SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES CIVILIAN POLICE MISSION IN HAITI
SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES CIVILIAN POLICE MISSION IN HAITI
SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES CIVILIAN POLICE MISSION IN HAITI19971128
The Security Council this morning established the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH) which, for a single one-year period until 30 November 1998, will continue providing international support to the Haitian Government's efforts to professionalize the country's national police force.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1141 (1997), the Council decided that MIPONUH will be composed of up to 300 civilian police, authorized to carry personal weapons, who will assist the Haitian National Police as it pursues its own institutional development and addresses the country's increasing security needs. Acting at the request of the President of Haiti for additional international assistance to strengthen the two-year old police force, the Council affirmed the importance of a professional national police to the consolidation of democracy in Haiti and the revitalization of its justice system.
Establishing MIPONUH as a follow-on operation to the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH), whose single four-month term expires on 30 November, the Council also decided that MIPONUH will assume responsibility for those UNTMIH personnel and United Nations-owned assets required for its use in fulfilment of its mandate.
The Security Council decided that MIPONUH will include a 90-strong special police unit responsible for providing assistance to mission personnel and protecting its property. The special police unit will be stationed in the capital and available 24 hours a day. The Council affirms that all special arrangements accorded to MIPONUH will not constitute a precedent for future operations of the same nature that include civilian police personnel.
The Council also affirmed that further international assistance to the Haitian National Police, if needed, should be provided through the Organization's agencies and programmes, particularly the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and through international and regional organizations and interested Member States. Recognizing that economic
Security Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
rehabilitation and reconstruction are the major tasks facing the Haitian Government and people and that significant assistance is indispensable for sustainable development in Haiti, the Council stressed the commitment of the international community to a long-term programme of support for Haiti.
In addition, the Secretary-General was requested to report every three months on the implementation of today's resolution until the mandate expires.
Statements were made by the representatives of Haiti, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Portugal, Costa Rica, Egypt, France, Japan, Kenya, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sweden, Russian Federation, United States and China.
The meeting was called to order at 11:44 a.m. and adjourned at 1:04 p.m.
When the Security Council met this morning to review the situation in Haiti, it had before it the Secretary-General's report with his recommendations on future international peace-building efforts to follow the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH) when its mandate expires on 30 November (documents S/1997/832 and Add.1).
The Security Council established UNTMIH for a single four-month period to support the professionalization of the Haitian National Police. The Secretary-General reports that with the situation in Haiti relatively stable, the military element of UNTMIH will leave at the end of its mandate.
However, while the Haitian National Police force has made substantial strides forward, its development into a professional force continues to be slow and uneven. The young police force continues to have difficulty in dealing effectively with the country's increasing security demands resulting from banditry and drug trafficking. A political power vacuum created by the resignation of Haiti's Prime Minister in June and economic concerns, seen in the steady rise in commodities prices, have combined to produce a fragile situation in that country, the Secretary-General states.
The Secretary-General concludes that the National Police will need international assistance if it is to continue to pursue its own institutional development while meeting the country's security needs. He suggests that the Council consider establishing a follow-up mission of 290 United Nations civilian police to assist in continuing efforts to professionalize the Haitian police force. He also recommends that the United Nations Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH) be established for an initial period of six months, until 31 May 1998.
In a letter of 29 October annexed to that report, the President of Haiti informs the Secretary-General that he too has determined that a future international effort is needed to strengthen the Haitian police force. According to the Haitian President, training assistance from a civilian police mission would ensure that the Haitian National Police fulfils its indispensable role in the establishment of a State truly under the rule of law.
The Secretary-General estimates that international support would be needed through the holding of legislative elections scheduled for November 1998. Although the proposed mission would allow for continued international support through the critical election period, the Secretary-General calls upon the Government of Haiti to prepare itself to assume full responsibility for its own institutions following those elections.
Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
According to the Secretary-General's concept, the follow-on mission would include a 90-strong special police unit, functioning as a rapid reaction force, and some 150 officers focusing on training and monitoring of the Haitian police. All police personnel of MIPONUH would continue to carry personal weapons and none would undertake patrolling activities. Having consulted with Member States, the Secretary-General reports that countries willing to contribute the majority of the civilian police element are not prepared to deploy their personnel without the appropriate security backing. The special police unit would be responsible for providing assistance to Mission personnel and protecting its property -- a role the Secretary-General views as essential.
