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

I. INTRODUCTION

1. By its resolution 1063 (1996) of 28 June 1996, the Security Council decided to establish a United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH) until 30 November 1996 to assist the Government of Haiti in the professionalization of the police and in the maintenance of a stable environment conducive to the success of the current efforts to establish and train an effective national police force, and expressed its support for the role of my Special Representative in the coordination of activities by the United Nations system to promote institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation in the country. The present report is submitted in compliance with paragraph 8 of that resolution, in which the Security Council requested me to submit a report on the implementation of the resolution by 30 September 1996.

2. The report also contains my recommendations on the operations and strength of the United Nations Mission in Haiti. These recommendations take into account the fact that recent developments have resulted in a serious deterioration of the security situation in the country and reflect the assessments made by the military and civilian police members of UNSMIH. They are also based on the ongoing consultations of my Special Representative, Enrique ter Horst, with the Government of President René Préval. Finally, they take into account the views of the group of "Friends of the Secretary-General for Haiti", namely, Argentina, Canada, Chile, France, the United States of America and Venezuela, whose support remains invaluable.

II. POLITICAL AND SECURITY SITUATION

3. The Government of President René Préval and Prime Minister Rosny Smarth has taken steps to correct some of the pressing economic and social problems that confront Haiti. Progress has been visible in the increased state revenues and road repair. The Government has reached agreement with the multilateral lending institutions and presented an economic reform package to the Parliament. The absence of consensus within the Parliament on this issue and the difficult conditions under which the parliamentarians have had to work led to a considerable delay in finalizing this legislation. Without the international aid that was conditioned on the economic reforms, the Government has remained solvent through severe economies and fiscal conservatism. As a result, some public sector employees, including members of the Haitian National Police (HNP), have not been paid regularly. This has contributed to absenteeism and low morale among police officers.

4. While the commitment of the Government to make the changes necessary to improve the lives of all citizens is clear, there are indications that progress has been inadequate in several areas. Many ministries suffer from a lack of qualified staff and institutional memory, meagre resources and inadequate premises. Consequently, Haiti is not in a position to make full use of the significant international assistance offered. This is particularly unfortunate given the fact that the popular demand for social services and improved infrastructure continues to grow. These unmet aspirations are the cause of frustration that is frequently expressed in demonstrations and roadblocks.

5. Over the last year, common crime has become an increasing concern. It has included some forms of criminality rarely seen in Haiti, such as kidnapping for profit and the greater use of firearms. There are also indications that trafficking in drugs and contraband is on the increase. Given the weaknesses of the HNP and the poor performance of the justice sector, Haitians have continued to take matters into their own hands by committing acts of "vigilante justice". Lawlessness has also given rise to abuse of authority and human rights violations by the HNP, which is struggling to meet the ever-greater demands and expectations placed on it while confronting an ever-more sophisticated challenge from criminal elements.

6. The Armed Forces of Haiti (FAd'H) were disbanded by presidential decree in January 1995, pending the adoption by the Parliament of an amendment to the Constitution. While some of the 7,000 former soldiers were incorporated into the new civilian police force, the majority were demobilized and offered a six-month vocational training programme administered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Some 5,000 of these men have acquired marketable skills while earning a monthly stipend, yet under 20 per cent have been able to secure positions in Haiti's sluggish economy. Additionally, not all their weapons were secured.

7. It will be recalled that in my report of 21 July 1995 (S/1995/614, para. 62), I noted that efforts to reintegrate former soldiers into the civil society were essential for peace-building. I have also appealed to Member States for additional funding for this vital undertaking.

8. Some groups of demobilized soldiers have called on the Government to provide compensation, including pensions and reimbursement of savings deposits. They have held demonstrations over the last year and, not having received any official response, have grown increasingly militant. Some ultimately threatened violence. While ex-FAd'H were long suspected to be behind some crimes, the first violent act definitively attributed to them was an attack on the police station at Vialet on 21 June. The station at Thomassiques was also attacked on 12 July. In both cases former soldiers were arrested and arms and ammunition seized. On 19 July, André Armand, the leader of a group of soldiers known as the Rassemblement des Militaires Révoqués Sans Motifs (RAMIRESM), was shot to death and another former soldier has been detained in connection with his murder. Armand had recently said publicly that some former FAd'H members were plotting to destabilize the Government. On 17 August, 19 persons, including 15 former soldiers, were arrested on suspicion of plotting against the Government, among them a colonel who had played a prominent role during the period of the de facto Government. Except for the former colonel, those detained were meeting in the offices of the Mobilization for National Development (MDN), two of whose members were also held.

9. Two days after the arrests, a group of 30 men attacked the Port-au-Prince police station where the detainees were held. Several other incidents occurred in the metropolitan area that night, including shots fired at the Parliament and near the home of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In the afternoon of 20 August, two MDN members were murdered on a crowded city street. Since then, minor acts of violence have continued: grenades were found at gas stations on 19 and 25 August; the headquarters of the national television station was attacked on 22 August; and two homes of members of the civilian police (CIVPOL) were fired on in Petit Goâve on the night of 25 August. Notes left by the attackers suggested that former soldiers were challenging the United Nations and the United States forces and that more violence would follow. In late August, the so-called Comité revendicatif des militaires démobilisés threatened action if the soldiers' financial demands were not met and their jailed colleagues released within seven days. They subsequently sought a dialogue with the Government, which had just announced that steps were being taken to address their financial concerns.

10. On 13 September, following the suspension of the Chief of the Presidential Security Unit (PSU) and his deputy, in connection with ongoing investigations, some 40 security agents were sent by the United States to Haiti bilaterally to assist the Government in professionalizing the PSU on a temporary basis. UNSMIH increased its own presence at the National Palace and coordinated its activities with the United States security personnel.

11. While incidents of violence have been numerous and are seemingly on the rise, they appear to be the work of several relatively small, but well-armed, groups, which do not coordinate their activities and have no popular support. Although these groups lack the capacity to pose a serious threat to the Government, the pattern of incidents has caused disquiet among Haitians and dealt another blow to the morale of the HNP.

12. Preoccupied with this security threat, the Government has been distracted from focusing on solving pressing social and economic concerns and promoting the reconciliation of Haitian society, both of which will condition future stability. However, in a public statement on 2 September, Prime Minister Smarth called on the former soldiers not to allow themselves to be manipulated into becoming involved in the cycle of violence and on all Haitians to support the rule of law and safeguard their country's democracy. He also reported that the Government was working with the international community to respond to the soldiers' situation, that the HNP's logistical capacity would be increased and that the justice system had been instructed to speed up investigation of recent crimes. This statement was well received and some non-governmental organizations and political parties publicly supported the Prime Minister's message.

III. DEPLOYMENT AND OPERATIONS OF UNSMIH

13. As members will recall, the Security Council, in its resolution 1063 (1996), decided to limit to 600 and 300 respectively the troop and civilian police strength of UNSMIH and, bearing in mind the assurance given in my previous report (see S/1996/416, para. 36) that, the situation permitting, I would be alert to further opportunities to reduce the strength of the Mission, requested me to report to it on the prospects for such further reductions. In paragraph 6 of the same resolution, the Security Council requested all States to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken by the United Nations and by Member States in pursuance of its relevant resolutions in order to carry out the provisions of the UNSMIH mandate. Responding to the Council's request, the Governments of Canada and the United States of America have provided, at their own expense, the resources required to fund an additional 700 military personnel to assist the Government of Haiti.

