China and Russia’s UN Envoys Seek for International Community To Develop Haiti
Oct. 5, 2021 (EIRNS)—It is notable that at yesterday’s UN Security Council briefing on Haiti, it was left to the representatives of China and Russia to at least raise Haiti’s desperate need for development and reconstruction, beyond just relief aid in the aftermath of natural disasters. All representatives who spoke also stressed the need for Haitians to come together to resolve the nation’s government and institutional crisis, and to hold elections. Further, they spoke of the terrible security problem of violent gangs threatening the country’s people. But without moving beyond meager humanitarian relief efforts, to international assistance to allow Haiti to undertake the kind of full-scale reconstruction program which the Schiller Institute is proposing, no political solution is possible.
Ambassador Geng Shuang, Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN of China, appealed to the international community to step up and help Haiti recover, making three recommendations toward that end:
“First, to move forward the political transition with a sense of urgency.... The repeated postponement of the constitutional referendum and presidential and parliamentary elections would only add to the uncertainty of the political situation in Haiti. We call on all parties in Haiti to act in the country's best interest ... and reach agreement ... so as to ensure the elections can take place as early as possible....
“Second, spare no effort in humanitarian assistance and post-disaster reconstruction.... An additional 650,000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. China calls on the international community to respond actively to the UN humanitarian emergency appeals totaling about $187 million....
“Third, to combat criminal gangs with full force. The gangs in Haiti are running amok, and what they are capable of knows no limits ... responsible for the displacement of 19,000 people since June alone. The Haitian government should effectively build up the capacity of its police force ... without delay....”
Geng suggested that the need for a change in strategy, pointing to the failure of the humanitarian strategy towards the country, in which the $14.7 billion spent since 2010 “have yet to deliver the expected results.... We are ready to join the rest of the Council members to address the systemic and operational impediments to peace and development in Haiti, and to consider adopting a novel approach to help Haiti come out of its plight.”
Similarly, Russian First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy remarked that:
“Failure to establish an effective ... dialogue between the key political forces [means] the levers of state governance are concentrated in the hands of executive authorities.... The absence of adequate political will has resulted in the fact that parliamentary elections, which are needed to stabilize the situation, have been repeatedly postponed.... The absence of stable state power that would be able to effectively resolve daily problems has resulted in [the spread of] illegal armed groups....
“There is an urgent need to address ... combating unemployment and improving overall standards of living.... We cannot but be appalled by the information ... that in 2021, 60% of Haitians will fall under the poverty threshold.... Clearly, such a dire situation in this insular country requires consolidated international support, first and foremost, from regional neighbors.”
Many representatives could not fail to express their shock at the “decision to forcibly return to Haiti those people who cobbled together their last money to leave the country in search of better lives for their children. The plans to return to Haiti 14,000 individuals, in addition to the 8,000 Haitians already returned, raise utmost concern,” as Polyanskiy—but not only he—put it. On that subject, U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield was silent.