Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Haiti
Statement21 December 2022
Thank you President.
My thanks also to Deputy Secretary General Mohammed and to Special Representative La Lime for their sobering briefings, and to Mr Ives for his analysis.
I would like to thank the PR of Gabon for his first report as Chair of the 2653 Haiti Sanctions Committee.
I also wish to acknowledge the presence in the Chamber of the Foreign Minister of Haiti and the Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic, as well as the Ambassador of Canada.
In the two months since we last met, there have been few positive developments in Haiti. Instead of the progress called for, and that the Haitian people so desperately need, we have seen a further entrenching of violence and deprivation.
I wish to speak to three areas of enduring concern:
First – there has been no end nor respite to the savage control and repression exercised by criminal gangs against the Haitian people. Each day seesan increasing toll of violence, of kidnap, systematic rape and murder. The use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon against already traumatized communities is abhorrent.
Ireland condemns this violence once more, and in the strongest terms. Those responsible must end their onslaught against the Haitian people. Those responsible must be brought to justice.
Haiti’s leaders, from all sides, need to come together to end the cycle of violence and impunity which has plagued Haiti for too long.
While we welcome the end of the blockade of the Varreux terminal, which liberated some supply of fuel into Haiti, it does not signal a return to law and order. The people of Haiti will only know peace when the state regains control of the national territory. Ireland welcomes efforts in this regard to provide support to the Haitian National Police.
A humanitarian catastrophe is in evidence in Haiti. The most recent update by the FAO and World Food Programme on conflict and hunger underlined what we already knew – increasing numbers of Haitians have been driven to catastrophic levels of food insecurity. Famine-like conditions.
People are dying from lack of food, lack of water and lack of access to basic services.
Ireland commends the efforts of the humanitarian community, who have stayed and delivered in the face of intimidation, kidnapping and violence. Their actions are holding communities back from the brink. Maintaining families on the edge of survival.
These desperate and live saving efforts require the continued support of the international community. The humanitarian response remains less than half funded. More lives will be lost without increased support to actors on the ground.
The prolonged suffering of the Haitian people will persist without an immediate and sustainable political resolution. Ireland reiterates its urgent call to all political actors in Haiti to set aside vested interests. To set aside enmity, division and personal gain and to come together in solidarity. Acting, finally, in the best interests of the Haitian people.
The unanswered calls of the international community and of the Haitian people for a political breakthrough serve only to condemn
more vulnerable people to food insecurity,
more communities to the scourge of gang violence,
more women, girls and LGBTIQ+ individuals to bear the brunt of sexual and gender based violence,
and more children to a life dominated by fear.
Time and again we have heard that a political settlement is possible. Yet, the people of Haiti are sentenced to endure further suffering due to a lack of political will.
Peace, stability and dignity cannot be assured for the Haitian people without a sustainable, inclusive political solution, owned and led by the Haitian people. One which will lead to the restitution of a functioning government, a functioning legislature and a functioning judicial system.
We call on all relevant actors in Haiti to act. To take a courageous step for the good of their country. The people of Haiti deserve no less. This action must be brave and it must be urgent. Before Haiti passes the point of no return.
Thank you President.