I would like to thank the Special Representative, Ms. María Salvador, UNICEF Executive Director, Ms. Catherine Russell, and UNODC Executive Director, Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, for their statements. My thanks also go to the president of the High Transition Council, Ms. Mirlande Manigat. I also welcome the participation of the Foreign Ministers of the Dominican Republic and Jamaica at this meeting.
The Secretary-General highlights the constant deterioration of the security situation in the country and the alarming level of human rights violations and abuses. The expansion of gang violence outside Port-au-Prince, particularly in the Artibonite and Centre departments, is alarming. Almost systematically, it is accompanied by sexual and gender-based violence. The cries for help from Haitians are becoming louder by the day.
In this respect, I would like to highlight three points:
First, the authorization of the deployment of the Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS) is a strong signal of solidarity from this Council. We hope that the Mission will be able to get under way quickly, and we encourage all those involved to enable it to carry out its mandate effectively. The sanctions regime that this Council has just renewed, and the reinforced arms embargo that goes with it, will play an essential role. The judicial and correctional sectors must also be rehabilitated so that this mission can fully support the Haitian National Police and give renewed momentum to the fight against impunity.
Second, the country's future depends on the protection of children. Switzerland welcomes the fact that this is now an integral part of BINUH's mandate. The vulnerability of young Haitians continues to grow, due to the number of serious violations against children and the lack of economic and social prospects. Schools are closed, the start of the new school year is once again uncertain, and gangs are on the prowl. In the face of violence, children find refuge, with or without their families, in makeshift camps. Cooperation with UN bodies on the ground is essential. We encourage the authorities to fulfill their responsibility to monitor and report serious violations of children's rights.
Third, any improvement in the security and humanitarian situation will not be sustainable without political prospects. The inter-Haitian dialogue must continue, and we call on all stakeholders to participate constructively. The momentum of regional support must in particular be maintained, under the auspices of the CARICOM Eminent Persons Group and through its interaction with all parties involved. Alongside security efforts, it is only by working together that free, participatory and democratic elections can be prepared, and Haiti's integration into the region strengthened.
At a time where conflicts and humanitarian needs are increasing around the world, we must not forget Haiti. An increasing number of communities are difficult to reach, and supply disruptions threaten access to basic services. Nearly half the population is critically food insecure, and forecasts already point to an increase of affected people by 2024. Switzerland pursues its commitment on the ground, particularly in the South Department, and calls on the international community to maintain its focus on Haiti.
I thank you.