Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 4, 2021
Thank you. Let me start by congratulating Ireland for an extraordinarily successful and productive month during your presidency. And then I’d like to welcome Kenya – Kenya’s assumption of the Chair – and we look forward to working with you during this month. Let me thank Special Representative La Lime for your comprehensive briefing on the situation in Haiti; the United States highly commends the work you and your team have done under such challenging circumstances. I would also like to thank Ms. Douyon for her briefing.
Mr. President, the past few months have been trying ones for the people of Haiti. Cities and towns have faced escalating violence, including gang violence. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in makeshift structures, forced to flee from their homes, as we just heard from SRSG La Lime. On July 7, the Haitian people learned that their president was brutally assassinated. In August, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit. And then, as if that was not enough, a tropical storm came crashing through. And this is just in a two-month period. But Haitians have suffered for decades – the people of Haiti keep being hit while they are down, again and again.
In the context of ongoing efforts to reach a political accord as a first step toward restoring stability and the dire humanitarian situation faced by Haitian people, Haiti needs the support of the United Nations and the multilateral system as much now as ever before. As we look to renew the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti’s mandate later this month, we must keep the plight of the people of Haiti firmly in mind. To that end, today, I’d like to address three aspects of the situation in Haiti: the political path forward, security threats and human rights abuses, and addressing humanitarian needs.
First, the United States supports an inclusive, Haitian-led process charting a path to democracy through free and fair elections as soon as conditions permit. It is crucial that Haiti’s government, political parties, civil society, religious leaders, private sector, and diaspora work together in the interest of the Haitian people to return to democratic governance. Government authorities should move quickly to restore the country’s democratic institutions, including an effective, independent judiciary. We urge Prime Minister Henry to make every effort to secure a political accord with the broadest possible consensus and engagement with civil society and political actors. Accountability for the perpetrators of the assassination of President Moïse would be an important step toward bringing the country together.
Second, the human rights situation in Haiti continues to deteriorate. Human rights defenders faced even more attacks during the summer. Those responsible for the Bel Air, Cité Soleil, and La Saline massacres need to be held accountable. The perpetrators of the killings of political activist Antoinette Duclaire, journalist Diego Charles, and President of Port-au-Prince Bar Monferrier Dorval also need to be brought to justice. And in terms of security, the United States supports BINUH’s efforts to help the Haitian National Police become an accountable and reliable force which can meet Haiti’s internal security needs, including tackling gang violence.
Third and finally, following the earthquake, the United Nations reported that approximately 650,000 Haitians require humanitarian assistance. The United States has provided nearly $44 million to aid those in need. USAID, in conjunction with its partners, continue to assess and respond to the humanitarian needs caused by this earthquake.
And we urge everyone to do their part to help the Haitian people, who have suffered so much. Together, let us ensure the needs and aspirations of the Haitian people are met, and that we do everything we can to help the country become more democratic, more prosperous, and more secure for the Haitian people.
Thank you, Mr. President.