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Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Mar.-Aug. 2015)

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United Nations
Security Council


Distr.: General
31 August 2015
Original: English

Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti

I. Introduction

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 me to 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 of 4 March 2015 (S/2015/157) and 31 August 2015 and outlines activities undertaken by the Mission in line with its mandate under the relevant Council resolutions, most recently 2180 (2014).

II. Political developments

2. Haiti made significant strides towards the renewal of its democratic institutions with the holding of the first round of legislative elections on 9 August, paving the way for a second round, combined with presidential elections and municipal and local polls, on 25 October. A run-off for the presidential elections will be held on 27 December if it is required. The polls were assessed by national and international observers as generally peaceful, albeit with numerous localized incidents of violence. They afforded an opportunity for the Provisional Electoral Council to demonstrate its capacity to manage a highly complex electoral process, with support from the United Nations and other international partners, notwithstanding the logistical and financial challenges and in the context of reduced MINUSTAH logistical and security support capabilities. Overall, the Council managed the electoral process inclusively and transparently. On 20 August, the Council decided to repeat the first round of elections to the Chamber of Deputies in 22 of 119 districts because many tally sheets were not received as a result of irregularities, including violence, vandalism and theft.

3. The publication by presidential order of the electoral decree in March, following consultations between the Provisional Electoral Council, the executive branch and political parties, was broadly welcomed by Haitian political stakeholders. On 16 March, the President of Haiti, Michel Joseph Martelly, issued a presidential order publishing the electoral calendar, calling for three rounds of polls. Several political parties expressed discontent with the calendar, accusing the Council of not having taken into account their recommendation in favour of a two-round process to avoid the financial burden of running three separate campaigns.

4. The publication of the calendar was followed by the opening of the registration period for political parties. By 23 March, 192 parties and groupings from across the political spectrum had registered, indicating widespread desire to participate in the polls. On 25 March, a preliminary list of 105 accredited parties was published. Rejected parties were given the possibility of submitting missing documentation. On 6 April, a final list of 128 accredited parties was published.

5. Following the opening of registration for the legislative polls, the Provisional Electoral Council finalized a list of 2,037 registered candidates, fielded by 98 parties, on 26 April. A period of adjudication of cases followed, which resulted in the rejection of 76 Senate and 446 Chamber of Deputies candidatures, including for failure to submit the financial probity certificate required of all former officials having managed public funds and for being a dual national, prohibited in the case of presidential and legislative candidates. Among the rejected candidatures were those of high-profile individuals, including the First Lady, Sophia Martelly, who was running for a seat in the Senate.

6. On 15 May, two weeks behind schedule, the Provisional Electoral Council published a preliminary list of 1,515 accredited legislative candidates and allowed a 72-hour window for the submission of missing documents. On 25 May, an addendum was issued, readmitting 341 initially rejected candidates who had subsequently filed the required paperwork. The reinstatement of candidates was largely perceived as not favouring any single political party or group. The three parties with the highest number of accredited candidates were Vérité (of a former President, René Garcia Préval), Parti Haïtien Tet Kale (of the current President) and Fanmi Lavalas (of a former President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide). On 4 May, the Council opened the registration period for municipal and local elections. The period was extended three times, until 9 June, to accommodate candidates in remote locations. A total of 37,685 candidates registered. The adjudication process of contested applications was continuing as at the end of August.

7. On 11 May, the Provisional Electoral Council launched the candidate registration period for the presidential race, which by 20 May had seen a record number of 70 applicants from across the political spectrum. An adjudication process similar to that for legislative candidates resulted in a final list of 58 candidates, which was published on 12 June. Among the 12 exclusions were a former Prime Minister and former ministers and senators, all for failure to submit financial probity certificates. While excluded candidates protested in the local and international media regarding the perceived injustice of their exclusion, the Council did not revisit its position.

8. On 19 June, however, following receipt of a letter of complaint from 16 political parties calling for the exclusion of the presidential candidate fielded by Verite, the Provisional Electoral Council announced the removal of Jacky Lumarque from the list of candidates for failure to submit a financial probity certificate. The decision remains contested, given that the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes had issued a certificate after the registration deadline had expired, even after concluding that it was not actually required. Two other candidates were also excluded retroactively, one allegedly in relation to drug trafficking charges and another for allegedly holding dual citizenship, bringing to 55 the number of presidential contenders.

9. The electoral campaign for the first round of legislative polls ran from 8 July to 7 August. When it began, only the campaign activities of large parties were visible, but the delayed payment of a State subsidy to help to cover campaign costs, disbursed just a week before the vote, resulted in a belated flurry of electoral activities by smaller parties. The security situation remained mostly calm throughout the campaign period, with a small increase in violence during its last days, tainted by a number of reported election-related killings.

10. Throughout the electoral preparations, the Provisional Electoral Council progressively acquired growing credibility by demonstrating that it was able to maintain the tight electoral calendar deadlines while standing its ground on many difficult decisions. The candidate registration process led to the rejection of numerous high-profile candidatures and the review of contested departmental and municipal electoral office personnel. The review had been a key demand of a number of political and civil society actors. The fairness and inclusiveness of the candidate registration process created a sense of relative satisfaction with the electoral process as a whole.

11. The Provisional Electoral Council was squarely in the driving seat in the organization and management of the elections. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office for Project Services, MINUSTAH and other international partners provided technical and logistical assistance to procure high-quality electoral materials and secure ballots, ensure real-time electronic transmission of tally sheets to the operations centre from polling stations as an additional anti-fraud measure, improve technology-based tools to reduce the incidence of errors and irregularities, apply codes of conduct for electoral personnel, conduct outreach programmes, hold electoral training workshops for local journalists, offer equitable access to legal aid during the electoral dispute phase and support the fulfilment of the constitutional requirement of 30 per cent women's representation.

12. In addition to the $13.82 million already contributed to the UNDP -administered basket fund for the elections, the Government allocated $24.5 million, comprising $11.5 million for the operational costs of the Provisional Electoral Council, $3 million to enable the national police to execute security-related functions and $10 million as an electoral campaign subsidy for political parties. A meeting of international partners held at Headquarters on 16 July raised an additional $14.5 million for the basket fund and for the United Nations Office for Project Services, leaving a funding gap of $21.8 million for the completion of the electoral cycle.

13. The national police strove to create an environment conducive to the holding of the first round of the polls. In May, a joint electoral cell composed of Haitian police and MINUSTAH uniformed components was created to coordinate security-related activities and to prepare a joint integrated security deployment plan for the elections. Under its coordination, 78 Haitian officers were trained to become trainers for the 5,256 electoral security officers recruited by the Provisional Electoral Council to secure the voting centres. Concurrently, all centres were jointly assessed to define the level of security required. Under the supervision of the MINUSTAH police component, two simulation exercises were conducted by the national police. MINUSTAH provided substantive support to the national police in securing the transport of electoral materials to and from voting centres. Special protection for female candidates was arranged during the campaign, following an agreement reached between MINUSTAH and the Ministry for the Status of Women and Women's Rights.

14. My Special Representative used her good offices in support of the inclusiveness and transparency of the electoral process and coordinated the assistance provided to the Provisional Electoral Council and the national police by the United Nations system and other international partners.

III. Security developments

15. The security environment during the reporting period remained generally stable and much calmer and less violent compared with previous electoral cycles. The departments from which the military component withdrew, including Centre, Artibonite and parts of West, saw no increase in levels of insecurity or violence.

16. Crime statistics for the period from 1 March to 15 August, collected by the national police and MINUSTAH, indicated 386 reported homicides. In comparison, 538 homicides were registered between 1 September 2014 and 1 March 2015 and 536 between 1 March to 30 August 2014, as indicated in my previous report (S/2015/157). Nearly 74 per cent of homicides, often resulting from gang violence, remained concentrated in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. In total, 28 kidnappings were registered, compared with 29 between 1 September 2014 and 1 March 2015 and 15 between 1 March and 30 August 2014. Reported cases of rape totalled 212. That figure is comparable to the period between 1 September 2014 and 1 March 2015, during which 220 reported cases were registered, and an increase compared with the period from 1 March to 30 August 2014, during which 156 reported cases were registered.

17. 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 – was 399. That figure represents an increase from 215 during the period from 1 September 2014 to 1 March 2015 and a significant rise from 117 during the period from 1 March to 30 August 2014, possibly also linked to the electoral period. The West Department remains the most affected, with 48 per cent of recorded incidents, followed by the Centre Department with 10 per cent and the North Department with 9 per cent. Protests have generally been small in size. Of the 399 events, an estimated 56 per cent (223 events) involved fewer than 300 persons. Another 41 per cent (164 events) ranged from some 300 to 1,000 persons. Only 3 per cent (12 events) involved more than 1,000 protesters.

18. During a politically motivated protest on 13 April in Ouanaminthe (North-East Department), a Chilean peacekeeper was killed while on duty when the vehicle in which he was travelling came under fire by supporters of a local politician who had been arrested. The presumed killer was arrested on 9 July by the national police.

19. The specialized units of the national police received additional personnel and equipment, including vehicles, increasing both their capacity and their performance through continued basic and specialized training provided by MINUSTAH. A pilot departmental brigade for operations and intervention was tested in the West Department, in the volatile neighbourhoods of the metropolitan area where armed gangs vie for territorial control. The brigade, consisting of 225 officers from the twenty-fifth police promotion, was deployed for its first major operation on 11 July in the area of La Saline, Port-au-Prince. The operation, fully executed by the national police, including intelligence, planning, command and execution, resulted in the disbanding of a major gang. Likewise, some 250 officers from the twenty-fifth promotion were trained and incorporated into the 10 departmental units for crowd control. Consequently, demands for MINUSTAH crowd control support decreased significantly. United Nations formed police units were called upon 18 times as a back-up force, but never required to intervene. They and the military were called upon to support the Haitian police 146 and 73 times, respectively, during the previous reporting period.

20. MINUSTAH police officers maintained the same level of support to special crime reduction operations, performing 2,259 checkpoints, 5,812 foot patrols, 18,774 vehicle patrols and 1,118 operations. The military component conducted 11,257 routine patrols, 836 of which jointly with the national police. Likewise, 46 pre-planned joint operations with Haitian and MINUSTAH police officers were conducted, including 2, in Ouanaminthe (North-East) and Cite Soleil (West), that resulted in gangs being disbanded. A military operation, launched in December 2014 and completed in May 2015, eliminated a gang-controlled "buffer zone" between two communities in the Simon Pele neighbourhood in Delmas (West). As at 1 July, the military component had put in place its new rapid reaction force posture with countrywide reach. There has been no requirement to date for its deployment.

IV. Rule of law and human rights

21. Positive developments included the renewal of the mandate of seven members of the Superior Council of the Judiciary and key administrative nominations within the Council and the Penitentiary Administration Directorate. Legislative reform efforts continued with the finalization of consultations on the draft penal code and the work of the joint technical committee to revise the Criminal Procedure Code. The slow progress in the renewal of the terms of judges remained a serious challenge for the efficiency of the judiciary, however. It highlighted a structural weakness of the system, rooted in the Constitution and in the law on the status of the judges, which could translate into biased appointments and inefficient career-management processes. To deal with prolonged pretrial detention and prison overcrowding, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security launched an operation to review cases at the national penitentiary, the women's prison in Pétion-Ville and the juvenile detention centre in Port-au-Prince. As at the end of July, 427 cases had been reviewed, 119 tried and 52 persons acquitted.

22. The Inspectorate General of the national police has increased internal controls through regular inspections, including of all commissariats and services of five departments and four specialized units. A total of 380 new cases involving police officers resulted in 33 expulsions, following investigation. Commissions of inquiry were set up to investigate the cases of 1,283 officers and 316 civilian staff not reporting for duty, together with instances of excessive use of force and loss of service firearms. Substantial efforts are being made to certify all active police officers by the end of 2016. A total of 7,418 officers have been certified to date and 2,660 cases are under investigation.

A. Rule of law

23. The Superior Council of the Judiciary worked with the United Nations to finalize a project on performance evaluation for judges. Measures were taken to improve the day-to-day administration of the Council, including through the designation of the Director of the Judicial Inspectorate and 10 sitting judges as inspectors. Concerns remain over the lengthy certification process of magistrates, given that no decision on the 50 initial magistrates under consideration has been taken since November 2014.

24. MINUSTAH and other international partners supported the national authorities in the organization of consultative workshops on the draft penal code in Cap-Hartien, Gonarves, Hinche, Les Cayes and Port-au-Prince. The Mission also continued to provide secretariat support to the work of the joint technical committee on the reform of the Criminal Procedure Code.

25. MINUSTAH support for the model jurisdictions of Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes and Cap-Hartien resulted in an increase in the number of court hearings. Jointly with the Secretary of State for Justice, the Mission organized training seminars for 750 judicial personnel in all 18 jurisdictions to fast-track routine cases. In Port-au-Prince, the joint MINUSTAH-UNDP co-location initiative at the Tribunal of First Instance supported the computerization of the case registry system used by prosecutors.

26. With regard to access to justice, in addition to the five MINUSTAH-supported legal aid offices in Port-au-Prince, the two newly opened facilities in Cap-Hartien and Les Cayes began to provide legal defence to detainees in pretrial detention and, from 1 April to 30 June, processed more than 450 cases. On 25 June, the Minister of Justice and Public Security announced the opening of four additional legal aid offices, in Miragoane, Anse-a-Veau, Gonai'ves and Mirebalais, entirely funded by the Government.

27. Those positive developments notwithstanding, there was public outcry in April over a trial in which the independence of the judiciary was called into question when 2 defendants from among a group of 15 who had been jointly charged with kidnapping, murder, money-laundering and organized crime were swiftly tried and acquitted, without following established procedures. The manner in which the case was handled was strongly criticized, including by my Special Representative in a press statement. The Government appealed against the acquittals. It remains of utmost importance that the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the Superior Council of the Judiciary determine the circumstances that led to the irregularities. In several cases of irregularity involving magistrates, the Ministry and the Council have taken disciplinary measures against the magistrates concerned.

28. Since my previous report, the rate of pretrial detention has fallen only slightly, from 72.8 to 71.5 per cent. As at 14 July, the overall prison population remained extremely high, at 10,624 detainees, with inmates living in inhumane conditions. On 16 April, the national police nominated the new Director of Penitentiary Administration, at the rank of divisional commissioner. MINUSTAH and international partners assisted the Penitentiary Administration Directorate in drafting its new organizational structure, raising it to a central directorate within the national police. The Mission also provided training to enhance the professionalization of 307 national prison staff.

29. The total strength of the national police is some 11,900, including 1,022 women, with a police-to-population ratio of 1.15 officers per 1,000 inhabitants. Training for 1,500 cadets, including 179 women, of the twenty-sixth promotion began on 16 August, after a five-month delay stemming from infrastructure and budgetary challenges. More than 7,700 candidates, including 1,084 women, are being screened for the twenty-seventh promotion. The two promotions should help the police to reach the target of 15,000 officers by the end of 2016.

30. Together with national and international stakeholders, MINUSTAH continued to strengthen police capacity through the implementation of the 2012-2016 development plan. With 16 months remaining for its implementation, and 8 of the 70 activities completed, the focus is on the achievement of the 40 activities that are at an advanced stage, while preparing the transition for the 22 others that are in their early stages.

31. Beyond supporting the donor coordination mechanism led by the Director General of the national police, the institution's strategic planning unit has continued to work on improving the force's planning and monitoring capacity and enhancing decision-making, including through the roll-out of dedicated software. The Mission has also provided media training to the communications personnel of the national police.

