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96/02/29: Haiti's Journey (Amb. Albright)


Statement by Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright, United
States Permanent Representative to the United Nations,
on the Extension of UNIMIH, in the Security Council,
in Explanation of Vote, February 29, 1996

 Today, this Council marks another milestone in Haiti's
journey from tyranny to democracy.  

 The UN Mission in Haiti has helped to ensure a climate
of security within which free elections could be held
and a new President inaugurated.  For the first time
in Haiti's history, political power has been
transferred from a President elected by the people to
a new President also elected by the people--without
violence and with respect for democratic principles. 
That is an advance for freedom and stability
throughout this hemisphere.

 Today, in response to the request of Haiti's new
President, Rene Preval, we have approved an extension
of the UN mission.  By this decision the international
community renews its support to Haitian security and
stability and continues its much-needed assistance to
the newly-trained, newly-deployed Haitian National
Police.  This will allow the Haitian Government to
consolidate and expand further its recent political,
social, and economic advances.    

 The Resolution builds on the progress that has already
occurred in Haiti.  The UN mission will be reduced by
more than two-thirds, in both its military and
civilian police components.  The Secretary-General is
instructed to begin planning no later than June for
the mission's withdrawal.  The Security Council's
role, and the need for military peacekeepers, in Haiti
is coming to an end.  But it has not ended yet.  The
Resolution approved today is designed to help finish
the job.  And during the next four months the United
States will welcome recommendations from the
Secretary-General on further ways that the
international community can contribute to Haiti's
development, democracy, and security.

 We should not forget that, through much of Haitian
history, the official outposts of authority, the
military headquarters and police, have been used not
to enhance the security of Haitian citizens, but to
deprive them of it.

 A new era has now dawned.  Haiti's government is
committed to providing justice to all its citizens,
and we welcome that commitment.  But an effective and
professional national police cannot be invented
overnight.  Today, the most experienced of the
National Police trainees has only eight months on the
job.  The police need more time.  The continued
presence of a modest number of UN peacekeepers will
help provide that time and thus reduce the likelihood
of violence and disruption.

 My government is heartened by the decision of Canada
to offer itself as a candidate for a leadership role
in the next phase of the UN mission.  We also welcome
the call in paragraph 11 of this Resolution for
voluntary contributions to fulfill this mandate.  We
urge every member to assist in appropriate ways.  We
also urge nations and the relevant international
institutions to continue efforts on behalf of the
emergency economic recovery program.  The door to
private investment must be open.  The future of
democratic Haiti depends on an economic program that
recognizes and rewards the initiative of Haiti's

 The value of the Resolution we are approving today is
also reflected in the unanimous support for it
demonstrated by all Western Hemisphere states.  This
demonstration of regional support for a democratic
transition is in the best tradition of inter-American
cooperation, and it reflects the fact that events in
Haiti have had, and continue to have, consequences
beyond the borders of that country.

 The Security Council may be proud of its role in
helping Haiti to help itself.  With our assistance,
the Haitian people have fashioned an astonishing
triumph of hope.  That victory is not yet final,
however, and it is far from complete.

 As the Resolution we have approved today recognizes,
the future of Haiti rests--as it must--in Haitian
hands.  Democratic institutions cannot be imposed upon
a society; they must be nourished from within.  The
road ahead remains uphill.  But the international
community can be satisfied that those with the
commitment to build a free Haiti now have that
opportunity.  By allowing that chance, this Council
has kept faith with the people of Haiti and with the
UN Charter's pledge to "promote social progress and
better standards of life in larger freedom." (###)
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