20 October 2006
Security Council
SC/8856
AFR/1445

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON REVIEW OF LIBERIA SANCTIONS


Following is today’s statement to the press on the Council’s review of Liberia sanctions, delivered by Security Council President Kenzo Oshima ( Japan):


Members of the Security Council today heard a briefing by Ambassador Ellen Løj, Chairman of the sanctions committee established by United Nations Security Council resolution 1521 (2003) and, in this connection, conducted the reviews called for in resolution 1689 (2006) of the Council’s decision not to renew the ban on import of all round logs and timber products from Liberia and of its decision to renew the ban on imports of rough diamonds from Liberia until 20 December 2006.


Members of the Security Council commended the Liberian legislature for passing legislation, within the 90-day deadline set by resolution 1689, that will ensure a transparent, accountable and Government-controlled forestry sector.  This important forestry legislation will ensure that revenues from the timber industry will not again fuel conflict.  The members acknowledged that the law was signed by President Johnson Sirleaf on 5 October 2006 and urged the Government of Liberia to bring the law into effect by publishing the required handbills as soon as possible.


Members of the Security Council concluded that there is no basis for reinstating the measures on timber as otherwise stipulated in resolution 1689.  They applauded the development of forestry sector reforms by the Government of Liberia and its international partners in the Liberia Forest Initiative, and called on Liberian authorities to ensure the effective implementation of these reforms and enforcement of the new legislation.


Members of the Security Council were encouraged by the steps Liberia has taken towards meeting the requirements for the lifting of the measures on diamonds.  At the same time, they acknowledged the interim findings of the Panel of Experts that more needs to be done for Liberia to establish a Certificate of Origin Regime for export of Liberian rough diamonds.


Members of the Security Council urged the Liberian Government to accelerate the implementation of the necessary reform measures, including stronger management and effective verification and accountability mechanisms, so that Liberia can soon join the Kimberley Process.  Concluding, the members expressed their wish to lift the ban on diamonds as soon as possible, so that revenues from the diamond sector can benefit the Liberian people.


Members of the Security Council commended the Panel of Experts on Liberia for their work and looked forward to receiving their final report in December.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record