Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 18, 2022
Thank you, Special Representative La Lime, for your briefing on the situation in Haiti, and for the tireless work of you and your team in Haiti. The United States commends the efforts of BINUH to help Haiti through this most difficult period. As the Secretary-General’s team conducts its assessment of BINUH’s mandate, and as we look forward to a renewal in July, the situation in Haiti demonstrates just how vital the ongoing support of the United Nations remains.
Over the past two months, the international community has demonstrated its commitment to addressing Haiti’s security situation, as well as its political and economic challenges. In December, the United States convened a senior-level meeting with Haiti and its international partners. We all agreed that concrete and rapid steps must be taken to strengthen the Haitian National Police. And we all agreed on the need for political dialogue among all sectors of Haitian society. As you heard from SRSG La Lime, this is essential to reaching agreement on a path to free and fair elections when conditions permit.
As the Secretary-General’s report notes, Canada hosted a ministerial-level meeting on Haiti in January, with 19 States and several multilateral organizations in attendance. In a statement issued after the meeting, Canada emphasized, and I quote, “the importance of strengthening international support and the coordination of international assistance.” Just this week, the Haitian government held a reconstruction conference. We thank those countries that participated and reiterate how crucial it is that international contributions match Haiti’s critical needs.
All of these conferences and gatherings demonstrate the international community’s concern for, and commitment to, Haiti. Haiti does not stand alone. The renewal of BINUH’s mandate will reaffirm our shared commitment to stand with the Haitian people as they work to address ongoing political and security crises.
There is much to be concerned about. Last year’s gang activity grew rapidly. And as we heard from the SRSG, Haitians have been subjected to killings, kidnappings, sexual violence, and forced displacements. Those responsible for these horrific acts must be held accountable. The HNP requires financial support, it requires equipment, training, and consistent leadership. This will ensure its continued professionalization and strengthen its capacity to tackle gangs and improve citizen security. But as the Secretary-General’s report notes, policing alone cannot tackle Haiti’s security problems. The international community must continue broader efforts to support the rule of law in Haiti. We must provide support not just for law enforcement, but also for the judiciary and for community violence reduction initiatives to help Haiti create a functioning criminal justice system.
We look forward to the release of the Secretary General’s assessment of BINUH’s mandate in April. We must build on our momentum to increase donor coordination and cooperation and to support efforts to improve the security situation in Haiti. BINUH serves an essential and ongoing role in Haiti. Let us continue to work together to provide the Haitian people the support that they need and the support they deserve.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.