|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6942nd Meeting (AM)
Security Council Extends Mandate of Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone
for Final Time, with Operation to Fully Draw Down by 31 March 2014
Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2097 (2013); Requests Report by 15 September 2013
To Update on Mandate Completion, Transfer of Responsibilities to UN Country Team
Acting on the recommendations of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Security Council today decided that the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) would fully draw down its operations by 31 March 2014, wrapping up the latest phase of the Organization’s decades-long engagement with the West African country.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2097 (2013), the Council extended through 31 March 2014 the United Nations peacebuilding presence, known as UNIPSIL, deciding also — in line with the views of the Sierra Leone Government — that the Mission should end by that date. The Secretary-General was requested to submit a report no later than 15 September 2013 providing an update on the planned completion of UNIPSIL’s mandate and transfer of responsibilities to a United Nations Country Team.
By the text, the Council encouraged Sierra Leone to engage in discussions on the nature and scope of the United Nations’ role after UNIPSIL. It also requested the Mission to focus its remaining activities on facilitating political dialogue, including support to the Government on the planned constitutional review, security sector support and strengthening of human rights institutions.
By other terms, the Council encouraged UNIPSIL, Sierra Leone and bilateral and multilateral partners to form a transition steering group to map out support to Sierra Leone for the transfer of residual functions that might be needed after UNIPSIL’s withdrawal. It also requested the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General to finalize a transition plan no later than 30 May 2013.
For its part, the United Nations Country Team was encouraged to scale up programming during the Mission’s transition and after its liquidation. The Council urged the Secretary-General to ensure a “seamless transition” to a new Resident Coordinator and a Country Team management team model, requesting him, in that context, to provide a peace and development adviser to support the Resident Coordinator. The United Nations Office for West Africa was requested to make its good offices available for support in that regard.
The Council called upon Sierra Leone’s electoral institutions to continue fostering an environment of political inclusion in the coming years by ensuring that the preparations and conduct of local and national elections proceeded in a peaceful and credible manner. It urged the passage of the Gender Equality Bill to increase women’s participation in the political process, including as voters and candidates.
By final provisions, the Council called on Sierra Leone to ensure that its security agencies continued to respond in an impartial, proportionate way to security threats. International partners were called on to continue their financial and technical support during and after UNIPSIL’s drawdown, including by strengthening capacity-building of national political, security, human rights and rule-of law-institutions. The Peacebuilding Commission was requested to review its engagement with Sierra Leone following the completion of elections and with a view to scaling down its role.
Following the Council’s action, the representative of Sierra Leone said that his Government profoundly appreciated the collective efforts of the 15-member body in trying to put his country “on the right track”. Sierra Leone was committed to implementing the resolution just adopted and looked forward to a smooth transition and transfer of residual UNIPSIL functions.
The Security Council was last briefed on the situation in Sierra Leone on 13 March, when Executive Representative Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen discussed the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2013/118), which included plans for a gradual transfer of responsibilities to the United Nations country team and the Sierra Leone Government, to begin on 1 April. (For more information, see Press Release SC/10937.)
