Statement by Mr.Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council on the sitiation in Guinea-Bissau
We thank Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Ambassador Mauro Vieira, Chair of the Guinea-Bissau configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, for their briefings.
The developments in Guinea-Bissau give abundant cause for concern. We regret the fact that the progress made following the establishment of a consensusbased Government in April has once again morphed into clashes among the main political forces. Against the background of pressing socioeconomic and humanitarian challenges, this is fanning the flames of what is already a highly volatile situation in the country.
We welcome the President of Guinea-Bissau’s announcement yesterday of the decision to set 10 March 2019 as the new date for parliamentary elections. Although we wish to avoid dramatizing the fact that the appointments to the National Assembly have been postponed, timely elections on 18 November would have generated an important positive momentum for improving the overall climate.
We now see that the situation in Guinea-Bissau is inching towards a perilous threshold, beyond which turmoil awaits both the country and its people. At this fateful moment, we call on all social and political forces to act responsibly and to proceed in a way that reflects national interests and leads to a prompt resolution of existing disputes. We have closely studied the report on the outcomes of the strategic assessment of the activities of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (S/2018/1086).
We believe that, at the present moment, the United Nations mission is a unique guarantor for national reconciliation. The Office is successfully undertaking projects for social development and building the capacities of law enforcement and the country’s armed forces. At the same time, we must recognize the fact that, in many areas, its potential, above all in the political sphere, cannot be fully realized.
In general, we believe that the reconfiguration of the Integrated Office needs to be approached in an extremely balanced manner. Any hasty drawdown of the mission’s work would lead only to greater divisions within Bissau-Guinean society, degrade State institutions and result in an increase in drug trafficking and corruption.
In that regard, we believe that it would be advisable to decide on the details concerning the implementation of the mission’s reconfiguration only after the electoral cycle has been completed and the country has returned to the constitutional path.