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Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
4 March 2015
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
1. By its resolution 2180 (2014), the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) until 15 October 2015 and requested that I report on its implementation semi-annually and not later than 45 days before its expiration. The present report covers major developments between the issuance of my report on 29 August 2014 (S/2014/617) and 12 March 2015 and outlines activities undertaken by the Mission in line with its mandate under Council resolutions 1542 (2004), 1608 (2005), 1702 (2006), 1743 (2007), 1780 (2007), 1840 (2008), 1892 (2009), 1908 (2010), 1927 (2010), 1944 (2010), 2012 (2011), 2070 (2012), 2119 (2013) and 2180 (2014). The Council conducted a visit to Haiti from 23 to 25 January 2015.
II. Political developments
2. The reporting period was marked by a failure to hold the long-delayed legislative, municipal and local elections before the end of term of the forty-ninth Legislature, which led to Parliament becoming dysfunctional on 12 January 2015. Since then, the President of Haiti, Michel Joseph Martelly, has relied on the authority granted by the Constitution to ensure the regular functioning of institutions and the continuity of the State. In the lead-up to the 12 January deadline, direct consultations between the President and political stakeholders took place, a presidential advisory commission was established to provide recommendations to break the impasse and a series of agreements was concluded among the three branches of power, as well as between the President and numerous political parties. While ultimately unsuccessful in avoiding an institutional vacuum, the consultations led to the replacement of the Prime Minister and the nine members of the provisional Electoral Council, as well as to the resignation of the President of the Supreme Court. The promulgation by President Martelly of an electoral law on 2 March constituted a critical milestone for the holding of long-awaited elections by the end of this year. During the reporting period, my Special Representative convened the diplomatic community and the international community to coordinate outreach initiatives aimed at encouraging increased dialogue between political actors and building greater consensus among disaffected political interlocutors.
3. On 22 September, the President initiated a series of consultations with the leaders of both houses of Parliament, the provisional Electoral Council and some political parties to seek consensus on the steps required to ensure the holding of elections by the end of 2014. Party leaders of the strong opposition, however, refused to engage in these discussions and demanded that the President initiate genuine negotiations with all concerned parties instead. On 26 October, in line with an earlier assessment by the provisional Electoral Council, the Office of the President announced the postponement of the polls that had been scheduled for that day.
4. On 1 December, in another effort to resolve the political impasse, the President established an 11-member presidential advisory commission with an eight-day mandate to advise on the most credible solution to the crisis and to open a consensus-based path to long-delayed elections. The commission issued a report recommending a broad range of measures to re-establish trust in the political process and allow for the holding of elections in 2015, while preserving the integrity of state institutions. The measures included the resignations of the Prime Minister, the President of the Supreme Court -- who also serves as President of the Superior Council of the Judiciary, and all members of the provisional Electoral Council, to be followed by the formation of a government of consensus and a new electoral council, in the spirit of the 1987 Constitution, with members nominated by civil society groups rather than by the three branches of power.
5. On 12 December, the President agreed to implement the recommended measures. On 14 December, the Prime Minister announced his resignation, followed by all nine members of the provisional Electoral Council and eventually by the President of the Supreme Court, paving the way for negotiations between the President and opposition parties on a consensus government. On 17 December, the President met with five of the six staunch opposition parties for the first time since they had abandoned the inter-Haitian dialogue in February 2014. Their discussions generated consensus on the desired profile of the new head of government and on the sectors that should nominate representatives to a more inclusive electoral council.
6. The President's nomination of Evans Paul, a long-standing member of the opposition, as Prime Minister, on 25 December, followed the earlier nomination of an interim Prime Minister and elicited a new wave of criticism, with opposition parties arguing that the nomination had pre-empted the conclusion of negotiations and threatening to abandon the dialogue process. On 29 December, under the general framework of the presidential advisory commission's recommendations, the heads of the three branches of power signed a tripartite accord with the objective of convening an extraordinary session of the National Assembly to vote on the amendments to the electoral law and a policy statement by the new government, as well as to extend the term of outgoing parliamentarians, thus prolonging the forty-ninth Legislature. Some members of the opposition, however, refused to recognize the departing President of the Supreme Court as a signatory to the agreement. The Senate failed to attain the necessary quorum for the extraordinary session, bringing the forty-ninth Legislature to an end on 12 January 2015.
7. On 11 January, hours before Parliament became dysfunctional, a political accord was concluded between the President and 16 political parties, including four from the staunch opposition. The accord included an agreement to review the designation of the Prime Minister, confirmed that a consensus government would be formed and specified the civil society groups entrusted with nominating members to the new electoral council. The President was able to continue negotiations with the signatory parties on the basis of this new accord. On 16 January, he addressed the nation confirming his Prime Minister-designate and announcing the formation of a new government within 48 hours. Later that day, the newly appointed Prime Minister took office while the Presidency, within the self-imposed deadline, announced a new government, which was installed on 19 January, comprising 20 ministers and 16 secretaries of State. Some members of the opposition expressed dissatisfaction with the ministerial line-up, which was perceived as dominated by individuals closely associated with the executive. Only six of the 20 posts went to opposition figures, and six previous ministers retained their positions. Three of the ministers in the new government are women. The new government no longer includes a Minister-delegate for human rights and extreme poverty, but now includes a Minister-delegate for elections.