The special police unit would be based in Port-au-Prince and its members would be assigned to shift operating around the clock. Argentina has offered to contribute the special police unit. The providing Government would be reimbursed on that basis. Once deployed, the special unit would be briefed on international humanitarian law, peacekeeping principles and other related matters. The unit would be authorized to use force in self-defence, but only in performance of its specific tasks and relative to the situation on the ground.
Other elements of MIPONUH would be deployed at nine sites throughout the country to, among other things, assist the Haitian police at the supervisory levels and train special police units. Those civilian police would be contributed by Member States already providing officers to UNTMIH. The potential contributing countries have stressed that their police personnel must be provided with adequate medical and helicopter support. Air support equipped with night-vision capability would also be needed. With the current financial crisis facing the Organization, the Secretary-General states that it is essential for Member States to continue to fund such support on a voluntary basis.
While the majority of the proposed mission's personnel are already in theatre, it might take some weeks to deploy the special police unit. The Secretariat, concerned about maintaining civilian police in Haiti without appropriate security backing, is consulting Member States on appropriate transitional arrangements. The special police unit would be authorized to use force in self-defence, but only in performance of their specific tasks and relative to the situation on the ground.
On financial implications, the Secretary-General reports that the estimated costs associated with the operation for a period of six months would amount to approximately $14 million. The estimate provides for up to 290 civilian police, supported by 72 international and 133 local civilian personnel.
Security Council - 4 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
The Secretary-General notes that the professionalization of the criminal justice system has lagged behind the progress in the police force. While oversight conducted by the Haitian police during the initial stages of criminal cases has improved, cases generally stagnate once forwarded to the courts, with no further investigation taking place. That results in lengthy periods of pre-trial detention and prison overcrowding.
The absence of a functioning judicial system has in turn severely hindered the ability of the Haitian police to carry out its tasks. Without a functioning judiciary, the international community's efforts to assist in creating an effective, politically neutral and professional police force would become increasingly difficult, if not impossible. The Secretary-General strongly urged the Government of Haiti to move forward in the area of judicial reform. He called upon the international community to give necessary assistance to that effort.
The efforts to reform the criminal justice system suffer from a lack of leadership and clarity, the Secretary-General states. A commission mandated to craft a global strategy for judicial reform has been slow in completing its task, despite international technical assistance. Framework legislation on judicial reform remained under consideration by Parliament. Clearly, states the Secretary-General, work on the justice sector must continue to be a major focus for the Government of Haiti and the international community for years to come.
Allegations of fraud and other wrongdoing by electoral authorities and some political activists have marred the first part of the electoral process. Some members of the Senate have pledged to prevent the new Senators elected in the first round of partial legislation from taking their seats. At present, only 15 of the 27 seats in the Senate are occupied, one member short of the number required for a quorum or to reach the absolute majority required for the final confirmation of a new prime minister.
Local government elections continue to be marked by voter indifference, lack of advance popular education to promote voter awareness and irregularities, including ballot stuffing. Most political parties and other observers have questioned the independence of the Provisional Electoral Council and its commitment to the integrity of the electoral process. As instructed by the Secretary-General in August, United Nations technical assistance to the Provisional Electoral Council has been suspended until the credibility and transparency of the electoral process are restored. Efforts of the Haitian President to promote dialogue among the main political parties involved in the electoral dispute had not yielded concrete results.
The Haitian economy remained in the doldrums, with the average per capital income stagnating during the past year, the Secretary-General reports.
Security Council - 5 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
The anticipated increase in government expenditures and public investments financed by the international community have not materialized. While international financial commitments remain high, disbursements have fallen in relation to previous years and Haiti will increasingly need to compete with other countries for diminishing international resources as its emergency period passes. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is sponsoring an initiative involving the efforts of Haitian non-governmental organizations to define economic, social and institutional objectives which could emerge as a blueprint for national and international development efforts.
Also, the UNDP would continue efforts to strengthen good governance and central and local institutions, including Parliament, various ministries and the penitentiary administration, and to promote interaction between the Government and civil society, the Secretary-General recommends. The UNDP technical assistance project would continue to provide the National Police with high-level expertise in specialized areas. The Secretary-General calls on Member States to contribute generously to the trust fund for the Haitian police, through which that project is financed.
