Statement by the President of the Security Council on Haiti, March 24, 2021

The Security Council takes note of the report from the Secretary-General of 11 February (S/2021/133) and the observations contained therein, and reaffirms its support for the efforts of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH).

The Security Council expresses its deep concern regarding the protracted political, constitutional, humanitarian, and security crises in Haiti, and recalling resolutions 2547 (2020) and 2476 (2019), further stresses the primary responsibility of the government of Haiti to address underlying drivers of instability.

The Security Council stresses that the democratic will of the Haitian people must be respected, and underscores the need to address essential security, transparency, and logistical considerations in connection with upcoming electoral processes. The Security Council reiterates the urgent need to hold free, fair, transparent, and credible legislative elections that have been overdue since October 2019. The Security Council also urges that all preparations be made for free, fair, transparent, and credible presidential elections in 2021. The Security Council urges all political stakeholders in Haiti to set aside their differences in the interest of the people of Haiti, to engage constructively to enable the organization of upcoming elections and to ensure elections take place in a peaceful environment, and calls on the international community to support Haiti in this endeavor.

The Security Council further stresses the importance of an independent judiciary and of the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and the inclusion of all Haitians, including youth, persons with disabilities, and civil society in Haiti’s political processes.

The Security Council underscores the need to strengthen the rule of law and urges the government of Haiti to step up its efforts against corruption and to ensure accountability and transparency in connection with these efforts.

The Security Council emphasizes the need for an immediate and coordinated response by Haitian authorities to demonstrate their commitment to addressing the deteriorating security situation in Haiti, including gang-related criminal activities, increases in kidnappings, homicides, and rape. The Security Council calls for the provision of adequate resources to the Haitian National Police, for the adoption of a sustainable long-term strategy to address the root causes of violence and for concrete measures to address ongoing violence, including that listed in OP 1(b) of Security Council Resolution 2476 (2019).

The Security Council notes with concern reported violations and abuses of international human rights, including those involving the alleged use of deadly force against protesters, as well as reported arbitrary arrests and detentions. The Security Council calls on the government of Haiti to respect freedom of expression and freedom of association, and for the Haitian National Police Inspector General to conduct a thorough investigation of these incidents.

The Security Council stresses the urgency of accountability for human rights violations and abuses and calls on the government of Haiti to take immediate action to end impunity for those responsible, particularly noting the emblematic cases outlined in the most recent report from the Secretary-General, including Grand Ravine (2017), La Saline (2018), and Bel-Air (2019) and the assassination of the president of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association, M. Dorval (2020). The Security Council also urges the government of Haiti to end the practice of prolonged pre-trial detention.

The Security Council notes its concern regarding the humanitarian situation in Haiti, noting in particular growing food insecurity and malnutrition that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and stresses the need for increased support and attention to the humanitarian situation and development needs in Haiti, as well as efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Security Council recognizes the important role of neighboring countries and regional organizations such as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS), and underlining the importance of harmonized, coordinated and strengthened efforts, encourages them to continue their active engagement on Haiti and in this regard, welcomes the decision by CARICOM to send a fact-finding mission in support of UN efforts.

The Security Council reaffirms its support for the people of Haiti and underscores the importance of continued international support to Haiti as it seeks to address its urgent ongoing challenges, and to create the conditions for peaceful and democratic elections.

The Security Council encourages continued close collaboration and coordination between BINUH and the United Nations Country Team in Haiti with a view to helping the government of Haiti to take responsibility to realize the long-term stability, development, and economic self-sufficiency of the country.