UNAMSIL DSRSG appraises Sierra Leone Cabinet on UNAMSIL/UNCT transition plan
Freetown, Sierra Leone-31 August 2005, The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG) for Sierra Leone and United Nations Development Projects (UNDP) Resident Coordinator, Mr. Victor Angelo, today attended the Sierra Leone Cabinet meeting at the invitation of President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, to appraise the meeting on the progress so far made on the implementation of the UNAMSIL/ UNCT transition plan. Briefing the meeting, the DSRSG stressed on the main achievements, and key challenges in attaining the various benchmarks outlined in the Transition Plan.
Giving an update on the security sector, Victor Angelo stated that rehabilitation of water and sanitation works on the Wilberforce and Murray Town Barracks by UNAMSIL/UNCT is at an advanced stage while additional funds have been provided to undertake similar projects in Kenema, Benguema, and Juba barracks.
On the Sierra Leone Police, the DSRSG explained the UNAMSIL/UNCT has assisted in the recruitment and training of 813, mentored 5,500 and conducted in-service training of 612 personnel. He explained further that UNAMSIL/UNCT is at the moment working very closely with the Sierra Leone Police to identify priorities for 2006.
Discussion also focused on the challenges and areas of cooperation relating to the justice and security sectors, prisons service, youth employment, public information, particularly Radio UNAMSIL and micro-finance.
The DSRSG further defined the Transition Plan as part of the efforts towards further UN integration in the country, especially at the strategic, programmatic and operational levels.
The principle of national ownership was discussed at length, with members of the cabinet concurring that Sierra Leoneans need to own the process of implementing transitional tasks to ensure peace and development.
President Kabbah commended the Transition Plan as an example of a coordination mechanism that contributes to efforts of the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN system to work together.