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03 May 2004

U.S. Praises New U.N. Resolution to Help Haiti

Resolution authorizes 8,000 U.N. troops and civilians in Haiti

By Eric Green
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- U.S. officials are praising a U.N. Security Council resolution that authorizes a new peacekeeping force in Haiti of more than 8,000 troops and civilians (political and human rights experts) to help stabilize the troubled Caribbean nation.

Stuart Holliday, alternate U.S. Representative to the United Nations, told reporters April 30 that the resolution, which passed unanimously that day, "will be an important step in getting potential troop contributors to come forward" from the world community.

"Many have been waiting for this kind of strong statement from the Security Council," Holliday said. He added that the United States was also pleased the resolution was adopted under what is called "Chapter VII" authority, in which the Security Council determines the measures that should be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Article 43 of that chapter states that all members of the United Nations "undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call ... armed forces, assistance, and facilities ... for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security."

The U.N. troops will take over June 1 from the U.S.-led multinational force installed in Haiti following the resignation from office in late February of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The White House also praised the Security Council resolution. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said April 30 that the U.N. mission "will help ensure a stable and secure environment so that the Haitian people can move forward with [the country's] political and constitutional transformation."

The U.N. force, he added, "will also help the transitional government to reform the Haitian police force and help provide the conditions in which the transitional government can organize free and fair elections at the earliest possible date."

McClellan said a number of countries have already agreed to participate in the U.N. mission.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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