UNOWA, Dakar - 05 July 2005. The Fifth Meeting of the Heads of United Nations Peace Missions in West Africa was held in Dakar, Senegal on 5 July 2005 under the chairmanship of Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa (UNOWA). It was attended by Daudi Mwakawago (UNAMSIL), Pierre Schori (ONUCI), Abou Moussa (UNMIL), and Joao Honwana (UNOGBIS), who provided updates on developments in their respective missions.
The SRSGs discussed the progress made in Sierra Leone, as well as the residual problems in that country. They also reflected on the future UN presence in Sierra Leone, after UNAMSIL's withdrawal at the end of 2005, and how it would affect peace-building efforts in other countries of the sub-region.
The SRSGs discussed the state of the peace process in Cote d'Ivoire which is of great importance to the region at large. They noted with satisfaction the Pretoria Declaration of June 29, which has given renewed impetus to the peace process, failing which individual sanctions might be invoked.
For Liberia, the SRSGs underlined the importance of steady progress towards the conduct of a free, fair and transparent election and the ongoing security sector reforms, and hoped for an early finalization of the Economic Governance Action Plan.
The SRSGs welcomed the successful holding of the first round of elections in Guinea-Bissau. They hoped that political leaders in that country will do everything to ensure that the second round will take place in the same calm conditions and commit themselves to accepting the results of the elections.
The SRSGs discussed the situation in Togo and called on the Government to continue its efforts towards reconciliation.
On the issue of humanitarian action, the SRSGs noted that the response to many of the Consolidated Appeals Processes in West Africa has so far fallen well short of what is required, including for countries of the Sahel currently affected by famine. They called on partners to redouble their efforts to strengthening humanitarian assistance in West Africa.
The SRSGs reviewed the growing cooperation between the five missions and approved a number of recommendations on practical steps to increase such cooperation. They requested their Intermission Cooperation Working Group to continue to focus on Regional Contingency Planning and called on it to explore a regional approach to Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) that would include countries that do not host UN peace missions.
The SRSGs welcomed the progress that ECOWAS has made in enhancing its capacity to respond to crises as well as its efforts to improve cross-border cooperation in West Africa.
The SRSGs agreed that their next meeting will be held in Monrovia in the second half of September, before the Liberian presidential elections.
For more information on the Cameroon/Nigeria Mixed Commission visit our website at: www.un.org/unowa
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