Global perspective Human stories

UN peacebuilding official heads to Sierra Leone to track progress since elections

UN peacebuilding official heads to Sierra Leone to track progress since elections

Aiming to track progress in Sierra Leone as it works to consolidate stability, a senior United Nations peacebuilding official heads there today for meetings with top officials and a first-hand look at the situation since elections were held last month.

“The recent Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone mark a new beginning for the Peacebuilding Commission’s engagement with the country,” said

Dutch Ambassador Frank Majoor, who chairs the Peacebuilding Commission’s Sierra Leone “configuration,” which focuses on that country.

In Freetown, he will meet with newly elected President Ernest Bai Koroma, Vice President Chief Sahr Samuel Sam-Sumana, as well as parliamentarians, representatives of civil society and members of the UN Country Team.

Ambassador Majoor is seeking to obtain first-hand information about the post-election situation and the remaining peacebuilding challenges in Sierra Leone, while advancing discussion towards the conclusion of a “Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework” – an agreed plan of commitments and priorities on such issues as good governance, justice, security sector reform and youth employment.

“The peaceful, orderly, and genuinely contested elections were in part the result of an effective partnership between the national and international partners in Sierra Leone,” he said.

At the same time, he acknowledged the country’s many challenges, especially the need to forge a government of national unity. “The Peacebuilding Commission can play a critical role in support of the new government by agreeing on a Peacebuilding Cooperation Framework,” he said.

Ambassador Majoor will brief members of the Peacebuilding Commission next week on his return.

The Peacebuilding Commission is an intergovernmental advisory body that brings together key actors, including international donors, international financial institutions, national governments from focus countries, troop contributor countries, UN bodies and civil society representatives, to promote a common approach to helping a country emerge from conflict.

The PBC’s Organizational Committee brings together 31 Member States to establish the body’s work agenda. It also has country specific “configurations” that look at issues particular to individual States it is focused on.

Sierra Leone’s run-off elections were held on 8 September, after polls held on 11 August failed to produce an outright winner. The presidential elections were the first since UN peacekeepers left in 2005 after helping to bring peace and stability to the country which was torn apart by a brutal 10-year civil war.