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Guinea-Bissau: UN peacebuilding office should be extended – Ban Ki-moon

Guinea-Bissau: UN peacebuilding office should be extended – Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that the mandate of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau be extended for one year, with the possibility of it transforming into an integrated mission following the 2008 legislative elections.

Extending the mandate until next 31 December will “allow the Office to continue to assist Guinea-Bissau as it confronts the challenges of peacebuilding and strives to bring about political stabilization,” Mr. Ban wrote in a letter to the President of the Security Council made public earlier this month.

He suggested a revision of the UNOGBIS mandate so that it can help to generate the international community’s support for the West African nation’s efforts to stem drug trafficking.

To this end, the Office’s 2008 activities would focus on supporting the country’s reconciliation and dialogue; helping to reform the security sector; assist with the holding of transparent and credible legislative elections; promote respect for the rule of law and human rights; among others, Mr. Ban wrote.

After next year’s elections, the Secretary-General noted that he will look into the possibility of transforming UNOGBIS into an integrated mission.

“Such a mission, if deemed appropriate, would provide a holistic approach to addressing the complex and multidimensional situation facing Guinea-Bissau,” the letter said.

UNOGBIS was created in 1999 to help Guinea-Bissau emerge from the devastation of a civil war in which thousands were killed, wounded or forced from their homes.