22/06/2005
Press Release
SC/8421


Security Council

5210th Meeting (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS HAITIMISSION UNTIL 15 FEBRUARY 2006,

 

INCREASES TROOP, POLICE STRENGTH FOR ELECTION PERIOD


Resolution 1608 (2005) Adopted Unanimously; Local Elections

Scheduled for 9 October, Presidential/Parliamentary for 13 November


The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) until 15 February 2006, and expressed support for Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s proposals for restructuring the Mission to help facilitate the country’s political transition.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1608 (2005) and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council supported a temporary increase, during the electoral period and subsequent political transition, of 275 personnel to the current strength of the Mission’s civilian police component, and 750 personnel to its currently authorized military strength in order to create a rapid reaction force in Haiti to provide increased security, particularly in and around Port-au-Prince.  Local elections are scheduled for 9 October, and the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections for 13 November.


The Council also decided that, for a temporary period, MINUSTAH will  consist of a military component of up to 7,500 troops of all ranks and of up to 1,897 civilian police.  It requested the Secretary-General to devise, in a timely manner, a progressive drawdown strategy of the MINUSTAH force levels for the post-election period, in accordance with the situation on the ground.


In addition, the Council requested the Secretary-General to share with the Council the overall plan for the successful holding of elections in Haiti, including voter registration, security, logistics, civic education, observation, and detailed budget information.  It urged Haitian authorities to increase and accelerate efforts to prepare for and ensure the smooth conduct of the elections, and called on international donors to provide the necessary resources to support the electoral process.


Furthermore, the Council urged the Transitional Government to conduct thorough and transparent investigations into cases of human rights violations.  It also urged the Transitional Government and MINUSTAH to begin immediately effective implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, and called on all Member States to provide timely financial, human and technical resources in support of that programme.


The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 10:18 a.m.


Council Resolution


The full text of resolution 1608 (2005) reads, as follows:


The Security Council,


Reaffirming resolutions 1542 (2004) and 1576 (2004), and recalling resolution 1529 (2004), relevant statements by its President, as well as the Security Council’s report on its Mission to Haiti from 13 to 16 April 2005(S/2005/302);


Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Haiti;


Stressing that free and fair elections, open to all political parties that have renounced violence and with the broadest possible participation of the Haitian people, must take place in 2005 in accordance with the established timetable, and that the democratically elected authorities must take office on 7 February 2006;


“Affirming its determination to ensure a secure and stable environment in which the electoral process can take place;


Condemning all violations of human rights, including lack of due process and prolonged pre-trial detentions, and urging the Transitional Government of Haiti to take all necessary measures to put an end to impunity and to ensure progress in the respect for the rule of law, including by pursuing reforms in the Haitian National Police (HNP) and in the justice and correctional systems;


Reaffirming the importance of appropriate expertise on issues relating to gender in peacekeeping operations and post-conflict peacebuilding in accordance with resolution 1325 (2000), recalling the need to address violence against women and children, and encouraging the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti(MINUSTAH), as well as the Transitional Government of Haiti, to actively address these issues;


Underlining that pervasive poverty is an important root cause of unrest in Haiti, and stressing that there can be no genuine stability without strengthening its economy, including through a long-term strategy for sustainable development and the strengthening of Haitian institutions;


Welcoming the approval of a National Programme on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) by the Transitional Government of Haiti, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and MINUSTAH, and emphasizing that its implementation is imperative for broader stabilization efforts to succeed;


Recalling that security, political reconciliation, and economic reconstruction efforts remain key to the stability of Haiti;


Noting that the Haitian people must take responsibility for achieving stability, social and economic development and law and order;


Determining that the situation in Haiti continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security;


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, as described in Section 1 of operative paragraph 7 of resolution 1542 (2004);


“1.   Decides to extend the mandate of MINUSTAH, as contained in resolution 1542 (2004), until 15 February 2006, with the intention to renew for further periods;


“2.   Welcomes the Report of the Secretary-General of 19 May 2005 on MINUSTAH (S/2005/313), and supports the recommendations of the Secretary-General as outlined in paragraphs 44-52, as follows:


(a)   a temporary increase, during the electoral period and subsequent political transition, of 750 personnel to MINUSTAH’s currently authorized military strength in order to create a rapid reaction force in Haiti to provide increased security, in particular in and around Port-au-Prince;


