6 May 2003

Press Statement on Liberia by President of Security Council

NEW YORK, 5 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the press statement on Liberia delivered today by Security Council President Munir Akram (Pakistan):

Council members discussed the situation in Liberia and conducted their six monthly review of the sanctions, as laid down in resolution 1408 (2002), taking into consideration the Secretary-General's report of 22 April on Liberia (document S/2003/466) and the report of the expert panel of 24 April (document S/2003/498).

Council members reiterated their strong concern at the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Liberia and its effects on the subregion. They called on the Government of Liberia, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and all armed rebel groups to enter into ceasefire talks without preconditions and to allow free access for humanitarian agencies.

Council members regretted that the Government of Liberia had not fully complied with the Council's demands in resolution 1343 (2001) and expressed their intention to renew the sanctions imposed on Liberia and to extend them to include a ban on timber exports, with effect from 7 July, unless the Council decides otherwise.

Council members hoped that their mission to West Africa later this month would offer new opportunities to make progress towards peace and stability in the subregion. Council members look forward to the day when all the requirements in the resolutions are met and Liberia is no longer subject to sanctions.

* *** *