n Conflict Trends - United Nations presence in Haiti : challenges of a multidimensional peacekeeping mission

Volume 2009, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Haiti has had a very complex and dynamic history, from its role as the "Pearl of the Antilles" in the 18th century, to its label as the poorest country in the western hemisphere in the 21st century. In the last 60 years or so - despite gross violations of human rights, lack of security and poor or no delivery of basic services to the population - Haiti remained out of the United Nations (UN) security agenda because of its political inclusion under the United States (US) zone of influence. It was only after the end of the Cold War that the UN Security Council (UNSC) was involved with Haiti for the first time. From 1993 to 2004, six UN missions were approved and deployed to Haiti (the first one being a joint mission with the Organisation of American States). The last and current mission, deployed in June 2004 and still on the ground, is the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), and is the only one that has a truly multidimensional mandate. This seems to render it more able to provide stability, and (eventually) promote sustainable peace in Haiti. This article aims to provide an overall and introductory discussion of the UN's recent involvement in Haiti, with special attention to MINUSTAH and its multidimensional nature, highlighting some of its features and main challenges.

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