(b)   an increase of 50 military personnel in order to create a sector headquarters in Port-au-Prince, with the understanding that MINUSTAH will optimize at all levels the coordination between military and police components to ensure efficient and better-integrated operations, including by posting UN staff civilian police officers in this headquarters;


(c)   a temporary increase, during the electoral period and subsequent political transition, of 275 personnel to the current strength of MINUSTAH’s civilian police component to provide increased security;


(d)   an assessment of the Haitian judiciary and correctional systems including to explore possibilities for greater international community support, and a more active role by MINUSTAH, to be submitted to the Security Council as soon as possible;


“3.   Decides that for a temporary period MINUSTAH will consist of a military component of up to 7,500 troops of all ranks and of up to 1,897 Civilian Police.  Requests the Secretary-General to devise, in a timely manner, a progressive drawdown strategy of the MINUSTAH force levels for the post-election period, in accordance with the situation on the ground;


“4.   Requests the Secretary-General to share with the Council the overall plan for the successful holding of elections in Haiti, including voter registration, security, logistics, civic education, observation, and detailed budget information; urges Haitian authorities to increase and accelerate efforts to prepare for and ensure the smooth conduct of the elections; and calls upon international donors to provide the necessary resources to support the electoral process;


“5.   Requests also the Secretary-General to share with the Council the reform plan for the HNP, formulated by MINUSTAH and the Haitian authorities, that includes the anticipated size, standards, implementation timetable, and resources;


“6.   Requests that MINUSTAH concentrate the use of its resources, including civilian police, towards increasing security and protection during the electoral period, including a review, as appropriate, of the rules of engagement of the individual civilian police officers;


“7.   Requests that MINUSTAH and the Haitian authorities take all necessary steps to achieve optimal coordination between MINUSTAH’s civilian police and the HNP;


“8.   Reaffirms MINUSTAH’s authority to vet and certify new and existing HNP personnel for service, and urges the Transitional Government of Haiti to ensure that HNP personnel do not serve unless certified and to ensure that technical advice and recommendations provided by MINUSTAH are fully implemented by Haitian authorities at all levels without delay;


“9.   Calls upon MINUSTAH to make the Joint Mission Analysis Cell operational as soon as possible in order to pool and better use the information available to the MINUSTAH military, police and civilian components; and also calls for the use of MINUSTAH’s aviation assets in an efficient and effective manner in support of security operations;


“10.  Urges the Transitional Government to conduct thorough and transparent investigations into cases of human rights violations, particularly those allegedly involving HNP officers; requests that in order to support this effort MINUSTAH make the Joint Special Investigation Unit operational as soon as possible;


“11.  Welcomes the launching on 7 April 2005 of the “national dialogue” by the Transitional Government of Haiti, and stresses that such a dialogue should serve the long-term aim of national reconciliation and, in the shorter term, the holding of credible and inclusive elections; urges the Transitional Government of Haiti to redouble its efforts for this essential process and invites all Haitians to participate in this dialogue without delay;


12.  Urges the Transitional Government of Haiti and MINUSTAH to begin immediately effective implementation of the DDR programme and calls on all Member States to provide timely financial, human and technical resources in support of this programme;


“13.  Renews its appeal for the accelerated disbursement of the funds pledged by international financial institutions and donors at the July 2004 International Donors Conference on Haiti; supports the Cayenne follow-up donor conference held on 16 and 17 June 2005, in Montreal; and calls upon all donors to continue to assist Haiti;


“14.  Requests MINUSTAH to strengthen its capacity to implement quick-impact projects; and calls for increased coordination between the various development actors in Haiti in order to ensure greater efficiency in development efforts;


“15.  Invites the Bretton Woods institutions to consider the issue of debt sustainability and the implications of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative for Haiti.


“16.  Urges MINUSTAH to urgently develop and implement a proactive communications and public relations strategy, in order to improve the Haitian population’s understanding of the mandate of MINUSTAH and its role in Haiti.


