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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Statement on behalf of the European Union to the Security Council of the United Nations on the situation in Haiti

Date of Speech : 13-05-2005

Place : New-York

Speaker : Jean-Marc Hoscheit

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Madam President,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Acceeding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey and Croatia* , the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.

Madam President,

At this crucial time for the future of Haiti, the European Union welcomes the opportunity to discuss the findings of the recent mission the Security Council undertook there in conjunction with the ECOSOC Advisory Group. We feel that three areas need our particular attention at this juncture: the security situation, the upcoming elections and sustainable economic development.

Madam President,

While the mission is of the view that some measure of progress has been achieved regarding security, including through improved cooperation between the Haitian National Police and MINUSTAH, we note however that the overall situation remains fragile. The Haitian National Police struggles to maintain law and order. An adequate and effective demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) programme is still lacking and we take due notice of the mission’s concerns regarding the firm commitment of the Transitional Government in this regard. The establishment of the National Commission on Disarmament is a welcome first step, but substantial and speedy progress is needed in this field, with the assistance of MINUSTAH, ahead of the elections in the fall.

The persistence of widespread violence in some areas of the country would pose a serious risk to these elections, as a secure environment is essential for political debate, campaigning and voting. To further assist the Haitian National Police, a temporary increase of the civilian police component of MINUSTAH and an adjustment of its mandate in order to address the increasing security challenges should be envisaged for the period leading up to the elections.

The European Union remains gravely concerned at the human rights abuses which have been and continue to be committed in Haiti. While a strong response by law enforcement is needed to restore law and order, it must respect human rights standards. Thorough investigations into alleged human rights violations by the Haitian National Police should go ahead. We call again on the Transitional Government to take the necessary measures to put an end to impunity.

Madam President,

The European Union welcomes the official launching of the National Dialogue by the interim President. The EU reiterates 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 by 7 February 2006. All political forces that have renounced violence should be actively encouraged to participate in the national dialogue.

The elections planned for later this year will be an essential building block in a long-term effort to rebuild the country. To maintain the necessary momentum, the announced calendar for these elections must be maintained. In this context, we are following very closely the voter registration currently underway under the supervision of the Organisation of American States (OAS). As I already indicated to the Council in January, the European Union is examining the possibility of dispatching an election observer mission to Haiti. To that end, an assessment mission is planned for the beginning of the summer. € 20.5 million have been earmarked to support the elections.

Madam President,

The Haitian people must be provided with the capacity to ensure the country’s stability and prosperity in the long term. The European Union supports the view that there can be no genuine long-term stability in Haiti until the economy is strengthened and development has become sustainable. Excluding bilateral contributions by Member states, the European Union’s pledge made at the Washington donor conference has since been increased to € 294 million. The European Union is doing its part to accelerate disbursements and program implementation, in order to noticeably improve living conditions and reduce poverty. To this end, European Commission staff in Haiti has been reinforced and procedures for project implementation have been simplified in this case.

This being said, the projects financed through the European Development Fund require close cooperation with and implementation by the Haitian authorities. The lack of a functioning public administration significantly hampers the progression of such projects. In the meantime, the European Union has been concentrating on projects in three areas where the Haitian population will see fast benefits, including through job creation: infrastructure (especially road construction), education (rehabilitation of schools) and democratization (election support and justice reform).

Madam President,

Security and development are interlinked elements of a comprehensive solution to the crisis in Haiti, as illustrated by the fact that the Security Council mission occurred in conjunction with the ECOSOC ad hoc advisory group. The European Union supports the view that a long-term UN presence is required and acknowledges the need of increased coordination between MINUSTAH and the various development actors in Haiti. Let me conclude, Madam President, by reiterating the European Union’s commitment to supporting Haiti in its difficult transition process both in the short and in the longer term. At the same time, we share the view that the Haitian people themselves, including the Transitional Government, need to assume their responsibilities and take ownership of their own future.

* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilsation and Association Process.

This page was last modified on : 13-05-2005

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