Thank you very much, Mr. President.
The United States wishes to thank Cote d’Ivoire for its steadfast work as penholder for this resolution. And we also wish to thank our fellow Council members for their collaboration during the negotiations.
Mr. President, the United States believes the resolution we have just adopted will bring about a real improvement to the integrated mission in Guinea-Bissau. With a streamlined mandate, the mission can focus even more on its good offices to help deliver an end to the stalemate that has frustrated this Council, but, more importantly, has hurt the citizens of Guinea-Bissau for far too long. This stalemate, Mr. President, was created by selfishness and intransigence. We again call on President Vaz, Prime Minister Silva, PAIGC leader Pereira, and others in the Bissau-Guinean leadership to work together for the sake of their people and forge consensus to get government working again.
Guinea-Bissau’s leaders have had many chances to fix the government gridlock since the Conakry Agreement was signed in October 2016. They have ignored these chances and have taken actions that purposefully contradicted the agreement. ECOWAS’ bold move to push those impeding the process through targeted sanctions comes from a desire to induce them to become part of the solution instead. As it did in The Gambia, ECOWAS is proving to be a vanguard example for regional organizations everywhere and its willingness to take significant, and challenging, steps to improve lives across West Africa.
Mr. President, as I said in this chamber two weeks ago, time is running out, and our patience has expired. Guinea-Bissau’s leaders must make this time different and come out and do what is right.
Thank you very much.