Accessibility links

UN  to  Consider Options  for  an International Force in Haiti - 2004-02-27

The U.N. Security Council has issued a call for prompt international intervention in Haiti, but stopped short of authorizing a peacekeeping force. Secretary-General Kofi Annan named a veteran diplomat as his special adviser on Haiti.

Jamaica's Foreign Minister K.D. Knight, representing the Caribbean Community, came to the Security Council Thursday to plead for the dispatch of a multi-national force to Haiti.

"A solution is vital for the short and long term future of Haiti which is so seriously endangered by the escalating insurgency and the prospect of a bloody civil war," he said. "The Council should authorize the creation of a force to do this and to encourage participation by those states with the available resources." He added many Caribbean countries have already expressed a willingness to contribute to a peacekeeping force.

Haiti's ambassador Jean Alexandre made an impassioned plea for help. He asked how many women, elderly and children would fall to the machete before a force arrives that can restore stable government?

France made clear it favors a prompt formation of a U.N. mandated force. French Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere told reporters violence is not the answer to Haiti's problems.

"The solution should be political one, but supported, and this is what he have said here today in the Council, supported by a multi-national civil force," he said. "In support of a political settlement, should be in our view mandated by the Security Council."

The French ambassador suggested President Aristide should consider stepping down. "It is up to Aristide to take a decision, to show responsibility," he said.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said Washington supports the multi-national force proposal, but only after a political solution. "If a sustainable political agreement in Haiti is reached, the United States would support efforts to deploy an international force to support implementation," he said.

The Security Council session ended with a strong statement of concern, but no immediate action. The statement promised to urgently consider options for international engagement, and urged all sides to respect human rights.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan responded Thursday to calls for appointment of a special U.N. envoy. He appointed veteran Caribbean diplomat John Reginald Dumas of Trinidad and Tobago to be his adviser on Haiti.