UN envoy to Haiti says peacekeeping mission must revive economy

29 July 2004
Juan Gabriel Valdés

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is not only in the Caribbean country to improve security but also to stimulate the economy and restore the political and electoral systems, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General said there on Wednesday.

"The mission of MINUSTAH is security, as the UN Security Council has underscored," Juan Gabriel Valdés told a news conference in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, after five days of traversing the country. "It is also a mission which, through the security perspective, is going to re-launch economic activities, thus opening job opportunities.

"It is a mission which will be able to re-launch a legitimate political system, as well as an electoral process. It is also a means of helping Haitians resolve their immediate daily problems."

Asked his plans for disarming those combatants who were refusing to give up their weapons, he said the process would take some time, given the complexity of the problem.

He added, however, "Disarmament will take place and our task is to advance along that path."

Mr. Valdés said he had to leave soon for Argentina, where he has been the Chilean ambassador and where he had to wrap up his work. He would return to Haiti on 16 August.


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