UN Security Council Renews One-Year Sanctions On Haiti

(CMC) – The United Nations (UN) Security Council has authorised the renewal, for one year, the sanctions regime on Haiti, continuing a targeted arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze established in October last year to address the widespread violence, criminal activity and human rights abuses plaguing the country.

The Council unanimously adopted the resolution and demanded an immediate cessation of kidnappings, sexual and gender-based violence, trafficking in persons, migrant smuggling, homicides, extrajudicial killings and recruitment of children by armed groups and criminal networks.

The Security Council said those designated for sanctions have been deemed directly or indirectly responsible for or complicit in actions that threaten the peace, security or stability of the country.

The resolution directs the Security Council Committee on Haiti to update the list of designated individuals and entities swiftly, taking into account reports submitted by the Panel of Experts on Haiti, put in place by a previous resolution that established the sanctions regime and the Committee to monitor and assist with compliance.

By the text, the Council reaffirmed that all member states shall take the necessary measures to prevent the supply, sale or transfer to Haiti of small arms, light weapons and ammunition, as well as taking steps to stop their illicit trafficking and diversion.

It also encouraged the government of Haiti to reinforce the weapons and ammunition management capacity of the Haitian National Police.

The Council also called on the Multinational Security Support Mission, recently authorised by resolution 2699, to implement weapons and ammunition management processes and oversight mechanisms for their own arms and to cooperate with the Haitian government to reinforce its own such management.

The resolution extended for a period of 13 months the mandate of the Panel of Experts, adding to the mandate the measures in today’s resolution. It requested the Panel to provide the Council, after discussion with the Committee, with an interim report by March 29, 2024, and a final report no later than October 1, 2024.

It also asked for the Secretary-General to conduct an assessment of progress on key benchmarks, including development of judicial and rule of law capacity, reduction in violence by armed groups and criminal networks and a decrease in illicit trafficking of arms, by the latter date.

Following the adoption, speakers expressed concern for the security situation in Haiti and said that coordination of the Council’s separate actions to address the crisis was needed.

Haiti’s representative, Antonio Rodrigue expressed gratitude to Council members for their ongoing efforts to keep the situation in his country on the international agenda.

The representative said the resolution and the authorising of a Multinational Security Support Mission are complementary and show the Council’s determination to contribute effectively to the establishment of a security climate that can facilitate the organisation of democratic elections, adding that this should lead to the restoration of State institutions.

By renewing the sanctions regime, the Council is sending a clear and strong signal to those people and entities that contribute to the deterioration of the security situation in the country. He also called for Member States to be more proactive in combating the illicit arms trade.

He said his delegation looks forward to the publication of the list of main protagonists who are linked to the worsening security situation in his country.

The international community is making positive and qualitative progress by setting up mechanisms that can help better tackle the Haitian crisis, he said, stressing the need now to move to the effective application of the resolutions adopted on Haiti.

Ecuador said today’s text recognizes the need to permanently strengthen due process to ensure clear and just procedures regarding sanctions. He said the Council and the United Nations system cannot rest until all girls and boys in Haiti can eat property, not suffer violence, not be recruited and not see friends die due to the criminal gangs in the country.

China’s delegate, Geng Shaung, said targeted sanctions and security support are only part of the solution. He underlined the need for a Haitian-led and -owned political process, ensuring the broadest consensus towards a road map for free, fair and credible elections.

The United States representative, Robert A Wood, thanked Ecuador as co-penholder of the resolution, which is the third adopted by the Council on Haiti since July.

Welcoming the extension of the mandate of the Haiti Panel of Experts, as well as the renewal of the arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze measures, he said the measures outlined in the resolution will play a critical role in promoting peace and stability in Haiti and in the broader region.

But he voiced deep concern about the security and humanitarian situation in the country, saying the adoption of the resolution builds on the Council’s recent resolutions to renew and strengthen BINUH’s mandate and to authorise the Multinational Security Support Mission to Haiti.

The United States is dedicated to adding designations to this regime, he said, encouraging other member states to work with his delegation on that matter.