28 June 1996


28 June 1996

Press Release


19960628 Resolution 1063 (1996), Adopted Unanimously, Approves Mission to 30 November, Succeeding UNMIH

The Security Council this afternoon decided to establish the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) until 30 November to assist the Government of Haiti in the professionalization of its police and in the maintenance of a secure and stable environment for establishing and training an effective national police force. It replaces the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH), whose mandate expires on 30 June. Through its unanimous adoption of resolution 1063 (1996), the Council also expressed support for the role of the Secretary-General's Special Representative in coordinating activities by the United Nations system to promote institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation in Haiti. It asked all States to support actions taken by the United Nations and Member States pursuant to this and other relevant resolutions. The Council further asked all States to make voluntary contributions to the trust fund established for the support of the Haitian National Police, to ensure the police are adequately trained and fully operational. It stressed the importance of the Government of Haiti and the international financial institutions agreeing as soon as possible on the steps necessary to enable the provision of additional financial support. The new mission was established at an initial strength of 600 troops and 300 civilian police personnel, in contrast to UNMIH which, at 1 June, had 1,193 troops and 291 civilian personnel. The Council welcomed the assurance that the Secretary-General would be alert to further opportunities to reduce its strength so it might implement its tasks at the lowest possible cost. It also asked that he report by 30 September on implementation of its resolution, including prospects for further reductions in the Mission. Statements were made by the representatives of Italy (for the European Union and associated States), Canada, Chile, Russian Federation, China, United Kingdom, Honduras, Republic of Korea, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Botswana, Poland, United States, France, Egypt and Haiti.

The meeting, which was called to order at 3:21 p.m., was adjourned at 4:56 p.m.

Secretary-General's Report

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in Haiti. It has before it a report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH) (documents S/1996/416 and Add.1/Rev.1), in which he recommends the establishment of a new "United Nations Support Mission in Haiti" (UNSMIH) for a six-month period, following the expiry of UNMIH's final mandate on 30 June.

The Secretary-General recommends that the mission have an initial military strength of 1,200 personnel, to be reduced to 1,000 over the first three months, and 300 civilian police; the cost would be some $37 million. However, a draft resolution before the Council would establish UNSMIH with an initial composition of 600 troops and 300 civilian police, for which the Secretary-General estimates a cost of $29.7 million.

The cost of the mission be considered an expense of the Organization, to be borne by Member States as an expense of the Organization, according to the Secretary-General's recommendation. Some existing UNMIH contingents -- which stood at 1,193 military and 291 civilian police personnel on 1 June -- could remain in Haiti to facilitate the transition to the new mission.

"Withdrawal of international support at this juncture could jeopardize the objective of completing the creation of the new civilian police and ensuring for all Haitians the security needed to advance development and consolidate democracy", the Secretary-General states. The mandate of UNSMIH would be limited to assisting the Haitian authorities in professionalizing the Haitian National Police and in maintaining a secure and stable environment for their training. It would also coordinate United Nations system activities for institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation.

According to Haiti's Secretary of State for Public Security, Haiti's police force is not yet able to maintain a secure and stable conditions on its own, the report states. Although its strength is now nearly 6,000, a recent spate of attacks against its personnel has lowered morale. The force suffers from the absence of an effective senior office corps, as well as from a lack of adequate equipment and operating procedures. Its new leadership has prepared an immediate and long-range programme to promote its institutional development in the areas of training, infrastructure, logistics, management and operations.

Also before the Council was a letter from President René Préval of Haiti (document S/1996/431), in which he asks it to authorize the presence of a multinational force in his country for a further six months. "The current context of the social climate in Haiti requires the Government to have at its disposal an adequate public force for the maintenance of order and security. Our newly established National Police is unfortunately not fully in a position

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to assume that responsibility." The continued international presence would help in maintaining public order and in strengthening the National Police, he states.

