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Explanation of Vote by Permanent Representative of China to the UN Ambassador Wang Guangya at the Security Council on Haiti
2007/02/15

2007/02/15

Mr. President,

Three years ago, it was exactly under the China's presidency that the Security Council swiftly authorized the deployment of a Multinational Interim Force to Haiti, then followed by the establishment of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Over the past three years, with the firm support of all parties including China, MINUSTAH has played a crucial role in Haiti in terms of stabilizing the situation, conducting elections, and launching post-conflict reconstruction. In his latest report, the Secretary-General indicated that the security environment continued to be relatively stable in most of the country, and various reconstruction programs were ongoing. China is satisfied by the progress achieved so far and highly appreciates the efforts made by MINUSTAH.

Mr. President,

With the advancement of consolidating peace and progressing reconstruction, the main challenges for Haiti have witnessed major changes. It is necessary for the United Nations, MINUSTAH in particular, to respond to the changed situation by updating its mandate, reordering its priorities and readjusting its composition, with a view to better meeting the actual needs of the Haitian people. In our view, the central task of MINUSTAH in next stage is to assist Haiti in its transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding.

It is shared by all Council members that the international community should have a long-term commitment to Haiti, and nevertheless, the primary responsibility for the lasting peace and development of the country rests on Haiti itself, including its people and government. With the needs for security and safety largely met, the Haitian people have a growing demand for improved living conditions, revitalized reconciliation process, economic development, social justice and rule of law. The elected government should take concrete measures to fulfill the expectation for a credible, competent and transparent government of the people. The government is also urged to abide by its commitments to its international partners, which is indispensable for the sustainable engagement of MINUSTAH.

Mr. President,

Due to the above considerations, China proposed a couple of amendments to the draft resolution during the consultations. To keep consistent with the general practice of UN peacekeeping operations, we suggested extending the mandate of MINUSTAH for six months. Furthermore, we requested the Secretary-General to conduct a comprehensive assessment and report to the Council on the changed situation and security risks in Haiti, so that the Council will have a chance, before discussing and deciding next extension of the mandate of MINISTAH, to review the overall functions of MINUSTAH and formulate a feasible and viable long term strategy, both for the United Nations and Haiti. Given that it might be time-consuming for MINUSTAH to have such an assessment, China agrees, as an ad hoc arrangement, with the extension of an extra period of time. However, it is advisable for the Security Council to continue following the previous practice on the duration of MINUSTAH in its work.

Mr. President,

MINUSTAH has recently reinforced its military operations against armed gangs in some areas of the country. We tend to believe that such military operation, necessary in a short run, should in coming months yield more to a political process for solving long-term problems. Certain paragraphs of the draft resolution emphasized the military means but failed to pay equal attention to such important priorities as political reconciliation and economic recovery. China suggested to further refine the language in the process of consultation. It is our hope that MINUSTAH will abide by the established principles and practices of UN peacekeeping operations and the Haitian government will continue to promote political dialogue and reconciliation unswervingly.

The Security Council, in the operative paragraph three of its resolution 1608 (2005), decided to temporarily increase the military and police component of MINUSTAH for the elections in Haiti, and requested the Secretary-General to devise, in a timely manner, a progressive drawdown strategy of the MINUSTAH force levels for the post-election period. With the conclusion of electoral cycle, we believe that the timely implementation of the above provision will enhance the effectiveness of the limited resources of the United Nations.

We take positive note that many amendment suggestions by the Chinese delegation had been incorporated into the resolution. However, the text fails to reflect certain important elements proposed by China, leaving the resolution not as balanced and sufficient as expected. Taking into full consideration of strong wishes of the co-sponsors, China, to show the greatest flexibility, agreed to putting aside some pending issues and doing its best to facilitate a consensus. We hope that when the Security Council comes back to this issue next time, those insufficiencies will be addressed sufficiently.

Mr. President,

The Security Council resolution 1743 (2007), unanimously adopted a few minutes ago, demonstrates once again the long-term commitment and vision of the United Nations to Haiti. China is ready to work with others to ensure that the United Nations will adapt itself to the changing reality in its endeavor to assist the Haitian people resuming the ownership of their own country at an early date.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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