Insights on Haiti
Tomorrow (6 April 2011) the Council will hold an open debate on Haiti. Colombia has chosen Haiti as a priority issue for its presidency of the Council this month and its president, Juan Manuel Santos will preside over the meeting. Haitian President René Garcia Préval is expected to address the meeting together with former US President Bill Clinton who is expected to present a report on the recovery and rehabilitation efforts in his capacity as the UN Special Envoy for Haiti. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Haiti, Edmond Mulet, will also attend the meeting.
Colombia is hoping that the debate will create greater awareness of the lack of progress in institutional reform and infrastructure rehabiliation more than a year after the earthquake in Haiti.
Council members at expert level began negotiating a draft presidential statement early last week and by the end of the week members had come to general agreement on the content of the draft presidential statement. Members agreed at that point to wait until the prelimnary results of the presidential run-off elections on 4 April were released before finalising the presidential statement. It appears that a final version is likely to be circulated this afternoon with no change following the election results. The main thrust of the draft presidential statement remains the link between security and social and economic development.
In a related development the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Stablisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was circulated late last month. Given the delay in the election results this report wasn’t able to provide the security assessment requested in resolution 1944 and the Secretary-General indicates that this will be in his next report following the swearing in of a new government in Haiti in May 2011. One area that will be watched closely by Council members is the commitment made by both presidential candidates to the re-establishment of a military force in Haiti and how this could affect MINUSTAH’s mandate.