Swedish Statment at the UN Security Council Briefing on Guinea-Bissau and UNIOGBIS
National statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Guinea-Bissau and the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), 30 August 2018, New York.
I would like to begin by acknowledging the presence of Prime Minister Aristides Gomes. Sweden, as you know Mr. Prime Minister, has a long-standing relationship with the people of Guinea-Bissau. Dating back even before the independence. It is in this spirit of close partnership that we are now engaging in support for Guinea-Bissau in this council.
I would also like to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for his informative briefing. UNIOGBIS has a crucial role to play regarding the coordination of international efforts in support of Guinea-Bissau, not least in support of the preparations for elections. Let me also extend my thanks to the Ambassador of Brazil, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Guinea-Bissau configuration. We appreciate the opportunity to draw upon the strategic advice of the Peacebuilding Commission regarding Guinea-Bissau.
As highlighted today Guinea-Bissau has seen a number of positive developments the past few months. We once more welcome the appointment of a consensual Prime Minister, the formation of an inclusive government and the reopening of the national assembly. The recent approvals of the new government program and the national budget are also positive steps. We further welcome the military’s neutrality and posture of non-interference in the political process and we stress the importance of their continued neutrality moving forward.
The sense of optimism that Ambassador Vieira alluded to in his briefing is encouraging. To build trust and stability, the election on the 18th of November will be a crucial step. Pending challenges must now be addressed for credible and timely election within this agreed timeframe.
We stress the importance of ensuring women and men’s equal participation as voters and candidates in upcoming elections. We welcome the adoption of a gender quota law. We encourage you to follow up this law with targeted efforts to include women’s participation in the political processes at all levels and in this regard let me also welcome the briefing by miss Taveres Pinto this morning.
The six-point roadmap and the Conakry agreement must be implemented in full. In this regard we take note of the draft framework document for the stability pact that has been developed by the Government. For the pact to be credible and sustainable, we underscore the need for an inclusive and consultative process underpinning it.
Concerted and coherent international support for the electoral process is now needed. It is important to make full use of SRSGs good offices in preparing for these elections. We commend the efforts of ECOWAS who played an essential role on behalf of the region in finding a solution to the political crisis and we encourage their continued engagement, especially in the electoral process.
As often discussed in the PBC, for true consolidation of sustainable peace, it remains important to address the root causes including by focusing on constitutional reform, reconciliation, strengthening the rule of law through strong and inclusive institutions, assuring equal access to economic opportunities and to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. Such reforms will be critical drivers of peace. The international community in close partnership with the region, should now step up its support to Guinea-Bissau on its path towards sustainable peace and development.