UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposes shutting down Haiti peacekeeping mission

Mar 22, 2017 16:06 IST

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in March 2017 proposed to shut down the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti by October 2017 and replace it with a much smaller UN presence.

The proposal to close the 13-year-old UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti comes as the United States is planning major funding cuts to the United Nations. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti is known by its French acronym MINUSTAH.

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The UN Chief stated in the report sent to the Security Council on 16 March 2017 that all 2370 soldiers serving in the peacekeeping mission should be gradually withdrawn.

A new mission would be established that would retain 295 of the current 1001 police officers serving in MINUSTAH. The civilian staff would also be significantly reduced.

The successor mission would be a smaller peacekeeping operation focused on the rule of law and police development.

The new UN team would be based in Port-au-Prince.

The team would "also monitor and exercise an early warning function for conflict prevention, human rights and rule of law issues at the local level through the use of mobile teams."

The UN Chief also proposed that MINUSTAH's mandate be extended for six months during which it would wind down operations and pave the way for the smaller mission.

With its annual budget of USD 346,000, MINUSTAH does not rank among the costliest peacekeeping operations run by the United Nations, but its closure could send a signal about the need to streamline UN peacekeeping.

The mission in Haiti was deployed in 2004 after the departure of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to help stem political violence but it has not endeared itself to Haitians.

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Read more Current Affairs on: MINUSTAH , Antonio Guterres , Haiti , UN Mission

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