New York - The Group of Friends of Haiti on Wednesday called for the UN Security Council to keep its peacekeeping mission in the country so the Haitian government can continue to make progress in democratic reform and economic development.

During discussions on Haiti in the 15-nation council, the group said Haiti has been making “important political and institutional achievements,” which need continued UN support. It said the UN stabilization mission in Haiti's mandate should be extended for another year from later this month.

The group said Port-au-Prince's achievements include setting up the Superior Council of the Judiciary, a permanent electoral council and a quota for 30 per cent representation by women in government.

The UN mission has more than 13,000 military, police and civilian personnel, who are sent mostly from Latin American countries and Canada.

Guatemala's Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros, who presided over the council meeting on Haiti, said his country “fully identifies with the international community's efforts to assist Haiti in the reconstruction and strengthening of its institutions through a permanent and strategic partnership aimed at bringing a better future for Haiti.”

The group is composed of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Guatemala, Peru, United States and Uruguay. The group said Haiti has made important progress in meeting enormous challenges, from the devastating earthquake in 2010 and the cholera epidemic to social and economic difficulties. - Sapa-dpa