Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia after UNSC vote on a draft resolution establishing a Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti

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October 2, 2023


We congratulate Brazil on assuming duties of President of the Security Council in October and hope this Presidency is going to be a success. We welcome Foreign Minister of Haiti to this meeting.

Russia abstained on draft UNSC resolution put forward by Ecuador and the United States on establishing a Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti.

We are fully aware of the scale and urgency of Haiti’s outstanding security challenges. We have consistently advocated (and will continue to do so) for responsible international assistance to Haiti that should account for opinions of broader strata of Haitian society.

Against the incapability of authorities and limited capacity of national police, the level of violence in Haiti has reached a level where Port-au-Prince had to ask the international community for military assistance. Taking into account this request, as well as the calls of the Secretary-General, opinions of states of that region, and readiness to stand at the helm of such mission on the part of Kenya, we have no principle-based objections to this initiative as such.  At the same time, we must realize that deploying a country’s armed forces on another country’s territory (even if upon a request), is an extreme measure that requires thorough elaboration. However when configuring the mission and preparing a corresponding UNSC draft resolution, we found ourselves in a situation where our justified requests for details on the concept of this operation, modalities of the use of force, and contingent withdrawal strategies were left unanswered. Besides, we received an impression that this non-UN mission was going to obtain UN-grade legitimacy via an undercooked and insufficiently considered decision of the Council.

We all understand that authorization of a force operation under Chapter 7 is a serious step that requires full knowledge of related responsibility and possible consequences. Unfortunately, during the work on the document, we were not sure this was the case.

As a permanent member of the Council, Russia cannot agree to invoking Chapter 7 almost blindly. The history of Haiti has sufficient experience of irresponsible foreign interference, which is exactly what kicked off a spiral of degradation which the people of Haiti have been unable to overcome for years. For us to authorize another use of force in Haiti without being fully cognizant of the parameters of the mission is an improvident thing to do. Besides, concept of the operation should be submitted to the Council for endorsement rather than to be studied as a fait accompli.

This being said, we would also like to highlight the sensible elements of the draft resolution, such as the call on all Haitian political forces to reach a broad consensus in dialogue and under assistance of the United Nations and CARICOM; and the extension of the arms embargo to all actors not operating under state or UN auspices. We trust, in particular, that this measure will significantly reduce the illegal flow of weapons to Haiti and shed light on its origin and smuggling routes.

We hope that the Multinational Security Support Mission will help to stabilize the situation in Haiti as soon as possible, while respecting the sovereignty of the country and the rights of its people. Any interference in the internal political process by external forces is inadmissible. We wish Nairobi successful preparations in the recruitment and deployment of forces and look forward to receiving the detailed information on the work of the Mission that the resolution asks for.

Thank you.

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