32. The national police endorsed a national crime prevention strategy for the period 2015 -2017 and refined its community policing doctrine to include a proactive approach to considering citizens' problems, building strong partnerships with the population and creating a collaborative approach to solving problems and preventing crime. Other significant improvements included the creation of a specialized team on child protection and the enhancement of criminal intelligence capacity with a new pilot project to collect, store, analyse and distribute intelligence. At the same time, MINUSTAH pursued its efforts to progressively transfer responsibility for specialized and management training to the national police, with the training of 12 master instructors from the National Police School to create a management training cell.

33. To reduce community violence, MINUSTAH concentrated on building social foundations for peace and socioeconomic alternatives for young people and vulnerable communities at risk, while countering gang dynamics and associated criminal activities. The Mission approved funding for 27 new projects, in the Artibonite (5), West (17) and North (5) departments, for a total of some $4.6 million, completing the allocation of $8 million from the 2014/15 programme budget. In addition to the support provided to the five legal aid offices in Port-au-Prince, the initiatives addressed short-term employment (3), vocational training (1), labour-intensive infrastructure and environmental works (9), public outreach (3), prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (3) and security and stabilization (3). Some 137 small-scale projects promoting non-violence have reached around 840,000 beneficiaries. Fifty large-scale projects have addressed the concerns of in excess of 163,000 direct and 1,495,914 indirect beneficiaries in violence-affected neighbourhoods. Five of those projects, targeting 13,000 women and children, have directly contributed to the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and protection of victims, while some 40,900 members of vulnerable communities have benefited from 20 labour-intensive projects focusing on the rehabilitation of public infrastructure.

B. Human rights

34. No member of the Cabinet appointed in January 2015 was officially assigned responsibility for human rights following the non-renewal of the position of minister-delegate for human rights and extreme poverty, the repeated calls by my Special Representative to give due consideration to measures to redress that situation notwithstanding.

35. MINUSTAH continued to support the Office of the Ombudsman. Efforts included the joint organization of training sessions for its personnel in the context of elections, engagement with international human rights mechanisms and support for the development of a midterm strategy to strengthen institutional capacity. MINUSTAH is also supporting the development of a strategic plan for 2015 -2018.

36. The reporting period witnessed significant engagement by Haitian stakeholders on human rights reporting. The periodic report submitted by Haiti to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC/C/HTI/2-3) and the participation by representatives of civil society in the pre-sessional working group of the Committee demonstrated the increased capacity of civil society to engage with international human rights bodies. Haiti also submitted a combined periodic report to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW/C/HTI/8-9). MINUSTAH facilitated the participation of the Minister for the Status of Women and Women's Rights in the twenty -ninth session of the Human Rights Council and provided technical assistance and advice to both the Government and civil society actors.

V. Institutional support and strengthening of State authority

37. Between 23 March and 26 June, MINUSTAH supported local and national authorities in staging 140 pre-electoral municipal forums. Forums were conducted for each of the country's communes and over three months reached 12,331 representatives of the police, the judiciary, local authorities, political parties and civil society. The town-hall style meetings were intended to contribute to more peaceful, transparent and inclusive elections. MINUSTAH continued to support the training programme interventions of the Ministry of the Interior in the North, NorthEast and South departments. Within the framework of public finance reform, the Mission provided technical assistance to the Ministry's review commission for a draft bill on property taxation and continued to provide technical support to projects to increase local tax revenue in four municipalities.

38. The Mission completed 57 quick-impact projects during the reporting period. They focused on strengthening the rule of law and good governance through training and the construction and refurbishment of local courts, town halls and police stations, the installation of public lighting in vulnerable neighbourhoods and other public infrastructure improvement projects. They also covered cholera mitigation initiatives, with 17 projects to facilitate access to potable water for 152,796 beneficiaries, awareness-raising and civic education campaigns, in the form of four livelihood projects, and the training of 7,307 civil society representatives. By 30 June, the Mission had allocated the entire quick-impact project budget of $5 million for 2014/15, spread across 113 projects.

VI. Update and activities on humanitarian and development needs

39. During the reporting period, bilateral relations with the Dominican Republic soured over the latter's national regularization plan for foreigners, the registration period for which expired on 16 June. According to the Haitian Directorate for Civil Protection, an estimated 20,205 people voluntarily crossed the border into Haiti between 16 June and 27 July. Institutional weaknesses in border management and control of people entering the country have hindered the establishment of clear estimates and determination of status of people crossing the border. Consequently, conflicting information and data have been released publicly, affecting the capacity to distinguish between the general population crossing the border and those in need of some form of assistance. A fact-finding mission was deployed from 10 to 13 July by the Organization of American States at the request of the two countries. No specific steps have yet been taken to discuss the findings. Bilateral developments also affected the dialogue launched in 2014 between the two countries on private investment initiatives in border areas. The high-level bilateral commission has failed to meet since 28 May.

40. All efforts must be made by the Governments of the two countries, with the support of international partners, to resume dialogue and draw on the current situation as an opportunity to improve border management, enhance cooperation and create new economic prospects in border areas.

41. Emergency response and contingency planning remained critical requirements, in particular in relation to cholera, drought and risks associated with the approaching hurricane season and an influx of persons crossing the border from the Dominican Republic. On 17 August, the humanitarian country team organized a round-table discussion in Port-au-Prince to present to the international community continued urgent humanitarian needs until the end of 2015. Durable development solutions, devised and led by the Government with longer-term funding support, are required to address the underlying causes of the humanitarian needs. Against that backdrop, and taking into account the transition from a purely humanitarian to a more development-focused approach, the integrated strategic framework includes programmatic initiatives capable of supporting a gradual transition from relief to development, which will require international funding.

A. Humanitarian activities

42. The humanitarian situation in Haiti deteriorated significantly during the reporting period. Reduced funding limited the ability of the United Nations system and its partners to respond adequately to the multiple challenges.

43. From 1 January to 1 August, the Ministry of Health reported 20,509 registered suspected cases of cholera and 175 deaths. The increase in the number of cases reported at the end of 2014 and in the first four months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014 began to show signs of reversal. May saw a reduction of 45 per cent, with 1,716 suspected cases, compared with April, with 3,006 cases. This is a result of enhanced surveillance, rapid response and continued efforts to improve access to potable water by the United Nations. That reduction and the stabilization in the number of cases in recent weeks notwithstanding, the situation remained of concern in the West, Centre, Artibonite and North departments, which accounted for more than 80 per cent of the cholera cases in the reporting period.

44. On 21 May, the High-level Committee on Cholera held its first meeting since the change in government in January, co-chaired on an exceptional basis by the Prime Minister, Evans Paul, and my Special Representative. The Government sent a strong signal of its commitment to reinvigorating the Committee as the main coordination mechanism for the implementation of the national plan for the elimination of cholera. Consensus was reached that the immediate focus of the Committee's work would be on prevention, including through awareness -raising campaigns and emergency response to earlier increases in cholera cases, while long-term aspects of the cholera response and assistance to persons affected by the disease would remain on the Committee's agenda. Disbursements against the requirements of the national plan stand at 13 per cent. Greater government ownership and sustained donor support, both for the emergency response and the long-term effort to generalize access to potable water and adequate sanitation, are critical to the further progress of elimination efforts.

45. Following the end of the mandate of my Senior Coordinator for the Cholera Response in Haiti on 30 June, the United Nations country team, under the guidance of my Deputy Special Representative and Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, continued to assume the tasks of coordination, advocacy and communications, as well as resource mobilization, including the tracking of resources with the office of my Special Adviser for Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti. Determined action and consistent funding of the response can reduce the cholera incidence much further.

46. As at 30 June, according to the International Organization for Migration displacement tracking matrix, 60,801 people (14,970 households) remained internally displaced in 45 camps, representing a reduction of 96 per cent of the original 1.5 million displaced persons and a reduction of 97 per cent in the number of camps established after the earthquake of 2010. From April to June, programmes offering rental subsidies were responsible for the closure of 21 camps and the relocation of about 1,260 internally displaced households. As at 1 July, funding to provide basic services and relocation subsidies for the remaining internally displaced persons was no longer available. If no additional funding materializes, internally displaced persons will have to rely mostly on their own means and the gradual transformation of the remaining camps into new shanty towns.

47. Food insecurity and nutritional deficiency affected rural areas as a result of a drought and the effects of El Nino, with the North-West and South-East departments being categorized as in crisis according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification. According to an assessment by the National Food Security Coordination mechanism, the March-June harvest, accounting for more than half of national annual production, will fall below average, with losses of up to 60 per cent in several regions. The situation is taking a toll on families whose livelihood is derived from agriculture. It also constitutes a threat to local communities along the border who are affected by the drought, highlighting the need to support the reception and reintegration of people who have crossed the border from the Dominican Republic into those communities.

B. Development activities

48. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund approved a three-year $69.7 million arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility for Haiti on 19 May. This will enable the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to about $10 million. The remainder will be disbursed in phases over the duration of the arrangement, subject to semi-annual programme reviews. Economic growth has been positive, at a projected rate of 3.5 to 4 per cent for fiscal year 2015. Inflation remained moderate until May. However, a depreciation of the gourde of around 15 per cent in June and July, driven by flight towards the United States dollar, is expected to drive double-digit inflation in the coming months. The stabilization of the currency in late July notwithstanding, the depreciation will exacerbate the rise in food prices resulting from the poor harvest.

49. Going forward, continued efforts are needed to support sustained and inclusive growth, strengthen institutions and the policy framework and maintain adequate buffers to absorb shocks. The new three-year programme is intended to entrench macroeconomic stability, improve competitiveness to spur inclusive growth and preserve buffers, through streamlined policies that have full country ownership and donor support to ensure the full financing of the programme.

50. The revision of the integrated strategic framework between the United Nations country team and the Mission, which culminated in the signature of the revised framework on 28 May, served to reinforce cooperation among the elements of the United Nations presence in Haiti. The process was prompted by significant changes in the operational and political environment, marked by a major reduction in the availability of humanitarian funding, increased national ownership and the Mission's consolidation. At its annual retreat, in March, the country team decided that the revised framework would be extended until the end of 2017 to allow for consultations with the Government that will take office after the elections.

51. During the reporting period, UNDP, together with the joint United Nations team on HIV/AIDS, supported the implementation of the national strategic plan on HIV/AIDS. Technical assistance in the amount of $66.7 million was provided for resource mobilization from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. A workshop on the elimination of mother-to-child transmission by 2020 was held under the leadership of the First Lady and the Minister of Health. The programme is aimed at improving access to antenatal health care and supporting and training midwives and traditional birth attendants to identify HIV-positive women early in their pregnancy. With the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, MINUSTAH facilitated a training-of-trainers session for 90 young leaders on HIV/AIDS, underage pregnancy and gender-based violence. It also supported a capacity-building programme for young people on HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, youth advocacy and leadership in the Artibonite, South-East and West departments.

VII. Consolidation and strategic planning

52. In accordance with Security Council resolution 2180 (2014), the military component reduced its personnel from 5,021 to 2,370 troops during the reporting period. To ensure maximum mobility and visibility of MINUSTAH uniformed components in supporting the national police, especially during the electoral period, troops are located in Port-au-Prince (West) and Cap-Hai'tien (North), with an operational detachment in Morne Casse (North-East). The reconfiguration of the air fleet, which includes three Mi-17 military medium-lift helicopters and two UH-1H helicopters, faced delays, but contingency measures were identified to ensure that the Mission would have the resources necessary to assist the national police as needed. As at 10 August, 95 per cent of the Mission's 2,601 police positions had been filled.

53. MINUSTAH completed the closure of the Santo Domingo support office, five liaison offices in Port-de-Paix (North-West), Fort-Liberte (North-East), Hinche (Centre), Miragoane and Jeremie (Grand-Anse) and a regional office in Jacmel (South-East). Regional resources were redeployed into four regional hubs, located in Port-au-Prince (West), Gonaives (Artibonite), Cap-Haitien (North) and Les Cayes (South), housing both civilian substantive and mission support personnel. The Mission's FM radio transmitters were relocated to national police-United Nations police co-location commissariats to continue countrywide broadcast coverage.

54. The reduction of the Mission's operational footprint, geographical presence and civilian and uniformed staffing levels was informed by the continuous progress towards the jointly agreed benchmarks of the 2013 -2016 consolidation plan (see annex I) and the increased capacity of the national authorities to take on more responsibilities, as demonstrated by the leading role of the Provisional Electoral Council in the organization and conduct of the electoral process and the progressively decreasing reliance of the national police on the operational support of the MINUSTAH police component. It was accompanied by a reduction of 52 per cent in the Mission's budget between the periods 2011 -2012 and 2015 -2016.

55. Given its reduced capacity, and with a view to ensuring continuous progress as it makes the transition to the post-consolidation period, MINUSTAH accorded priority to mandated activities relating to good offices, the promotion of political dialogue and electoral assistance to ensure a peaceful political transition; the provision of operational support to the national police and technical support for the agency's development; and the strengthening of the rule of law and human rights, together with specific institution-building activities. The Mission further increased its collaboration with United Nations agencies, international partners and national counterparts to ensure continuous support throughout the consolidation and the drawdown phase in areas from which it was progressively disengaging. The revised version of the integrated strategic framework reflects the Mission's consolidation and the Government's poverty alleviation and investments plans. United Nations partners further increased their technical and logistical support for the electoral process.

56. Looking ahead to the completion of the consolidation phase, MINUSTAH will continue to focus its resources on priority areas while progressively disengaging from other areas in coordination with national and international counterparts. The process will continue throughout the final year of the consolidation plan and be reflected in the development of the Mission's next budget. Lessons from other United Nations transitions have shown that national ownership is key to a successful mission withdrawal process. Any planning for a post-consolidation presence must therefore involve the next Government of Haiti.

VIII. Financial aspects

57. By its resolution 69/299, the General Assembly appropriated the amount of $380.4 million for the maintenance of MINUSTAH for the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016. Should the Security Council decide to extend the mandate of the Mission beyond 15 October 2015, the cost of maintaining MINUSTAH would be limited to the amounts approved by the Assembly. As at 31 July 2015, unpaid assessed contributions to the Special Account for MINUSTAH amounted to $99.1 million. The total outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations as at that date amounted to $4,802.8 million. As at 31 July, amounts owed to troop and formed police contributors to MINUSTAH totalled $18.1 million. Reimbursement of troop and contingent-owned equipment costs have been made for the period up to 30 April 2015 and 31 March 2015, respectively, in accordance with the quarterly payment schedule.

IX. Observations and recommendations

58. During the reporting period, Haiti took the all-important step of holding long-overdue elections. The Government and the Provisional Electoral Council embarked on a path that was able to foster the political consensus necessary for the elections to be conducted. The polls of 9 August are testament to the increased capacity of the Haitian institutions to take on greater responsibility in leading the country's democratic processes. I am encouraged that they have assumed full ownership of the organization and conduct of the electoral process. I welcome the deployment of international election observation missions to Haiti by the Organization of American States and the European Union. Together with the national observation mechanisms, they have helped to inspire greater trust and confidence in the process.

59. I underline the critical importance of transparency and inclusiveness in the electoral process. It is therefore essential to ensure that all electoral districts subject to re-runs have the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to choose their legislative representatives. I also hope that all actors will exercise the utmost vigilance in ensuring that the next steps in the electoral cycle are taken peacefully. In that regard, it is encouraging that, following the deplorable acts of violence during the polls, the Provisional Electoral Council announced, on 18 August, the removal of a number of candidates from the list of those eligible to run.

60. The Government demonstrated its commitment to the electoral process by providing financial resources to the Provisional Electoral Council and the national police and for political campaigns. Support from the United Nations system and other international partners remains needed to sustain the current momentum and ensure the completion of the electoral cycle so that a functioning parliament can be installed in January 2016 and a new President inaugurated in February 2016. I am grateful to the international partners of Haiti for their generous contribution to the electoral process to date. I hope that that support will continue in order to bridge the remaining electoral funding gap and sustain the electoral process in its entirety.

61. I remain concerned that progress towards strengthening the rule of law and ending impunity has been slow. The limited gains, such as the consultations on the recently drafted penal code, the continuing vetting processes for magistrates and police officers and the increase in legal aid services, are important steps, but deficiencies in the judicial system and widespread and prolonged pretrial detention, which result in overcrowding of corrections facilities in inhumane conditions, persist. I again urge the Government to continue to strengthen, with international support, the country's rule of law institutions, a key stabilization benchmark for Haiti.

62. I welcome the efforts made to increase the size of the cohorts entering the police training programme in order to reach the minimum target of 15,000 officers by the end of 2016, as well as the certification of active officers and the continuing strengthening of the specialized units. The strengthening of the Inspectorate General, which is critical to fostering a culture of accountability and internal discipline, is also encouraging. I urge the Government and international partners to spare no efforts to further support that institution's administrative and management capacity through the deployment of specialized trainers and the allocation of resources to increase the presence of the national police in the regions.

63. The reinvigoration of the High-level Committee on Cholera by the Prime Minister is timely and reflects the continued determination of the Haitian authorities, the United Nations system and all international partners to eliminate the epidemic. An apparent reduction in the number of cases should not, however, detract attention from the issue. I call upon the Government and its international partners to maintain the current trajectory and to continue to provide the resources required for both the immediate and longer-term response.

64. Important progress has been made in Haiti, with the support of MINUSTAH, the wider United Nations system and international partners. If the gains are to endure, a peaceful political transition through inclusive, transparent and credible elections remains essential. After a period of political uncertainty and despite continuing challenges, the country has remained on the encouraging path described in my previous report and has now embarked on a complex but necessary electoral process. The installation of the fiftieth legislature and of a new President in February 2016 is vital to consolidating democracy and creating an environment conducive to lasting socioeconomic development. The international community must continue to support Haiti and its institutions throughout the political transition to ensure that it is peaceful and to prevent a reversal of the hard-won gains made. It is equally important that the newly installed Administration be afforded a period of stability, with the support of MINUSTAH. It should be given a chance to articulate how best the country's institutions should be supported in the future and how it sees the development of its partnership with the United Nations and the international community.

65. I recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of MINUSTAH for an additional and possibly final year, until 15 October 2016, with the current authorized uniformed strengths of 2,370 troops and 2,601 police officers. Following the completion of the electoral process and the installation of a new President, I propose to carry out a strategic assessment of the situation in Haiti, including the degree of stability throughout the country and the professionalism and strength of the national police, with a view to presenting the Council with recommendations on the future presence and role of the United Nations in Haiti ahead of the expiration of the Mission's mandate in 2016. Without prejudice to the outcome of the strategic assessment, I anticipate that, if the recent positive trends continue, the nature of the United Nations presence in Haiti will evolve significantly, including its security posture.

66. In conclusion, I should like to express my gratitude to my Special Representative, Sandra Honore, for her guidance and leadership during this crucial period for Haiti. I should also like to thank the women and men of MINUSTAH, troop- and police-contributing countries and the United Nations country team and partners for their continued dedication and commitment. Lastly, I should like to thank Pedro Medrano Rojas, who served as my Senior Coordinator for the Cholera Response in Haiti until 30 June, for his dedication and commitment to efforts to combat cholera in Haiti.

Annex I

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 the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) in which I identified four stabilization benchmarks constituting the framework for the consolidation of the Mission. I provide herein an update on the progress made during the reporting period.

Police development

2. The total strength of the national police is some 11,900 (including 1,022 women, 8.5 per cent of the total). A total of 1,500 cadets, including 179 women, began training at the National Police School in August and are expected to graduate in April 2016. The promotion represents the largest in the institution's 20 years of existence. The recruitment process for the next promotion is under way. The aim is that 1,500 officers will graduate per promotion before the end of 2016.

3. The construction of six additional classrooms and the incorporation of 28 new instructors at the National Police School have increased its capacity to train 1,500 cadets per promotion. The National Police Academy continues to benefit from an executive development training programme, sponsored by donors for a renewed period of two years (2015 -2017), and has increased its capacity with the construction of six new classrooms and four dormitories, enabling it to accommodate and train 88 middle-level and upper-level officers at a time. On 11 June, 36 inspectors, including 6 women, graduated. A total of 34 commissioners are in the final stage of upper-level management training.

4. After the integration of the 734 officers of the twenty-fifth promotion (who graduated in January) and the redeployment of seasoned officers throughout the force, 40 per cent of the national police workforce has been assigned to regions outside the metropolitan area. The capacity of the force to manage its logistics and facilities has improved with the drafting of logistical management manuals and the delivery of training courses in fleet management, communications and armoury management. Nine new facilities have been constructed or renovated and 187 new vehicles and 280 motorcycles have been added to the fleet, financed by the Government with donor support.

5. The specialized training was focused mainly on strengthening the capacity of crowd control and intervention units, providing continuous training for 640 officers, including 32 women, in crowd control, intervention tactics, shooting and self-defence. Most of those officers (87.2 per cent) were trained by national instructors, demonstrating the commitment of the police to fully reassuming responsibility for specialized training.

