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7050: Security Council Urges Haiti to Continue Reconciliation Efforts (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <maxblanchet@worldnet.att.net>

Security Council urges Haiti to continue reconciliation efforts

13 February - Days after the United Nations support mission in Haiti came to
a close on 8 February, members of the Security Council today called on
Haitian authorities to continue efforts at reconciliation and to resolve
their differences through dialogue.

In a statement to the press, Council President Saïd Ben Mustapha of Tunisia
said the members of the Council encouraged the Organization of American
States (OAS), and especially the OAS Secretary-General, to continue to
identify options and recommendations aimed at resolving the current
political situation.

The statement followed a briefing to the Council by Alfredo Lopes Cabral,
Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Representative in Haiti and head of the
International Civilian Support Mission in Haiti (MICAH).

Members of the Council took note of the end of MICAH's mandate and called on
the agencies, funds and programmes of the UN system, particularly the UN
Development Programme (UNDP), to continue to work in close cooperation with
Haitian authorities to restructure the police and the justice system, and
strengthen human rights. They invited the Secretary-General, in close
consultation with the Government of Haiti, to keep the Council informed on
the further role of the UN in the country.

The Council members also mentioned the necessity to address the social and
economic aspects of the situation in Haiti.

Mr. Annan had recommended the termination of MICAH's mandate in his report
to the General Assembly last November, when it became clear that the
operation's ability to carry out its work was limited by political turmoil
and the withdrawal of bilateral assistance programmes in the areas of
justice and public security.

In his report, the Secretary-General had called attention to spiralling
prices and worsening poverty in Haiti resulting from a lack of attention by
the country's leaders and an end of direct international aid. He said the
turmoil - with national counterparts often distracted by political
concerns - had made it necessary for the UN to devise new forms of technical
assistance to continue supporting the Haitian people.