Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on Guinea-Bissau
National statement delivered by Ambassador Carl Skau on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on Guinea-Bissau, 21 December 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr. President,
Firstly, I would like to thank Assistant-Secretary-General Zerihoun for your useful briefing. I also thank the Chair of the PBC configuration for Guinea-Bissau, Ambassador Vieira, for his update from the Peacebuilding perspective.
Let me at the outset commend the leading role of ECOWAS in Guinea-Bissau, and recognize the importance of the presence of the mission ECOMIB on the ground.
There have been a series of positive developments in Guinea-Bissau in the past few months. The appointment of the Prime Minister, formation of an inclusive government, reopening of the national assembly, approval of a new government program and adoption of a gender quota law.
We have also seen a strong commitment shown by the people of Guinea-Bissau in the electoral process, demonstrated by the high numbers that have registered to vote. Targeted measures to ensure the equal participation of women in the electoral process are ever still needed.
While welcoming yesterday’s announcement of a set date for the election to March 10, we regret the postponement of the election and the lack of preparations. We now call on the government and all parties to urgently ensure the conditions for free and fair democratic elections are now in place and that there is no further delays.
As highlighted by the Chair of the PBC, the six-point roadmap and the Conakry agreement are still valid and important. These must now be promptly implemented in full. The stability pact is also important. It needs to be based on an inclusive and consultative process to be credible and sustainable.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s report and his thorough assessment of the mission mandate. The timeline set out for the transition seems realistic. The UN system must now conduct a timely and integrated transition planning process. It is important that this Council is kept updated on the progress of this work. Predictable resources and adequate capacity for the UN country team will be critical for this transition, as the experience in for example Liberia has shown.
Another lesson from the Liberian, and as was highlighted in the recently adopted PRST on the PBC’s advisory role to the Council on Sustaining Peace, is that the Peacebuilding Commission has a particularly important role to play in these transitions. For a transition to be sustainable, it must be based on national peacebuilding priorities as well as political will, local ownership and inclusiveness. The PBCs efforts in this regard have our full and active support.
It is also important to address the root causes of conflict in Guinea-Bissau, including by moving forward on constitutional reform, reconciliation and political dialogue, strengthening the rule of law through strong and inclusive institutions, and not leasr assuring equal access to economic opportunities.
Regional engagement will continue to be critical. These regional efforts should be backed up by coherent international support. Our international engagement must be sustained also in the delicate post-electoral phase and include support for the above mentioned reforms. Our continued support will be crucial to help Guinea-Bissau to consolidate peace and to build a stable and prosperous future.
I thank you.