Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2239 (2015), Extends by One Year Mission Mandate in Liberia ahead of 2016 Drawdown

SC/12049
17 September 2015
7525th Meeting (AM)

Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2239 (2015), Extends by One Year Mission Mandate in Liberia ahead of 2016 Drawdown

Emphasizing the need for continued progress on constitutional and institutional reform in Liberia, the Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations mission there until 30 September 2016, continuing the drawdown in advance of that country’s expected assumption of full responsibility for security by the middle of next year.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2239 (2015), the 15-member body entrusted the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) with a new mandate consisting of four main tasks:  protection of civilians; reform of justice and security institutions; human rights protection and promotion; and protection of United Nations personnel.  The strength of the Mission would be further reduced from 3,590 to 1,240 military personnel and from 1,515 to 606 police personnel by 30 June 2016, when Liberia is expected to assume full responsibility for security.

The Council requested UNMIL, as of 1 July 2016, to support the Liberian security agencies in protecting civilians if the security situation deteriorated to a point that could “risk a strategic reversal of peace and stability in the country” while also taking into account the Mission’s “reduced capabilities and areas of deployment”.

Encouraging Member States and multilateral organizations to continue to support the Government of Liberia with the financial and technical assistance required for the security transition, the Council also urged the Government to accelerate efforts towards the effective management of arms and ammunition, including enacting relevant domestic legislation, monitoring border regions and the registering and tracking of arms imported and used by its security forces.

The resolution affirmed the Council’s intention to consider the possible withdrawal of UNMIL and a transition to a future United Nations presence, which would be based on security conditions on the ground and a successful security transition.  The Council requested the Secretary-General to conduct a technical assessment mission and make recommendations by 15 November 2016.  The Council would then review Liberia’s State capacity in relation to the security situation by 15 December 2016.

The meeting began at 10:04 a.m. and ended at 10:05 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2239 (2015) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular 1509 (2003), 2066 (2012), 2116 (2013), 2177 (2014), 2190 (2014), 2215 (2015) and 2237 (2015) concerning the situation in Liberia, as well as 2162 (2014) and 2226 (2015) on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire,

Affirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Liberia and recalling the principles of good-neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,

Affirming that the Government of Liberia bears primary responsibility for ensuring peace, stability and the protection of the civilian population in Liberia and for reforming the security sector, particularly the Liberia National Police (LNP) and the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN),

Stressing that lasting stability in Liberia will require the Government of Liberia to sustain well-functioning and accountable government institutions, especially in the security and justice sectors, to build the confidence of all Liberians and urging the Government of Liberia to demonstrate substantive progress in the reform, restructuring and effective functioning of the security and justice sectors to provide for the protection of all Liberians,

Welcoming the overall progress towards restoring peace, security and stability in Liberia, commending the enduring commitment of the people and Government of Liberia to peace and to developing democratic processes and institutions and initiating important reform efforts, recognizing the effective response by the Government of Liberia, including with support from the international community, to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia and, in this regard, the resilience of the people and Government of Liberia and its security institutions and calling on all Liberian stakeholders to intensify momentum towards achieving greater social cohesion,

Looking forward to a comprehensive, inclusive constitutional review process as well as the implementation of the National Reconciliation Roadmap, urging efforts to strengthen the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, which could play a key role as a publicly accessible human rights institution and as a mechanism to monitor and follow-up on the implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and stressing that the responsibility for the preparation, security and conduct of free, fair and transparent 2017 presidential elections rests with the Liberian authorities,

Noting with concern the potential for conflict over Liberia’s natural resources and disputes related to land ownership and also noting that issues related to corruption continue to threaten to undermine stability and the effectiveness of government institutions,

Commending the cooperation between, and significant efforts of, the Government of Liberia and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) to plan and prepare for the 30 June 2016 security transition to the Liberian authorities, expressing concern that the Government has not provided predictable and sustainable funding to shoulder the costs of deploying and sustaining its security personnel and resources throughout the country, including to operate and maintain the LNP and BIN outside of Monrovia, and welcoming the commencement of arms marking by the Armed Forces of Liberia,

