The Security Council today decided to extend for one year the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), while also laying out a staggered decrease in its uniformed personnel and requesting periodic progress assessments on the Secretary-General’s proposed drawdown and exit strategy.
Adopting resolution 2410 (2018) under Chapter VII the Charter of the United Nations by a recorded vote of 13 in favour to none against with 2 abstentions (China, Russian Federation), the Council extended until 15 April 2019 the mandate of MINUJUSTH — established in 2017 as a follow-up to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) — tasked with assisting the Government in strengthening the rule of law, supporting the national police and monitoring human rights, among other responsibilities. It further decided that MINUJUSTH would maintain 7 formed police units and 295 individual police officers until 15 October 2018 — to be adjusted down to five units between that date and 15 April 2019 — and that it would maintain the 295 individual officers until 15 April 2019.
Deciding that the reduction would take into account Haiti’s evolving security situation and be adjusted accordingly, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution every 90 days, beginning on 1 June. Recalling the two-year, benchmarked exit strategy detailed in a 20 March report of the Secretary-General (document S/2018/241), it requested him to develop specific dates and indicators for achieving its benchmarks, with the goal of transitioning tasks and responsibilities to the Government.
The Council encouraged the Government to work with MINUJUSTH towards implementing those benchmarks, including adopting the draft Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, strengthening the judicial and correctional systems and increasing internal oversight and accountability mechanisms in the justice, corrections and police sectors. It further requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic assessment mission to Haiti and submit, by 1 March 2019, recommendations on the United Nations future role in the country including relating to a drawdown and exit.
In that vein, the Council affirmed its intention — based on the security conditions on the ground and Haiti’s overall capacity to ensure stability — to consider the Mission’s withdrawal and transition to a non-peacekeeping presence no sooner than 15 October 2019.
Speaking following the adoption, some Council members voiced support for the resolution’s specific stipulations and its commitment to taking Haiti’s evolving situation into account as MINUJUSTH proceeded to its drawdown and ultimate exit. Others, however, raised serious concerns that their positions on several key issues — especially the designation of the MINUJUSTH mandate under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter — had been ignored by the text’s sponsors and especially the penholder, the United States.
Dmitry A. Polyanskiy (Russian Federation), voicing support for prompt and lasting stability in Haiti, expressed regret that the resolution’s sponsors had decided to toughen a key element of the text, namely, the reference to Chapter VII of the Charter which stipulated the application of sanctions and armed force. The mission in Haiti had been operating under Chapter VII for more than a decade, but that reference had been limited to ensuring the safety of civilians and peacekeepers themselves. In contrast, the new Mission, MINUJUSTH, was focused on building the capacity of the Government and monitoring human rights. Some Council members, “with inexplicable haste”, had decided to continue to include the Chapter VII designation, even though the situation in Haiti posed no threat to international peace and security.
Describing the text’s language as an attempt to exploit the human rights issue, he added that Haiti’s own position on key issues had also been ignored by the resolution’s sponsors. In addition, some delegations that had expressed support for the Secretary-General’s zero-tolerance policy for sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers had neglected to include in the resolution a reference to such crimes committed by non-governmental organizations accredited with the United Nations. As international support for Haiti remained critical, the Russian Federation had decided not to block MINUJUSTH’s mandate renewal. At the same time, it could not support the text for the reasons outlined, especially because Chapter VII should always be treated only as a last resort.
Amy Noel Tachco (United States) said the text reflected Haiti’s continuing progress and was focused on adapting the United Nations presence in the country to the reality on the ground. Indeed, it was about helping Haiti take the lead, she said. While some Council members had tried to stoke divisions about “standard peacekeeping language”, the text, in the form adopted, reaffirm the Council’s full support for the Government, for MINUJUSTH and for all partners working to build a stronger Haiti. That would be critical as the United Nations strove to transition to a non-peacekeeping mission in October 2019, she said.
Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia) said that, despite having voted in favour of the draft, his country had several concerns about the actions of the penholder, the United States. The fact that the renewal had not been adopted by consensus sent the wrong message to Haiti, he said, stressing that the country required strong international support. Penholder States must not refuse to take into account the positions of other Council members, and should certainly not ignore those of the country concerned. During the Council’s 2017 mission to Haiti, officials from the Government and civil society had expressly requested that MINUJUSTH’s mandate be renewed under Chapter VI of the Charter, stressing that their country did not pose a threat to international peace and security. The language used in the text adopted today “cannot be allowed to set a precedent for subsequent missions”, he said.
