17 December 2009
Security Council
SC/9824

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

Security Council

6246th Meeting (AM)


Security Council Extends Liberia Travel Ban, Adjusts Arms Embargo


The Security Council today renewed for 12 months its travel ban on persons deemed to be a threat to the peace in Liberia and readjusted its arms embargo to allow the Liberian Government, as well as the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country, to receive certain military materiel for the same time period.


Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1903 (2009), the Council also extended until 20 December 2010 the mandate of the Panel of Experts that monitors the implementation of the measures.


Through the text, the Council demanded that the Government of Liberia make all efforts necessary to enforce the asset freeze imposed against sanctioned persons and entities, which, it affirmed, was still in force.


Recalling that it had previously terminated bans on the export of timber and diamonds from the country, it tasked the Panel of Experts with cooperating actively with the Kimberley diamond certification regime and reporting on progress in the timber sector, among its other duties.


The meeting began at 10:21 a.m. and ended at 10:25 a.m.


The full text of resolution 1903 (2009) 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, and other new legislation related to revenue transparency (the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Act) and resolution of land and tenure rights (Community Rights Law with respect to Forest Lands and Lands Commission Act),


Recalling its decision to terminate the measures in paragraph 6 of resolution 1521 (2003) regarding diamonds, and welcoming the Government of Liberia’s participation and leadership at the regional and international levels in the Kimberley Process, noting the findings of the Panel of Experts re-established pursuant to resolution 1854 (2008) concerning diamonds, in particular those findings regarding domestic implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, noting Liberia’s minimum implementation of the necessary internal controls and other requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and stressing the need for the Government of Liberia to redouble its commitment and efforts to ensure the effectiveness of these controls,


Recalling the statement of its President on 25 June 2007 (S/PRST/2007/22), recognizing the role of voluntary initiatives aimed at improving revenue transparency such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and noting General Assembly resolution 62/274 on strengthening transparency in industries, recognizing Liberia’s achievement of EITI Compliant status, supporting Liberia’s decision to take part in other extractive industry transparency initiatives and encouraging Liberia’s continued progress in improving revenue transparency,


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


Taking note of the report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Liberia dated 11 December 2009 (S/2009/640), including on the issues of diamonds, timber, targeted sanctions, and arms and security,


Having reviewed the measures imposed by paragraphs 2 and 4 of resolution 1521 (2003) and paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004) and the progress towards meeting the conditions set out by paragraph 5 of resolution 1521 (2003), and noting the Government of Liberia’s cooperation with UNMIL in weapons marking, and concluding that insufficient progress has been made towards that end,


Underlining its determination to support the Government of Liberia in its efforts to meet the conditions of resolution 1521 (2003), and encouraging all stakeholders, including donors, to support the Government of Liberia in its efforts,


Welcoming the announcement from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of provisional guidelines on cooperation and information sharing between the United Nations peacekeeping missions and the Security Council’s Sanctions Committees’ expert panels,


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.   Decides to renew the measures on travel imposed by paragraph 4 of resolution 1521 (2003) for a period of 12 months from the date of adoption of this resolution;


“2.   Recalls that the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004) remain in force, notes with serious concern the findings of the Panel of Experts on the lack of progress with regards to the implementation of the financial measures imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004), and demands that the Government of Liberia make all necessary efforts to fulfil its obligations;


“3.   Decides that the measures on arms, previously imposed by paragraph 2 of resolution 1521 (2003) and modified by paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1683 (2006) and by paragraph 1 (b) of resolution 1731 (2006), are replaced by paragraph 4 below, and shall not apply to the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel and the provision of any assistance, advice or training, related to military activities, to the Government of Liberia for the period set forth in paragraph 4 below;


“4.   Decides that all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer, from their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and any related materiel and the provision of any assistance, advice or training related to military activities, including financing and financial assistance, to all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in the territory of Liberia for a period of 12 months from the date of adoption of this resolution;


“5.   Decides that the measures in paragraph 4 above shall not apply to:


“(a)  Supplies of arms and related materiel as well as technical training and assistance intended solely for support of or use by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL);


