PRESS STATEMENT ON GUINEA-BISSAU BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
The following press statement was delivered today by Security Council President Stefan Tafrov (Bulgaria):
Members of the Security Council considered the report of the Secretary-General on developments in Guinea-Bissau (S/2003/1157) and heard a briefing from David Stephen, Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Peace–building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) during informal consultations on 19 December 2003.
Mr. Stephen updated the Council on the ongoing efforts by the Transitional Government of Guinea-Bissau to implement the transition and on the contribution of UNOGBIS in that regard.
Members of the Security Council welcomed the positive steps taken recently by the new authorities, especially the announcement by the President of the date of 28 March 2004, after his visit to the Security Council, as the date for the parliamentary elections. They encouraged the Transitional Government and all actors in Guinea-Bissau to stay the course and to continue working together in search of the right solution to the urgent problems confronting their country.
Members of the Council expressed their concern about the critical economic and social situation of the country and renewed their appeal to the international community to provide urgent assistance to Guinea-Bissau. They, therefore, welcomed the assistance made available by some countries and organizations, including the contributions to the Emergency Economic Management Fund, established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and called upon other donors to do so.
Members of the Council commended the constructive role of the Bretton Woods institutions, the African Development Bank and the UNDP.
Members of the Security Council encouraged the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) to remain actively engaged in Guinea-Bissau.
Members of the Security Council commended the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, the ECOSOC Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau and the Group of Friends of Guinea-Bissau for their role in the follow-up provided to the situation in Guinea-Bissau.
Members of the Council expressed appreciation for the support provided by the United Nations system for the peace-building process in Guinea-Bissau and encouraged the United Nations system to provide further support to this process.
Members of the Council reiterated their strong support to the Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and Head of UNOGBIS.
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