H.E. Mr. Yoshiyuki Motomura
Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan
At the Public Meeting of the United Nations Security Council Regarding the Situation in Haiti
26 February, 2004
Japan welcomes your decision to convene today, at the request of CARICOM, an emergency public meeting concerning the situation in Haiti. We believe this action testifies to the international community's concern over the deterioration of the situation in Haiti and its commitment to achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict. In addition, since the start of the violence at the beginning of this month, we have been pleased to see that concerned parties led by CARICOM and the Organization of American States have formulated a plan of action for the restoration of stability in Haiti. Since the end of last week, these regional organizations, in cooperation with the United States, France and Canada, have sent missions to Haiti to propose a mediated agreement that must be accepted by both the government and the opposition, and through diplomatic efforts have been working to persuade both parties to do so. My delegation believes that the elements contained in the Plan of Action provide an important basis for a negotiated settlement and urges both parties to show the utmost flexibility in order to achieve a peaceful political resolution through dialogue. In that connection, we take note of the proposal explained by France earlier this afternoon.
My government is gravely concerned about the humanitarian issues in Haiti posed by the continuing conflict and the resulting food shortages and worsening health and education conditions. Halting further deterioration in the humanitarian situation requires an immediate end to the violence. We fear that, should the conflict continue to escalate and spread to the capital city of Port-au-Prince, even greater human casualties and property damage will result.
Since the restoration of the Aristide presidency in 1994, Japan has provided in excess of 200 million dollars in its economic cooperation with Haiti, the bulk of which has been in the form of grant aid assistance. However, due to the deterioration of the security situation as a result of the continuing conflict, there have been unavoidable delays in the implementation of economic assistance, and this has led to a vicious circle, in which the further delaying of Haiti's economic development makes it difficult for a democratic political system to take hold. And those sustaining the damage are the general populace, in particular women and children, who are the most vulnerable members of society. My government hopes that, by bringing the conflict quickly to a halt, this vicious circle can be broken and an environment conducive to cooperation for Haiti's economic development by the international community, including Japan, can be restored at the earliest possible date.
In addition, Japan requests that, for the purpose of responding to the urgent humanitarian situation in Haiti, as soon as the security situation is ameliorated, a needs assessment be carried out on the ground primarily by UN agencies. We further strongly request that the parties to the conflict allow access for the required humanitarian activities and that the other countries concerned exert themselves through a variety of channels to persuade the parties to permit such access.
Japan believes that a peaceful political resolution achieved through dialogue between the parties is the best possible strategy. For that purpose, a committed effort on the part of both parties is required. My government supports the continued efforts made in solidarity by the international community to bring about political stability in Haiti.
Thank you, Mr. President.