The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1997/931**) sponsored by Argentina, Canada, Chile, Cost Rica, France, Portugal, United States and Venezuela, which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its relevant resolutions and those adopted by the General Assembly,
"Taking note of the request of 29 October 1997 from the President of the Republic of Haiti to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (S/1997/832, annex II),
"Taking note also of the report of the Secretary-General of 31 October 1997 (S/1997/832) and the addendum to this report (S/1997/832/Add.1), and the recommendations contained therein,
"Commending the role of the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH) in assisting the Government of Haiti by supporting and contributing to the professionalization of the Haitian national police, and expressing its appreciation to all Member States which have contributed to UNTMIH,
"Noting the termination in accordance with resolution 1123 (of 30 July 1997) of the mandate of UNTMIH as of 30 November 1997,
Security Council - 6 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
"Commending further the role of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the coordination of activities by the United Nations system to promote institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation in Haiti,
"Noting the key role played to date by the United Nations Civilian Police, the International Civilian Mission in Haiti and United Nations Development Programme technical assistance in helping to establish a fully functioning Haitian national police force of adequate size and structure as an integral element of the consolidation of democracy and the revitalization of Haiti's system of justice and, in this context, welcoming continued progress towards professionalization of the Haitian national police and towards fulfilment of the May 1997 "Haitian national police development plan for 1997- 2001",
"Stressing the link between peace and development, noting that significant international assistance is indispensable for sustainable development in Haiti, and stressing that a sustained commitment by the international community and the international financial institutions to assist and support the economic, social and institutional development in Haiti is indispensable for long-term peace and security in the country,
"Recognizing that the people and the Government of Haiti bear the ultimate responsibility for national reconciliation, the maintenance of a secure and stable environment, the administration of justice, and the reconstruction of their country,
"1. Affirms the importance of a professional, self-sustaining, fully functioning national police of adequate size and structure, able to conduct the full spectrum of police functions, to the consolidation of democracy and the revitalization of Haiti's system of justice and encourages Haiti to pursue its plans in these respects;
"2. Decides further to paragraph 1 above, and at the request of the President of the Republic of Haiti, to establish until 30 November 1998 a United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH), composed of up to 300 civilian police, with a mandate limited to a single one-year period ending on 30 November 1998 in order to continue to assist the Government of Haiti by supporting and contributing to the professionalization of the Haitian national police in accordance with the arrangements, including monitoring Haitian national police field performance, set out in paragraphs 39-40 of the report of the Secretary-General of 31 October 1997 and paragraphs 2-12 of the addendum to this report;
"3. Affirms also that further international assistance to the Haitian national police, should it be needed, should be provided through United
Security Council - 7 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
Nations specialized agencies and programmes, in particular the United Nations Development Programme, and through international and regional organizations and by interested Member States;
"4. Affirms also that all special arrangements accorded to MIPONUH will not constitute precedents for other operations of the same nature that include civilian police personnel;
"5. Decides also that MIPONUH will assume responsibility for those UNTMIH personnel and United Nations-owned assets required for its use in fulfilment of its mandate;
"6. Requests all States to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken by the United Nations and by Member States pursuant to this and other relevant resolutions in order to carry out the provisions of the mandate as set out in paragraph 2 above;
"7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution every three months from the date of its adoption until the mandate of MIPONUH expires on 30 November 1998;
"8. Recognizes that economic rehabilitation and reconstruction constitute the major tasks facing the Haitian Government and people and that significant international assistance is indispensable for sustainable development in Haiti, and stresses the commitment of the international community to a long-term programme of support for Haiti;
"9. Requests all States to make voluntary contributions to the trust fund established in resolution 975 (1995) for the Haitian national police, in particular for the recruitment and deployment by the United Nations Development Programme of police advisers to assist the inspector general, directorate general, and department headquarters of the Haitian national police;
"10. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
PIERRE LELONG (Haiti) said that with UNTMIH's mandate ending tomorrow, he wished to note the valuable contribution made by the United Nations to the development of democracy in Haiti. Since 1995, the United Nations had helped maintain peace and stability in Haiti, allowing the Government to make great progress towards security and stability. With the departure of the United Nations military force, the Haitian National Police would alone be responsible for maintaining law and order. The Haitian National Police had made
Security Council - 8 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
significant progress in important areas, but there were concerns about the gap between the development of the police and that of the justice system.
In Haiti, insecurity continued to be a problem due to the activities of drug smugglers and bandits, he said. Poverty continued to gain ground, despite the Government's best efforts. If a new social order was to be developed, the majority must be ensured a life of dignity, a difficult task considering the large gap between the available resources and the vast need. The Haitian people continued to count on the support of the international community to assist it towards sustainable development. He asked that the Council unanimously adopt the resolution before it.
FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina) said the draft before the Council represented a reaffirmation of international commitment to the process of renewal in Haiti. Accordingly, his Government was committed to the development of democracy in Haiti and supported the continuation of the United Nations presence. To achieve institutional consolidation, international assistance alone was not enough. A general framework enabling sustainable development was needed.
He welcomed the understanding shown by the Russian Federation and China in the process of making the continued presence of the United Nations in Haiti a reality. The operation being established today would be exposed to similar difficulties which had been confronted by earlier United Nations missions in Haiti. He welcomed the aspect of the new mandate that provided expanded dialogue on the ground.
ROBERT R. FOWLER (Canada) said the United Nations and the Council could contemplate the completion of UNTMIH with some measure of satisfaction. As that Mission -- one of Canada's most important military operations in recent years -- drew to a close, his Government was proud of all that UNTMIH had accomplished. The resolution being adopted today and the establishment of the new mission was evidence of the continuing commitment of the international community to assist Haiti, as it continued the early, important steps along the road to stability and development as a democratic nation. Although the military segment of the peacekeeping operation in Haiti would now end, the interest in Haiti was not diminished.
He welcomed the one-year mandate being given to the new mission, as such the continuity would be of great benefit. While substantial strides had been made by the Haitian National Police, there was still much that remained to be done, he said. The UNDP technical advisers continue to be important to fostering good policing. Also, continued vigilance was needed to work against abuse of authority by officers and the concept of community-based policing must be developed.
Security Council - 9 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
He remained concerned about the gap in development between the national police force and the slow pace of judicial reform, he said. Progress in both was important. While international partners continued to assist in the development of both institutions, it was the responsibility of the Government of Haiti to develop an effective and fairly administered judicial system. The political paralysis that had gripped Haiti for many months was also of concern. He urged all political parties in Haiti to work together to find a solution to the impasse and to permit the vital business of government to proceed.
JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said that in spite of the progress achieved by the Haitian National Police in recent months, several goals remained unmet. It was, therefore, advisable to continue the work of the United Nations in providing support for the national police at all levels. The recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's report to that end deserved the Council's full support. The establishment of a democratic police force was one of the basic conditions for respect for the rule of law and stability of democratic institutions in that country.
The duration of the mission's mandate had merits of being realistic and consistent with the tasks that needed to be carried out, he said. The resolution before the Council also did not neglect the needs of Haitian people in the area of development. His Government stressed the need for a sustained commitment by the international community to provide support for institutional development in Haiti.
He said the challenges faced by Haitians were considerable. The strengthening of a professional police force brought out more clearly the growing gap between those forces and institutions of the judicial branch. It was necessary for the Government of Haiti to face the task of reforming the judiciary. His Government was gratified by the results achieved by the United Nations in Haiti, as listed in the resolution, and it was certain that the personnel of the new mission would meet the challenge of helping to provide Haiti with a truly professional and democratic police force.
ANTONIO MONTEIRO (Portugal) said his Government fully supported the objectives of the draft resolution on the constitution of MIPONUH. Despite some progress in Haiti, very serious problems persisted in that country, including a high level of unemployment, the rising cost of living and the slow pace of change. Those problems required the continuation of the assistance of the United Nations. As elections were due to take place in November 1998, the period ahead would be of crucial importance to the consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the respect for human rights. Therefore, comprehensive and sustained long-term assistance by the international community was vitally important.
Security Council - 10 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
A self-sustained and fully functioning police force was essential to ensure a secure and stable government, he said. Portugal believed that it was of the utmost importance that there be a United Nations presence in Haiti for one year, as foreseen in the resolution. The new mission would continue to help the Government of Haiti to professionalize its police force. The Haitian authorities should persist in their efforts to form a public force respectful of legality and revitalize their justice system.
FERNANDO BERROCAL-SOTO (Costa Rica) said the armed forces in Haiti had played a negative and repressive role, contrary to the will of the Haitian people. The consolidation of peace in that country required demilitarization, the elimination of the armed forces and the creation of an apolitical civilian police force. The creation of a democratic peace was linked to the strengthening of the rule of law and establishing a stable judicial branch.
United Nations support for assistance in Haiti should be maintained, he continued. The instability of peace in Haiti was due to the need to establish a process that guaranteed development and equity for all Haitians. That was an imperative and urgent need. The international community could not ignore the devastating international statistics regarding conditions in Haiti. The country had the highest poverty index in the western hemisphere and was in last place on the UNDP human development index. Peace in Haiti could not been formally established if its citizens did not enjoy the right to development.
