Haitian Link

Haiti

U.N. Security Council says progress being made in Haiti, but peacekeepers should remain

 

Security Council members Wednesday called on Haitian leaders to hold elections and keep promises, while acknowledging progress has been made.

jcharles@MiamiHerald.com

Acknowledging recent progress in Haiti, U.N. Security Council members on Wednesday called on Haitian leaders to deliver on promises — including strengthening the rule of law and holding credible and transparent elections to “send a powerful message” to the international community, potential investors and the Haitian population.

“The swearing in of a new government, the publication of the constitutional amendments and the establishment of a superior council of the judiciary are positive achievements that Haiti’s government has made,” Sun Xiaobo of China said during the U.N. Security Council hearing on Haiti.

But Haiti, he and others said, still has a long way to go with its rebuilding and faces “colossal challenges” in its political, economic and humanitarian situation.

Council members met as part of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s request to extend the U.N. peacekeeping mission’s mandate in Haiti until October 2013 with certain adjustments.

They include reducing the number of uniformed personnel and a narrowing of the activities of the mission known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH.

“It’s in no one’s interest that MINUSTAH leaves before the security that it establishes can be sustained by the Haitian authorities,” said Philip Parham, the United Kingdom’s representative, who called for more Haitian ownership in the country’s rebuilding.

In a report to the Security Council, Ban commended Haiti for taking steps to lure foreign investors and combat smuggling. But, he added, “the political process in Haiti remains vulnerable to setbacks linked to political instability, lack of respect for the rule of law and unmet social grievances.”

In recent weeks, grievances over rising food prices and complaints about government corruption have triggered protests. Council members didn’t acknowledge the growing opposition to President Michel Martelly, but praised him for recent key decisions. They did urge him to ensure political stability by working to find an agreement on the creation of a Permanent Electoral Council to hold long overdue elections. At least one member country recognized this may not be easy.

“The political process continues to be on shaky footing,” Russian Federation member Nikita Zhukov said. “The Permanent Electoral Council doesn’t enjoy widespread support and the legitimacy of the amendments made to the constitution are not recognized by all. This is the background upon which difficult elections will take place in the parliament and local government bodies.”

Read more Haitian Link stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK