15 October 2008
Security Council
SC/9473

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

Security Council

5995th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, WELCOMES GUINEA-BISSAU ELECTION


PLANS; GROWTH IN DRUG TRAFFICKING, ORGANIZED CRIME STILL A CONCERN


The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the commitment of Guinea-Bissau’s Government to hold legislative elections on 16 November, but states that it remained seriously concerned by the continued growth in drug trafficking and organized crime that threatened peace and security in the country and the subregion.


In a statement read by its President, Zhang Yesui ( China), the Council called on the Government of Guinea-Bissau and all actors, including political parties, the security forces and civil society, to ensure an environment conducive to transparent, free and fair elections, and to respect the results of the polls.


Underlining the responsibility of the Government of Guinea-Bissau for tackling the issue of drug trafficking and organized crime, the Council called on the international community to provide continued support for building the country’s capacity of national law enforcement and judicial authorities, and it welcomed the initiative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to convene a regional conference on the issue on 28 and 29 October in Cape Verde.


The Council expressed its concern about the consequences of rising food and fuel prices and encouraged the Government to continue its dialogue and cooperation with the international financial institutions.  Concerned also about the cholera epidemic, the Council called on the Government and its partners to strengthen efforts to secure its eradication.


Commending the important role played by the Representative of the Secretary-General and the staff of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), as well as by the United Nations country team, towards helping consolidate peace, democracy, the rule of law and development, the Council looked forward to recommendations from the Secretary-General on how the United Nations presence in Guinea-Bissau should be reconfigured to support peacebuilding more effectively.


The presidential statement agreed today followed a Council meeting on 7 October on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, during which members heard from B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti ( Brazil), Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission.  (See Press Release SC/9468)


Today’s meeting began at 4:05 p.m. and adjourned at 4:10 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2008/37 reads as follows:


“The Security Council recalls its previous statements on Guinea-Bissau and notes the latest report of the Secretary-General on developments in Guinea-Bissau and on the activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) (S/2008/628).  The Council reaffirms its support for the continuing efforts to consolidate peace in that country.


“The Security Council welcomes the commitment of the Government of Guinea-Bissau to hold legislative elections on 16 November 2008, as well as the technical and financial support provided by the international community towards the elections, including by Angola, Brazil, Portugal, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund and the United Nations Development Programme.  It calls on donors to continue to provide financial resources to support the electoral process.


“The Security Council calls on the Government and all actors, including political parties, the security forces and civil society, to ensure an environment conducive to transparent, free and fair elections, and to respect the results of the polls.


“The Security Council notes with satisfaction the adoption of the Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau by the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission on 1 October 2008, and notes the importance of rapid and effective implementation of quick impact projects financed by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.  The Council looks forward to the establishment of the monitoring and tracking mechanism of the Strategic Framework.


“The Security Council reiterates the importance of security sector reform in Guinea-Bissau, encourages the Government to sustain its efforts in implementing the national security sector reform programme, and underscores the need for the international community to provide further coordinated assistance for its implementation.


“The Security Council remains seriously concerned by the continued growth in drug trafficking, as well as organized crime, which threatens peace and security in Guinea-Bissau and in the subregion.  The Council underlines the responsibility that the Government of Guinea-Bissau has for tackling this issue and calls upon the international community to cooperate actively with Guinea-Bissau in this regard, particularly in providing continued support for building the capacity of national law enforcement and judicial authorities.  The Council requests that the Secretary-General provides in his next report further details of what measures are required to deal with these challenges.


“The Security Council welcomes the initiative of ECOWAS to convene a regional conference on combating drug trafficking on 28-29 October 2008 in Praia ( Cape Verde), and looks forward to the resulting regional plan of action.


“The Security Council expresses its concern about the consequences of rising food and fuel prices, and welcomes the World Bank’s support to address this crisis.  The Council encourages the Government of Guinea-Bissau to continue its dialogue and cooperation with the international financial institutions.  The Council is also concerned about the cholera epidemic and calls on the Government of Guinea-Bissau and its partners to continue and strengthen the efforts to secure its eradication.


“The Security Council recognizes and commends the important role played by the Representative of the Secretary-General and the staff of UNOGBIS, as well as by the United Nations country team, towards helping consolidate peace, democracy, the rule of law and development, and expresses its appreciation for their activities.  The Council looks forward to receiving recommendations from the Secretary-General on how the United Nations presence in Guinea-Bissau should be reconfigured to support peacebuilding more effectively.”


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For information media • not an official record