Delegations Question Language Added to Text, Reference to Chapter VII of Charter
The Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for a final six months today, deciding to replace it with a follow-up peacekeeping mission that would help the Government of Haiti strengthen rule-of-law institutions, further develop and support the Haitian National Police and engage in human rights monitoring, reporting and analysis.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2350 (2017) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council also decided that MINUSTAH’s military component would be drawn down during the final six-month period, and requested that the Secretary-General begin immediately to phase out the Mission’s tasks. It also requested that MINUSTAH prioritize efforts to ensure a successful and responsible transition to the new entity, to be known as the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH).
Also by the text, the new Mission would be headed by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General, who would also play a good-offices and advocacy role at the political level to ensure full implementation of the mandate. MINUJUSTH would comprise up to seven formed police units (FPUs), or 980 FPU personnel, and 295 individual police officers, for an initial six months, from 16 October 2017 until 15 April 2018. MINUSTAH’s current military component would withdraw fully by 15 October.
Further by the text, the Council decided that MINUJUSTH’s rule-of-law mandate — including efforts to reduce community violence and quick impact projects — would be part of a strategy to ensure a continuing, progressive transition to development. At the same time, the Council recognized the ownership and primary responsibility of the Government and people of Haiti over all aspects of their country’s development, and encouraged the Mission to provide logistical and technical expertise, within available means and consistent with its mandate.
Brazil’s representative was among delegates who expressed concern about operative paragraph 18, by which the Council highlighted the importance of addressing issues of effective command and control, refusal to obey orders, failure to respond to attacks on civilians and inadequate equipment, among others. That language had never been discussed in the Group of Friends of Haiti, he said, emphasizing that it reflected neither reality on the ground nor the high-level performance of MINUSTAH’s troops.
The representative of the United States said accountability and reporting language had been added to the text in order to track the effectiveness of personnel remaining in Haiti.
Meanwhile, the Russian Federation’s representative questioned the resolution’s reference to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter in respect of the operative paragraphs relating to MINUJUSTH.
Also speaking today were representatives of Egypt, Uruguay, Bolivia, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, China and Senegal.
The meeting began at 10:11 a.m. and ended at 10:52 a.m.
By a unanimous vote, the Council adopted resolution 2350 (2017).
Explanation of Position
AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt) said his delegation had voted in favour to express support for the Government and people of Haiti, and to ensure that the country would keep making progress towards lasting peace. The mandate of the new Mission would not undermine the efforts of human rights organizations working in Haiti, he added.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay) said the resolution represented the best way to support Haiti’s transition, noting that the Group of Friends of Haiti had worked very hard to submit a text that would enjoy consensus. However, language introduced later had not been duly discussed, he pointed out.
PETR ILIICHEV (Russian Federation), recalling the Council meeting on 6 April, said the United States had cited the need to return to peacekeeping basics, while delegations and the Secretariat had emphasized the need for clear, understandable and attainable mandates. In Haiti’s case, however, the mandate was not clear, he said, pointing out that the resolution made reference to Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, implying the use of force, and that “Blue Helmets” were not in Haiti for reasons of human rights.
SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY (Bolivia), noting that the Council would visit Haiti during his country’s presidency, pointed out that operative paragraph 18 of the text contained language borrowed from a resolution concerning another mission. In no way did it reflect the reality on the ground, nor the high professionalism of MINUSTAH troops. Invoking Chapter VII of the Charter in the text did not reflect the reality on the ground, he said, adding that the standardization of paragraphs for all peacekeeping resolutions was not workable. There could be no “one-size-fits-all” approach to peace operations, he emphasized.
ALEXIS LAMEK (France) said that, among other things, the new Mission would contribute to the strengthening of Haitian National Police capacities, the consolidation of ongoing efforts, and addressing rule-of-law and human rights issues.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said that, since the rule of law and the protection of human rights delivered long-term stability, Haiti needed United Nations tools to make further progress because it remained fragile.
INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy) said the resolution created a road map to Haiti’s future.
