Ariel Henry addressing the UN general assembly Sept. 22, 2023. Photo courtesy UN Media


UN Security Council meets Monday to discuss “question concerning Haiti” after countries urge the body to approve a multinational force for Haiti.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available. 

Update (6:00 p.m. ET) 

UN Security Council approves Kenya-led MSS Mission to Haiti 

The United Nations Security Council Monday approved the “Multinational Security Support Mission” to Haiti, after one year of consideration and a month-long discussion about its process. 

The UN Security Council, with China and Russia abstaining, approved the MSS Mission, which will be led by Kenyan forces and supported by other nations. The United States Representative said the force will coordinate with BINUH and United Nations agencies to address the “grave,” “multidimensional crisis” that Haiti faces.

The mission, according to the resolution, provides for: 

  • A two-fold mandate to: 1) Provide operational support to the Haitian National Police (PNH) in the fight against gangs and 2) Protect critical infrastructures such as airports, ports, hospital, schools and key intersections.
  • Initial approval for one year, with renewal required.

The resolution did not state a specific deployment date. 

But prior to deployment, MSS mission leadership, in coordination with Haiti and other participating countries, must still give the Council a concept of operations. The details must include information such as the process of deployment, mission goals, rules of engagement, exit strategy, number of personnel and financial needs.

China voiced concern over the timing of those details through the six drafts of the resolution. The country, one of five permanent members that has veto power over a resolution, demanded stronger language to support the Haitian National Police’s efforts to combat gangs and arms trafficking and improve border security.

The mission was also directed to coordinate efforts to prevent human rights violations, particularly sexual exploitation and abuse, and to take necessary action to investigate such incidents.

During the comments after the vote, several members of the council, including Russia and Brazil, reiterated the necessity of a strong Haitian government. 

“It is up to Haitians to forge their own path without a Haitian political solution based on free fair transparent elections,” said Brazilian Ambassador to the United Nations , Sérgio França Danese. “No security assistance — humanitarian aid or development aid — will guarantee lasting success.”


For more on the origin and events leading up to this historic decision, read about: 

Original story (2:08 p.m. ET)

The United Nations Security Council plans to meet today to discuss and act on “the question concerning Haiti.” That is, on approving the deployment of a multinational mission to Haiti, almost exactly one year after the country first requested an armed force to help its police fight off gangs.

The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET. and is open to the public via UN WebTV

Prime Minister Ariel Henry reiterated his year-old call for an international force to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22. 

“The Security Council, which has the power and the necessary authority under Chapter Seven of the [UN] Charter, must take urgent action by authorizing the deployment of a multinational support mission to underpin security in Haiti,” he said. 

The subject of U.N. support has been on the table since 2022, when Henry first requested the international body’s help. Secretary-General António Guterres responded then, urging nations to step forward to lead or participate in the force. In the ensuing months, world leaders debated the request at a series of meetings – to no avail as various countries shied away from being the head of such a force. 

In July, on a visit to the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, the UN chief pled again for the Security Council to authorize immediate action. Kenya responded then with a promised force of 1,000 troops. Leaders from the African country have since traveled to Haiti, New York and Washington, D.C. to assess the state of Haiti and modify their proposed actions accordingly. 

Last week at the UN, an array of nations pledged to support a mission to Haiti, including the United States, and Kenya and Haiti signed an agreement to formally establish diplomatic relations.
The need for support appears to grow more dire daily as gang attacks on neighborhoods have intensified. In Port-au-Prince, thousands of residents from Carrefour-Feuilles began living in tents as criminal gangs forced them to flee their homes.

J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She is a 2022 Fellow for the Columbia School of Journalism's Age Boom Academy. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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