posted on TUE 29 MAR 2011 5:35 PM
Insights on Haiti

Preparations for a high-level debate on Haiti on 6 April are currently underway. A draft presidential statement which is expected to be adopted at the debate was circulated to all Council members on Monday, 28 March, and the first expert level discussions on the draft took place yesterday. The draft was also discussed last Friday (25 March) by the Group of Friends on Haiti (composed of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Peru, Uruguay and the US). A concept paper explaining Colombia’s aims for the debate was also circulated to Council members earlier in the month.

An area of focus in the draft presidential statement is the link between security and social and economic development. The need for donors to fulfill pledges made in March 2010 at the Haiti conference is also a feature. It seems some reference is likely to be made to MINUSTAH’s mandate but there is unlikely to be any attempt to make changes to the mandate at this stage.

Although Council members have only had a preliminary discussion on the draft text it appears that there is overall agreement on the general thrust of the presidential statement. Some differences over the linkages between development and security are likely to emerge as China has in the past made it clear that it feels that discussions on development should take place in ECOSOC rather than the Security Council.

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos is expected to preside over the debate and it is likely that a number of other Council members will be represented at ministerial level. It is also possible that Bill Clinton may attend in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Haiti and co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission.