|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6834th Meeting* (AM)
Security Council Extends Mandate of Liberia Mission until 30 September 2013,
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2066 (2012)
Authorizes Reduction of Military Troops, Increase in Police Units;
Requests Updates on Situation on the Ground as Mission Reconfiguration Continues
Commending Liberia for its successful elections in 2011 and encouraging its efforts to further national reconciliation and economic recovery, the Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for one year, until 30 September 2013, reducing its military strength in three phases and authorizing the Secretary-General to implement the first phase of that reduction — 1,900 personnel — between October 2012 and September 2013.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2066 (2012) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council decided that UNMIL’s primary tasks were to continue to support the Government’s efforts to solidify peace and stability, and to protect civilians. UNMIL would also support the Government in transitioning complete security responsibility to the Liberia National Police by strengthening the Police’s ability to manage personnel, improving training programmes to expedite their readiness and to coordinate those efforts with all partners.
By the text, the Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s recommendation, contained in his latest reports (documents S/2012/230 and S/2012/641), that UNMIL’s current military strength of seven infantry battalions should decrease by four such battalions and related enablers, totalling about 4,200 personnel, in three phases between August 2012 and July 2015, subject to and consistent with conditions in the area of operations. UNMIL’s military strength would be left at three infantry battalions and related enablers, totalling about 3,750 personnel, by July 2015.
Further, the Council decided to increase the number of UNMIL’s authorized formed police units by three units, totalling 420 personnel, from its current seven units, totalling 1,375 personnel, for a new authorized ceiling of 1,795 personnel. Such additional units should be deployed to Liberia as soon as available, with the first deploying no later than January 2013. Future reconfigurations of UNMIL should be determined on the basis of the situation on the ground and an improved Government capacity to protect people through the establishment of sustainable and effective security forces that progressively took over UNMIL’s security role.
The Council requested the Secretary-General to ensure that UNMIL had qualified specialist advisers with experience appropriate to the transition phase in order to enhance mentoring in priority areas, as outlined in his report. In that regard, the Council requested that such advisers be made available to the Special Representative to help Liberia increase its capacity to implement rule of law, justice, governance and security sector reform programmes, including mechanisms to hold perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence accountable.
The transition planning should take into account broad challenges, the Council emphasized, calling on UNMIL to make appropriate internal adjustments and to support Liberia in taking forward identified priorities: national reconciliation, constitutional reform and decentralization, while enhancing its support for security sector and rule of law reforms. For its part, Liberia must continue to combat sexual and gender-based violence and, in coordination with UNMIL, combat impunity for perpetrators, and provide both redress and protection to victims.
More broadly, the Council called on Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia to enhance cooperation, vis-à-vis the border area, through increased monitoring, information sharing and implementation of a shared border strategy to support the disarmament and repatriation of foreign armed elements, and the voluntary return of refugees. It called on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and UNMIL to enhance inter-mission cooperation to stabilize the border area through the development of a shared strategic vision. The Council also recalled its own endorsement, in resolution 2062 (2012), of the Secretary-General’s recommendation to transfer the three armed helicopters, currently deployed in UNMIL, to UNOCI, to be used along and across their border.
By final terms, the Council underscored the importance for Liberia, in coordination with UNMIL, the United Nations country team and international partners, to continue to develop national security and rule of law institutions that were fully and independently operational.
