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United Nations Office for West Africa: Security Council Press Statement
On 8 July 2014, the members of the Security Council were briefed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa, Said Djinnit.
The members of the Security Council expressed their full support to the activities of the Special Representative and the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), in particular in terms of coordination of the regional and international strategies in support of peace and development in West Africa and the Sahel region.
The members of the Security Council noted the progress that had been made in addressing political and security challenges in West Africa. They welcomed positive developments including the implementation of the Cross-Border Security Strategy for the Mano River Union (MRU) with the support of UNOWA and ECOWAS; the return to constitutional order in Guinea Bissau; and the successful completion of the mandate of UNIPSIL.
The members of the Security Council also noted the growing cooperation between UNOWA and ECOWAS in the areas of preventive diplomacy, security sector reform (SSR) and conflict management. They urged partners to strengthen their efforts to foster an enabling environment for political stability and economic growth in the region.
The members of the Security Council however expressed concern over challenges in the sub-region, including transnational organized crime, drug trafficking, terrorism, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and cross-border security challenges in the Sahel and the Mano River Basin. They stressed that these challenges pose a threat to the peace, stability and progress of the sub-region and beyond and could be addressed through multilateral cooperation among the member states.
The Members of the Security Council also expressed their deep concern over the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in some countries in West Africa and conveyed to the international community the need to provide prompt assistance in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
The members of the Security Council encouraged all actors to make efforts to create conducive conditions for inclusive, free, credible and peaceful elections scheduled to take place in the 2015-2016 period in various countries of West Africa. They encouraged UNOWA to continue working closely with ECOWAS in the use of its good offices in the region.
The members of the Security Council also expressed concern over the threat posed by the activities of the terrorist group Boko Haram in north eastern Nigeria and the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. They welcomed the efforts of the SRSG for West Africa in his role as the Secretary-General’s High-level Representative to Nigeria, facilitating United Nations support for ongoing efforts towards the safe release of the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State, on 14 April 2014, as well as for wider assistance to address the threat of Boko Haram.
The members of the Security Council encourage the parties of the Cameroon-Nigerian Mixed Commission (CNMC) in their ongoing efforts to finalise the border demarcation exercise, in conformity with the 2002 decision of the International Court of Justice.
The members of the Security Council noted the Secretary-General's recommendation to establish a dedicated analytical unit within the Political Affairs Section of UNOWA to better inform good offices efforts and to support timely preventive action; they looked forward to the early implementation of this recommendation.