SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN MISSION IN HAITI UNTIL 1 JUNE 2005

29 November 2004
SC/8254

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN MISSION IN HAITI UNTIL 1 JUNE 2005

29/11/2004
Press ReleaseSC/8254

Security Council

5090th Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF UN MISSION IN HAITI UNTIL 1 JUNE 2005

Resolution 1576 (2004) Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council today, noting the continuing existence of challenges to the political, social and economic stability of Haiti and determining that the situation continued to threaten international peace and security in the region, extended the mandate of United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) until 1 June 2005, with the intention to renew it for further periods.

Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1576 (2004), the Council encouraged the Transitional Government to continue to explore actively all possible ways to include in the democratic and electoral processes those who currently remained outside the transition process, but have rejected violence.

Also by the text, relevant international financial institutions and donor countries were urged to disburse promptly the funds pledged at the International Donors Conference on Haiti, held in Washington, D.C., on 19 and 20 July 2004.

The Council welcomed the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation (document S/2004/908) and endorsed his recommendations.  Among them was to add more formed police units and to implement quick-impact humanitarian projects.

In the report, the Secretary-General suggests that the time is not yet right for a major review of the Mission’s general structure -- it has not yet fully deployed; the political processes are still in their early stages; and the situation in Haiti remains fluid.  He says, however, that some modifications within the present structure could work. 

In addition to the recommendations cited above, he also proposes:  augmenting MINUSTAH’s capacity to implement disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) projects in the community; and strengthening the Mission’s capacity to monitor and evaluate the legal and institutional framework for DDR, including small arms control and other security sector-related legislation; adding an engineering company to the Mission’s military component; and strengthening modestly MINUSTAH’s humanitarian and development coordination pillars, in light of the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

Speaking before the vote, Brazil’s representative said security had remained vital for stability in Haiti, but finding a sustainable solution to the country’s difficulties went beyond that.  Given the interconnection between security and other aspects of its recovery, progress for political reconciliation and economic development must occur in parallel.  MINUSTAH would need a more concrete mandate to achieve a prompt improvement in living conditions for the Haitian people.  The Mission’s mandate should be renewed for further periods, and the Council should issue stronger messages on international commitment to Haitian elections at the end of 2005.  The international community and financial institutions should further assist development projects and remedy any gaps or shortfalls in the country, and donors should accelerate the disbursement rate for funds emerging from the Washington Donor’s Conference.

For first time, he added, many Latin American countries had joined efforts to reach a permanent solution to conflict in the region, contributing about 79 per cent of the troops.  Efforts made by the region to stabilize Haiti should be reinforced by stronger commitment on the part of the international community.

Following action on the text, Chile’s representative stressed that only a multidimensional long-term mission would be successful in Haiti, which was why he had supported the Secretary-General’s recommendation for an 18-month mandate extension.  As Haiti’s political, economic and social reconstruction required a long-term commitment, he regretted that the resolution provided only for a six-month renewal.  Despite that, he had voted in favour of the draft, for it placed emphasis on issues such as stability, the strengthening of institutional capacities and respect for human rights, and pointed to the need for inclusive political dialogue. 

The representative of Spain said the action on the text should not be seen as merely procedural.  Given previous setbacks in the country, the United Nations operation must be seen as comprehensive and long-term, restoring to the people of Haiti the ability to govern.  The United Nations could not operate in a patchwork fashion.  He also regretted that the resolution did not support the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend the mission for a longer than usual period.  He hoped further renewals would take place, as it would allow the international community to be able to fully comply with its commitment to the Haitian people.

The meeting began at 3:03 p.m. and adjourned at 3:23 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1576 (2004) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Reaffirming resolution 1542 (2004) of 30 April 2004 and recalling resolution 1529 (2004) of 29 February 2004 and relevant statements by its President on the situation in Haiti,

Commending the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in support of the efforts of the Transitional Government of Haiti and all political actors in Haiti towards a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process, including the holding of fair and free elections in 2005 and the subsequent transfer of power to elected authorities,

Underlining that political reconciliation and economic reconstruction efforts remain key to the stability and security of Haiti, and, in that regard, stressing that all Member States, especially those in the region, should continue to support the Transitional Government in those efforts,

Urging the Transitional Government to continue to make progress in the implementation of the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF), including by developing concrete projects for economic development, in close cooperation with, and with the full assistance of, the international community, in particular the United Nations and international financial institutions,

Welcoming the establishment of the Core Group on Haiti and the ECOSOC Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Haiti,

Condemning all acts of violence and the attempts by some armed groups to perform unauthorized law enforcement functions in the country,

Stressing, in that context, the urgency of conducting Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes, and urging the Transitional Government to establish, without delay, the National Commission on DDR,

Condemning also all violations of human rights and urging the Transitional Government of Haiti to take all necessary measures to put an end to impunity,

Concerned by any arbitrary detention of people solely for their political affiliation, calling on the Transitional Government to release those against whom no charges have been brought,

Calling also on the international community to continue to address, in full support of the Transitional Government, the humanitarian needs caused by natural disasters in various parts of the country,

Welcoming the contribution made by Member States to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and urging troop and police-contributing countries to abide by the deployment schedules agreed, and noting in particular the need for more French-speaking police officers,

Noting the continuing existence of challenges to the political, social and economic stability of Haiti and determining that the situation in Haiti continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

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 1 June 2005, with the intention to renew for further periods;

“2.   Encourages the Transitional Government to continue to explore actively all possible ways to include in the democratic and electoral process those who currently remain outside the transition process but have rejected violence;

