15 December 2005

Security Council Press Statement on Guinea-Bissau

NEW YORK, 14 December (UN Headquarters) -- The following Security Council press statement on Guinea-Bissau was delivered today by Vanessa Howe-Jones, First Secretary at the United Kingdom Mission, on behalf of Council President Emyr Jones Parry:

Members of the Security Council heard a briefing today, 14 December, from the Representative of the Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau, João Bernardo Honwana, on recent developments in Guinea-Bissau, particularly since the inauguration of the newly-elected President, João Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, as contained in the latest Secretary-General's report on the matter (document S/2005/752).  They were also informed on aspects of the social and economic situation in the country and discussed the recommendations presented by the Secretary-General regarding the renewal and revision of the mandate of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS).  Agreement was reached for its revision and renewal up to 31 December 2006.

Members of the Security Council expressed concern about political tensions along party lines, which have continued to cast a shadow on the prospects for stability in Guinea-Bissau and further delay the fulfilment of general expectations for a more promising future for the country and its population.

Members of the Security Council urged the parties in Guinea-Bissau to maintain their commitment to the rule of law and thus to respect the next ruling of the Supreme Court, on the case regarding the constitutionality of recent governmental changes conduced by the Head of State.  They also called upon all political leaders in Guinea-Bissau to recommit themselves to a constructive, inclusive and peaceful dialogue aiming at the consolidation of the democratic process.

Members of the Security Council underscored that continued engagement of the international community in Guinea-Bissau is still very much needed, particularly through economic and financial assistance, including in the domain of the security sector reform.  In this regard, they paid tribute to renewed efforts made by bilateral and multilateral partners, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, as well as by the Economic and Social Council Ad Hoc Group Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau, to assist the country.

Members of the Security Council further reaffirmed their intention to follow closely all developments in Guinea-Bissau as a guarantee to ongoing efforts to consolidate the democratic process and peace.

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