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and adjourned at 10:14 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2097 (2013) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President concerning the situation in Sierra Leone, in particular resolution 2005 (2011), 2065 (2012) and the Statement of its President on 30 November (2012),
“Welcoming the tenth report of the Secretary-General dated 27 February 2013 (S/2013/118) and taking note of its recommendations,
“Welcoming the significant progress achieved by the Government and people of Sierra Leone towards achieving peace and stability and in laying the ground for Sierra Leone’s long-term development,
“Commending Sierra Leone for the conduct and successful conclusion of Presidential, Parliamentary, district, and local elections in November 2012, in particular acknowledging the important role played by Sierra Leone’s electoral institutions, political parties, civil society groups, international partners, and domestic and international observers, and congratulating the people of Sierra Leone for their large turnout in the elections, which showed their strong commitment to democracy,
“Welcoming the important role played by the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), the United Nations Country Team, bilateral and international partners in supporting Sierra Leone to prepare for the elections, noting in particular efforts to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the national democratic, electoral and security institutions, promote inclusive political dialogue between the national stakeholders, promote a culture of non‑violence and ensure the safe, full and equal participation of all sections of society, in particular women in the electoral process,
“Welcoming the steady progress the Government has made in implementing the Agenda for Change, in particular steps taken to sustain macroeconomic stability, promote gender equality, improve youth engagement, improve access to justice and human rights and strengthen the Government’s management of the extractive industries, and commending the valuable contribution of UNIPSIL, the United Nations Country Team and the international community to the peacebuilding and development priorities in Sierra Leone, and in particular through the integrated United Nations Joint Vision and the Transitional Joint Vision,
“Welcoming efforts to finalize Sierra Leone’s Agenda for Prosperity, including through the conduct of a fragility assessment under the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, emphasizing the need to retain the peace, security and development nexus in future planning to ensure that progress achieved thus far is sustained, and further emphasizing the importance of continued integrated support of the United Nations system, bilateral and international partners to the Agenda for Prosperity, in order to ensure that international support is delivered in a coordinated and effective manner,
“Reiterating its strong support for the Special Court for Sierra Leone and its appreciation for the Court’s work, welcoming the conclusion of oral hearings in the Charles Taylor appeal, requesting the Court to make every effort to complete its remaining work by 30 September 2013, acknowledging the special subvention provided as an exceptional measure from the United Nations regular budget to the Court for the period from 8 December 2012 to 31 December 2013, calling upon Member States to contribute generously to the Court and to the implementation of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone Agreement,
“Welcoming the role played by the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the Mano River Union, in support of Sierra Leone’s peacebuilding and development goals, and encouraging these and other regional organizations to continue their dialogue aimed at consolidating regional peace and security,
“Recognizing the continuing challenges posed by transnational organized crime and corruption, and emphasizing the need for continued national and international support to the Transnational Organized Crime Unit (TOCU) in order to ensure its sustainability,
“Welcoming the role of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Sierra Leone Configuration and the Peacebuilding Fund in supporting peacebuilding efforts in Sierra Leone,
“1. Decides that the mandate of UNIPSIL shall be extended until 31 March 2014;
“2. Decides that, in accordance with the views of the Government of Sierra Leone, conditions on the ground following the successful conclusion of elections in 2012, and in line with the recommendations of the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/118), UNIPSIL should be fully drawn down by 31 March 2014;
“3. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council regularly informed of the developments on the ground and to submit to the Security Council, no later than 15 September 2013, a report providing an update on the planned completion of UNIPSIL’s mandate and the transfer of responsibilities to a United Nations Country Team;
“4. Encourages UNIPSIL, the Government of Sierra Leone and bilateral and multilateral partners to form a transition steering group to map the international community’s support to Sierra Leone, in particular regarding the transfer of any residual functions currently provided by UNIPSIL which may be needed after the Mission’s withdrawal, requests the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General to finalize a Transition Plan no later than 30 May 2013, and requests the Secretary-General to provide an update on such planning activities in his next report;
“5. Encourages the Government of Sierra Leone to engage in discussions on the nature, activities and scope of the United Nations role post-UNIPSIL in coordination with UNIPSIL, the United Nations Country Team, multilateral and bilateral partners, the Peacebuilding Commission, and other relevant stakeholders;
