The Security Council today renewed an arms embargo on non-State actors in Liberia for nine months while terminating other sanctions on the country, including a travel ban and asset freeze on those deemed a danger to its stability.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2237 (2015), the Council also renewed for 10 months the mandate of the Panel of Experts that assists the so-called 1521 Committee on Liberia to monitor the sanctions, reducing the panel membership from two experts to reflect the limitation of its purview to the partial arms embargo and the Government’s progress in arms and border management.
The Panel of Experts on Liberia’s final report (document S/2015/558) and the Secretary-General’s letter of 31 July (document S/2015/590) noted progress in arms and ammunition management, but also highlighted weaknesses in State institutions, persistent gaps in the legal framework for the security sector, and porous borders vulnerable to trafficking.
In today’s resolution, the Council urged the Government of Liberia to take further steps to combat the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition, prioritizing the timely adoption and implementation of an effective legal framework.
The meeting began at 11:37 a.m. and ended at 11:40 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2237 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President on the situation in Liberia,
“Welcoming the sustained progress made by the Government of Liberia, in rebuilding Liberia for the benefit of all Liberians, with the support of the international community,
“Taking note of the report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Liberia (S/2015/558),
“Further noting the Secretary-General’s letter, dated 31 July 2015 (S/2015/590), updating the Security Council on progress made by the Government of Liberia to implement the recommendations on the proper management of arms and ammunition, including enacting the necessary laws, and on facilitating the effective monitoring and management of the border regions between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire,
“Commending the Government of Liberia for responding effectively to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and recognizing, in this regard, the resilience of the people and Government of Liberia, and its security institutions, especially the Armed Forces of Liberia and the Liberia National Police,
“Welcoming the efforts of Member States, bilateral partners and multilateral organizations, including the United Nations, African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to support the Government of Liberia in its response to the Ebola outbreak, further welcoming the contributions of the international community, including the Peacebuilding Commission, to assist Liberia in its comprehensive development commitment in the post-Ebola recovery period particularly through capacity-building of its security institutions and strongly encouraging further steps forward in this regard,
“Affirming that the Government of Liberia bears primary responsibility for protecting all populations within its territory from atrocities, and stressing that lasting stability in Liberia will require the Government of Liberia to sustain effective and accountable Government institutions, particularly in the rule of law and security sectors,
“Stressing the need for increased progress on security sector reform in Liberia in particular to ensure that Liberia’s military, police and border security forces are self-sufficient, capable and adequately prepared to protect the Liberian people,
“Underlining that the transparent and effective management of natural resources is critical for Liberia’s sustainable peace and security,
“Recalling the Council’s readiness to terminate the measures imposed by paragraphs 2 (a) and (b) and 4 (a) of resolution 1521 (2003) upon its determination that the ceasefire in Liberia is being fully respected and maintained, disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and restructuring of the security sector have been completed, the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement are being fully implemented, and significant progress has been made in establishing and maintaining stability in Liberia and the subregion,
“Further recalling the Council’s intention to consider modifying the measure imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004) once the Government of Liberia established transparent accounting and auditing mechanisms to ensure the responsible use of Government revenue to benefit directly the people of Liberia,
“Determining that, despite significant progress, 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 to renew the measures on arms, previously imposed by paragraph 2 of resolution 1521 (2003) and modified by paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1683 (2006), by paragraph 1 (b) of resolution 1731 (2006), by paragraphs 3, 4, 5 and 6 of resolution 1903 (2009), by paragraph 3 of resolution 1961 (2010), and by paragraph 2 (b) of resolution 2128 (2013) for a period of nine months from the date of adoption of this resolution;
“2. Decides to terminate the travel and financial measures set forth in paragraph 4 of resolution 1521 (2003) and paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004);
“3. Decides to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to paragraph 9 of resolution 1903 (2009) for a period of 10 months from the date of adoption of this resolution to undertake the following tasks in close collaboration with the Government of Liberia and the Côte d’Ivoire Group of Experts:
(a) To investigate and compile a final report on the implementation, and any violations, of the measures on arms as renewed by paragraph 1 above, including the various sources of financing for the illicit trade of arms, and on progress in the security and legal sectors with respect to the Government of Liberia’s ability to effectively monitor and control arms and border issues;
(b) To provide to the Council, after discussion with the Committee, a final report no later than 1 May 2016 on all the issues listed in this paragraph, and to provide informal updates to the Committee as appropriate before that date;
(c) To cooperate actively with other relevant panels of experts, in particular that on Côte d’Ivoire re-established by paragraph 24 of resolution 2153 (2014);
“4. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary administrative measures as expeditiously as possible to re-establish the Panel of Experts, having due regard for its reduced mandate, to consist of one member, for a period of 10 months from the date of adoption of this resolution;
“5. Calls upon all States, including Liberia, to cooperate fully with the Panel of Experts in all aspects of its mandate;
“6. Recalls that responsibility for controlling the circulation of small arms within the territory of Liberia and between Liberia and neighbouring States rests with the relevant governmental authorities in accordance with the Economic Community of West African States Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons of 2006;
“7. Urges the Government of Liberia to prioritize and expedite the adoption and implementation of appropriate arms and ammunition management legislation and take other necessary and appropriate steps to establish the necessary legal and administrative framework to combat the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition;
“8. Affirms that it will be prepared to adjust the measures contained in this resolution, including by re-imposing or strengthening measures, as well as modifying, suspending or lifting measures, as may be needed at any time in light of the stability of Liberia and the subregion;
“9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”