PRESS STATEMENT BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ON SIERRA LEONE
Following is the text of a press statement on Sierra Leone by the President of the Security Council, Wang Yingfan (China):
The members of the Security Council held informal consultations on 5 July 2001 in accordance with paragraph 15 of section A of resolution 1306 (2000), under which the Council conducted its third review of the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of the resolution.
Council members received a briefing from the Chairman of the Sierra Leone Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Chowdhury of Bangladesh, on the implementation of the measures. They welcomed the progress reported by the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee.
Council members expressed the continued importance of Security Council resolution 1306 as a key tool in the Council’s efforts to bring peace to Sierra Leone and the wider region. Council members underlined the importance of rigorous implementation of the measures contained in the resolution by all States, as the resolution obliges.
Council members emphasized that the certification scheme in Sierra Leone is an essential step in curbing the flow of illicit diamonds out of Sierra Leone. They welcomed the fact that reports indicate the certification scheme is having a positive effect. This was clear from the fact that there has been an increase in the quantity of diamonds passing through the Government’s hands.
Council members welcomed the establishment of a certificate scheme in Guinea and supported the continued efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as well as West African countries to develop a region-wide certification regime.
Council members stressed the responsibility of diamond importing as well as exporting countries for fully implementing resolution 1306, and reiterated the importance of breaking the link between sales of conflict diamonds and the purchase of weapons.
Council members noted that the peace process in Sierra Leone was about to enter a crucial phase as the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and the Government began to move into the diamond producing areas. They looked
forward to receiving further information from the Government of Sierra Leone including plans for managing the diamonds fields.
Council members stressed that a successful strategy for managing the diamond fields would be critical for the sustainability of the peace process and Sierra Leone’s future development.
Council members reiterated their intention to continue to monitor closely the implementation and effectiveness of the measures established under Security Council resolution 1306.
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