I would like to thank the Secretary-General and Special Representative La Lime for the report, and for the concrete recommendations therein which we support.
Thanks also goes to Ms. Emmanuela Douyon for her brief here today.
The situation in Haiti has become even more troubling than we could have predicted at our last scheduled meeting in June. At that meeting, we spoke about elections;
a referendum; the importance of respecting human rights; and the need to build up Haiti’s resilience to climate and environmental shocks. All issues which have now been thrown into sharp relief.
While on climate, we do welcome the inclusion in the report emphasising that Haiti should, and I quote: “prioritize over the long term, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.” We look forward to more such analysis connecting climate and security.
Yet despite this bright spot, we gather today in an overall grim atmosphere for Haiti. One punctuated by the assassination of the President; an earthquake- and subsequent tropical storm; massive humanitarian needs, and an increasingly fraught political and security situation. In such turmoil, Norway is reaffirming ourselves as a steady partner to Haiti.
In the aftermath of the earthquake we sent an expanded emergency clinic and full medical team to alleviate urgent humanitarian needs. And while we will continue to support Haiti- we call strongly on Haiti’s leaders to undertake concrete action to resolve the multiple crises.
Ultimately, this will mean holding free and fair elections in an environment that will ensure full, equal, and meaningful participation of women. We encourage all actors to engage in a substantive dialogue, and prepare for these critical elections as soon as possible.
Norway is deeply concerned by reports of ongoing violations and abuses of human rights. Recent attacks on humanitarian convoys are of great concern. Safe and unhindered humanitarian access must be ensured. We are worried particularly about the situation for vulnerable people, including children, and the critical protection needs of women- also from sexual and gender-based violence.
The increase in harassment and reprisals against human rights defenders, and the shrinking civic space are also troubling. These are serious crimes that jeopardise possibilities for peace. There can be no impunity. We urge the authorities to ensure perpetrators are held to account.
We are at a breaking point, all actors in Haiti must enter into dialogue with open minds, and restore confidence in the political and judiciary system based on the rule of law. We have heard the calls from female leaders of civil society for greater coordination and inclusive political processes. In the face of increasing fragmentation in Haitian society, we call on BINUH to work closely with all civil society groups to bridge the political gaps.
In closing, President, allow me to reiterate that Norway fully supports BINUH and its ongoing work. The current crisis must be used as a turning point for Haiti and its people. The Council needs to engage constructively together, and renew BINUH’s mandate without delay. We understand the complexities and challenges that face Haiti and BINUH, but now is not the time for Council support to falter. The best chance for success is through a strong and coherent international response, and support to the people of Haiti.