The representatives of the 15-member Security Council, led by Brazilian Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, arrived today on their first fact-finding visit to a Latin American or Caribbean country in preparation for voting on extending the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti at the end of May.During the four-day trip, the delegation aimed to support the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) as it assisted the Transitional Government in disarming illegal armed groups, establishing a national dialogue, organizing free, fair and open democratic elections and installing an elected government in February next year, Mr. Sardenberg told a news conference before leaving New York.The Council was also concerned about such issues as human rights compliance, he added.The Special Representative of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and MINUSTAH chief Juan Gabriel Valdés yesterday welcomed the Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) Ad Hoc Consultative Group on Haiti, led by the Permanent Representative of Canada, Allan Rock.The Ad Hoc Group was established last year to work with the Transitional Government on devising and implementing long-term, sustainable development strategies, Mr. Rock noted.It will also assess how the country has coped with recent flooding and how it is preparing to face future natural disasters, he said.The Group comprises representatives of Benin, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Spain and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Haiti.

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