The prolonged political paralysis within Guinea -Bissau over the last 12 months has highlighted the fragility of State institutions, albeit within the framework of the recently restored constitutional order. Ambiguity in interpretation of the separation of powers has led to the frequent changes of Government during this period. This has undermined political cooperation between the President, the Prime Minister and the President of the National Assembly, and has stalled the country’s reform agenda, aggravating donor fatigue. Reforms, especially in the justice, security and defence sectors, are not only critical for the ongoing stability of Guinea-Bissau, but are the preconditions for renewed engagement and financial assistance from international partners.
22. The recommendations on the continuation of United Nations sanctions contained in my previous report ( S/2005/619) remain valid and relevant to the deteriorating political situation in Guinea -Bissau. The Security Council may wish to maintain the current designation criteria and send a clear message to all citizens of Guinea-Bissau that the sanctions regime is applicable to all spoilers, regardless of their political or institutional affiliation, and that the Council is ready to give consideration to further enhancing sanctions measures and designations as and when required. The Council could also consider the e stablishment of a panel of experts in order to deepen the information base for more targeted and effective sanctions. Such a panel could also serve to promote greater awareness of the sanctions regime inside the country. The Panel’s existence would also serve as a deterrent by signalling to would-be political spoilers that the Council is closely monitoring developments in Guinea-Bissau. Should the Council decide to establish such a panel, it could be mandated to identify those who meet the designation crite ria for targeted measures.
23. The reported death in 2016 of one of the still -listed individuals and the appointment of another one to an important judicial position highlight the importance for the Security Council and its 2048 (2012) Sanctions Committee of reviewing the sanctions list in order to maintain the credibility of the regime. The establishment of a panel of experts, as proposed above, could assist in that process. Such a review could also be timed to coincide with consideration of key benchmarks, the completion of which might enable sanctions measures to be further adjusted, expanded or lifted. The establishment of benchmarks would send an important signal to designated individuals that there is a path to delisting.
24. Throughout this period of political instability within Guinea -Bissau, the Security Council has remained actively engaged and consistently responded to key political developments in Guinea-Bissau, expressing concern about political tensions and calling for continued respect for the rule of law and the promotion of inclusive dialogue to resolve the political impasse. 3 Direct engagement by the 2048 (2012) Sanctions Committee with local, regional and international actors, as well as United Nations system partners, would signal to the po pulation an increased level of attention by the Council. The Council undertook a mission to Guinea -Bissau, on 7 March 2016, its first in more than a decade, in order to assess the situation.
3 See Security Council press statements on the situation in Guinea -Bissau (SC/12005, 12 August 2015); (SC/12007, 14 August 2015); (SC/12054, 21 September __________________