Should the UN Be in Haiti?

From Mirada Global, an interview with Ricardo Seitenfus, Representative of the Organization of American States Mission to Haiti:

There are 10 thousand Blue Berets in Haiti. Is this productive? The system within the UN system is not adapted to the Haitian context. Haiti is not an international threat. We are not experiencing civil war. Haiti is not Iraq or Afghanistan. And yet the Security Council, faced with the lack of alternative, imposed Blue Berets since 2004, after the departure of President Aristide. The MINUSTAH, UN’s mission, has been there since 1990.....

Advertisement

In two months’ time I’ll complete my two-year mission in Haiti. In order to stay here and not be overwhelmed by what I see, I’ve had to produce several psychological barriers. As I speak these words I wish I was an independent voice, despite the weight of the organization I represent. I do so because I wanted to express my profound doubts and tell the world that this must come to an end, that we should be done fooling around with Haiti.

On January 12th I became aware that is a tremendous potential for solidarity in the world. However, I cannot and don’t want to forget that on the first days after the earthquake it was the Haitians themselves, with their bare hands, the ones who struggled to save their loved ones. Compassion was very important in the peak of the emergency. But charity can’t be the driving force in international relations. The force that rules these relations has to be autonomy, sovereignty, fair trade, respect for the other.

Also available in Spanish.

Tim Reidy

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Gabriel Marcella
7 years 2 months ago
The confused comments by Seitenfus do not do justice to the history of the proud and heroic Haitian people and to the international community. Haiti is an ecological disaster which needs all manner of assistance. Also please note that Seitenfus has been fired by the Organization of American States: http://leoganais.com/2010/12/25/the-un-fired-ricardo-seitenfus-for-advocating-for-haiti/. Why would Mirada Global publish this without some basic fact checking? Very uncharacteristic of the scholarly Jesuits I know.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A woman religious casts her ballot May 25 in Dublin as Ireland holds a referendum on its law on abortion. Voters went to the polls May 25 to decide whether to liberalize the country's abortion laws. (CNS photo/Alex Fraser, Reuters)
The repeal of Ireland's Eighth Amendment, which guarantees the right to life of the unborn, is passing by a 2-1 margin with most of the votes counted.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos testifies at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secretary of Education stirred up controversy when she said it was up to schools to decide if an undocumented student should be reported to authorities.
J.D. Long-GarcíaMay 25, 2018
Thousands gathered in Dublin May 12 to say "Love Both" and "Vote No" to abortion on demand. They were protesting abortion on demand in the forthcoming referendum May 25. (CNS photo/John McElroy)
“Priests and bishops get verbal abuse by being told, ‘How can you speak for women? You don’t know what it’s like!’”
America StaffMay 25, 2018
The coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII is seen during a ceremony in Vittorio Veneto Square after its arrival in Bergamo, Italy, May 24. The body of the late pope left the Vatican on May 24 to be displayed in his home region until June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

BERGAMO, Italy (CNS) — Accompanied by Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo and escorted by both Italian and Vatican police officers, the glass coffin containing the body of St. John XXIII left the Vatican early on May 24 for a 370-mile drive to Bergamo.