SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON LIBERIA SANCTIONS REVIEW
The following Security Council press statement on the Liberia sanctions review was delivered today by President Emyr Jones Parry (United Kingdom):
The Security Council conducted a review of the measures on Liberia, in particular on diamonds and timber, in accordance with resolution 1549 (2004). The members of the Council received a briefing from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) on the mid-term report of the Panel of Experts.
The members of the Council noted with satisfaction that no violations of the diamonds and timber sanctions were reported during the period under review. They appreciated the efforts of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) towards meeting the goals identified in resolution 1521 (2003) for the lifting of sanctions.
The members of the Council welcomed the noteworthy progress in the diamonds sector. They, however, noted that the lack of funding was impeding further steps for the establishment of an effective, transparent and internationally verifiable certificate of origin regime.
The members of the Council also noted the steps taken so far by the NTGL in the timber sector and encouraged the relevant Liberian authorities to take the necessary measures to establish full authority and control over the timber producing areas and to ensure proper utilization of the revenues from the Liberian timber industry -- these being the conditions set by the Security Council for lifting the sanctions.
While recognizing the need to lift the diamonds and timber sanctions as soon as possible, and acknowledging the progress made so far, the members of the Council concluded that the conditions for lifting were yet to be fully met. They again emphasized that the continuation of sanctions was not punitive, but only meant to consolidate the peace. They called on the NTGL to take the necessary steps for meeting the benchmarks and looked forward to further progress by the time of the Council’s comprehensive review due in December 2004.
The members of the Council underlined that adequate and timely assistance was crucial to enable the NTGL to meet the conditions for lifting of diamonds and timber sanctions. They reiterated their call on States, relevant international organizations and others with the capacity to do so to provide such assistance.
The members of the Council also noted with concern that only 50 per cent of the pledges made at the Reconstruction Conference in New York in February 2004 were redeemed so far. They called on the international community to fulfil its commitments in an expeditious manner.
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