Holy See Urges Dialogue, Reconciliation for Haiti

Statement by Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

Dialogue Reconciliation Haiti
His Excellency, The Most Reverend Gabriele Caccia Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations

Holy See on Friday, October 15, 2021, urged dialogue and reconciliation for Haiti.

The appeal, by Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, came during the Arria Formula Meeting at the United Nations in New York.

Here is the archbishop’s intervention:

Madam Chair,

The Holy See is grateful for your invitation to address this Arria Formula Meeting to encourage a national dialogue and reconciliation process in Haiti, in favor of the Haitian people so dear to the heart of Pope Francis, as seen in his appeals and gestures of solidarity.

As the briefers have already mentioned in detail, the problems faced by the Haitian people are multifaceted and interconnected. As the Caribbean nation is battered by natural disasters and its inhabitants seek to rise once more from yet another earthquake, there is widespread civil unrest, kidnappings have become commonplace, and gang violence is so pervasive that humanitarian actors are impeded from carrying out their vital work. Frequently these have included missionaries and personnel of faith-based organizations, generously committed to working with and for the promotion of the Haitian population. The violent assassination of President Moïse last July proves that no one is invulnerable. Lack of security has become unbearable, with seemingly no hope in sight.

Madam Chair,

The deep and historic fractures in Haitian society have led to the sad reality that even armed gangs consider themselves victims (Nou se victim), scrambling for food, cash, and other ways to alleviate their own dire condition: victims of underdevelopment and lack of opportunity, of manipulation by those who benefit from inter-Haitian chaos, and who, in turn, victimize and perpetuate violence as if it were the norm. Such acts of armed violence can never be justified, and other forms of criminal activity must be equally condemned. Impunity and the illegal circulation of arms and ammunition must cease, while the commitment to tackle corruption at all levels of society must be scaled up.

As Haitians seek to rebuild their country, it is imperative that the international community take a shared and concrete interest[1]in their plight. The international community must fulfill its duty to protect and provide humanitarian assistance. While immediate gestures are necessary, true solidarity demands a long-term vision that engages all levels of Haitian society, with the support of the region and the wider international community.

The Catholic Church remains committed to its mission of care for the most vulnerable and those on the peripheries. Through healthcare, social support, and especially through education, it continues to play an essential part in preparing future generations and fostering dialogue at all levels, while trying to sow seeds of much-needed reconciliation.

In conclusion, the words of Pope Francis surely express the hope of us all that the Haitian people might know a future of fraternal harmony, solidarity, and prosperity.[2] In this regard, the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (BINUH), as the primary expression of international solidarity, should be equipped with the resources to fulfill its purpose.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

[1]Cf. Pope Francis, Angelus, 15 August 2021.

[2]Cf. Telegram of the Holy Father, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, for the assassination of Mr Jovenel Moïse, President of Haiti, 8 July 2021.

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