16 August 2006

Security Council Extends United Nations Mission in Haiti until 15 February 2007, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1702 (2006)

NEW YORK, 15 August (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council today decided to extend, for six months, the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which was set to expire today.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1702 (2006), the Council also urged Haitian authorities to complete run-off elections -- in places where the electoral process was disrupted or appeals were upheld -- as soon as feasible, and called on the Mission to provide all appropriate assistance.

In further support of priorities set out by the United Nations Secretary-General in his latest report on Haiti (document S/2006/592), the Council decided that MINUSTAH would consist of a military component of up to 7,200 troops of all ranks and of a police component of up to 1,951 officers, and further urged Member States to provide well-qualified, particularly francophone, police candidates with specific expertise in, among other things, anti-gang operations.

The Mission was also requested to reorient its disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts towards a community violence-reduction programme, where it would assist the Government of Haiti and the donor community on initiatives to provide employment opportunities to former gang members and at-risk youth.  The Mission would also assist and advise Haitian authorities to restructure and strengthen the justice sector, through, among others, the review of legislation and by identifying mechanisms to address prison overcrowding.

The meeting began at 1:10 p.m. and adjourned at 1:13 p.m.


The full text of resolution 1702 (2006) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its previous resolutions on Haiti, in particular its resolutions 1658 (2006), 1608 (2005), 1576 (2004) and 1542 (2004), as well as relevant statements by its President,

"Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Haiti,

"Welcoming the successful and peaceful political transition to an elected government, as well as the election of a new President and Parliament, which will give Haiti a unique opportunity to break with the violence and political instability of the past,

"Welcoming the political agenda of the Government of Haiti on the modernization of state institutions and on wealth creation and the adoption, by the Haitian authorities, of the "Programme d'Apaisement Social" to respond to Haiti's immediate social needs,

"Emphasizing that security, rule of law and institutional reform, national reconciliation, and sustainable economic and social development remain key to the stability of Haiti,

"Recognizing that MINUSTAH constitutes a key actor in the continuing stabilization of the country and expressing its appreciation for its efforts to continue to assist the Government of Haiti to ensure a secure and stable environment,

"Reaffirming the importance of appropriate expertise on issues relating to gender in peacekeeping operations and post-conflict peace-building in accordance with resolution 1325 (2000), recalling the need to address violence against women and children, and encouraging the MINUSTAH as well as the Government of Haiti to actively address these issues,

"Condemning all violations of human rights in Haiti, calling on all Haitians to renounce violence, and recognizing, in this context, that rule of law and respect for human rights are vital components of democratic societies,

"Urging the Government of Haiti to undertake, in coordination with the international community, a comprehensive reform of the police, judiciary and correctional systems, to protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to end impunity,

"Welcoming the Government of Haiti's final approval of its Haitian National Police (HNP) reform plan, and calling upon it to implement that plan as soon as possible,

"Recognizing that conditions for conventional disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration do not currently exist in Haiti and that alternative programmes are required to address local conditions, and to further the goal of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration,

"Underlining the need for the quick implementation of highly effective and visible labour intensive projects that help to create jobs and deliver basic social services, and emphasizing the importance of quick impact projects in the post-electoral phase,

"Welcoming the outcomes of the Ministerial Donor Meeting on Haiti, held in Brasilia, on 23 May, as well as those of the International Conference of Donors for the Social and Economic Development of Haiti, held in Port-au-Prince, on 25 July,

"Expressing its support for the extension of the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) until September 2007, and urging the Government of Haiti to continue to make progress in its implementation in close cooperation with all relevant international stakeholders,

"Welcoming the re-admittance of Haiti to the Councils of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and calling on MINUSTAH to continue to work closely with the Organization of the American States (OAS) and CARICOM;

"Welcoming also the appointment of a new Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti with overall authority on the ground for the coordination and conduct of all the activities of the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Haiti,

"Paying tribute to the continued support of the international community, particularly the Core Group, interested stakeholders, donors and regional organizations, for Haiti and MINUSTAH, which remains essential to the achievement of stability and development,

"Expressing gratitude to the troops and police personnel of MINUSTAH and to their countries,

"Noting that the Haitian people and their government hold the ultimate responsibility for achieving political stability, social and economic development, and law and order,

"Determining that the situation in Haiti continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,

