Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the UN Security Council Debate on MINUSTAH

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
September 13, 2010


Thank you Mr. President.

We are grateful to the Secretary General for his latest detailed report on the situation in Haiti.  I would also like to thank Special Representative Mulet for his skilled and dedicated leadership, and for his thorough briefing today.  Thank you as well, Ambassador Mérorès, for your summary of the situation from the perspective of the Haitian government. 

The United States expresses our strongest support and deepest thanks to all of the staff and personnel of MINUSTAH for their extraordinary work under very difficult conditions.

We share the view that the political situation in Haiti remains fragile, but the progress being made towards holding elections in November is positive.  We recognize the hard work of MINUSTAH to push this prospect towards reality, and to provide broad support to the upcoming elections.  Peaceful and credible elections and the transfer of power to a new government will be key milestones of Haiti’s progress.

We also welcome MINUSTAH’s efforts to assist the Haitian National Police and others in providing a secure and stable environment, and we commend their work to maintain general stability throughout this very challenging period.
The United States is deeply concerned about vulnerable populations in the IDP camps and neighboring communities, and especially about the extent of sexual and gender-based violence. Although we understand the difficulties regarding the lack of reliable and comprehensive data, any level of sexual or gender-based violence is unacceptable, and we appreciate MINUSTAH’s ongoing efforts to address this situation.  We applaud the planning to utilize the military component in a more community-based approach which we agree should have an impact on sexual-based and gender violence in and around IDP camps.

Mr. President, addressing the critical issue of sexual and gender-based violence must be part of a wider effort to empower women throughout the reconstruction process, and we encourage MINUSTAH to expand its efforts beyond the IDP camps and their vicinity to other areas both in and outside of Port au Prince.

The United States agrees that the increased flow of weapons and drugs into Haiti is a destabilizing factor.  And we encourage MINUSTAH to look at ways to leverage its existing capabilities, wherever possible, to help interdict this flow.

We understand that the deployment of military forces based on the increases authorized in resolution 1908 seems to be proceeding well.  We look forward to seeing their contributions to stability and security.  The Secretary General’s report mentions discussion of force draw-down, and we recognize that this increase is indeed temporary in nature.  That said we believe any discussion of a draw-down must be based on the security conditions on the ground in Haiti, on achievement of security benchmarks, and after the hurricane season, the elections, and a peaceful transition of power early next year are completed. 

Mr. President, the deployment of police forces has been sometimes challenging, but is largely on track.  We encourage nations to support resolutions 1908 and 1927 and deploy police in support of this critical mission.  The United States has 45 police personnel in Haiti, and we are working to double the size of our individual police contingent in the coming months.  And we welcome contributions from other member states.

Thank you.


PRN: 2010/178