8. With the transition government in place, focus shifted to the establishment of the provisional Electoral Council. Independent institutions from nine sectors of civil society selected one nominee each and submitted their choice to the Presidency. On 23 January, hours before the arrival of the Security Council delegation, the new electoral council, which included three female members, was sworn in. There was a general sense of satisfaction, notwithstanding some lesser complaints. Following the internal election of Pierre-Louis Opont, a renowned electoral expert and former Director General of the body, as its president that same day, the Electoral Council quickly resumed operational activities. On 10 February, the Electoral Council held its first press conference, announcing a tentative calendar for a three-round general election, with polls to be held in July and October 2015, as well as in January 2016. Following a joint review of the draft electoral law, in consultation with political parties and the 10 seated senators, the Electoral Council submitted the draft law to the executive on 21 February, and President Martelly promulgated the electoral law by presidential decree on 2 March.
9. Non-signatory opposition groups have continued to criticize the recent political agreements, including by organizing anti-government demonstrations. Since the nomination of a new Prime Minister and Cabinet, their calls to mobilize and assemble in street protests have had limited resonance, with demonstrations rarely exceeding 1,000 participants. In February, however, calls for general strikes in protest over rising fuel prices have allowed the opposition to increase its mobilization capacity by adding anti-government messages to socioeconomic grievances, which have also included demands for the payment of outstanding salaries for teachers.
10. My Special Representative has conducted her good offices role to promote dialogue among key national stakeholders. She has encouraged national interlocutors to work together to define a modus operandi to enhance confidence in the ongoing political process and mitigate risks associated with the loss of a functioning legislative branch and the resulting institutional imbalance.
III. Security developments
11. The security environment during the reporting period remained generally stable, although an uptick in certain crimes, gang-related violence and public unrest was registered. Increased demands on the Haitian national police for interventions to control demonstrations diverted resources from other policing activities. Two significant prison breaks occurred in Cap Harden on 20 September involving five escapees and in Saint Marc on 30 November involving 34 escapees. Crime statistics for the period from 1 September 2014 to 1 March 2015, collected by the national police and MINUSTAH, indicated a total of 538 reported homicides. In comparison, 499 homicides were registered during the corresponding period from 2013 to 2014 and 536 during the period covered by my previous report. Nearly 80 per cent of homicides, often resulting from gang violence, remained concentrated in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, where the rate for 2014 reached 31 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. This is three times the national average of 10.5 per 100,000 inhabitants recorded in 2014, which remains among the lowest in the region and is in line with the United Nations Global Study on Homicide 2013. A total of 29 kidnappings was registered, compared to 15 cases during the period covered by my previous report and 14 for the corresponding period from 2013 to 2014. This increase can be partly attributed to the activities of the recent prison escapees, one of whom, a notorious criminal involved in kidnappings, was recently reapprehended and is back in custody. Reported cases of rape totalled 220. This is comparable to the corresponding reporting period from 2013 to 2014, during which 224 reported cases were registered, and an increase compared to the period of my previous report, which saw 156 reported cases.
12. The number of incidents of public protests -- with elements of violence ranging from the use of road barricades, destruction of property and throwing of stones, to assaults against police officers and shootings -- amounted to 215 recorded events. This figure represents an increase from 166 incidents of unrest during the corresponding period last year and a more significant rise from 117 during the most recent reporting period. The metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince remains the most affected, with 30 per cent of recorded incidents, followed by Petit Goave with 15 per cent and Fort Liberte with 5 per cent. Protests have generally been small in size. Of the 215 events cited above, an estimated 78 per cent (168 events) involved fewer than 300 persons. Another 14.5 per cent (31 events) ranged from approximately 300 to 1,000 persons. Only 7.5 per cent (16 events) involved more than 1,000 protesters.
13. The performance of the national police in terms of crowd control continued to improve during the reporting period. MINUSTAH supported the national police primarily by providing planning and technical advice for crowd control operations. In the vast majority of incidents involving violent public unrest, the national police was able to respond without operational support from MINUSTAH. In 47 per cent of cases, MINUSTAH pre-positioned formed police units and military capacity in the proximity of planned routes, at the request of the national police. The formed police units and the military were called upon to actively engage in crowd control together with the national police in 68 per cent and 34 per cent of these pre-positioned deployments, respectively. Military-supported crowd control occurred mostly in regions outside of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, where national police presence is limited, and primarily in Fort Liberte, Caracol and Ouanaminthe (North-East Department); along National Road No. 2 in Petit Goave and Leogane (West Department); and in Miragoane (Nippes Department).
14. MINUSTAH police and military components also supported the national police to address threats to security and safety, particularly in the market area of Croix des Bossales, Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Simon Pele and Delmas in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. Since the beginning of the year, Port-au-Prince has seen increased gang activity in parts of the metropolitan area, including in Cite Soleil, where rival gangs have engaged in violent confrontations over territorial control.
15. The military component conducted 18,416 routine patrols, of which 1,768 (9 per cent) were conducted as joint patrols with United Nations police and/or the national police as a deterrent to crime and violence. The security situation in the departments from which MINUSTAH has withdrawn (North-West, Grande Anse, South, South-East, Nippes and Centre) remained stable, and operational support by the military component was not required, despite incidents of public protest in these areas accounting for 34 per cent of all protests countrywide.
IV. Rule of law and human rights
16. Some improvements have been noted in this area, particularly in the strengthening of key oversight institutions such as the Superior Council of the Judiciary, the General Inspectorate of the Haitian national police and the Office of the Ombudsman. Efforts have also been made to advance crucial legislative reforms, namely the finalization of the draft penal code. During the reporting period, the Haitian authorities showed significant commitment to engaging with international human rights mechanisms and in tackling allegations of excessive use of force by the national police during protests. At the same time, however, the lack of accountability for past human rights violations and the limited capacity of a national system for human rights protection remained major concerns.