Draft Resolution

The Council also has before it the following draft resolution:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling all its relevant resolutions and those adopted by the General Assembly,

"Taking note of the request of 31 May 1996 form the President of the Republic of Haiti to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (S/1996/431, annex),

"Underlining the need to support the commitment of the Government of Haiti to maintain the secure and stable environment established by the Multinational Force in Haiti (MNF) and extended with the assistance of the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH),

"Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 5 June 1995 (S/1996/416 and Add.1/Rev.1),

"Commending the role of UNMIH in assisting the Government of Haiti in fulfilling its responsibilities (a) to sustain the secure and stable environment which has been established, and (b) to professionalize the Haitian National Police, and expressing appreciation to all Member States which have contributed to UNMIH,

"Noting the termination in accordance with resolution 1048 (1996) of the mandate of UNMIH as of 30 June 1996,

"Noting the key role played to date by the United Nations civilian police, supported by United Nations military personnel, 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 progress to establish the Haitian National Police,

"Welcoming and supporting the efforts of the Organization of American States (OAS) in cooperation with the United Nations, and in particular the contribution of the International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICIVIH) , to promote consolidation of peace and democracy in Haiti,

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"Taking note of the resolution on the international presence in Haiti (S/1996/432 and A/51/164) adopted at the seventh plenary session of the twenty-sixth regular session of the Organization of American States which, inter alia, encourages the international community to sustain the same level of commitment it demonstrated during the years of crisis, who recommends that, at the request of the Haitian Government, the community maintain a strong presence in Haiti and extend its full support for strengthening the national police force and consolidating the stable and democratic environment necessary for economic growth and development, and inviting the further participation of the OAS,

"Recognizing the link between peace and development 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 stability in the country,

"Welcoming the continued progress towards consolidation of democracy by the people of Haiti since the historic peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected President to another on 7 February 1996,

"Recognizing that the people of Haiti bear the ultimate responsibility for national reconciliation, the maintenance of a secure and stable environment, the administration of justice, and reconstruction of their country,

"1. Affirms the importance of a professional, self-sustaining, fully functioning national police force of adequate size and structure, able to conduct the full spectrum of police functions, to the consolidation of democracy and revitalization of Haiti's system of justice;

"2. Decides to establish the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH), until 30 November 1996 in order to assist the Government of Haiti in the professionalization of the police and in the maintenance of a secure and stable environment conducive to the success of the current efforts to establish and train an effective national police force, and supports 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;

"3. Decides that UNSMIH initially will be composed of 300 civilian police personnel and 600 troops;

"4. Welcomes the assurance that the Secretary-General will be alert to further opportunities to reduce the strength of the mission so it can implement its tasks at the lowest possible cost;

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"5. Recognizes that major tasks facing the Haitian Government and people include economic rehabilitation and reconstruction and stresses the importance that the Government of Haiti and the international financial institutions agree as soon as possible on the steps necessary to enable the provision of additional financial support;

"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. Further requests all States to make voluntary contributions to the trust fund established in resolution 975 (1995) for the support of the Haitian National Police, to ensure that the police are adequately trained and fully operational;

"8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution, including prospects for further reductions in the strength of the mission, by 30 September 1996;

"9. Decides to remain seized of the matter."


FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union, as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic and Slovenia, said the Council today would again demonstrate its commitment to Haiti by adopting a text which showed international support for the consolidation of democracy there. The European Union completely shared that goal. It had repeatedly emphasized the need for the situation in Haiti to evolve in such a way as to assure stability, security and peaceful coexistence for all members of its society. For that reason, the Union had supported the continuation of the United Nations operation in Haiti.

"In particular, we believe that the completion of the process of creating a new Haitian police force, committed to the rule of law and respect for human rights, is one of the key issues facing that country", he said. Every aspect of Haiti's future was related to the question of internal security. The necessary reforms and full economic recovery could only work if the domestic climate was conducive to new investments. It was, therefore, essential for the forthcoming elections to take place in a secure environment.

ROBERT R. FOWLER (Canada) said the United Nations presence in Haiti had supplemented to the efforts of the Haitian people to build democracy in their country. The end of UNMIH signalled a further important step in that process. In recognition of that progress, the Council would now establish a new

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mission, which was significantly reduced in size and had a new, leaner mandate.

