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Sierra Leone, UN Peacebuilding Commission agree on cooperation framework

12 December 2007 The Peacebuilding Commission and the Sierra Leonean Government today adopted a cooperation framework that will guide the work of the United Nations advisory body – set up last year to help countries emerging from conflict avert a slide back to war – in the impoverished West African nation over the next three years.

Ambassador Yukio Takaso of Japan, Chairman of the PBC’s Organization Committee, described the adoption of the framework as a milestone, but added that the international community must now marshal its support and resources to ensure that Sierra Leone can achieve tangible results.

The framework outlines some of the key challenges and threats facing Sierra Leone, which endured a brutal civil war through much of the 1990s and early this decade. They include good governance, security and justice sector reform, youth employment, energy sector development and capacity-building.

Victor Angelo, the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative in Sierra Leone, told the PBC meeting that while Sierra Leone was “a success story” in terms of its progress on the humanitarian and security sector fronts, it had not matched that progress in job creation, gender equality or good governance.

But he stressed that the country’s new leadership was committed to working strategically to overcome those hurdles, by addressing the root causes of the civil conflict and by pursuing dialogue with all sides.

The PBC is backed by the Peacebuilding Fund, a multi-year standing trust fund that has so far collected deposits worth almost $144 million from donor countries. Its target is $250 million.

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