A. Rule of law
17. Working in close collaboration with national and international stakeholders, the national police has improved its capacity and professionalism, notably in the areas of crime prevention and crowd control, in accordance with its 2012-2016 development plan. Less than two years before its completion, 52 per cent of the five-year plan has been accomplished, with 69 out of 70 mandated activities at various stages of execution.
18. With the graduation of the twenty-fifth promotion in January 2015, the strength of the national police reached 11,900 (including 1,022 women, 8.5 per cent of the total) with a police-to-population ratio of 1.14 officers per 1,000 inhabitants. Recruitment for the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh promotions continues. To stay on course and meet the target of 15,000 police officers by the end of 2016, it is imperative that both promotions comprise at least 1,500 cadets.
19. The Government of Haiti confirmed its commitment to further the professionalization of the national police, in close collaboration with the United Nations and bilateral donors, including through political support and advocacy in forums such as the Superior Council of the National Police and the implementation and steering committee that provides strategic and operational guidance, under Haitian leadership, on the implementation of a national police development plan. These mechanisms continued to be further strengthened to ensure coherence in the provision of assistance, the expansion of the geographical coverage of the national police, the enhancement of specialized policing and management capacity and increased budgetary allocation.
20. Efforts to enhance the accountability of the national police and increase public confidence in it, such as the strengthening of the Inspectorate General and the expansion of community outreach, have yielded encouraging results. The conduct of regular and transparent inspections by the Inspectorate General has improved performance and the quality of operations while strengthening internal oversight. The number of police officers vetted with MINUSTAH support increased the ranks of certified national police officers by 1,221, to a total of 7,418, further contributing to the professionalization of the police. The expansion of community policing to nine municipalities in five departments is underpinning efforts aimed at increasing confidence in the police among the population, as is the development of a Haitian community policing model as an integral element of a new crime reduction strategy.
21. Co-location arrangements have facilitated joint national police-United Nations police patrols and manning of checkpoints. Joint activities have also included the deployment of formed police units and individual police officers in support of operations led by the International Organization for Migration in camps for internally displaced persons. MINUSTAH efforts have concentrated on recruitment, crime reduction, police intelligence, management training and strategic planning.
22. With the support of MINUSTAH, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organization of American States, the Superior Council of the Judiciary agreed to develop a map of the judicial system to assess the proper distribution of judges throughout the country in accordance with the caseload by jurisdiction and evaluations of the performance of judges.
23. MINUSTAH has supported the finalization of the draft penal code by providing technical assistance and acting as the secretariat of the Joint Technical Committee in 39 working sessions since May 2014. Similarly, MINUSTAH is providing assistance to the expert working group drafting the Criminal Procedure Code. The Child Protection Code, prepared with technical assistance by the United Nations Children's Fund and adopted by the Council of Ministers on 20 August, was submitted to Parliament early in September.
24. As part of the model jurisdiction approach to improve the efficiency of the judiciary and reduce prolonged pretrial detentions, MINUSTAH focused its assistance on Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes and Cap Hartien, providing support to the justice system by facilitating and monitoring dialogue among prosecutors, tribunals and the national police and working with local authorities to develop workplans to handle judicial cases and hold regular hearings. Furthermore, as part of the joint MINUSTAH-UNDP co-location initiative at the Tribunal of First Instance of Port-au-Prince, new software was installed to register cases and manage judicial data.
25. With respect to access to justice, MINUSTAH funded the establishment of two new legal aid offices in North and South departments and provided technical support to the local bar associations to prepare cases to be considered by these new entities. To ensure the sustainability of legal aid offices at the national level, at the request of the Ministry of Justice, MINUSTAH and UNDP have jointly funded an international consultant to support development of a national plan for legal assistance and the drafting of a law on access to justice.
26. The national detainee population, numbering 10,268 as at 3 February, still lives in inhumane and cramped conditions, evidencing the need for effective measures to reduce the number of inmates awaiting trial. MINUSTAH continued to provide technical support to detention facilities across the country in coordination with bilateral donors, focusing on strengthening the capacity of the Penitentiary Administration Department to address management, security, overcrowding and detention conditions in a more holistic manner. During the reporting period, MINUSTAH assisted the Department in finalizing its strategic development plan for 2014-2016.
27. In pursuit of its programme to reduce community violence, MINUSTAH has concentrated on building social foundations for peace and socioeconomic alternatives for at-risk youth and vulnerable communities, while countering gang dynamics and associated criminal activities. The Mission approved funding for 25 new projects, in Artibonite (3), West (15) and North (7) departments, totalling approximately $4 million, or 50 per cent of the allocated budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year. These projects address legal assistance (2), short-term employment (3), income generation (3), protection of vulnerable groups (1), labour-intensive infrastructure and environmental works (7), public outreach (3), prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (2), raising awareness of political and social issues (3) and vocational training (1). Fifty projects, approved in the 2013 -2014 fiscal year, are being carried out in Artibonite (8), North (10) and West (3 2) departments.
B. Human rights
28. MINUSTAH continued to assist the Office of the Ombudsman by providing on-the-job training to its personnel on human rights reporting and by mentoring its field-based agents. As a relatively new independent institution, however, the Office still lacks the appropriate human and material resources to fulfil its mandate.
29. The reporting period witnessed significant engagement by Haitian stakeholders on human rights reporting. The initial report submitted by Haiti to the Human Rights Committee on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights represented a significant, positive development. The strong participation of the Government's delegation and that of Haitian civil society, along with the submission of additional information by the Office of the Ombudsman, indicated increased engagement with United Nations human rights mechanisms. MINUSTAH provided technical assistance and advice to both government and civil society actors involved in this important process.
