UNITED NATIONS, June 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Security Council on Friday expressed concern over the protracted crisis in Haiti and asked stakeholders to work together to address the underlying drivers of instability.
"Council members noted with concern the protracted crisis in Haiti as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, reaffirmed their support for the people of Haiti, and urged the government of Haiti to ensure a coordinated response to the pandemic," according to Security Council "press elements" released after a closed-door virtual meeting on Haiti.
The council members stressed the need to urgently address deteriorating humanitarian conditions, and reiterated the importance of holding those responsible for violence accountable, said the statement read out to the press by Anne Gueguen, France's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, who chaired the closed video teleconference.
They further reiterated the necessity for Haiti's stakeholders to work together to address underlying drivers of instability; for the government of Haiti to continue work on needed political, economic, and social reforms and to continue preparations for timely elections, the statement added.
Before the closed-door meeting, the Security Council held an open meeting to hear a briefing by Helen La Lime, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Haiti.
The past weeks have seen a marked increase in the frequency and intensity of clashes between rival armed gangs that are vying to control greater swathes of territory in the most populous neighborhoods of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, likely in an effort to exert influence on the outcome of elections in those constituencies, La Lime told the Security Council.
A growing number of opposition figures are contesting the length of President Jovenel Moise's term in office and calling for a transitional administration to take over, one which would ostensibly launch reforms and organize subsequent polls, she said.
"The vicious circle of mistrust, recrimination, and ultimately violence, is once again starting to define the dynamics of Haitian politics, at a time when the entire society should be unified in its response to the pandemic, and striving to lay more virtuous and lasting foundations on which to build its future."
The economy continues to struggle in contraction. The Haitian currency continues to lose value against the U.S. dollar. And inflation consistently exceeds 20 percent, she noted.
In the absence of adequate resources to support Haiti's emergence from the recession, the hard-won security and development gains achieved over the course of the past decade and a half risk coming undone, and a primarily domestic problem could transform into a regional issue, should an already alarming humanitarian situation continue to worsen, and increasing numbers of Haitians be tempted to seek better fortunes abroad, she warned. Enditem