14. The restructuring of the force after the expiration of the mandate of UNMIH and the redeployment necessitated by the reduction of the previous United Nations-financed military component were carried out during the month of July 1996. Two military camps, at Cap-Haïtien and Port-au-Prince, were closed and another was reorganized to accommodate the contingent from Pakistan, which was redeployed to the capital. The contingent from Bangladesh was repatriated on 16 July. Likewise, the force headquarters staff was reduced and restructured. As a result, UNSMIH's military element is now deployed only in Port-au-Prince. At 15 September, its strength stood at 600. In addition, some 672 personnel funded on a voluntary basis (see annex) are in the mission area. The military element is under the command of Brigadier-General J. R. P. Daigle (Canada).

15. In compliance with the usual practice, negotiations were held with the Government of Haiti to ensure that UNSMIH would enjoy full freedom of movement and communication, and other rights necessary for the performance of its tasks. These negotiations concluded successfully and, on 4 July, the Prime Minister informed the United Nations that the status-of-forces agreement concluded for UNMIH on 15 March 1995 would apply mutatis mutandis to UNSMIH and its personnel.

16. As already noted, the reduction of UNMIH's military element necessitated a concentration of the remaining forces in Port-au-Prince (see attached map), which, as the centre of economic, political and social activity in Haiti, is critical to the maintenance of a secure and stable environment. A strong military presence there is therefore essential to provide a credible deterrence against those who might seek to destabilize the situation. With this in mind, and in view of recent developments, UNSMIH has greatly increased the number of its patrols to manifest its presence, thus considerably reducing the reaction time required to respond to critical situations in the metropolitan area. UNSMIH helicopters equipped with radar and search lights are flown in coordination with ground patrols in order to increase effectiveness, particularly at night.

17. UNSMIH regularly provides support and back-up to the HNP as it confronts various security challenges. UNSMIH has also continued to ensure security at the National Palace, for the President's motorcade and at the residence of the former President. In an effort to assign the highest possible number of troops to ground patrols, the number of key installations to be protected has been reduced to the absolute minimum. As a result, United Nations military personnel are no longer deployed at the seaport or the airport, which are now protected by the HNP. However, UNSMIH will continue to be deployed at the same level both at headquarters and at the two military camps in the capital to ensure their protection.

18. UNSMIH's military element also assists in the professionalization of the HNP by conducting joint civilian police/HNP/military patrols in the more difficult areas of the capital. In addition, it has assisted in the training of an HNP quick-reaction tactical response team for the search and seizure of weapons. The military element further supports the HNP in the areas of information-gathering, organization and planning. In recent weeks, it has provided increased back-up to the HNP and CIVPOL. For example, UNSMIH military units were posted at the Parliament in the aftermath of the shooting attack on the building (see para. 9 above).

19. The HNP's capacity to respond appropriately outside the Port-au-Prince area is limited by a general lack of equipment, training and organization. It is important, therefore, that UNSMIH be able to respond quickly throughout the country when HNP and CIVPOL units in the more remote areas require assistance. To simplify the assignment of responsibility, the country's nine departments have been divided into two areas - Response Zones North and South. In this context, it is important that the Mission be assigned two medium-lift helicopters.

20. Under the command of Colonel Robert Pigeyre (France), the civilian police element of UNSMIH (CIVPOL), whose strength at 15 September stood at 271, continues to be deployed at 19 locations throughout Haiti from where it seeks to professionalize the HNP through on-the-job training and by reinforcing its command and management structures. CIVPOL personnel accompany HNP officers in their daily policing activities and also provide more formal training at each police station. Of the 271 CIVPOL members, 223 are assigned to individual commissariats and 40 serve as technical consultants, instructors and advisers to specialized units such as the Special Investigative Unit (brigade criminelle), the Inspector-General's Office and the proposed HNP Operations Centre. The eight remaining CIVPOL members comprise the senior police command at UNSMIH headquarters.

21. The 223 CIVPOL officers at the commissariat level are primarily involved in the field training of HNP personnel. They accompany HNP officers on routine patrols, monitor their behaviour and procedures during criminal investigations, arrests, the questioning of suspects and the handling of prisoners. They also participate in the evaluation of the performance of HNP officers and provide continuous instruction at the detachment level under the monitoring of the Training Section at UNSMIH headquarters. This recently developed approach ensures that training is consistent across the country. Twenty subjects have already been identified for the training and some courses will be completed by the end of November 1996. Additional subjects will be taught at future courses.