“3.   Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 18 November 2004 (S/2004/908) on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and endorses the Secretary-General’s recommendations as outlined in paragraphs 52 to 57;

“4.   Urges relevant international financial institutions and donor countries to disburse promptly the funds pledged at the International Donors Conference on Haiti held in Washington, D.C. on 19 and 20 July 2004;

“5.   Requests the Secretary-General to provide a report to the Council on the implementation by MINUSTAH of its mandate at least every three months;

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

Background

Reporting on the situation in Haiti just prior to expiration on 30 November of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the Secretary-General describes the progress made in the Mission’s deployment since its establishment on 30 April and the activities of its components (document S/2004/908).  In view of the time line for elections (to be held in 2005, with power to be transferred to en elected President on 7 February 2006) established by the Provisional Electoral Council, the Secretary-General recommends that the Council extend MINUSTAH’s mandate for a further period of 18 months, until 31 May 2006, with some modifications within the general structure.

The Secretary-General says the time is not yet right for a major review of the Mission’s general structure, as it has not yet fully deployed, the political processes are still in their early stages and the situation in Haiti remains fluid.  A number of modifications within the present structure could work, however.

He, thus, proposes the following adjustments:  adding an additional formed police unit of 125 officers for an interim period, to be stationed in Port-au-Prince, to provide enhanced operational support to the Haitian National Police and to strengthen security arrangements in the capital; implementing, beyond the Missions’ first year, quick-impact projects of a humanitarian nature; augmenting MINUSTAH’s capacity to implement disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) projects in the community, and strengthening MINUSTAH’s capacity to monitor and evaluate the legal and institutional framework for DDR, including small arms control and other security sector-related legislation; adding one engineering company to the Mission’s military component, with the task of repairing roads and bridges used by Mission personnel during implementation of their mandate; and strengthening modestly the humanitarian and development coordination pillars of MINUSTAH, in light of Haiti’s vulnerability to natural disasters. 

The Secretary-General says that since his interim report of 30 August, the security situation in Haiti has deteriorated with a surge in violence, particularly in the capital in October.  He appeals to all armed groups to break this cycle of violence in order not to further endanger the transition process under way.  As MINUSTAH troops and police personnel continue to build up their strength, the Mission’s capacity to ensure a secure and stable environment will increase.  He urged countries contributing troops and personnel to abide by the deployment schedules that have been agreed.  He also reiterates his plea to Member States to make a further effort to provide French-speaking police officers.

The Secretary-General says he supports the Transitional Government’s efforts to put an end to the violence perpetuated by armed groups, which have a common interest in destabilizing the country.  He also welcomes the establishment of an office, which will seek to reintegrate into society the demobilized military, whose actions constitute a challenge to the authority of the State.

The restoration of law and order throughout Haiti needs to be achieved with due regard for basic human rights and the rule of law, the report states.  The Transitional Government, in particular its law enforcement structures, needs to demonstrate a genuine and consistent adherence to human rights and legal principles as it deals with those responsible for the recent violence.

The Secretary-General reminds the Transitional Government that the arbitrary detention of people solely for their political affiliation is in contravention of fundamental human rights principles.  He, therefore, encourages the Transitional Government to release those against whom no charges have been brought and bring the others to justice in a fair and transparent process.  He welcomes the Transitional Government’s decision on 7 October to lift the travel restrictions that had been imposed on certain former civil servants and politicians.

Also according to the report, the recent violence has again underlined the need to remove all illegal weapons from the streets effectively, including through a comprehensive and community-based disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme.  The Secretary-General welcomes the establishment of an ad hoc committee on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.  That will help to prepare for the creation of the National Commission, which should be established as a matter of priority.  He also encourages the Transitional Government to include all segments of Haitian society in the development of that institution to ensure a truly national ownership of the “DDR” process. 

While security is a necessary condition for the success of the transitional process, it is not sufficient, the report says.  Without a parallel political process involving all segments of society, no sustainable peace and security will be achieved.  The Secretary-General encourages the Transitional Government to continue to explore all possible ways to include in the democratic and electoral process those who currently remain outside the transition process, but have rejected violence.

The report welcomes the Transitional Government’s sustained commitment to holding local, legislative and presidential elections in 2005, for which dates have now been set.  At the same time, the Provisional Electoral Council is encouraged to remain focused on its tasks within the agreed time frame.  The Secretary-General welcomes the signing of the memorandum of understanding with the Organization of American States and is confident that, together, the organizations will strive to accompany the Haitians towards elections in the most efficient way.  He is also grateful for the assistance that the International Organization of la Francophonie and other international organizations, agencies, and donors are providing.  The support that members of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) could provide to the electoral process in Haiti would add a significant dimension to regional cooperation efforts there.

A political process without job creation or longer-term development is not credible for a population that has been living in severe poverty for such a long time, the report states further.  MINUSTAH remains committed to mobilizing resources for projects that make an immediate difference in people’s lives.  The Secretary-General welcomes the establishment of coordination mechanisms aimed at aiding implementation of the interim cooperation framework, which received overwhelming support from international donors in July 2004.

While the Secretary-General says he regrets that the disbursement of funds by the donors has been slow in coming, owing in part to the increased instability in Haiti, he notes with satisfaction the establishment of a suitable framework to receive, manage and allocate the funds.  The international community has insisted upon transparency, efficiency and effectiveness in this regard.  He welcomes the efforts of several donors who have already started disbursing funds, and encourages others to follow suit swiftly.  He also reiterates MINUSTAH’s readiness and that of the United Nations country team to support the full implementation of the interim cooperation framework.

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For information media. Not an official record.