Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Special Representative Honoré, for your briefing, which together with the Secretary-General’s report, clearly outlines that MINUSTAH is successfully on the path to closing and that MINUJUSTH is on track to replace it by October 16.
I’d like to begin by recognizing Special Representative Honoré as well as the troop and police contributing countries for their support to the UN mission over the past thirteen years. Thanks to your leadership and the dedication of the men and women serving in MINUSTAH, Haiti has made strides towards democracy and stability.
First, I’d like to underscore the importance of a smooth transition between the two missions, MINUSTAH and MINUJUSTH. We are pleased to hear that good progress has already been made. To date, half of the military component and one of the 11 formed police units have withdrawn from Haiti without incident. In fact, there has been a reported decrease in the levels of criminality or civil protests. We applaud the transfer of tasks from the military to the Haitian National Police in the north and in some of the most security-sensitive areas of Port-au-Prince. We also commend the transfer of tasks from MINUSTAH to the host government and the UN Country Team.
Second, I want to emphasize that the work begun by MINUSTAH is not over yet. MINUJUSTH’s core mission will include the rule of law, police development, as well as human rights. The entire justice system, including corrections and the judiciary, needs significant reform, and focusing on the rule of law is especially critical at this juncture. As the police and judiciary go hand-in-hand, strengthening the capacity of both sectors is necessary to entrench the rule of law in Haiti and to address such urgent challenges as high pre-trial detention rates and prison overcrowding. We also call for increased attention to Haiti’s economic situation and challenges related to humanitarian and disaster preparedness, which should be prioritized so that Haiti is prepared for the next crisis.
The United States stands ready to assist however we can. We have been one of Haiti’s strongest international partners for over thirty years. Together with the Government of Haiti and the international community, we continue to support the strengthening of Haiti’s overall security, democratic development, and economic growth.
Thank you, Mr. President.