Haitian Presidentelect visits UN Annan and Council Members pledge support

With many of its members represented by Government ministers, the United Nations Security Council, along with Secretary-General Kofi Annan, called for sustained international support to the efforts of Haitian President-elect René Préval to fight instability and poverty in his country, as they warmly welcomed him to their midst.“We must all reinforce President-elect Préval’s efforts to encourage broad political reconciliation,” Mr. Annan said. “Haiti’s institutions of governance require generous support. So do the people of Haiti, who everyday endure a level of hardship and insecurity that is unacceptable, and also incompatible with the stability of the country.”A statement read out by Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana of Argentina, its March President, the Council encouraged all countries that have contributed police and troop contingents to remain engaged in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).It also underlined the need for Haiti to proceed with a thorough and comprehensive reform of its national police and its justice system.Towards reducing extreme poverty and instability, the Council reiterated the need for quick implementation of highly-visible and labour-intensive projects that deliver social services and called for donors to reassess their priorities in a targeted way, working closely with the Government and MINUSTAH.The Council urged the transitional Government in Haiti, with support from the international community, to ensure the continued credibility of the electoral process in second round of parliamentary elections on 21 April, which will allow the prompt inauguration of Mr. Préval.For his part, Mr. Préval praised the work of MINUSTAH and the international community in the lead-up to the January elections, and pledged to work with them to create a climate for sane, democratic and participative governance.“It’s an opportunity for me to see the interest that the international community has in Haiti,” he said of the Council meeting afterwards at a press conference. “Thirty-five people took the floor in the chamber.”He said it was most important, during the relative calm that has ensued after the elections, that, with the help of the international community, disarmament and reintegration take place and constitutionally-required institutions are created along with a climate conducive to attracting private investment and other partnership. read more