|For information only - not an official document.|
|Press Release No: UNIS/SC/1199|
|Release Date: 17 March 2000|
|Security Council, in Presidential Statement, Commends Phased Transition
In Haiti to International Civilian Support Mission
NEW YORK, 15 March (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this morning commended the Representative of the Secretary-General, the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH), the International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) and all previous missions deployed in Haiti for assisting the Haitian Government in supporting the professionalization of the Haitian National Police (NHP), consolidating Haiti's system of justice and other national institutions, and promoting human rights.
In a presidential statement read by its President, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury (Bangladesh), the Council expressed its gratitude to the countries that had contributed to the success of all the missions in Haiti, particularly the troop-contributing countries. Recognizing that the people and the Government of Haiti bore the ultimate responsibility for national reconciliation and the maintenance of a secure and stable environment, the Council stressed that timely, free and fair elections were crucial to democracy and all aspects of Haiti's development. It strongly urged Haitian authorities to work cooperatively towards holding credible elections to restore the lapsed Parliament and independent local governments in the country.
The Council also commended the Secretary-General for ensuring a phased transition to the International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti (MICAH) and recognized that significant international assistance was indispensable for the sustainable development of that country. Recognizing the success of cooperative efforts in bringing about the mandate of the new mission, the Council noted the contributions made by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. It particularly welcomed the initiative of the Economic and Social Council to develop a strategic framework for a long-term United Nations programme of support for Haiti.
The meeting convened at 10:16 a.m. and adjourned at 10:24.a.m.
The full text of the Presidential Statement, which will be issued as S/PRST/2000/8, reads, as follows:
“The Security Council has considered the report of the Secretary-General dated 25 February 2000 (S/2000/150) submitted in accordance with resolution 1277 (1999) of 30 November 1999.
“The Security Council commends the Representative of the Secretary-General, the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH), the International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) and all the previous missions deployed in Haiti for assisting the Haitian Government in supporting the professionalization of the Haitian National Police (HNP) force, consolidating Haiti's system of justice and other national institutions, and promoting human rights. The Security Council expresses its thanks to all the countries which took part in and contributed to the success of MIPONUH, MICIVIH and all the previous missions deployed in Haiti, particularly the troop-contributing countries.
“The Security Council recognizes that the people and the Government of Haiti bear the ultimate responsibility for national reconciliation, the maintenance of a secure and stable environment, the administration of justice and the reconstruction of their country, and that the Government of Haiti bears particular responsibility for the further strengthening and effective functioning of the HNP and the justice system. The Council considers that timely, free and fair elections are crucial to democracy and all aspects of Haiti’s development and strongly urges Haitian authorities to work cooperatively together in order to finalize arrangements for holding credible elections as rapidly as possible so as to restore, promptly and fully, the lapsed Parliament and independent local governments.
“The Security Council commends the Secretary-General for ensuring a phased transition to the International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti (MICAH) and recognizes that economic rehabilitation and reconstruction constitute a major task facing the Government and people of Haiti and that significant international assistance is indispensable for the sustainable development of Haiti.
“The Security Council recognizes the success of cooperative efforts in bringing about the mandate for this new mission in Haiti and notes with satisfaction the contributions made by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in this regard. The Security Council welcomes the initiative of the Economic and Social Council to develop a strategic framework and a comprehensive approach for a long-term United Nations programme of support for Haiti and underlines the vital link between national stability and economic and social development.
“The Security Council expects the Secretary-General to keep it informed, as appropriate, of the situation in Haiti and, in particular, the progress achieved in the electoral process.”
When the Security Council met this morning, it had before it a report from the Secretary-General on the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti (MIPONUH). In Security Council resolution 1277 of 30 November 1999, the Council requested the Secretary-General to coordinate and expedite the transition from MIPONUH and the International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) to the International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti (MICAH). This report covers the activities of MIPONUH and developments in the mission area since the Secretary-General’s report of 18 November 1999.
The report covers the political situation and elections in Haiti, the deployment and operations of MIPONUH, the Haitian National Police, activities in the area of human rights, the justice system, development activities, financial aspects, and the liquidation of MIPONUH and the transition to MICAH.
The report notes that, notwithstanding the political pressures that followed the resignation of the Secretary of State for Public Security, it appears that the Haitian National Police has maintained its impartiality and played a vital role in ensuring security during the electoral registration process. Despite some coordination problems between the Haitian National Police and the Provisional Electoral Council, the overall record over the last three months has indeed been encouraging.
According to the report, the evolution of the electoral process during the period under review is encouraging. Despite numerous obstacles, and while deep concern had been expressed in the past that another postponement of the legislative elections would further erode the confidence of the Haitian people in the electoral process, the joint efforts of the Haitian political leaders, the Provisional Electoral Council and the international community have helped to create conditions for meeting the electoral deadline of 19 March 2000.
The MICAH is expected to consolidate and develop the results already achieved by MIPONUH and MICIVIH as regards respect for human rights and reinforcement of the institutional effectiveness of the police and the judiciary, and to coordinate and facilitate the international community's dialogue with political and social actors in Haiti. Subject to the availability of resources, the Mission's relatively short-term objectives will be situated in the longer-term perspective of facilitating the passage from security to development priorities, in line with the recommendations of the Economic and Social Council, the report continues.
In the report, the Secretary-General, taking into account the views expressed by the Government of Haiti, as well as the recommendations of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, appeals to Member States to continue to assist in this transition from peacekeeping to peace-building and to contribute to the trust fund that has been established for MICAH. That trust fund will allow for the recruitment of over 100 advisers in the areas of police, justice and human rights. It will also provide for a minimum of complementary material assistance needed by those advisers and their counterparts in the Haitian National Police, the Ministry of Justice, the Magistrates School, the courts, the prison system and the Office of the Ombudsman.
The report recommends that institutional, social and economic development be addressed in an integrated manner in order to consolidate democracy and peace. Once Haiti has fully restored its system of government through transparent, fair and credible elections, the international community should respond generously to the country's need for financial support, so as to address its serious economic and financial situation and help the new authorities that will emerge from the elections to focus on the fundamental questions of poverty alleviation and social and economic development.
Through its presence and active role in Haiti, according to the report, MIPONUH and other United Nations peacekeeping missions before it have provided the people and Government of Haiti with the stability they required during a period of crisis, but important challenges still lie ahead for Haiti. Accordingly, as the United Nations withdraws its civilian police mission from the country, the Government of Haiti should do its utmost to build on the gains made during the previous missions' presence. It is up to the people and leaders of Haiti to establish an effective and constructive dialogue to enable the country to consolidate what has been achieved so far and to work resolutely towards genuine democracy and economic recovery, says the Secretary-General.
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