Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
April 26, 2023
Thank you. I would like to welcome Special Representative of the Secretary-General Maria Isabel Salvador in her first appearance at the Security Council since the Secretary-General announced her appointment on March 1. I would also like to thank UNODC Executive Director Waly for her briefing and acknowledge the presence of the foreign ministers of Haiti and the Dominican Republic this morning.
The United States welcomes the appointment of William O’Neill as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Expert for Human Rights on Haiti. There is an urgent need to monitor and report on the human rights situation, with special emphasis on the safety and wellbeing of women and children.
As we have heard this morning, the reports on the security and humanitarian situation in Haiti are pretty horrific. In the capital city of Port-au-Prince, schools and community hubs have become sites for terrorizing and recruiting youth. Gang violence threatens the daily lives of citizens and economic prosperity of Haiti, and women and girls are most vulnerable to the unacceptable rise in sexual and gender-based violence, used as a tool of fear and intimidation.
We are deeply concerned about the rise in violent gang activity. The UN reported homicides increased 21 percent in the first quarter of this year, and kidnappings by 63 percent. As the SRSG has noted, schools have closed after teachers and students were hit by stray bullets in classrooms in what the UN describes as gang attacks of “indiscriminate” character. The abduction of children and parents have often taken place within the vicinity of schools.
The United States also condemns in the strongest terms the killing of brave Haitian National Police officers who died in the line of duty. The brutal tactics gangs have enacted in carrying out these crimes are deeply troubling.
Political stability is a key element toward restoring peace and security in the country. Since the December 2022 signing of the National Consensus Agreement, we have seen positive political developments, including the appointment of members to the High Transitional Council as well as the Court of Cassation.
While these political developments are promising, we urge the Government of Haiti and all political stakeholders to establish an inclusive and broad-based Provisional Electoral Council to restore democratic governance in the country.
Despite increased assistance from the international community, more is needed to support the security, health, and stability of the Haitian people. We applaud the UN’s recent approval of the Humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up for Haiti to address malnutrition, cholera, gender-based violence, and child protection needs in the country.
The United States has committed over $90 million to support the Haitian National Police and provided more than $204.7 million in humanitarian funding to Haiti.
In the last six months, the United States announced an additional $56 million in humanitarian assistance, delivered 450 metric tons of health, logistics, and water, sanitation, and hygiene commodities, and transported 232 metric tons of personal protective equipment for health care workers, rehydration fluids for cholera patients, and water disinfection tablets.
The Haitian government and its people have asked for international support to address violence and insecurity. The United States continues to work with a growing number of international partners to support the urgent security needs in the country. The Security Council will need to do its part in helping Haiti, including by advancing additional sanctions against those who finance and foment violence and instability in Haiti.
The United States stands in solidarity with the Haitian people during these difficult times.