PORT-AU-PRINCE – Brazil’s Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes Ferreira pledged on Saturday that his country would continue cooperating with Haiti after the scheduled withdrawal in October of the United Nations peacekeeping mission to that impoverished Caribbean country.
Nunes Ferreira said he was proud of the role Brazil has played in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah) over the past 13 years.
“From our standpoint, we’ve fulfilled our mission with great professionalism and courage. Haiti is stable today and is making great strides toward a better future,” he said.
Nunes Ferreira made his remarks during a meeting with Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant on the final day of a two-day official visit to the region’s poorest country.
The foreign minister said Brazil, which has contributed the largest number of troops to Minustah (37,500 over the course of the 13-year mission), will continue to accompany the Haitian people beyond the end of the peacekeeping mission, which the UN Security Council voted earlier this year to bring to an end.
Lafontant, for his part, thanked Brazil for its support for Haiti’s stabilization process.
Minustah, established in June 2004, succeeded a multinational force authorized by the UN Security Council four months earlier after an armed movement overthrew then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was forced into exile.
In January 2010, the Security Council approved an increase in Minustah’s overall force levels to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction and stability efforts in the country following a devastating earthquake that month that left 220,000 people dead.
A new UN mission will take Minustah’s place but will be much smaller and made up only of police.