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Security Council team ends mission

[Cote d'Ivoire] UK's Ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, briefing journalists in Cote d'Ivoire. IRIN
Sir Jeremy Greenstock, UK ambassador to UN
United Nations Security Council members who visited six West African countries from 25 June-5 July, said the mission gave "greater momentum" to try and resolve some of the problems on the region. Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, who led the mission, told reporters in the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown, on Friday that the team would make recommendations on the need for stronger and more consistent international help to the region, in terms of funding and sharing of experiences on a wide range of issues. The UN, he said, could use its experience in dealing with the poorest regions of the world to "help with questions of economic and social development, conflict resolution and flow of arms, the recruitment of child soldiers and the distressing conditions of women, families and children in areas of conflict." It could also address, Greenstock added, the protection of civilians in conflicts, the links between weak countries in West Africa, the security situation and bad governance. "All these will be addressed in our report when we go back to New York," he said. In Guinea-Bissau, Greenstock said President Kumba Yala accepted a request by his team to set a new date for elections, which would now be held on 12 October. In Cote d'Ivoire the mission pushed for speedy implementation of the agreement between the parties to the Linas-Marcoussis agreement. "We received from President Laurent Gbagbo, his government and from the other political parties a renewed commitment to see the implementation and to work towards election in 2005, which are linked to the implementation of the agreement," Greenstock said. He noted that the mission did not go into Liberia because of security reasons. It was however able to complete its Liberian business in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, where they met with representatives of all political parties and civil society from Liberia. "Liberia is at a critical juncture now, between continued conflict and the hope for peace. We have tried both in the background privately and in our comments publicly, to emphasis on the need for all parties to the conflict to observe the ceasefire and move to a political arrangement," Greenstock said. "If that political arrangement turns out to be a transitional period of what we might call some kind of coalition government, leading to new elections which respect the will of the majority of Liberians, then that would be something that this mission has worked for and would like to see, he added. "If it turns out that the transitional period of government involves none of the top leadership of the current warring factions, including the current government, then that too would be in the spirit of what we’ve been working for this week," Greenstock added. The mission visited Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone to promote peace and stability in the war-torn subregion. The mission was postponed from May.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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