posted on Mon 5 Mar 2012 5:35 PM
Follow-Up Consultations on Haiti Council Visit

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday, 6 March) Council members are scheduled to hold consultations on Haiti . It appears that Council members will be given an opportunity to provide feedback on the Council’s mission there from 13 February to 16 February. It is unusual for a Council mission to be followed by anything more than a briefing and a report but it seems that some members indicated interest in a broader exchange of views on the recent mission and for an opportunity to discuss lessons learnt that could be applied to future missions.

While the focus may be on the Council mission, it appears that some Council members may also be interested in raising issues related to the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) ahead of the Council’s semi-annual debate on this issue which is scheduled for 8 March. Some members feel that having this discussion in consultations would allow for a more interactive and informal discussion. No formal outcome is expected from tomorrow’s discussion.

Ambassador Susan Rice (United States), who led the visiting mission to Haiti, briefed the Council on the trip on 28 February. During her briefing, Rice noted that the Haitian government underscored the importance of development in ensuring the stability of the country. She also said that there was concern among Haitians with the political divisions within the government. (Shortly after the Council mission returned to New York the Prime Minister of Haiti resigned.)

On MINUSTAH,Rice said that while many Haitians recognised the importance of its work, they “also shared a desire to see the mission eventually leave, with strengthened Haitian institutions taking on its responsibilities”. She also noted that the mission’s reputation had been damaged by the cholera epidemic and the recent allegations of sexual abuse against MINUSTAH personnel.