Statement by Mrs. Loipa Sanchez Lorenzo, Counsellor, Representative of Cuba to the Fifth Committee. Main Part of the 65° Session of the General Assembly. Agenda item 153: Financing of the United Nations stabilization mission In Haiti. New York, 2 December 2010.
First and foremost, our delegation wishes to thank Mr. Jun Yamazaki, Controller, and Mrs. Susan McLurg, Chairperson of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for the presentation of their respective reports on Financing of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, for the period from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011.
We likewise endorse the statement made by the distinguished delegation of Chile on behalf of the Rio Group, on the issue at hand today.
The budget for the next MINUSTAH operation cycle is presented amidst a very complicated situation in the sister Republic of Haiti.
After suffering the consequences of a powerful earthquake early this year, which destroyed a great extent of the country’s infrastructure, later on, in the middle of huge efforts to recover the losses, a cholera epidemic breaks out, and at the end of the hurricane season in the Caribbean Basin, Haiti is battered by Hurricane Thomas.
What happens in Haiti is another example of the devastating effects of the current unjust international order, which condemns millions of people to underdevelopment in the opulent today’s world. As always, when epidemic outbreaks and natural disasters show, the poor suffer the worst consequences.
Present circumstances require the most decisive support for the Haitian nation, which became the first independent republic in Latin America and the Caribbean on 1 January 1804. The singular revolutionary process that led to the Haitian independence constitutes the first case in contemporary History, in which the uprising of a people held in slavery led to its emancipation and the abolition of this form of exploitation, in an autonomous and permanent manner, thus setting a definitive precedent for the elimination of transatlantic trade in persons.
In this context, it is regrettable that from the assistance urgently requested, only 10 percent of the necessary 164 million dollars has been received, and prospects are not encouraging.
The budget requested for MINUSTAH, for the period from July 2010 to June 2011, amounts to 865 million dollars, including 380 million dollars authorized to the Secretary-General last summer, as upper limit to enter into commitments for the Mission’s functioning.
To our delegation, ensuring the value added that must be contributed as a result of the presence of nearly 16 thousand United Nations representatives in this small Caribbean country is of paramount importance. The presence of the Organization through MINUSTAH includes 8,940 troops, 1,351 United Nations police officers, and 2,940 persons in formed police units.
This way, quick-impact projects referred to in paragraphs 261-264 of the report A/65/535 detailing the Mission’s budget, take on special significance. For said projects, 7.5 million dollars are requested, which shall defray the implementation of 190 activities of this sort in areas such as infrastructure, provision of basic services, livelihood and employment creation, as well as training and capacity-building. Our delegation hopes the projects will be carried out in consultation and with the approval of the central Government.
To Cuba, the fate of the Republic of Haiti is inherent to the existence of the Cuban nation. It is no surprise then the efforts that for over a decade we have been making to promote cooperation with our neighbors of the western part of the island of Hispaniola.
Our Government is preparing to reinforce the medical brigade in that country, with the purpose of cooperating in controlling the ongoing cholera epidemic outbreak. It is a contingent of the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade, composed of 300 medical doctors, nurses, and healthcare technicians, who will join the personnel already working in the field, adding up to 1,200 collaborators.
We also wish to highlight that as part of the Medical Brigade in Haiti, there are 201 students graduated from the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), coming from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saint Lucia, the United States, and Uruguay.
The Cuban medical brigade covers 37 medical centers facing the epidemic, where more than 27 thousand people suffering from cholera have been treated. With the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade, 12 other medical centers will be immediately added (for a total of 49), including 1,100 new beds, in tents designed and manufactured for those purposes in Norway and other countries, which are already available through funding allocated to face the earthquake, delivered to Cuba by Venezuela for the reconstruction of the healthcare system in Haiti.
The current situation of Haiti requires swift and unconditional actions. Promises must be kept and resources contributed in order to assist those most in need.
Our delegation is preparing to engage constructively in the debates on the budget for MINUSTAH, and hopes that the actions of the Mission and the rest of the assistance to be provided by the international community lead to an effective cooperation with the Haitian authorities and people.