UN Security Council Presidential Statement on Sierra Leone

New York, NY
April 11, 2012

The Security Council welcomes the latest report of the Secretary-General dated 14 March 2012 (S/2012/160) on the situation in Sierra Leone and the activities of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL). The Council welcomes the briefing provided by the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General (ERSG) in Sierra Leone, Mr. Michael von der Schulenburg on 22 March 2012. The Council reaffirms its support for continuing efforts to consolidate peace in that country.

The Security Council emphasises that the Government of Sierra Leone bears primary responsibility for peacebuilding, security and long-term development in the country. The Council notes the steady progress achieved so far by the national authorities and people of Sierra Leone in a number of areas including national reconciliation, the promotion of gender equality and the preparation for national and local elections on 17 November 2012. The Council emphasises the importance of these elections for consolidation of peace and security in Sierra Leone.

The Security Council calls upon all political parties to engage constructively in an honest and open dialogue aimed at furthering national cohesion. The Council calls on the Government of Sierra Leone, all political parties as well as other stakeholders to intensify their efforts to foster an environment that is conducive to the holding of peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections. The Council calls on the leadership of the political parties to undertake cross-party confidence building measures, promote political participation and non-violence among their membership and ensure the full adherence to due process of law and to the recommendations of the 2 April 2009 Joint Communiqué, which inter alia calls for the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints Committee to reinforce the neutrality and professionalism of the Police, and the Political Parties Code of Conduct. The Council believes that these steps are essential to ensure public and international confidence in Sierra Leone’s democratic process.

The Security Council acknowledges the statement of the Government of Sierra Leone on 3 April 2012 clarifying its position regarding the arms delivered to the Sierra Leone Police. The Council underscores the importance for Sierra Leone’s national authorities to respond proportionately to threats to the security of all citizens in Sierra Leone. The Council calls upon the Government to ensure that its security forces remain committed to upholding human rights and applicable international law.

The Security Council calls on the Independent Media Commission to proactively monitor the media and ensure compliance with the code of conduct for the media and calls on the national authorities to address the administrative and financial challenges facing the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation.

The Security Council commends the contribution of UNIPSIL and the UN Country Team to the peacebuilding and development priorities of Sierra Leone, and in particular through the integrated UN Joint Vision. The Council commends the achievements of ERSG von der Schulenburg in Sierra Leone and urges the Secretary General to promptly appoint a successor.

The Security Council continues to emphasize the important role of the regional organisations such as the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States and the Mano River Union in supporting Sierra Leone to achieve its peacebuilding, security and long-term development goals. The Council acknowledges the work of the Transnational Organised Crime Unit and calls on Sierra Leone’s authorities to work with its neighbours and regional partners in order to intensify their joint efforts to consolidate regional peace and security, including through tackling the challenges posed by drug trafficking and organised crime.

The Security Council acknowledges the role of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in supporting peacebuilding efforts in Sierra Leone, including in addressing the priority area of youth employment. The Council urges the PBC to continue working in support of UNIPSIL and the UN Country Team.

The Security Council remains actively seized of this matter.


PRN: 2012/072