Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNIOGBIS/Guinea-Bissau

National statement delivered by Minister Counsellor Joakim Vaverka on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, 16 May 2018, New York.

Thank you, Madam President,

I join others in thanking Assistant-Secretary-General Zerihoun and UNODC Executive Director, Fedotov, for their useful briefings today. I would also like to thank Ambassador Mauro Vieira, Chair of the PBC's Guinea-Bissau Configuration, for his important contribution to today's discussion.

Madam President,

Since we last met in this chamber to discuss Guinea-Bissau, there has been a number of positive developments. We welcome the appointment of Aristides Gomes as Prime Minister on the 16th of April as well as the formation of an inclusive government on 25 April. These are both important steps in the implementation of the Conakry agreement and are preconditions for holding free, fair and democratic elections. We are optimistic that these new developments can help pave the way for a lasting resolution to the political crisis in the country.

We commend the efforts of ECOWAS and regional mediation in Guinea-Bissau, which has once again shown how regional efforts can resolve political deadlock and disputes and to prevent conflict.

In this context, let me pay particular tribute to the President of the ECOWAS Authority, President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, and the ECOWAS Mediator for Guinea‑Bissau, President Alpha Condé of the Republic of Guinea for their role.

All stakeholders must now work towards conducting timely and credible elections on the 18th of November and further implementation of the Conakry agreement. Regarding elections, it is essential that the funding gap for voter registration and the organization of the elections is addressed. ECOMIB will also have an important role in the run up to the forthcoming elections.

Madam President,

We welcome the reconfiguration of UNIOGBIS and the appointment of the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General, José Viegas Filho. We congratulate him on his appointment and look forward to working closely with him. Despite recent progress, real challenges remain that will need to be addressed, and the good offices function of the Special Representative will be crucial going forward. In addition, we encourage strategic and results oriented reporting from UNIOGBIS, so that the Security Council can fully play its role, by making decisions based on a comprehensive understanding of the situation on the ground and how it can best support the country.

This is all the more important as the situation within the country remains fragile. The current fragility could be exacerbated by the economic situation, and we note that this year's cashew harvest seems to be lower than last year. For this reason, we believe it would be important that a risk assessment, and, or, conflict analysis be carried out. The Peacebuilding Commission has an important role to play in convening actors and contributing to an analysis of threats and challenges. We welcome the Chair's upcoming visit in July and look forward to him briefing the council again at the appropriate time.

The six-point roadmap and the Conakry agreement remain relevant, and represent the only legitimate way forward. They must be implemented in full. Looking forward, in order to target the root causes of conflict in Guinea-Bissau, it will be important to focus on reconciliation and political dialogue, and by strengthening the rule of law through strong and inclusive institutions, which are important drivers of peace.

We encourage greater support for women's active participation in the peace and political processes, especially in the context of the elections. Ensuring women's full involvement in building Guinea-Bissau's future will be an important prerequisite for lasting peace and stability in the country.

Madam President,

Recent months have seen important progress in Guinea-Bissau. The momentum must be grasped and all parties must work towards the full implementation of the Conakry Agreement and the preparation of inclusive elections. We must stand ready to support them in their efforts.

Thank you Madame President.

Contact

Lisa Laskaridis
Head of Press and Communication, Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN
Phone +1 212 583 2543
Mobile +1 917 239 0941
email to Lisa Laskaridis