22. CIVPOL officers also serve as instructors at the Police Academy. They have assumed responsibility in particular for imparting skills that were urgently needed, such as professional intervention techniques (gestes techniques professionels d'intervention) which are being taught to 47 HNP officers. The last group of 15 HNP officers was scheduled to commence this course on 16 September. VIP security (sécurité rapprochée) is provided by 100 HNP officers trained by CIVPOL and an additional 25 officers are currently in training.

23. In order to fill the gaps in the HNP command structure as quickly as possible, CIVPOL has trained 43 commissaires and two additional training sessions are scheduled in September (for 23 officers) and in October (for an additional 30). Another gap in the command structure is at the intermediate inspecteur level. To fill this gap, CIVPOL has conducted training sessions for the most senior of the rank-and-file officers, known as "Agents 3" and "4". Studying in groups of 30, some 170 of the former will receive officer training and a 15-day course qualifying candidates for commissaires will be held for 141 "Agents 4", who will be grouped into classes of 50.

24. One hundred and twenty officers have been trained for the crowd-control units (compagnies de maintien de l'ordre) and three additional four-week courses for groups of 40 officers are planned for the north, east and central regions. CIVPOL has provided on-the-job training to 33 detectives assigned to the brigade criminelle. Twenty-one of these will be assigned to local detachments around the country and their replacements in the capital will also be trained by CIVPOL. The feasibility of establishing training centres at the departmental level is currently under study.

IV. HAITIAN NATIONAL POLICE

25. The 6,000-member Haitian National Police (HNP) was fully deployed in 174 locations by the end of February 1996. This young force, which is in a difficult and critical phase, has three fundamental shortcomings: inexperience, inadequate equipment and insufficient leadership. Created from virtually nothing and not yet two years old, it is facing a formidable challenge from well-armed criminals, some of whom are politically motivated. It remains grossly underequipped. Many police stations lack even such basics as electricity, plumbing and water, and some of them attempt to serve their communities without telephone, radio or vehicles. Many mid-level officer posts remain unfilled and those officers who are deployed - with only a few weeks' training - lack leadership experience. Taken together, these problems seriously tax the capacity of the young officers to carry out their duties and adversely affect their morale. UNSMIH's CIVPOL members, who regularly monitor HNP posts throughout the country, report that officers exhibit a lack of motivation that is expressed in chronic absenteeism and even desertion. This problem is so commonplace that some subcommissariats are non-functional. Indeed, it is CIVPOL's presence that makes it possible for some stations to function at all, mitigating the lack of resources by sharing its vehicles and means of communication with the HNP.

26. The office of the HNP Director-General has drafted a plan for the institutional development of the police that incorporates in large measure the work and recommendations of the working groups that functioned during the mandate of UNMIH. Working together, the HNP and UNSMIH leadership have translated this plan into concrete objectives, named individuals responsible for their achievement and set deadlines. Progress in this work is tracked by President Préval at regular gatherings of key HNP officials, UNSMIH, the International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) and bilateral donors. To ensure that his plan will be implemented efficiently, HNP Director-General Pierre Denizé has created a "support and follow-up group", which includes all those involved in the training, professionalization and management of the HNP - namely, representatives of Canada, France, the United States of America and CIVPOL. Although progress in this forum remains limited, advances have been noted in several areas, such as the establishment of a computerized payroll system. A new coast guard and fire brigade are now operational. Some local HNP detachments have established constructive relations with local residents. In Cap-Haïtien, for example, a community relations unit has been established and HNP officers have made presentations in schools on the role of police in society. Last spring, the new HNP disciplinary code was widely distributed. In this and other ways, HNP leadership has made clear its commitment to enforcing human rights and ethical standards within the police. This commitment is also reinforced by MICIVIH's human rights training for the police.

