Delegate Name: Sophie Roberts
United Nations Security Council
The Situation in Haiti
Mattawan High School
Haiti is a country in the Caribbean that has a history of political unrest and economic issues, and those issues have worsened in the past few decades. UN presence was established in the country in 2004, after President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced to resign in a coup. Peacekeeping forces have remained since then, first with the multinational force MINUSTAH, followed be a smaller force, MINUJUSTH. In 2019, the United Nations further rolled back their presence in the nation, with only BINUH, a small advisory body to the government of Haiti, remaining. However, since then, the situation in the nation has further deteriorated. The COVID pandemic contributed to the nation’s economic and social issues. President Jovenal Moïse was assassinated in July of 2021, and several weeks later, another large earthquake rocked the nation. Since the assassination, Prime Minister Ariel Henry was appointed head of the government, although many people claim that this is unconstitutional because he was not democratically elected. Gang violence, sexual violence, and kidnappings have worsened, and many Haitians continue to live with insufficient access to food, clean water, and sanitation.
Acting President Henry has requested aid from the UN in addressing Haiti’s social economic, and humanitarian challenges. However, Haiti has a fraught history with UN involvement. In 2010, negligence by United Nations peacekeepers caused a massive cholera outbreak when they released sewage into a river. Additionally, there were may reports of sexual abuse of Haitian women and girls by MINUSTAH and MINJUSTH peacekeepers, including peacekeepers fathering children with girls as young as 14. Haitians have also protested that the UN doesn’t respect Haiti’s sovereignty. Any future mission to Haiti will need to be mindful of these concerns in order to create meaningful, sustainable solutions to the nation’s humanitarian crisis.
In the past, Malta has favored extending humanitarian aid to Haiti and creating a security force to address violence there. In July 2023, Malta voted in favor of Resolution 2632, which extends BINUH’s presence in Haiti and encourages United Nations member states to provide security aid to the Haitian police. Furthermore, in October 2023, Malta supported Resolution 2699, which authorized the creation of a security force, led by Kenya, to address violence in Haiti. However, when reflecting on the resolution, Malta’s delegation emphasized the importance of oversight and transparency on the force to prevent human rights abuses.
As well as reactive measures like peacekeeping forces, Malta supports proactive solutions that focus on the causes of Haiti’s violence and instability. Malta has stated that one of their priorities as a member of the UNSC is maintaining world peace and stability, and that that can only be achieved by “strengthening the social fabric of societies”. In Haiti, that means creating a clear plan to strengthen their democracy and institute an effective government, including free elections to reduce the risk of government overthrows. The delegation from Malta advocates for responsible, unified foreign intervention as well as cooperation with the government of Haiti to stabilize the nation and create a sustainable path forward.