Security Council Meeting on Sierra Leone

08.06.2009

I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report. I would also like to thank the Secretary General's Executive Representative Mr. Micheal Von Der Schulenburg, Ambassador John McNee, Chairperson of Sierra Leone Country-specific Configuration of the Peace Building Commission, as well as the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura for their presentations.



The developments over the past months have shown that the advances which have been made in Sierra Leone in the consolidation of peace, reconciliation and prosperity are still fragile. Nevertheless, the political stakeholders in Sierra Leone have also proved that, when confronted with problems, they are able to rise to the occasion and address their outstanding problems in a peaceful and constructive manner.



Turkey welcomes the Joint Communiqué issued on April 2 in Freetown and is pleased to see that the momentum in the right direction in Sierra Leone has been maintained.



This sets an excellent example not only for Sierra Leone's immediate neighborhood but also for Africa in general. Turkey applauds both the Government and the opposition for showing leadership in the face of adversity. We also congratulate UNIPSIL for continuing to play a crucial role in the consolidation of progress in what was once a war torn nation.



Sierra Leone still faces important challenges and there is much work to be done. The tasks of concurrently fighting corruption, drug trafficking and youth unemployment cannot be taken lightly. Turkey believes that with the support of UNIPSIL and the international community, the Sierra Leonean Government can effectively surmount these obstacles. In this vein, we call on the international community to keep supporting Sierra Leone as it successfully navigates through the challenges and difficulties it faces.