructed.
CARICOM once again wishes to draw attention to the very pivotal role being played by the courageous men and women of MINUSTAH on the ground in Haiti which extends practically to all spheres including the strengthening of national and local institutional capacity, increased policing operations and surveillance, reform of rule-of-law structures, and the area of human rights where, during the period under review, it has sought to enhance its efforts to protect and promote economic, social and cultural rights, supporting women's participation in the political process, the enhancement of child protection capabilities and the promotion of HIV/AIDS health education.
CARICOM further welcomes MINUSTAH's ongoing collaboration with the Haitian government in the area of border management - a significant concern for the region - through maritime, air and land patrols.
It is to be candidly acknowledged that despite the favourable assessment, the Secretary-Generalís report quite rightly also expresses caution, conceding that the accomplishments remain "extremely fragile and is susceptible to setbacks or reversal".
In these circumstances, CARICOM fully supports the initiatives undertaken during the period under review to consolidate the progress achieved thus far. The recent appointment of former United States President Bill Clinton as the United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, is indeed a signal development in the stabilization process and one which we anticipate, will galvanize the extra support of the international community and keep the focus on our sister Caribbean State until such time when the long term stability and security in the country is achieved. As a demonstration of its commitment to the process, in July 2009 Haiti appointed Ambassador Leslie Voltare as special envoy to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Indeed, the continued support of the international community will be crucial for the consolidation of stability and in this connection, CARICOM welcomes, and is in fact deeply encouraged, by the high level of commitment shown by the country's partners at the Washington Conference held in April this year, and the subsequent cancellation of the country's debt. These Madame President, are undoubtedly strong expressions of the profound confidence of the international community in the Haitian people first and foremost, whose improvement of livelihood and development remain vital to the success of the stabilization process, and beyond.
Of equal importance also will be the continued support of MINUSTA and the United Nations country team in Haiti. Certainly, it will be necessary for the fledgling security apparatus, to continue to benefit from their expertise. The technical assistance offered by MINUSTAH is a vital tool in capacity building particularly in the key areas of governance, the development of structures for border management, the rule of law and human rights. It is within this context, Madame President, that CARICOM strongly urges the Security Council to extend the mandate at the appropriate time, of the United Nations Mission to Haiti, for the benefit of the Haitian population as they continue on their quest to forge sustainable peace, and economic development and recovery.
CARICOM remains very optimistic, as exemplified by the presence here today of H.E. Mrs. Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Prime Minister of Haiti, that the Haitian leadership and people will capitalize on the opportunity presented by the on-going improvements in stability and calls on Haiti's partners to remain engaged with the country and to persist in their efforts to bring about tangible changes in the daily life of the Haitian people.
I thank you Madame President.