Wu Haitao (China) said MINUJUSTH should focus on supporting the people of Haiti with an eye to an ultimate drawdown of its presence. The overall situation in the country was stable, and therefore, the Mission’s mandate should be clear and explicit, and avoid focusing too much on human rights. As several Council members had major concerns about the draft resolution, its sponsors should not have been allowed to “railroad” them into supporting their position. It was for those reasons that China had abstained in the vote.
Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Peru), Council President for April, spoke in his national capacity, expressing support for MINUJUSTH’s mandated support for the Government of Haiti’s work to achieve the benchmarks laid out in the Secretary-General’s 20 March report. Despite the lack of unity on the text, he underscored that all Council members shared broad support for Haiti’s stability and security, and expressed hope that work would continue towards further bolstering trust between the country and the United Nations in general.
Denis Regis (Haiti), citing several important elements of the resolution — including its stipulation of a gradual drawdown of the United Nations police units and the inclusion of plans for an assessment mission to monitor progress towards the Secretary-General’s benchmarks — nevertheless deplored the fact that the positions of many Council members, as well as those of his own Government, had not been considered in its drafting. Most evident was the application of Chapter VII, he said, stressing that MINUJUSTH was intended to be a support mission and that his Government had a strong history of close cooperation with the United Nations. He hoped harmonious relations would be developed between the Mission, the Government and the population, all based on mutual trust. However, he voiced specific reservations about certain parts of the resolution’s preamble and several operational sections which had not been agreed by consensus, namely the application of Chapter VII of the Charter.
Also speaking were the representatives of France, United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Poland, Netherlands and Equatorial Guinea.
The meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 10:45 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2410 (2018) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Haiti, in particular its resolutions 2350 (2017), 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), 1601 (2005), 1576 (2004), 1529 (2004), and 1542 (2004),
“Recognizing that, over the past year, Haiti has made considerable strides towards stability and democracy, improvements in strengthening the security and humanitarian situation, and a consolidation of Haiti’s democratic institutions through a peaceful transfer of power, including with the support the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH),
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and unity of Haiti,
“Recognizing that the overall security situation has remained stable since the adoption of resolution 2350 (2017), allowing the closure of MINUSTAH and a drawdown of its military capabilities and an orderly transition to the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH),
“Noting MINUJUSTH’s role in assisting all branches of the Government of Haiti to strengthen rule of law institutions, further developing the Haitian National Police (HNP) to enable it to improve Haiti’s security environment, and engaging in human rights monitoring, reporting and analysis, and 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, consolidating and building on the achievements of past 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 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 Haiti continues to face significant humanitarian challenges and affirming that progress in the country’s reconstruction, and its social and economic development through effective and coordinated international development assistance and increased Haitian institutional capacity to benefit from this assistance, is crucial to achieving lasting and sustainable stability,
“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 plays a leading role with the assistance of the United Nations country team,
“Reiterating its support for MINUJUSTH, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other international actors as appropriate, to continue to assist the Government in effectively tackling human trafficking, in line with resolution 2388 (2017), as well as combatting other forms of transnational organized crime, namely the trafficking of drugs and arms in Haiti, in accordance with international law,
“Recalling General Assembly resolution A/RES/71/161 on the United Nations ‘New Approach to Cholera in Haiti,’ noting the continued progress in reductions of suspected cases of cholera and reaffirming the importance of the continued support of the international community to the UN’s efforts to combat cholera in Haiti,
“Emphasizing the importance of effective support from the Government and its international and regional partners for the 2017–2021 Haitian National Police Strategic Development Plan to better prepare the HNP to respond to public disorder and manage security threats and reducing the need for international support,
“Recalling resolutions 2378 (2017) and 2382 (2017), which request the Secretary-General to ensure that data related to the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations, including peacekeeping performance data, is used to improve analytics and the evaluation of mission operations, based on clear and well-identified benchmarks,
“Recognizing that strengthening national human rights institutions, including respecting the right to a fair trial, promoting access to justice, fighting corruption and impunity, combating criminality, sexual and gender-based violence, and ensuring accountability, as well as respect for human rights, including of women and children, are all essential to promoting the rule of law and security in Haiti,
“Further affirming the importance of close coordination between MINUJUSTH and United Nations country team, and urging that, in alignment with the two-year benchmarked exit strategy, MINUJUSTH work closely with the United Nations country team to identify ways to address gaps in capabilities to prepare for the Mission’s drawdown, and further urging MINUJUSTH, the United Nations country team, and all relevant UN agencies, in consultation with the Government, to coordinate closely in the transfer of these responsibilities,
“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 20 March 2018 (document S/2018/241), including the benchmarked exit strategy,
“Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations,
“Acting under Chapter VII the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of MINUJUSTH until 15 April 2019 to assist the Government to strengthen rule of law institutions in Haiti, further support and develop the HNP, and engage in human rights monitoring, reporting, and analysis, with the intention to review the need for renewal as necessary;
“2. Reaffirms that, in the framework of improving the rule of law in Haiti, strengthening the justice sector and capacity of the HNP is essential to enabling the Government to take timely and full responsibility for the country’s security needs;
“3. Decides that MINUJUSTH’s police component will maintain 7 formed police units and 295 individual police officers until 15 October 2018, and the MINUJUSTH police component will be adjusted downward to five formed police units between 15 October 2018 and 15 April 2019 and maintain 295 individual police officers until 15 April 2019, with any reduction taking into account the evolving security situation in Haiti and adjusted accordingly;
“4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution, including any instances of mandate implementation failures and measures taken to address these, in reports every 90 days starting from 1 June 2018;
“5. Further requests the Secretary-General, in his 1 June 2018 report, in partnership with the Government and the United Nations country team, to further develop specific dates and indicators for achieving the benchmarks, with the goal of transitioning tasks and responsibilities to the Government, in coordination with the United Nations country team, as set out in the two-year exit strategy included in the Secretary-General’s report of 20 March 2018;
“6. Requests the Secretary-General report to the Council on progress with implementing the benchmarked exit strategy in the 90-day reports starting from 1 June 2018, and that these reports include progress against delivery of the indicators, milestones, targets for reaching the benchmarks, and mission staffing in the strategy;
“7. Encourages the Government, working with MINUJUSTH under the rule of law task in its mandate and according to the benchmarked two-year exit strategy, to carry out inter alia work towards implementing the benchmarks, including adopting the draft Criminal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure, strengthening Haitian judicial and correctional systems, increasing internal oversight and accountability mechanisms in the justice, corrections, and police sectors, establishing a Permanent Electoral Council, adopting the Legal Assistance Law, addressing the issue of prolonged pretrial detention, and implementing community violence reduction efforts;
“8. Further requests the Secretary-General submit to the Council, in his 1 September 2018 report, an update on timelines for the transition of tasks and responsibilities for handover to the Government, in coordination with the United Nations country team, in order to draw down the mission and approximately scale up the relevant activities and programming of the United Nations country team by 15 October 2019, while at the same time, building on the benchmarks identified in the two-year exit strategy;
“9. Requests the Secretary-General to conduct a Strategic Assessment Mission to Haiti by 1 February 2019 and, on this basis, to present to the Council recommendations on the future United Nations role in Haiti, including any recommendations for drawdown and exit, in the fourth 90-day report no later than 1 March 2019;
“10. Affirms its intention, based on the Security Council’s review of the security conditions on the ground and Haiti’s overall capacity to ensure stability, to consider the withdrawal of MINUJUSTH and transition to a non-peacekeeping United Nations presence in Haiti beginning no sooner than 15 October 2019;
“11. Underscores the urgency for the Government to take all appropriate steps to ensure, with the support of the international community as necessary, respect for and protection of human rights by the HNP and the judiciary as an essential element of Haiti’s stability, and calls on MINUJUSTH to provide monitoring and support in line with its mandate in this regard;
“12. Requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to continue to play a good offices and advocacy role at the political level to ensure full implementation of the mandate, including through close coordination with the Government for the development of a political strategy aimed at addressing political challenges to progress towards the rule of law and creating momentum for systematic progress;
“13. Requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and MINUJUSTH to coordinate closely with the Government, and calls upon the Government to facilitate MINUJUSTH’s mandate and functioning;
“14. Authorizes MINUJUSTH to use all necessary means to carry out its mandate to support and develop the HNP;
“15. Further authorizes MINUJUSTH to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, as needed;
“16. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure MINUJUSTH maintains capacity, including appropriate air assets and medical enablers, to deploy security forces rapidly throughout the country and in support of the HNP;
“17. Reaffirms the importance for MINUJUSTH taking fully into account gender mainstreaming as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the Government in ensuring the full and effective participation, involvement, and representation of women at all levels;
“18. Welcomes the initiatives undertaken by the Secretary General to standardize a culture of performance in UN peacekeeping that implements the Operational Readiness Assurance and Performance Improvement Policy, conducts mission performance reviews that include police contingents, and leverages the Peacekeeping Capabilities and Readiness System to ensure performance data informs decisions regarding deployment, remediation, and repatriation of United Nations personnel, and calls on him to continue his efforts in this regard;
“19. Recalls its resolution 2272 (2016), and all other relevant United Nations resolutions, requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to ensure full compliance of all MINUJUSTH personnel with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and to continue to keep the Council informed, and urges police-contributing countries to redouble their efforts to prevent cases of misconduct and to ensure that acts involving their personnel are properly investigated in a credible and transparent manner and that those responsible are held accountable;
“20. 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;
“21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”