I thank SRSG Salvador, Executive Director Russell, Executive Director Waly, and Ms. Manigat for their briefings today. UN staff and their local partners continue to do vital work in Haiti in the toughest of circumstances. I also welcome the participation of the representatives of Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
The UK remains concerned by the deteriorating political and security situation in Haiti that has been set out by our briefers today and its severe impact on the Haitian people and the region. Gangs continue to take over entire neighbourhoods on which they unleash killing, burning, kidnapping and severe restriction of movement.
The Multinational Security Support mission, which this Council mandated earlier this month, is an important step to help the Haitian National Police address the deteriorating security situation in their country and we pay tribute to Kenya and other countries who are stepping up. But this mission will not alone solve the multidimensional crisis in Haiti.
President, long-term stability in Haiti cannot be achieved without political progress that allows the Haitian people to choose their next leaders through free, fair and credible elections. We call on all political actors to put aside their differences for the common interest of the Haitian people and agree on a roadmap that commits all parties to working towards a return to long-term stable governance. We commend efforts to broker transparent dialogue in search of a genuine commitment to political progress.
We continue to hear chilling accounts of the widespread use of sexual violence – including collective rape – by armed gangs as a weapon to instil fear into communities. There are also accounts of the recruitment of vulnerable children into gangs. The UK welcomes the renewal of sanctions targeting those responsible for, and supporting, armed criminal violence in Haiti. We stand ready to consider further sanctions designations against gangs and their influential backers to help deliver a more stable future for the Haitian people.