Transcript of the speech of the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Security Council concerning the Visit of the SC Delegation to West Africa
ALEXANDER V. KONUZIN (Russian Federation) said that the Council mission had sent an important signal to the parties to implement their decisions. Consideration of, and solution to, the problems in West Africa must be comprehensive and far-reaching. In Cote d'Ivoire, there was a need to combine approaches based on the fundamental provisions of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement and the country's Constitution. He had welcomed the results of the high-level meeting of States in the region on 6 July and placed hopes on the results of contacts of the Ivorian parties on 29 July. Everything must be done to put an end to the development of centrifugal tendencies, particularly ahead of the elections, and to overcome the continuing uncertainty of successful completion of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. The Government had adopted specific measures to end impunity; all persons guilty of human rights violations must be punished accordingly, he stressed.
Concerning Liberia, he said it should continue to be borne in mind that the Government's authority extended only to Monrovia, and that in other regions of the country armed factions continued to hold sway. The international community must step up its assistance to the Government, in order for it to render its authority over the entire territory. An important role must also be played by the upcoming elections in October 2005, for which a calendar should be set up and scrupulously adhered to.
In Sierra Leone, he said, the authorities still had a great deal to do as the United Nations peace operation there concluded. The final drawdown of the Mission depended on how effectively the Government was able to control the situation. In Guinea-Bissau, there was a need to immediately restore constitutional order through elections. Maximum efforts should be made to support the positive trends and not allow the peace process to be undermined, for which the country should be provided with the necessary international assistance. The weak borders in the region were giving rise to numerous and serious threats, requiring comprehensive study and solution, taking into account the proposals of the United Nations missions, the Security Council missions, and the work of regional and subregional groups.