"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 its resolutions 1542 (2004), and 1608 (2005), until 15 February 2007, with the intention to renew for further periods;

"2. Welcomes the Secretary-General's report S/2006/ 592 of 28 July 2006, and supports the priorities set out therein;

"3. Decides that MINUSTAH will consist of a military component of up to 7,200 troops of all ranks and of a police component of up to 1,951 officers;

"4. Authorizes MINUSTAH to deploy 16 correction officers seconded from Member States in support of the Government of Haiti to address the shortcomings of the prison system;

"5. Urges Member States to provide enough well-qualified, particularly francophone, police candidates, to ensure full staffing of MINUSTAH police and, in particular, to provide specific expertise in anti-gang operations, corrections, and other specializations identified as necessary in the report of the Secretary-General;

"6. Urges the Haitian authorities to complete the run-off legislative, local and municipal elections as soon as feasible, and calls on MINUSTAH to provide all appropriate assistance in this regard, consistent with its mandate, and with the support of regional and sub-regional organizations;

"7. Reaffirms its call upon MINUSTAH to support the constitutional and political process in Haiti, including through good offices, and to promote national dialogue and reconciliation;

"8. Welcomes the important contribution provided by MINUSTAH in capacity and institution building at all levels, and calls upon MINUSTAH to expand its assistance to support the Government of Haiti in strengthening state institutions, especially outside of Port-au-Prince;

"9. Underlines the importance of MINUSTAH's continuing support for the institutional strengthening of the HNP and, in this regard, requests the Haitian authorities, especially the HNP, and MINUSTAH to achieve optimal coordination in order to counter crime and violence, particularly in urban areas, taking into account the needs expressed by the Secretary-General for specialized capacities to enhance MINUSTAH's ability in this field;

"10. Strongly supports in this regard the Secretary-General's intention to maximize MINUSTAH's crime prevention role, particularly with regard to the threat of gang violence and kidnapping,

"11. Requests MINUSTAH to reorient its disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts, to further that goal, towards a comprehensive community violence reduction programme adapted to local conditions, including assistance for initiatives to strengthen local governance and the rule of law and to provide employment opportunities to former gang members, and at-risk youth, in close coordination with the Government of Haiti and other relevant actors, including the donor community;

"12. Urges donors engaged in supporting the implementation of the HNP reform by the Haitian authorities to coordinate their activities closely with MINUSTAH;

"13. Reaffirms MINUSTAH's mandate to provide operational support to the Haitian Coast guard, and invites Member States, in coordination with MINUSTAH, to engage with the Government of Haiti in order to address cross-border drugs and arms trafficking control;

"14. Decides that MINUSTAH, consistent with its existing mandate under resolution 1542 (2004) to assist with the restructuring and maintenance of the rule of law, public safety and public order, will provide assistance and advice to the Haitian authorities, in consultation with relevant actors, in monitoring, restructuring, reforming and strengthening of the justice sector, including through technical assistance to review all relevant legislation, the provision of experts to serve as professional resources, the rapid identification and implementation of mechanisms to address prison overcrowding and prolonged pre-trial detention and the coordination and planning of these activities, and invites the Government of Haiti to take full advantage of that assistance;

"15. Reaffirms MINUSTAH's human rights' mandate, and calls on Haitian authorities to undertake a comprehensive reform in all areas of rule of law and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms;

"16. Recognizes the progress achieved thus far in the disbursement of pledged assistance, welcomes the pledges of donors, and notes the need for these funds to be rapidly disbursed, given that further sustained and generous international assistance will be essential for the Haitian people and their government to succeed in pursuing its programme for social and economic development;

"17. Requests MINUSTAH to continue to implement quick impact projects;

"18. Calls on MINUSTAH to enhance its coordination with the UN Country Team and with the various development actors in Haiti in order to ensure greater efficiency in development efforts and to address urgent development problems;

"19. Reaffirms the need to maintain a proactive communications and public outreach strategy to improve public understanding of the mandate and role of MINUSTAH in Haiti and to deliver messages to the Haitian people directly;

"20. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of MINUSTAH's mandate not later than 31 December 2006;

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


The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General's report on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (document S/2006/592), which provides an update on major developments in the period from 2 February 2006 to 15 July 2006.  The report states that with the successful completion of national elections, a new page in Haiti's history has been turned.  Today, the people of Haiti have a unique opportunity to break the cycle of violence and poverty and move towards a future of stable and peaceful development.  In this, they will be guided by a new leadership which emerged from a free, fair and inclusive electoral process, conducted in safety and dignity.  President Preval has shown a commendable determination to reach out to all political and social forces in Haiti in a spirit of reconciliation and dialogue, leaving behind decades of tension and exclusion.