Commending the continued efforts of the Government of Liberia to strengthen security cooperation in the subregion, notably with the governments of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire, and recognizing that the instability in western
Côte d’Ivoire continues to pose cross-border security challenges for Liberia and
Côte d’Ivoire,

Expressing appreciation for the continued assistance provided by the people and Government of Liberia to Ivorian refugees in eastern Liberia and towards their voluntary repatriation to Côte d’Ivoire,

Extolling the continued contribution, commitment and resolve of United Nations personnel, as well as of the troop- and police-contributing countries of UNMIL, to assist in consolidating peace and stability in Liberia,

Expressing appreciation to the international community, including the Economic Community of West African States, African Union and Mano River Union, for their support to consolidate peace, security and stability in Liberia, welcoming, in particular, the contributions of bilateral partners and multilateral organizations, as well as the Peacebuilding Commission, to support Liberia’s efforts on security sector reform (SSR), rule of law and national reconciliation, as well as in the post-Ebola recovery period, strongly encouraging the continued contributions of the international community in this regard, recognizing that key peacebuilding priorities must be fully integrated in the post-Ebola recovery efforts, including revitalizing socioeconomic development and emphasizing the need for coherence between, and integration of, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development to achieve an effective response to post-conflict situations,

Recognizing the significant challenges that remain across all sectors, including continuing problems with violent crime, in particular the high rates of sexual and gender-based violence, especially involving children, recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), and 2106 (2013) on women, peace, and security, welcoming the renewed efforts by the Government of Liberia to promote and protect human rights, in particular of women and children and emphasizing that persistent barriers to full implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) will only be dismantled through dedicated commitment to women’s empowerment, participation, and human rights, and through concerted leadership, consistent information and action, and support, to build women’s engagement in all levels of decision-making,

Taking note of the 13 August 2015 report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/620) and the recommendations contained therein on the adjustments to the mandate and composition of UNMIL in line with the security transition,

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,

Governance, Rule of Law, Security Sector Reform and National Reconciliation

“1.   Emphasizes that the Government of Liberia bears primary and ultimate responsibility for security and the protection of its population and urges the Government to prioritize the effective and rapid development of the security agencies, especially the LNP, which is the priority law enforcement agency tasked with civilian policing responsibilities, including through the timely provision of sufficient financial resources and other support, adequate training and development of senior management;

“2.   Encourages the Government of Liberia to prioritize national reconciliation and economic recovery, to combat corruption and to promote efficiency and good governance, in particular by continuing to strengthen transparency and accountability, including by managing effectively Liberia’s natural resources, emphasizes the importance of pursuing a national reconciliation and social cohesion strategy through concrete measures to promote national healing, justice and reconciliation at all levels and involving all Liberian stakeholders and recognizes the efforts of the Government of Liberia to support enhancing the participation of women in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, including in decision-making roles in post-conflict governance institutions and the broad range of reform efforts;

“3.   Emphasizes the need for continued progress by the Liberian authorities on constitutional and institutional reforms, especially of the rule of law and security sectors, and the national reconciliation processes, particularly in light of the impact of the Ebola outbreak on communities and the need to intensify the longer-term recovery of Liberia and, in this regard, requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to continue to assist such efforts through the use of good offices and political support;

“4.   Urges the Government of Liberia to intensify its efforts 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 to facilitate a successful transition, improving the capacity and capability of the LNP and BIN, as well as the justice sector, including courts and prisons, enabling the promotion of human rights and reconciliation, effective oversight, professionalism, transparency and accountability across all security institutions and strengthening democratic institutions and extension of state authority and services throughout the country for the benefit of all Liberians;

“5.   Affirms its expectation that the Government of Liberia will assume fully its complete security responsibilities from UNMIL no later than 30 June 2016 and encourages Member States and multilateral organizations to continue to provide financial, technical and other assistance to the Government of Liberia in this regard, including for the long-term support necessary for professionalizing and sustaining Liberia’s security institutions and infrastructure;

