Tuesday, March 20, 2007


UNITED NATIONS - 20 March 2007 -- A delegation from the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission – the body created in 2005 to focus on reconstruction, institution-building and the promotion of sustainable development in post-conflict countries – kicked off its first-ever mission to a country on its agenda today when a team arrived in Sierra Leone.

On the trip, which runs until 25 March, the group intends to evaluate the situation in the country and identify obstacles to peacebuilding, the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Michele Montas, told reporters.

The seven-member delegation will also aim to see how the Commission “can best support national peacebuilding efforts” and 

“bring increased attention to ongoing peacebuilding efforts in Sierra Leone,” she added.

Ambassador Frank Majoor of the Netherlands is leading the delegation, and its other members include Alpha Ibrahima Sow, Ambassador of Guinea; Leslie Christian, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ghana; Amir Muharemi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Croatia; Piragibe dos Santos Tarrago, Deputy Permanent Representative of Brazil.

Representatives from India, China and the European Commission will be joining the delegation in Freetown, the capital.

Earlier this month, Sierra Leone, ravaged by an 11-year civil war, received $35 million from the UN Peacebuilding Fund, established from voluntary contributions to aid countries which have recently emerged from war from slipping back into conflict.

In another development, Lovelore Munlo, the Registrar for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, announced last week that he is leaving his position, saying “the time has come to move on.”

Mr. Munlo became interim Registrar October 2005, and was appointed Registrar last February by the Secretary-General.

During his tenure, the Special Court concluded an agreement with the Government of the Netherlands and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to allow the Special Court to try former Liberian President Charles Taylor in The Hague.

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