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20 March 2013 - Security Council - Haïti / MINUSTAH – Statement by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

I thank the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary- General, Mr. Fisher, for his intervention. I endorse the statements to be given by the observer of the European Union and the representative of Uruguay on behalf of the Group of Friends.

I share the doubts that were just expressed by my British colleague on the topics of elections and the police. At our most recent debate in October (see S/PV.6842), I noted the progress that had been made on the political and institutional levels. Unfortunately, the Secretary General’s report before us today (S/2013/139) reminds us that not all the hopes we had formed have materialized. I would especially like to recall the words of the press statement issued by the Council on 28 January adopted by this same Council on January 28. The local and partial legislative elections have been postponed for too long. I1 is essential that they be held this year and that they be free, inclusive and credible. We call on all parties concerned to appoint without delay all members of the transitional board of the permanent electoral council.

We are also concerned by other information contained in the report on the proliferation of contested appointments, recent statements concerning the freedom of the press, and more generally systemic deficiencies in the area of human rights. We also note the relatively disappointing economic and fiscal forecasts that, coupled with difficulties related to climate — as noted by a number of my colleagues — may also explain the alarming multiplication of demonstrations of an economic and social character.

MINUSTAH has provided Haiti with 10 years of relative calm without political violence. However, this calm, in large part due to the deterrent presence of the Mission, does not ref lect real, fundamental progress allowing the Haitian National Police to ensure security and stability on its own. We support the guidelines proposed by the Haitian authorities for the period 2012 to 2016, including the goal of increasing the number of police officers from 10,000 to 15,000. However, there is reason to doubt how realistic that goal is. MINUSTAH must remain engaged in that collective effort. Lastly, we support the commitment of the United Nations and the Secretary-General’s personal efforts to help Haiti eradicate cholera. We believe that is not an unattainable goal. We also think that, in the short term, that could include the targeted measures on which we are currently working with the Haitian authorities. MINUSTAH must continue to adapt to developments in the situation, both in terms of nature and scope, so as to fulfil its dual objective, namely, to contribute to the maintenance of peace as well as to promoting Haitian national ownership by strengthening the rule of law and its major instruments, that is, the police and justice sectors.

Obviously, we must avoid a hasty departure of the Mission. However, the indefinite continuation of a peacekeeping mission of this magnitude is not an option either. The departure of MINUSTAH should not be a taboo, but that prospect should serve as a catalyst. We must define and create the conditions for its success. When must contemplate a withdrawal date, along with a desired end result and a post-MINUSTAH presence for the United Nations.

In that regard, we welcome the consolidation plan set out in the report of the Secretary-General. That plan provides for the Mission a credible time horizon, for we owe Haitians clarity as to what we can achieve in a reasonable time frame. We fully endorse the four priority areas that have been identified, as well as an approach based on metrics for calibrating the evolution of the Mission.

I should like to conclude by commending МINUSTAH staff for their dedication. I also commend the Acting Special Representative for his energetic efforts in this period of transition in the Mission.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU