29 September 2010

Security Council Unanimously Agrees to Lift Sanctions against Sierra Leone, Extend Mandate for Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Country until 15 September 2011

29 September 2010
Security Council
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6392nd Meeting (AM)

Security Council Unanimously Agrees to Lift Sanctions against Sierra Leone, Extend

Mandate for Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Country until 15 September 2011

The Security Council this morning ended an arms embargo and other sanctions imposed on Sierra Leone during its brutal civil war, while, in a separate text, it extended the mandate for the Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the country (UNIPSIL) for one year, until 15 September 2011.

In regard to the sanctions and travel ban imposed through resolutions 1132 (1997) and 1171 (1998), the Council recalled its readiness terminate them once Government control was fully re-established and other forces disbanded following the 2001 end of fighting.

Acting under the Charter’s binding Chapter VII, through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1940 (2010), the Council also decided to terminate the Committee set up to monitor the measures, with immediate effect.  It took those actions today following a briefing on 28 September by the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative and Head of UNIPSIL, Michael von der Schulenburg.  (See Press Release SC/10041)

In addition, through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1941 (2010), the Council emphasized that UNIPSIL, in the upcoming year, under the so-called Joint Vision of the United Nations system, should focus on assisting the Government with preparations for the 2012 elections, conflict prevention and mitigation, efforts to tackle youth unemployment, and promoting good governance, the rule of law and human rights, among other areas.

Through the text, the Council urged the Government to accelerate efforts towards national unity and reconciliation, calling on it, with the support of UNIPSIL and other partners, to continue governance reform by improving the management of the country’s resources, intensifying the fight against illicit drug trafficking and promoting human rights. 

Emphasizing that the Government bore the primary responsibility for peacebuilding and long-term development, the Council also called on international partners to continue to provide support to the country.

In his most recent report on Sierra Leone (document S/2010/471), the Secretary-General states that the country has made strides, but requires continued assistance in peace consolidation, support for the 2012 elections, advancing good governance, addressing corruption and other ills, and mobilizing donor support in coordination with the Peacebuilding Commission.

Following the adoption of both texts, the representative of Sierra Leone expressed thanks for the effective and speedy way the Council had treated some of the issues that affected his country, saying that it marked a very important milestone in the country’s recovery.

He said that the lifting of sanctions sent a positive signal that Sierra Leone was on the right track, even if there were still issues to be resolved.  Economic activity, in particular, would be positively affected by the termination of sanctions, allowing greater progress in the Government’s agenda for change.  He hoped that unanimity would continue in the Council on matters related to his country, and pledged that his Government would work to make sure that the body’s confidence in his country was not misplaced.

The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:15 a.m.


The full text of resolution 1940 (2010) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous resolutions on Sierra Leone, in particular resolutions 1132 (1997) and 1171 (1998),

Recalling further its readiness to terminate the measures once the control of the Government of Sierra Leone has been fully re-established over all its territory, and when all non-governmental forces have been disarmed and demobilized,

Reaffirming its commitment to support the recovery of Sierra Leone from conflict and to the country’s peace, security and development,

Commending the continuing role of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone in this regard,

Welcoming the letter to the President of the Council dated 9 September 2010 from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sierra Leone, updating the Council on the situation in Sierra Leone and requesting that the measures in place be lifted,

Commending the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to paragraph 10 of resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone,

Taking note of the 2009 report of the Committee pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone (S/2009/690) and, in particular, the Chairman’s observations in paragraph 17,

Urging all States to cooperate with and render assistance to the Special Court for Sierra Leone, or any institution to which the Special Court has transferred his case, to bring Johnny Paul Koroma to justice if he is found to be alive, and calls on him to surrender,

Calling on all States to cooperate with the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) in apprehending and transferring Johhny Paul Koroma, if he is found to be alive,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   Decides to terminate, with immediate effect, the measures set forth in paragraphs 2, 4 and 5 of resolution 1171 (1998);

“2.   Decides further to dissolve the Committee established by paragraph 10 of resolution 1132 (1997) with immediate effect.”

The full text of resolution 1941 (2010) 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 1886 (2009),

Welcoming the Secretary-General’s visit to Sierra Leone and commending the valuable contribution that the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) has made to peacebuilding efforts and to the country’s peace, security and development,

Welcoming also, the report of the Secretary-General dated 17 September 2010 (S/2010/471) and his recommendation that the mandate of UNIPSIL be extended for a period of one year, with a view to providing continued peacebuilding assistance to the Government of Sierra Leone, including preparations for the elections in 2012,

Mindful of the United Nations efforts in assisting the Government to address the capacity challenges of the national electoral institutions, noting the potential for an increase in tensions during the preparation for and the period leading up to the 2012 elections in Sierra Leone, due to political, security, socio-economic and humanitarian challenges,

Calling upon the Government and the international community to focus on fostering an environment that is conducive to the holding of free and fair elections by strengthening institutions that administer and oversee the electoral process and in so doing, contribute to the institutional development and continued stability of the country,

Emphasizing the importance of the continued integrated support of the United Nations system and the international community for the long-term peace, security and development of Sierra Leone, particularly through strengthening the capacity of the Government of Sierra Leone,

