Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Extension of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
October 14, 2010




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today, the Security Council renewed the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for an additional year. MINUSTAH is vital to the peace and stability of Haiti. In a very difficult year, MINUSTAH has worked tirelessly to help Haiti rebuild. In a year in which 96 staff tragically lost their lives, MINUSTAH has tended generously to its community’s humanitarian needs. I applaud the work of Edmond Mulet, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, and all the personnel of MINUSTAH for their extraordinary work in the most challenging conditions. The United States supports MINUSTAH’s mandate, and is grateful for its efforts.

The situation in Haiti nevertheless remains fragile. The earthquake that struck Haiti was the most powerful to strike the country in 200 years. In terms of its human and economic impact, it is the worst natural disaster recorded in the Western Hemisphere. The hardship it created, for the Haitian people and for the operations of the Haitian government, was previously unimaginable.

The U.S. has provided more than $1.14 billion in assistance to Haiti since the earthquake struck, supplying vaccinations for more than 1 million people against contagious disease and more than 800,000 mosquito nets. The U.S. Agency for International Development is providing targeted food assistance to 1.9 million vulnerable Haitians, including school-age children and the elderly. For its part, the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), under the leadership of Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former President Bill Clinton, continues to play a central coordinating role for international assistance to Haiti. We will continue to support the IHRC and the Haitian leadership as the recovery process moves forward.

While urgent needs remain, the United States will continue to support Haiti as it rebuilds its foundation for tomorrow. The U.S. strongly supports MINUSTAH’s mandate to assist with a broad range of the Haitian government’s law enforcement efforts, including combating gang violence, organized crime, drug trafficking, child trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence. MINUSTAH will continue to provide key support for the reform of the Haitian National Police as Haiti builds a sustainable law enforcement capacity.

Finally, the Security Council called on MINUSTAH today to support the Haitian government’s conduct of elections on November 28. The U.S. strongly supports this call, and has committed $5 million to the election fund administered by the UN Development Programme, in addition to $8 million for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), to assist voter registration, recruitment and training of poll workers, training domestic election observers, and development of non-partisan voter education materials. We note that the peaceful, credible, and legitimate conduct of elections in Haiti will be critical to electing a government with a clear mandate to lead the reconstruction of a stronger, more prosperous Haiti.

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PRN: 2010/211