27. Despite some progress and the establishment of mechanisms that should help consolidate the HNP, much remains to be implemented. Essential decisions, such as the appointment of mid-level and senior officers, have been delayed, which has caused, at times, a leadership vacuum in the country. Many rank-and-file officers function without adequate direction - a situation that, predictably, has given rise to indiscipline and excesses. Most of the 43 officers trained to serve as commissaires were not deployed on graduation when it was discovered that a majority of them were former FAd'H members who had scored well on the qualifying examination. Fearing popular rejection, the HNP leadership decided to wait until more commissaires with a civilian background completed their training, thereby improving the military/civilian ratio. Some three months later, these critical appointments still have to be made and some 70 posts remain empty. In many locations, CIVPOL has had to fill the managerial void.

28. Another critical step that has yet to be taken is the establishment of a command centre at headquarters in Port-au-Prince and of similar centres at each of the nine departmental headquarters. While the decision to establish departmental centres de renseignements et d'opérations was taken last February, the personnel required has yet to be appointed and the sites to be chosen. One of the causes for the delay is that the national telephone authority has failed to install the necessary telephone lines at HNP headquarters. In the meantime, CIVPOL has offered its own operations centre as a base to train the personnel for HNP operations centres around the country.

29. In general, the institutional development of the HNP has been seriously delayed. Financially, the HNP has not been spared from the budgetary constraints affecting the whole public sector. Because the Government remains short of cash until the economic package is approved by the Parliament, the Ministry of Finance has not disbursed adequate funds to the Ministry of Justice. As a result, police officers are paid one or two months late. In general, record-keeping is insufficient and basic information about the institution is not centralized or systematized. Particularly problematic in a country with increasing criminality - some of it new and sophisticated - is the HNP's lack of a criminal investigative capacity. Much of the country remains without any detectives at all. The one unit specialized in criminal investigation - the brigade criminelle - is small and devoted to investigating a limited number of killings that appear to be politically motivated.

30. Although it has received large amounts of equipment donated by UNSMIH and bilateral donors, the force remains manifestly underequipped. Many officers have only one uniform, which may be one of the reasons why they sometimes report for work in civilian clothing. The participation of armed men in street clothes in policing functions has caused confusion and fear among the population and could give rise to abuse.

31. UNSMIH continues to play a leading role in the logistics area and it has drawn up a list of existing resources and needs. Regularly updated, the list reveals glaring deficiencies in all areas: transportation, infrastructure and communications.

32. Much of the equipment donated to the HNP is currently non-functional because it has been misused or fallen into disrepair. Systems to ensure accountability and maintenance remain inadequate. UNSMIH has begun repairing HNP vehicles at its workshops in Cap-Haïtien, Hinche and Les Cayes and will eventually transfer these resources to the HNP. Systems to ensure the proper maintenance of telecommunications equipment are also lacking and donated equipment is now in need of overhaul.

33. It will be recalled that in response to Security Council resolution 975 (1995), I set up a voluntary fund to assist with the creation of an adequate police force in Haiti. Since that time, in all my reports on Haiti, I have appealed to Member States to give immediate and serious consideration to contributing to the Fund. To date, the Fund has received a total of US$ 3,250,000 from Japan, the Republic of Korea and Luxembourg. These resources have been used to provide vehicles, communications and other equipment and to renovate over 25 police stations throughout Haiti. Many more of the country's 174 police stations are in dire need of repair. I wish to thank those Governments which have generously contributed to the Trust Fund. However, its resources will soon be exhausted. In this context, it should be noted that the Director-General of the HNP has made a request, endorsed by President Préval, for assistance by the international community to hire 40 police consultants to provide technical advice and expertise to HNP officials for an 18-month period.

