Expected Council Action
In May, the Security Council could meet to discuss the transition of the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) to a non-peacekeeping UN presence. While no meeting is currently scheduled, resolution 2466 requires the Secretary-General to submit details for a follow-up mission to MINUJUSTH in May. Following the submission of the Secretary-General’s report the Council may choose to meet to discuss next steps in the transition.
Key Recent Developments
On 12 April, the Council renewed MINUJUSTH for a final six months, adhering to the timeline stipulated in resolution 2410 that the withdrawal of MINUJUTH not begin before 15 October. Resolution 2466 endorsed transitioning to a Special Political Mission (SPM), a recommendation presented by the Secretary-General in his most recent MINUJUSTH report. The resolution requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council within 30 days with “operational details of the proposed SPM, including specific objectives and information regarding its proposed deployment, staffing, and structure”.
The Secretary-General’s March report recommended a mission “in the form of a small strategic advisory office led by a Special Representative of the Secretary-General functioning alongside the technical capacities of a United Nations Country Team, supported by a triple-hatted Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, for a period of one year, starting on 16 October 2019.” The Secretary-General also said that only an SPM would allow a police commissioner and some international police officers to remain and play an advisory role, which were deemed important.
This came after the Council held a debate on 3 April on the situation in Haiti with the participation of Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet; and Loune Viaud, Executive Director of Zanmi Lasante, a civil society group. Some non-Council members were also invited to participate. Lacroix highlighted how the Secretary-General’s report lays out some possible paths forward for the UN in Haiti. He called for international cooperation to assist Haiti as MINUJUSTH begins to drawdown. Bachelet, in her first statement to the Council in her current position, called on all Haitian stakeholders to strengthen human rights protections.
During negotiations on resolution 2466, which had been drafted by the US, some Council members expressed their preference for a single resolution that would include MINUJUSTH’s six-month renewal and concrete plans for an SPM. These members took the view that having two resolutions could create uncertainty; they also wished to give the Secretariat as much time as possible to prepare for the post-MINUJUSTH presence.
The resolution was adopted with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions (Russia and the Dominican Republic). In explanations after the vote, some countries voiced their general support for MINUJUSTH. France, Germany, Peru, and the US welcomed the beginning of the end of the UN peacekeeping presence. France and Germany also welcomed a reference to Chapter VII, including for human rights monitoring.
Members abstained for different reasons. The Dominican Republic was concerned that MINUJUSTH’s withdrawal would coincide with Haiti’s scheduled elections. Russia abstained, as it has done before, due to the use of Chapter VII in respect of all elements of the resolution, including and in particular its human rights monitoring. Russia has maintained that Haiti’s human rights situation is not a threat to international peace and security. Another reason for its abstention was what it reportedly felt was a premature reference to a performance policy framework being undertaken by the Secretary-General.
China, which abstained in 2018, voted in favour, saying in its explanation after the vote that the renewal period would allow MINUJUSTH to discharge its mandate, help the Haitian government take up its responsibilities, and achieve a final and orderly exit. Like Russia, China would have liked more time for negotiations in order to achieve consensus and indicated that it would like to see greater unity in the upcoming negotiations on the SPM. Peru said that any exit strategy must consider the security conditions on the ground and the ability of Haiti to ensure security throughout its territory. It has voiced support for swift negotiations on the future mechanism, and would like to see a robust SPM established with the necessary human and financial resources.
Proposed German language about strengthening the resilience of Haiti with respect to climate change was not included, and further discussion on this can be anticipated in a future resolution.
Members’ positions on the renewal resolution provide an insight ahead of negotiations, which could begin as soon as the middle of May.
UN DOCUMENTS ON HAITI
|Security Council Resolutions|
|12 April 2019S/RES/2466||This was a resolution renewing the mandate of MINUJUSTH for six months, until 15 October.|
|10 April 2018S/RES/2410||This was a resolution extending the mandate of MINUJUSTH for another year under Chapter VII and set a timeline for the gradual drawdown of formed police units.|
|1 March 2019S/2019/198||This latest 90-day implementation report called for in resolution 2410 and included results and recommendations from a Strategic Assessment Mission.|
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|12 April 2019S/PV.8510||This was a meeting at which resolution 2466, renewing the mandate of MINUJUSTH for six months, was adopted with thirteen members voting in favour of the resolution and abstentions were cast by the Dominican Republic and Russia.|
|3 April 2019S/PV.8502||This was a Council debate with participation of Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations; Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Loune Viaud, Executive Director of Zanmi Lasante, a civil society group.|