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UN promises 'continuous commitment' in Haiti

Friday, October 18, 2019

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UNITED NATIONS, United  States (CMC) — In the light of ongoing instability across Haiti and this week's transition away from fully-fledged peacekeeping operations, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is promising the “continuous commitment” of the global body “to support the Haitian people on their path to peace and development”.

He said this would be in the form of “a new partnership” recognising the substantial contribution made to the French-speaking Caribbean nation through 15 years of UN Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) and the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).

Guterres said in a statement that the new UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), which started operations on Wednesday, and the UN country team that has operated continuously in Haiti, “will integrate their activities to support national efforts to bring about lasting stability and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

He expressed the “deepest respect” to the memory of the 188 UN military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives in Haiti since 2004. He also praised the vital contribution of the UN development and humanitarian partners to the fulfilment of the missions' mandates.

Guterres said he was “concerned by the current political crisis and its adverse impact on the security situation and the lives of Haitians” and urged all Haitian stakeholders to “engage in genuine dialogue and prevent a further escalation in violence that threatens to reverse stability gains.”

For weeks now, the UN said popular unrest and street demonstrations have roiled the country, focusing on calls for President Jovenel Moise, who came to office in 2017, to step down.

 Mosie said earlier this week that he has no intention of stepping down. The opposition forces have accused him of corruption linked to a Venezuela funded oil initiative PetroCaribe.

 The UN said conditions have created serious challenges for the delivery of humanitarian aid by UN agencies.

After a hiatus, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) began the delivery of diesel and oxygen to 29 hospitals affected by the crisis last weekend, while the World Health Organization (WHO) delivered medicine to hospitals in the capital Port-au-Prince.

Last Sunday, for the first time in three weeks, the World Food Programme was able to deliver food to 14 schools that are still functioning, the UN said.

Haiti President Jovenel Moïse told reporters on Wednesday that he had no intention of leaving office.

 In his statement, Guterres called on the Haitian National Police, “which has assumed full responsibility for the security and protection of the Haitian people – and building upon the support provided by MINUSTAH and MINUJUSTH over the past years – to discharge its duties with due regard for all people and their human rights”.

The statement noted that “while continuing to uphold all ongoing efforts for the elimination of cholera, which has seen significant progress, and the resolution of pending cases of sexual exploitation and abuse, the Secretary-General reiterates the unyielding commitment of the United Nations to Haiti's stability and prosperity”.


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