OAS Adopts Resolution on the Situation in Haiti

Flag of Haiti

Remarks by
Ambassador Francisco O. Mora
November 17, 2023

Mr. Chairman and colleagues, the United States welcomes the adoption of today’s OAS Permanent Council resolution concerning the security situation in Haiti.  

This resolution represents a crucial step forward in addressing the pressing challenges Haiti faces, and reaffirms our collective commitment to supporting the people of Haiti in their quest for peace, security, and stability. 

First and foremost, I would like to commend the leadership of Ambassador Phillips-Spencer, the chair of our Working Group on Haiti, in coordinating today’s text.  We express our gratitude to him and the delegation of Trinidad and Tobago for aiding our Organization in responding to Haiti’s call for assistance. 

We also recognize the willingness of Kenya to positively consider leading the new Multinational Security Support (MSS) mission to Haiti. Their initiative is testament to a strong dedication to international peace and security.  

Mr. Chair, the United Nations Security Council’s authorization of the MSS mission on October 2, through a resolution co-penned by the United States and Ecuador, was a historic moment. It marked a significant turning point in our collective efforts to address the multidimensional crisis that has plagued Haiti, characterized by alarming levels of gang violence, insecurity, and a dire humanitarian situation. 

We extend our appreciation to Ecuador for its tireless work on that resolution, demonstrating through action a strong commitment to the cause of peace and stability in Haiti. 

The new MSS mission, which was initiated at the request of the Haitian government, the UN Secretary General, and various members of civil society, addresses the urgent need to combat insecurity and provide immediate support to the Haitian National Police.  

Its success depends on a truly multinational effort, and we urge all fellow OAS member states to contribute funding, equipment, training, and personnel to ensure the mission’s success. 

While the MSS mission is a significant step forward, it is just one part of a broader effort to address Haiti’s multifaceted crisis. Our resolution today clearly underscores this point. 

This crisis encompasses acute food insecurity, humanitarian challenges, economic difficulties, and political instability. To address these issues comprehensively, the MSS mission will closely coordinate with the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) and relevant UN agencies. It will also be important to ensure coordination and support on the part of Inter-American bodies, including the OAS Haiti Working Group. 

The MSS mission is committed to operating in strict compliance with international law, with a focus on anti-gang operations, community-oriented policing, and protecting vulnerable groups, including women and children.  

It will also take necessary measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, upholding the highest standards of conduct and discipline. 

We are heartened by the strong and united response from the international community, including on the part of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and particularly the support from Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, and Antigua and Barbuda — who have pledged personnel to the mission. We acknowledge the leadership they have demonstrated. 

Mr. Chair, as we have heard in various OAS meetings, the adoption of the Chapter VII UN Security Council resolution was a requirement for many contributing nations, and it underscores a collective commitment to addressing Haiti’s urgent needs.  

Since October 2022, the United States has taken steps to impose sanctions and visa restrictions on over 50 individuals for undermining Haiti’s democratic processes, supporting or financing gangs and criminal organizations, or engaging in significant corruption and human rights violations. We call on all OAS member states to impose these sanctions. 

Taken together, colleagues, these steps reflect what President Biden emphasized at the recent UN General Assembly: “The people of Haiti cannot wait much longer.”  With the adoption of these new UN and OAS resolutions, we can now work together to answer that call. 

In terms of next steps, colleagues, the OAS Working Group on Haiti has a critical role to play in facilitating regional contributions and support for the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions. We urge the Working Group to prioritize these efforts and work closely with all member and observer states, as well as the Government of Kenya, to ensure the success of the MSS mission. 

The global community owes a debt of gratitude to Kenya and all the nations that have pledged their support for this mission to date. Together, we must now focus on mobilizing support needed to deploy the mission swiftly, effectively, and safely.  

Of course, we recognize that the ultimate resolution of the situation in Haiti must be determined by the Haitian people themselves.  

In conclusion, the United States reaffirms its strong commitment to the people of Haiti and will continue to advocate for free and fair elections as soon as conditions permit. The conduct of these overdue elections is essential to restoring democratic governance and enabling Haiti to overcome its current challenges. 

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of the Haitian people and help them on their path towards peace, stability, and prosperity.  

Thank you very much, Chair. 

Read the resolution here.