25/07/2003
Press Release
SC/7826



Security Council

4794th Meeting (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL ENDORSES RECOMMENDATIONS OF ITS MISSIONS TO CENTRAL AND WEST

AFRICAN SUBREGIONS AND EXPRESSES HOPE FOR THEIR IMPLEMENTATION


The Security Council this afternoon endorsed recommendations made by the Council missions to Central Africa –- 7 to 16 June -- and to West Africa –- 26 June to 5 July, and expressed the wish to see them implemented.


In a statement read by the Council’s President, Inocencio F. Arias (Spain), to be issued as document S/PRST/2003/12, the Council emphasized the importance of a subregional approach to issues such as small arms and light weapons, mercenaries, child soldiers and humanitarian access.


The Council stressed that follow-up activity by the United Nations would require close cooperation and coordination throughout the United Nations system and should involve the appropriate organizations, especially in West Africa.


Where responsibility for implementation of the recommendations fell to others, the Council would work in partnership with them, including with United Nations agencies and programmes, governments in the subregions, and regional and subregional organizations, such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), donor countries, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society.


The missions’ recommendations were set out in documents S/2003/653 on the mission to Central Africa, and S/2003/688 on the mission to West Africa.  Recommendations regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo would be addressed in a resolution on renewing and strengthening the mandate of United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).


On the situation in Liberia, the mission recommended that the Council should not condone any attempts to seize power by force or accept the appointment of those responsible for such attempts to key positions of political leadership.  The Council should also urgently consider authorizing an international stabilization force on the basis of current ECOWAS plans.  A United Nations operation in Liberia should promote close coordination between peacekeeping, peace-building, development and humanitarian programmes.


Regarding Burundi, the mission recommended among other things, that the Council call on the international financial community to assist with the African Mission there, and also call for providing adequate budgetary and economic support to the transitional government.  Urgent attention should be paid to putting an end to impunity, it says.


For Guinea-Bissau, the mission recommended, among other things, that the Council monitor closely the progress being made in the electoral process and continue collaborative initiatives with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the area of peace-building in post-conflict countries.


Concerning Sierra Leone, the mission recommended that the Government should intensify its efforts to develop the capacity of the armed forces and police to ensure security when the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) leaves.  The successful disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme in Sierra Leone should be thoroughly assessed by the United Nations.  Furthermore, the Council should give careful consideration to the different roles women play in conflict, and in subsequent peacemaking and peace-building.


The mission to West Africa also recommended that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for that region, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, undertake a comprehensive study of ways in which the international community could increase its cooperation with, and assist in strengthening the capacity of EOCWAS.  The mission further recommended that Member States should take all necessary measures to stem the sale of arms to countries under arms embargoes and urged the parties to conflict to arrest and prosecute anyone responsible for the recruitment of children as soldiers.


Recommendations on Côte d’Ivoire had been addressed during the previous Council meeting today in the presidential statement issued as document PRST/2003/11.


The report on the Council mission to Central Africa was introduced on 18 June (see Press Release SC/7796).  The report on the mission to West Africa was introduced on 9 July (see Press Release SC/7812).


The meeting started at 12:33 p.m. and was adjourned at 12:38 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of Presidential Statement S/2003/12 reads as follows:


The Security Council welcomes the recommendations made in the reports of its mission to Central Africa from 7 to 16 June 2003 (S/2003/653) and its mission to West Africa from 26 June to 5 July 2003 (S/2003/688).


The Security Council endorses the recommendations of these two missions which fall within its area of responsibility and wishes to see them implemented.  It has already taken the relevant recommendations into account in preparing its resolution renewing and strengthening the mandate of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Where responsibility for implementation falls to others, the Council looks forward to working in partnership with them, including United Nations agencies and programmes; governments in Central Africa and West Africa; regional and subregional organizations, notably the Economic Community of West African States; donor countries; non-governmental organizations; and civil society.  The Council invites them to keep it informed about their efforts at implementation, so that the Council can support them and take any further action necessary.


The Security Council emphasises the importance of a subregional approach to issues such as small arms and light weapons, mercenaries, child soldiers and humanitarian access.  It stresses that follow-up activity by the United Nations will require close cooperation and coordination throughout the United Nations system.  Action in these areas should also involve the appropriate organizations, especially in West Africa.


The Security Council invites the Secretary-General to follow up those recommendations, which lie within his responsibility, and would be grateful for a report on progress by 30 November 2003.


The Security Council recognizes that resources may be needed to implement its recommendations.  Therefore, it will continue to encourage donor countries in a position to do so to support such efforts, and to assist regional and subregional organizations in this respect.


The Security Council intends to review progress in implementing the recommendations in December 2003.


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