Update Report

Update Report No. 1: Haiti

Expected Council Action

The Council is expected to adopt a resolution shortly on revising the mandate of MINUSTAH reflecting recent developments and decisions regarding the UN role in Haiti in light of the new challenges since the 12 January earthquake. (The mission is currently authorised until 15 October.)

Key Recent Developments
The Group of Friends (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and the US) met the first week of May to consider the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s 22 April report on the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (see our 10 May Update Report on Haiti). These recommendations followed several months of advocacy, principally by Mexico and Brazil, that the MINUSTAH mandate be updated.

In the second week of May the Group agreed on a draft resolution that would modify the mandate of MINUSTAH which was then circulated to Council members informally. Members have since met several times at the level of experts for negotiations on the text.

Key Issues
The key issues for the Council are whether the changed needs of the Haitian people since the January earthquake require MINUSTAH’s mandate to be adjusted to enhance the mission’s ability to support the Government of Haiti and if so how.

Options for the Council include:

Council and Wider Dynamics
Council members seemed just after the earthquake to be in general agreement that some revision of MINUSTAH’s mandate would be needed at some point. However, as time has passed the extent and timing of such a revision have become more contested.

There was not immediate agreement among Council members with all the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report, such as increasing the police component of MINUSTAH, and particularly with regard to providing expanded assistance to the Government of Haiti in the form of direct logistical support. As a result, negotiations on the draft text prepared by the Group of Friends have taken somewhat more time than originally expected in order to address concerns related to these issues.

There now appears to be broad support for increasing the personnel in the police component of the mission. China seems now to be ready to support this on the basis of the exceptional circumstances facing Haiti, despite earlier reservations.

China, Russia and the UK have seemed cautious about expanding MINUSTAH’s activities beyond the traditional security focus, and appear to favour language that is careful not to set any undesired precedents.

The acknowledged need for a more seamless relationship between peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities has been highlighted in a number of recent presidential statements. However, as yet there is no consensus on how to apply this in individual country situations. It is unclear whether the exceptional situation confronting post-earthquake Haiti may lead these more cautious P5 members to accept some kind of direct logistical assistance for the Haitian government provided it is temporary and specific to Haiti’s unique situation. There seems to be more support for direct logistical assistance focused on rule of law institutions than of broader formulations of logistical assistance for the entire Government of Haiti. Elected members appear more open to direct logistical assistance in general.

Selected UN Documents

Selected Council Resolutions

  • 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.
  • S/RES/1892 (13 October 2009) renewed the mandate of MINUSTAH until 15 October 2010.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2010/7 (16 April 2010) was adopted during an open debate on peacebuilding.
  • S/PRST/2010/2 (12 February 2010) was on UN peacekeeping operations’ transition and exit strategies.
  • S/PRST/2009/24 (5 August 2009) was on integration of peacebuilding in peacekeeping missions.
  • S/PRST/2009/23 (22 July 2009) was on post-conflict peacebuilding.

Selected Press Statement

  • SC/9865 (19 February 2010) conveyed the Council’s appreciation for MINUSTAH’s work and pledged its continuing support to the nation and people of Haiti.

Selected Letter

  • S/2010/27 (18 January 2010) was from Mexico to the Council arguing for a realignment of MINUSTAH’s mandate.

Selected Meeting Record

  • S/PV.6303 (28 April 2010) was the last briefing on MINUSTAH.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSTAH

Edmond Mulet (Guatemala)

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Kevin Kennedy (US)

UN Special Envoy for Haiti

Bill Clinton (US)

Force Commander

Major-General Luiz Guilherme Paul Cruz (Brazil)

Police Commissioner

Geraldo Chaumont (Argentina)