Clearly, a United Nations mission was still required, he said. President Préval had expressed his country's desire for United Nations support to assist its efforts to strengthen the police force, which was currently unable to maintain order. An international presence would help to maintain the climate of stability and provide support for Haiti's fledgling police force. Among the civilian component of UNSMIH would be 100 officers from Canada, he said. Canada fully supported the continuation of an effective military back-up for the civilian police personnel. While the Secretary- General had estimated that a military force of at least 1,200 was needed, Canada had calculated that 1,300 would be required. "We believe that a smaller force could imperil both military and civilian police personnel and would undercut the successes achieved by UNMIH." However, since the Council had not been prepared to authorize a larger force, Canada had decided to provide, on a voluntary basis, many of the additional troops that would be required. Canada was proud to be a part of the United Nations mission assisting the Haitian people in achieving stability, democracy and the rule of law.

JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said the end of UNMIH marked the conclusion of one of the most successful peace-keeping operations in United Nations history. Chile welcomed the establishment of UNSMIH and expressed appreciation for all those who had made it possible to continue the work of political stabilization in Haiti.

While the primary mandate of the United Nations was to preserve international peace and security, it had, in recent years, turned its attention to conflicts within States, not only among them, he said. The Council had found it necessary to involve itself in internal struggles at the request of the States concerned, with results that deviated from the traditional view of the principle of non-intervention. That new trend posed new challenges to the Council.

The case of Haiti was exemplary in that it represented a situation requiring an assessment of the internal situation of a country and of international involvement therein, he said. That had involved various sensitive questions such as the ability of the Government to maintain security -- issues which were linked to the very issue of sovereignty itself. Chile encouraged the Council to tackle the new challenges facing it.

SERGEY V. LAVROV (Russian Federation) said UNMIH had discharged the basis tasks entrusted to it. He paid tribute to the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and to all the personnel of the Mission. Russia had had misgivings about the establishment of a new mission, particularly its

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military component. However, it had consented following the appeal by the new President of Haiti for support to underpin the effectiveness of the new police force during its formative stages.

He said that only by a speedy solution to Haiti's economic problems could democracy be consolidated. The activities and programmes of United Nations agencies and of international financial institutions would be decisive. The fact that the draft resolution was balanced and reflected the positions of all members of the Council had made its adoption possible.

WANG XUEXIAN (China) said his Government had long supported the peace process in Haiti. "We are pleased to note that substantive progress has been made in the Haitian peace process, thanks to the help of the United Nations and the international community." A national police force had been created and the security situation in the country had improved markedly. There were presently no indications of an organized threat to the Government, nor did the situation in Haiti pose any threat to international peace and security. Therefore, UNMIH had fulfilled its mandate and would successfully conclude.

In view of those considerations, China had reservations about a continued United Nations presence in Haiti. However, having studied the matter, China had agreed in principle on the establishment of UNSMIH. Thanks to the joint efforts of the concerned parties, a consensus had been reached on the draft, which China would support.

The primary task now facing Haiti was rehabilitation and reconstruction, he said. "The Haitian people are industrious and are masters of their own destiny." The maintenance of a secure environment and economic development would ultimately depend on the Haitian people themselves. It was hoped that Haiti would seize the favourable opportunity of UNSMIH's presence to further consolidate the peace.

Sir JOHN WESTON (United Kingdom) said the establishment of UNSMIH confirmed the Council's support for the efforts of the Haitian people to consolidate their hard-won democracy. The British Government was pleased that UNSMIH would continue the valuable work of UNMIH in providing the necessary climate for continuing peace and stability. It was particularly grateful to those who had contributed troops and civilian personnel to UNMIH, and to those who intended to continue their support for UNSMIH. It welcomed the fact that it had been possible to reduce the force level substantially.

He said the key task facing the support mission would be the continuation of efforts to establish an effective national police force. While progress had been made, the job was not yet done. The role of the United Nations civilian police would be crucial, and the United Kingdom encouraged the international community to continue to support their efforts. It commended the Haitian Government's commitment to the maintenance of peace,

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law and order. All must now work with them to ensure that governmental and judicial institutions were strengthened, to give Haiti the necessary foundations for a stable and lasting democracy.

Haiti's road to democracy had been long and arduous, he said. The international community and the Security Council could be proud of their support for the efforts of the Haitian people. Haiti was rightly described as a success story for the United Nations, but there must not be complacency. The task must be completed. The United Kingdom would continue its support for that task.

GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said the Haitian Government was continuing its efforts to consolidate democracy and respond to the needs of the people. However, groups linked to the former regime could surface and the Government's efforts to achieve economic recovery could fail if the United Nations withdrew from the country. The international community should continue to contribute to Haiti's development.

He said Haiti required a peaceful atmosphere so that the current reforms might continue and elections take place as planned. In view of the current limitations of the new police force, it would be undesirable to withdraw United Nations assistance. Honduras supported the establishment of the new mission. Haiti faced many economic and social problems. The international community should continue its assistance to Haiti to help maintain its democracy.

PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said that, despite the tremendous progress achieved to date, the overall security environment in Haiti still remained unstable. The potential for instability that might be created by the United Nations premature departure was particularly worrisome in light of the signs of growing popular discontent over the difficult economic situation. Furthermore, the inability of the incipient Haitian National Police to maintain law and order on its own was a serious cause for concern. The fledgling police force was still faced with the same old problems and in need of sustained assistance from the international community before it would become a full-functioning force.

In the longer term, the emphasis of the United Nations role in Haiti should be reoriented and the focus shifted from the current peace-keeping operations to enhanced socio-economic development activities, he said. However, at a time when the nascent democracy was still quite frail and the national police not fully prepared to ensure alone the kind of stable and secure environment required to consolidate democracy and sustainable economic development, concern for security should remain a priority. A complete withdrawal of the United Nations presence would, therefore, be inappropriate now.

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He said UNMIH had been a model of successfully combining a traditional peace-keeping operation with post-conflict peace-building efforts. A continued United Nations presence should contribute to a smooth transition from the peace-keeping to the peace-building stage. The Republic of Korea was pleased that the mandate of the new mission was geared towards the promotion of institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation. It was also a matter of satisfaction that the United Nations difficult financial situation had been duly addressed in the draft resolution through a substantial reduction in UNSMIH's troop strength from the level recommended by the Secretary-General. He welcomed the willingness of the United States and Canada to provide generous voluntary support to the mission.

The current situation in Haiti, as in many other areas of conflict, demonstrated the crucial link between peace and development, he said. Long- term peace and stability could not come to pass without progress in economic, social and institutional development. It was in that spirit that his country strongly encouraged the development activities being conducted by various agencies and the international financial institutions. The people of Haiti bore the ultimate responsibility for their own destiny. He, therefore, applauded the Government and the people of Haiti for their commitment to the rule of law, democracy and development.

TONO EITEL (Germany) said the role played by UNMIH in laying the foundations for a new start towards a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Haiti was beyond doubt; the mission would probably be recognized as one more United Nations success stories. Nevertheless, further steps were still needed to stabilize the country, consolidate democracy and advance the development process. That would only be possible in a peaceful and secure situation. For the time being, the situation remained quite fragile. There must be a continued, solid United Nations presence, especially policemen to train Haitian police and a back-up force. After all, the international community had already invested; it should not stop halfway. The new mission would certainly help to stabilize security and public order, which were indispensable for a normal life in Haiti.

He said Germany supported Haitian and international efforts to overcome the crisis, mainly through a broad development programme oriented to the basic needs of the Haitian people. In addition to a programme for structural adjustment, which Germany co-sponsored together with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, it was helping Haiti with projects to provide clean water, a more reliable supply of electricity, sanitation and rural development. Those projects aimed at making life more livable for the people of Haiti.

One crucial condition for the successful outcome of any United Nations mission was full support by all parties involved, he said. That condition was fulfilled in the case of Haiti. President Préval had explicitly requested the

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continued presence of a United Nations mission in Haiti. The continued presence in Haiti had not only been recommended by the Secretary-General, but also by the OAS during its recent session, as well as by the countries known as the "Friends of Haiti". As a result, the new mission already had a solid basis of support. That augured well for its success.

ADELINO MANO QUETA (Guinea-Bissau) said much progress had been made in Haiti, thanks to the assistance of the international community. However, much remained to be done, especially the training of the police force and the revitalization of the judiciary. A complete withdrawal of the United Nations presence could call into question all that had been achieved so far by Haitian people with the support of the international community. Therefore, Guinea- Bissau supported the establishment of UNSMIH and would vote in favour of the draft. He paid tribute to all those who had worked for the consolidation of democracy in Haiti.

MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) paid tribute to the men and women of UNMIH for their great success. While there was no immediate threat to the Haitian Government, the continuation of Haiti's progress depended on the United Nations presence there. The task begun by UNMIH was not yet complete. There was a lag in professionalization of the country's police force. More time and training were needed to raise the level of its efficiency and enable it to guarantee against the return of a Haiti ruled by militias.

The underlying conditions in Haiti remained a source of concern, he said. The poor economic situation posed a serious risk of civil unrest. "Indonesia is of the view that in order to build peace we must address the sources of social tension such as employment, housing, education, health care, infrastructure and an adequate amount of food."

At the current crucial juncture in Haiti's history, the international community, including the Security Council, must ensure that the chance for lasting stability would not be lost, he said. Regional support was crucial to the future of Haiti. In the long run, it was hoped that a regional solution would play a major role in replacing the United Nations presence in the country.

In view of Haiti's need for economic development, Indonesia endorsed the involvement of United Nations agencies, as well as international financial institutions, in order to construct a sound economic base, he said. Economic progress would create an atmosphere for investment and social stability.

He said Indonesia supported the establishment of the new mission in Haiti. Considering the financial crisis now facing the Organization, there should be a gradual reduction in the level of UNMIH military and civilian components. Once the situation finally stabilized, only a small United Nations presence would be necessary.

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LEGWAILA J. LEGWAILA (Botswana) said UNMIH was one of the few successful United Nations peace-keeping operations in recent years. Its members had done a marvelous job in helping to establish a secure and stable environment in which democracy could thrive. They had brought the hope of a promising future to a people who had long been in despair under some of the most repressive military regimes in the Western hemisphere.

The sense of insecurity pervaded the national political psyche in Haiti and for good reasons, he said. Suspicions and fears of a possible return to a lawless and dictatorial past was ever present in the minds of those who had known nothing but oppression all their lives. The UNMIH had brought to the people of Haiti a relative peace and tranquillity they had never experienced. However, they were not yet confident that the fledgling Haitian National Police could afford them adequate protection against elements of the former Government that still retained the capacity to destabilize the emerging democratic institutions.

He said responsibility for institution-building, national reconciliation, confidence-building and economic rehabilitation rested with the Government and people of Haiti themselves. However, it could not be left to the people of Haiti alone. The internal security of the country was not yet assured; reconstruction and national healing could not take place in conditions of instability.

It was for those reasons that Botswana supported the establishment of the new mission, he said. The UNSMIH would contribute in no small measure to the training of a professional police force in Haiti capable of ensuring the protection and security of the general population and its property. More importantly, it would reassure the people of Haiti that the international community was not about to abandon them. It would, thus, frustrate the intentions of the elements of the former military and militia forces who were bent on fomenting trouble. He was confident that UNSMIH would assist the Haitian people in realizing the national dream which was the pride of all nations.

ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said his country would vote in favour of the draft resolution. Poland strongly believed that the international community had an obligation to assist Haiti in its struggle for stability. He paid tribute to those who had contributed to UNMIH's success. Further strengthening of the rule of law was of paramount importance. The new mission would be mandated to assist the Government in professionalizing its police force -- a task crucial for the consolidation of democracy and the revitalization of Haiti's system of justice.

The draft resolution recognized the link between peace and security, he said. It aimed at creating an environment conducive to further involvement by the international community and international financial institutions in

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Haiti's development. "This is necessary for economic rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country, whose progress towards the consolidation of democracy deserves our full support."

The resolution was then adopted unanimously as Council resolution 1063 (1996).

MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States) said that, since assuming responsibility from the United States-led multinational force early last year, UNMIH had helped ensure a climate of security within which free elections could be held, economic activity could increase, political reconciliation could occur and the construction of democratic institutions could begin. Those activities had advanced the cause of freedom and human development throughout the hemisphere.

The construction of a durable and democratic society in Haiti was a process that required the patience in order to heal old wounds and learn new ways, she said. The Haiti of three years ago was infected by despotic and illegitimate leaders. The army and police were used, not for national defence or civil order, but as means of repression. Between October 1991 and September 1994, thousands of Haitians were murdered, tens of thousands were terrorized into hiding, and tens of thousands or more took to the seas. It should not be forgotten that when the illegitimate leaders fled, they left behind, nailed to the walls of prison offices and police stations, the obscene photos of those they had ordered tortured, abused and killed.

