September 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 August 2011
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AMERICAS

Haiti

Expected Council Action
The Council is due to receive a report from the Secretary-General on the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) by 31 August. At press time, there was no decision for the Council to formally take up Haiti in September, although a meeting is possible. It is likely that members will begin some informal discussions on the renewal of the mission’s mandate.

The MINUSTAH mandate expires on 15 October.

Key Recent Developments
On 6 April, Colombia, as president of the Council for April, held an open debate  on Haiti chaired by President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón. The debate was intended in part to acknowledge the exceptional nature of the situation confronting Haiti and to encourage the Council to consider the security-development nexus. The Secretary-General, Haitian President René Garcia Préval and former US President and UN Special Envoy for Haiti Bill Clinton also spoke at the meeting. A presidential statement was adopted that:

  • underlined that security and development are closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing;
  • reiterated the need for security to be accompanied by social and economic development;
  • reaffirmed the responsibility of MINUSTAH in supporting the rule of law and good governance in Haiti;
  • called on international donors to fulfil their pledges; and
  • stressed the importance of consistent coordination between Haiti, the UN and the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission.

On 12 May, the Secretary-General informed the Council of his intention to appoint Mariano Fernández (Chile) as his special representative in Haiti and head of MINUSTAH. Fernández replaced Edmond Mulet (Guatemala), who completed his service on 31 May.

On 14 May, following a contentious and extended electoral process, Michel Martelly was sworn in as president. On 17 May, the members of the Council issued a press statement congratulating the people of Haiti on the peaceful conduct of the recent elections and welcoming the inauguration of the new government. The statement encouraged all political actors in the country to resolve any remaining electoral disputes through transparent and efficient legal means in order to ensure that the will of the Haitian people was reflected. It also expressed deep appreciation for the efforts of MINUSTAH in providing critical logistical and security support in Haiti.

Human Rights-Related Developments
At the end of a five-day mission to Haiti, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kyung-wha Kang, stated on 6 July that the international community could not expect the humanitarian responses to last year’s earthquake to solve “complex human rights issues that have prevailed in Haiti for such a long time.” Kang said that impunity for human rights violations that took place during the rule of Jean-Claude Duvalier remained a major concern to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which supports the establishment of a truth commission. She also noted that the realisation of economic and social rights was key to Haiti’s long-term stability and that only a comprehensive housing plan combined with major job creation could relieve extreme poverty. OHCHR estimates that 680,000 Haitians live in camps within and on the outskirts of affected cities. 

Key Issues
A key issue for the Council will be to begin considering, in light of the assessment contained in the upcoming Secretary-General’s report, whether the scope and size of MINUSTAH should be altered in some way to better address the changing situation in Haiti. If significant improvements are seen with regard to the security situation in the country, the Council will need to come to some agreement on whether this calls for reducing the mission’s footprint or reorienting its activities.

Another continuing issue is how to achieve a more coordinated transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding activities in Haiti. The Council has acknowledged the need for a more seamless approach in this area in numerous presidential statements over the last two years. How the Council decides to address the security-development nexus in Haiti may have significant implications for other UN missions.

Underlying Problems
Underlying problems in Haiti include entrenched poverty, past political instability and continuing challenges to the coordination of international assistance in response to the 2010 earthquake and its aftermath.

Options
Options for the Council include:

  • requesting a briefing in September on the most critical issues raised by the Secretary-General’s report and holding consultations before MINUSTAH’s mandate renewal in October; or
  • taking no action at this time while beginning initial informal discussions on the renewal of the mission, including possible changes to its size and scope.

Council and Wider Dynamics
Council members accept that due to the scale of the challenges confronting it, Haiti continues to require sustained assistance by the international community. However, there continue to be differences of opinion among members over how to best utilise MINUSTAH in meeting those challenges. Some members (including China) have adopted a more focused approach that views the mission’s usefulness as largely limited to a traditional peacekeeping role. Others (including past and present Latin American members) have taken a broader view of the types of activities MINUSTAH might engage in, stressing the interconnected nature of security and development.

Some members, noting the successful electoral process in Haiti this spring, believe that the Secretary-General may report that the security situation in the country has stabilised since the 2010 earthquake. If this is the case, Council members may feel additional pressure to alter MINUSTAH’s size and mandate. However, it remains unclear how easily members will be able to find agreement on these issues.

The Group of Friends continues to play an influential role in discussions regarding Haiti. Council members Brazil, Colombia, France and the US are all heavily involved in the group.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1944 (14 October 2010) renewed the mandate of MINUSTAH and called for a comprehensive assessment of the security environment in 2011 following the elections.
  • S/RES/1927 (4 June 2010) authorised the deployment of 680 additional officers for the police component of MINUSTAH as a temporary surge, with a particular focus on building the capacity of the Haitian National Police, and encouraged the mission, within available means, to provide temporary logistical and technical support to the government of Haiti that will be phased out as Haiti’s national capacity grows.
  • S/RES/1908 (19 January 2010) bolstered the troop and police personnel for MINUSTAH by 1,500 additional police and 2,000 additional military personnel.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2011/7 (6 April 2011) was adopted at the open debate chaired by Colombia’s president.

Press Statement

  • SC/10256 (17 May 2011) congratulated the people of Haiti on the peaceful conduct of the recent elections and welcomed the new government in Haiti.

Letters

  • S/2011/301 (12 May 2011) was from the Secretary-General informing the Council of his intention to appoint Mariano Fernández of Chile as Special Representative head of MINUSTAH.
  • S/2010/27 (18 January 2010) was from Mexico to the Council arguing for a realignment of MINUSTAH’s mandate.

Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6510 (6 April 2011) was the open debate on Haiti organised by Colombia as president of the Council for the month.  

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSTAH

Mariano Fernández (Chile)

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Kevin Kennedy (US)

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator

Nigel Fisher (Canada)

UN Special Envoy for Haiti

Bill Clinton (US)

Force Commander

Maj. Gen. Luiz Eduardo Ramos Pereira (Brazil)

Police Commissioner

Marc Tardif (Canada)

Size and Composition of Mission

Authorised strength as of 4 June 2010: military component of up to 8,940 military personnel and police component of up to 4,391 officers
Current strength as of 31 July 2011: 12,252 total uniformed personnel, including 8,728 troops and 3,524 police. (As of 31 July, the uniformed personnel are supported by 564 international civilian personnel, 1,338 local civilian staff and 221 UN volunteers.)

Cost

1 July 2011 – 30 June 2012: $793.5 million

full forecast

 

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