By Alice Jacobs
The United Kingdom welcomes the activities of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), especially in its efforts to facilitate a unified approach to Haiti’s multifaceted challenges. And thank you Douyon, for sharing your important perspective from the ground, and welcome to the minister for joining us [today].
We remain deeply concerned by the political, social and humanitarian challenges Haiti continues to face, and we are acutely aware of the impact this is having on the Haitian population. The assassination of president Moïse was an abhorrent act, and we continue to call for the perpetrators of this crime to be brought to justice.
Haiti is also recovering from the far-reaching implications of the recent earthquake, which has only added additional strain and stress on a government working to deliver for its people. We welcome the rapid international response and will continue to coordinate with partners to deliver relief efforts, including through our $1.35 million of initial support to Haiti. This is in addition to the UK’s contributions to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the Red Cross. The Royal Navy ship – RFA Wave Knight – also supported the US’s humanitarian relief work. We urge the international community to support Haiti at this difficult time and encourage all sides to work closely with the international community to provide the urgent assistance to those in need.
Political gridlock in Haiti remains persistent and concerning. We call upon all political actors to find common ground in order to find a way for Haiti to hold safe and successful elections, and to strive for political advancement. The UK encourages all actors to work constructively in support of a peaceful, democratic solution for the Haitian people.
We share the secretary-general’s concern regarding the deteriorating human rights situation, particularly the increase in kidnappings and gang-related violence. Perpetrators of human rights abuses risk undermining the prospect of political progress whilst simultaneously putting Haitian lives at risk. Reports of aid convoys being looted on their way to areas affected by the earthquake are especially concerning. We welcome the UN’s Community Violence Reduction and Peacebuilding Support to help address these security challenges, as the SRSG has mentioned.
Finally, we also remain troubled by the particular vulnerabilities women and children face – the COVID-19 pandemic has acutely magnified the threats to their health and economic welfare. We thank the SRSG for her briefing to the Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security, which offered insight into the disproportionate impact Haiti’s multiple crises have had on women and girls. The UK encourages all actors to work constructively and cooperatively with the international community and BINUH to find solutions to the root causes of these crises, and to support Haitian development.