The Security Council today authorized the deployment of additional police officers to serve with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti as part of efforts to help boost the capacity of the country’s national police to deal with the myriad challenges in the wake of January’s catastrophic earthquake.
The deployment of 680 further officers as a result of today’s Council resolution will bring the total number of UN Police (UNPOL) serving with the UN mission, which is known as MINUSTAH, to 4,391.
Just one week after the devastating quake struck Haiti on 12 January, the Council backed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for additional troops, adding 2,000 military personnel and 15,000 UNPOL.
More than 200,000 people were killed in the magnitude-7.0 earthquake, which left 1.3 million more homeless and destroyed countless buildings, including Government facilities, hospitals and schools.
In today’s resolution, the Council said it recognized “the need for MINUSTAH to assist the Government of Haiti in providing adequate protection of the population, with particular attention to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups, especially women in children.”
Other challenges, it said, include dealing with the risk of a resurgence in gang violence, organized crime and child trafficking.
The Council also encouraged MINUSTAH to provide logistical and technical expertise to help the Government, as requested, continue efforts to bolster the rule of law and accelerate the implementation of resettlement plans for IDPs.
Such steps on the part of the mission “will be phased out as Haitian national capacity grows,” it said.
The resolution also underscored the importance of holding elections “in a timely manner,” calling on all political parties and others to cooperate to make this a reality.
Last month, a task force comprising the UN and its international partners – including the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the European Union (EU) – pledged support for Haiti’s polls, viewed as a crucial step in renewing the State after the huge human and material losses suffered in the January earthquake.
In his most recent report to the Council in April, the Secretary-General said the elections in early 2011 were central to the Government’s vision for a renewed State, a vision he appealed to the international community to support.