Guinea-Bissau situation ‘fragile’ after return to constitutional order, UN envoy tells Security Council

Wide view of the Security Council during its meeting on Guinea-Bissau. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

5 February 2015 – Despite the efforts of Guinea-Bissau authorities, the situation remains fragile and the country still needs the support of the international community, the top United Nations envoy there told the Security Council today.

“The return to constitutional order, as positive as it was, has not yet made it possible to address the root causes of instability in Guinea-Bissau,” said Miguel Trovoada, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the country as he briefed the Council on the latest developments.

This means, he continued, that the political and social environment is characterized by a climate where hope for the future is tempered by uncertainty.

Turning to a number of positive steps made by the Government, he said that with regard to the reform of the defense and security forces, the minister responsible for that sector had introduced new amendments to the law on the establishment of the special pension fund. She had also presented to the Prime Minister a list of eligible staff for demobilization or retirement.

“In the month of January, the Minister of Justice led the review and validation of the proposed program of reform of the justice sector,” he continued. “Again, this is an important step towards the establishment of justice that is accessible, transparent and credible in Guinea-Bissau.”

According to the Special Representative, the country would nevertheless continue to need support, including strengthening of democratic institutions, restructuring of the defense and security sector, strengthening of the judicial system, improving the functioning of public administration and increasing capacity to combat impunity and transnational crime.

He said the Secretary General had recommended strengthening the good offices of his Special Representative. He added, however, that “the assistance provided by the international community in Guinea-Bissau cannot last forever.”

“The challenges are enormous, numerous and complex, but they are not insurmountable. The consolidation of peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau, a prerequisite of development, requires joint efforts, patience and perseverance,” concluded Mr. Trovoada, who is also head of the UN Integrated Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS).

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