PRESS STATEMENTS BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ON SIERRA LEONE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

11 July 2002
SC/7448-AFR/431

PRESS STATEMENTS BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ON SIERRA LEONE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

11/07/2002
Press ReleaseSC/7448 AFR/431

PRESS STATEMENTS BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT

ON SIERRA LEONE, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

The following press statement was delivered today by Security Council President Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom):

We had a useful pair of private meetings this morning in the Security Council.  One on Sierra Leone, the other on the Central African Republic.

On Sierra Leone, we had a briefing from Under-Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guéhenno and discussed the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in Sierra Leone.  Members welcomed the important role played by UNAMSIL in the elections.  They underlined the need for further reform of the security sector in Sierra Leone, especially the need to develop the capacity of the Sierra Leone police.  They agreed these would be key benchmarks in planning for the gradual downsizing of UNAMSIL.  Council Members looked forward to a further discussion of this after the Secretary-General has reported on UNAMSIL in the next round in September. 

Member States noted the current shortfall in funding for Sierra Leone and appealed to donors not to underestimate the country’s continuing requirement for peace-building support.  This was a very important element of the discussion this morning. 

We also had a briefing from Ambassador Aguilar Zinser of Mexico on his recent visit to West Africa as chairman of the Sierra Leone Sanctions Committee.  Council Members agreed on the importance of a regional perspective.  The fighting in Liberia could threaten the stability of Sierra Leone still.  And they encouraged the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States and others towards finding a solution to the Liberian conflict.

Council Members looked forward to the workshop on the Mano River Union which are setting in hand on 18 July, with Baroness Valerie Amos, the United Kingdom Minister for Africa, chairing the Council.  Members regarded that as an opportunity to discuss how the lessons of Sierra Leone could be applied to the region more generally. 

On the Central African Republic, we had an interesting briefing from the Secretary-General's representative in Bangui, General Lamine Cisse, on the latest developments.  Council Members considered the report of the Secretary-General of 14 June 2002 and renewed their strong support for the work of General Cisse and

BONUCA, the office in Bangui.  Members of the Council decided to ask the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the international financial institutions, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank, to show consideration for the special circumstances of the Central African Republic.  I will be preparing a letter as President to those institutions to make that point.  Council Members emphasized the importance of implementing the necessary reforms in the Central African Republic.  They took note with appreciation of the efforts by the Central African Republic Government to fight corruption and to establish good governance.  They encouraged the Government to continue along this path and to take the national dialogue further forward.  Council Members encouraged the Secretary-General and his representative to continue their efforts to improve the relations between the Central African Republic and their neighbours. 

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For information media. Not an official record.