The Security Council today renewed sanctions measures on Liberia for a further nine months, while recognizing the impact of the Ebola outbreak on peace and security as a factor for future decisions to modify or lift the restrictions.
Unanimously adopting draft resolution 2188 (2014) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the 15-member body — expressing grave concern about the virus’ outbreak and its impact on West Africa including Liberia — extended the targeted travel ban initially imposed on the country in 2003 as well as the arms embargo installed in the same year, which was modified first in 2006 and later in 2009 to become a partial ban on non-State actors.
Further, the Council reaffirmed the non-time-bound measures imposed in 2004, including the asset freeze on former President Charles Taylor, his family and associates would remain in force. The Expert Panel’s mandate was extended by 10 months to allow it to undertake a series of tasks, including investigating and compiling a final report on implementation and on any violations of the sanctions.
The Panel’s final report to the Council was due by 1 August 2015 on the issues as well as on the status of legislation in Liberia to assess the Government’s ability to effectively monitor and control arms and border issues. The Secretary-General was asked to provide an update to the Council also by that date on progress made by Liberia’s Government in that regard.
Also by the text, the Council expressed grave concern about the Ebola outbreak and its impact on West Africa, indicating its willingness to modify or lift all or part of the sanctions measures, dependent upon Liberia’s progress toward stability and in light of the current threat the virus poses to peace and security.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:10 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2188 (2014) 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/2014/831),
“Further noting the Secretary-General’s letter and welcoming the recommendations to the Council regarding the Assessment mission concerning the Liberia sanctions regime dated 29 September 2014 (S/2014/707),
“Expressing grave concern about the outbreak of the Ebola virus in, and its impact on, West Africa, including Liberia,
“Recognizing that the peacebuilding and development gains in Liberia could be reversed in light of the Ebola outbreak, and in light of these factors, expressing its intent to scale back and terminate the remaining sanctions in a prudent manner,
“Affirming that the Government of Liberia bears primary responsibility for ensuring peace, stability and the protection of the civilian population in Liberia and stressing that lasting stability in Liberia will require the Government of Liberia to sustain well-functioning and accountable Government institutions, particularly of the rule of law and security sectors,
“Stressing the need for continued progress on security sector reform in Liberia 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,
“Underlining its determination to support the Government of Liberia in its efforts to meet the conditions of resolution 1521 (2003), welcoming the engagement of the Peacebuilding Commission, and encouraging all stakeholders, including donors, to support the Government of Liberia in its efforts,
“Determining that the situation in Liberia remains fragile and constitutes a threat to international peace and security in the region,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Reaffirms that the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004) remain in force;
“2. Decides for a period of nine months from the date of adoption of this resolution:
(a) To renew the measures on travel imposed by paragraph 4 of resolution 1521 (2003);
(b) 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);
“3. Decides further to maintain all of the above measures under continuous review with a view to modifying or lifting all or part of the measures of the sanctions regime dependent upon Liberia’s progress towards meeting the conditions set out in resolution 1521 (2003) for terminating those measures and in light of the threat to peace and security in Liberia posed by the Ebola virus;
“4. Requests the Secretary-General to provide an update to the Security Council by August 1, 2015 on progress made by the Government of Liberia to implement the recommendations on the proper management of arms and ammunition, including enacting the necessary legislative frameworks, and on facilitating the effective monitoring and management of the border regions between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire;
“5. 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 conduct a follow-up assessment mission to Liberia and neighbouring States, as feasible given conditions on the ground, to investigate and compile a final report on the implementation, and any violations, of the measures on arms as amended by resolutions 1903 (2009), 1961 (2010) and 2128 (2013), and including the various sources of financing for the illicit trade of arms, 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 and on the Government of Liberia’s progress on meeting notification requirements;
(b) To provide to the Council, after discussion with the Committee, a final report no later than August 1, 2015 on all the issues listed in this paragraph, and to provide an update to the Committee no later than April 23, 2015 on the status of legislation in Liberia related to the Government of Liberia’s ability to effectively monitor and control arms and border issues; and any other informal updates to the Committee as appropriate.
(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);
“6. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary administrative measures as expeditiously as possible to re-establish the Panel of Experts, in consultation with the Committee, for a period of 10 months from the date of this resolution, drawing, as appropriate, on the expertise of the members of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to previous resolutions;
“7. Calls upon all States and the Government of Liberia to cooperate fully with the Panel of Experts in all aspects of its mandate;
“8. 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;
“9. Urges the Government of Liberia to expedite the adoption and implementation of appropriate legislation and take other necessary and appropriate steps to establish the necessary legal framework to combat the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition;
“10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”