|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5804th Meeting (PM)
adoption of Sierra Leone Peacebuilding cooperation Framework called major milestone
in journey to peace, stability, Security Council told
This week’s adoption of the Sierra Leone Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework represented “another major milestone” in Sierra Leone’s journey from conflict to peace, stability and prosperity, Frank Majoor ( Netherlands) Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Country-Specific Meetings on Sierra Leone told the Security Council today.
“With the Framework in hand we now have the opportunity to provide focused support to a country that has emerged from conflict but that is still struggling to address those factors that could trigger a relapse into conflict, in spite of the good progress that has been made in many areas. In other words, we now have the opportunity to do what the Peacebuilding Commission was created for,” he said in a briefing on the midweek adoption.
He said the Framework would guide work over the next three years and address the challenges most critical to sustaining and consolidating peace in Sierra Leone. The Commission would use the Framework to strengthen dialogue, enhance partnerships between Sierra Leone and its international partners, and mobilize additional resources. The Framework would ensure Sierra Leone’s cooperation with the Commission on the basis of national ownership, mutual accountability and sustained engagement.
The Framework had been developed through an intensive consultative process involving all major stakeholders in New York and Freetown, he said. It contained commitments on the part of the Government of Sierra Leone and the Peacebuilding Commission in the areas of good governance, security sector reform, youth employment and empowerment, energy sector development and capacity-building. It also addressed the subregional dimensions of peacebuilding and gender equality.
Despite significant progress, however, many of the root causes of conflict still must be addressed, he said, underscoring the need for greater efforts to reconcile the country, reform governance institutions and address dire socio-economic conditions. While the Government and people of Sierra Leone bore primary responsibility for addressing those challenges, it was equally important that the global community remain engaged.
Welcoming the Council’s continued support in ensuring the constructive engagement of all stakeholders in the Commission’s work, he said the Council now had the opportunity to provide focused support to a country struggling to address factors that could trigger a relapse into conflict. In extending the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), the Council should authorize it to continue supporting the Peacebuilding Commission and implementing the Framework.
The meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and adjourned at 3:20 p.m.
In considering the situation in Sierra Leone, the Council had before it the Fifth report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (document S/2007/704), which provides an update on major developments, including the interdepartmental technical assessment mission led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations that visited the country from 15 to 25 October.
In the report, the mission recommends the extension of the UNIOSIL mandate for a final period of nine months during which the Office would continue to assist the new Government in supporting the 2008 local elections and constitutional reform, enhancing democratic governance, including anti-corruption efforts, and facilitating Sierra Leone’s engagement with the Peacebuilding Commission.
The mission also recommends the creation of a leaner integrated political office to replace UNIOSIL upon the expiry of its mandate in September 2008. The new office would focus on carrying the peace consolidation process forward, mobilizing international donor support, supporting the work of the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Fund and completing any residual tasks left over from the UNIOSIL mandate. The new integrated office should be led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
According to the report, the Secretary-General recommends an extension of the UNIOSIL mandate for a final nine-month period, during which it would take steps progressively to reduce its strength in order to complete the mandate by September 2008. The Secretary-General would, in his April 2008 report to the Council, submit proposals concerning the drawing down of the Office and the mandate, structure and strength of the successor office.
* *** *