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27 March 2006

Mr. President,

The delegation of Japan joins other members in warmly welcoming the presence of H.E. Mr. Rene Preval, President-elect of the Republic of Haiti, in this Chamber today, and we express our sincere congratulations to him on his election.

This open debate provides a most timely occasion to discuss how the UN and the international community can assist Haiti at a crucial time in its recent history, as the country strives forward in its quest of peace and stability, national reconciliation and inclusiveness, and economic and social development. And we thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this meeting.

Although the conduct of the February general elections was not without some disorder and confusion, it was overall successfully completed, and we commend the Haitian people on this remarkable achievement. We also commend the efforts of the Haiti interim government led by Mr. Gerald Latortue, in ensuring the successful execution, against the many odds, of the elections during the period leading up to them.

Mr. President,

While the elections were a major gain in restoring democracy in Haiti, the fact remains that the country faces formidable challenges that President-elect Preval and future government will have to address, in order to recover from conflict and make strides towards a new nation-building.

The most important, pressing among them would be finding a national reconciliation that is inclusive. To this end, it is hoped that a successful conduct of the February elections will pave the way for a peaceful electoral process in the second round of parliamentary elections in April. And conditions should be created in which all the political parties elected to the parliament will be able to participate in the political decision-making in a free and democratic way. Any attempt at isolation or seclusion of elected parties from the proper decision-making processes would be destabilizing and should be avoided, in the interest of preventing the recurrence of violence, regaining stability in the country, and advancing national reconciliation with inclusiveness.

Secondly, national institution- and capacity-building, including, in particular, reform of the National Police and of the judicial and correctional systems, continues to be a major challenge for Haiti. The security situation remains fragile which unless addressed promptly and effectively could lead to serious problems. Although some progress has been made in the areas of registration and training of Haitian police officers, much more vigorous efforts are need by the government to implement the reform of the police and judicial systems to be able to strengthen the rule of law.

The rehabilitation of national institutions and capacity building, including the national Police and the judicial system should therefore be high on the priority of MINUSTAH activities, and in our view the review of the mandate of MINUSTAH should appropriately reflect this.

Mr. President,

Haiti will be an important test case in peace-building. We should make all efforts to ensure that this will be another success story for a country in transition and in peace building. For this to happen, it is essential that, together with institutional capacity building the people of Haiti can feel the tangible benefits of peace through economic and social development of their society. This requires international support and assistance, in the long as well as short term, such as in quick-impact projects that are being studied. To secure speedy and steady implementation of the projects pledged in the context of the CCI (Cadre de Cooperation Interimaire) process will be critical.

To this end, we commend President-elect Preval for his many efforts to gain the support from the international community, including his energetic tour of the countries, and to lay the necessary groundwork for the incoming government. The international community should respond generously to Haiti's needs of the time with the necessary assistance, for the immediate as well as longer term needs.

For our part, Japan has provided assistance to Haiti in the area of humanitarian aid and electoral assistance, and will continue to be a partner in humanitarian and development assistance for Haiti, in full respect of the importance of the concept of ownership of Haitian people in the development process. Japan looks forward to working closely with the new government and people of Haiti, in support of the nation-building efforts of the Haitian people.

Let me conclude by paying tribute to the contribution of Mr. Juan Gabriel Valdes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti, who I understand will soon leave the mission. Our appreciation also goes to MINUSTAH, which has done a good job in discharging its important duties under especially difficult circumstances.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Related Information (Japan-Haiti Relations)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site other site

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