SECURITY COUNCIL UNDERSCORES NEED FOR TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF HAITI TO EXTEND AUTHORITY THROUGHOUT COUNTRY

10 September 2004
SC/8183

SECURITY COUNCIL UNDERSCORES NEED FOR TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF HAITI TO EXTEND AUTHORITY THROUGHOUT COUNTRY

10/09/2004
Press ReleaseSC/8183

Security Council

5030th Meeting* (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL UNDERSCORES NEED FOR TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT OF HAITI

TO EXTEND AUTHORITY THROUGHOUT COUNTRY

Also Stresses, in Presidential Statement, Need for UN Mission

To Actively Assist Haiti in Addressing Activities of Illegal Armed Groups

Underscoring the need for the Transitional Government of Haiti to extend its control and authority throughout the country, the Security Council this afternoon stressed that the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), in accordance with its mandate, needed to actively assist the country’s security institutions in addressing the activities of all illegal armed groups.

Through a presidential statement read out by its President for September, Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo (Spain), the Council called upon the Transitional Government to complete without delay the establishment of the structures and legal framework required for the implementation of the national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, noting that assistance in that respect would also be provided by the United Nations Mission.

With stability and security remaining key to the reconstruction efforts, the Council stressed the importance of building the capacity of an effective and professional national police in Haiti and ensuring effective coordination and cooperation between MINUSTAH and the Haitian National Police.  It also underlined the urgency of improving the situation of human rights and applying justice equally to all citizens of the country, through an independent judicial system with the support of a reformed correctional system.

The Council underlined that only a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue in Haiti could lay down the foundations of a peaceful and democratic political environment and called upon all actors to participate in the national dialogue.  Addressing the preparations for next year’s elections, it welcomed the start of the electoral process by the Provisional Electoral Council and encouraged the United Nations and the Organization of American States to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding outlining election responsibilities of each organization as soon as possible.

Encouraging international efforts to promote peace and stability in Haiti, the Council extended its appreciation to the countries participating in MINUSTAH and expressed hope that those countries that had pledged troops and civilian police would expedite early deployment of their personnel.  It also called for timely disbursement of the funds pledged at the donors’ conference held in Washington in July and looked forward to the follow-up implementation meeting to be held in Port-au-Prince on 22-23 September.  It also reiterated its support for the establishment of a Core Group to maintain the mobilization of the international community, increase the consultation among major stakeholders to enhance effectiveness of the assistance for Haiti, and contribute to the elaboration of a long-term development strategy.

The meeting started at 12:51 p.m. and was adjourned at 12:59 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2004/32 reads, as follows:

“The Security Council extends its appreciation to participating countries of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and hopes that those countries that have pledged to contribute troops and civilian police will do their utmost to expedite the early deployment of their personnel.

“The Security Council notes that, while the overall situation in Haiti has improved since last February, challenges by illegal armed groups to the authority of the Transitional Government are undermining stability and security in some parts of the country. 

“The Security Council condemns attempts by some illegal armed groups to perform unauthorized law enforcement functions in some Haitian cities.  The Council underscores the need for the Transitional Government to extend its control and authority throughout the country.  It stresses the need that MINUSTAH actively assist the Transitional Government’s security institutions in addressing the activities of all illegal armed groups in accordance with the mandate provided in resolution 1542 (2004).

“The Security Council stresses the urgency of disbanding and disarming all illegal armed groups.  It calls upon the Transitional Government to complete without delay the establishment of the required structures and the adoption of the required legal framework for the implementation of a national disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme.  It notes that MINUSTAH will assist the Transitional Government in these efforts.

“The Security Council underlines that stability and security remain key to the political and economic reconstruction efforts of the Transitional Government and the international community.  It stresses the importance of building the capacity of an effective and professional national police in Haiti.  It reiterates the importance of effective coordination and cooperation between MINUSTAH and the Haitian National Police.  It also underlines the urgency of improving the situation of human rights in the country, including women’s rights.

“The Security Council underlines that only a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue in Haiti can lay down the foundations of a peaceful and democratic political environment.  It calls upon all Haitian political actors to participate in the national dialogue, as well as in the transition and in the electoral process to occur in 2005. 

“The Security Council welcomes that the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has marked the start of the electoral process in Haiti by holding a broad dialogue on the preparation of elections.  The Council encourages the United Nations and the Organization of American States to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding outlining election responsibilities of each organization as soon as possible. 

