Summary: January 12, 2005: Statement to the Security Council of the United Nations by H.E. Ambassador Jean-Marc Hoscheit, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations on behalf of the European Union on Haiti (New York)
I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia1, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the EFTA countries Iceland and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.
The European Union welcomes this opportunity to address the situation in Haiti. The presence of several high-ranking political personalities underlines the importance of today's debate. The European Union also welcomes the report by the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Juan Gabriel Valdes, as well as the unanimous decision of the Security Council on November 29, 2004 to extend the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti until June 2005, with the intention to extend it for further periods.
The EU notes that the fact that United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti is nearly up to its full authorized strength has increased its ability to use a more robust approach in implementing its mandate, in particular when it comes to conduct joint operations with the Haitian national police against illegal armed groups.
The European Union welcomes recent positive developments on the ground, but notes that further action is still required to improve the overall security situation in the country, which remains of concern. In some areas the lack of security is still an impediment to effective humanitarian assistance and project implementation.
The European Union urges all parties, without exception, to refrain from any kind of violent behavior that would further imperil the welfare of the Haitian people and to abide by the rule of law and to respect human rights. We call on the Transitional Government to take the necessary measures to put an end to impunity.
We strongly believe that the ongoing crisis in Haiti can only be resolved by peaceful means, through a constitutional and inclusive political process of national dialogue, compromise and reconciliation, leading to free and fair elections by the end of this year, and to the transfer of power to elected authorities. We strongly encourage the Transitional Government to pursue its efforts in this regard, with the assistance of the United Nations Stabilization Mission. In this context, it is important that all political forces publicly renounce violence and join the democratic and electoral process.
The European Union strongly supports the adjustments proposed by the Secretary General in November 2004 with regard to the structure of MINUSTAH, in particular on adding an additional formed police unit to provide enhanced operational support to the Haitian National Police, on implementing quick impact projects directly improving the lives of the Haitian people, and on increasing MINUSTAH's capacity to implement disarmament, demobilization and reintegration projects in the community. In this context, the European Union encourages the Transitional Government of Haiti, assisted by the United Nations Stabilization Mission, to reinforce as a matter of first priority its current efforts aimed at removing all illegal weapons from the streets and to fully disarm all armed groups, in order not to jeopardize the democratic transition process under way.
With 271 million € worth of pledges, the European Union has emerged as the largest single donor from the pledging conference on Haiti in Washington in July 2004. These pledges do not include contributions from individual EU member states. The European Union will make every possible effort to reduce bottlenecks and to disburse these funds promptly, with a view to create employment and achieve quick and visible changes. 45 million € have recently been approved for infrastructure projects and 27 million € for rehabilitation projects. To promote the rule of law, the European Union, together with Canada, has furthermore launched an important project aimed at reforming the judiciary.
The European Union is also providing substantial financial support for the organization of elections. Haiti is furthermore on the European Union's priority list for electoral observation for the local, parliamentarian and presidential elections scheduled to take place in November and December 2005. An exploratory mission is scheduled to be dispatched in June to assess the feasibility of a European Union Election Observation Mission to Haiti.
The European Union fully supports the efforts by the countries of the region, as well as those undertaken by regional groups, such as the Organization of American States. We believe that the United Nations should be present in Haiti for as long as necessary with a view to encourage international support for the sustainable political, social, economic and ecological development of the country. In this context, we support the activities of the ECOSOC Ad hoc Advisory Group on Haiti.
The European Union for its part remains committed to support the ongoing political process and to play its role in providing further help to alleviate the Haitian people's suffering by means of prompt humanitarian aid and continued long-term assistance, with a view to contributing to a lasting peace and stability in Haiti.
1 Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilsation and Association Process.