Ambassador Raff Bukun-Olu Onemola
Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations
New York, NY
13th September, 2010
I would like to thank Mr. Edmond Mulet for his comprehensive briefing and remarkable work in a difficult and challenging environment. I also thank the Permanent Representative of Haiti for the additional comments he provided to the Council.
I will focus my remarks on elections, humanitarian challenges and security issues. With respect to elections, the positive atmosphere in Haiti since the adoption of resolution 1927 (2010) and the successful hosting of several donor conferences has helped to create conditions favorable to the holding of presidential, legislative and municipal elections in the country before the end of 2010. There is, however, a disturbing disquiet within the polity about the modalities for the conduct of the election that must not be allowed to derail either the electoral process or the peace and stability achieved so far.
All stakeholders are encouraged to work towards free and fair elections and a negotiated settlement of their differences. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has a critical role to play in supporting the electoral process, particularly in providing logistical and technical assistance for the conduct of the election. The mediatory role played by the Special Representative in re-establishing confidence among Haiti’s major political actors and the electoral process is commended.
On security, we are pleased to note that the security situation in Haiti improved during the reporting period. The MINUSTAH troop increase authorized by resolution 1908 (2010) and enhanced operational activities contributed substantially to this development. However, the continued existence of a large number of camps of internally displaced persons and rampant cases of sexual and gender-based violence in these camps constitute security threats that should be addressed urgently. Women and girls should be protected and sexual offenders held accountable.
Illicit drug trafficking through Haiti’s borders is having a negative effect on general development in the country and should be effectively tackled. Sustained international support is necessary to build the capacity of local law enforcement agencies to enable them to perform their constitutional duties, especially with regard to effective internal checks, border management and tackling the illegal weapons flow.
On humanitarian issues, as observed by the InterAgency Standing Committee in its July report on the response to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, although Haiti’s relief operations have achieved many of the objectives, humanitarian needs, particularly for shelter, remain immense. A more comprehensive strategy is therefore needed to address the plight of internally displaced persons, provide humanitarian protection and shelter, and meet their basic needs, including health care, energy and education. Priority should be given to women and children.
We welcome MINUSTAH’s collaborative efforts with the United Nations country team and international partners in working to strengthen the Government of Haiti’s capacity to govern. We commend the cash- and food for-work projects, which have empowered over 150,000 people since the beginning of the year.
We also commend the important role played by the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, under the co-chairmanship of Prime Minister Bellerive and former United States President Bill Clinton, in channeling needed resources to the country. The timely disbursement of funds donated at the March 2010 international conference will not only enable the Government to implement its Action Plan towards Haiti’s full recovery, but will also facilitate full ownership of the reconstruction process by the Government. In this connection, Nigeria will, in the coming days, be presenting a check for $5 million in fulfillment of its pledge made during the March donor conference.
Considering the crucial role MINUSTAH continues to play in Haiti, we support the renewal of its mandate for one more year.