PRESS STATEMENT ON GUINEA-BISSAU BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT

5 March 2003
SC/7677-AFR/571

PRESS STATEMENT ON GUINEA-BISSAU BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT

05/03/2003
Press Release
SC/7677
AFR/571


PRESS STATEMENT ON GUINEA-BISSAU BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is the statement to the press on Guinea-Bissau, delivered today by Security Council President Mamady Traoré (Guinea):


Members of the Security Council heard a briefing by David Stephen, Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation in Guinea-Bissau.


Members of the Council expressed their concern at the political instability in the country.  They appealed to the Government to ensure that the forthcoming legislative elections are conducted in a transparent, fair and credible manner.  They stressed the need to elect the President and Vice-President of the Supreme Court before these elections, which could be a concrete manifestation of the Government’s commitment to free and fair elections, to the rule of law and to the respect of human rights.  They also called on the international community to stand ready to send observers and to provide funding for these elections.  They called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)to become more strongly involved in the solution of the problems faced by Guinea-Bissau.


Members of the Council further expressed their concern at the serious economic situation in the country.  They called on the Government of Guinea-Bissau to take the necessary steps to facilitate a constructive dialogue with the international community and to fully endorse the partnership approach defined by the ad hoc advisory group of the Economic and Social Council on Guinea-Bissau.


Members of the Council welcomed the Secretary-General’s decision to assist Guinea-Bissau in holding free and transparent elections.  They appealed to the donor community to contribute financially to the implementation of the political and economic process in the country.


Members of the Council expressed their concern at the proliferation of small arms in Guinea-Bissau and asked the Government to take appropriate steps to put an end to it


Members of the Council were also concerned by information regarding the human rights situation in Guinea-Bissau.  It is important that freedom of speech and freedom of the press be fully respected.


Finally, members of the Council expressed their strong support to the Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Stephen, and to the United Nations Peace-building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).


For information media. Not an official record.