The appointment of a broad-based Government under Prime Minister Alexis and the adoption by the Haitian authorities of an ambitious, yet balanced, policy agenda have laid the foundation for Haiti's recovery and renewal, the report says.  The implementation of the reform agenda -- the modernization of the State and wealth creation -- could benefit from an enhanced partnership with the international community, including MINUSTAH and the United Nations country team.  Ultimately, however, the Haitian authorities and the people will need to actively take ownership of that agenda in order to ensure its lasting success.

The country's needs remain vast and the challenges immense, the report states.  The security situation continues to be worrying and destabilizing, in particular the crime situation in the capital, as the sources of instability still exist and the national security capacity to address them remains inadequate.  Illicit trafficking in weapons and drugs remains an obstacle to successfully fighting crime, impunity and corruption.  The institutions of State, including the Haitian National Police, the judicial system and the institutions of Government, require extensive assistance in order to function appropriately at all levels.  An inclusive country-wide dialogue with all political and social forces will need to be nurtured in order to consolidate advances achieved so far.  Poverty reduction and socio-economic development are important priorities, as are rapid and visible improvements in the daily lives of Haitians.

At present, Haiti cannot address those challenges by itself, the report states.  International partners should, therefore, extend timely, adequate and coherent support to the new authorities in the above-mentioned areas.  MINUSTAH, as part of an international division of labour, stands ready to offer the Haitian authorities targeted assistance, based on its comparative advantages, in ensuring a stable environment to allow the political process to continue and in providing institutional support to rule-of-law reform and to institutions of governance.  The Mission will also provide support for the organization of the remaining elections, which should be held as soon as feasible.  Enhanced MINUSTAH resources will be required to implement those activities.

In particular, the MINUSTAH police need to be strengthened with SWAT-qualified personnel and equipment, as part of its formed police units, as well as with expert advisers in counter-kidnapping and anti-gang operations, as part of its police contingent, to better support the Haitian National Police.  This qualitative strengthening is needed, since gang violence and kidnappings have emerged as an overriding impediment to stabilization in Haiti.  There are, however, limitations to this mandate.  While the Mission intends to maximize its crime prevention role, it will not be able to respond to criminality in an exhaustive manner.  Neither will the MINUSTAH security presence at border crossings and selected ports and crossroads be sufficient to fully deter illicit activities, including the trans-shipment of drugs and weapons.

The Secretary-General calls, therefore, on the international community to come together in a unified fashion to complement the Mission's activities.  He would welcome in particular the involvement of regional partners, such as the Organization of American States and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  He also appeals to the Haitian authorities to take full advantage of the assistance offered by the international community and to help further reforms by adopting key national policies such as the Haitian National Police reform plan, key legislation related to the independence of the judiciary, a disarmament policy and priority action in the areas of dialogue and reconciliation.

Now that an elected Government and legislature are in place, the new authorities should be given adequate means to succeed, including for the organization of outstanding elections, the Secretary-General says.  In that regard, he calls on donors to provide urgent and generous support to the Haitian authorities to address short-term socio-economic requirements that are indispensable for the country's continuing stability given the peoples' high expectations.  Pledges and disbursements are only a first step, however.  Rapid implementation of development projects bringing visible relief to the Haitian people is essential.  Job creation and delivery of basic services should be a key aim.  The United Nations stands ready to assist the Haitian authorities and donors to establish monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to facilitate the coordination of their efforts.

The Secretary-General recommends that the Council approve the proposals regarding MINUSTAH's mandate and resources set out in the report and extend the Mission for at least 12 months, as this is the minimum time needed to establish a solid basis for rule-of-law reform and achieve some initial results and progress towards democratic governance.  It would also send an important signal to the Haitian people of the international community's enduring commitment.  The Mission's military strength will need to be maintained at the current ceiling of 7,500 troops and police strength augmented by 54 individual police officers for institutional support, which brings the total strength to 1,951.  Furthermore, 16 seconded corrections officers are required to adequately discharge the Mission's responsibilities in the prison system.

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