posted on Wed 2 Nov 2011 5:44 PM
Council briefing on Guinea-Bissau

Joseph Mutaboba, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN’s office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), will brief the Council tomorrow morning (Thursday, 3 November). He is likely to focus on developments in the country and issues raised in the recent Secretary-General’s report published on 21 October. In addition, Guinea-Bissau’s Minister of the Economy, Maria Helena Embalo, will update the Council on measures taken related to the security sector and rule of law as well as legislative initiatives. It is also likely that chair of the PBC country-specific configuration on Guinea-Bissau, Brazilian permanent representative, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti will brief.

The briefing tomorrow is unlikely to involve a substantive debate of the issues facing Guinea-Bissau. Rather, it seems most Council members will address these issues in December when UNIOGBIS’s mandate, which expires at the end of the year, is expected to be renewed.

However, an issue of concern for some members is Guinea-Bissau’s role as a major hub for global narcotics and other illicit child and drug trafficking as well as organised crime. Members are also aware of the challenges that remain in establishing, the rule of law and respect for civilian control of the security sector and are likely to be interested in hearing about any progress made in these areas.

Some Council members may also be interested in hearing the reasons for the delay in signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Guinea-Bissau and ECOWAS-CPLP (the Economic Community of West African States and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries). (The MOU is expected to govern the implementation of the partnership between Guinea-Bissau and ECOWAS-CPLP but has yet to be signed.)