By a unanimous vote this morning, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) for a period of 12 months, welcoming recent progress made towards the country’s peace, security and stability.
By resolution 2203 (2015), the 15-member body welcomed steps taken towards the reform of Guinea-Bissau’s security sector, tackling corruption through the reinforcement of the judicial system, improving public administration and the supply of basic services to the country’s population. It called on the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to work with all stakeholders to consolidate that progress, and to address the root causes of instability, with particular attention to political-military dynamics, ineffective State institutions and rule of law, impunity and human rights violations, as well as related issues.
The Council reiterated its call on the Government to conduct transparent, independent and credible investigations into all alleged human right violations and abuses, in line with international standards, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. It further expressed its continued concern at the threat posed by drug trafficking and related transnational organized crime to peace and stability.
In addition, the Council reiterated its demand that the country’s security and defence forces submit fully to civilian control.
The 15-member body took note of the 5 February statement made by the Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration Peacebuilding Commission and welcomed the Commission’s continued engagement in the country. It also reaffirmed that Guinea-Bissau’s partners — including those in the United Nations system, European Union, World Bank, African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Community of Portuguese Language-speaking Countries and the African Development Bank — should continue to coordinate their actions to address the country’s political, security and development challenges.
Turning to UNIOGBIS, the Council requested the Office focus on the following priorities: support for an inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation process; provision of strategic technical advice and support to national authorities and relevant stakeholders; and support for the Government towards the mobilization, harmonization and coordination of international assistance. It should also continue to lead international efforts in areas such as support for the strengthening of democratic institutions.
Finally, the Council welcomed the convening of an international donor conference in Brussels in March 2015 and strongly encouraged the international community to support Guinea-Bissau in mobilizing resources to implement Government priorities and start the long-term work of stabilizing the country.
Speaking following the adoption, Kayode Laro (Nigeria) said that his country was pleased to see Guinea-Bissau on the path to recovery. The resolution conveyed the Council’s hopes for a peaceful, stable and secure Guinea-Bissau. With the sustained engagement of the international community, he hoped that those goals could be achieved in the near future.
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:12 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2203 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions, statements of its President and press statements on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, in particular resolutions 1876 (2009), 2030 (2011), 2048 (2012), 2092 (2013), 2103 (2013), 2157 (2014) and 2186 (2014),
“Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on Guinea-Bissau, dated 19 January 2015 (S/2015/37) and the recommendations contained therein, and commending the engagement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS),
“Taking into consideration the recommendation of the Secretary-General to reinforce the role of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in assisting the Government of Guinea-Bissau through the use of the good offices, and in continuing to coordinate international support,
“Welcoming the progress made by Guinea-Bissau, recognizing the concrete steps taken by the Government toward peace, security and stability in the country, by continuing to take steps towards the Reform of the Security Sector, tackling corruption through the reinforcement of the judicial system, improving public administration and State revenue’s management, as well as the supply of basic services to the population, and commending its commitment to the implementation of its national priorities,
“Welcoming the establishment of the Peace and Stability Commission by the National Assembly, which constitutes a concrete step towards the establishment of a nationally owned reconciliation process, while recognizing the need for UNIOGBIS to support national efforts to maintain constitutional order and to promote a multi‑layered national dialogue towards peace and reconciliation,
“Emphasizing the need for respect of democratic principles and stressing the importance of national reconciliation, inclusive dialogue and good governance, essential for the attainment of lasting peace in Guinea-Bissau, further stressing the importance of including all Bissau-Guineans in this process at national and local levels, while upholding the principles of separation of powers, rule of law, justice and combating impunity, and encouraging all stakeholders to engage in the process,
“Stressing that the consolidation of peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau can only result from a consensual, inclusive and nationally owned process, respect for constitutional order, priority reforms in the defence, security and justice sectors, the promotion of the rule of law, the protection of human rights, the promotion of socioeconomic development and the fight against impunity and drug trafficking,
“Underscoring the importance of the Government of Guinea-Bissau, with the support of UNIOGBIS and international partners, to continue developing national security and rule of law institutions that are transparent, accountable and professional,
“Stressing that all stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau should work to ensure short, medium and long-term stability through clear commitment and genuine inclusive political dialogue aimed at creating conditions conducive to finding viable and sustainable solutions to the country’s social, economic, political and military problems, which would facilitate the implementation of key reforms and the strengthening of State institutions,
“Noting efforts of the Government to gain effective civilian control and oversight over the defence and security forces, as failure to do so could adversely affect the effective functioning of State institutions, as a result of collusion between some political actors and the military leadership,
“Commending the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in helping to sustain peace, security and development and to support the security sector reform (SSR) process in Guinea-Bissau namely through the activities of its Mission (ECOMIB),
