Fixing Haiti

MINUSTAH and Beyond

image of Fixing Haiti
References to the land of the black Jacobins are almost always followed by the phrase the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”. To that distinction, on 12 January 2010, Haiti added another, when it was hit by a devastating natural disaster, a 7.0 Richter scale earthquake. Since 2004, the United Nations has been in Haiti through MINUSTAH in an ambitious attempt to help Haiti raise itself by its bootstraps. This effort has now acquired additional urgency. Is Haiti a failed state? Does it deserve a Marshall-planlike programme? What will it take to address the Haitian predicament? In this book, some of the world’s leading experts on Haiti examine the challenges faced by the first black republic, the tasks undertaken by the United Nations, and the new role of hemispheric players like Argentina, Brazil and Chile, as well as that of Canada, France and the United States.



Peace operations: On the importance of perceiving versus just seeing

From September 2005 to September 2006 I served as Deputy Force Commander and, temporarily, as Acting Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). During that year I was under the command of two brilliant Brazilian generals and responsible for a total of 7,500 soldiers from 11 countries. I strongly believe all can benefit from reflecting on the lessons learnt while serving with the United Nations. For some of us, delivering reports on performed activities is just part of our job. Sometimes our experience transcends the regular UN administrative conduit and can be shared with a wider audience. Volumes such as this allow for sharing and hopefully reinforcing and optimizing future peace missions.


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