“6.   Calls on the Government of Liberia to accelerate its efforts to enhance the capacity of its security sector in coordination with the continued reconfiguration of UNMIL, especially the leadership, coordination, monitoring and resources, oversight mechanisms, early passage of the draft Police and BIN Acts and further reform of the promotion and manpower policies, with a view to decentralizing the national security institutions, particularly the LNP, to provide security for all people throughout Liberia and urges the Government of Liberia to accelerate efforts to implement measures on the proper management of arms and ammunition, including enacting the appropriate domestic laws, the effective monitoring and management of Liberia’s border regions and the registering and tracking of arms and material used and imported by its security forces;

“7.   Underscores the importance of the Government of Liberia continuing to develop national security and rule of law institutions that are fully and independently operational, and to this end, encourages accelerated coordinated progress on the implementation of the Security and Justice Development Plans and the National Human Rights Action Plan and urges the effective, transparent and efficient management by the Government of Liberia of assistance, including from bilateral and multilateral partners, to support the reform of the justice and security sectors;

“8.   Expresses its continued concern that women and girls in Liberia continue to face a high incidence of sexual and gender-based violence, reiterates its call on the Government of Liberia to continue to combat sexual violence, particularly against children, and gender-based violence and to combat impunity for perpetrators of such crimes and to provide redress, support and protection to victims, including through public information campaigns and by continuing to strengthen national police capacity in this area and to raise awareness of existing national legislation on sexual violence and encourages the Government to reinforce its commitment in this regard, including by funding the implementation of its national action plan on sexual and gender-based violence and improving women and girls’ access to justice;

UNMIL mandate

“9.   Decides to extend the mandate of UNMIL until 30 September 2016;

“10.  Decides that the mandate of UNMIL shall be the following:

(a)Protection of Civilians

(i)To protect, without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the Liberian authorities, the civilian population from threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment;

(b)Reform of Justice and Security Institutions

(i)To assist the Government of Liberia in implementing and in close coordination with bilateral and multilateral partners, as appropriate, its national strategy on Security Sector Reform (SSR);

(ii)To advise the Government of Liberia on SSR and the organization of the LNP and BIN, as well as on the justice and corrections sector, with a particular focus on developing their leadership, internal management and accountability mechanisms;

(iii)To assist the Government of Liberia to coordinate these efforts with all partners, including bilateral and multilateral donors;

(c)Human Rights Promotion and Protection

(i)To carry out promotion, protection and monitoring activities of human rights in Liberia, with special attention to violations and abuses committed against children and women;

(ii)To support the strengthening of efforts by the Government of Liberia to combat sexual- and gender-based violence, including its efforts to combat impunity for perpetrators of such crimes;

(d)Protection of United Nations personnel

(i)To protect the United Nations personnel, installations and equipment and ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel;

“11.  Decides that UNMIL, in accordance with paragraphs 4, 5, 6 and 10 (b) above, shall put renewed focus on supporting the Government of Liberia to achieve a successful transition of complete security responsibility to the Liberian authorities by strengthening the capacity of the relevant security agencies to manage existing personnel and to improve training programs to expedite their readiness to assume security responsibilities throughout Liberia and requests UNMIL to continue to communicate, including through UNMIL Radio, with the people and Government of Liberia to raise awareness and understanding about its mandate and activities in line with the security transition;

“12.  Requests UNMIL to ensure that any support provided to non-United Nations security forces is provided in strict compliance with the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy on United Nations Support to non-United Nations Security Forces (S/2013/110);

“13.  Requests the Secretary-General to ensure that UNMIL has the requisite qualified specialist advisers with the professional skills and experience appropriate to this transition phase in order to enhance mentoring with the aim of increasing the capacity of the Government, particularly the LNP and BIN, to accelerate the implementation of sustainable rule of law, justice, governance and SSR programs, including mechanisms to hold perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence accountable;