YASUHISA KAWAMURA (Japan) said the time was right for a responsible transfer of tasks from MINUSTAH and the new Mission. Despite Haiti’s progress, more remained to be done, he noted, adding that the new Mission would help to consolidate gains while promoting stability and development.
KAIRAT UMAROV (Kazakhstan) said the new Mission’s focus on human rights and security-sector reform was timely and appropriate. Since Haiti needed support in combating transnational crime and other areas, the new Mission could help to strengthen law and order, and promote social and economic development.
WU HAITAO (China) said the new Mission met the expectations of all parties.
FODÉ SECK (Senegal) said his delegation had voted in favour as a sign of continuing solidarity with the Government and people of Haiti. International cooperation with Haiti, the first black republic and democracy outside Africa, should be bolstered across the board, he added.
NIKKI HALEY (United States), Council President for April, spoke in her national capacity, saying that accountability and reporting language had been added to the text in order to track the effectiveness of personnel remaining in Haiti. Although MINUSTAH had been a success, it had also been a nightmare for many in Haiti, she said, emphasizing that the Council must acknowledge that peacekeepers had used cookies and snacks to lure abandoned children, living in hunger, into sexual abuse. Stressing the need to acknowledge and draw lessons from such realities, she said her country had made it clear to the United Nations and to troop-contributing countries that such abuses must stop, with those responsible being held accountable.
MAURO VIEIRA (Brazil) expressed surprise at the last-minute introduction of operative paragraph 18, saying the Group of Friends of Haiti had never discussed it. While the Group favoured accountability in peacekeeping operations, the paragraph was unnecessary, he said, emphasizing that it reflected neither reality on the ground nor the high-level performance of MINUSTAH’s troops. In 13 years, he recalled, there had been no problem at all with undeclared caveats, lack of effective command and control, refusal to obey orders, failure to respond to attacks on civilians or inadequate equipment, as the paragraph might suggest. Underlining the importance of tailored approaches, he said that standardizing and replicating paragraphs in peacekeeping resolutions was ill-conceived since one size did not fit all situations.
The full text of resolution 2350 (2017) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Haiti, in particular its resolutions 2313 (2016), 2243 (2015), 2180 (2014), 2119 (2013), 2070 (2012), 2012 (2011), 1944 (2010), 1927 (2010), 1908 (2010), 1892 (2009), 1840 (2008), 1780 (2007), 1743 (2007), 1702 (2006), 1658 (2006), 1608 (2005), 1576 (2004), and 1542 (2004),
“Recognizing the major milestone towards stabilization achieved with the peaceful completion of the electoral process and return to constitutional order on 7 February 2017, and commending Haitian authorities, in particular the Haitian Provisional Electoral Council and the Haitian National Police (HNP), for their efforts towards ensuring elections were conducted in a credible and inclusive manner and held in a largely peaceful environment,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Haiti,
“Commending the Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s efforts and the role of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to support the political process in Haiti, the professionalization of the police and in the maintenance of a secure and stable environment,
“Expressing its deep appreciation and gratitude to the personnel of MINUSTAH and to all Member States which have contributed to MINUSTAH and paying tribute to those injured or killed in the line of duty; commending the successful work achieved by MINUSTAH, including the wide range of reconstruction efforts conducted after the 2010 earthquake,
“Welcoming the ongoing strengthening, professionalization and reform of the HNP, while noting the need for continued international support for the HNP so that it can fulfil its constitutional mandate, including by expanding its geographical reach and building its technical capacity, as well as its community-based programmes, as appropriate; affirming the importance of the 2017-2021 Strategic Development Plan of the HNP, developed on the basis of a joint HNP-United Nations Police (UNPOL) capacity and needs assessment,
“Emphasizing the importance of the continued support of the United Nations and the international community for the long-term security and development of Haiti, particularly in building the capacity of the Government of Haiti, consolidating and building on the achievements of the past 13 years, while encouraging the Haitian authorities to address the longstanding risks of instability,
