Operation HERITAGE (UNOGVEH)

International Operation Name: United Nations Observer Group for the Verification of the Elections in Haiti

International Operation Dates: 10/10/1990 - 2/7/1991

Mandating Organization: United Nations

Region Name: Caribbean

Location: Haiti

Canadian Operation Name: Operation HERITAGE

Canadian Operation Dates: 1990/11/01- 1991/02/07

Mission Mandate:

To provide electoral observers and security advisers for elections to be held in Haiti in December 1990.

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 45/2, 10 October 1990

Mission Notes:

Five years of political instability following the overthrow of dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier led Haiti’s provisional government to ask the United Nations to observe the elections scheduled for December 1990.

Following Haiti's request, the General Assembly adopted by consensus Resolution 45/2 on 10 October 1990, and asked the Secretary-General to provide the broadest possible support to the Government of Haiti in meeting its requests for electoral observers, two or three security advisers to assist the Haitian Coordinating Committee for the Security of Electoral Activities, and specialized observers with solid experience in the field of public order.

In line with the Assembly's request, the Secretary-General established the United Nations Observer Group for the Verification of the Elections in Haiti (ONUVEH) to provide that support. Haiti also asked the Organization of American States (OAS) and several non-governmental organizations to provide electoral observers.

From November 1990 to February 1991 ONUVEH personnel provided security assistance and electoral supervision. Of the mission’s sixty-five personnel, eleven were Canadian Forces officers who served under the Canadian Forces designation Operation HERITAGE. ONUVEH observed the preparation and holding of the elections, which were termed as "highly successful" by the head of ONUVEH. Jean-Bertrand Aristide of the National Front for Change and Democracy took the oath of office on 7 February 1991. However, within eight months President Aristide was overthrown in a coup d’etat, and forced into exile.

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