April 2009 Monthly Forecast



Expected Council Action

On 6 April the Council is expected to hold a debate and discuss the latest Secretary-General’s report on the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and perhaps also a report on the Council’s visit to Haiti in March, prepared by Costa Rica. A briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Haiti, Hédi Annabi, is also expected.

No Council decision is required at this time. However, in view of the importance of the upcoming Haitian senatorial elections in April, a Council presidential statement (or press statement) is possible.

Key Recent Developments
From 11 to 14 March the Council visited Haiti and met President René Préval, Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis, ministers, congressional and political party leaders and representatives of the private sector and civil society. On 19 March, Costa Rica’s Ambassador Jorge Urbina, who led the visit, briefed the Council on the visit and outlined the general conclusions of Council members. He said there was clear progress in security but real challenges remained, in particular in institution building and economic and social development.

Urbina emphasised that enhanced coordination among branches of government and with the international community as well as civil society is needed. Constitutional reform is also necessary. The multiple electoral processes are a risk to stability. Also, the non-participation of one of the most important political groups in upcoming senatorial elections should be tackled, he said. Finally, he said that current levels of extreme poverty and lack of food security were the greatest concerns and are incompatible with stability. Finally, Urbina said it was important that Haiti overcome political divisions in order to establish a basis for the country’s development.

After the briefing the Haitian permanent representative, Léo Mérorès, reiterated Haiti’s commitment to reconstruction and development. He also said he looked forward to the Washington donors’ conference scheduled for 13 and 14 April.

The latest report on MINUSTAH, issued on 6 March, noted that following the devastating hurricanes in September, progress in key areas of stabilisation fell short of expectations. There have been advances in political dialogue, extension of state authority, security, and rule of law and human rights. However, daily living conditions have deteriorated and there has been a lack of development. The report also emphasised the existing potential for political paralysis. It mentioned that problematic provisions of the Haitian constitution, in particular regarding the frequency of elections, would need to be reviewed. Finally, it insisted on the need for full engagement and leadership of the Haitian people without which current international assistance would not bear fruit.

On 9 and 10 March, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Haiti, together with former US President Bill Clinton. The aim of the visit was to attract attention to Haiti’s needs for recovery and reconstruction before the international donors’ conference in Washington in April. Ban called on Haiti to seize the opportunity of the conference to place the country on the path of economic security.

Key Issues
A major issue is the significance of poverty and food insecurity. The Haitian government is expected to present an action plan to the upcoming donor’s conference with detailed priorities and financial figures for international assistance. The plan would make the international community’s involvement in Haiti more focused and coherent. It remains to be seen whether this can effectively harmonise existing humanitarian, reconstruction and development plans and donors input, thereby creating a link between immediate and long term needs. A related issue is whether the conference will be able to forge a real partnership between the Haitian government and the international community and ensure that the stabilisation process is more integrated as well as nationally owned. Council members, conscious of the good progress that the Peacebuilding Commission has made in precisely this area in other countries, will be following this issue carefully.

A key issue for late in the year will be to evaluate the outcome of the conference and further developments in Haiti, and determine whether MINUSTAH’s mandate needs adjustments to better reflect the need for coordination of the multidimensional strands of international efforts, as well as how to give effect to a peacebuilding approach.

Finally, in light of the concerns identified during its visit, the Council will be closely following the lead-up to senatorial elections scheduled for 19 April as risks of political tensions are high.

Council Dynamics
Council members appreciate that the level of poverty is extremely worrying and agree that job creation is a priority. Japan has expressed concern at the agricultural sector’s low productivity.

There is a realisation that MINUSTAH as a peacekeeping operation cannot address socioeconomic development under the existing framework. However, there seems to be consensus among Council members that MINUSTAH should not be given specific development tasks at this stage. Council members seem to believe that more progress can be achieved, first through a real international effort to boost development, coupled with additional leadership from the Haitian government.

No drawdown of the mission is being proposed, and this seems likely to be addressed only when sufficient progress has been made toward the stabilisation benchmarks, particularly with regard to reduced security threats.

The issue of placing MINUSTAH under a Chapter VI mandate (in contrast to the mission’s current Chapter VII mandate), previously requested by President Préval was apparently not addressed during the Council visit.

Mexico has expressed particular interest in Haiti. It joined the Group of Friends of Haiti and sees value in the Council addressing Haiti during its Council presidency in April.

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UN Documents

Latest Security Council Resolution

  • S/RES/1840 (14 October 2008) renewed MINUSTAH’s mandate for one year.

Latest Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2009/129 (6 March 2009)
  • S/2008/586 (27 August 2008) presented a consolidation plan with key indicators to measure progress.

Latest Briefing to the Council

  • S/PV.6093 (19 March 2009) was a briefing by Ambassador Jorge Urbina on the Council’s visit to Haiti.

Latest Letter

  • S/2009/139 (10 March 2009) were the terms of reference for the Council’s visit to Haiti.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSTAH

Hédi Annabi (Tunisia)

Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Luiz Carlos da Costa (Brazil)

Force Commander

Major-General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz (Brazil)

Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator, UNDP Representative

Joël Boutroue (France)

Size and Composition of Mission

  • Authorised strength as of 15 August 2006: military component of up to 7,200 troops and police component of up to 1,951 officers.
  • Strength as of 28 February 2009: 7,039 troops and 2,031 police
  • Key Contributors of military personnel: Brazil, Uruguay, Nepal, Sri Lanka
  • Key Contributors of police personnel: Jordan, Pakistan, Nepal, China, India


1 July 2008-30 June 2009: $601.58 million

Useful Additional Resources

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