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International Mission in Haiti To Get 200 More Philippine Troops

19 July 2005

U.N. peacekeeping mission seeking to restore order, facilitate assistance

By Eric Green
Washington File Staff Writer

Washington -- An international peacekeeping mission seeking to restore order in Haiti will receive 200 more soldiers from the Philippines, more than doubling that nation’s 150-member force already stationed in the troubled Caribbean nation.

The United States is also providing some of the civilian police and military personnel for the U.N. mission, known as MINUSTAH, which is being led by Brazil.

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced July 19 that the Filipino troops would be sent to Haiti as part of the Philippines' "engagement in the world in keeping peace."

Arroyo added that the Philippines' commitment to Haiti is part of its continuing involvement in global affairs, in accordance with its being elected in 2003 as a nonpermanent member to the U.N. Security Council and its 2004 election as chair of the counterterrorism task force of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

APEC has several members from the Western Hemisphere: Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru and the United States.  Other APEC members are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Vietnam.

The election of the Philippines to these global bodies, Arroyo said, "serve[s] as highlights of the multilateral and international organizations' trust in the leadership capabilities of the Philippines."

The U.N. Security Council decided June 22 to provide another 1,000 military troops and civilian police to MINUSTAH.

The additional troops and civilian police would give MINUSTAH almost 9,400 personnel in Haiti, the Security Council said.

The Security Council has also decided to extend the MINUSTAH mandate in Haiti until February 15, 2006, a week after a newly elected government is expected to take office in Haiti.

In a separate announcement, MINUSTAH said on July 12 that the United Nations and Haiti's transitional government signed a document providing for the funding of humanitarian assistance and quick "impact projects" in Cité Soleil, the impoverished seaside district in Haiti's capital city of Port-au-Prince.

The document provided for a $120,000 donation raised by two international soccer stars, Ronaldo de Lima and Zinédine Zidane, to be used for education, health care, and sanitation projects in Cité Soleil.

The soccer stars raised the money from their December 2004 "Match for Charity" in Madrid, Spain, with proceeds from the game also going to various countries in Africa. 

The game -- which the two soccer players and the United Nations helped to organize -- drew 65,000 spectators, who were invited to make a donation either when they arrived at the stadium in Madrid for the match or by paying into a special account created for the purpose of fighting poverty.

(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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