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.....

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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
6 years 8 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.

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