press statement on liberia by Security Council president
Following is today’s press statement on Liberia by Security Council President Lauro Baja (Philippines):
The Security Council conducted a midterm review of the sanctions on Liberia in accordance with resolution 1521 of 22 December 2003. The members received a briefing from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) on the work of the Committee including its discussions on the latest report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia.
The members of the Council took note of the improved situation in Liberia and its positive impact on the enforcement of the sanctions regime. They also noted that no major violations of the arms embargo and diamond and timber sanctions had been reported since August 2003. They, however, felt that peace was still fragile and that the conditions for the lifting of the sanctions were yet to be fully met.
The members of the Council took note of the views expressed in the Council on 3 June 2004 by H.E. Mr. Gyude Bryant, Chairman, National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Jacques Klein, on the need to lift the diamonds and timber sanctions as soon as possible to enable the NTGL to use Liberia’s own resources for its reconstruction and development to the benefit of the Liberian people.
The members of the Council acknowledged progress made by the NTGL on meeting the conditions for lifting of the measures, in particular diamonds and timber sanctions, and expressed their readiness to assist the Liberian authorities in fulfilling those conditions.
The members of the Council emphasized that continuation of the measures on Liberia was not meant to be punitive for the NTGL and the Liberian people but to ensure that the peace process was irreversible. They expressed their readiness to keep the measures on diamonds and timber under regular review with a view to their possible termination, based on further evaluation of the progress made on the benchmarks.
The members of the Council recognized the difficulties faced by the NTGL with regard to their efforts for reconstruction and recovery and called on the international community to provide assistance to Liberia in a timely manner and, in particular, to redeem their pledges made at the Reconstruction Conference held in New York on 5-6 February 2004.
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