The Secretary-General was requested to keep the Council regularly informed of the situation on the ground as UNMIL continued its reconfiguration, progress towards achieving the transitional benchmarks and the development of a transition plan with the Government, inclusive of priority elements. He also was requested to provide a midterm report no later than 28 February 2013 and a final report no later than 15 August 2013 on the implementation of the current resolution
The meeting began at 10:13 a.m. and adjourned at 10:15 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2066 (2012) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its resolutions and statements by its President concerning the situation in Liberia and the subregion, in particular its resolutions 1509 (2003), 1836 (2008), 1885 (2009), 1938 (2010), 1971 (2011), and 2008 (2011),
“Welcoming the Secretary-General’s report of 16 April 2012 (S/2012/230) and taking note of its recommendations and also welcoming the Secretary-General’s report of 15 August 2012 (S/2012/641),
“Commending the people and Government of Liberia for holding a national referendum, presidential and legislative elections in 2011, and recognizing the support provided by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to achieve them,
“Commending the Government of Liberia for signing the Table Mountain Declaration, and encouraging the Government to advance free press and free expression,
“Expressing appreciation for the assistance provided by both the Government and the Liberian people to the Ivorian refugees that have relocated temporarily in eastern Liberia,
“Welcoming the Peacebuilding Commission’s contribution to security sector reform (SSR), rule of law and national reconciliation, and noting that challenges still remain in these key areas,
“Recognizing that lasting stability in Liberia and the subregion will require well-functioning, accountable, and sustainable government institutions, including security and rule of law sectors,
“Encouraging the Government of Liberia to continue its efforts to further national reconciliation and economic recovery, and to combat corruption and promote efficiency and good governance, in particular by continuing to strengthen Government transparency and accountability in effectively managing Liberia’s natural resources, and noting with concern the continued slow progress on the important issue of land ownership,
“Encouraging the efforts to ensure adequate human rights presence, capacity, and expertise within UNMIL to carry out human rights promotion, protection, and monitoring activities,
“Recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010) on women, peace, and security, concerned about the continuing high incidence of sexual and gender-based violence, and welcoming renewed efforts by the Government of Liberia in coordination with UNMIL to promote and protect the rights of civilians, in particular women and children, and reaffirming the importance of appropriate gender expertise and training in missions mandated by the Security Council,
“Noting that UNMIL’s mandate includes assisting the Government of Liberia to consolidate peace and stability, with national institutions that are able to maintain security independently of a peacekeeping mission to ensure the future stability of Liberia; recalling the transition benchmarks for the drawdown phase of UNMIL, including the implementation of core benchmarks for the Liberia National Police (LNP) and implementation of the national security strategy,
“Urging intensified effort by the Government of Liberia towards achieving progress on the transition of security responsibilities from UNMIL to the national authorities, particularly with regard to prioritizing and resourcing the critical gaps and improving the capacity and capability of the LNP and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization,
“Noting that the Government of Liberia has the primary responsibility to reform the security sector, and encouraging the Government to cooperate fully and work with UNMIL to demonstrate substantive progress in the reform and restructuring of the justice sector,
“Recognizing the significant challenges that remain across all sectors, including continuing problems with violent crime, and recognizing that the instability in Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose cross-border security challenges for Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire,
“Commending the work of UNMIL, under the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), for its continuing and significant contribution to maintaining peace and stability in Liberia, and noting with satisfaction the increasing cooperation between UNMIL and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), as well as the neighbouring Governments, in coordinating security and judicial activities in the border areas in the subregion,
“Noting with concern the cross-border threats to subregional stability, including to Liberia, in particular threats posed by transnational organized crime, including illicit activities such as drug and arms trafficking,
“Expressing its appreciation to the international community, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), the Mano River Union, and the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), for their continuing support to consolidate peace, security and stability in Liberia and the region,
“Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations, including UNMIL, under close review and reiterating the need for the Council to pursue a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments,
“Determining that the situation in Liberia continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides that the mandate of UNMIL shall be extended until 30 September 2013;
“2. Emphasizes that the Government of Liberia bears primary and ultimate responsibility for security and, recognizing that the Government must prioritize in order to best utilize its available resources, decides that UNMIL’s primary tasks are to continue to support the Government in order to solidify peace and stability in Liberia and to protect civilians, and that UNMIL shall also support the Government’s efforts, as appropriate, to achieve a successful transition of complete security responsibility to the LNP by strengthening the LNP’s capabilities to manage existing personnel, improve training programs to expedite their readiness to assume security responsibilities, and coordinate these efforts with all partners, including the Government of Liberia, the national police leadership, and donor partners;
“3. Encourages the Government of Liberia and UNMIL to continue to make progress in the transition planning process and address the critical gaps that need to be filled in order to facilitate a successful transition, including by prioritizing tasks, to include promotion of human rights and reconciliation, assess security challenges inclusive of the border, strengthen democratic institutions and extend state authority and services throughout the country;
“4. Endorses the Secretary-General’s recommendation, contained in report S/2012/230 and reiterated in report S/2012/641, that UNMIL’s current military strength of seven infantry battalions shall decrease by four infantry battalions and related enablers, totalling approximately 4,200 personnel, in three phases between August 2012 and July 2015, subject to and consistent with conditions in the area of operations, leaving UNMIL’s military strength at three infantry battalions and related enablers, totalling approximately 3,750 personnel, by July 2015, and in that respect authorizes the Secretary-General to implement the first phase reducing the military component by 1,990 personnel between October 2012 and September 2013;
