6924th Meeting (AM)
Requests Recommendations on Mandate from Secretary-General by 30 April
Stressing that the complex situation facing Guinea-Bissau undermined the smooth functioning of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office there (UNIOGBIS), as well as that of the Peacebuilding Commission, the Security Council today extended the mission’s current mandate for just three months to give the Secretary-General time to assess the situation on the ground and make recommendations, by 30 April, on its possible realignment.
Through unanimous adoption of resolution 2092 (2013), considered in the wake of a briefing on developments earlier this month (Press Release SC/10907 of 5 February), the Council expressed its serious concern about the situation in the West African country since the military coup of 12 April 2012, and deplored the continued lack of effective civilian control and oversight over the defence and security forces.
In that connection, it reiterated its demand to the Armed Forces to submit themselves fully to civilian control.
The Council called on Guinea-Bissau stakeholders to deepen the internal political dialogue with the aim of holding free, fair and transparent elections and a rapid return to constitutional order and long-term stabilization.
In a related provision, it asked the Secretary-General to continue to work through key partners on the dialogue process among political parties towards the early finalization of a broader political agreement for that purpose.
Further to the text, the Council condemned violations of political and civil rights and urged the authorities to take all necessary measures to protect those rights and initiate investigations to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The Council urged civilian and military officials to, among other things, demonstrate commitment to effectively combat drug trafficking and expressed its willingness to consider further action against those involved in that crime and organized crime overall.
Explaining his position after the vote, Guatemala’s Ambassador, Gert Rosenthal, said he had supported the text based on the importance his delegation attached to UNIOGBIS and due to the need for the political situation to move in the “correct direction”, in particular, to return to a constitutionally elected government. He had agreed to extend the mandate by three months as that provided an opportunity for a new assessment of the situation and of the mission’s role.
Notwithstanding that support, he said he had some difficulties with preambular paragraph 7, concerning the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for implementation of the security sector road map. He had not wished to stand in the way of the resolution’s adoption, which he endorsed as a whole, but for the record, he had some difficulties with the text. It took note of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, but he had a problem taking note of a document whose contents had not been shared with all members.
Since the military coup, he said, Guatemala had participated actively in the discussions. Also, given his country’s history, it had “zero tolerance” for the absence of a constitutionally elected government. He thus supported the Council’s decision to continue its consideration of the matter. He hoped for a speedy resumption of the electoral process and restoration of a legitimate government.
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and was adjourned at 10:13 a.m.