34. Charged with ensuring compliance with fundamental ethical, professional and human rights standards, Inspector-General Eucher Luc Joseph and his 23 staff are struggling to investigate a growing number of cases. Working in extremely difficult conditions, they have completed the investigation of 35 cases, out of a total of more than 200. This office performs a critical function within the HNP and is a key guarantor to ensuring a society based on the rule of law. It bears mentioning that timely and thorough investigations of accusations of wrongdoing on the part of the HNP will contribute significantly to the public's confidence in the institution. Likewise, cases in which a crime has been committed should be passed as a matter of course to the competent judge. In that context, the Inspector-General is conducting a corps-wide performance survey (to be completed on 15 October) with the intention of dismissing those officers deemed unfit. Six CIVPOL members continue to be assigned to the Inspector-General's office.

V. JUDICIARY AND PRISON SYSTEMS

35. The HNP's partner in the administration of justice is the court system, which in most of the country remains dysfunctional. Under Haiti's civil law system, an investigating judge has, in partnership with the public prosecutor (commissaire du gouvernement), a significant role in criminal investigation. Nearly 80 per cent of those detained in prison are awaiting trial. Consequently, prisons are seriously overcrowded. Together with USAID and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), MICIVIH continues to work in order to improve conditions of detention. Jury trials have not been held regularly in many jurisdictions for years, though there was some improvement in July and August. The July acquittal of two men accused of murdering former Justice Minister Guy Malary in October 1993 served to focus public attention on the sector's need for a fundamental overhaul.

36. Recognizing the importance of judicial reform, the Prime Minister is convening monthly coordination meetings among Ministry of Justice officials, UNDP, MICIVIH, UNSMIH and donors. Implementation of a 32-point plan of action is reviewed and adjustments made as required. So far, progress has been slow, lagging behind developments in the public security sector. At the end of August, the Ministry of Justice introduced in the Parliament a bill on judicial reform that provides, inter alia, for the creation of a committee of experts to help the understaffed Ministry of Justice and that of a committee of evaluation, jointly designated by the Parliament and the Executive Branch, to deal with the status, training and replacement of judicial personnel. While consideration of this bill may help develop a consensus on the sensitive issue of the restructuring of the judiciary, it may result in further delays in the decisions required to establish confidence in the court system and meet the growing demand for justice.

37. The appointment of Dr. Louis Roy as Human Rights Ombudsman was a positive development. Once operational, this office should serve an important monitoring function in ensuring that those entrusted with the protection of the rights of Haitians live up to that responsibility.

38. Considerable resources have been offered by the international community for judicial reform. Courthouses are being renovated with the assistance of Canada; USAID and MICIVIH, together with Canadian specialists, are working jointly on improving administrative procedures in the offices of the public prosecutors; France has provided several experts to the Ministry of Justice; USAID stands ready to fund training and other activities. These resources represent an important opportunity for Haitian officials overseeing judicial reform efforts.

VI. DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

39. By its resolution 1063 (1996), the Security Council supported the role of my Special Representative in the coordination of activities by the United Nations system to promote institution-building, national reconciliation and economic rehabilitation in Haiti. The Council also stressed the importance of an early agreement between the Government of Haiti and the international financial institutions on the steps necessary to make possible the provision of additional financial support.

40. The Government's development efforts in the last three months have centred on encouraging passage by Parliament of two key laws related to the structural adjustment programme - civil service reform and modernization of public enterprises, maintaining the macroeconomic balance necessary to attract private investment and reactivating externally financed public investment to improve the country's infrastructure and provide a much-needed stimulus to domestic demand.

41. Efforts on the fiscal front have achieved some positive results. Tax revenues have continued to increase as collection improves and tax evasion diminishes. Current fiscal expenditures are running below budgeted appropriations as external financing has not been disbursed pending the adoption of the structural adjustment programme. Higher revenues and fiscal expenditures below those planned have resulted in a gradual narrowing of the fiscal imbalance in the third quarter. This trend, combined with several other factors, has led to a slight appreciation of the gourde. Contributing to this improvement were the slight deceleration of inflation (as of July 1996, 17.6 per cent on an annual basis); increase in available foreign exchange owing to a growing number of visitors, both Haitians living abroad and foreigners; and strengthening of the gourde resulting from the inflow of foreign currency by bilateral or multilateral donors to finance public investments.