“Recalling its resolutions 1645 (2005) and 2282 (2016) and reaffirming the primary responsibility of the national Government in implementing its peacebuilding and sustaining peace strategies to address the interconnected nature of challenges in Haiti, highlighting the contribution of sustainable development to peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and in this regard, emphasizing the importance of national ownership, inclusivity, and the role that civil society can play to advance national peacebuilding processes and objectives in order to ensure that the needs of all segments of society are taken into account,
“Acknowledging that while important progress has been made, Haiti continues to face significant humanitarian challenges, especially in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, and affirming that progress in the reconstruction of Haiti, as well as in Haiti’s social and economic development, including women and youth, through effective, coordinated, commendable international development assistance and increased Haitian institutional capacity to benefit from this assistance, is crucial to achieving lasting and sustainable stability, and reiterating the need for security to be accompanied by sustainable development in its social, economic and environmental dimensions, including efforts in risk reduction and preparedness that address the country’s extreme vulnerability to natural disasters, efforts in which the Government of Haiti plays a leading role, with the assistance of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT),
“Welcoming the General Assembly’s resolution A/RES/71/161 on the United Nations ‘New Approach to Cholera in Haiti’; noting that the implementation of this new approach will fall under the responsibility of the UNCT under the coordination of a DSRSG/HC/RC,
“Recognizing that strengthening national human rights institutions as well as respect for human rights, including of women and children, due process and combating criminality, sexual and gender-based violence, and putting an end to impunity and ensuring accountability are essential to ensuring the rule of law and security in Haiti, including access to justice,
“Considering that with the completion of the MINUSTAH consolidation plan and the implementation of the transition plan, a broader framework of mutual accountability among the Government of Haiti, the United Nations and the international community could be developed as part of a country strategy to enhance the effectiveness of the support of the follow-on United Nations presence in the country,
“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 16 March 2017 (S/2017/223), which includes observations and recommendations from the Strategic Assessment Mission requested by the Council in resolution 2313 (2016), and his recommendation that a new United Nations peacekeeping mission be established in Haiti following the termination of MINUSTAH by 15 October 2017, in order to continue to assist the Government of Haiti, to consolidate gains by reinforcing government institutions and strengthening the national capacity for rule of law, police development, and human rights,
“Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, as described in section 1 of operative paragraph 7 of resolution 1542 (2004), and with regards to operative paragraphs 5 to 14 that relate to the new mission,
“1. Decides to extend MINUSTAH’s mandate, as contained in its resolutions 2313 (2016), 2243 (2015), 2180 (2014), 2119 (2013), 2070 (2012), 2012 (2011), 1944 (2010), 1927 (2010), 1908 (2010), 1892 (2009), 1840 (2008), 1780 (2007), 1743 (2007), 1702 (2006), 1658 (2006), 1608 (2005), 1576 (2004), and 1542 (2004), for a final period of six months, and that the Mission shall close by 15 October 2017;
“2. Decides that the military component of MINUSTAH shall gradually drawdown during the final six-month period, fully withdrawing from Haiti by 15 October 2017;
“3. Reaffirms that, in the framework of the improvement of the rule of law in Haiti, strengthening the justice sector and the capacity of the HNP, including in its efforts to strengthen the Directorate of Prisons Administration (DAP) management, is paramount for the Government of Haiti to take timely and full responsibility for Haiti’s security needs;
“4. Requests the Secretary-General to begin immediately to reduce MINUSTAH tasks in a phased manner ensuring that critical functions are defined and appropriate support capacity maintained, and further requests MINUSTAH to prioritize efforts and to ensure a successful and responsible transition to United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), as established in paragraph 5, and further strengthening the institutional and operational capacities of the HNP;
“5. Decides to establish a follow-on peacekeeping mission in Haiti, MINUJUSTH, which shall be composed of up to seven Formed Police Units (FPUs) (or 980 FPU personnel) and 295 Individual Police Officers (IPOs), for an initial period of six months from 16 October 2017 until 15 April 2018, and emphasizes the importance of reaching the above-mentioned levels;
