Also known as MINUSTAH (an acronym of the French translation) the United Nations Stabilization Mission has been operating in Haiti since 2004. Deployed to help rebuild the country after a period of political turmoil, the current authorization is until 15 October 2010.
This is a peacekeeping mission led by the Brazilian army. The force is composed of over 9,000 uniformed personnel, approximately 7,000 troops, 2,000 police, 1200 local civilian staff as well as international civilian personnel and United Nations volunteers.
The Mission was established in order to help:
* Secure and keep the environment stable
* To support the Political Process and
* To support the transitional Government as well as Haiti Human Rights Institutions
To realise this mandate through the UN Stabilisation mission, assistance is given to the Transitional Government in helping to restore and maintain the rule of law, public safety and public order as well as in monitoring, restructuring and reforming the Haitan National Police.
Support is given towards the constitutional and political process underway in Haiti and assistance given towards organising, monitoring and carrying out free and municipal parliamentary and presidential elections. This is through the provision of administrative assistance as well as technical and logistical support and continued security
Human Rights Groups and Institutions and their efforts to promote and protect human rights especially those of women and children are also monitored.
Since the Earthquake, the UN is under tremendous strain, having suffered a major blow to its own mission while still helping to coordinate the colossal relief effort. With millions of people needing food, water, medicine and shelter, the UN now have three priorities:
- the Humanitarian relief operation – Coordination and logistics (where they will be working closely with Haitian authorities)
- The Future
Special Representatives have been instructed to make sure all available assets are put to work in humanitarian efforts. The United States, in cooperation with the United Nations is managing the airport while UN staffare helping prioritise landing slots for humanitarian flights. The Seaport of Port-au-Prince is now operating again with a humanitarian corridor connecting affected areas.
With 70 UN staff having lost their lives in the earthquake and with UN installations in Haiti being seriously damaged, the 2010 disaster has been a tragedy for Haiti and a tragedy for the U N peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The headquarters of the UN Development Program and the UN logistical base near the airport as well as a UN hospital run by Argentine troops have all been damaged.
Despite all obstacles that must be overcome a spokesman for the UN has said “It’s not mission impossible, if all the players work together.”
UN peacekeeping missions