Press Releases

    19 September 2005

    Secretary-General Reiterates Need for Vigilance During Electoral Process, as Core Group for Haiti Concludes Ministerial Meeting

    NEW YORK, 17 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's concluding remarks to the Ministerial Meeting of the Core Group for Haiti, in New York today, 17 September:

    I would like to thank you again for your presence here today, and for contributing to a useful and substantive discussion.  The high level of representation in this room shows that we attach great importance to helping Haiti at this time.  I was particularly grateful to the Prime Minister for his attendance, and for his expression of readiness to work closely with us in ensuring the success of these efforts.

    A written "summary of the chair" for this meeting has been shared with your delegations.  This will serve as the formal summary of today's meeting.  I would like to add, in closing, a few words of my own on some of the key areas where close cooperation between Haiti, MINUSTAH and the Core Group will be essential.

    First, we all agree on the need for a transparent and properly conducted electoral process.  The Haitian leadership should promote an inclusive and forward-looking debate.

    Second, I heard a lot of concern about the tight schedule envisaged for the elections.  The United Nations stands ready to assist, and I hope the Haitian authorities will take advantage of such assistance.  I believe the international community also recognizes the importance of providing the necessary funding and support.

    Third, while the security situation has improved, we still need to be vigilant, especially during the electoral process.  The United Nations stands ready to explore ways of strengthening MINUSTAH's capacity.  Security is also a matter of dealing with threats posed by the trans-shipment of drugs and flows of weapons, and bilateral assistance will be essential in these areas.

    Fourth, it will be crucial to help Haiti develop its rule-of-law structures, including the Haitian National Police.  I welcome the Core Group's pledge to coordinate closely with MINUSTAH's vetting and certification programme.  I also appreciate the Group's interest in strengthening local capacity for the protection of human rights.

    Finally, we all agree that long-term commitment will be required to promote Haiti's social and economic development.  Meanwhile, the country also needs assistance in the short term, especially in the immediate aftermath of elections.  I am grateful to the Core Group for its readiness to provide such help.

    We have common objectives.  Let us work together to achieve them.  The people of Haiti deserve no less.  Thank you very much.

    * *** *