377 words - September 3, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"Though key challenges remain, Haiti is becoming more stable," said US Alternate Representative for Special Policy Affairs, Jeffrey DeLaurentis on August 28. Since the earthquake on January 12, 2010 that killed 159,000 people and plunged already-impoverished Haiti into a long phase of relief operation, the international community has been working at stabilizing the Carribean country.
After a provisional government took control with security provided by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Haiti's situation has improved since the election of Michel Martelly as President in 2011. Last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Dutch citizen Peter de Clercq as Deputy Special Representative for the MINUSTAH. Mr. de Clercq's former responsibilities in the field of humanitarian coordination in Sudan showed the UN's strong willingness to continue dealing with Haiti as an emergency issue. Indeed, the remaining challenges are daunting, like the ongoing cholera epidemic, and continued delays in holding long-overdue elections could make the Haitian Parliament "inoperative" by January 2014, this way halting the progress that has been made so far.
In a briefing at the UN Security Council (UNSC) on August 2013, Sandra Honoré, Mr. de Clercq's chief, described the overall security situation in the country as having remained "relatively stable", with "a decrease in both civil unrest and major crimes." Describing the completion of the mandated reduction of MINUSTAH personnel, and the monitoring of the "gradual and orderly transfer of responsibilities to the Haitian authorities," Mrs. Honoré emphasized that the "gains in stability and security must be sustained" in order for Haiti to build economic and social stability as well.
However, Haiti's stability and economic development are inextricably linked to the subregion's wider development agenda, explained Rodney Charles who spoke on behalf of of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Uruguay's representative José Luis Cancela, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends of Haiti, "underlined the need for ongoing efforts to strengthen, professionalize and reform the police force, calling for support for the 2012-2016 Haitian National Police Development Plan." The sending of a Canadian platoon in June and the Brazilian troops scheduled for next November increased hope for the continuation of the "overall positive impact of MINUSTAH" whose mandate will be renewed in October.
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