30. In December, MINUSTAH released its biannual report on the human rights situation in Haiti. Despite some diverging views between the Government and the Mission, the comments provided by the relevant Haitian authorities and integrated into an annex to the report clearly showed increased government commitment to improving the human rights situation in the country. The early designation of an official responsible for human rights in the newly appointed Government could serve to build upon the steps taken so far.
31. Following the death of Haiti's forty-first President, Jean-Claude Duvalier, on 4 October, both MINUSTAH and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights made strong public statements highlighting the importance of continuing the legal proceedings addressing the human rights violations allegedly committed during his dictatorship. On 3 December, the Supreme Court heard a case against the Appeals Court's decision and ordered that the investigation include associates of the late President. A decision by the Supreme Court is pending.
32. In the context of the political stalemate, armed demonstrators, some carrying assault weapons, were observed during anti-government protests. My Special Representative deplored all acts of violence, recalling the need to ensure that the right to peaceful protest be respected and that all offenders be prosecuted. Thirty-eight detainees were released between May and December 2014, following claims that they were in fact political prisoners.
33. On 4 November 2014, MINUSTAH organized an open day on Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) in collaboration with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, attended by my Special Representative and the Minister for Women's Affairs and Women's Rights. Participants included female journalists and women leaders from across the country, who formulated recommendations in the framework of the Council's 2015 global study and high-level review on resolution 1325 (2000). MINUSTAH continued to advocate for 30 per cent female participation in the political process, and carried out 14 workshops in Artibonite, Centre, North-East and South departments, reaching 919 participants, 90 per cent of whom were women.
34. MINUSTAH worked with the national police to draft training guidelines on child protection and supported the Brigade for the Protection of Minors to assess child protection capacity in the departments of Nippes, South and North-West, where there is a need for specialized judges to be assigned to juvenile courts. On 4 December, the Ministry of Social Affairs, supported by MINUSTAH and other partners, launched the development of a national strategy for child protection to define child protection goals for the next five years.
V. Strengthening State authority
35. MINUSTAH has continued to support governance processes by strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of the Interior, departmental delegations, vice delegations and municipal administrations.36. MINUSTAH assisted the Ministry of the Interior to implement its national strategy to increase local tax revenue in the four municipalities of Gonarves (Artibonite), Limbe (North), Les Cayes (South) and Jeremie (Grande Anse). In October, MINUSTAH supported 11 municipalities of South department with skills development for technical and administrative staff.37. In partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, IOM and the delegation for West Department, the Mission organized training sessions to enhance collaboration among municipalities through joint urban planning, development of public facilities and local tax collection in 20 municipalities of West Department.38. In preparation for the elections, MINUSTAH provided technical and logistical support for the recruitment and training of the departmental and municipal staff of the provisional Electoral Council and advocated for the application of the 30 per cent female quota in the recruitment process. MINUSTAH, along with UNDP, provided technical assistance to the Council in drafting electoral calendars, budgets and the electoral law. The Mission also supported the civil registration campaign of the National Identification Office. Notwithstanding these advances, the uncertainty resulting from the establishment and replacement of four successive electoral councils in the previous 24 months delayed capacity-building and the nationalization of electoral management capacity. In February, the newly established Electoral Council reactivated the Technical Commission on Logistics, Security and Nationalization, which could foster decision-making on how to advance these issues.
39. A total of 56 new quick-impact projects were launched, bringing the total for the 2014-2015 fiscal year to 76 projects under implementation throughout the country, with an allocation of $3.3 million (representing 65.9 per cent of the total allocation). Thirty-three projects aim to strengthen State authority in general, while nine projects focus on enhancing the rule of law. Twenty projects are focused on improving water and sanitation systems, mainly in the Central Plateau and in West Department. Four projects address environmental protection (in North and Nippes departments and the Central Plateau) and three aim at enhancing community security through the installation of public lighting in South-East and West departments. During the reporting period, 40 quick-impact projects financed under the 2013-2014 budget were completed.
VI. Update and activities on humanitarian and development needs
40. A recent increase in cholera cases, the continued presence of internally displaced persons and food insecurity remained areas of focus for the Government and the United Nations. The underlying causes of these humanitarian needs, however, are often systemic in nature and require durable solutions, developed and steered by the Government, with longer-term funding support. The exposure of Haiti to environmental hazards such as floods and hurricanes continues to render the population vulnerable to emergencies. Against this background, the United Nations and the Government of Haiti have initiated the development of a transitional appeal for 2015-2016 to address immediate needs and underlying vulnerabilities, while increasing the resilience of households in Haiti. Given the political impasse, significant progress was not made in critical development activities initiated during the previous reporting period (e.g. public finance reform and aid coordination).
A. Humanitarian activities
41. While 2014 saw a 53 per cent decrease in the number of suspected cholera cases from the previous year (during which there were 27,753 suspected cases and 296 fatalities), the number rose during the last quarter, especially in West, North, Artibonite and Centre departments. Heavy rainfall and illegal tapping of public water systems in urban areas are partly responsible for this increase. The metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince was the worst hit, with nearly 9,000 cases. A number of operational challenges remain regarding the integration of cholera response into national structures, compounded by the departure of partners owing to a lack of funding, which has affected treatment capacity (with 250 cholera treatment facilities in 2011 compared to 159 in 2014).
