I have the honour today to speak on behalf of the delegations of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (CANZ). I wish to thank the Controller, Mr. Yamazaki, and Ms. Mclurg, Chair of the ACABQ, for introducing the relevant reports.
Long before the devastating earthquake, CANZ delegations have been strong advocates of MINUSTAH in its mandate to support stabilization and security in Haiti. And we were deeply saddened by the impact of the earthquake on the people of Haiti and the UN community.
In the first instance, our delegations wish to express their sincere condolences for the tragic loss of MINUSTAH staff. The event of January 12th took a heavy toll on MINUSTAH. Still, the Mission has carried on, contributing invaluably to the relief effort and working with the Government of Haiti and the international community to mitigate the effects of the disaster on Haiti’s people.
The last six months have proven to be one of the most challenging environments in which any United Nations mission has been required to operate. With substantial losses of staff and infrastructure, the Mission is also now called on to play a significant and expanding role in support of the international response to the emergency.
The situation seems even more acute and heartbreaking given that prior to January 12, the Mission had made such concrete and visible progress in key areas, and was making significant steps in helping Haiti move towards lasting security and sustainable development. Of course, none of us could have foreseen how precarious was the progress achieved so far.
For its efforts, CANZ delegations commend MINUSTAH and encourage it to continue to work for and with the Haitian population.
We believe that MINUSTAH will continue to play a crucial role as we work collectively to put Haiti back on the path towards long-term prosperity.
In the immediate aftermath of the January 12 earthquake, the Council authorized in Resolution 1908 an increase of 2,000 troops and 1,500 police to support urgent recovery, reconstruction, and stability efforts. The Secretary-General has now recommended an expanded surge effort aimed at supporting ongoing relief efforts, preventing the deterioration of public order and reinforcing the authority of the Government of Haiti. As the Council considers the Secretary-General’s proposals, we have to consider the financing arrangements for MINUSTAH.
In such exceptional circumstances, CANZ delegations agree with the proposed approach to enter into commitments for the first six months and to submit the Mission’s full budget proposal for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011 for its review and approval by the General Assembly at the main part of the sixty-fifth session.
We also commend the Secretary-General for his prudent proposal that requests a commitment authority aligned with the 2009/10 revised assessments of MINUSTAH, and we support most of the conclusions and recommendations of the ACABQ.
CANZ delegations are also cognisant that Haitian institutions have suffered a serious blow at a crucial phase in their development and require exceptional efforts to maintain their ability to deliver services for Haitians. This will require enhanced support to MINUSTAH, while ensuring strict accountability by all implementing partners.
In 2008, CANZ commended the Secretary-General for his efforts to implement the programme in coordination with the United Nations Development Programme. We then believed that integrated programmes such as this one would lead to better results and efficiencies. Today we recognise that even greater benefits are to be gained from enhancing coordination and coherence of the UN system on the ground.
While we support this financial arrangement, CANZ will look closely at the full budget proposal in the Fall, and ask that MINUSTAH makes every effort possible to fill current and future posts with qualified Haitians.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, as the Mission carries on, we are more confident than ever that the gains we saw in Haiti before the earthquake have not all been lost and that Haiti is capable of “building back better” with the help of the international community and MINUSTAH.
I thank you.