Efforts need to be scaled up in Haiti in next 12-18 months "critical period of risk": UN

08:32, April 29, 2010      

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The period of next 12 to 18 months in Haiti is a "critical period of risk" where efforts need to continue to be scaled up, the head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) urged Wednesday.

"Falling behind on that track would seriously undermine the stability we have been working towards in Haiti for many years," Edward Mulet, special representative of the UN secretary-general and head of MINUSTAH, said at a open UN Security Council meeting on Haiti here at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Briefing the 15-nation Council on Haiti's path to stability, Mulet said efforts hinge on staying on track to the political and electoral timetable towards a constitutional handover of power in February 2011.

"I believe the next twelve to eighteen months are a period of great challenge and risk in Haiti, but one which we can help the government to weather," Mullet told the Council.

Outlining the coming risks for the year, particularly with security, Mulet reaffirmed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call in his latest report on Haiti for a "surge of effort" in five areas of work.

The report, which was presented Tuesday to the Council by Ban, looked at areas where MINUSTAH needs to be scaled up in their technical, operational and logical assistance to Haiti's government and institutions.

Mulet further voiced MINUSTAH's call to step up its efforts to support security and law, especially with their assistance to train the Haitian National Police (HNP).

Mullet warned that it will take time for Haiti to build back, but what the Caribbean country needs most is the support from international community, he said.

"So I believe that, in the face of tragedy, this is a moment of historic opportunity for Haiti," Mullet said. "If we can get through the next year of risks, there is a good prospect that 2010 could also mark the start of new era of stability."



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