BEIJING: The headquarters of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and some other UN buildings in the capital city of Port-au-Prince collapsed after a devastating magnitude-7.3 earthquake hit Haiti on Tuesday.
Around 150 UN workers are still unaccounted for, including the head of the UN mission in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, and his deputy Luis Carlos da Costa. Up to now, a small number of UN peacekeepers have been rescued. Sixteen UN staffers have been confirmed dead, with another 56 injured. Casualties are expected to rise.
The UN's Haitian mission was established in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1542 that was adopted on April 30, 2004. Its main tasks include supporting Haiti's interim government, ensuring a safe and stable environment for political process in the country, providing Haiti's police forces with special operational support, cooperating with other UN establishments in Haiti, and protecting UN staff and facilities.
As of November 30, 2009, the UN's mission in Haiti consisted of 7,031 peacekeeping forces, 2,034 UN police, 488 international civilian staffers, 214 UN volunteers and 1,212 local civilian staffers.
UN peacekeeping forces are provided by 17 countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Jordan, France, South Korea and the US. The UN police are provided by 41 countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, Russia and Spain. From 2004 to date, China has sent eight teams of peacekeeping police, involving 1,000 person-times.
Except the casualties in Tuesday's earthquake, a total of 37 members of peacekeeping forces, seven UN police officers, eight international civilian staffers and five local civilian staffers have died in peacekeeping missions in Haiti.