Welcoming the steady progress the Government has made in implementing the Agenda for Change, as indicated in the Joint Progress Report undertaken by the Government in close collaboration with its international partners and civil society, noting the challenges that remain to be addressed in the Government’s national peacebuilding strategy and the efforts being made to address them, and calling upon all international partners to align their assistance with the priorities outlined in the Joint Progress Report,

Acknowledging the role that the Peacebuilding Commission plays in support of the peacebuilding efforts in Sierra Leone, welcoming the Review of the Outcome of the High-level Special Session of the Peacebuilding Commission on Sierra Leone of 28 September 2010 (PBC/4/SLE/3), and noting the contribution that the Peacebuilding Fund has made to peacebuilding in Sierra Leone,

Welcoming the ongoing implementation of the 2 April 2009 Joint Communiqué by the political parties and their contributions towards a sustained cessation of the political violence in Sierra Leone, and calling upon all political parties to continue to adhere to its provisions and ensure its full implementation,

Commending UNIPSIL and the United Nations country team’s continuing efforts to work together to achieve the integration of the political, development and humanitarian mandates of the mission set forth in the United Nations Joint Vision, and encouraging all United Nations entities in Sierra Leone to continue the implementation of the Joint Vision, and calling on Sierra Leone’s bilateral and multilateral partners to provide the necessary resources to implement the Joint Vision,

Reiterating its appreciation for the work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, stressing the importance of the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor by the Court, welcoming the completion of all the other cases, as well as effective outreach on the trials at the local level, reiterating its expectation that the Court will finish its work as soon as possible, and calling upon Member States to contribute generously to the Court and the proposed Residual Special Court,

Reaffirming resolution 1940 (2010) lifting all remaining sanctions in relation to Sierra Leone and recalling that the responsibility for controlling the circulation of small arms within the territory of Sierra Leone and between Sierra Leone 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,

Welcoming the role played by ECOWAS and encouraging the Member States of the Mano River Union and other regional organizations to continue their dialogue aimed at consolidating regional peace and security,

“1.   Decides to extend the mandate of UNIPSIL, as set out in resolutions 1829 (2008) and 1886 (2009), until 15 September 2011;

“2.   Emphasizes the importance of UNIPSIL achieving jointly with the UN Country Team, the objectives outlined in the Joint Vision within their respective mandates, including focusing on:

(i)   providing support to the Government for the preparation of the 2012 elections as requested;

(ii)  providing assistance to conflict prevention and mitigation efforts, and promoting dialogue among political parties, the Government and all relevant stakeholders;

(iii)assisting the Government and national institutions in tackling youth unemployment, including through supporting training, education and skills provision;

(iv)  providing assistance to the Government in promoting good governance, the rule of law and human rights, including institutional reform; combating illicit drug trafficking and organized crime; combating corruption; providing support to the Human Rights Commission; and assisting in strengthening national capacity building in the areas of law enforcement, forensics, border management, money laundering and the strengthening of criminal justice institutions;

“3.   Calls upon the Government of Sierra Leone, with the support of UNIPSIL and all other stakeholders in the country to increase their efforts to take measures to combat corruption, improve accountability, and promote the development of the private sector in order to generate wealth and employment opportunities;

“4.   Calls upon the Government of Sierra Leone, with the support of UNIPSIL, development partners and other stakeholders to continue good governance reform by supporting the Anti-Corruption Commission to increase the transparency and management of Sierra Leone’s natural and mineral resources for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans and mitigating the risk of resource based conflict; to intensify efforts against illicit drug trafficking through strengthening the Transnational Organised Crime Unit; and to promote human rights, including through implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission;

“5.   Encourages the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General to continue with the progress already made to enhance the integration and effectiveness of United Nations efforts on the ground, in support of the implementation of the Joint Vision in Sierra Leone and the recovery and development priorities of the Government and people of Sierra Leone;

“6.   Calls upon the Secretary-General to continue to report on progress achieved towards meeting the benchmarks, including in supporting the capacity of key national institutions to be able to adequately address the causes of conflict and manage political disputes by themselves, for the transition of UNIPSIL into a UN country team as agreed upon by the Government and the United Nations in the Joint Vision for Sierra Leone, and the particular challenges involved in preparing for the 2012 elections;

“7.   Emphasizes that the Government of Sierra Leone bears the primary responsibility for peacebuilding, security and long-term development in the country, and encourages the Government of Sierra Leone to continue its implementation of the Agenda for Change, and international partners to continue to provide support to the Government;

“8.   Encourages the Peacebuilding Commission to provide support to the Government of Sierra Leone in preparation for the 2012 elections as requested, including the potential to mobilize support from international partners, that is required for the implementation of the Government’s Agenda for Change and the UN’s Joint Vision strategy and in that regard to advise and keep the Council updated, including on progress made in meeting core peacebuilding objectives, as necessary;

“9.   Urges the Government to accelerate the promotion of national unity and reconciliation;

“10.  Commends the Government for recognizing the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, as referred to in resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) by establishing national strategies, underscores the importance that the Government continue its effort in addressing sexual and gender-based violence, and encourages UNIPSIL to work with the Government of Sierra Leone in this area;

“11.  Requests that the Secretary-General keep the Council informed every six months of progress made in the implementation of the mandate of UNIPSIL and this resolution;

“12.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.