Thanks in part to the actions of the Security Council, Haiti was now recovering, she said. The Government chosen by the people was committed to serving them. The systematic deprivation of human rights had come to an end. The pervasive fear had been replaced by a resurgence of hope. The process of economic revitalization was under way. However, Haiti continued to need a helping hand against those who would use violence or corruption to obtain what they could not or would not earn through honest work. Haiti needed the means by which to protect itself from those lawless elements -- a capability that must be built from the ground up. That process of building effective law enforcement, judicial and prosecutorial capabilities took time.

She said that in the months ahead, the United Nations' role in Haiti would continue to diminish. Today's resolution authorized a United Nations- funded force of 600 military, with the understanding that additional troops would be funded on a voluntary basis by the United States and Canada to keep 1,300 troops ready to assist the Haitian Government and the civilian police monitors. That trend was a dramatic rebuttal to those who suggested that any intervention in Haiti would lead, as in the past, to occupation.

Over the next five months, international civilian police monitors would continue their efforts to professionalize the fully deployed, but still

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inexperienced, Haitian National Police, she said. The Untied Nations military contingent would help deter those who might be tempted to disrupt the democratization process.

At the same time, it was vital that the Haitian Government and the international financial institutions agree on the terms of economic assistance, she said. Friends of Haiti, both governmental and nongovernmental, must continue their efforts to help Haitian society move ahead. The door to private investment must be opened. There was no better answer to the plagues of Haiti's past than freedom, jobs, basic education and the means for average citizens to put food on the table for their families.

Ultimately, Haitian authorities would have to assume full responsibility for public order, she said. The Council shared their objective of accomplishing that transition in a manner that allowed economic and social progress to accelerate. While the future of a democratic Haiti was not assured, the international community could be satisfied that those with the commitment to build a free Haiti had that opportunity. By allowing that opening, the Council had kept faith with the people of Haiti and honoured its own responsibility as a guardian of international security, law and peace.

ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said UNMIH had, without a doubt, been one of the great recent successes of the United Nations. It had allowed for a consolidation of the transition to democracy by helping the Government establish a public force capable of maintaining order and stability. France, which enjoyed a special relationship with Haiti, provided it with bilateral aid and had furnished an important part of UNMIH's civilian police component.

France supported the Secretary-General's proposal for the creation of a new United Nations mission in Haiti, he said. A sudden interruption of assistance to Haiti could compromise the results obtained so far, since any deterioration in the security situation could have a negative impact on regional stability. France had voted in favour of the resolution. It would make a contribution to the new mission comparable to that which it had made to UNMIH.

NABIL A. ELARABY (Egypt), President of the Council, speaking as representative of his country, said the success of UNMIH had resulted in part from the international community closing ranks to ensure that democracy thrived in Haiti. His Government was convinced that the request of Haiti's President for an extension of the United Nations mission, together with the support of the OAS, had provided sufficient reason for a positive response by the Council.

He said international organizations and agencies also had an effective role to play. They should continue to assist Haiti so as to shore up democracy in the country. He thanked all those who had supported the request

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of Haiti's President, and paid tribute to Canada and the United States for their offer to provide troops for the new Mission.

PIERRE LELONG (Haiti) welcomed the resolution's adoption, stating that the new Mission would enable the Government to professionalize its police force. The Council had understood what a withdrawal of international support would have caused. The people of Haiti had been viewing the end of UNMIH's mandate with anxiety. Without a replacement force, all of the Government's efforts to establish the rule of law could be reversed. Despite great strides, security remained precarious. Armed groups living off drug trafficking and other crimes still roamed the country. Eight members of the national police force had been killed; organized elements of the former Government, while not an overt threat, must still be taken seriously.

The Government practised tolerance and understanding, he said. It was working for economic development. Its success in the area of economic growth would not endure if security were not maintained. Haiti was grateful to the Secretary-General, his Special Representatives, the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Group of Friends of the Secretary-General, especially the United States, which had shown a special commitment to assist Haiti. He thanked China and the Russian Federation for their understanding and support, and expressed the deep gratitude of the Haitian people to all the Council members who had made today's action possible.

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For information media. Not an official record.