“Welcoming the continued contribution of ECOMIB in ensuring an environment that enables the implementation of critical reforms in the defence and security sector and encouraging the international community to support the continuation of such efforts,
“Reiterating its call on the Government of Guinea-Bissau to conduct transparent, independent and credible investigations into all alleged human rights violations and abuses, in accordance with international standards, and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions,
“Reiterating its concern at the threat posed by drug trafficking and related transnational organised crime to peace and stability; and, in this regard, welcoming the efforts of the Government of Guinea-Bissau to update the three-year national plan for combating drug trafficking and organised crime prepared in June 2011, and to define new priority areas accordingly,
“Re-emphasizing the need to tackle the problem of drug trafficking in the countries of origin, transit and final destination on a basis of a common and shared responsibility, to tackle the world drug problem and related criminal activities; and, in this regard, stressing the need for increased coherence, coordination and efficiency among relevant partners to enhance their collective efforts, in particular through sharing of information,
“Reiterating the importance and urgency of the continued evaluation capacity and support provided by the relevant United Nations (UN) entities and international, regional, subregional and bilateral partners for the long-term security and development of Guinea-Bissau, particularly towards the implementation of security and justice sectors reforms, the fight against drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and human trafficking, as well as the creation of an enabling environment for good governance and inclusive and sustainable social development, and in this regard, commending the important work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with relevant UN entities in Guinea-Bissau and the subregion, and encouraging enhanced cooperation between UNODC and UNIOGBIS,
“Underlining that any lasting solution to instability in Guinea-Bissau should include concrete actions to fight impunity and ensure that those responsible for politically motivated assassinations and other serious crimes such as breaches of constitutional order and drug trafficking-related activities are brought to justice, including through national judicial mechanisms,
“Emphasizing the important role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, as recognized in resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013), welcoming the cooperation between UNIOGBIS, National authorities and civil society organisations to increase women’s participation in Guinea-Bissau and underlining that a gender perspective must continue to inform the implementation of all relevant aspects of the mandate of UNIOGBIS,
“Welcoming the establishment of a national technical commission with a focus on responsible extraction and exploitation of natural resources for inclusive growth and development,
“Reaffirming that Guinea-Bissau’s partners should continue to actively and closely coordinate their actions in support of the Government’s efforts to address the country’s political, security and development challenges, and in this regard, welcoming the coordinated support provided by the country’s partners, namely those in the UN system, the European Union, the World Bank, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Community of Portuguese Countries and the African Development Bank, to the Government to organize the International Donor Conference for Guinea Bissau on 25 March 2015 in Brussels and taking note of the 9 February final communiqué of the Preparatory Meeting on Guinea-Bissau International Donors’ Conference in Accra, Ghana,
“Taking note of the statement made by the Chair of the Guinea-Bissau Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) on 5 February 2015 and welcoming the continued engagement of the PBC with Guinea-Bissau,
“Emphasizing the importance of preventing the further spread of the Ebola Virus Disease, including to Guinea-Bissau and the need for on-going preparedness efforts to build domestic capacity to fight further transmission of the Disease,
“Reaffirming its full commitment to the consolidation of peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIOGBIS for a period of 12 months beginning on 1 March 2015 until 29 February 2016;
“2. Expresses its strong support for the key role of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau, and requests UNIOGBIS, including through the use of the good offices and political support of the Special Representative, to focus, in particular, on the following priorities:
(a) Support an inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation process to strengthen democratic governance and work towards consensus on key political issues particularly with regards to the implementation of necessary urgent reforms;
(b) Provide strategic and technical advice and support to national authorities and relevant stakeholders, including in coordination with ECOWAS/ECOMIB and other international partners, in implementing the national security sector reform and rule of law strategies, as well as developing civilian and military justice systems that are compliant with international standards;
(c) Support the Government of Guinea Bissau toward the mobilization, harmonization and coordination of international assistance, including for the implementation of the national security sector reform and rule of law strategies, and enhancing cooperation with the African Union (AU), ECOWAS, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), the European Union (EU) and other partners in support of the maintenance of constitutional order and the stabilization of Guinea Bissau;
“3. Also affirms that UNIOGBIS and the Special Representative will continue to lead international efforts in the following priority areas:
(a) Provide support to the Government of Guinea-Bissau in strengthening democratic institutions and enhancing the capacity of state organs to function effectively and constitutionally;
(b) Provide strategic and technical advice and support for the establishment of effective and efficient law enforcement and criminal justice and penitentiary systems, capable of maintaining public security and combating impunity, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms;
(c) Assisting national authorities in the promotion and protection of human rights as well as undertaking human rights monitoring and reporting activities;
(d) Provide strategic and technical advice and support to the Government of Guinea-Bissau to combat drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, in close cooperation with UNODC;