“5. Further decides to increase the number of UNMIL’s authorized formed police units by three additional units, totalling 420 personnel, from its current strength of seven formed police units, totalling 1,375 personnel, for a new authorized ceiling of 1,795 personnel, and further decides that such additional units shall be deployed to Liberia as soon as available, with the first unit deploying no later than January 2013;
“6. Emphasizes that future reconfigurations of UNMIL should be determined on the basis of the evolution of the situation on the ground and on the achievement of an improved capacity of the Government of Liberia to effectively protect the population through the establishment of sustainable and effective security forces with a view to progressively take over UNMIL’s security role;
“7. Recognizes that this transition will require qualified specialist advisers to assist and support the SRSG in working with the Government of Liberia to meet transition goals, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure that UNMIL has the requisite qualified specialist advisers who have the professional skills and experience appropriate to this transition phase in order to enhance mentoring in priority areas, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report S/2012/230; and requests that such qualified specialist advisers be made available to the SRSG to fill gaps that might exist in meeting the goal of increasing the capacity of the Government of Liberia, particularly the LNP, to implement sustainable rule of law, justice, governance and SSR programs, including mechanisms to hold perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence accountable;
“8. Emphasizes that in order to be sustainable, the transition planning process should take into account broad challenges, including governance and the rule of law as well as the political context, and calls on UNMIL to make the appropriate internal adjustments and, at the request of the Government of Liberia, and consistent with its mandate, support the people and the Government of Liberia in taking forward the identified priorities, including national reconciliation, constitutional reform and decentralization, while enhancing its support for security sector and rule of law reforms;
“9. Reiterates its calls on the Government of Liberia to continue to combat sexual and gender-based violence and, in coordination with UNMIL, to continue to combat impunity for perpetrators of such crimes and to provide redress, support, and protection to victims, including through the strengthening of national police capacity in this area and by raising awareness of existing national legislation on sexual violence;
“10. Encourages UNMIL to ensure regular interaction with the civilian population to raise awareness and understanding about its mandate and activities, within existing resources;
“11. Requests UNMIL to continue to support the participation of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, including in decision-making roles in post-conflict governance institutions, appointed and elected in Liberia, within existing resources;
“12. Calls upon the Governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia to continue to enhance their cooperation, particularly with respect to the border area, including through increasing monitoring, information sharing and conducting coordinated actions, and in developing and implementing a shared border strategy to inter alia support the disarmament and repatriation of foreign armed elements on both sides of the border and the voluntary return of refugees;
“13. Reaffirms the inter-mission cooperation arrangements provided for in its resolution 1609 (2005) and calls upon the United Nations in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, including all components of UNOCI and UNMIL, within their respective mandates, capabilities and areas of deployment, to enhance their inter-mission cooperation for the stabilization of the border area, including through the development of a shared, strategic vision and plan, in support of the Ivorian and Liberian authorities;
“14. Recalls the endorsement, in its resolution 2062 (2012), of the Secretary-General’s recommendation to transfer the three armed helicopters, currently deployed in UNMIL, to UNOCI, to be used in both Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia along and across their border;
“15. Calls upon the donor community to support the Government of Liberia, as well as the relevant United Nations agencies, and other humanitarian actors, as appropriate, in their response to the Ivorian refugees still present in Liberia;
“16. Emphasizes the need for coherence between, and integration of, peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and development to achieve an effective response to post-conflict situations, requests that the Secretary-General, in conjunction with the United Nations country team and international partners, to continue to coordinate and collaborate with the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), and calls for the timely completion of the justice and security hubs, with requisite full staffing to make these hubs fully operational, to contribute to improved access to justice and security services throughout Liberia; and encourages the PBC, following close consultation with the Government of Liberia, to continue to report on the findings of its missions and its recommendations on how it can accelerate progress on SSR, rule of law, and national reconciliation;
“17. Underscores the importance that the military concept of operations and rules of engagement be regularly updated and be fully in line with the provisions
of this resolution, and requests the Secretary-General to report on them to the Security Council and troop-contributing countries;
“18. Further underscores the importance for the Government of Liberia, in coordination with UNMIL, the United Nations country team and international partners, to continue to develop national security and rule of law institutions that are fully and independently operational, and to this end continues to encourage coordinated progress on the implementation of the Security and Justice Development Plans and the National Human Rights Action Plan;
“19. Encourages ECOWAS and the Mano River Union to develop, with the support of UNOWA, a subregional strategy to address the threat of the cross-border movements of armed groups and weapons as well as illicit trafficking, with the assistance of UNOCI and UNMIL, as appropriate, and requests the Secretary-General to provide regular updates on progress towards the development of such a sub-regional strategy;
“20. Further requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed of the situation on the ground as UNMIL continues its reconfiguration, progress towards achieving the transitional benchmarks, and development of a transition plan with the Government of Liberia, inclusive of priority elements cited in paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, and to provide to it a midterm report no later than 28 February 2013 and a final report no later than 15 August 2013 on the implementation of this resolution;
“21. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
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* The 6833rd Meeting was closed.