|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Haiti|
I would like to begin by expressing my deep condolences on the tragic death of Foreign Minister Michael Moussa-Adamo. During his lifetime, Foreign Minister Moussa-Adamo actively campaigned for the promotion of peace and security in Africa, making valuable contributions to the maintenance of world peace. His tragic passing is a great loss to the people of Gabon. My sincere condolences go to Ambassador Biang and our brothers and sisters in the permanent mission of Gabon.
Just now, Special Representative La Lime briefed us on the situation in Haiti, for which I am grateful. I also welcome the presence of the Dominican foreign minister and the permanent representatives of Haiti and Canada at today’s meeting.
Over the past year, the situation in Haiti has not improved, with a political power vacuum and rampant gang violence weighing heavily on the Haitian people.
The term of the Haitian Chamber of Deputies and the President expired in 2020 and 2022 respectively. And the term of the Senate President and the last 10 senators ended two weeks ago. This means that the Haitian state institutions are completely devoid of legitimately elected representatives. The crisis of political legitimacy is the fundamental crisis in Haiti. Parties and factions in Haiti must respond to the people’s call for the return to constitutional order, and take responsibility for moving forward the political transition without delay.
Last month, the interim authorities reached with some parties and civil society groups a national consensus for an inclusive transition and transparent elections, deciding to restore democratically elected institutions within an 18-month timeframe. This is a step forward, but it is still far from the expectations of the Haitian people and the parties concerned. We note that some civil society groups, including the Montana Group, were explicitly against it.
Parties in Haiti should continue to engage in inclusive dialogue, enhance the sense of urgency in political consultations, and agree on a universally acceptable, credible, and feasible transitional arrangement, so as to create conditions for holding free and fair elections at an early date. BINUH should build a platform for dialogue among all Haitian parties and factions, and based on respecting the choices of the Haitian people, step up efforts in promoting a Haitian-led and Haitian-owned political process.
The Secretary-General’s latest report notes that violent criminal activities by Haitian gangs have intensified, with more than 2,000 people killed last year, an increase of more than 30% over the previous year. Haitian people generally welcome the sanctions imposed by the UN on Haitian gangs and their supporters, and expect the sanctions regime will effectively curb gang activities. Some people also express their hope that sanctions would be imposed on more gangsters who undermined peace and stability in Haiti. China, like many Security Council members, support the sanctions committee to become operational as soon as possible, urgently review and update the sanctions list, and monitor and ensure the full implementation of the sanctions measures, in order to create the necessary deterrent to gang violence. This should be one of the priorities of the work of the Security Council going forward.
China acknowledges the efforts by the Haitian national police in maintaining law and order, and supports Haiti in improving its law enforcement and judicial capabilities, strengthening control of illicit weapons and financial flows, and bringing criminals to justice. China welcomes regional partners in providing capacity building support to the Haitian national police. When considering the dispatch of forces, countries should fully take into account the different views within Haiti and avoid repeating the historical lessons of failed external interventions.
Haiti is facing the most severe humanitarian and economic crisis in decades. The past year has been marked by rampant violence, cholera outbreaks, economic slump, and increased poverty and food insecurity, with the vulnerability of women and children particularly distressing. An individual country recently adopted new deportation measures against migrants crossing the borders from Haiti and other countries to seek asylum. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concerns over the new measures that risk undermining the basic foundations of international human rights and refugee law. We believe that the human rights and dignity of Haitian migrants should be protected, and that no country should deport migrants at the cost of their human rights.
China supports the UN and regional partners to increase humanitarian resources to Haiti and to play a constructive role in improving the humanitarian situation on the ground and overcoming economic and livelihood difficulties. Together with the international community, we will continue our constructive role for the Haitian people in their pursuit of peace and stability.
Thank you, Mr. President.