“14.  Encourages UNMIL, within its capabilities and areas of deployment and without prejudice to its mandate, to continue to assist the Government of Liberia, the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 21 of resolution 1521 (2003) and the Panel of Experts to carry out its tasks, in this regard, as set forth in previous resolutions, including its resolution 2237 (2015);

Force structure

“15.  Decides to decrease UNMIL’s authorized military strength from 3,590 to 1,240 military personnel, which includes one infantry battalion and related enablers, by 30 June 2016 and to decrease UNMIL’s authorized police strength from 1,515 to 606 police personnel, which includes three formed police units, as well as immigration and police advisers, by 30 June 2016;

“16.  Requests UNMIL, from 1 July 2016, to support the Liberian security agencies to protect civilians in the event of a deterioration of the security situation that could risk a strategic reversal of peace and stability in the country, taking into account UNMIL’s reduced capabilities and areas of deployment;

“17.  Requests the Secretary-General to continue to streamline the activities of UNMIL across its civilian, police and military components and narrowing of the mandate decided in this resolution and further requests the Secretary-General to accelerate efforts to achieve the consolidation of the civilian, police and military presence of UNMIL in line with the security transition;

“18.  Affirms its intention, based on the Security Council’s review by 15 December 2016 of Liberia’s overall capacity to ensure security and stability after the conclusion of the security transition on 30 June 2016 and security conditions on the ground, to consider the possible withdrawal of UNMIL and transition to a future United Nations presence to continue to assist the Government of Liberia to consolidate peace and, in this regard, requests the Secretary-General to conduct an assessment mission to Liberia in order to provide recommendations to the Security Council by 15 November 2016;

Regional and inter-mission cooperation

“19.  Recognizes the importance of resuming fully and also enhancing the joint activities between the Governments of Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire as UNMIL and the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) downsize, calls on the Governments of Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire to continue reinforcing their cooperation, particularly with respect to the border area, including through increased monitoring, information sharing, and coordinated actions, and in implementing the shared border strategy to, inter alia, support the disarmament and repatriation of armed elements on both sides of the border and the voluntary return of refugees in safety and dignity, as well as to address the root causes of conflict and tension, and in this regard, calls upon all United Nations entities in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, including all relevant components of UNOCI and UNMIL, within their respective mandates, capabilities and areas of deployment, as well as the two United Nations Country Teams, where relevant and appropriate, to intensify support to the Ivorian and Liberian authorities;

“20.  Affirms the importance of inter-mission cooperation arrangements as UNMIL and UNOCI downsize, reaffirms the inter-mission cooperation framework set out in its resolution 1609 (2005), recalls its endorsement in its resolution 2062 (2012) of the recommendation of the Secretary-General to transfer three armed helicopters from UNMIL to UNOCI to be used in both Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia along and across their border and also recalls its decision in its resolution 2162 (2014) that all UNOCI and UNMIL military utility helicopters shall be utilized in both Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia in order to facilitate rapid response and mobility, while not affecting the area of responsibility of either mission;

“21.  Welcomes the full operationalization of the quick reaction force established by its resolution 2162 (2014) to implement UNOCI’s mandate as defined in paragraph 19 of its resolution 2226 (2015) and to support UNMIL as defined in paragraph 33 of its resolution 2226 (2015) while recognizing that this unit will remain primarily a UNOCI asset;

“22.  Recalls its authorization, pursuant to its resolutions 2162 (2014) and 2226 (2015), to the Secretary-General to deploy this unit to Liberia, subject to the consent of the troop contributing countries concerned and the Government of Liberia, in the event of a serious deterioration of the security situation on the ground in order to temporarily reinforce UNMIL with the sole purpose of implementing its mandate and further recalls its requests to the Secretary-General to inform the Security Council immediately of any deployment of this unit to Liberia and to obtain Security Council authorization for any such deployment for a period that exceeds 90 days;

Reports of the Secretary-General

“23.  Requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed of the situation in Liberia and the implementation of the mandate of UNMIL and to provide to it a midterm report no later than 28 February 2016 and a final report no later than 15 August 2016 on the situation on the ground and implementation of this resolution;

“24.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

For information media. Not an official record.