United Nations Security Council Resolution 1497

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Adopted by the Security Council at its 4803rd meeting, by a vote of 12 to 0, with 3 abstentions (France, Germany, Mexico), on 1 August 2003

The Security Council,

Deeply concerned over the conflict in Liberia and its effects on the humanitarian situation, including the tragic loss of countless innocent lives, in that country, and its destabilizing effect on the region,

Stressing the need to create a secure environment that enables respect for human rights, including the well-being and rehabilitation of children, protects the well-being of civilians, and supports the mission of humanitarian workers;

Reminding the parties of their obligations under the Liberian ceasefire agreement, signed in Accra, 17 June 2003,

Recalling that paragraph 4 of resolution 1343 (2001) demanded that all States take action to prevent armed groups and individuals and groups from using their territory to prepare and commit attacks on neighbouring countries and refrain from any action that might contribute to further destabilization on the borders between Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,

Commending the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in particular its Chairman, President Kufuor of Ghana, for its leadership role in facilitating the achievement of the aforementioned ceasefire agreement, and recognizing the critically important role it has played and necessarily will continue to play in the Liberia peace process, consistent with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations,

Commending also Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo for his efforts to bring peace to Liberia,

Recalling further the 30 June 2003 request of the Secretary-General to the Security Council to authorize the deployment of a Multinational Force to Liberia,

Determining that the situation in Liberia constitutes a threat to international peace and security, to stability in the West Africa subregion, and to the peace process for Liberia;

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Authorizes Member States to establish a Multinational Force in Liberia to support the implementation of the 17 June 2003 ceasefire agreement, including establishing conditions for initial stages of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities, to help establish and maintain security in the period after the departure of the current President and the installation of a successor authority taking into account the agreements to be reached by the Liberian parties, and to secure the environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and to prepare for the introduction of a longer-term United Nations stabilization force to relieve the Multinational Force;

2. Declares its readiness to establish such a follow-on United Nations stabilization force to support the transitional government and to assist in the implementation of a comprehensive peace agreement for Liberia and requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council recommendations for the size, structure, and mandate of this force preferably by 15 August 2003 and subsequent deployment of the United Nations force no later than 1 October 2003;

3. Authorizes UNAMSIL to extend the necessary logistical support, for a limited period of up to 30 days, to the forward ECOWAS elements of the Multinational Force, without prejudicing UNAMSIL’s operational capability with respect to its mandate in Sierra Leone;

4. Requests the Secretary-General, pending a decision by the Security Council on the establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Liberia, to take the necessary steps, including the necessary logistical support to the ECOWAS elements of the Multinational Force, and pre-positioning critical logistical and personnel requirements to facilitate the rapid deployment of the envisaged operation;

5. Authorizes the Member States participating in the Multinational Force in Liberia to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate;

6. Calls upon Member States to contribute personnel, equipment, and other resources to the Multinational Force; and stresses that the expenses of the Multinational Force will be borne by the participating Member States and other voluntary contributions;

7. Decides that current or former officials or personnel from a contributing State, which is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of that contributing State for all alleged acts or omissions arising out of or related to the Multinational Force or United Nations stabilization force in Liberia, unless such exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by that contributing State;

8. Decides that the measures imposed by paragraphs 5 (a) and 5 (b) of resolution 1343 (2001) shall not apply to supplies of arms and related materiel and technical training and assistance intended solely for support of and use by the Multinational Force;

9. Demands that all States in the region refrain from any action that might contribute to instability in Liberia or on the borders between Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire;

10. Calls on the Liberian parties to cooperate with the Joint Verification Team and Joint Monitoring Commission as established under the 17 June 2003 ceasefire agreement;

11. Further calls on all Liberian parties and Member States to cooperate fully with the Multinational Force in Liberia in the execution of its mandate and to respect the security and freedom of movement of the Multinational Force, as well as to ensure the safe and unimpeded access of international humanitarian personnel to populations in need in Liberia;

12. Stresses the urgent need for all Liberian parties who are signatories to the 17 June ceasefire agreement, in particular the LURD and MODEL leadership, immediately and scrupulously to uphold the 17 June ceasefire agreement, to cease using violent means and to agree as soon as possible to an all-inclusive political framework for a transitional government until such a time when free and fair elections can be held and notes that critical to this endeavour is the fulfilment of the commitment to depart from Liberia made by President Charles Taylor;

13. Urges the LURD and MODEL to refrain from any attempt to seize power by force, bearing in mind the position of the African Union on unconstitutional changes of government as stated in the 1999 Algiers Decision and the 2000 Lome Declaration;

14. Decides to review the implementation of this resolution within 30 days of adoption to consider the report and recommendations of the Secretary-General called for in paragraph 2 and consider further steps that might be necessary;

15. Requests that the Secretary-General through his Special Representative to report to the Council periodically on the situation in Liberia in relation to the implementation of this resolution, including information on implementation by the Multinational Force of its mandate;

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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