The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for one year, until 15 October 2016, at the UN Secretary General’s recommended force levels of up to 2,370 troops and 2,061 police.
Unanimously adopting a new resolution, the Council affirmed its intention to review by 15 October 2016 the MINUSTAH’s overall capacity to ensure security, stability and security conditions on the ground, in order to consider the possible withdrawal of the Mission and transition to a future UN presence in the country, and it asked the Secretary-General to conduct an assessment mission to Haiti, “preferably by 90 days after the inauguration of the new President, and ideally after the formation of a new Government.”
Welcoming the holding of the first round of legislative elections on 9 August, the Council strongly urged Haiti’s political actors to cooperate and without delaying ensure the holding of free, fair, inclusive, and transparent legislative, partial senatorial, municipal and local elections. It also encouraged the Government to promote increased women’s political participation in Haiti.
Noting that the Haitian National Police’s capacity-building remained a most critical task, the Council requested MINUSTAH to make renewed efforts to mentor and train police and corrections officers. It encouraged the Mission to continue to assist the Government in tackling gang violence, organized crime, illegal arms trafficking, drug trafficking and trafficking of persons, especially children. It further encouraged the Haitian authorities to continue to implement justice reform.
Strongly condemning the grave violations against children affected particularly by criminal gang violence, as well as widespread rape and other sexual abuse of women and girls, the Council called upon the Government, with the support of the Mission and the UN country team, to promote and protect the rights of women and children, as well as to improve response to rape complaints and access to justice for the victims of rape and other sexual crimes.
Through the resolution, the Council expresses its concern about the significant deterioration in the humanitarian situation over the past six months, including increased food insecurity, “while also noting reduced funding has limited the ability of the United Nations system and its partners to provide an adequate response to the multiple challenges.”
The Council further asked MINUSTAH to continue to support the country’s authorities in controlling the flow of small arms, developing a weapons registry, reforming the weapons permit system, and developing and implementing a national community policing doctrine.