The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand):
The members of the Security Council heard a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), Modibo Ibrahim Touré, who provided an update on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, on 30 August 2016.
The members of the Council expressed their serious concern over the political impasse in Guinea-Bissau and urged national actors to abide by the Constitution and the rule of law, while striving to find a political solution to the crisis through good faith dialogue. They urged the security forces of Guinea-Bissau to maintain their non-interference in the political situation, to continue the restraint shown in this regard and maintain respect for civilian control.
The members of the Security Council stressed the urgent need to ensure a functioning Government and welcomed the ongoing dialogue among key national stakeholders, including between the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC) and the Party for Social Renewal (PRS). They further urged them to work towards that end and underlined the importance of ensuring stability throughout the current parliamentary term.
The members of the Security Council stressed the need for the Government of Guinea-Bissau to work to restore the confidence of development partners by resolving the political impasse. They invited donors to fulfil their pledges made at the Brussels round table held in March 2015, bearing in mind the impact of the political impasse on the implementation of their commitments. They called on them to consider, in consultation with the Government of Guinea-Bissau, devising innovative strategies contributing to the delivery of social services to the people of Guinea-Bissau whose living conditions have been greatly affected by the political impasse.
The members of the Security Council recalled the decision taken by the forty-ninth Ordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) held in Dakar on 4 June 2016, to designate a presidential mission to Bissau comprising the Heads of State of Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone. They reiterated their support and stressed the urgency of the deployment of such a mission and look forward to its outcomes.
The members of the Security Council commended the important efforts of ECOWAS and encouraged ECOWAS to extend its political support to the political process in Guinea-Bissau through the use of good offices and mediation. They further welcomed the renewal of the mandate of the ECOWAS Security Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) bearing in mind its important role in maintaining stability in Guinea-Bissau. In this respect, they commended the decision of the European Union to provide financial support to this mission.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the joint efforts by international partners, in particular the United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS, European Union and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), to enhance cooperation in support of the Government in Guinea-Bissau and encouraged them to continue working together towards the country’s stabilization and the building of strong and credible institutions in accordance with the key structural reforms in the defence, security and justice sectors establish by the Government. In this regard, they acknowledged the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in enhancing these efforts to support the long-term peacebuilding, including institution-building, priorities of Guinea-Bissau.
The members of the Security Council also noted the challenge of fighting illicit drug trafficking and organized crime and urged positive engagement by the Bissau-Guinean authorities and the support by the international donors in this regard.
The members of the Security Council further encouraged ECOWAS and the CPLP to take the necessary steps towards organizing a meeting of the International Contact Group on Guinea-Bissau, in consultation with all concerned stakeholders.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their commitment to continue to monitor the current political crisis and expressed their readiness to take necessary measures to respond to further worsening of the situation in Guinea-Bissau.