1st LD Writethru: Security Council renews mandate of UN support mission in Haiti for last time

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UNITED NATIONS, April 12 (Xinhua) -- The Security Council on Friday decided to extend the mandate of the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) for the last time, paving the way for a transition to a non-peacekeeping UN presence in Haiti.

Resolution 2466, which won support of 13 out of the 15 members of the council, extends the Haiti mission's mandate till Oct. 15, 2019. Russia and the Dominican Republic abstained.

The resolution requests the UN secretary-general to initiate the necessary planning for an integrated post-MINUJUSTH presence of the United Nations in Haiti, including a Special Political Mission (SPM).

Friday's resolution marks the end of more than 15 years of UN peacekeeping in Haiti. It asks the secretary-general to prepare for and begin the gradual, phased withdrawal of MINUJUSTH personnel in advance of Oct. 15, 2019, as appropriate, to ensure a seamless transition.

It also requests the secretary-general to report to the Security Council within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution regarding the operational details of the proposed SPM, including its specific objectives and information regarding its proposed deployment, staffing, and structure for the Security Council's consideration and subsequent authorization.

The resolution further requests the secretary-general to initiate transition planning and management, and encourages close collaboration between MINUJUSTH and the UN Country Team in Haiti to ensure a seamless transition from a UN peacekeeping presence.

It requests the secretary-general to report to the Security Council every 90 days on the implementation of the resolution, including any instances of mandate implementation failures and measures taken to address those.

The resolution authorizes MINUJUSTH to use "all necessary means" to carry out its mandate to support and develop the Haitian National Police (HNP) and authorizes the mission to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment.

It requests the secretary-general to ensure MINUJUSTH maintains capacity, including appropriate air assets and medical enablers, to deploy security forces rapidly throughout the country and in support of the HNP.

China and Russia expressed reservations about the resolution over the mentioning of human rights issues in Haiti.

Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said after the vote that MINUJUSTH should focus its work on assisting Haiti in dealing with peace and security issues and should not be too much involved in the domestic human rights issues of the country.

Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said that his country had to abstain as human rights issues in Haiti do not constitute threats to international peace and security.

Friday's resolution "underscores the urgency for the government of Haiti to take all appropriate steps to ensure respect for and protection of human rights by the HNP and the judiciary as an essential element of Haiti's stability, and calls on MINUJUSTH to provide monitoring and support in line with its mandate in this regard," he said.

MINUJUSTH is already a smaller police mission than its predecessor, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, which had military personnel. MINUJUSTH replaced the stabilization mission in October 2017. Enditem

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