Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on Haiti

Ertuğrul Apakan 09.09.2009
Madame President,

I would first like to thank the UN's Special Envoy to Haiti, President Clinton and the Secretary General's Special Representative Mr. Hedi Annabi, for their briefings.

Let me also extend a warm welcome to Prime Minister Pierre-Louis, and thank her for her insightful presentation. We also thank her for the excellent hospitality accorded to the Security Council Mission in March this year.

I would further like to use this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to President Clinton for his personal involvement in the advancement of peace and development in Haiti. His special role in helping generate a broader awareness on challenges facing Haiti, as well as in further motivating the international community to address the needs and expectations of the Haitian people is most commendable.

Madame President,

Today's open debate, the second within the last five months, and the wide interest it has drawn from the Member States stand as a testimony of the importance we all attach to the promises of this country.

In fact, much has already been accomplished to this end, and this year in particular has been an extremely encouraging period regarding Haiti's prospects. As such, today's meeting gives us a good opportunity to take stock of the progress made so far and reiterate our resolve for continued engagement.

In this regard, the appointment of and the visits by President Clinton, as well as the Security Council mission to Haiti have helped us streamline our endeavors towards this country with a renewed focus and dedication. The Donors Conference in Washington in April has also provided a much needed political and financial boost to our collective efforts.

We observe with great pleasure that the Haitian people and Government have also been most responsive to these efforts, vindicating the investment of the UN and the international community in Haiti. In this context, we are particularly glad to see an increased political cooperation among the parties, as evident by the partial senatorial elections being held without major incidents and the security environment preserving its calm.

All these developments point in the same direction that the security situation in Haiti is clearly evolving from a major social outburst risk to a less massive but still relatively precarious condition requiring first and foremost policing tasks. As such, it is noteworthy that the Secretary General has recommended downsizing the military component of MINUSTAH by 120 troops while adding the same number of police officers to the Formed Police Units.

It also explains why the Haitian authorities are also considering the re-establishment of a special gendarmerie-type force having domestic security responsibilities. As a country that has a long-standing experience and expertise in such type of forces, Turkey stands ready to cooperate with the Haiti Government if and when they are ready to take further steps in this direction.

That said, Madame President, the positive developments in the field of security should not let us forget that the underlying causes of instability in Haiti, namely extreme poverty and the unstable socio-economic environment, are still there. Although there has been a clear improvement in the macro-economic indicators, the relative recovery of the economy has not yet fully translated into tangible progress in the every day life of Haitians and thus there is still a long way to ensure a sustainable development track.

This is why we think that the socio-economic assistance efforts led by President Clinton must be advanced in tandem with MINUSTAH's stabilization endeavors in order to create the conditions conducive to the maintenance of peace, security and prosperity in Haiti. This is also why Turkey, in addition to our continued police contribution to MINUSTAH, will also explore new avenues of assistance to and cooperation with Haiti in a way that will address the most pressing needs of the Haitian people.

Madame President,

In conclusion, we are pleased to see that some progress has been achieved in Haiti and we are confident that a brighter future awaits the Haitians.

To this end, a functioning judiciary system, improved collaboration between the state branches, continued development of the Haitian National Police both in numbers and capabilities and above all substantial increase in the life standard of the Haitians are key benchmarks for a complete normalization in Haiti.

Accordingly, we believe that there is still need for MINUSTAH to remain in Haiti and thus fully support the recommendation of the Secretary General to extend its mandate until 15 October 2010.

Thank you.