“6. Further decides MINUJUSTH shall be mandated to assist the Government of Haiti to strengthen rule-of-law institutions in Haiti; further support and develop the HNP; and engage in human rights monitoring, reporting, and analysis;
“7. Further decides that MINUJUSTH will be headed by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General, who will also play a good offices and advocacy role at the political level to ensure full implementation of the mandate;
“8. Underscores that MINUJUSTH shall retain seven FPUs, reduced from MINUSTAH’s current 11, deployed to five regional departments to safeguard the security gains of the past years through the provision of operational support to the HNP and that the number of FPUs shall be adjusted downward and harmonized with the gradual build-up of the HNP within a projected two-year time frame;
“9. Stresses that the 295 IPOs reduced from MINUSTAH’s authorized 1,001 would play a key role in the implementation of the priorities in the HNP Strategic Development Plan 2017-2021;
“10. Further underscores that the 38 government-provided corrections personnel reduced from the current level of 50 would play a key role in more fully engaging the HNP in efforts to strengthen the DAP management;
“11. Decides that the rule-of-law efforts of MINUJUSTH, including community violence reduction efforts and quick impact projects, as appropriate, will be part of a strategy towards a continued, progressive transition to development actors;
“12. Authorizes MINUJUSTH to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate to support and develop the HNP and in paragraph 13;
“13. Further authorizes the Mission to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, as needed;
“14. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure medical enablers, and to also ensure air assets necessary to deploy security forces rapidly throughout Haiti and in support of the HNP;
“15. Reaffirms the importance for MINUJUSTH to take fully into account gender mainstreaming as a crosscutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the Government of Haiti in ensuring the participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels;
“16. Recognizes the ownership and primary responsibility of the Government and the people of Haiti over all aspects of the country’s development; and encourages MINUJUSTH to continue its efforts to provide logistical and technical expertise, within available means and consistent with its mandate;
“17. Recalls its resolution 2272 (2016), and all other relevant United Nations resolutions, and requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to ensure full compliance of all MINUSTAH and MINUJUSTH personnel with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and to continue to keep the Council informed, and urges troop- and police-contributing countries to redouble efforts in preventing cases of misconduct and to ensure that acts involving their personnel are properly investigated and punished;
“18. Commends the commitment of the troop- and police-contributing countries in implementing United Nations mandates in challenging environments, and in this connection, highlights the importance of addressing the issues of undeclared national caveats, lack of effective command and control, refusal to obey orders, failure to respond to attacks on civilians, and inadequate equipment, that may adversely affect effective mandate implementation;
“19. Further affirms the importance of a successful and responsible transition between MINUSTAH and MINUJUSTH and underscores the importance of coordination between MINUJUSTH and UNCT, and further requests the Secretary-General to establish a MINUJUSTH advance planning team at the earliest possible date;
“20. Requests the Secretary-General to complete the joint MINUSTAH and UNCT Transition Plan within the six-month period referred to in paragraph 1, in order for MINUJUSTH to be operational immediately following MINUSTAH’s closure, detailing the transfer of tasks that will occur and addressing residual stabilization needs in the country;
“21. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution, including any instances of mandate implementation failures, within 90 days and 180 days from its adoption, as well as in an assessment report 30 days before the expiration of MINUJUSTH’s initial mandate;
“22. Requests that the initial 90-day report include details on the joint MINUSTAH and UNCT Transition Plan referred to in paragraph 20, and further requests that the assessment report referenced in paragraph 21 set out a well-developed and clearly benchmarked projected two-year exit strategy to a non‑peacekeeping United Nations presence in Haiti to continue supporting the efforts of the Government of Haiti in sustaining peace and peacebuilding;
“23. Expresses its intent to continue to review conditions in Haiti, and to consider adapting MINUJUSTH’s mandate and police force levels, as needed, to preserve the progress Haiti has made towards durable security and stability;
“24. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”