Press Releases

    19 December 2002


    NEW YORK, 18 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of today’s press statement by the President of the Security Council, Alfonso Valdivieso (Colombia) on the situation in Guinea-Bissau:

    Members of the Security Council heard a briefing by Mr. David Stephen, Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation in Guinea-Bissau.

    Members of the Security Council expressed their concern at the constitutional impasse and the increasing political instability in the country. In that regard, they stressed the need to start as soon as possible to prepare the forthcoming early elections, and in particular to choose the date at which they will be held. Members of the Security Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s appeal to organize speedy elections for the posts of President and Vice-President of the Supreme Court, which could be a concrete manifestation of the Government’s commitment to the rule of law and respect for human rights, and appealed to the Government to ensure that the forthcoming legislative elections are conducted in a transparent, fair and credible manner. It is important that a new constitution be promulgated without delay.

    Members of the Security Council further expressed their concern at the serious economic situation in the country. They called on the Government of Guinea-Bissau to take the necessary steps to facilitate a constructive dialogue with the international community, and called on the latter to stand ready to provide assistance.

    Members of the Security Council were also concerned by information regarding the harassment of civilians by security forces, as well as by the financial difficulties of the Demobilization, Reinsertion and Reintegration programme.

    Finally, Members of the Security Council welcomed the work of the ad-hoc advisory group of the Economic and Social Council on Guinea-Bissau, and expressed their strong support to the Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Stephen, and to United Nations Peace-building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).

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