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UN Chief Says Haiti Has Chance to Progress

By VOA News
04 September 2009

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Haiti is moving toward a future of peaceful development following decades of conflict, but that progress remains fragile.

Mr. Ban issued a report Thursday to the Security Council, noting the challenges facing the Western Hemisphere's poorest country. The U.N. chief said it is up to Haiti's leaders to continue efforts to identify solutions.

He said the sustained commitment of Haiti's politicians and people, along with the U.N. and the international community, are key to stability there.

Mr. Ban also recommended the Security Council extend the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Haiti (known as MINUSTAH) until October of next year. He called for the peacekeepers to be reorganized to better monitor the country's border areas and coastline.

On Thursday, a delegation led by the Organization of American States began a mission in Haiti to explore how inter-American groups can work with Haitian authorities to support improvements in the country.

The mission's leader, OAS Assistant Secretary-General Albert Ramdin, says the visit aims to raise awareness of the inter-American institutions' activities in Haiti. Representatives met with President Rene Preval on Thursday.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission was sent to Haiti in 2004 following the ouster of then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Earlier this year, Mr. Ban named former U.S. President Bill Clinton as his special envoy to Haiti.

Officials say Mr. Clinton plans to attend a Security Council session on Haiti next week.

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