6. A joint national police-MINUSTAH committee drafted the police budget for 2015-2016. The proposal, of some $193.2 million, was submitted to the Government for approval. It provides for the graduation of 1,500 new police officers, the rehabilitation and construction of commissariats, the functioning of the National Police Academy, the strengthening of the capacity of the Penitentiary Administration Directorate and the acquisition of logistical supplies.

7. With MINUSTAH support, the number of certified police officers has reached 7,418. The remaining 2,660 officers are expected to be vetted by the end of 2015.

8. The Inspectorate General investigated 300 complaints, submitting 243 reports with recommendations for sanctions to the Director General, resulting in 33 cases of expulsion, most of them for human rights violations.

Electoral capacity-building

9. Following the appointment on 23 January of a new provisional electoral council, work immediately began on a review of the electoral legislation, the establishment of the Council's departmental and communal electoral bureaux and the creation of an electoral calendar. On 2 March, the President promulgated a new electoral decree, followed on 13 March by another decree setting 9 August, 25 October and 27 December as the dates for the holding of multiple rounds of legislative, municipal and presidential elections.

10. The Government has assumed more responsibility for electoral security and logistics. Consequently, the logistics for the elections were organized and implemented by the Provisional Electoral Council, with the support of MINUSTAH and the United Nations Office for Project Services. In May, a joint electoral cell composed of Haitian and MINUSTAH police was created to coordinate security-related activities and to prepare a joint integrated security deployment plan.

11. The Government contributed $13.5 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) basket fund for the upcoming elections, an increase from the $7 million contributed in 2010 -2011. It also pledged an extra $6 million to allow the police to ensure security during the elections, of which $3 million was disbursed. Another $10 million in government funds was disbursed to political parties to aid in financing campaigns.

Rule of law and human rights

12. Several appointments within the Superior Council of the Judiciary contributed to the strengthening of its capacity, including that of a technical secretary to help to manage the day-to-day administration of the Council, that of the Director of the Judicial Inspectorate and those of 10 judges as judicial inspectors.

13. The Superior Council rendered eight decisions on disciplinary matters, including two in which judges were suspended without pay for lack of diligence leading to prolonged pretrial detention.

14. Consultations on the final draft penal code with the judiciary, the bar, civil society and human rights organizations were conducted in the five appellate jurisdictions to consolidate comments and suggestions before the submission of the text to the next legislature. The work on reforming the Criminal Procedure Code should be completed before the end of 2015.

15. During the reporting period, UNDP undertook a comprehensive institutional review of the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes, finalizing a diagnostic institutional report that will list the Court's priority areas in the short term, the medium term and the long term, providing a road map for donors supporting the institution.

Key governance issues

16. The ability of municipal and departmental authorities to implement basic administrative and financial procedures has improved, in particular in the areas of:

    (a) Recruitment, training and accreditation of staff;

    (b) Development of local-level action plans in four delegations and 11 vice -delegations;

    (c) Conduct of training and capacity-building sessions (25 in total: 5 for delegations, 20 for vice-delegations) on public and financial management;

    (d) Weekly participation in joint technical committees with the Ministry of the Interior and other external partners to develop and standardize tools and procedures on financial management, improving accountability, transparency and efficiency;

    (e) Regular technical assistance at the field level, resulting in 139 of 140 communes being able to work with budget implementation plans during the reporting period.

Annex II

Composition and strength of the police of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti as at 10 August 2015

Country Number of United Nations police officers Number of formed police units
Women Men Women Men
Argentina 3 13
Bangladesh 10 86 214
Benin 1 56
Brazil 7
Burkina Faso 9 51
Burundi 1 12
Cameroon 15 6
Canada 18 67
Chad 6
Chile 4 7
Colombia 1 15
Côte d'Ivoire 2
Egypt 16
El Salvador 12
Ethiopia 1 9
France 2 14
Ghana 1 16
Grenada 2
Guinea - 9
India 21 440
Indonesia 1 6
Jamaica 1
Jordan 22 297
Madagascar 1 1
Mali 2 25
Nepal 4 41 11 129
Niger 1 22
Nigeria 1 3
Norway 3 3
Pakistan 140
Paraguay 1
Philippines 2 35
Romania 4 29
Russian Federation 3
Rwanda 30 5 25 135
Senegal 17 11 149
Serbia 4
Slovakia 1 5
Spain 6
Sri Lanka 2 16
Thailand 2 5
Togo 2 19
Tunisia 3
Turkey 36
United States of America 5 26
Uruguay 4
Vanuatu 2
Yemen 24
117 715 133 1 504
Total 832 1 637

Annex III

Countries providing military staff and contingents to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti as at 17 August 2015

Country Staff officers Troops Total
Women Men Women Men
Argentina 5 21 46 72
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 1 1
Brazil™ 11 15 955 981
Canada 5 5
Chile 3 7 328 338
Ecuador 1 1
El Salvador 34 34
Guatemala 2 6 46 54
Honduras 37 37
Indonesia 1 1
Jordan 3 3
Mexico 2 2
Nepal 5 5
Paraguay 2 4 77 83
Peru 3 8 152 163
Philippines 2 13 122 137
Sri Lanka 5 5
United States of America 5 5
Uruguay 6 12 236 254
Total 62 86 2 033 2 181b

™ The Force Commander is employed on a United Nations contract and hence is not reflected in the troop strength.
b Troops from Bangladesh and Chile are in the process of deployment, which will raise the figures to the authorized level of 2,370.

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Informes sobre DH en Haiti
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