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HAITI | UN envoy says recent political advances set stage to address pressing challenges in Haiti

United Nations envoy in Haiti, Sandra Honoré United Nations envoy in Haiti, Sandra Honoré
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 12, CMC – The United Nations envoy in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, says recent political advances have set the stage to address pressing challenges in the French-speaking Caribbean country.

Highlighting improvements in Haiti’s political situation, including the recent elections and opportunities to address longstanding disputes, the senior United Nations official  urged the international community to continue its partnership with Haiti and its people to help consolidate the gains achieved.

“The elections provided for the installation of all directly-elected officials at all levels of Haiti’s governance structure for the first time since 2006, including the peaceful transfer of power to the third democratically-elected President since 2004” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General told the UN Security Council.

“Haiti’s return to Constitutional order and the full functioning of the Executive, the Legislature and local government has now set the stage to address the many pressing challenges facing the country,” she added.

In her briefing, Honoré, also the head of the UN Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH), noted that the security situation in Haiti remains largely stable.

She said while Haiti’s police force continues to show increased capacity in planning and executing complex operations, as well as in combating crime and maintaining public order, its further development, including in the areas of internal management and oversight, police-to-population ratio and the geographic coverage, was still needed.

Honoré cited political challenges as a major impediment to consistent progress in the administration of justice and human rights “to truly anchor the rule of law and render police work more effective, while creating conditions conducive for foreign and domestic investment and job creation”.

Noting that some deficiencies continued to undermine the effectiveness of the justice and human rights system, the senior UN official also urged the Government of Haiti to assign a “ministerial-level focal point for human rights,” as well as to expedite the “transparent and merit-based”  appointment of the National Ombudsperson.

“The progress achieved during the past 13 years in Haiti’s stabilization process is notable,” she said, adding that reshaping the partnership among the international community, the UN system and Haiti is important to ensure such progress remains sustainable.

Honoré recalled the recommendation of the UN Secretary-General on the closure of MINUSTAH in six months and the establishment of a smaller operation with focus on the rule of law, “with strong good offices and human rights monitoring roles.”

“With your support, the transition to a new and smaller Mission would be guided by a Joint Transition Plan that underpins the gradual transfer of tasks to the Government, international partners and the UN Country Team,” she said.

  • Countries: Haiti