22 August 2005
Security Council Commends People of Guinea-Bissau Following Successful Presidential Elections
Presidential Statement Urges Increased Financial, Technical Support to Help Consolidate Peace, Security
NEW YORK, 19 August (UN Headquarters) -- Commending the people of Guinea-Bissau for their encouraging participation in the electoral process, the Security Council today acknowledged with satisfaction the successful holding of presidential elections in that country and the announcement by the National Electoral Commission of the final results of the ballot, which marked an important step towards the restoration of constitutional order.
In a statement read out by the Council President, Kenzo Oshima (Japan), the Council took note of the appeal filed with the Supreme Court of Justice by one of the contenders and strongly encouraged all parties to honour their commitments and accept the Court's final ruling. It urged them to refrain from any actions that could jeopardize the efforts towards peace and stability in the country.
Paying tribute to Guinea-Bissau's partners and neighbours, whose support was indispensable to the holding of the elections, the Council also congratulated international observers on the essential role they played throughout the country, and welcomed their statement recognizing the presidential elections as free, fair and transparent.
Considering the challenges still facing the country, the Council urged all relevant national and international parties to reaffirm their commitment to peace and democracy, and called upon bilateral development partners, international financial institutions and United Nations agencies to increase their support for socio-economic development, the consolidation of national institutions, and the promotion of good governance and human rights, by providing emergency financial assistance and technical support, in the short run, and by participating actively in the November 2005 Donor Round Table Conference.
The Council also welcomed the decision of the Economic and Social Council, on 26 July 2005, to extend the mandate of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau and commended the group for its work.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Council observed a moment of silence in observance of the second anniversary of the bombing of United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, in which 22 people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured, while assisting the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace, stability and democracy.
The meeting began at 10:53 a.m. and adjourned at 10:58 a.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2005/39 reads as follows:
"The Security Council acknowledges with satisfaction the successful holding of the presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau and the announcement by the National Electoral Commission of the final results of the ballot. This marks an important step towards the restoration of constitutional order. The Security Council takes note of the appeal filed with the Supreme Court of Justice by one of the contenders and strongly encourages all parties to honour their commitments and accept the final ruling of the Court. The Security Council urges them to refrain from any actions that could jeopardize the efforts towards peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau.
"The Security Council commends the people of Guinea-Bissau for their encouraging participation in the electoral process.
"The Security Council pays tribute to Guinea-Bissau's partners and neighbours, which provided indispensable support for the holding of the elections. The Security Council also congratulates international observers on the essential role they played throughout the country, and welcomes their statement recognizing the presidential elections as free, fair and transparent.
"The Security Council expresses its appreciation for the contribution made by the African Union, the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, the Economic Community of Western African States, the European Union, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, the Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union, the Representative of the Secretary-General in Guinea-Bissau and the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), bilateral partners and international financial institutions. The Security Council underlines the importance of their timely diplomatic efforts aiming at promoting national dialogue and respect for the rule of law.
"Considering the challenges still facing Guinea-Bissau, the Security Council urges all relevant national and international parties to reaffirm their commitment to peace and democracy in Guinea-Bissau, and calls upon bilateral development partners of Guinea-Bissau, international financial institutions and UN agencies to increase their support for economic and social development and the consolidation of national institutions, as well as the promotion of good governance and human rights, in particular by providing emergency financial assistance and technical support, in the short run, and by participating actively in the Donor Round Table Conference to be held in November 2005.
"The Security Council, therefore, welcomes the decision taken by the Economic and Social Council on 26 July 2005 to extend the mandate of the Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau, and commends the group for its work.
"The Security Council invites the Secretary-General to present recommendations in his next report regarding the updating of UNOGBIS's mandate and role in the consolidation of peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau in the post-transition period."
The Secretary-General's report on developments in Guinea-Bissau and on the activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in that country (document S/2005/380) states that recent tensions over the preparations for the presidential elections on 19 June demonstrate that peace and stability in Guinea-Bissau remain fragile and require the continued engagement of all key national and international actors. The Secretary-General is encouraged by the renewed commitment of the national authorities to ensure the holding of the elections on schedule, and call on all the candidates to do their utmost to ensure a peaceful election and to accept the results. He also urges all national actors to continue to support efforts by the Government to meet the serious challenges confronting the country.
In this connection, he commends the increasingly important role of the country's network of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which has shown the potential to positively influence change. Also, he welcomes the process of reconciliation within the armed forces and the increasingly republican attitude adopted by the military. In addition, he welcomes the reaffirmation by the military leadership of its subordination to civilian authority and commends the initiative of the Chief of the General Staff to sensitize the armed forces on the value of and need for reconciliation and military restructuring.
The reform of the security and public administration sectors remains a necessary condition for the promotion of sustainable peace and stability in the country. In order to facilitate such reform, it is essential to provide for staff retraining and the creation of social safety nets. In this regard, the role of the country's development partners is crucial in creating the socio-economic conditions necessary to provide these safety nets and a propitious economic environment.
The Secretary-General commends all the partners of Guinea-Bissau for their support for the country at this difficult juncture of the transition, and calls on them to continue providing much-needed support to help Guinea-Bissau move towards full rehabilitation and recovery. He encourages the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) and Guinea-Bissau's other partners to continue their critical role in promoting peace and stability.
Guinea-Bissau continues to face tremendous political, social and economic challenges, the report states, the resolution of which requires a common vision and sense of purpose, peace and stability. To help meet these challenges, the UNOGBIS and the United Nations country team have concluded the review of the United Nations comprehensive peacebuilding strategy for Guinea-Bissau, which combines the peace, security and development agendas and defines activities to be implemented in support of the country's efforts to improve political dialogue, security, democratic and economic governance and resource mobilization. In this regard, the Secretary-General encourages the Council to finalize its response to his recommendations contained in his report of 16 March 2005 (S/2005/174) to strengthen UNOGBIS and to enable it to meet the requirements of its revised mandate, as set out in Council resolution 1580 (2004).
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