October 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 September 2009
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AMERICAS

Haiti

Expected Council Action
The mandate of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) expires on 15 October. The Council is expected to extend it for another 12 months.

Key Recent Developments
The Group of Friends of Haiti (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and the US) met on 17 September to discuss the MINUSTAH expiry. On 9 September, more than 30 speakers addressed the Council on the matter of Haiti in an open debate. The UN Special Envoy to Haiti, former US President Bill Clinton, opened the meeting. While stating he was convinced of Haiti’s ability to move beyond its troubled past, he urged governments that pledged financial assistance to fully fund their commitments as soon as possible. He mentioned his plans to lead a trade mission to Haiti in October aimed at expanding investment opportunities. Clinton, who made his first visit to Haiti as UN Special Envoy in early July, expressed appreciation of the work done by MINUSTAH. He also thanked Council members for their support of the mission and the stability it has provided.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Haiti, Hédi Annabi, also addressed the Council, as did Haitian Prime Minister Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis. Council members also voiced positive comments on the work of MINUSTAH.

The Council held a private meeting on 4 September during which members and MINUSTAH troop-contributing countries were briefed by Edmond Mulet, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. The Council received the latest report from the Secretary-General on MINUSTAH on 1 September. The Secretary-General noted that while progress was advancing towards peaceful development, it remains fragile and could be reversed. Continued support from the UN and the international community more generally is required to prevent setbacks, his report said.

The report observed that significant threats to stability remain and that Haiti’s police capacity is still developing. In light of this, the Secretary-General recommended that the Council renew MINUSTAH’s mandate for an additional year, and suggested modifying certain aspects of the mission’s composition while retaining a similar overall size and structure. The report called for augmenting MINUSTAH’s police units by 120 officers, and reducing the number of troops by the same amount. The replacement of some armoured personnel carriers with lighter patrol vehicles was also suggested as a way to enhance the mission’s ability to deploy rapidly and monitor remote border areas and the coastline.

Key Issues
Lack of political stability, poverty, crime and insecurity remain key issues for Haiti.

As the renewal of the MINUSTAH mandate appears certain, a practical issue will be whether the composition of the mission should be adjusted as suggested in the Secretary-General’s latest report, or other changes should be made to better address the current situation.

Options
Options available to the Council include:

  • extending the mandate of MINUSTAH for an additional year with the changes suggested in the Secretary-General’s report; or
  • including wording in the resolution that addresses in a concrete way the Council’s decisions in July and August on the importance of coherence and integration between peacekeeping operations and peacebuilding (see S/PRST/2009/23 and S/PRST/2009/24).

Council Dynamics
The economic situation in Haiti, and its impact on security, remains a serious concern for Council members. Members hope that Clinton’s leadership as UN Special Envoy will aid economic development, both through improving the delivery of pledged funds from donors, and encouraging private investment in Haiti to foster job creation.

Council members appear unanimous in the view that MINUSTAH continues to have a significant role to play in providing Haiti with ongoing security assistance.

Many members support better integrating peacebuilding components into peacekeeping operations, but there is some tension on this issue in the Council in the context of Haiti with a few members firm in the view that nothing should be considered that goes beyond direct security assistance. For example, in the 9 September open debate, China stated that Haiti’s economic and social development should not be part of MINUSTAH’s mandate. By contrast developing countries in the region have a strong interest in including wider language and it seems that there was some discussion of this in the margins of the 17 September Group of Friends meeting. The Group plans to meet again before October to continue discussing the renewal, and it is possible that references regarding peacebuilding may yet be included in the draft resolution.

Council members also seem to have some differences as to when further scaling back of the military component of MINUSTAH might be appropriate. All are supportive of the general idea that security, stability and development are linked—and that in the short term security is a prerequisite for sustained development. But there are some differences as to what this means in practice.

The US and France are the lead countries in the Council.

Selected UN Documents

Selected Council Resolution

  • S/RES/1840 (14 October 2008) renewed the mandate of MINUSTAH until 15 October 2009.

Selected Secretary-General’s Report

  • S/2009/439 on (1 September 2009) was the last report on MINUSTAH.

Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2009/24 (5 August 2009) was a presidential statement regarding integration of peacebuilding in peacekeeping missions.
  • S/PRST/2009/23 (22 July 2009) was a presidential statement regarding post-conflict peacebuilding.
  • S/PRST/2009/4 (6 April 2009) urged donors to make technical and financial assistance available for the Haitian government to meet immediate and short-term development needs.

Selected Letter

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

Selected Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6186 (9 September 2009) was the recent Council open debate on Haiti.
  • S/PV.6185 (4 September 2009) was a private meeting of the Council and troop-contributing countries to MINUSTAH.
  • S/PV.6101 and Resumption 1 (6 April 2009) was the previous Council open debate on Haiti undertaken at the initiative of Mexico.

Other

  • S/2009/175 (3 April 2009) was the report of the Council 11 to 14 March 2009 mission to Haiti.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSTAH

Hédi Annabi (Tunisia)

UN Special Envoy to Haiti

Bill Clinton (US)

Force Commander

Major-General Floriano Peixoto Vieira Neto (Brazil)

Police Commissioner

Mamadou Mountaga Diallo (Guinea)

Size and Composition of Mission

  • Authorised strength as of 15 August 2006: military component of up to 7,200 troops, police component of up to 1,951 officers and 16 correction officers.
  • Current strength as of 31 July 2009: 9,158 total uniformed personnel (including 7,106 troops and 2,052 police) supported by 492 international civilian personnel, 1,221 local civilian staff and 202 UN Volunteers.
  • Contributors of military personnel: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Jordan, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, US and Uruguay.
  • Contributors of police personnel: Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Columbia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, DR Congo, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Grenada, Guinea, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, US, Uruguay and Yemen.

Cost

1 July 2009 – 30 June 2010: $611.75 million

Full forecast