PRESS STATEMENT ON LIBERIA
NEW YORK, 26 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is this afternoon’s press statement on Liberia by Wang Yingfan (China), President of the Security Council:
Members of the Council held informal consultations on 25 November 2002 pursuant to paragraph 20 of resolution 1408 (2002), under which the Council decided that it would conduct six monthly reviews of the measures established against Liberia.
Members of the Council considered the report of the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 14 of resolution 1343 (2001), the report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia (S/2002/1115) pursuant to paragraph 16 of resolution 1408 (2002) and the report of the Secretary-General (S/2002/1183) pursuant to paragraph 11 of resolution 1408 (2002).
Members of the Council expressed their concern that the Government of President Taylor continued to violate the sanctions, including by importing arms in breach of the arms embargo, and that he had not met the Council’s demands in Security Council resolution 1343.
Members of the Council had full and detailed discussions, including on the relevance of the progress made in Sierra Leone and its effect on the current sanctions, whether the sanctions were having the desired effect, reports of continued violations of the sanctions, prospects for enhancement of the current sanctions regime and how to ensure that the present sanctions regime remained targeted.
Members of the Council noted that some of the recommendations proposed in the Panel’s report had already been acted on, and requested the Committee to implement those recommendations that were agreed to by the Council this morning. Members of the Council also noted that prohibitions on the sale and supply to Liberia of arms and related materiel, imposed under paragraph 5 of resolution 1343 (2001), as extended by paragraph 5 of resolution 1408 (2002), applies to any recipient in Liberia, including all non-State actors such as the LURD (Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy).
Members of the Council expressed their intention to renew the mandate of the Expert Panel for a further period.
Members of the Council also noted that the Panel’s report stated that sanctions have had a negligible impact on the humanitarian situation in Liberia. Members of the Council expressed regret that the Government of Liberia has used the sanctions as an excuse for its failure to improve services and reform. In this regard, the members of the Council urged the Government of Liberia to direct its resources towards addressing the humanitarian crisis in Liberia. Members of the Council also called on the international community to assist Liberia to alleviate the worsening humanitarian crisis in Liberia.
Members of the Council renewed their call on the Government of Liberia to commission independent audits of timber and shipping revenues and to ensure that these were only used for social, humanitarian and development purposes, pursuant to paragraph 10 of resolution 1408 (2002).
Members of the Council agreed that the Security Council must remain engaged with Liberia and its people. In this regard, the members also agreed to elaborate on a comprehensive approach to the situation in Liberia and the subregion, and reaffirmed their support for regional initiatives, including through the Rabat Process, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the recently established International Contact Group, to work towards the restoration of peace and stability in the Mano River Union subregion.
Members of the Council are going to work on a presidential statement of a comprehensive strategy on Liberia. They will continue to follow very closely the situation in Liberia.
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