42. Given the recent surge in cholera cases, the newly appointed Government set up an interministerial task force to design an emergency plan and coordinate the response at the technical level. The United Nations and humanitarian partners intensified their response to the epidemic, including through investment in community awareness campaigns, the provision of potable water, the maintenance and monitoring of water systems and sanitation facilities and medical surveillance and response mechanisms. Following a cholera outbreak in the national penitentiary in Port-au-Prince in October 2014, a vaccination campaign targeting 5,625 people in 16 prisons was conducted by the Government with United Nations and partner support.
43. The High-level Committee on Cholera continued its work during the reporting period, with a focus on finalizing a strategy to support cholera-affected communities and families. The United Nations has advocated for multidisciplinary interventions targeting the most affected areas, in alignment with government-led poverty alleviation programmes. A consensus was reached between the United Nations and the Government of Haiti concerning a joint strategy building on the national sanitation campaign launched in July 2014 during my visit to the country. The campaign has started in 16 priority communes in cholera high-risk areas during the reporting period. The offices of my Special Adviser on Community-based Medicine and my Senior Coordinator for the Cholera Response in Haiti collaborated to track bilateral and multilateral pledges and disbursements towards the 10-year National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti. The plan is 18.3 per cent funded; of those funds, 12.9 per cent have been disbursed.
44. As at 30 December 2014, according to the IOM displacement tracking matrix, 79,397 people remain internally displaced in 105 camps. This represents a reduction of 94 per cent of the original 1.5 million displaced persons and a 93 per cent reduction of camps established after the 2010 earthquake. Of the remaining camps, 49 hosting more than 62,600 persons are not targeted by any return or relocation initiatives. Twenty-one camps hosting over 22,800 internally displaced persons are under threat of forced eviction owing to conflict with landowners, and 26 camps hosting some 41,300 individuals are exposed to environmental risks. Sustained rain in North Department in November killed 18 people and displaced 100,000 more. Distribution of aid was organized by humanitarian partners under the coordination of the national Directorate for Civil Protection.
45. With the deactivation of the last four remaining humanitarian cluster mechanisms on 31 December 2014, inter-agency support continued to reinforce State control over sustainable solutions in the key social sectors of health, water, sanitation, education and protection. Efforts to close the remaining camps for internally displaced persons continued by relocating such persons through the provision of rental subsidies or by integrating camps into neighbourhoods through a participatory urban planning process. This action aims to improve urban management of the affected municipalities and facilitate the long-term integration of internally displaced persons.
46. As at 30 December 2014, funding for the humanitarian action plan stood at 51 per cent, although the cholera response remains underfunded. Acknowledging the developmental causes of the humanitarian needs of Haiti, the 2015 -2016 transitional appeal will replace the humanitarian action plan.
B. Development activities
47. The International Monetary Fund released the report of its eighth review under the extended credit facility programme. The report points to a 3.5 -4 per cent projected growth rate in the gross domestic product for the 2014 fiscal year and progress in structural reforms. However, high subsidies to sustain the energy sector, lower-than-projected revenues and a reliance on external financing constitute significant risks to economic growth. The report on the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals launched by the Government and UNDP showed progress in reaching development targets in most of the eight Goals and is being used as a tool for policymaking.
48. The absence of natural disasters in 2014, combined with a relatively stable economic environment and the coordinated interventions of the Government and its partners, helped stabilize the situation with regard to food security. That situation remains fragile, however, and could rapidly deteriorate in the event of a major natural disaster. To strengthen government capacity to monitor and respond to food insecurity before and in the wake of natural disasters, the United Nations worked with the national food security coordination agency on assessments and analyses, and supported the agency in simulation exercises and installing emergency radio communication centres. At present, there are an estimated 3 million food-insecure people, of whom more than 600,000 are severely food insecure. Some 100,000 children under 5 years of age are affected by moderate acute malnutrition.
49. The United Nations country team continued to develop and implement new joint programme initiatives in alignment with the four pillars of the integrated strategic framework for 2013-2016: institutional, territorial, economic and social rebuilding. As at 31 December 2014, the overall disbursement rate of United Nations projects funded by the Haiti Reconstruction Fund was 93 per cent. Only three programmes covered by the Fund are under way, namely "Earthquake prevention in the north" ($10 million), "Support to housing reconstruction" ($30 million), targeting Artibonite, North, West, South and South-East departments, and "Development of the dairy sector" ($2 million).
50. On 23 October, the Haiti-Dominican Republic high-level bilateral commission held its fourth meeting. Discussions during that round of negotiations focused on private investment initiatives in border areas. In order to effectively support the binational process, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, with support from the United Nations, organized a joint retreat in December. However, given domestic preoccupations both in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic and highly publicized events involving Haitians in the Dominican Republic that have triggered demonstrations in Haiti, there is a risk of the process losing momentum.
51. An integrated programme aimed at increasing disaster risk resilience was launched in Grande Anse Department in October 2014, encompassing: risk assessment, community-based disaster preparedness, village savings and loan schemes, minor infrastructure, protection of women and girls, emergency health system reinforcement and agricultural production. The programme provides support to three communes over a period of five years and aims to strengthen the resilience of local populations to the impact of external shocks, in particular natural disasters. The United Nations supported the Haitian authorities in building a social safety net programme, including by developing a national database of vulnerable households.
VII. Update on the consolidation and reconfiguration of the Mission
52. In accordance with Security Council resolution 2180 (2014), the military component plans to reduce its personnel from 5,021 to 2,370 troops, maintaining close-to-current levels through the period of this report. In line with scheduled rotations of some contingents, a right sizing of the military component was carried out in January. As a result, the military component stood at 4,615 as at 18 February 2015. To be able to respond quickly, a fleet reconfiguration is foreseen that includes three MI17 military medium-lift helicopters and two UH-1H helicopters.
