Security Council presidential statement on Guinea-Bissau

5 November 2009 - The full text of the presidential statement read out by the Council's President Thomas Mayr-Harting (Austria):


"The Security Council recalls its previous statements and resolutions on Guinea-Bissau, and notes the latest report of the Secretary-General on developments in Guinea-Bissau, and on the activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS). The Council reaffirms its support for the continuing efforts to consolidate peace in that country.

"The Security Council welcomes the peaceful presidential elections that were held on 28 June and 26 July 2009, and the inauguration of President Malam Bacai Sanh√° on 8 September. It also takes note of the President's commitment to combat impunity, foster national reconciliation and achieve socio-economic development. The Council reiterates that human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Guinea-Bissau must be fully protected. It urges again the Armed Forces of Guinea-Bissau to ensure that their commitment to abide by the civilian authorities and respect constitutional order is fully honoured.

"The Security Council also takes note of the National Assembly's plans to convene a national conference on "Conflicts in Guinea-Bissau: causes, prevention, resolution and consequences", and underscores the need to conduct an inclusive political dialogue process aimed at ensuring national reconciliation in the country.

"The Security Council reiterates the importance of consolidating democracy, security, the rule of law, national reconciliation and the fight against impunity to ensure sustainable peace in Guinea-Bissau. In this regard, it takes note of the ongoing consultations between the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), to assist the Government of Guinea-Bissau, at its request, in carrying out a credible, thorough, and expeditious investigation, in accordance with international standards, into the political assassinations of March and June 2009. The Security Council calls upon the Government of Guinea-Bissau to expedite this process, and calls on the abovementioned organizations and the international community as a whole, to bring their support to this end.

"The Security Council underlines the challenges faced by the Government of Guinea-Bissau, in particular to ensure that the Security sector is effective, professional and accountable. In this regard, the Council emphasizes the necessity of pursuing and implementing an effective and comprehensive national strategy for security sector reform, to be supported by the international partners. The Council reiterates its request for the Secretary-General, through his Special Representative for Guinea-Bissau and the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), for an effective coordination of the support provided by the international community to security sector reform in Guinea-Bissau, taking into account the work already undertaken by the European Union and other international actors in this area.

"The Security Council urges the Government of Guinea-Bissau to take the necessary actions in the framework of the Guinea-Bissau anti-narcotics operational Plan and the ECOWAS Plan of action against drug trafficking and organized crime in West Africa. The Council further notes that the situation in Guinea-Bissau continues to be extremely fragile, in particular as a result of increased drug trafficking and organized crime that could pose a threat to regional stability, and should be addressed by an approach of shared responsibility. In this context, the Council welcomes the progress in implementing the West Africa Coast Initiative involving ECOWAS, commends the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Department for Peacekeeping Operations, Department for Political Affairs and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in support of the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking in West Africa, and calls on the international partners to continue supporting this partnership and the efforts of the national authorities to strengthen activities on policing and internal security, including law enforcement and border control, as part of the security sector reform process.

"The Security Council calls on the international community to provide timely and adequate support for the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau, adopted on 1 October 2008 by the Peacebuilding Commission, including that of the quick-impacts projects. The Council takes note of the importance of building synergies among the donors. It further takes note of the preparations for the first review of the Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau, and looks forward to its finalization. The Security Council reiterates its support for the work of the Peacebuilding Commission country-specific configuration on Guinea-Bissau.

"The Security Council welcomes the ongoing planning for the transition of UNOGBIS to an Integrated Peacebuilding Office (UNIOGBIS) on 1 January 2010, and looks forward to the timely development of an Integrated Strategic Framework, including a strategic workplan with appropriate benchmarks to measure and track progress on the implementation of the new office's mandate.

"The Security Council reiterates the importance of the regional dimension in the resolution of the problems faced by Guinea-Bissau and, in this regard, welcomes the role of the ECOWAS, the African Union, the CPLP, and the European Union in the peacebuilding process in that country."