(e) Provide support to the Government of Guinea Bissau to incorporate a gender perspective into peacebuilding, in line with Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008); as well as implementation of the National Action Plan on Gender in order to ensure the involvement, representation and participation of women at all levels through inter alia the provision of gender advisers;
(f) Work with the Peacebuilding Commission in support of Guinea-Bissau’s peacebuilding priorities;
“4. Calls upon the authorities of Guinea Bissau and all stakeholders, including the military, political parties, and civil society to work together to consolidate progress made so far, and to address the root causes of instability with particular attention to political-military dynamics, ineffective state institutions and rule of law, impunity and human rights violations and abuses, poverty and lack of access to basic services;
“5. Reiterates its demand to the security and defense services to submit themselves fully to civilian control;
“6. Takes note of the evolving human rights situation in the country and urges the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to take all necessary measures to protect human rights, put an end to impunity, initiate investigations to identify the perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses, including those against women and children; and bring them to justice and take action to protect witnesses in order to ensure due process;
“7. Welcomes the joint efforts by international partners, in particular the UN, AU, ECOWAS, the EU and CPLP, to enhance cooperation in support of the Government in Guinea-Bissau and encourages them to continue to work together towards the country’s stabilization in accordance with the priority structural reforms established by the Government;
“8. Recognizes the commencement of the implementation of defence and security sector reforms and encourages the continuation of such efforts as a crucial element for long-term stability in Guinea-Bissau and further encourages coordinated action by all relevant subregional, regional and international partners of Guinea-Bissau in this field in order to obtain expeditious and positive results;
“9. Recognizes the important role of ECOMIB in securing the state institutions and in supporting SSR, supports its continuation, in accordance with the expressed will of the authorities of Guinea-Bissau and encourages the support of the international community to it, as requested by the Heads of State of ECOWAS in its 46th Ordinary Summit;
“10. Calls upon the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to continue to actively reform and strengthen the judicial system, while ensuring the separation of powers and access to justice for all citizens;
“11. Calls upon the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to review, adopt and implement national legislations and mechanisms to more effectively combat transnational organized crime, in particular drug trafficking and money-laundering, and in this context, to provide additional support to the Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) established under the West Africa Coast Initiative (WACI) and the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA); and urges the authorities of Guinea-Bissau to demonstrate full commitment to combating drug trafficking;
“12. Encourages members of the international community to enhance cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, in order to enable it to ensure control of air traffic and surveillance of maritime security within its jurisdiction, in particular to fight drug trafficking and organized crime, as well as illegal fishing in Guinea-Bissau’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone and other cases of illegal exploitation of natural resources;
“13. Encourages international bilateral and multilateral partners to continue their technical support to Guinea-Bissau in strengthening efforts to tackle transnational organized crime including illicit activities, such as money-laundering and drug trafficking, calls upon them to increase their support to WACI and the TCU to fight transnational organized crime and drug trafficking, which threaten security and stability in Guinea-Bissau and in the subregion and further encourages them to contribute to support the presence of UNODC in Guinea-Bissau and to the UNIOGBIS Trust-Fund for immediate, medium and longer-term priorities, including for post-election reforms;
“14. Stresses the importance of combating drug trafficking to achieve political and economic stability in Guinea-Bissau, requests the Secretary-General to ensure the relevant capacity within UNIOGBIS, continuing to provide an anti-drug component, including appropriate expertise, and further requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to increase efforts to achieve greater coherence, coordination and efficiency among relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes in the country to maximize their collective effectiveness, in particular through provision by these agencies, funds and programmes of relevant information to the Special Representative on individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with drug trafficking that contribute to creating a threat to the peace, stability and security of Guinea-Bissau and the subregion;
“15. Commends the good offices role of the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General to support the Government of Guinea-Bissau, and invites the Secretary-General to reinforce UNIOGBIS’ capacities in this regard and to continue strengthening the coordination for international support;
“16. Welcomes the convening of an international donor conference in Brussels in March 2015 and strongly encourages the international community to support Guinea-Bissau in mobilizing resources to implement Government priorities and start the long term work of stabilizing the country in order to move it towards sustainable development and also encourages UNIOGBIS to assist in the coordination of international assistance to the Government of Guinea-Bissau in its fight against poverty;
“17. Welcomes Guinea-Bissau’s steps in building domestic capacity to prevent transmission of the Ebola Virus disease, and encourages the continuation of efforts aimed at further developing national capacities and practices for prevention of and response to the disease;
“18. Requests the Secretary-General submit to the Council regular reports every six months on the implementation of this resolution and submit a report within six months to the Committee established pursuant to its resolution 2048 (2012) on the progress made with regards to the stabilization of the country and restoration of constitutional order and recommendations on the continuation of the sanctions regime in the post-election environment, in line with paragraph 12 of resolution 2048 (2012);
“19. Decides to review the sanctions measures established pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) seven months from the adoption of this resolution;
“20. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”