Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Guinea-Bissau

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 14, 2020


Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, Special Representative for your briefing this morning and for your tireless efforts to further peace and security in Guinea-Bissau. Ambassador Costa Filho, we also extend our thanks and a warm welcome as you take up your new role here in New York.

The United States commends Guinea-Bissau for having held peaceful first round and run-off elections in December, with the help of the international community. Free, fair, and transparent elections are the cornerstone of democracy, and we are encouraged by how far Guinea-Bissau has come in empowering its citizens to choose their own leaders. No matter the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling, the United States will continue to support democratic institutions and the rule of law in Guinea-Bissau. As a friend and as partner, the United States looks forward to working with the President-elect to help the country carry out its reform agenda, advance peace and security, address corruption and narcotics trafficking, strengthen democratic governance, and spur economic growth and development. We also look forward to continuing to work with the Special Representative, UNIOGBIS, the AU, the EU, the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries, and ECOWAS on these shared priorities. Each has played a critical role in moderating Guinea-Bissau’s electoral process.

The United States is also concerned by the drug trafficking and transnational organized crime that threatens stability in Guinea-Bissau and in the broader region. We welcome the opportunity to work with UNIOGBIS and with the people of Guinea-Bissau to prevent the spread of these destructive operations. We recognize that UNIOGBIS is facilitating valuable programming in support of counter-trafficking efforts in Guinea-Bissau, and we underscore the need for the UN to continue this important work, even as UNIOGBIS draws down and the UN country team assumes additional responsibilities. We continue to support the proposal of the Secretary-General to conclude UNIOGBIS by the end of 2020 and are pleased to hear the schedule for withdrawal remains in place.

Thank you, Mr. President.