At the outset, allow me to congratulate your country on assuming the presidency of the Council. I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti, Mr. Mariano Fernández Amunátegui, for his briefing.
I would like to associate myself with the statement to be made later by the observer of the European Union, as well as that to be delivered by the representative of Uruguay on behalf of the Group of Friends. Since our last meeting in March (see S/PV.6732), undeniable progress has been made in Haiti, on the political and institutional fronts first and foremost. I will not list the measures taken by the Haitian Government, as others before me have already done so. The political and institutional stability of the country has been strengthened.
With regard to security, the Secretary-General has recalled that the situation is calm but precarious. Crime remains a problem, particularly in Port-au-Prince, but no more so than it is in other countries of the region. The Haitian National Police has demonstrated its ability to undertake comprehensive operations with the support of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
With regard to the humanitarian issues and reconstruction, the decrease in the number of internally displaced persons, the clearing up of the earthquake damage and the progress with regard to health and education should be noted. After a downturn in the gross national product, Haiti has once again found the path towards growth. However, the country continues to face humanitarian challenges, with 390,000 people living in refugee camps and a cholera epidemic that has not yet been stemmed.
Allow me to mention three of the challenges that remain. The swift holding of local and partial legislative elections is essential, as those elections have been delayed for too long, as Mr. Fernández Amunátegui noted. To that end, a Permanent Electoral Council, based on consensus and in line with the spirit of the Constitution, must be established. We call upon all the political stakeholders concerned in Haiti to work towards that objective. France stands ready to provide its support, in particular through MINUSTAH, for the holding of free, credible and transparent elections. The Haitian National Police is not yet able to independently guarantee security and stability in Haiti. We noted the objectives presented 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. We stand ready to back those efforts, which must not only be quantitative, but which must also strengthen the administrative and training capacities, as well as the integrity and the image of the police. The State’s budget must ref lect that priority.
Aid for rebuilding must continue. The eradication of cholera deserves an appropriate response. France stands ready to uphold its financial commitments made by the President of the Republic, which amount to €326 million. We welcome the new framework for aid coordination that was announced by Prime Minister Lamothe last week in New York. Haiti cannot depend on international solidarity alone for its development, which is why we support President Martelly’s efforts to make Haiti more attractive to foreign investors.
The situation is changing and it is only natural that the United Nations presence on the ground does the same. We stand ready to extend MINUSTAH’s mandate. We must continue the drawdown of troop levels, because the levels present today are no longer in line with the needs of the country two and a half years after the earthquake. The priority, more than ever, should be national ownership through the strengthening of the rule of law and the principal tools, such as the Haitian National Police and the judiciary. We must also provide the Mission with a credible time frame. We are not abandoning Haiti, but we must be clear to Haitians with regard to what is achievable in a reasonable period.
We therefore support the current discussions between the Mission and the Secretariat on a five-year consolidation plan.
I would like to end by commending the work of the police, troops and civilians of MINUSTAH, who have been contributing to the maintenance of stability in Haiti for eight years. I would also like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for his work at the Head of the Mission and his vision of what must be achieved in Haiti.
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