Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Michel Martelly of Haiti today discussed a plan to scale back the military component of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Caribbean country over the coming year, as it recovers from the devastation wrought by a massive earthquake in early 2010.
Mr. Ban confirmed to Mr. Martelly, in a meeting held at UN Headquarters in New York, that he intended to recommend a reduction of the military component of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) to pre-earthquake levels.
A week after the devastating quake struck Haiti on 12 January last year, the Security Council backed Mr. Ban’s call for more troops, adding 2,000 military personnel and 1,500 police to boost support to the humanitarian operation mounted by the world in the wake of the temblor.
The Secretary-General also informed Mr. Martelly, when they met ahead of the General Assembly’s annual high-level segment, that he envisaged a gradual withdrawal of MINUSTAH to be worked out in close collaboration with the Haitian Government.
The mission has an authorized strength of up to 8,940 troops of all ranks, and a police component of up to 4,391.
Discussions between the Secretary-General and Mr. Martelly also touched on cooperation between the UN and the Haitian administration on governance and the rule of law, according to a read-out issued by a spokesperson for Mr. Ban.
Mr. Martelly was sworn in as the Haitian President in May after he won the second, run-off round of presidential elections in March.
Mr. Ban also met today with Leonel Fernández, the President of the neighbouring Dominican Republic, and the two men discussed the reconstruction of Haiti, as well as the global economic and financial situation.