42. Economic growth is still modest. Increased public investment - more than 90 per cent of which is externally financed - and renewed private construction have stimulated demand. Yet this increase in demand is nearly offset by the decrease stemming from the narrowing fiscal deficit and other factors. The recent violence, while not affecting public investment programmes, might scare off private investors.

43. Since my last report, there has been little change in the priorities, approach and commitments of multilateral and bilateral agencies and donors. The supply of soft credits and grants - mostly for technical assistance - remains substantial for the coming years. Yet, absorption capacity is still a problem. To tackle this obstacle, on 3 June, the Prime Minister convened the Ministers whose programmes are externally financed, as well as key multilateral and bilateral actors, including the UNDP Resident Representative. Three main problems were identified: virtually all ministries lack qualified personnel at appropriate levels to expedite externally assisted projects; bureaucratic obstacles on the part of the Government - but also on the part of the donors - retard and even impede project implementation; lack of coordination among donors in some sectors leads to excessive demands on the time of the Minister concerned and already overworked ministerial staff who are at times obliged to analyse and choose among similar projects presented by different donors.

44. A proposal to deal with these last two issues was submitted to the Prime Minister by the UNDP Resident Representative in a letter dated 16 July 1996. It will be recalled that, in 1995, I appointed the UNDP Resident Representative to the post of Deputy Special Representative, thus linking a peace-keeping mission to development activities for the first time. This arrangement is working well in that it has created an organic link between the Mission and various agencies and programmes represented in Haiti. The President of the Security Council welcomed my decision to coordinate the peace-keeping mission with development activities and expressed the hope that this coordination would promote closer cooperation of all concerned in Haiti, as well as improve effectiveness of international support for rebuilding Haiti's economy (see S/PRST/1995/20 of 24 April 1995).

45. On 29 July, my Special Representative invited the Prime Minister, the Minister of Planning and External Cooperation, the Minister of the Economy and Finance, the multilateral financial agencies, key bilateral donors and agencies of the United Nations system working in Haiti to a meeting whose purpose was to explain the Mission's wide mandate and to promote discussion on how to implement its new aspects to follow up on proposals made in the above-mentioned letter.

46. There emerged from this gathering a mechanism by which each Minister would invite the main donors in his sector to analyse jointly the status of projects and identify measures to advance their implementation. These periodic meetings will also allow the Minister to brief the donors on the Government's main policy directions for the sector and to explain new initiatives. Moreover, donors will be able to use the opportunity to present new project ideas, thus reducing the possibility of duplication and demands on the Minister's time. The first sectoral meeting using this modality was hosted by the Ministry of Social Affairs on 22 August and a calendar of meetings has been set for the ministries with oversight in health, public works, transportation and communication, agriculture and the environment.

47. South-South cooperation is gathering momentum. Technical assistance and training missions from Bolivia, Chile, Cuba and Mexico have come to Haiti in the last three months. Many other Latin American and Caribbean countries have planned missions of a similar nature in coming months. Also, an increasing number of trade missions (among them, Venezuela and the Caribbean Tourism Organization) have visited the country recently and reached agreements to enhance commercial relations. It is to be hoped that Haiti is gradually becoming attractive for traders and potential investors in the Caribbean and Latin America.