“6. Requests UNIPSIL to focus its remaining activities during this mandating period on facilitating political dialogue, including support to the Government, particularly related to the planned constitutional review, security sector support, and strengthening of human rights institutions and their long-term sustainability;
“7. Encourages the United Nations Country Team and its component United Nations agencies to scale up their activities and programming during UNIPSIL’s transition and after its liquidation and factor such activities into their planning for a new United Nations Development Assistance Framework, and urges the Secretary-General to ensure there is a seamless transition to a new Resident Coordinator and United Nations Country Team management team model as UNIPSIL departs;
“8. Requests the Secretary-General to provide a peace and development adviser to support the Resident Coordinator, and requests the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) to make available its good offices to support the Government of Sierra Leone and the future United Nations Resident Coordinator as necessary;
“9. Welcomes the planned review of the 1991 Constitution that will, inter alia¸ examine ways of fostering a greater sense of national cohesion and calls on all parties to participate in an open, transparent, and constructive manner in the review to contribute to a more inclusive system of governance;
“10. Calls upon Sierra Leone’s electoral institutions, in particular the National Electoral Commission and the Political Parties Registration Commission, to continue to foster an environment of political inclusion over the coming years as Sierra Leone prepares for its next and subsequent local and national elections by ensuring that the preparations and conduct of elections proceed in a peaceful, inclusive and credible manner, strengthening voter information and education, and promoting dialogue to resolve conflicts as well as political tolerance and non‑violence;
“11. Urges the passing of the Gender Equality Bill, including consideration of necessary amendments, to enhance the rights of women, as well as to increase their participation in the political process, including through the full participation of women both as voters and as candidates;
“12. Encourages the Government of Sierra Leone to continue implementing the National Gender Strategic Plan and the Sierra Leone National Action Plan to address Gender-Based Violence; and further encourages the Government to continue efforts to improve youth employment and empowerment and reduce socioeconomic inequalities;
“13. Welcomes the good work of the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission, reaffirms the importance of its impartiality and independence, and encourages international partners to continue to provide financial and technical support to its functioning and long-term sustainability;
“14. Urges the Independent Media Commission to ensure full compliance with the current Media Code of Practice, and encourages the development of a revised Media Code of Conduct to enhance Sierra Leone’s democratic processes;
“15. Calls upon the Government of Sierra Leone to ensure that its security agencies, in particular the Sierra Leone Police, continue to respond in an impartial, proportionate and effective way to security threats, and remain committed to upholding human rights and other applicable international law, welcomes the work of the Anti-Corruption Commission, and urges the Government to accelerate efforts to establish the Independent Police Complaints Committee;
“16. Calls upon the Government of Sierra Leone to continue enhancing the effectiveness of the Transnational Organized Crime Unit, including by addressing concerns about its sustainability and to strengthen coordination with countries in the region through the West Africa Coast Initiative;
“17. Reaffirms the important potential role of extractive industries in Sierra Leone’s economic development, encourages the Government of Sierra Leone and international partners to strengthen protection of workers’ rights and national capacities for transparent regulation, oversight, and revenue collection from such industries, as well as to address issues of land ownership with a view to establishing mutually beneficial arrangements for local communities and the private sector, and calls upon the Government to tackle corruption;
“18. Emphasizes that the Government of Sierra Leone bears the primary responsibility for peacebuilding and long-term development in the country, and urges the national authorities to continue implementing ongoing activities under the strategic priorities of the Agenda for Change and to finalize the Agenda for Prosperity and begin its implementation;
“19. Calls on international partners to continue their financial and technical support to Sierra Leone during and after UNIPSIL’s drawdown in line with the Agenda for Change and subsequent Agenda for Prosperity, including through strengthening capacity-building of national political, security, human rights and rule-of-law institutions, promoting good governance and accountability, promoting gender and social equality, strengthening human rights protection, supporting efforts to improve youth empowerment and strengthening efforts to tackle transnational organized crime including illicit activities such as money-laundering and drug trafficking;
“20. Requests the Peacebuilding Commission to continue to provide support to the Government of Sierra Leone, working with UNIPSIL and the United Nations Country Team, in particular through efforts to mobilize resources for the Agenda for Prosperity, and, noting its request in resolution 2065 (2012) for the Commission to review its engagement with Sierra Leone following the successful completion of the elections and in line with the drawdown of UNIPSIL, requests that the Commission review its engagement with a view to scaling down its role;
“21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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