53. At the same time, the Mission has continued to work with the Government of Haiti to make progress towards the four jointly agreed stabilization benchmarks of the 2012-2016 consolidation plan. The lingering political crisis, however, diverted attention from the focused pursuit of initiatives underpinning the consolidation process. An update on achievements and challenges is attached to the present report (see annex I). As indicated in my previous report, the Mission has completed the consolidation of logistics support into four regional hubs (Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, Cap Harden and Les Cayes). Planning continued for the 1 July 2015 closure of the Santo Domingo support office, one regional office in Jacmel, five liaison offices (Jeremie, Miragoane, Port-de-Paix, Fort Liberte and Hinche) and ten of the 38 police co-location sites. A civilian staffing review was carried out in November 2014, the result of which is reflected in my budget submission for the Mission for the financial year 2015/16. Meanwhile, the Mission Support Division is being restructured in line with the global field support strategy and warehousing is being centralized to improve inventory control, service delivery and cost efficiency.
54. A joint United Nations-government steering committee has been established to guide the process of revising the integrated strategic framework. The revisions reflect the Mission's consolidation process, the transition from a humanitarian to a development context, funding trends, and the Government's new poverty alleviation and investment plans. The revision has provided an opportunity to review objectives and indicators and to propose mechanisms for improved reporting and monitoring. It has also allowed MINUSTAH and the United Nations country team to identify specific areas for enhanced collaboration, subject to the availability of additional financial resources.
55. MINUSTAH and the United Nations country team have also embarked on discussions on a transition plan to underpin the gradual reconfiguration of the United Nations presence in Haiti beyond 2016. This includes the impact of transition on the Mission's implementing partners and service delivery of the Government of Haiti alike. It was decided that a conditions-based road map should be developed with the Government of Haiti and the United Nations country team to guide the transition of functions to appropriate partners, if and where needed. To support this process, my Special Representative has established a team to support the development of the transition plan that will include a resource mobilization strategy and will draw on the consolidation benchmarks and the integrated strategic framework to ensure effective harmonization with existing planning frameworks. The next step will involve consultations with the Government to develop an inclusive partnership on transition and responsibly manage the broader implications of the gradual reconfiguration of the United Nations presence in the country. I will provide further updates on progress on transition in my next report to the Security Council.
VIII. Financial aspects
56. By its resolution 68/289, the General Assembly appropriated the amount of $500,080,500 for the maintenance of MINUSTAH for the period from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. The proposed budget for the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 has been submitted to the Assembly for its consideration at the second part of the resumed sixty-ninth session. As at 9 February 2015, unpaid assessed contributions to the Special Account for MINUSTAH amounted to $91.0 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations as at that date amounted to $2,735 million. Also as at 9 February 2015, amounts owed to troop and formed police contributors to MINUSTAH totalled $17.1 million. Reimbursement of troop and contingent-owned equipment costs have been made for the period up to 31 October 2014, in accordance with the quarterly payment schedule.
57. During its visit to Haiti, the Security Council was able to witness the uncertain political situation in Haiti and gauge the challenges still facing the country. The inability to hold long-overdue elections and the absence of a functioning Parliament as at 12 January 2015 are deeply troubling. The implementation of the recommendations of the presidential advisory commission and the agreements reached by the executive and the country's political stakeholders have led to the formation of a new government and the installation of a new provisional Electoral Council. The resulting political alliance is fragile, however. It hinges on the goodwill of the Government and political parties to safeguard the agreements achieved and on the ability of the new provisional Electoral Council to maintain its independence. There are encouraging signs that the political leaders of Haiti have embarked on a positive path. If sustained, it could foster the political consensus necessary for the holding of long-overdue elections and the restoration of a functioning Parliament.
58. My Special Representative in Haiti, together with the international community, has continued to underscore the need for national actors to define a modus operandi, inclusive of the remaining senators and notable personalities from civil society, that enhances confidence in the political process and mitigates the risks associated with the absence of a functioning legislature. I call on all actors to continue engaging in constructive dialogue as a means to end the impasse and move towards elections, thereby ensuring the functioning of all State institutions. I also call on them to exercise restraint, appeal to their constituencies to act responsibly, and work towards minimizing tensions in order to preserve the integrity and credibility of what will be a complex electoral process and the longer-term stability of Haiti.
59. The expeditious engagement demonstrated by the newly established provisional Electoral Council is encouraging. It is critical that the Council perform its functions with full independence and in the utmost transparency. I urge the executive to spare no effort to ensure that adequate funding is provided to fully cover the operational costs of the Electoral Council, as well as resources for electoral security. The work undertaken by the Electoral Council to consult political parties and the remaining senators on the draft legal framework was a commendable effort and an important step leading to the promulgation of the electoral decree by the President of Haiti on 2 March. I also urge the executive to implement the relevant provisions in the law on the financing of political parties so as to encourage the widest possible participation.
60. The Government of Haiti is likely to face significant challenges in managing security and logistical aspects of the electoral process expected in 2015 and early 2016. These challenges emanate from the fragile political context and the expected complexity of these elections. While the United Nations stands ready to assist, within its means and capabilities, it is imperative that Haitian institutions assume full ownership of the organization and conduct of elections. To this end, I welcome the work initiated by the Electoral Council to assess -- through its technical commissions -- outstanding needs and identify, with relevant Haitian authorities, how to address them. I encourage the deployment of full-fledged international election observation missions to Haiti, which would allow for scrutiny and inspire greater trust and confidence in the process.
