18 June 2008
Security Council
SC/9362

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

Security Council

5914th Meeting (AM)


Security Council requests six-month mandate renewal for Liberia Panel of Experts,


Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1819 (2008)

 


The United Nations Security Council this morning requested that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon renew until 20 December the mandate of a panel of financial experts and specialists that has been appointed to monitor implementation of the arms ban on Liberia, as well as assess progress made by the country in restoring its timber and diamond trade.


Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1819 (2008), asking the United Nations Panel of Experts on Liberia to report to the Council by 1 December through its sanctions Committee on all issues listed in paragraph 5 of resolution 1792 (2007), which includes:  financing for the illicit trade of arms; Member States’ compliance with the freezing of assets of former Liberian President Charles Taylor; the Liberian Government’s compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme; recent forestry legislation; and progress in the timber and diamond sectors.  The Council also asked the Panel to provide informal updates as appropriate beforehand.


Further to the resolution, the Council welcomed the Panel’s report, which addressed the issues of diamonds, timber, targeted sanctions and arms and security in Liberia.  That report (document S/2008/371) noted only minor violations of the Council’s arms embargo during the Panel’s mandate in the last year, mainly involving the small-scale transfer of ammunition and single-barrel rifles from Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea.  It also noted that none of the approximately $20 million in diverted tax revenue of former President Taylor found as part of a sample test had been frozen.


The report also stated that Liberia’s Government had made significant progress in implementing the 2006 National Forestry Reform Law, as well as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and its own internal controls system on rough diamond imports.  Since the lifting of sanctions on rough diamonds, the Government Diamond Office had issued 43 Kimberley Process certificates and 39 rough diamond shipments had been legally exported as of 15 May.


Further to the text, the Council called on all States and the Liberian Government to fully cooperate with the Panel in all aspects of its mandate, as well as encouraged the Liberian Government to implement the recommendations of the most recent Kimberley Process review and work closely with it to continue strengthening Liberian controls on the rough diamond trade.


It reiterated the importance of the continued assistance of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the sanctions Committee and the Panel, as well as recalled its request that UNMIL inspect weapons and ammunition inventories obtained exclusively for training and use by the Liberian police and security forces, in accordance with resolution 1683 (2006), and report its findings periodically to the sanctions Committee.


The meeting began at 10:09 a.m. and ended at 10:12 a.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1819 (2008) reads as follows:


“The Security Council,


“Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President on the situation in Liberia and West Africa,


“Welcoming the sustained progress made by the Government of Liberia since January 2006 in rebuilding Liberia for the benefit of all Liberians, with the support of the international community,


“Recalling its decision not to renew the measures in paragraph 10 of resolution 1521 (2003) regarding round log and timber products originating in Liberia, and stressing that Liberia’s progress in the timber sector must continue with the effective implementation and enforcement of the National Forestry Reform Law signed into law on 5 October 2006, including the resolution of land and tenure rights, the conservation and protection of biodiversity, and the process for the awarding of contracts for commercial forestry operations,


“Recalling its decision to terminate the measures in paragraph 6 of resolution 1521 (2003) regarding diamonds,


“Welcoming the Government of Liberia’s participation in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, noting Liberia’s implementation of the necessary internal controls and other recommendations of the Kimberley Process, and calling on the Government of Liberia to continue to work diligently to ensure the effectiveness of these controls,


“Stressing the continuing importance of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in improving security through Liberia and helping the Government establish its authority throughout the country, particularly in the diamond and timber-producing regions, and border areas,


“Urging all parties to support the Government of Liberia in identifying and implementing measures that will ensure progress towards meeting the conditions set out by paragraph 5 of resolution 1521 (2003),


“Welcoming the report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Liberia, including on the issues of diamonds, timber, targeted sanctions, and arms and security,


“Determining that, despite significant progress having been made in Liberia, the situation there continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,


“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


“1.   Requests that the Secretary-General renew the mandate of the Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to paragraph 1 of resolution 1760 (2007) for a further period until 20 December 2008, and requests that the Panel of Experts report to the Council through the Committee established by paragraph 21 of resolution 1521 (2003) (“the Committee”) by 1 December 2008 on all issues listed in paragraph 5 of resolution 1792 (2007), and to provide informal updates to the Committee as appropriate before that date;


“2.   Requests the Secretary-General to reappoint the Panel of Experts and to make the necessary financial and security arrangements to support the work of the Panel;


“3.   Calls upon all States and the Government of Liberia to cooperate fully with the Panel of Experts in all the aspects of its mandate;


“4.   Encourages the Government of Liberia to implement the recommendations of the most recent Kimberley Process review and work closely with Kimberley Process to continue to strengthen Liberian controls on rough diamond trade;


“5.   Encourages the Kimberley Process to inform, as appropriate, the Security Council through it Committee about its assessment of progress made by the Liberian Government in implementing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;


“6.   Reiterates the importance of UNMIL’s continuing assistance to the Government of Liberia, the Committee, and the Panel of Experts, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, and without prejudice to its mandate, including in monitoring the implementation of the measures in paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 1521 (2003), and in this regard recalls its request that UNMIL inspect inventories of weapons and ammunition obtained in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1683 (2006) to ensure all such weapons and ammunition are accounted for, and to make periodic reports to the Committee on its findings;


“7.   Reiterates its request to the United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, and without prejudice to its mandate, to assist the Committee and the Panel of Experts by passing to the Committee and the Panel any information relevant to the implementation of the measures in paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 1521 (2003) in the context of enhanced coordination among United Nations missions and offices in West Africa;


“8.   Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


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For information media • not an official record