“(b)  Protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to Liberia by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, for their personal use only;


“(c)  Other supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance and training, as notified in advance to the Committee established by paragraph 21 of resolution 1521 (2003) (hereinafter “the Committee”) in accordance with paragraph 6 below;


“6.   Decides, for the period time set forth in paragraph 4 above, that all States shall notify in advance to the Committee any shipment of arms and related materiel to the Government of Liberia, or any provision of assistance, advice or training related to military activities for the Government of Liberia, except those referred to in subparagraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 5 above, and stresses the importance that such notifications contain all relevant information, including, where applicable, the type and quantity of weapons and ammunitions delivered, the end-user, the proposed date of delivery and the itinerary of shipments; and reiterates that the Government of Liberia shall subsequently mark the weapons and ammunition, maintain a registry of them, and formally notify the Committee that these steps have been taken;


“7.   Reconfirms its intention to review the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004) at least once a year, and directs the Committee, in coordination with the relevant designating States and with the assistance of the Panel of Experts, to update as necessary the publicly available reasons for listing for entries on the travel ban and assets freeze lists as well as the Committee’s guidelines;


“8.   Decides to review any of the above measures at the request of the Government of Liberia, once the Government reports to the Council that the conditions set out in resolution 1521 (2003) for terminating the measures have been met, and provides the Council with information to justify its assessment;


“9.   Decides to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to paragraph 4 of resolution 1854 (2008) for a further period until 20 December 2010 to undertake the following tasks:


“(a)  To conduct two follow-up assessment missions to Liberia and neighbouring States, in order to investigate and compile a midterm and a final report on the implementation, and any violations, of the measures imposed by paragraphs 4 and 6 above and resolution 1521 (2003), as amended by paragraphs 3, and 4 above, including any information relevant to the designation by the Committee of the individuals described in paragraph 4 (a) of resolution 1521 (2003) and paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004), and including the various sources of financing, such as from natural resources, for the illicit trade of arms;


“(b)  To assess the impact of and effectiveness of the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004), including particularly with respect to the assets of former President Charles Taylor;


“(c)  To identify and make recommendations regarding areas where the capacity of Liberia and the States in the region can be strengthened to facilitate the implementation of the measures imposed by paragraph 4 of resolution 1521 (2003) and paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004);


“(d)  Within the context of Liberia’s evolving legal framework, assess the extent to which forestry and other natural resources are contributing to peace, security and development rather than to instability and to what extent relevant legislation (National Forestry Reform Law, Lands Commission Act, Community Rights Law with respect to Forest Land, and Liberia Extract Industries Transparency Initiative Act) is contributing to this transition;


“(e)  To assess the Government of Liberia’s compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and to coordinate with the Kimberley Process in assessing compliance;


“(f)  To provide a midterm report to the Council through the Committee by 1 June 2010 and a final report to the Council through the Committee by 20 December 2010 on all the issues listed in this paragraph, and to provide informal updates to the Committee as appropriate before those dates, especially on progress in the timber sector since the lifting of paragraph 10 of resolution 1521 (2003) in June 2006, and in the diamond sector since the lifting of paragraph 6 of resolution 1521 (2003) in April 2007;


“(g)  To cooperate actively with other relevant groups of experts, in particular that on Côte d’Ivoire re-established by paragraph 10 of resolution 1893 (2009), and with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;


“(h)  To assist the Committee in updating the publicly available reasons for listing for entries on the travel ban and assets freeze lists;


“(i)  To assess the impact of paragraphs 3 and 4 above, specifically the effect on the stability and security of Liberia;


“10.  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;


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


“12.  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, continue to carry out its tasks set forth in previous resolutions, including resolution 1683 (2006);


“13.  Urges the Government of Liberia to implement the recommendations of the 2009 Kimberley Process review team to strengthen internal controls over diamond mining and exports;


“14.  Encourages the Kimberley Process to continue to cooperate with the Panel of Experts and to report on developments regarding Liberia’s implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme;


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


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