U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF POLITICAL MISSION IN HAITI – CHINA AND RUSSIAN FEDERATION ABSTAINED:
By a vote of 13 to zero and two abstentions (China and Russian Federation), the United Nations Security Council adopted U.N. Resolution 2547 extending for another year the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) until 15 October 2021. The Council did so in accordance with the terms laid out in the 2019 resolution 2476 while also maintaining the reporting requirements therein.
Explaining his delegation’s position after the vote, the Dominican Republic representative described a “persistent, complex crisis,” which has only worsened in Haiti in the year since the establishment of BINUH. The situation which is characterized by human rights violations, rampant impunity, and a humanitarian and economic crisis that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dominican Republic had hoped for a more inclusive, cross-cutting negotiation process on today’s resolution, which might have led to a more robust mandate for BINUH, given the escalating challenges.
“This Council is missing a huge opportunity to bring more international community support to the people of Haiti, who are the poorest in the Western Hemisphere,” he stressed, adding that — in its current form — the new Mission may lose the chance to lock in gains made by its predecessor, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Despite all these concerns and the serious challenges facing Haiti, his delegation voted in favor of today’s resolution.
China’s representative said his delegation abstained in the vote because the draft before the Council today failed to respond to the dire situation unfolding in Haiti, which remains mired in political deadlock and a worsening humanitarian crisis. Noting that several delegations expressed concern during the Council’s negotiations, he said that, in adopting a mere technical rollover, the organization had not satisfied the concerns of the countries in the region.
“It has not lived up to its responsibilities,” he said. The draft failed to embrace China’s constructive views, including several “highly consensual amendments” on such matters as enhanced human rights protections, helping to combat corruption, and supporting the conduct of free and fair elections. “Regrettably, the penholder turned a deaf ear to these suggestions,” he said.
The representative of the Russian Federation, Council President for October, spoke in his national capacity, echoing expressions of regret that not all the concerns of Council members were addressed during the negotiation process. His delegation would have preferred a text that specifically mentioned the ongoing escalation of violence, encroachments of human rights, and the need to respect Haiti’s Constitution.
Moreover, he said, the artificially short timeline prevented adopting a more substantive document that could have gone beyond a mere technical rollover. “Haiti needs responsible international assistance,” he stressed, adding that BINUH’s main goal should be to facilitate national discussions aimed at breaking the political deadlock and helping to normalize the situation.
The representative of France welcomed the renewal of BINUH’s mandate, which underlines the urgent need to renew dialogue and bring together all actors across Haiti. He called upon the Government to redouble its efforts to undertake necessary reforms at a time when the country has seen an uptick in violence, stressing that perpetrators must be held to account. Noting that the credibility of Haitian institutions remains beset by corruption, he called for institutional reforms to be a top priority.
The representative of the United States, the penholder on the situation in Haiti, pledged to continue to stand by the country and support it. The resolution adopted today ensures that the United Nations has the mandate it needs to support the Government. Among other things, it reiterates the urgent need for national dialogue and calls for the conduct of free and fair elections as soon as possible.