17 JUNE 2021
8799TH MEETING (PM)
Some Speakers Question Efficacy of Longstanding United Nations Presence in Country
Amid deteriorating socioeconomic conditions and a lingering political impasse, political and civil society leaders in Haiti must ensure that parliamentary and presidential elections take place within the current calendar year to enable an orderly democratic transfer of power in February 2022, experts told the Security Council today.
“As Haiti prepares to enter a new electoral cycle, an inclusive and participatory process will be essential to consolidate the path toward good governance and political stability,” said Helen La Lime, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), as she briefed the 15-member Council.
Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest 120-day report on the situation on the ground (document S/2021/559), she said a resurgence in COVID-19 cases recently prompted the authorities to declare a new state of health emergency, resulting in the Provisional Electoral Council’s decision to postpone the proposed constitutional referendum scheduled to take place at the end of June. While the authorities have sought to widen consultations on the new draft Constitution, the process continues to elicit criticism from various stakeholders due to its perceived lack of inclusivity and transparency. She warned that the debate over the constitutional referendum should not detract from the timely organization and holding of the overdue parliamentary, local and presidential elections, which must remain the primary focus.
Chantal Hudicort Ewald, a member of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association and a former member