|Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the UN Security Council Resolution on the Mandate Renewal of BINUH|
Haiti has been one of the most complicated and protracted challenges on the Council’s agenda. For China, each time when the Council discusses the mandate of a UN mission, the key has never been whether to renew it or not, nor has it been the length of the renewal. It is always about what kind of mandate is needed for the mission and what kind of mandate can effectively help the people of Haiti.
The UN began its engagement in Haiti in the early 1990s. Yet Haiti today, when compared with 30 years ago, is hardly in any better shape. On the contrary, it is caught in a more severe crisis. Anyone who truly cares about the Haitian people and the reputation of the UN will have great concerns over this. What exactly has gone wrong? How can the Security Council really make a difference and break the vicious cycle?
Last October, with the facilitation of China and other Council members, the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to conduct an assessment of the mandate of BINUH in light of the actual conditions in Haiti, which shall serve as a reference for the Council to strengthen the mandate in a targeted manner. Over the past nine months, Haiti’s state institutions have been paralyzed across the board. Most of the country have fallen into a security vacuum. Gang violence has become more rampant. And the economic and humanitarian situations have been in free fall. This fully demonstrates that the strategic assessment and fundamental adjustment of the mandate of BINUH are imperative.
Just as the Council was in consultation over this resolution, gang clashes broke out near Port-au-Prince, and the situation has worsened to an appalling state. Meaningful Council action is long overdue, and we cannot afford to miss another opportunity of mandate renewal this time.
China, while fully taking into account the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s assessment report, the strong aspirations of the Haitian people, and the concerns of Haiti’s neighboring countries and countries in the region, has put forward specific reasonable and feasible proposals on advancing the political process, stepping up police capacity building, combating illicit flows of weapons and finance, and strengthening port and border management, among others. We welcome the fact that the draft resolution has taken up many of China’s proposals. We thank the Council members for your support, and appreciate the positive attitude shown in the final stages by Mexico and the US as co-penholders. While the resolution just adopted certainly still has room for improvement, it is nevertheless on the whole a right step in the right direction.
This resolution sets clear expectations on the Haitian authorities and leaders of political parties. They must shoulder their responsibilities, bear in mind the interests of the country and the people, immediately put an end to the senseless political strife, engage in dialogue on the political arrangements for the transitional period, and create necessary conditions for the early holding of general elections. The leadership of the interim government in Haiti should have a greater sense of urgency in advancing the political process and report progress satisfactory for the people of Haiti to Security Council before October 17. China welcomes the constructive roles played by regional countries and CARICOM for advancing intra-Haitian dialogue.
This resolution sends clear warnings to the gangs that the Security Council is closely following their actions. The gangsters must immediately stop violence and criminal activities, lift the occupation of public facilities and roads, and cease all acts of human rights violations. For individuals who are gang members or supporters of gang activities, the Security Council will soon impose sanctions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the UN Charter to seriously hold them accountable.
This resolution also confers upon BINUH a stronger mandate, or in clearer terms, requires BINUH to take on greater responsibilities. We hope that the SRSG will earnestly follow the principle of Haitian-led and Haitian-owned to lead BINUH in working objectivity and impartiality, making every effort to push for inclusive dialogues among the parties, mobilizing the international community, and providing more substantive help to Haiti. BINUH should, through concrete actions, bring confidence and hope to the people of Haiti.
We also expect the Secretary-General, as mandated by the resolution, to consult with the Haitian authorities, the relevant countries, and region organizations, with a view to putting forward effective and feasible solutions and recommendations on how to help Haiti fight the gangs. Regional partners with the capabilities should respond actively and contribute to improving the security situation in Haiti.
Haiti itself is not a producer of weapons. Yet the weapons possessed by the gangs far out-compete those of the national police in quantity and quality, which indicates that the illicit trafficking and proliferation of weapons are a source of the ever-escalating gang violence. Countries while supporting Haiti in beefing up its own security capabilities, should also act in coordination and unity by banning the participation of their citizens in the trafficking of weapons to Haiti, and preventing their territories from being used for such purposes. This is a necessary step in effectively containing the violent activities of gangs and the minimum requirement in showing solidarity with the Haitian people. Regrettably, the resolution has failed to provide for this in the strongest terms. We hope that this would not send any wrong signals to the gangs. We urge all countries to effectively strengthen the export control of arms to avoid their illicit flow into the hands of gangs in Haiti. China will also work with relevant countries in continuing to push for greater Security Council efforts in this direction.
I thank you, Mr. President.