Thank you Mr. President,
I join Council members in expressing deepest condolences, and in conveying heartfelt sympathy on behalf of the Government and people of Malaysia to the government and people of Haiti, in the tragic aftermath of hurricane Matthew. Our thoughts, prayers and solidarity are with the people of Haiti during this difficult time.
2. The onset of hurricane Matthew has undoubtedly dealt a severe blow to the ongoing national and international efforts in support of Haiti’s political-security transition and socio-economic development, to say the least.
3. Even so, we take to heart the courage and resilience demonstrated by the Haitian people in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and we are convinced that they will be able to rise to the present challenges as well.
4. As a member of this Council, Malaysia remains committed to, and will spare no effort in helping to galvanise and mobilise the necessary support, aid and assistance for Haiti.
5. We take good note of SRSG Honoré’s comprehensive and sobering briefing and wish to place on record our great appreciation to her and MINUSTAH, the UN country team and other agencies on the ground for their unstinting efforts to address the immediate humanitarian needs of the population.
6. In this connection, we welcome the launch of the flash-aid appeal by the UN Secretary-General yesterday; it is critical that the request for assistance is met and that, soon.
7. I wish to also place on record Malaysia’s appreciation to the Secretary-General for recognizing the UN’s contributory role for the spread of cholera in Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake; more importantly we commend the Secretary-General recent announcement during the GA High-Level week on proposed new package of measures including by “intensifying efforts to build sound water, sanitation and health systems”.
8. To say that hurricane Matthew has severely, negatively impacted Haiti and its people would be a gross understatement. The cost of rebuilding civilian infrastructure, transport and communications networks is immense.
9. With regard to short-term and immediate assistance by UN actors and agencies, we are of the view that it would be helpful to quickly identify possible ‘quick-impact projects’ with a view to stabilizing the socio-economic situation of Haitians, in light of the devastation of crops and food stocks, towards ensuring food security for the most vulnerable segments of the population.
10. But for hurricane Matthew, this past weekend would have seen Haitians return to the polls to elect a new president. As such, while we understand the need for postponement, we hope that any rescheduling of the presidential and legislative elections could take place as soon as practicable.
11. This is crucial to ensure that Haiti could continue on the path towards full restoration of the constitutional order. To this end, we call upon all Haitian political parties and players to cooperate with the interim administration and the electoral commission so that credible, smooth, transparent and inclusive elections could be held as soon as practicable.
12. Results of the municipal-level elections released last July are a good example and we are pleased to note that in all 139 municipal councils, at least one of its 3 members is a woman, in line with the constitutional provision of 30 percent quota for woman in public positions. In this regard, we urge SRSG Honore to continue her good offices work in building consensus in paving the way forward for the presidential and legislative elections.
13. On a related note, we welcome the efforts towards steady strengthening of ‘rule of law’ institutions in Haiti, especially the strides made by the Haitian National Police (HNP). We are encouraged by the close cooperation and collaboration between HNP and MINUSTAH in terms of operational planning and training, as well as on joint operations and patrols in combating crime as well as election related violence.
14. No doubt, the current situation is extremely challenging for the interim administration including the security forces who are now faced with increased demands by the population; we hope that the safety, security and welfare of the civilian population especially of women, children, the disabled and elderly could be prioritized.
15. We welcome the ongoing implementation of the HNP’s 2012-2016 Strategic Plan and note that drafting of the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan has also commenced. We see this as crucial steps towards assessing needs and identifying areas to further strengthen HNP so that it may fully assume its responsibilities, particularly after the drawdown or exit of MINUSTAH.
16. In this regard, we could support the Secretary General’s recommendation to extend MINUSTAH’s mandate by 6 months. At the same time, we are of the view that the Secretariat could undertake initial, preparatory work on the future presence and role of the UN in Haiti soon, on the understanding that a full strategic assessment would take place after the inauguration of the new President.
17. In concluding, I wish to once again express my delegation’s utmost appreciation to SRSG Honoré, the entire MINUSTAH team as well as the UN country team for their tirelessness and selflessness in spearheading the international community’s relief and assistance efforts in Haiti. They have our utmost gratitude and respect.
I thank you, Mr. President.