Press Releases

    21 April 2005

    Haiti Security Improved, But International Assistance Remains Vital for Social, Political Progress, Security Council Told

    NEW YORK, 20 April (UN Headquarters) -- The security situation in Haiti had gradually improved since late 2004, but international assistance, as well as national dialogue, would continue to be vital in promoting social and political progress in the country, Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg of Brazil told Security Council members this morning.

    Briefing members on a Council fact-finding mission he had led there from 13 to 16 April, Mr. Sardenberg said the Council delegation had condemned all violence in the country and called for a comprehensive national programme of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), while providing for the social needs of former members of the Haitian Armed Forces.

    He said the delegation had met with Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, representatives of the main political parties and civil society, and the Commissioner of Civil Police in collecting information on safety and security, the upcoming elections, human rights, and social and economic development. It also heard from representatives of the country’s main political parties, who stressed that all actors -- both violent and non-violent -- in the current crisis should be included in national dialogues and the upcoming political process.

    The mission had encouraged the country’s Transitional Government in its firm commitment to hold free, fair and transparent elections next February, and urged the Haitian people to mobilize and participate fully in the elections, which should be monitored by international observers, Mr. Sardenberg said. He noted that many of the nation’s long-term structural problems would persist, but that the new political climate, along with respect for human rights standards, would help to resolve them.

    The Council mission had also underscored the need to ensure an end to impunity in the country, while promoting due process and the rule of law. It had highlighted the need for continuing international support for the Haitian police, to update the country’s codes and legislation, which date back to the nineteenth century, expedite former cases, and ensure due process for all citizens.

    The delegation had recognized dramatic poverty as the prime cause of instability in Haiti, and underscored the need for a long-term strategy to combat it. The country desperately needed to update its infrastructure, with special attention paid to its roads and degraded environment.

    Mr. Sardenberg noted that the visit was the first one undertaken by Council members to any Latin American or Caribbean country, and that all 15 members had been represented. Such high attendance was a clear sign of the Council’s concern for Haiti’s current crisis, and the need for a long-term solution to its problems.

    The meeting began at 10:25 a.m. and ended at 10:40 a.m.

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