“The Security Council reiterates that an end to impunity is key to national reconciliation in Haiti.  The Council stresses that justice should apply equally to all citizens in that country and be carried out by an independent judicial system with the support of a reformed correctional system.  The Council expresses its strong concern at reports of double standards in the administration of justice.  The Council welcomes the intention expressed by the Transitional Government to cease travel restrictions without judicial justification in place against former civil servants and politicians.  It urges the Transitional Government to end such restrictions without delay.

“The Security Council welcomes the results of the donors’ conference held in Washington on 19 and 20 July and urges for a timely disbursement of the funds pledged.  The Council looks forward to the follow-up implementation meeting to be held in Port-au-Prince on 22 to 23 September, taking into account the priorities identified by the Haitian Government’s Interim Cooperation Framework.

“The Security Council reiterates its support for the establishment of a Core Group to maintain the mobilization of the international community, to increase the consultation among major stakeholders to enhance the coordination and effectiveness of the assistance for Haiti, and to contribute to the definition of a long-term development strategy aimed at the promotion of lasting peace and stability in that country. 

“The Security Council welcomes the appointment of Mr. Juan Gabriel Valdés as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSTAH and commits its full support to his work.”

Background

When the Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Haiti, it had before it the interim report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document S/2004/698), describing the implementation of the Mission’s mandate and progress made in its deployment, pursuant to resolution 1542 (2004) of 30 April.

According to the report, MINUSTAH formally took over authority from the Multinational Interim Force (MIF) on 1 June.  By 25 June, MINUSTAH had built up the minimum military strength required and assumed operational responsibilities from the MIF.  On 1 June, a pre-deployment team of eight civilian police officers began establishing the civilian police headquarters and initiated close liaison with the Haitian National Police (HNP).  On 17 August, the strength of MINUSTAH civilian police stood at 240 officers.  In order to establish a credible presence throughout Haiti, it is, however, important that the deployment of the remaining MISUTAH elements be accelerated.

Since the arrival of MINUSTAH and the initiation of joint patrolling with the HNP, the security situation has improved gradually.  Armed groups continue to control some parts of the country, however, in particular, in the north and the east along the border with the Dominican Republic.  No incidents targeting MINUSTAH forces have been reported in the period under review.

The report observes that the Transitional Government and the international community share a common desire to see Haiti overcome its present challenges and a common vision on how to achieve this.  This has been confirmed by the interim cooperation framework process and the ensuing Donors Conference in Washington, D.C. Both the Haitian authorities and the international community are now ready to build on a common platform of shared goals during the transition period to prepare the ground for long-term stability, democracy and sustainable development.

The Transitional Government, civil society and political forces have made incremental but encouraging strides towards establishing a dialogue on the key challenges facing the country.  The Secretary-General hopes that a comprehensive national dialogue process will help to bring together all major political movements, regardless of affiliation, to participate in the transition.  Recrimination and revenge have all too often characterized the past and should be laid to rest.  The Secretary-General emphasizes that national reconciliation cannot be separated from an even-handed fight against impunity and the enforcement of accountability.  The restoration of the rule of law will be crucial to restoring the confidence of citizens in the institutions of the State.  The Secretary-General remains concerned about reports of double standards in the administration of justice.

Regrettably, illegitimate armed groups have continued to exercise official security and administrative functions, the report states.  The Secretary-General, therefore, urges the Transitional Government to strengthen the country’s legitimate democratic institutions while overhauling or abolishing those that do not meet democratic standards.  Disarming armed groups and training a professional national police must be an integral part of these efforts.  The Transitional Government is urged to establish a national commission on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.  The Secretary-General calls upon all concerned to lay down their arms and to refrain from violence in order to allow the political process, including the electoral process, to unfold free from undue pressure.

While the Transitional Government’s determination to prepare for elections in 2005 is promising, the Provisional Electoral Council needs to implement effectively its responsibilities without undue delay.  With the assistance of the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS), it will be possible to lay the ground for a sound and transparent electoral process that deserves the confidence of voters.  In this process, the Provisional Electoral Council must be seen as independent, inclusive, effective and reliable by all political forces.

It is encouraging that the overall situation has become calmer and more stable, the report concludes.  However, it is clear that the efforts to ensure a stable environment, support the political process, and assist in the upcoming elections must be accompanied by sustainable economic development and income-generating activities.  In this regard, the Donors Conference for Haiti in July saw a favourable response to the short- and medium-term needs identified in the interim cooperation framework.  The Secretary-General appeals to donors to deliver on these commitments in a timely manner.

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*     The 5029th Meeting was closed.

For information media. Not an official record.