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Annan Proposes Team In Sierra Leone

Annan Proposes Establishing Integrated Support Team In Sierra Leone

New York, Aug 2 2005 2:00PM

The United Nations would work closely with the Government of Sierra Leone on consolidating peace after the West African country's long civil conflict by addressing such underlying causes as deficits in governance, human rights observance and the rule of law, according to proposals from Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

In an addendum to his recent report to the Security Council, Mr. Annan says a UN integrated office of international and national staff, put in place as the peacekeeping UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) withdraws at the end of this year, would provide Sierra Leone with much-needed assistance in developing and implementing a strategy to address the complex set of issues it faces.

"Should the Council approve my recommendations concerning the establishment of the United Nations integrated office in Sierra Leone, it would be my intention to seek resources for its funding from the General Assembly," Mr. Annan says.

The Security Council has scheduled a meeting on Sierra Leone for next Wednesday.

The UN integrated office would assist the Government build capacity to develop and implement strategies to address the reasons behind the many years of civil conflict and to manage internal conflicts peacefully, he says.

It would also help provide basic services to the population and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), designed in 2000 to help countries chart their progress towards eliminating or reducing extreme poverty and hunger, illiteracy and discrimination against girls and women, among other socio-economic targets, by 2015.

The UN would also aid in creating frameworks for private investment and making systematic efforts to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Mr. Annan says.

Together, the UN and the Government would also build the capacity of the National Electoral Commission to conduct a free, fair and credible process towards elections in 2007 and would establish an independent public radio network, on the basis of Radio UNAMSIL, to promote national dialogue, he says.

The UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, "mandated to try those bearing the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian and Sierra Leonean laws committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996," is playing a vital role in bringing to justice the 11 people who bear the greatest responsibility for crimes committed during the conflict, he says.

For that reason, the Court, which has nine of the 11 in custody, must be provided with the security it needs to ensure that it can successfully complete its work, Mr. Annan adds.

ENDS

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