61. The further strengthening of the country's rule of law institutions and the consolidation of their operational independence continue to be essential components of the stabilization process. Recent gains such as the drafting of the penal code, the launching of a vetting process for magistrates, the continued vetting of police officers and the increase in legal aid services are important steps forward. However, slow progress towards accountability and ending impunity continues to be a cause for concern. Widespread, prolonged pretrial detention and the resulting overcrowding of corrections facilities, as well as inhumane detention conditions, are also deeply troubling. I urge the Government, yet again, to strengthen key rule of law institutions and enhance the capacity of the necessary oversight mechanisms.
62. I welcome the increasing capacity and the continued growth of the Haitian national police, which now comprises 11,900 serving officers. I encourage the Government to spare no effort to achieve the minimum target of 15,000 officers by 2016. I commend the leadership of the national police for enhancing the capacity of the Inspectorate General, which is critical for the development of a culture of accountability and internal discipline within the institution. I urge the continued commitment of the Government and international partners to ensure that sufficient funding is provided to enable a greater presence of the national police in the regions and the further strengthening of its administrative and management capacity.
63. The 50 per cent reduction in new cholera cases in 2014 attests to the determination and commitment of the Haitian authorities, the United Nations system and international partners in the continuing effort to eliminate this epidemic. Funding shortfalls, however, have reduced the number of cholera treatment facilities by 36 per cent. It is vital that response mechanisms be maintained and that focus on containing and eventually eliminating this epidemic is sustained, under the Government's leadership. I therefore call on Member States to continue to provide the funds and expertise required for both the immediate and long-term development response.
64. The recent increase in crime, including in the greater metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, and public unrest, have been well managed thus far by the Haitian police. They are nonetheless a cause for concern given the current period of political uncertainty. The upcoming elections risk further exacerbating the already volatile political environment as MINUSTAH deepens its consolidation. Mindful of the risks posed by the uncertain environment and a possibly protracted electoral period, the Secretariat is seeking to ensure that MINUSTAH remains as mobile as possible. The posture of its uniformed personnel on the ground will be reviewed, as needed, for maximum visibility within a reconfigured presence. The Secretariat will also make full use of the authorized force levels of 2,601 police, in addition to the 2,370 troops, in order to increase operational assistance to the Haitian authorities in the maintenance of law and order and the provision of security and logistical support during the upcoming elections.
65. In conclusion, I should like to express my sincere gratitude to my Special Representative, Sandra Honore, for her service in support of Haiti at a time when the country is at a momentous crossroads and the Mission is reconfiguring. I also wish to thank her for the support she provided to the Security Council to ensure that its recent mission to Haiti was productive. I should also like to thank the women and men of MINUSTAH, troop- and police-contributing countries and the United Nations country team and their partners for their continued dedication and commitment to stability and development in Haiti.
Progress in the consolidation of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
1. In my report to the Security Council of 8 March 2013 (S/2013/139), I outlined a conditions-based consolidation plan for MINUSTAH that identifies four stabilization benchmarks that constitute the framework for the consolidation of the Mission. I provide herein an update on the progress made during the reporting period.
2. In line with the requirement of adding 1,000 new officers per year, the largest-ever cohort of national police officers, with 1,118 cadets (including 113 women), graduated in January 2015, in addition to 10 newly hired women who graduated from a basic police training course in Colombia. This has brought the strength of the police force to approximately 11,900 serving officers (including 1,022 women). The next cohort of approximately 1,500 cadets is anticipated to begin training in April 2015.
3. The National Police School, with 84 instructors (including five women), provides basic training to all newly recruited cadets. In order to augment the capacity of the School to train up to 1,500 cadets in each promotion, the national police force has the capacity to recruit and train the required complement of instructors. At the National Police Academy, which is still funded with donor support, 34 police commissioners (including 16 women) and 41 inspectors (including seven women) undertook a senior manager training programme.
4. The recommended level of one third of national police officers being assigned to the regions beyond the greater metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince has been reached. Of 1,128 recently graduated officers, 734 were deployed to those regions (204 to West Department) and the remaining 394 to the specialized police units.
5. The ability of the national police force to effectively manage its logistics and assets improved, with the addition of 54 new vehicles and motorcycles to the national police vehicle fleet, as well as logistical training in armoury, inventory and workshop management.
6. The specialized training unit focused efforts on training intervention units and on providing continuous training and refresher courses to several specialized police branches. A total of 680 police officers (including 33 women) were trained over the course of the last six months in police tactics, firearms operation as well as in preservation of public order.
7. The national police budget for 2014 to 2015 was adopted by the Government of Haiti, with a final figure of $148,215,360.95, a 14.35 per cent increase over the previous year's budget. The Minister of Justice and Public Security has officially requested a supplementary budget owing to a 19 per cent shortfall in the approved budget.
8. Legislative, local and municipal elections did not take place in 2014, in breach of constitutional timelines. The provisional Electoral Council has suggested a tentative calendar for legislative, municipal and presidential elections to take place between July 2015 and January 2016 and invited discussion by political parties.
9. A number of preparatory activities were undertaken by the provisional Electoral Council, including recruitment in October and November 2014 of technical directors for logistics, operations and communications. The 11 departmental and 142 municipal electoral offices were also staffed in late 2014.