48. In my previous report, I had encouraged the formulation of a shared vision among Haitians of their country's future. The purpose, inter alia, was to improve the framework for international support. At the initiative of my Special Representative, a group of 29 Haitian leaders and experts from different sectors (business, church, community organizations, government, non-profit organizations, university); disciplines (economists, jurists, social and political scientists, historians, architects, medical doctors, engineers); and political persuasions met to map out key long-term objectives and policies for their country. This seminar was held under the auspices of UNDP and two local non-governmental organizations. A synthesis of these discussions will be published shortly. This workshop constitutes the first step in a process that aims to facilitate a national dialogue and formulation of a domestic agenda based on a large degree of consensus, which is essential for the formulation of a framework for international support in coming years. Under the overall coordination of the Special Representative, the agencies of the United Nations system will continue to contribute to the formulation of this shared vision and to be involved in the new sectoral working groups in the socio-economic sphere. In this fashion, the United Nations will be able to remain engaged in promoting the development of Haiti over the long term, in continuation of its commitment during the current period of transition.

VII. OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

49. It is clear, from all indications, that the security situation in Haiti has deteriorated in recent weeks. The attacks and shooting incidents that have occurred in Port-au-Prince reflect an increase in subversive activities in which some ex-FAd'H personnel and members of extreme rightist organizations seem to be involved. A number of popular demonstrations have also been held throughout the country and it cannot be excluded that locally based vigilante brigades might step up their activities, thus further threatening public security and eroding the country's stability.

50. So far, the HNP has not reached the level of experience and confidence required to control and defeat threats posed by subversive groups. It is clear, therefore, that UNSMIH's military element, which is still the largest and best equipped security force in Haiti, is a key factor in the ability of the Haitian authorities to contain the danger of destabilization by forces threatening democracy.

51. The Government of Haiti has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to build a human rights-respecting, civilian police force as a strong institutional guarantor of the rule of law. The HNP leadership, as well as many of its officers, are working diligently under very difficult circumstances and under the pressure of both increasing expectations and a renewed security threat. Nine officers have been killed during 1996, shaking the confidence of police and citizens alike.

52. It is likely that the recent spate of violence is intended to test the resolve of the HNP, the Government and the international community. Efforts must be redoubled and key decisions must be promptly made and implemented if the HNP is to achieve the necessary professionalization and efficiency. Authority and decision-making need to be decentralized. In this context, I would like to reiterate my call to the Governments of Member States to contribute generously to the Trust Fund for the Haitian National Police, which, in the coming months, will be needed to respond to the request of the Government of Haiti for a technical advisers programme.

53. Recent events serve as a reminder of the importance of further steps to prevent the dangers to a secure and stable environment posed by further polarization and to ensure the reconciliation of Haitian society. I note with satisfaction that a joint working group of IOM, USAID and UNSMIH has crafted a scheme to satisfy a number of legitimate demands by the demobilized soldiers. Once implemented, this scheme should help promote the reintegration of this section of the Haitian population into civil society. With the Government's economic policies almost in place, the stage is set for more growth and development. Coordinated by my Special Representative and his Deputy, a mechanism has been put in place to improve the implementation of projects in the socio-economic area. It is hoped that these steps will bolster investors' confidence.

54. As I have noted in the past, by endorsing my proposals in July 1994, the Security Council was by implication committing the international community to a long-term programme of support for Haiti. In my view, the presence and assistance of the international community will continue to be required beyond November 1996 to help the Government of Haiti set up a professional, well- managed and well-equipped civilian police and ensure that a stable environment will be consolidated, that democracy will take root and that economic and social development will translate into a visible improvement of the living conditions of the people.

55. As noted in paragraph 13 above, the Council had requested me to report to it on prospects for further reductions in the strength of the Mission. While I shall, of course, remain alert to opportunities to reduce the Mission's strength and costs, I must recommend that UNSMIH's current military and CIVPOL strength be maintained for the time being. The present troop level, supplemented by additional voluntarily funded personnel, constitutes in my view the minimum required for the implementation of the Mission's mandate, and I am convinced that, in the present circumstances, any further reduction would diminish UNSMIH's operational and training capability and place its mandate at risk.

56. In concluding the present report, I should like to commend my Special Representative, the commanders of the military and civilian police elements and the international and local civilian staff for their outstanding efforts in support of democracy in Haiti.

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