The Security Council met to discuss the situation in Haiti. The meeting began with a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. Much progress had been made. Police in Haiti are more professional and are overall maintaining humanitarian standards in dealing with the country’s instability. On the socio-economic front, the IMF, Haitian central bank, and Haitian government reached a deal on March 8th for a three year loan to help the most vulnerable parts of the population. Problems do persist, however. Gangs are still clashing. The prime minister’s government has been subjected to votes of no confidence and has begun consultation for the selection of his 3rd government. Overall, the Under Secretary remained optimistic about the end of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti which is coming up soon. He recommended transitioning to a smaller political advisory group within Haiti, a sentiment echoed by later briefers and delegates.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights discussed the state of humanitarian aid going to Haiti. Structural challenges continue. There is limited employment opportunities, especially for youth. Natural disasters have inflicted damage over the past few years. Heavily armed gangs in the capital are taking advantage of the limited presence of the state. There is a 1,100 day average pre-trial detention period for prisoners, well over the limit established by international law. The results are overcrowding, lack of hygiene, and a lack of resources spent on prisoners.
Loune Viaud, the executive director of Zanmi Lasante, Partners in Health’s sister organization in Haiti, talked about sexual assault and gender inequality in Haiti. Haiti has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world. Cancer in Haiti primarily affects women, as 75% of Viaud’s patients are women. While the organization is doing its best, obstetric and cancer care are still lacking.
Meeting: United Nations Security Council: The Question Concerning Haiti
Date/Location: Wednesday April 3, 2019; 10:00 to 12:00; Security Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Executive Director of Zanmi Lasante, United States, Belgium, Cote D’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Peru, Kuwait, South Africa
Written by: WIT Representative Bertina Kudrin