Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Alexander Repkin at the Security Council briefing on the situation in Guinea-Bissau
The Russian Federation welcomes the presence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Niger at the briefing. We thank Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Guinea-Bissau, and Ronaldo Costa Filho and chair of the Peacebuilding Commission country-specific configurations, for the information provided.
We are pleased that the expression of popular will took place within the established time limit and in accordance with all standards of democracy and transparency, for which it was highly commended by regional and international actors. We emphasize that the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau and by the Economic Community of West African States played a special role in preparing the elections.
Completion of the electoral cycle - as rightly pointed out in the Secretary General's report – can become a turning point in the modern history of Guinea-Bissau. We expect that, elections will help the country to turn the page of political turbulence, thus creating conditions for the country to move smoothly along the path of socio-economic development. This path can only be walked through when national consensus is achieved. At this fateful moment, we urge all social and political forces to act responsibly, in line with national interests, facilitating prompt resolution of differences.
We are sure that the time has come to raise the issue of lifting the Security Council sanctions against Guinea-Bissau. Continuation of sanctions is not relevant any more. The current situation has nothing to do with that of 2012. The armed forces, as recent elections have shown, remain out of politics. We can thus state that the sanctions have achieved their goal, and long ago. Maintenance of sanctions, given the increasing drawdown of the United Nations presence in the country, is increasingly confusing.
We assume that the restructuring of United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau should be carried out in an orderly manner and within the timeframe set out by Security Council resolution 2458. By the end of 2020, when UNIOGBIS is to terminate its presence in Guinea-Bissau, the United Nations country team should be provided with all necessary tools, so that it could not only contribute to the development of Guinea-Bissau, but also assist effectively in addressing such challenges as drug trafficking, corruption and undermined public institutions.