Statement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti Sandra Honoré to the Security Council

17 mar 2016

Statement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti Sandra Honoré to the Security Council


Statement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti 

Sandra Honoré to the Security Council 

New York, 17 March 2016

Thank you, Mr. President,

  1. I would like to express my gratitude to Angola, in its capacity as President of the Security Council, for convening today’s session on Haiti and to all Council members for their continuing support.

  2. Je profite aussi de cette occasion pour saluer la présence du Représentant Permanent de la République d’Haïti.

  3. Me gustaría agradecer, de manera particular, a todos los países que contribuyen con tropas y elementos de policía a la MINUSTAH y a todos los Estados miembros que colaboran con el proceso de consolidación de la estabilidad en Haití.

Distinguished members of the Council,

  1. Following the interruption of the electoral process which started in 2015, Haiti stands at a critical juncture in its democratization process. The next few weeks will be decisive for the short and mid-term prospects for Haiti’s democratic consolidation, demanding from all actors involved a good faith effort that is guided by the interest of the Haitian people.

  2. On 25 October, Haiti held the second of the three electoral rounds planned for 2015, demonstrating progress towards the renewal of its democratic institutions, and the re- establishment of institutional balance as enshrined in the Constitution. As a result of those elections, 14 of 20 Senators and 92 of 119 Lower House members were sworn in, establishing the country’s 50th Legislature and enabling Parliament to resume on the constitutional date of 11 January, ending a year of dysfunctionality and rule by decree.

  3. This positive momentum came to an end with the postponement of the third electoral round, against a backdrop of mounting tensions over allegations of fraud and increasing security concerns. The risk of yet another governance vacuum was averted by an agreement arrived at on 5 February between former President Martelly and the Presidents of the two chambers of Parliament.

  4. Drawing on the spirit of the Haitian Constitution, the Agreement provided a roadmap for institutional continuity following the end of the Presidential term on 7 February. It called for the indirect election, by the National Assembly, of a provisional President for a period of up to 120 days, together with the appointment of a consensus Prime Minister and Cabinet and the re-establishment of the Provisional Electoral Council to complete the 2015 electoral cycle through elections scheduled for 24 April. 

  5. Despite the many efforts deployed by those responsible for the implementation of the Agreement, tensions continue to run high, with a political class yet to unite behind a common vision for the political process. While 14 February saw the swearing in of former Senate and National Assembly President Jocelerme Privert as Haiti’s Provisional President, for some three weeks an impasse persists over the appointment of a consensus Prime Minister and cabinet and the Parliament’s vote of confidence in the former’s government program. In this regard, yesterday’s session of the Lower House was adjourned, ostensibly because no agreement could be reached over the proposed cabinet.

  6. Concurrently, in consultation with the relevant sectors, steps have been taken to identify the members of the new Provisional Electoral Council. Their installation, however, is stalled pending the confirmation of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. Continued demands are being made for the establishment of an independent electoral verification commission in respect of which there is as yet no definition of the mandate or composition that would enhance confidence as the 2015 electoral process continues.  

Mr. President,

  1. The delays accumulating both for the confirmation of the Prime Minister and the re- establishment of the Provisional Electoral Council, coupled with uncertainty over the verification of the 2015 electoral process, not only stand to impact the implementation of the Agreement and the conclusion of the electoral cycle within the specified timeline of 120 days, but may also prevent a swift return to full Constitutional order, thereby prolonging the period of political instability that has plagued the country for far too long. 


  1. A protracted political crisis may result in deflecting the attention of all actors, Haitians and international partners alike, from sustaining the stabilisation gains achieved in recent years. Haiti cannot afford losing focus in this regard as it can ill bear further declines in economic growth.


  1. The security situation has remained largely peaceful, albeit fragile, though influenced by the electoral process and related political tensions during the past months. The 25 October polls registered a decrease in security incidents, testimony to the continuously growing capacity of the Haitian National Police (HNP), which was the primary provider of election security. When I last appeared before you, I testified to the increased capacity not only of the Police but also of the Provisional Electoral Council and of the Government of Haiti to assume greater responsibility in leading the country’s electoral process. While the elections on 25 October reflect the leading role of these key national institutions, the continued engagement of the UN system in support of operations, logistics and security, and the ongoing financial assistance from Haiti’s international partners remain critical to the completion of the electoral cycle and the stabilisation of the country. 


  1. Equally, in the last year of the implementation of its 2012 – 2016 Development Plan supported by MINUSTAH, the HNP has demonstrated both commitment and ability to increasingly provide security to the Haitian people. Further improvement of specialised capacities and strengthening of the institution is however necessary for the national police to be truly self- sustaining. This will require a sustained and strong commitment to HNP development, within the framework of the broader rule of law reforms, by the Haitian government, with the support of Haiti’s international partners. 


  1. The country’s economy is showing signs of fatigue, with public and private investment on a drastic decline, growth waning and inflation increasing, resulting in reduction in social spending, a drop in income-generating activities, increased vulnerability to external shocks, and higher exposure to humanitarian crises, against the backdrop of decreasing international funding. Three consecutive years of drought have resulted in poor harvests, plunging 1.5 million Haitians into severe food insecurity, and further testing the resilience of the Haitian people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


  1. To tackle these challenges which impact on the daily life of millions of citizens and to implement long-term reforms, Haiti needs stable institutions and a capable governance system. There is therefore no alternative to the return, as soon as possible, to the path of institutional and political stability, through the completion of the pending elections. Failure to work toward these objectives will have serious consequences in the long term and puts at risk the well-being of the Haitian people who yearn for and deserve stability. Also, Haiti’s international friends and partners need the assurance that their assistance will continue to have an impact in the interest of the Haitian people.

  2. A strong spirit of compromise among Haitian stakeholders and an equally strong commitment to consensus-building will be key for the country to find a way back to full Constitutional order. I continue to reiterate this message, with a sense of urgency and grave concern, to all the actors involved, including to the Provisional President and to the leadership of both chambers of the Parliament.

Distinguished members of the Council,

  1. MINUSTAH’s operating environment will largely be shaped by the manner and the timing in which the electoral process will be completed. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the international community take a firm position in support of a solution that ensures that Haiti takes resolute action to continue on a path to democratic consolidation.

  2. As you are aware, MINUSTAH has entered the last year of its conditions-based consolidation, and MINUSTAH and the UN Country Team have started work on a joint Transition Plan. That Plan will outline a roadmap of progressive disengagement of the Mission from functions that can be assumed by the Government of Haiti or other partners while identifying areas in which further support is required from international partners, including the UN, to ensure that the stabilisation gains of the past are preserved and that prospects for the long term viability of key institutions, such as the national police and rule of law institutions, are increased.

  3. This preparatory work on transition will feed into the Strategic Assessment which Security Council resolution 2243 (2015) requested the Secretary-General to conduct, after the elections, to present recommendations on the future presence and role of the UN in Haiti. In view of the current political uncertainty in Haiti, the Secretary-General has proposed in his report that the strategic assessment be carried out following the completion of the interrupted electoral process. The Secretary-General intends to submit recommendations to the Security Council on the future of MINUSTAH, ahead of the expiration of its mandate in October 2016, separate and apart from electoral developments on the ground.

    I thank all my colleagues in MINUSTAH and the UN Country Team for their dedication during this challenging period for Haiti. I also call on all of Haiti’s international partners to continue to lend their invaluable support to the country’s political process. Finally, I call on all Haitian actors, at all levels, to be guided first and foremost by their responsibility towards the people of Haiti and to ensure the completion of the electoral process in a climate of serenity.

    Thank you, Mr. President.