The resolution before the Security Council was a timely response to the situation in Haiti and the function performed by the Transition Mission in professionalizing the national police, he said. The stability provided by the Haitian National Police would provide an appropriate setting for the reactivation of economic development. The Haitian political class must rise above confrontation and division and work together for peace, progress and equality for all Haitians.
NABIL ELARABY (Egypt) said today's action was in response to the request of the Haitian President for a continued international presence to assist the development of the Haitian National Police. It also responded to the continuing delicacy of the situation in Haiti.
The United Nations role was vital to ensuring stability in Haiti and to supporting the development of institutions, he said. The efforts of Haiti's President to end the current political turmoil must also be supported and the economic problems of Haiti addressed. The activities of the UNDP and other United Nations institutions would be vital to the achievement of sustainable development in Haiti. He called on the international community to provide voluntary contributions to the economic development efforts under way in Haiti. He noted that certain aspects of the new mandate, which arose from the peculiar situation in Haiti, did not constitute a precedent.
Security Council - 11 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said the international community had played a vital role in the establishment of a law-abiding police force in Haiti. However, as had been stressed by the Haitian President, the Haitian force needed continued support to complete its development and confront the continued difficulties. His Government supported the request of Haiti and the related recommendation made by the Secretary-General. He would vote in favour of the establishment of such a mission for 12 months.
While the new mission would continue past work, the military aspects of previous missions would depart and the new operation would be entirely composed of police officers, he said. Special security arrangements that had been made for the new mission did not constitute a precedent. His Government would continue to contribute to the financing of operations in Haiti. He noted that France had paid in full its contributions to peace-keeping operations. It was hoped that example would be followed by other Member States.
HISASHI OWADA (Japan) said the assistance and support provided by the United Nations civilian police unit, including UNTMIH, had facilitated improvements in the professionalization of the Haitian National Police. Despite those improvements, the international community must continue to support the force's training and professionalization, to ensure that it was capable of maintaining law and order and to nurture the democratization process. Therefore, his Government supported the establishment of MIPONUH. A civilian police force was only meaningful, however, if there was a credible judicial system in place; he called for the establishment of such a judicial system as expeditiously as possible.
There were other grave problems remaining in Haiti, he continued. The country had been without a functioning government since the Prime Minister resigned in June. If the democratization process was to proceed, it was essential for political parties to put aside their differences and agree to engage in dialogue. In recognition of the importance of Haiti's stability to the Caribbean region, Japan contributed $3 million in March 1995 to the United Nations Trust Fund for the establishment of the Haitian National Police. It also provided more than $50 million in assistance for economic structural reform, in the areas of food aid, food production and planning and technical assistance for road production. In extending assistance, his Government intended to promote the process of economic development and democratization in Haiti.
NJUGUNA MAHUGU (Kenya) said his Government had supported the transformation of the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) into UNTMIH as a gesture in support of the Haitian people. That support was undiminished and his Government once again wanted to register its unwavering support for the Haitian people through the establishment of MIPONUH. It was
Security Council - 12 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
commendable that, despite difficulties, the Haitian National Police had made some noteworthy organizational and operational progress. Yet, clearly more progress was needed. The transition process had been troubled by incessant insecurity, which hindered a solid peace-building effort.
At the heart of the insecurity problem in Haiti lay the unyielding weight of poverty and relative lack of improvement in the basic living conditions of the Haitian people, he said. A consensus by interested parties on the development path Haiti should take would hopefully alleviate "donor fatigue" and enable Haiti to compete more effectively for the diminishing pool of official resources. His Government hoped that, in the months prior to the termination of MIPONUH's mandate, the international community would focus more on the development of its relations with Haiti and gradually disengage its security/military/civilian police links.
ZBIGNIEW MATUSZEWSKI (Poland) said that his Government was concerned at the lack of political and economic stability in Haiti, especially the apparent inability of Haitian institutions to break the existing impasse. He appealed to the political parties in Haiti to resume meaningful contact.
While Haiti was ultimately responsible for its future, he said the international community must assist them in securing further progress towards peace, democracy and prosperity. To consolidate achievements already made, the new mission aimed at helping the Haitian National Police to reach the standard required of a fully professional force. To that end, the new operation was mandated to continue to assist the Government by supporting and contributing to the professionalization of the Haitian police.
Another year of international support for Haiti would allow for strengthening the skill and operational capacity of the police force, he said. He welcomed the declaration made by Haiti's President that Haitian authorities were ready to assume full responsibility for maintaining security in that country.
PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said the climate of instability in Haiti indicated that additional efforts were needed, if the gains already made were to be irreversible. The professionalization of the Haitian National Police was the most cost-effective way for the international community to support stability in Haiti. However, the Haitian political leaders must solve their own problems. He hoped that the political parties would work together to solve outstanding issues. The holding of elections next year would be vital to the development of democracy in Haiti. He took note of the request for future international assistance made by the President of Haiti and would vote in favour of the draft before the Council.
Security Council - 13 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
ANDERS LIDEN (Sweden) said the United Nations had made significant contributions to Haiti's political and economic development and supported the development of the Haitian National Police. Now, the focus was on the civilian aspects in the development of Haiti's police force. The establishment of the new mission demonstrated the increasing importance of the civilian police in the development of democratic institutions following strife or conflict. The case of Haiti required exceptional solutions, due to the fragile security situation. His Government was satisfied that the arrangements for the new operation were tailored for Haiti and would not necessarily serve as a precedent for other civilian police missions.
The absence of a functioning and reliable judicial system remained of immediate concern, he said. The Haitian authorities must do their utmost to re-establish faith in their capacity to resolve the country's problems. The international community was committed to a long-term programme for the development of Haiti, in support of national efforts. That programme should include economic, social and institutional development programmes.
ALEXANDRE GORELICK (Russian Federation) said the UNTMIH had played an important role in successfully fulfilling the tasks set out by the Security Council. The United Nations military operation had been completed and a stable, but fragile, situation was being maintained in Haiti. The Haitian National Police continued to gain experience and events in that country did not pose a threat to the maintenance of peace and security. Yet, the situation remained complex and the transition to democracy had been exacerbated by a prolonged economic and social crisis. In order to establish a firm basis to restore democracy in Haiti, the problems of economic rehabilitation must first be resolved.
His Government was not against maintaining a United Nations presence in Haiti, provided that the mission was in keeping with today's real requirements, he continued. Taking into consideration the request of Haiti's President and the Secretary-General's recommendations, he was prepared to support the establishment of a new civilian police mission to strengthen the Haitian National Police. Yet, it must be clearly understood that the new operation had a clearly defined, single-year mandate.
He said future assistance to the Haitian National Police should be provided through United Nations special agencies and programmes, like the UNDP, international and regional organizations and through bilateral channels by interested countries. Due to the Organization's acute financial crisis, a small new mission in Haiti was still very burdensome. The Russian Federation did not have any debts regarding the mission in Haiti and hoped other States would discharge their obligations, to ease the financial burden of the United Nations in carrying out the mission.
Security Council - 14 - Press Release SC/6448 3837th Meeting (AM) 28 November 1997
PETER BURLEIGH (United States) said the Government of Haiti had made progress in building an inclusive and representative democracy in the last three years. The Haitian Parliament and municipal governments had developed into independent bodies and the country also enjoyed a free press. Fundamental economic reforms were being initiated, including the first privatization of a State-owned industry. Through UNTMIH, UNDP and the international civilian mission in Haiti, the United Nations was playing an essential role in the democratization process. At the request of President Preval and at the recommendation of the Secretary-General, the Security Council's action today would ensure the further development of the Haitian National Police. The continued improvement of that force was crucial to the country's future.
His Government remained committed to supporting peaceful political and economic development in Haiti, he said. Despite progress, obstacles remained. The Haitian National Police still needed help in dealing with gangs, drug traffickers and political groups that sought to manipulate the police. The presence of a civilian police mission would allow Haiti's police to continue its growth in competence for another year. The international community's efforts, however, were carried out against a backdrop of deep division within Haiti. Democracy there remained a work in progress and the Haitian people must receive the necessary tools and assistance from the international community. The creation of MIPONUH would do just that and he strongly supported its establishment.
QIN HUASUN (China) said his Government had hoped that a political compromise could be achieved and reconstruction commenced in Haiti. The United Nations should promptly conclude the peacekeeping mission there and concentrate its efforts on reconstruction and providing needed technical and financial assistance. The UNDP, the World Bank and other financial institutions should play a leading role in that endeavour. At the request of the President of Haiti and recommendation of the Secretary-General, his Government agreed to keep the civilian police mission in Haiti, as an exceptional case, to provide support in professionalizing the Haitian National Police and to assist Haiti on the road to stability and development.
The Security Council then unanimously adopted resolution 1141 (1997).
* *** *