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Security Council approves UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti

The Security Council today unanimously approved a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti to help stabilize the country, establish democratic institutions and eventually organize free and fair elections. Under today’s resolution, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) would take authority on 1 June from the current US-led Multinational Interim Force (MIF). In carrying out its mandate, the Mission, under a Special Representative of the Secretary-General yet to be named, should coordinate its operations with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). MINUSTAH, with an initial mandate of six months, will comprise 6,700 troops and 1,622 civilian police, as well as international and local civilian staff. The Council passed the resolution after receiving briefings from Hocine Medili, the leader of a recent UN assessment mission to Haiti, and Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy, Reginald Dumas, who gave an update on developments in the Caribbean island nation. Among its tasks, MINUSTAH should establish a secure and stable environment, foster democratic governance and institutional development, assist Haiti’s Transitional Government in organizing free and fair municipal, parliamentary and presidential elections as soon as possible, strengthen the rule of law and support the country’s human rights institutions and groups. The Council called on Member States to provide and coordinate substantial aid to meet Haiti’s humanitarian needs and permit the reconstruction of the country. It also urged the United Nations system to help the Transitional Government in designing a long-term strategy for social and economic development to achieve and sustain stability and combat poverty.

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