PRESS STATEMENT ON GUINEA-BISSAU BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT

6 April 2004
SC/8054-AFR/887

PRESS STATEMENT ON GUINEA-BISSAU BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT

06/04/2004
Press ReleaseSC/8054 AFR/887

Press Statement on Guinea-Bissau by Security Council President

Following is today’s statement to the press on Guinea-Bissau by Security Council President Gunter Pleuger (Germany):

Members of the Security Council heard a briefing from Mr. David Stephen, Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Peace-Building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) during informal consultations on 6 April 2004.

Mr. Stephen updated the Council on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, in particular with regard to the holding of the legislative elections on 28-30 March 2004, deemed by the international observers as “free, fair and transparent”.

Members of the Council commended the transitional authorities and people of Guinea-Bissau for their efforts to promote national reconciliation and restore democratic institutions in the spirit of the Transitional Charter.

Members of the Council welcomed the holding of the legislative elections, commended the people of Guinea-Bissau for their sense of public-spiritedness during the poll and encouraged them to stay the course and urged the political parties to continue to work together for the national reconciliation and return to constitutional normalcy, as well as the consolidation of peace, stability, unity and democracy in Guinea-Bissau.

They took note of the announcement by the PAIGC leader of its intention to form a broad-based government and urged all the Guinean actors to work together for a smooth completion of the transitional period.

Members of the Council recognized and commended the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its prompt mediation and facilitation role, as well as for the timely and constructive contribution brought to the political environment immediately after the elections.

Members of the Council commended the international community for having made available the necessary resources for the organization of the elections.  They further commended the international observers for responding positively to the invitation of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and for their contribution in ensuring the transparency of the electoral process.

Members of the Council reiterated the importance of the continued role being played by the donor Community, the United Nations System, the African Union, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) for the peace-building process in Guinea-Bissau.

They commended the coordinating role played on the ground by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Peace-Building Office of the United Nations in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) with regard to the assistance provided to Guinea-Bissau during the electoral process and the observation of the elections, respectively.

Members of the Council expressed concern at the persistence of the serious economic difficulties in Guinea-Bissau and made a strong appeal to the international community, in particular to the Bretton Woods institutions, the European Union, and bilateral donors, to continue considering the situation in Guinea-Bissau as a matter of emergency, requiring strengthened efforts in support of the economic reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of Guinea-Bissau, particularly through the Emergency Economic Management Fund (EEMF), managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

They encouraged the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, the Economic and Social Council Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau and the Group of Friends of Guinea-Bissau to continue to play their constructive role in Guinea-Bissau.

Members of the Council expressed their continued support to the Representative of the Secretary-General and to the UNOGBIS.

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For information media. Not an official record.