Statement of H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan in the Security Council Meeting on the Question Concerning Haiti

Ertuğrul Apakan 28.04.2010
Mr. President,

I would first like to thank Secretary-General for his report and the Special Representative Edmond Mulet for the comprehensive briefing he has just provided.

For Mr. Mulet, let me also add our sincere gratitude for the strong leadership he displays at the helm of MINUSTAH. Indeed, Mr. Mulet has taken over his duties at the most difficult hour of Haiti and he and his staff are doing a most commendable job in support of the Haitian people and Government since then.

I would also like to extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Bellerive and thank him for his insightful presentation. His views and comments provide guidance for our collective efforts to help Haiti recover and rebuild.

Mr. President,

It has been more than three months since Haiti was struck with one of the worst natural disasters of its history. But the enormous suffering it has caused in Haiti is still vividly remembered in our minds and hearts.

Indeed, the magnitude of the earthquake and the loss of human life and infrastructural damage it has yielded are neither forgettable nor easily surmountable. The pictures we have been shown today speak volumes of the tragedy we are faced with, in a way no word can better describe.

In fact, an earthquake of this magnitude would have caused serious problems to any nation but given Haiti’s long-standing struggles for development and stability, it had an even bigger impact.

As such, the resilience of the Haitian people in the face of this terrible event is all the more praiseworthy. As Mr. Mulet confirmed, Haitians proved to be much stronger and braver than anyone could have thought. In particular, it is quite admirable that the security situation has remained relatively calm although most of the people have lost the little they had in their savings and belongings. At this point, let me praise once again the excellent job done by the MINUSTAH police and troops.

In fact, the international community in its broadest sense has responded quickly and quite effectively to the emergency situation in Haiti. Many countries participated in the Donors Conference held last month in New York and made generous offers for the reconstruction of Haiti. On our part, Turkey has also contributed to this process.

That said, draconian tasks remain in Haiti and the international community should continue to assist the Haitian people in the relief efforts and support the Haitian Government in the reconstruction phase. The pledges made in the Donors Conference should be made readily available whenever and wherever they are needed, particularly in view of the upcoming hurricane season and the critical importance of the next 12 to 18 months for relief and reconstruction efforts.

It is equally important to be able to translate the generosity of the international community into concrete deeds and projects that will make the most needed difference in the daily lives of Haitians and return them to normalcy.

In this context, the holding at the earliest date possible of the elections that were scheduled for February is also of vital importance for the future of Haiti and for the consolidation of the institutions that are required for a sustainable development and reconstruction effort.

Mr. President,

The UN is at the heart of our collective efforts in Haiti and we support the Secretary-General’s integrated approach articulated around the five key areas mentioned in his report.

Within this vision MINUSTAH has a crucial role to play as it did in Haiti up to now.

Indeed, despite the fact that the Mission itself was badly hit by the earthquake and lost many valuable members, it continued to serve the Haitians with a great amount of professionalism and dedication.

MINUSTAH should continue to implement its mandate in all relevant areas, in particular in ensuring a secure and safe environment, coordinating the humanitarian assistance and providing support to the institutions.

In this regard, we share the recommendations of the Secretary-General concerning the future role of MINUSTAH and his call for a surge of its capabilities and the scaling up of its activities within its mandate.

Mr. President,

The crises often come with opportunities for new beginnings. In Haiti too, we have an opportunity to come out even stronger from the catastrophe that has fallen on Haitians and turn this dark moment into a bright prospect.

In this regard, the Action Plan proposed by the Haitian Government is a valuable tool in the reconstruction efforts for the long term and has to be thoroughly examined.

After all, there is no doubt that the Haitian people and government are and should be in the driving seat in this endeavor. Our responsibility is to help them advance in the right direction without any further setbacks.

Thank you.