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United Nations Development Programme via Flickr CC

Sandra Honoré, the head of the United Nation's Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), recommended the mission's closure in six months at a Tuesday briefing with the UN Security Council.

Is Haiti ready? Honoré cited the country's successful elections in December and January, and the increased capacities of the Haitian National Police Force to maintain public order and secure elections as reasons to draw down the mission.

The mission has been in place for 13 years, dating back to 2004 when President Bertrand Aristide went into exile as armed conflict spread around the country. The mission has had multiple setbacks, including the devastating 2010 earthquake that shook apart its governance progress.

What's next: Honoré proposed a "smaller mission" at the recommendation of the UN Secretary General for "a shift in focus…away from stabilization to institutional strengthening," and a UN resolution will be adopted before the mandate ends on April 15.

What it means:

  • Haiti's going to try and stand on its "own two feet," as the UK Ambassador put it.
  • Troops and other forces will begin pulling out of the country. Some countries have already been lowering their level of involvement. For current troop levels for MINUSTAH, click here.
  • Russia's Ambassador warned against creating a "security void" as the transition moves forward, and Spain suggested the drawdown might be coming too soon for the new government to get its footing.

Go deeper

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

3 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.

4 hours ago - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.

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