Security Council commends democratic progress in Guinea-Bissau

Security Council commends democratic progress in Guinea-Bissau

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The United Nations Security Council today commended the Government of Guinea-Bissau for completing a phase of the transitional process leading to the 2005 presidential election, but said it was concerned about the West African country’s structural weaknesses.

“The Council expresses its satisfaction regarding progress made by national authorities towards restoring constitutional order,” especially the completion of the first phase of the transitional process by installing a new National Popular Assembly and a new Government, the Council President for June, Ambassador Lauro L. Baja of the Philippines, said in a statement read in an open meeting.

The transitional process was scheduled to end with presidential elections to be held by March 2005, he said.

“The Security Council expresses, nonetheless, its concern with the fragility of the democratization process in Guinea-Bissau, due mainly to the country’s deep-rooted structural problems, including the weakness of State institutions and structures, as well as persistent economic and social crisis,” he said.

The Government had committed itself to paying all salary arrears, especially those of the military, which, otherwise, could be a potentially destabilizing factor, he said.

The Council also commended the work of the UN Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS) and other UN offices in the country for contributing to the political normalization of Guinea-Bissau.

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Video of Council meeting [08mins]