Liberia, Verdict in Indonesia on the Murders of UNHCR staff

 

††††††††††† Statement by the President of the Security Council, Ambassador James B. Cunningham, Acting U.S.

††††† Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Stake-Out, May 4, 2001

 

††††† Ambassador Cunningham: Good Afternoon. Iíd like to make two statements on two different subjects. You

††††† know that the item on the agenda for discussion by Council members was Liberia and Resolution 1343. Council

††††† members took note of steps taken by Liberia in response to Security Council Resolution 1343 and they

††††† considered the observations in the Secretary Generalís April 30 report on Liberia. They concluded that the

††††† information available and the steps taken by the government of Liberia were not sufficient for the Council to

††††† conclude that sanctions under Resolution 1343 should be postponed.

 

††††† Members encouraged the government of Liberia to comply completely with the Resolution. Sanctions therefore

††††† will go into effect on May 7th as outlined in the Resolution.

 

††††† I've been asked to note also that the Sanctions are limited, they're targeted and addressed to the leadership of

††††† Liberia. They are designed to limit any impact on the humanitarian situation in the country and in fact, there was a

††††† great deal of expression of concern about the humanitarian situation in Liberia.

 

††††† The sanctions are intended to encourage performance and to achieve the goal of the Resolution which is to have

††††† the government of Liberia break its links with the RUF and to end its support for it. The Council has no desire to

††††† impact the situation of the people in Liberia.

 

††††† Council members welcome strongly the efforts and role of ECOWAS in pursuing peace and stability in the region

††††† and they commended also the strong cooperation that exists between the United Nations, ECOWAS, and the

††††† Security Council and express their interest in continuing and strengthening that cooperation. The Council will

††††† continue its dialogue with all states of the region, all the governments and leaders, including Liberia, and will keep

††††† this item under close consideration. That's it on Liberia. Any questions on that?

 

††††† Reporter: Is there any specific action that you want Liberia to take at this point?

 

††††† Ambassador Cunningham: The requirements of Liberia are set out in the Resolution in paragraph two, I

††††† believe.

 

††††† Reporter: Are you confident that these sanctions will be enough to bring Liberia into line because they haven't

††††† been very easy to pin down in the past?

 

††††† Ambassador Cunningham: No, we've been having this discussion with the government of Liberia for some

††††† time. As I said, the sanctions are intended to encourage the government of Liberia to move to comply fully with

††††† the Resolution to break its ties with the RUF. We'll be following that closely and we'll draw conclusions in the

††††† future.

 

††††† Reporter: How important do you see Liberia's role in that region of conflict and how important is it that these

††††† sanctions do have (inaudible)?

 

††††† Ambassador Cunningham: We've thought for a long time based on our own observations and the Security

††††† Council's mission to the region in October and what we heard in the region is that the government of Liberia has a

††††† key role to play in the prolongation of the conflict and that's what the sanctions are intended to address.

 

††††† Reporter: Off the subject for just a second. Is there any Security Council or reaction of the U.S. to the

††††† sentencing of the six men involved in the death of the U.N. workers in Indonesia?

 

††††† Ambassador Cunningham: There is and that was, indeed, the subject of my second statement. On the verdict:

††††† the Council members discussed the verdict released in Indonesia in connection with the murders of UNHCR staff

††††† last September. Members took note of the verdict rendered and they asked me as Council President, to meet

††††† with the Indonesian Permanent Representative to obtain further information about the verdict and the sentencing.

††††† This is being done in keeping with the Council's interest in insuring justice and sending the general message that

††††† there can be no impunity for those who use violence against U.N. or international humanitarian staff. So we will be

††††† having that discussion next week. That's all I have to say on that. Thank you very much.