Expressing deep concern about the political impasse in Guinea-Bissau, the Security Council today called upon the West African nation’s leaders to engage in genuine dialogue, find common ground and implement the Conakry Agreement of 14 October 2016, including by appointing a consensus Prime Minister, as required by that accord.
In a statement read out by Tekeda Alemu (Ethiopia), its President for September, the Council expressed deep concern about the unresolved political impasse in Guinea-Bissau, citing the inability of its leaders to reach a lasting and consensual solution, and the failure of both the National Assembly to hold plenary sessions since January 2016, and of four consecutive Governments to adopt a work programme and national budget.
Urging political actors to place the people’s interests above all other considerations, the Council called upon national leaders — including the President, Speaker of Parliament and the heads of political parties — to abide by their commitments to restore political stability and refrain from rhetoric and acts that might undermine peace and national cohesion.
Implementation of the Conakry Agreement, the primary framework for a peaceful resolution of the political crisis, could help restore confidence and enable the international community to fulfil pledges made at the 2015 Brussels Conference, it stated.
The causes of instability in Guinea-Bissau remained unaddressed, the Council noted, stressing the need for the Government to continue to take concrete steps in such areas as security sector reform, reinforcing the judicial system’s fight against corruption, improving public administration and providing basic services to the population.
Underlining the importance of legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 2018 and 2019, respectively, the Council stressed that implementation of the Conakry Agreement would bring Guinea-Bissau closer to political stability and bolster public confidence in advance of the voting.
The Council also welcomed the extension by an additional three months of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB), calling for its continued operation beyond that extension.
The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:06 a.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/17 reads as follows:
“The Security Council takes note of the briefing of 24 August 2017 on ‘the situation in Guinea-Bissau’ of the Special Representative, Modibo Ibrahima Touré, and of the reports of the Presidents of the Sanctions Committee 2048 and of the Guinea-Bissau configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission following their recent visits to Guinea-Bissau.
“The Security Council expresses its deep concern about the unresolved political impasse in Guinea-Bissau due to the inability of its political leaders to reach a lasting and consensual solution, as illustrated by the failure of the National Assembly to hold plenary sessions since January 2016, and by the failure of four consecutive governments to adopt their programme of work and national budget.
“The Security Council expresses concern about the negative effects of the political crisis on the civilian population in Guinea-Bissau and urges all political actors to put the interests of the people of Guinea-Bissau above all other consideration and, in this regard, calls upon Bissau-Guinean political leaders, including the President, the Speaker of Parliament and the heads of political parties, to abide by their commitment to bring political stability to Guinea-Bissau by engaging in genuine dialogue, including on the constitutional review, finding common ground for a swift resolution of the political crisis, and refraining from all rhetoric and acts likely to undermine peace and national cohesion.
“The Security Council recalls that the implementation of the Conakry Agreement of 14 October 2016, based on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) six-point road map entitled ‘Agreement on the Resolution of the Political Crisis in Guinea-Bissau’, is the primary framework for a peaceful resolution of the political crisis, as it offers an historic opportunity for national authorities and political leaders, as well as civil society, jointly to ensure political stability and build sustainable peace and welcomes, in this regard, the political consultations which have taken place with the support of the Women’s Group of Facilitators.
“The Security Council calls on the Guinea-Bissau leadership to implement the Conakry Agreement of 14 October 2016, including by appointing a consensus Prime Minister as required by the Agreement. The Security Council recalls that the implementation of the Agreement could be a way to restore the confidence of partners and enable the international community to fulfil the pledges made during the Brussels Conference in March 2015 in support of the programme ‘terra ranka’ and for the development of Guinea-Bissau.
“The Security Council notes that while the economy may grow in 2017 — in spite of the ongoing political impasse and recurring protest movements — the root causes of instability in Guinea-Bissau remain unaddressed, meaning that any development gains made will not be sustainable.
“The Security Council stresses the need for the Government of Guinea-Bissau to continue to take concrete steps towards lasting and sustainable peace, stability and development in the country, by effectively reforming the security sector, tackling corruption through the reinforcement of the judicial system, and improving public administration and State revenue management, as well as the supply of basic services to the population, and encourages its continuous commitment to the implementation of its national priorities.
“The Security Council expresses concern over the challenges posed by terrorist threats, and other major threats, including violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism as well as international organized crime, including drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and trafficking in all forms in the country.
“The Security Council underlines, the importance of the holding of and preparations for legislative and presidential elections, currently scheduled for 2018 and 2019 respectively, in particular the updating of the voter registration list. The Security Council stresses that implementation of the Conakry Agreement will bring Guinea-Bissau closer to political stability and bolster public confidence in advance of election.
“The Security Council recalls, in this regard, the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission in supporting sustainable peace in Guinea-Bissau and welcomes its active engagement with relevant stakeholders on the ground, as well as with regional organizations to support efforts towards a political solution.
“The Security Council commends the Guinea-Bissau’s defence and security forces for their continued non-interference in the political situation in Guinea-Bissau, and strongly urges them to maintain the same posture.
“The Security Council welcomes the extension for an additional three months of the ECOMIB mandate as decided at the fifty-first Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held in Monrovia, Liberia, on 4 June 2017 and highlights the positive role of this Force in the stabilization of the country. The Security Council calls for the continuation of ECOMIB operations in Guinea-Bissau beyond this extension and invites international partners to support it in this regard.
“The Security Council welcomes the recommendations of the final communiqué of the above-mentioned ECOWAS Authority Session. The Security Council reiterates its commitment to continue to monitor the current political crisis and expresses its readiness to take necessary measures to respond to further worsening of the situation in Guinea-Bissau.
“The Security Council recalls its endorsement in resolution 2343 (2017) of the strategic review regarding the need for the United Nations Integrated Peace-building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) to refocus its efforts in support of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s good offices role, and encourages the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the mission to expand its advocacy to strengthen democratic governance and the promotion and protection of human rights in the near term while it pursues ongoing efforts to achieve an end to the political crisis, in respect of the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the country.
“The Security Council expresses its appreciation and support for Special Representative Modibo Touré and all international partners as well as subregional and regional organizations, especially the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union for their continued commitment and their considerable efforts in mediation and facilitation.”