December 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 November 2006
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Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to consider the report of the Secretary-General on the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS). Its mandate expires on 31 December.

Key Recent Developments
A donors’ roundtable in November pledged US$262.5 million for development projects. Another $178.5 million for reform of the security sector will be unlocked once the government presents its good governance programme.

The International Contact Group on Guinea-Bissau (France, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea and the Executive Secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, and the Executive Secretariat of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries) held its first meeting in New York on 21 September. Its goal is to help strengthen national institutions, mobilise funds, and assist with security and judicial sectors and public administration reforms.

In October, Shola Omoregie of Nigeria replaced João Bernardo Honwana of Mozambique as the Secretary-General’s Representative in Guinea-Bissau.

The most likely option is for the Council to note, perhaps in a letter, the Secretary-General’s intention to renew UNOGBIS for 12 months with an adjusted mandate. Most members are open to a mandate renewal for another year. An option, which may be raised, is to extend the mandate for a more limited term.

Key Issues
The key issue for the Council is adjustment of the mandate.  The Secretary-General is expected to suggest streamlining, focusing on political mediation, institutional capacity building and security sector reform. Many Council members will want to be satisfied that this is sufficient for peacebuilding.

Another issue is the frequency of UNOGBIS reporting.  Some members, including Japan, the US and Denmark, support a semi-annual report. Argentina and the African members prefer three months so that Guinea-Bissau stays on the radar screen.

Council Dynamics
Guinea-Bissau is not a high priority. Since Brazil left the Council, no other member has strongly advocated greater attention. Council involvement may decline further next year, particularly as the Group of Friends plays a more active role.

Underlying Problems
Guinea-Bissau’s main crop, cashew nuts, had a poor harvest this year, which threatens an already weak economy.
There is also growing evidence that organised crime gangs are trafficking drugs, arms and undocumented migrants through Guinea-Bissau, raising concerns that the country could become a centre for transnational crime.

UN Documents

 Security Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1580 (22 December 2004) revised and extended the mandate of UNOGBIS.
  • S/RES/1233 (6 April 1999) supported the decision of the Secretary-General to establish UNOGBIS
 Reports and Letters of the Secretary-General
  • S/2006/790 (2 October 2006) was the letter informing the Council that Shola Omoregie would be the new representative.
  • S/2006/783 (29 September 2006) was the latest report.
  • S/2005/795 (2 December 2005) was the letter recommending extension and modification of the UNOGBIS mandate till 31 December 2006.
  • S/1999/232 (26 February 1999) included the proposal to establish UNOGBIS.
 Security Council President’s Letters
  • S/2006/791 (5 October 2006) took note of the new Representative.
  • S/2005/796 (15 December 2005) took note of the Secretary-General’s intention to extend UNOGBIS till 31 December 2006.

For historical background and a more complete list of UN documents please see our 23 December 2005 Update and March 2006 Forecast.

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