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13 September 2010 - Security Council - Haiti - Statement by Mr. Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I would first of all like to pay tribute to Special Representative Edmond Mulet, to whose briefing I listened with great interest. I commend his commitment at the head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). MINUSTAH, whose personnel work tirelessly under conditions that continue to be very difficult, plays a crucial role in Haiti. Mr. Mulet enjoys the respect and trust of Haitians, and he should have the full support of the Security Council. I also listened with interest to the statement made by Ambassador Mérorès, Permanent Representative of Haiti. I assure him of France’s commitment to continue its support for Haiti.

An electoral process has begun in Haiti since our last meeting on this subject. As the Secretary-General points out in his report (S/2010/446), it is essential that the presidential and legislative elections be carried out in the best conditions possible, so as to provide strong governance for the country and enable Haitian leaders to carry out the reconstruction effort. MINUSTAH is already contributing to the ongoing effort by providing technical, security and logistical support. We call on the Haitian authorities to support the smooth conduct of this process.

In that regard, MINUSTAH continues to play a crucial role in various areas, including good offices, maintaining public order, promoting human rights and strengthening the rule of law, which, more than ever before, should be at the centre of the Mission’s mandate. This United Nations Mission demonstrates the complexity of the mandates entrusted to peacekeeping operations. However, in order to continue to effectively perform its tasks, MINUSTAH will need sufficient resources. In particular, we should ensure that there are always enough police personnel. That is vital to ensure the safety and security of vulnerable groups; I am thinking in particular of women, whose security must be a priority.

In Haiti, perhaps more than elsewhere given the circumstances, the success of the United Nations depends on good coordination of the various actors on the ground. It is vital that the agencies, funds and programmes work in a coordinated way in their various areas, whether they concern democratization, development or security.

The New York conference in March opened up prospects. The international community strongly mobilized and commitments were made. We welcome the establishment and the work of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, thanks to which clear priorities can be defined. As the Secretary-General underscores in his report, it is extremely important that all commitments be met. The donors, for their part, should be kept informed of the needs and priorities that have been identified.

We must also continue to give our full attention to assisting the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons, who will have to live in camps for an as yet undetermined time. The more time passes, the more urgent it becomes to meet their needs, especially for security reasons.

France is providing Haiti considerable assistance, with $326 million for the period 2010-2011 and further technical cooperation efforts in various areas, in particular education, governance and the police. We are also committed to strengthening the rule of law, including by helping to train judges. Moreover, we are making a large contribution to the aid given by the European Union, whose representative will shortly give the details; France associates itself, in advance, with the statement that he will make.

France is also deeply committed within MINUSTAH, including through the deployment of nearly 140 gendarme and police officers, which makes our country one of the largest contributors of police to the Mission. We have also provided direct support to the Haitian National Police and the firefighters, in particular by sending 110 vehicles. Lastly, we have deployed, in coordination with MINUSTAH, military engineering capacity to help with clearing Port-au- Prince and other urgent activities in that area.

France will continue its commitment to the Haitian people and Government, in close coordination with the United Nations. It will do so as part of a comprehensive effort involving the State, and also local communities including the French Caribbean departments, non-governmental organizations and the Haitian diaspora living in France.

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