SECURITY COUNCIL NOTES SECRETARY-GENERAL’S INTENTION TO EXTEND UN OFFICE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC THROUGH 2002

26 September 2001
SC/7154

SECURITY COUNCIL NOTES SECRETARY-GENERAL’S INTENTION TO EXTEND UN OFFICE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC THROUGH 2002

26/09/2001
Press ReleaseSC/7154

Security Council

4382nd Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL NOTES SECRETARY-GENERAL’S INTENTION TO EXTEND UN OFFICE

IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC THROUGH 2002

The Security Council this afternoon took note of the intention of the Secretary-General, in coordination with the Government of the Central African Republic, to extend for one year and strengthen the mandate of the United Nations Bureau for the Peace-building Support Office in the Central African Republic.  The current mandate expires on 31 December 2001.

In a statement read out by its President, Jean-David Levitte (France), the Council expressed its deep concern at the precarious situation in the Central African Republic and called again on all parties for political dialogue, national reconciliation and respect for human rights.  In that regard, the Council called on the Central African authorities to follow internationally accepted standards for due process in the course of investigations and court trials of individuals involved in the coup attempt in May 2001.  Those procedures should be transparent and should not be allowed to aggravate inter-ethnic relations in the country, the Council added.  

The Council encouraged the international community to make a substantial and urgent contribution to the recovery of the Central African Republic and emphasized that the efficiency of such a contribution would greatly depend on the efforts of the Government itself.  It further emphasized that the issues of external debt and payment of arrears of salary for civil servants needed to be urgently addressed. 

The Council also encouraged the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the international financial institutions to consider ways of strengthening the capacities of the Government in the management of its economic and financial affairs, including through secondment of high-level experts.  In addition, the Council urged the Bretton Woods institutions to show exceptional solicitude towards the Central African Republic. 

The Council requested the Secretary-General to continue to keep it regularly informed of the Office’s activities and the situation in the Central African Republic.

The meeting, which began at 12:40 p.m., was adjourned at 12:48 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The Council statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/2001/25, reads as follows:

“The Security Council has considered the report of the Secretary-General of 19 September 2001 (S/2001/886) submitted in accordance with the statement of its President on 17 July 2001 (S/PRST/2001/18), particularly his recommendations on how the United Nations might further contribute to the recovery of the Central African Republic.

“The Security Council expresses its appreciation of the continuing work of the Secretary-General’s Representative, General Lamine Cissé, and of the United Nations Bureau for the Peace-building Support Office in the Central African Republic.

“The Council expresses its continued deep concern at the precarious situation in the Central African Republic.  It reiterates its call on all parties for political dialogue, national reconciliation and respect for human rights and in the spirit of the 1998 National Reconciliation Pact.  In this respect it has taken note of the appeals for national unity made by the Central African authorities.

“The Security Council calls on the Central African authorities to follow the internationally accepted standards for due process in the course of investigations and court trials of individuals involved in the coup attempt in May 2001.  These procedures should be transparent and should not be allowed to aggravate the inter-ethnic relations in the Central African Republic.  The refugees who left the country after the failed coup should be able to return in safety without fear of persecution on ethnic basis.

“The Security Council encourages the international community to make a substantial and urgent contribution to the recovery of the Central African Republic and emphasizes that the efficiency of such a contribution will greatly depend on the efforts the Government of the Central African Republic itself makes to this end.  The Council emphasizes that the crucial issues of external debt and payment of arrears of salary for civil servants need to be urgently addressed.

“The Security Council encourages the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the international financial institutions, particularly the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank, to consider, in consultation with the Government of the Central African Republic and the Secretary-General’s Representative, ways of strengthening the capacities of the Government of the Central African Republic in the management of its economic and financial affairs, including through secondment of high-level experts. The Council invites the Secretary-General to keep it informed of actions taken in this regard when he presents his next report on the Central African Republic.  In addition, the Council urges the Bretton Woods institutions to show exceptional solicitude towards the Central African Republic.

“The Security Council takes note with interest of the intention of the Secretary-General, in coordination with the Government of the Central African Republic, to extend the mandate of the United Nations Bureau for the Peace-building Support Office in the Central African Republic and to strengthen it in accordance with paragraph 29 of his report of 19 September 2001 (S/2001/886).

“The Council underlines the need to continue the restructuring of the Central African armed forces to enable them to fulfil their role effectively, loyally and impartially, in the service of the Central African people.  It also recalls the importance of implementing an effective arms collection programme.  In this regard, it supports the recommendations in paragraphs 17 and 18 of the report of the Secretary-General.

“The Council requests the Secretary-General to continue to keep it regularly informed of the activities of BONUCA and the situation in the Central African Republic, particularly in the areas of political dialogue, national reconciliation and respect for human rights.”

Background

In his latest report to the Council on the United Nations Peace-building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA), the Secretary-General proposes that the mandate of the Office be extended for an additional year (document SC/2001/886).  The current mandate will expire on 31 December.  The Secretary-General also proposes that the role of the Office be strengthened to enhance its effectiveness and the visibility of its activities by increasing its resources and capabilities, strengthening its administrative capacities and making available to the Office a level of resources commensurate with its revised mandate.

In reviewing the situation in the Central African Republic, the Secretary-General says that the country is now in a situation of crisis that requires immediate and increased levels of external assistance.  On 20 September, the Council was briefed on the report by the Secretary-General's Representative in the Central African Republic, General Lamine Cissé.

BONUCA was established in February 2000.  Its principal mission is to support the Government's efforts to consolidate peace and national reconciliation, strengthen democratic institutions and mobilize international political support and resources for national reconstruction and economic recovery in the country.  In addition, the Office is tasked with promoting public awareness of human rights issues and monitoring developments in this field.  BONUCA also includes a small number of military and civilian police advisers to follow up on security-related reforms and to assist in the implementation of training programmes for the national police, which were initiated by the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA).  The mandate of MINURCA, established in April 1998, expired in February 2000.  The MINURCA replaced an inter-African force (MISAB) which was set up in January 1997 by the heads of State of Gabon, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to monitor the implementation of the Bangui Agreements which the parties signed in January 1997.  The Agreements include the necessary ingredients

for a comprehensive settlement of the conflict between the Government and opposition forces. 

      On 28 May, an attempted coup d'état seriously destabilized the political, economic, social and security situation in the Central African Republic.  It also jeopardized the international community's efforts to restore and consolidate peace in the Republic.  The refugee problem and respect for human rights continue to elicit concern.

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For information media. Not an official record.