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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Statement by the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission Country-specific Configuration on Sierra Leone
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Apr 7, 2009, 17:04
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Statement by the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission Country-specific Configuration on Sierra Leone

The Peacebuilding Commissions country-specific configuration on Sierra Leone warmly welcomes the Joint Communiqu signed on April 2nd by the two leading parties of Sierra Leonethe All Peoples Congress and the Sierra Leones Peoples Party. The country-specific configuration on Sierra Leone greatly appreciates the constructive efforts of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office (UNIPSIL), under the leadership of the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General, and the diplomatic community in Freetown in facilitating a successful outcome to the deliberations of the bi-party dialogue.

The Joint Communiqu represents a significant shared commitment between the two largest political parties to the consolidation of democracy and peace in Sierra Leone. It also demonstrates that political differences within democratic systems can and should be resolved peacefully. The Communiqu includes bi-partisan agreement on the role of the ruling and opposition parties, the rejection of all forms of violence including a strong condemnation of violence against women, mechanisms to investigate the inter-party violent clashes that occurred in March 2009, as well as a joint agreement to strengthen the professionalism of and respect for the operational independence of important democratic institutions such as the Parliament, the Judiciary, the Sierra Leone Police, the National Electoral Commission, the Political Party Registration Commission, the Human Rights Commission and the Independent Media Commission.

These represent substantial agreements that will require not only the joint political will of both parties but also sustained support from the international community. The Peacebuilding Commissions country-specific configuration on Sierra Leone encourages both political parties to maintain the spirit of moderation and reconciliation that prevailed during the bi-party dialogue in order to ensure timely and effective follow-up to the Joint Communiqu. National leadership and continued international support is also needed to address the remaining peacebuilding challenges of pervasive youth unemployment, the threat of illicit drug trafficking and corruption.

The Peacebuilding Commissions country-specific configuration on Sierra Leone encourages the international community to provide the necessary assistance for the follow-up to the Joint Communiqu and to support the facilitation efforts of UNIPSIL in this regard. The country-specific configuration on Sierra Leone remains committed to supporting Sierra Leone in consolidating its progress towards peace, development, and national reconciliation.

6 April 2009, New York


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