New York, 28 April 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Ivan Barbalic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations
at the UN Security Council Debate
I would like to thank His Excellency Mr. Jean-Max Bellerive, Prime Minister of Haiti, for his presence here today. I would also like to thank Mr. Edmond Mulet, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, who has acted in that position from the very beginning of the crisis. We wish him every success in further performing his duties in Haiti. We also congratulate all those who have worked to respond to the emergency after the devastating earthquake in January.
Bosnia and Herzegovina aligns itself with the statement to be made by the observer of the European Union.
Since the earthquake, the Government of Haiti has made commendable efforts to address the challenges faced by its nation. Nevertheless, the continued attention and support of the international community to the people of Haiti in their efforts to rebuild the country are also indispensable. In that context, we are encouraged by the results of the Haiti donor conference held on 31 March, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to all international donors for their generous pledges.
Bosnia and Herzegovina strongly supports the Government of Haiti’s efforts to carry out its duties effectively and in the best interests of Haiti’s people, including its ambitious plan to proceed with elections that will allow for a presidential transition in early 2011. We also consider it important that, in a very sensitive atmosphere, the Government of Haiti and all political actors come together to address the issue of the transitional phase and find a way to bridge the legislative gap from May to the elections. In that regard, we welcome the dispatch of a United Nations mission to evaluate requirements and assess options with regard to a timetable for general elections.
Bearing in mind the importance of international assistance in preparations for the elections, we support the Secretary-General’s recommendations concerning the lead role that the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) should play in coordinating electoral assistance. We hope that these efforts will enable timely, free and inclusive elections, with the full participation of women in that important process. Furthermore, we consider the rebuilding and strengthening of the security sector and the judicial and penal systems to be fundamental to recovery and development. Assistance to the Haitian National Police (HNP), which has played an important role in providing security side by side with MINUSTAH, as well as in developing a strategic framework for assistance in line with its reform plan, is of utmost importance. Cooperation between MINUSTAH and the HNP in providing the widest possible coverage to the camps and in addressing violence against women and children will be essential.
With regard to the judicial and penal systems, we support MINUSTAH’s efforts to provide assistance to the Government of Haiti in that field, which was also severely affected by the earthquake.
Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomes the Government of Haiti’s Action Plan and the establishment of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, which will coordinate financial aid until a Haitian development authority and a Haiti reconstruction fund are in place.
In the aftermath of a disaster of such proportions, the main precondition for rebuilding and vigorous economic recovery is the restoration of the fabric of society, above all that of local communities in the affected areas. Therefore, in anticipation of measures to rebuild local communities, international stakeholders and the Government of Haiti should keep in mind that only programmes and projects that correspond to the needs of the local community and are supported by it will be beneficial and sustainable.
In addition to the long-term recovery efforts, bearing in mind the humanitarian situation, it is essential that humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti continue to be delivered. Providing shelter and sanitation during the rainy and hurricane season has to be a priority. Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomes the efforts of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations to provide assistance to the population in need.
We urge the Government to make every effort to further address the issue of the difficult conditions in the camps for internally displaced persons. We also support the appeal of the Secretary-General addressed to MINUSTAH to provide additional technical, operational and logistical support that will assist the Government of Haiti in meeting its responsibilities in this regard.
The United Nations continues to play a vital role in Haiti, and, on behalf of my Government, I would like to commend United Nations and MINUSTAH personnel for the important work they have carried out to date. Since the earthquake, MINUSTAH has exercised its mandate in a changed environment.
During that exceptionally hard time, MINUSTAH, itself severely hit by the earthquake, provided essential support for rescue and relief operations. At this stage, which marks a transition from relief to reconstruction, MINUSTAH must continue to provide technical, operational and logistical assistance to the Government of Haiti.
Finally, Bosnia and Herzegovina commends the Haitian people for their admirable dignity and resilience, and the Government of Haiti and political and civil society actors for their constructive efforts to build consensus and ensure political stability, despite the scale of loss and suffering. We are convinced that, with the support of the international community, the Government and people of Haiti will overcome all challenges and build a stronger and viable Haiti.