National Statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Debate on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), 12 October 2017, New York.
I associate myself with the statement that will be made by the European Union later this morning.
Let me begin by joining others in thanking the Special Representative for her final report to this Council, and for the diligence and professionalism that she and all the staff of MINUSTAH have shown as they carried out their mission to support the people of Haiti. We appreciate your work. I would also take this opportunity to once again pay tribute to the many UN staff members who lost their lives serving with the MINUSTAH mission, including my very close friend Kai Buchholz, who died in the tragic earthquake in 2010. Kai was a fun, caring and clever friend, an exceptionally dedicated and professional UN colleague, and I miss him very much.
The conclusion of MINUSTAH's mandate on 15 October and the establishment of MINUJUST mark an important milestone for Haiti. During the thirteen years of MINUSTAH's mandate, the Haitian people have made significant progress in the consolidation of democracy as well as safety and stability. We commend Haiti for this progress, which has opened a window of opportunity for Haiti's future. However, challenges remain. President Moïse and his government have set out their priorities: to improve economic development, infrastructure, resilience, security, the Rule of Law, respect for human rights, and a national dialogue. The government must now spare no effort in delivering on these commitments.
The Rule of Law should continue to be a top priority for the government. Strengthening Haiti's National Police, and a continued focus on judicial reform, including fighting corruption, will also be crucial for inclusive socio-economic development, and to creating better conditions for private investment. It is important that all actors, including national authorities, political parties, civil society and the private sector, work together towards this end.
Previous experience has shown the important role that policing plays in providing a bridge between security and development in transition processes. Sweden currently contributes ten police officers to MINUSTAH, and will contribute the same number to MINUJUSTH.
As Haiti moves forward to address its challenges, the partnership between Haiti, bilateral donors and the UN needs to evolve so as to provide the most appropriate model of support in the spirit of Sustaining Peace and supporting inclusive socio-economic development. As more and more tasks are transitioned from the UN Mission to the UN Country Team, the international community must also step up, to ensure that the UN agencies have adequate resources to effectively carry out its role.
No society can reach its full potential without the full, equal, and effective participation of women. As the Secretary-General's report notes, more efforts are needed to protect and promote women's rights in Haiti. The important work undertaken by MINUSTAH on gender mainstreaming and against sexual and gender based violence must not be lost. It is important that the new mission continues to integrate gender throughout its policies and maintains a strategic focus, coordination and budget for gender issues.
We agree with the Secretary-General's assessment that it is important that the Haitian authorities put in place binding measures for the application of the constitutional minimum quota of 30 per cent women in public office. The election of over 30 per cent women on the municipal and local level is promising and will hopefully act as a springboard to the increased participation of women at the national level in the future.
We were happy to co-sponsor the General Assembly resolution in support of the Secretary-General's new approach to eradicate cholera and build resilience in Haiti. Sweden is currently exploring how to best support the UN Haiti Cholera Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund. We encourage others to consider contributing to the trust fund as well, so as to collectively bring an end to cholera in Haiti.
The people of Haiti have made huge progress in rebuilding their country over the past 14 years, not least by overcoming the devastation caused by the earthquake in 2010. We must continue to stand with them. Sweden will remain a committed partner for Haiti as the country begins this new chapter.