Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH)

Amy Tachco
Political Coordinator
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
April 3, 2018


Thank you very much, Mr. President. And thank you, Under-Secretary-General Lacroix, for your briefing today.

Last October, the transition from the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti to the more focused, police-only UN Mission for Justice Support marked a turning point for Haiti. The Haitians themselves are truly taking the lead in providing their own security and law enforcement.

The transition from MINUSTAH to MINUJUSTH set a strong example of how UN peacekeeping missions can and should change as the political and security situation on the ground evolves. When peacekeeping works well, we see countries develop their own capacities to protect their citizens, and we see countries re-establish domestic political processes. We believe MINUJUSTH has the potential to do just that and will continue to foster the independence and self-sufficiency of the Haitian people.

We commend the important and necessary steps that the government has already taken to achieve long-term security and stability in Haiti. We are encouraged by how far Haiti has come in growing the capacity of the Haitian National Police, or HNP, an institution we will continue to prioritize and support as it takes the lead on the country’s security.

We believe that MINUJUSTH’s various components – including Formed Police Units, Individual Police Officers, Corrections Officers, as well as civilian experts in rule of law, human rights, political affairs, gender, conduct and discipline, and other key areas – contribute significantly to the rule of law and justice sector priorities that the international community and the Government of Haiti have identified. The UN’s mentoring and advising of the HNP has been and will continue to be a key factor in the Haitian police force’s ability to ensure public order and provide security for the Haitian people.

Looking to the future, Haiti’s security, political, and development agenda can only be shaped by Haitians themselves. The government of Haiti must focus on strengthening its judicial system and human rights institutions to help consolidate the long-term stability and stabilization gains of the past few years. We hope to see significant progress in many areas, including addressing prolonged pre-trial detention and prison overcrowding, eliminating sexual and gender-based violence, and achieving the full participation of women in decision-making.

It is critical that Haiti take the opportunity to advance dialogue on the additional measures required to strengthen its institutions, such as adopting the draft penal and criminal procedure codes and establishing a Permanent Electoral Council, so that these bodies can be around to serve the Haitian people long after MINUJUSTH departs. At the end of the day, Haiti bears the primary responsibility for making this happen, and it can count on support from the United Nations, of course from the United States, and from many others in the international community.

We welcome MINUJUSTH’s benchmarked exit strategy and look forward to updates on timelines for the transition of tasks and responsibilities to the Haitian government in coordination with the UN Country Team. That said, crucial work remains in the time that MINUJUSTH has left to execute its important tasks. We stress the critical importance of filling the remainder of the Mission’s staffing and vacant UNPOL positions as soon as possible.

The United States is a long-standing friend and partner of Haiti. We remain committed to working with the Haitian government to ensure the country’s long-term security, democratic development, and economic growth. We look forward to this new chapter of growth and independence in the unfolding story of the Haitian people.

Thank you very much.