UN Won't Lift Liberia Sanctions Yet

October 8, 2004

UN Won't Lift Liberia Sanctions Yet

While Liberia has made progress in conforming to international regimes for its diamond and timber trade, the conditions are still not ripe for lifting sanctions against those industries in the West African nation, the president of the United Nations Security Council said on Oct. 7.

Council members "again emphasized that the continuation of sanctions was not punitive, but only meant to consolidate the peace," Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry of the United Kingdom said in a statement to the press after the Council had heard a closed-door briefing on the mid-term report of an expert panel monitoring compliance with the measures. "They called on the Government to take the necessary steps for meeting the benchmarks and looked forward to further progress," he added.

The members of the Council noted with satisfaction that no violations of the diamonds and timber sanctions were reported during the period under review, and appreciated the efforts of the National Transitional Government of Liberia towards meeting the goals identified for the lifting of sanctions, Ambassador Jones Parry said.

In welcoming the progress in the diamonds sector, the Council noted that the lack of funding was impeding further steps for the establishment of an effective, transparent and internationally verifiable certificate of origin regime, said Ambassador Jones Parry. "The members of the Council underlined that adequate and timely assistance was crucial to enable the government to meet the conditions for lifting of diamonds and timber sanctions, They reiterated their call on states, relevant organizations and others with the capacity to do so to provide such assistance."

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