10. Following the appointment on 23 January 2015 of the new provisional Electoral Council in the spirit of article 289 of the Constitution, work began on the review of the electoral law, the installation of the departmental and municipal electoral offices and an electoral calendar. In accordance with article 192 of the amended Constitution, a permanent Electoral Council can only be appointed once the National Assembly is in place.
11. The Government of Haiti has contributed $13.5 million to the basket fund of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the upcoming elections, an increase from the $7 million contributed in 2010-2011.
12. Discussions on the assumption by the Haitian State of increased responsibility for electoral security and logistics have resumed under the new provisional Electoral Council, after having been stalled following the establishment and replacement of four electoral councils over the course of 24 months.
Rule of law and human rights
13. The Superior Council of the Judiciary continued to strengthen its capacity and staffing through the launch of a vetting process for the Director of the Judicial Inspectorate and ten inspectors. In September 2014, the Council also began a vetting process for magistrates. While the Council has had a State-funded budget since 2013, the amendments to the current budget for the financial period from October 2014 to September 2015 remain unapproved.
14. Preliminary steps were taken to strengthen the capacity of the S uperior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between UNDP and the Court in September 2014. The memorandum establishes a protocol whereby UNDP agreed to help the Court to publish its annual review of public expenditures and inventory of public assets, to undertake an institutional diagnostic review of needs and to strengthen staff capacities. This protocol sets the stage for anticipated future UNDP support to the Court.
15. The operational capacity of the Office of the Ombudsman to carry out its mandate has improved. The capacity of its research and systemic investigations unit was reinforced notably through on-the-job training in the reporting of human rights violations and the mentoring of field-based agents with support from MINUSTAH.
16. The vetting of 2,365 national police officers, completed in January with support from MINUSTAH, brought the certified number of currently serving or discharged national police officers to 7,418.
17. The conduct of 27 inspections in the departments and 84 day/night supervisory visits in the metropolitan area by the Inspectorate General of the Haitian national police has significantly contributed to the improvement of operations and oversight. The effective collocation within six divisions increased the quality and the number of investigative reports sent to the Director General of the national police by the General Inspector-in-Chief, resulting in the dismissal of 796 police officers, including 717 for abandoning their posts between 1997 and 2014 and 79 who recently committed serious human rights violations.
18. A draft penal code was completed in November 2014. It is expected to be submitted for consideration by the next Legislature.
Key governance issues
19. My Special Representative engaged with national stakeholders to promote dialogue in the context of the negotiations, leading to the conclusion of a tripartite agreement on 29 December 2014 and a political accord on 11 January 2015. She also cooperated closely with the international partners of Haiti to coordinate the international community's good offices efforts.
20. The ability of municipal and departmental authorities to implement basic administrative and financial procedures improved, particularly in the areas of: (a) recruitment and accreditation of staff, including that of 42 municipal officials in 11 municipalities of South Department; (b) development of departmental and municipal action plans in 14 vice-delegations and 24 municipalities; (c) training and capacity-building of local authorities in urban planning, the development of public amenities and the implementation of local tax collection projects, including the training of 45 delegation staff and 90 municipal administrative staff (including 11 wo men).
21. While national stakeholders have debated the timing and modalities of further constitutional reform, no formal steps towards reforms have been taken thus far.
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti: composition and strength of the police (as at 25 February 2015)
Country Number of United Nations police Number of formed police units Female Male Female Male Argentina 2 19 0 0 Bangladesh 0 5 84 196 Benin 1 41 0 0 Brazil 0 16 0 0 Burkina Faso 3 42 0 0 Burundi 1 15 0 0 Cameroon 1 5 0 0 Canada 13 44 0 0 Chad 0 7 0 0 Chile 4 7 0 0 Colombia 1 21 0 0 Côte d'Ivoire 5 50 0 0 Croatia 0 1 0 0 France 2 16 0 0 Grenada 0 2 0 0 Guinea 0 14 0 0 India 0 0 0 420 Jamaica 0 2 0 0 Jordan 0 15 0 308 Kyrgyzstan 0 1 0 0 Madagascar 1 1 0 0 Mali 3 36 0 0 Nepal 1 10 11 129 Niger 0 15 0 0 Nigeria 1 2 0 0 Norway 3 3 0 0 Pakistan 0 0 1 138 Philippines 1 14 0 0 Portugal 0 0 0 0 Romania 3 17 0 0 Russian Federation 0 5 0 0 Rwanda 0 5 17 123 Senegal 0 10 11 129 Serbia 0 4 0 0 Spain 0 4 0 0 Sri Lanka 2 5 0 0 Tunisia 1 10 0 0 Turkey 0 18 0 0 United States of America 7 61 0 0 Uruguay 0 3 0 0 Vanuatu 0 2 0 0 Yemen 0 24 0 0 56 572 124 1443 Total 628 1567 2195
United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti: countries providing military staff and contingents (as at 18 February 2015)
Country Staff officers Troops
Women Men Women Men Argentina 7 37 522 566 Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 1 20 185 206 Brazil 19 18 1327 1364ª Canada 1 4 2 7 Chile 5 20 387 412 Ecuador 1 52 53 El Salvador 34 34 Guatemala 5 9 124 138 Honduras 37 37 Indonesia 2 2 Jordan 6 6 Nepal 13 13 Paraguay 3 5 108 116 Peru 5 24 342 371 Philippines 2 9 148 159 Sri Lanka 13 849 862 United States of America 9 9 Uruguay 10 13 237 260 Total 1 105 155 4354 4615
ª The Force Commander is employed on a United Nations contract and hence is not reflected in the troop strength.
Click to enlarge map
Informes sobre DH en Haiti
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