“National ownership is the key to stabilization”

23 Aug 2012

“National ownership is the key to stabilization”

23 August 2012 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Guinea-Bissau and Head of UNIOGBIS, today in Bissau, faced journalists from national and international media. The press conference mainly focused on the current political situation. Mr. Joseph Mutaboba stressed that national ownership is the key to stabilization and international partners are there to accompany, assist and support national processes.

"I would like to inform you that I would be initiating in the coming days another round of consultations involving AU, CPLP, ECOWAS and subsequently be participating at the next UN Security Council and other consultations on Guinea-Bissau on the sidelines of the General Assembly scheduled to take place next month (September)" the SRSG told journalists.

This joint UN-AU mission composed of Mr. Joseph Mutaboba and Mr. Ovidio Manuel Barbosa Pequeno, Special Representative of the AU in Guinea-Bissau, will be holding consultations with ECOWAS (Abuja, Cotonou, Abidjan), AU (Addis-Ababa) and CPLP (Maputo and Luanda). Following these missions, Mr. Joseph Mutaboba will then pursue further consultations in Lisbon and in New York at the Security Council. All these consultations are subsequent to the Security Council resolution 2048 (2012) and its 30 July Statement highlighting the importance of coordination of efforts among international partners, and in this regard, called on the Secretary-General to actively engage in the harmonization of the respective positions of partners.

Mr. Joseph Mutaboba acknowledged that though harmonization of the respective positions of international partners is crucial, they are there just to accompany, assist and support national processes. "No progress will be achieved without the genuine commitment of Bissau-Guinean people towards addressing together the challenges the country faces. National ownership is the key to stabilization" he stressed.

For this to happen, there is the need for an inclusive and genuine dialogue process among national stakeholders, especially with a view to resolve differences of opinions or positions. "This is essential towards creating an enabling environment for consensus and positive decisions in the interest of Guinea-Bissau" the Head of UNIOGBIS said adding that, "it is pleasing to note that political actors are engaged in an ongoing dialogue and it is hoped that it will bear good fruits".

By way of supporting the process, the United Nations, in close collaboration with partners, initiated since June rounds of consultations involving national stakeholders (political parties, civil society particularly women's groups, youth associations, religious and traditional leaders) with a view to encourage the pursuit of genuine, consensual, inclusive and nationally-owned dialogue on the transition.

Mr. Joseph Mutaboba also talked about his recent trips in Addis Ababa from 13 to 16 July for the AU Summit and subsequently in New York from 20 to 29 July, for consultations with various bilateral and multilateral partners, particularly at the UN Security Council, which on 26 July discussed the latest Secretary-General's report on developments in Guinea-Bissau. In line with UNIOGBIS mandate, "all of these consultations were aimed at working together in close collaboration with international partners in order to assist Guinea-Bissau national stakeholders address the ongoing situation in the country" he said.

After the 12 April coup d'état, a one year transition government was put in place on 23 May. According to the transition authorities, general elections are due in April 2013.