#PeaceDay: 15 Years of UN Peacekeeping, a Visual Journey
The United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) will complete its mandate on 15 October 2019, bringing to a close 15 consecutive years of peacekeeping in the country. MINUJUSTH, which started operations in October 2017, was preceded by a larger and more robust mission, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), that was deployed in June 2004. On this occasion, MINUJUSTH organized an exhibition of pictures, in collaboration with the Department of Global Communications and the Department of Peace Operations.
Throughout these fifteen years, the United Nations peacekeeping missions worked closely with national authorities, civil society, national and international partners and the rest of the UN family to help develop and professionalize the national police force, strengthen judicial processes and build capacity in the area of human rights, thus fostering an environment conducive to the country’s development.
As this effort advanced, the Security Council adjusted the missions’ mandates to better address changing priorities or to respond to devastating events such as the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010.
On 16 October, a Special Political Mission, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (Bureau Intégré des Nations Unies en Haïti, BINUH), will start operations under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. BINUH will work in an advisory capacity with the Haitian authorities and the UN Country Team in jointly consolidating gains achieved in the areas of stability, security, governance, rule of law, and human rights, through the Haitian-UN partnership since 2004.
Haiti today is a testament to the dedication and collective work of its citizens, international actors, and UN personnel from over 50 nationalities, who all pursued a common goal: promoting peace, human rights, and sustainable development for the present and future generations.
#01 February 2004: Haiti asks for international assistance due to increasing instability
In 2004, a political and security crisis led to a situation of instability, armed confrontations and protests on the streets. The president of the Supreme Court assumed the functions of president ad interim and requested the deployment of UN peacekeepers. The UN Security Council adopted resolution 1529, authorizing a multinational interim force in February 2004 that was replaced by MINUSTAH in June 2004. MINUSTAH/Sophia Paris
#02 MINUSTAH is born
In April 2004, the Security Council adopted resolution 1542 establishing the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The Mission’s mandate focused on three pillars: ensuring a secure and stable environment by strengthening justice and rule of law institutions, supporting political engagement and promoting human rights. The deployment of the mission began in June 2004 with 6,700 military personnel and 1,600 civilian police. MINUSTAH/Sophia Paris
#03 Reestablishing peace and security
One of the peacekeepers’ priorities was to reestablish peace and security through patrols, check-points and anti-crime operations. Here, Brazilian soldiers patrol a troubled neighbourhood of the capital, Port-au-Prince. UN Photo/Logan Abassi
#04 Working hand-in-hand with Haiti
Engaging with local people to better understand their needs was an important part of the mission’s early work. Here, women UN Police officers talk to children whilst on patrol in the capital. UN Photo/Marco Dormino
#05 A new concept in Haiti: Community violence reduction
The UN Mission also worked with communities on violence reduction projects. Peacekeepers supported these Haitian workers, helping them to build walls and plant vegetation in order to preserve the land and prevent flooding. The project also created economic and social opportunities for former gang members. MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi
#06 Accompanying electoral processes
The Mission supported presidential, legislative and municipal elections across the island nation. Here, an elderly woman is given a hand on her way to the voting booth in 2006, in Port-au-Prince, by a UN police officer. UN Photo/Sophia Paris
#07 Accompanying electoral processes
The peacekeeping mission played a key logistics role transporting ballots from around the country to the capital. Peacekeepers also provide security whilst voting took place. UN Photo/Logan Abassi
#08 Supporting humanitarian assistance in crises
Haiti suffered a series of natural disasters during the last 15 years. Here, a UN peacekeeper from Brazil carries a baby who was rescued following a flood in the Cité Soleil neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. UN Photo/Marco Dormino
#09 2010 earthquake
In January 2010, a massive earthquake struck Haiti, during which 220,000 people were reportedly killed. A total of 102 UN staff also lost their lives when the mission’s headquarters collapsed. MINUSTAH/Marco Dormino
#10 An unprecedented response
A young victim receives treatment at a field hospital established by MINUSTAH peacekeepers. The 47-second tremor remains rooted in the collective memory of Haitians and the United Nations, not just because of the scale of the tragedy, but also because of the unprecedented solidarity triggered by the disaster. In response, the UN Security Council asked the Mission to assist in Haiti’s reconstruction, in close collaboration with other UN entities. UN Photo/Sophia Paris
#11 Transition from MINUSTAH to MINUJUSTH
Having completed its mandate, MINUSTAH closed on 15 October 2017 and transitioned to the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH). A smaller mission without a military component, MINUJUSTH focused on supporting the reinforcement of the Haitian National Police, the Rule of Law institutions and the promotion of human rights. MINUJUSTH started with 350 civilians, seven police contingents and 295 individual UN Police. MINUJUSTH/Leonora Baumann
#12 Professionalization of the Haitian National Police
Graduation ceremony for the 28th Class of the Haitian National Police. A core task of MINUJUSTH's police component has been to ensure sustainable support to the Haitian National Police (HNP) and its Strategic Development Plan for 2017-2021 in close collaboration with other international partners such as the USA and Canada. This has been done through trainings, mentoring and assistance in recruitment, including strengthening the HNP women’s network. Today, the HNP has more than 15,000 police officers, of whom 10 per cent are women. The United Nations will continue supporting the professionalization of the Haitian police after MINUJUSTH’s closure. MINUJUSTH/Leonora Baumann
#13 End of peacekeeping in Haiti: New UN configuration, new partnership
The closure of MINUJUSTH on 15 October 2019 ends peacekeeping operations in Haiti. On 16 October, a Special Political Mission, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (Bureau Intégré des Nations Unies en Haïti, BINUH), will start operations under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. BINUH will work in an advisory capacity with the Haitian authorities and the UN Country Team in jointly consolidating gains achieved in the areas of stability, security, governance, rule of law, and human rights, through the Haitian-UN partnership since 2004. MINUJUSTH/Leonora Baumann