Security Council

Ghada Waly (UNODC) on Haiti - Security Council…

Ghada Waly (UNODC) on Haiti - Security Council, 9535th meeting

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00:08:33
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Briefing by Ghada Waly, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on the situation in Haiti.
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Madame la Présidente, Distingués membres du Conseil, Je vous remercie de votre invitation à présenter, au nom de l'Office des Nations Unies contre la drogue et le crime, une mise à jour sur la situation relative au trafic d'armes et aux flux financiers illicites en Haïti conformément au paragraphe 9 de la résolution du Conseil 2692. La situation sécuritaire en Haïti continue de se détériorer rapidement, avec une violence généralisée des gangs dans les rues, favorisée par le flux illicite d'armes et de munitions dans le pays, tel que le démontre la récente vague de violence entre gangs qui a forcé des habitants hors de leurs maisons et coûté la vie à d'autres à Solino, Nazon, au Carrefour de l'Aéroport et ailleurs. Tant que les gangs continueront à avoir accès à des armes à feu très sophistiquées, ils resteront capables de soumettre la population haïtienne au règne de la terreur. Excellencies, You may remember that in our first report in October 2023, UNODC identified four major sea and land routes for the illicit flows of firearms and ammunition, coming in primarily from the United States of America. The second report, released yesterday, complements previous findings, mainly on the sources abroad and domestic distribution, but also on trafficking by air. UNODC has found that there are 11 recorded informal or clandestine air strips in Haiti, spread out across the country. They represent a blind spot that is possibly being used by traffickers and smugglers, bearing in mind that smaller aircraft flying directly between the United States and Haiti are difficult to monitor. The report also looks at the dynamics of arms trafficking in Haiti. Our findings show that a relatively small number of Haitian gangs, such as the "5 Segond" and "400 Mawozo" groups, have become highly specialized in the procurement, storage and distribution of weapons and ammunition. They move firearms from points of entry to their strongholds, before distributing or selling them to other armed groups. In our next report, we will be analysing gang dynamics in Haiti in more detail. Regional dynamics are also key, as the deepening crisis in Haiti is not occurring in isolation. Across the Caribbean region, illicit firearms are a growing concern, and are feeding gang-related activity and drug trafficking in a vicious circle. In November of last year, at the 3rd Annual Meeting on the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap, Caribbean states highlighted the need to curtail the flow of illicit arms in the region, reinforce regulatory frameworks, empower law enforcement, and enhance data collection and reporting. Firearms flows into Haiti are directly affected by efforts and capacities in the region. The previous OP9 report detailed how illicit arms and munitions purchased in the United States were trafficked to specific seaports in the Dominican Republic and onwards to Haiti via land border crossings. This latest report shows that after the land border was closed in September 2023 and stronger measures were taken by the Dominican authorities, these routes have become more difficult to access, causing trafficking to be diverted to other unofficial crossing points in more remote regions. Lastly, the report touches upon efforts to curb corruption and illicit financial flows, which are major factors enabling violence and organized crime, and plaguing Haiti's own justice institutions. Haiti's Anti-Corruption Unit - "ULLC", and the Financial and Economic Affairs Office – "BAFE" are stepping up their efforts. In November 2023, ULCC submitted 11 corruption investigation reports to the Prosecutor's Office, cutting across various public sectors and involving public institutions. Meanwhile, the BAFE investigated over 375 cases and handed over 75 of them to prosecuting authorities in 2023, including five on corruption. Nevertheless, anti-corruption efforts continue to be impeded by insufficient capacity, lack of forensic equipment, and limited expertise in conducting complex investigations. Madame la Présidente, Haiti faces great uncertainty in the coming weeks and months. There are political timelines approaching and different actors moving on the ground, while gang violence continues to rise. We are also awaiting more clarity on the deployment of the multinational force mandated by the Council. Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever to take every measure possible to prevent illicit flows from further destabilizing the country. Allow me to refer to the recommendations contained in this OP9 report, and in this regard reiterate the importance of supporting Haitian capacities on firearm registration, control, and regulation, as well as collection and analysis of firearms seizures. I also want to underline the need to build Haitian border and customs control capacities, including along the Haiti-Dominican Republic border as well as maritime borders. Regionally, stronger intelligence-sharing and control mechanisms between U.S. law enforcement agencies and Caribbean Member States, as well as better oversight of international flights involving small aircraft, can help reduce trafficking to Haiti. And to curb illicit financial flows, Haiti needs better corruption risk evaluation, criminal justice procedures and guidelines, technical and investigative capacities, and legal and regulatory frameworks. UNODC is working on the ground with Haitian authorities to improve capacities and equipment for border management and maritime security. We are also assisting in fighting corruption, and an anti-money laundering adviser is joining our Haiti team next week. Excellences, La communauté internationale doit se tenir aux côtés du peuple haïtien en ces temps difficiles. L'Office des Nations unies contre la drogue et le crime s'est engagé à travailler en étroite collaboration avec le Bureau intégré des Nations unies en Haïti pour soutenir le rétablissement de la sécurité dans le pays, y compris les efforts de la police nationale pour lutter contre le trafic illicite d'armes à feu et améliorer la sécurité aux frontières et dans les ports, ainsi que les efforts des autorités dans leur lutte contre la corruption et le blanchiment. Nous continuerons également à fournir des rapports trimestriels, conformément au mandat obtenu de ce Conseil, et je souhaite saisir cette occasion pour remercier la RSSG Salvador et son équipe pour leur précieuse coopération dans la préparation de ces rapports. Je souhaite également remercier la coopération des États membres et des partenaires qui y ont contribué. Au fur et à mesure que la situation évolue en Haïti, il est urgent de mieux comprendre et d'endiguer le trafic illicite d'armes à feu dans le pays, de permettre aux autorités haïtiennes de sécuriser leurs frontières et de soutenir la Police nationale d'Haïti. Il s'agit d'étapes essentielles pour ouvrir la voie à un processus politique inclusif et viable, qui est le seul moyen pour Haïti de parvenir à la paix et à la sécurité à long terme. Je vous remercie madame la Présidente.
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