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Viet Nam & UN  »  Viet Nam in the Security Council
 
STATEMENT by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam, Chairman of the Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1132 (1997) Concerning Sierra Leone at the Meeting of the Security Council on Agenda Item “B
12-14-2009, 05:45 pm

STATEMENT

by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh, Permanent Representative of Viet Nam, Chairman of the Security Council Committee Established Pursuant to Resolution 1132 (1997) Concerning Sierra Leone at the Meeting of the Security Council on Agenda Item  “Briefing of Security Council subsidiary bodies”

New York, 14 December 2009

-------------------

 

Mr. President,

In my capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone, I would like to report to the Council on the work of the Committee during the period of 2008-2009 and share my thoughts on the way forward.

Mr. President,

Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1132 (1997), Sierra Leone has achieved tangible progress in the course of peace consolidation, socio-economic reconstruction and international reintegration. Despite the still fragile security situation that requires sustained attention, the parties in Sierra Leone remain committed to a cessation of all acts of political violence and to a bipartisan consensus on important national policies. The Government has proceeded with its Agenda for Change and incremental results have been made in the areas of anti-corruption, security sector reform, job creation and youth empowerment. The cooperation between Sierra Leone and the United Nations Country Team, the Peacebuilding Commission and other development partners has been further strengthened within the framework of the United Nations’ Peacebuilding Strategy for Sierra Leone and the Joint Vision of the United Nations Family for Sierra Leone. However, Sierra Leone today is facing with the emerging threat of piracy, drug trafficking and illegal trade in natural resources, uncontrolled migration to urban centers, and other adverse effects of the global financial downturn, all of which have the potential of creating an environment conducive to violence and instabilities.

Mr. President,

It is within the above context that relevant functions and activities of the Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone have evolved. Originally mandated by the Security Council to oversee the implementation of the sanctions measures  set out in Resolution 1132 (1997), which consists of an arms embargo on non-governmental forces in Sierra Leone and travel restrictions on members of the former military junta and of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the Committee was assigned with amended mandates in Resolution 1171 (1998) and then accommodated its work with the lifting of the ban on the export of diamonds from Sierra Leone since 2003. As of December 2009, the work of the Committee is confined to tasks related to the embargo on the export of weapons to non-State actors in Sierra Leone and the travel ban imposed on individuals included on the Committee’s list which currently number six. Unlike some other sanctions bodies, the Committee has neither a Panel of Experts nor a Monitoring Group. 

During the time of Viet Nam’s chairmanship, while there have been no violations of the sanctions regime, a number of notifications of arms exports to Sierra Leone were timely brought to the attention of the Committee in accordance with paragraph 4 of Resolution 1171 (1998). In a letter dated 7 January 2008, the Chairman of the Committee informed the Registrar of the Special Court for Sierra Leone of the adoption by the Security Council of Resolution 1793 (2007), whereby the Council decided to exempt from the travel restrictions the travel of any witnesses whose presence at trial before the Court is required. In the same letter, the Chairman sought the agreement of the Court on notification procedures for the travel of listed individuals, which would be modeled upon those agreed between the Court and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia. In June 2008, upon the request from the Government of Sierra Leone and in light of overall developments in the country, the Committee held informal consultations to remove the names of 24 individuals from the list of those affected by the travel ban restrictions imposed by paragraph 5 of Resolution 1171 (1998). The Chairman of the Committee addressed a letter to the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations informing him of the Committee’s decision, and then conveyed the latter’s letter of request to the President of the Security Council for the attention and appropriate action of the Council. In 2009, although no meetings were held, the Committee continued to maintain positive cooperation with the Special Court for Sierra Leone and issued the waiver of the travel ban against five former members of the RUF convicted by the Court, to serve their sentences in Rwanda.

Mr. President,

Sierra Leone is now at a critical juncture of post-conflict peacebuilding with many challenges ahead. The United Nations, regional organizations and Member States have a role to play in helping Sierra Leone better fulfill its responsibilities under relevant Security Council resolutions, taking into due account the fundamental principles of respect for the political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sierra Leone. I, however, maintain that the spirit of targeted sanctions be fully preserved so as to avoid adverse impacts on the livelihood of civilians and that all sanctions regime be reviewed and ultimately lifted once the underlying reasons for the imposition of such sanctions are no longer valid. Given the prevailing trend of peace and reconciliation in Sierra Leone, the Council may wish to initiate such a process and dialogue after the trials of Charles Taylor.

In conclusion, I wish to thank the Vice-Chairmen and all members of the Committee for their support and cooperation in helping me fulfill my duty. I also express my appreciation to the Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch in the Department of Political Affairs, in particular Mr. Kiho Cha, for their untiring assistance to the work of the Committee and the Chairman.

I thank you, Mr. President!


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