“17.  Welcomes efforts undertaken by MINUSTAH to implement the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and to ensure full compliance of its personnel with the United Nations code of conduct, requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary action in this regard and to keep the Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive and disciplinary action to ensure that such acts are properly investigated and punished in cases involving their personnel;


“18.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the effectiveness of the implementation of MINUSTAH’s mandate at least once every three months; requests further that the Secretariat keeps the Council members informed, on a regular basis, on the status of electoral preparations, including party and voter registration figures and other relevant data;


“19.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Background


The Security Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General on MINUSTAH (document S/2005/313), which states that, over the past few months, MINUSTAH has made progress towards creating an environment in which the political transition can unfold.  This progress remains fragile, however, and key challenges lie ahead as the political transition enters a crucial phase.  Further outreach by the Transitional Government is essential to obtain the confidence and support of the population.


Likewise, strong and coordinated support by the international community is essential.  The Transitional Government and the Haitian people, with the support of the international community, must now redouble their efforts to advance this process.  The visit of the Security Council mission to Haiti from 13 to 16 April, in conjunction with the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti of the Economic and Social Council, represented an important demonstration of commitment to addressing the needs of Haiti.


There have been signs of improvement in the security situation following successful operations by MINUSTAH and the Haitian National Police, with a view to curbing the activities of illegal armed groups and reducing their activities.  These efforts must be maintained, to eliminate potential threats to the approaching electoral process.


However, unless real progress can be achieved in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, the security situation will remain uncertain.  It is encouraging that some former military personnel are now willing to voluntarily enter the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process; it is crucial that all illegal armed groups lay down their weapons.  The Secretary-General urges the Transitional Government to ensure the prompt implementation of a comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme so that these first steps can be encouraged and capitalized upon.  In addition, he urges the international community to help secure the necessary funds to successfully implement the programme.


The launching of the electoral process and the national dialogue is a welcome development.  The Secretary-General encourages all Haitian citizens to participate fully in both processes as an important step towards consolidating democracy in Haiti.  The Transitional Government needs to do more to secure broad participation in these processes, and to ensure that legislation conducive to such participation is in place.  He calls on the Transitional Government to address the concerns raised regarding the electoral law, so as to maintain the independence of the Electoral Council and to create an even playing field for all the candidates.  Political leaders in Haiti have a special responsibility to ensure the success of both the national dialogue and elections.


The Transitional Government and the leaders of political parties and civil society must also ensure that these processes are sustainable and result in a realistic and achievable vision for the future of Haiti, the first step being the installation of an elected government.  The Secretary-General also urges the international community to redouble its efforts to support the electoral process in Haiti, and in particular calls on the donor community to ensure that the necessary financial means are available.  He welcomes the offer of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to provide technical assistance to the electoral process.


The human rights situation and the impunity enjoyed by those who commit violations of human rights remains a deep concern, the report states.  There is an urgent demand for justice in Haiti.  The Secretary-General appeals to the Transitional Government to set the example by promptly initiating an investigation into those human rights violations allegedly committed by national police officers.  The State institutions responsible for guaranteeing respect for the rule of law -- including the police, the justice and prison systems -- remain particularly weak.  Therefore, he encourages the Transitional Government to explore the practical means by which the international community might provide immediate assistance to expedite some of the most sensitive cases.


Furthering the reform of the justice and penal systems should be pursued in parallel to the efforts to professionalize the police.  Demonstrable progress in these key areas will be crucial to building the confidence of the Haitian population in its national institutions.  The commitment of the Transitional Government and the police to take the reform forward, as well as to work effectively with MINUSTAH in police operations and reform, also needs to be strengthened.  He urges the Transitional Government to ensure that the technical advice and recommendations provided by the Mission’s civilian police officers are implemented by national police officers at all levels.


The slow progress in disbursing funds pledged under the Interim Cooperation Framework remains a major source of concern.  While some efforts have been made to move forward on this, it is hoped that they will translate into visible improvements in the short term, thus, conveying a message to the Haitian people that democracy can have tangible benefits in their daily lives.


The United Nations, concludes the report, remains committed to supporting the Transitional Government in its efforts to ensure the success of the political transition.  To enable MINUSTAH to implement its mandate more effectively, the Secretary-General recommends that the Council approve the proposals set out in the report.  The Secretary-General proposes that the Mission deploy an additional infantry battalion of 750 troops to respond quickly in likely “hot spots” during the pre-election period; raise the military ceiling for United Nations troops from the current level of 6,700 to 7,500; and raise the ceiling on United Nations police officers to nearly 1,900, from just over 1,600 today.


He also recommends that the Mission be extended for a further period of 12 months, until after the electoral process and the establishment of the newly elected Government of Haiti.


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