August 22, 2008 - SRSG in West Africa to meet in Guinea-Bissau
Bissau - A high-level meeting of Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and Heads of UN Peace Missions in West Africa will be held in Bissau on 25 and 26 August 2008.
The meeting will bring together Mr. Said Djinnit, SRSG and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Mr. Young-ji Choi, SRSG and Head of the UN mission in Cote d'Ivoire (ONUCI), Ms. Margrethe Løj, SRSG and Head of the UN mission in Liberia (UNIMIL), Mr. Michael Schulenburg, ERSG and Head of the UN mission in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) and Mr. Shola Omoregie, RSG and Head of the UN mission in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).
ECOWAS comission president Dr. Ibn Chambas will also attend the meeting.
The meeting will review the overall situation in the subregion and discuss specific cross-border issues of regional interest, in particular forthcoming elections in Cote d'Ivoire (presidentials on 30 November 2008), Guinea-Bissau (legislative on 16 November 2008) and Guinea (legislative). Drug trafficking should be also discussed during this 14th SRSG meeting.
The high-level meeting, which aims at furthering progress in harmonizing policies and activities of the UN presences in West Africa. The first high-level meeting of UN missions in West Africa was held in November 2003 in Freetown, Sierra Leone at which Heads of missions agreed to maintain a regular mechanism of consultation.
Welcoming this initiative, the members of the UN Security Council have called for UN presences in West Africa to take concrete steps towards the implementation of a regional approach, including pulling together UN assets across the region and exploiting synergies between the missions to achieve greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness.