Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Haiti

Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
October 23, 2023


Thank you, Mr. President.

Special Representative Salvador, thank you for your briefing and for your team’s ongoing efforts in Haiti. I would also like to thank Ms. Waly of UNODC, and Ms. Russell of UNICEF, and Ms. Manigat of the High Transition Council for your important perspectives on the dynamic situation on the ground.

We understand very clearly how challenging your work is. As you can see from the efforts of the Security Council over the last four months, many on the Security Council are working hard to support and build on your work. In July, we unanimously re-authorized and strengthened the mandate of BINUH; on October 2 we authorized the deployment of the Multinational Security Support mission under Chapter VII; and just last week we renewed the Haitian sanctions regime. The United States has voted to support each of these resolutions precisely because, as the SRSG has briefed, the situation in Haiti continues to grow more dire.

As the Secretary-General stated, to make progress towards elections, enable economic growth, and relieve the humanitarian crisis, the security situation in Haiti must improve. The MSS aims to support the Haitian National Police as they work to improve security in Haiti.

The differences in mandate between a UN Special Political Mission and a non-UN mission focused on security are clear, but there is a direct link between the success of BINUH and that of the MSS. If the MSS can succeed in supporting the HNP and improve Haiti’s security environment, BINUH’s efforts will have greater success in implementing its mandate and its work will have more impact. At the same time, we echo the SRSG’s call for close cooperation between BINUH and the MSS. Such cooperation will help to facilitate the MSS’ work, enabling an improvement in the security situation. Such a virtuous cycle would be a welcome respite from the challenges that have so plagued Haiti in recent years.

We again welcome Kenya’s willingness to lead the MSS and are engaged along with others in the international community, to support the MSS’ deployment as well as the development of mechanisms to prevent and address potential violations or abuses of human rights, including sexual exploitation and abuse. The MSS’ overall success depends not only on cooperation with BINUH, but in developing and implementing effective mechanisms to address these serious problems.

Mr. President, we also continue to call on the international community to provide direct support to the MSS. This includes personnel, funding, training, and in-kind support. The MSS mission’s ability to support the Haitian National Police in restoring security to Haiti, as set forth in its mandate, will require sustained resources from the international community.

Colleagues, the situation in Haiti will continue to require our sustained focus. We welcome BINUH’s continued work to address the multi-faceted challenges posed by the situation. We also note the SRSG’s request to further strengthen BINUH’s ability to help increase the capacity of the justice system in its investigation and prosecution of serious crimes and agree these issues should be addressed holistically. So, while Kenya begins preparations for the potential deployment of the MSS, we should continue discussions on how we can best ensure that BINUH is fit for purpose before we further expand its mandate.

In the meantime, the United States remains committed to addressing the insecurity in Haiti, both here in the Security Council and bilaterally. We call on all Member States to join us in these efforts.

Thank you, Mr. President.