FOREIGN AFFAIRS & FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER, ADDRESSES THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL ON HAITIAN SITUATION


Allow me at the outset to extend my congratulations to you on your leadership of the Security Council during the month of February. Your diplomatic skills and gracious style have obviously ensured smooth and effective handling of the various matters which have come to the Council. I had the pleasure of visiting your great country just over a week ago and was impressed by its progress and its economic development as well as its strong support for multilateralism and the international system.
I wish to thank you and the Council for acting promptly on my request to convene this meeting. I am pleased to see the Secretary General who I know has a keen interest in this matter.
My delegation has come before the Security Council, on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to call the urgent attention of the international community to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Haiti. The situation has now reached crisis proportions, given the continuing breakdown in law and order, the rising insurgency and conditions of sheer anarchy and chaos, as well as a worsening humanitarian crisis which, in turn, has caused displacement of the population, resulting in increasing numbers of refugees pouring out of the country. As the members of the Council are aware, during the past weeks, the political upheaval in Haiti has escalated, with heavily armed groups using force to extend control over parts of the country. Already, they have managed to seize all the cities along the northern parts of the country and it is now our understanding that they will seek to advance even further, with the intention of marching on the capital, Port-au-Prince within the next few days. The already weakened and outnumbered Haitian National Police have been forced to abandon their posts or to protectively barricade themselves against the mounting attacks of the rebel groups. In the latest flare-up of violence, some 70 persons have been killed. The prevailing situation within Haiti can no longer be viewed as just an internal matter. The current situation now poses a serious threat to regional peace and security, given the outflow of refugees which threatens to overwhelm the resources of states in the region. The past twenty months have been particularly challenging without much progress towards ending polarization and building a political consensus. The result is that the country is now locked in a political stalemate as a result of the steadfast refusal of the opposition to engage in a process of dialogue mandated by the CARICOM Action Plan.
Given Haiti’s status as its newest member, CARICOM has been concerned with the developments in that country, and has sought to provide its good offices on numerous occasions to bring a lasting resolution to the crisis. We have maintained that adherence to the following principles is critical:
the full application of democracy in Haiti
non-acceptance of a coup d’etat in any form; and
any change in Haiti must be in accordance with the Constitution of Haiti. The situation of Haiti is a serious regional concern. It is important to note that in keeping with Chapter VIII of the Charter regional organizations are often the first recourse in addressing threats to peace and security. Following the coup d’

JIS Social