UN mission in Haiti shares NGO goal of boosting human rights, chief says

UN mission in Haiti shares NGO goal of boosting human rights, chief says

Juan Gabriel Valdés
The head of the United Nations mission in Haiti has met the leaders of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to improve human rights in the Caribbean country to explain the UN's efforts towards the same goal.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Juan Gabriel Valdés, told yesterday's meeting that the Security Council had requested the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) not only to help the Transitional Government organize free, honest and democratic elections, but also to defend human rights.

Thanking the NGOs for the work they had already done, he said the task was immense and difficult, making a close collaboration necessary between MINUSTAH and the NGOs, "with a view to restoring hope to the Haitian people."

Mr. Valdés told the group that the Mission would also strengthen and modernize the Haitian National Police (PNH) and defend and consolidate national institutions so as to establish a climate of peace and facilitate social and economic development.

The NGO leaders were concerned about security, impunity and re-establishing a state based on justice and the rule of law, while seeking truth and transparency, MINUSTAH said. They also stressed the importance of current investigations into the crimes and political violence taking place and of the media's role in calming a climate of violence.