Leone joined the Council in 2013 and became an important supporter of the
Council's action on country situations. Sierra Leone had one of the strongest
voting records of the African Group in both 2013 and 2014.
2015 Voting Record
Throughout 2014, Sierra Leone continued its principled approach to the Council’s mandate to address country situations by supporting almost all country-specific resolutions at the Council, including the resolutions on Syria, Sri Lanka and North Korea. In two positive moves, Sierra Leone shifted from abstaining to supporting the Belarus resolution, and voted in favor of a new resolution on Ukraine. Sierra Leone also supported all resolutions related to the situation in Palestine and in the occupied Arab territories (OPT). Given this record, Sierra Leone’s continued abstention on the resolution renewing the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iran is a particularly glaring exception to an otherwise strong voting record. Regrettably, Sierra Leone also did not support the joint statements addressing the situations in Bahrain and Egypt in 2014.
Sierra Leone’s contributed significantly to the Council’s work promoting human rights globally. It co-sponsored several country resolutions in addition to the ones supported by the whole African Group, including a Syria resolution, the resolution on Ukraine and the Sri Lanka resolution, where its support was particularly important. Sierra Leone is among the Council members that co-sponsored the largest number of country resolutions overall. Despite this broad engagement, Sierra Leone intervened in the Council’s debates on only a few country situations. When it did intervene, Sierra Leon’s contributions were strongly supportive of the Council’s role in holding perpetrators of human rights violations to account.
Sierra Leone could further strengthen its contribution to the Council by supporting joint statements addressing other situations of concern, such as the ones on Bahrain or on Egypt, and by sponsoring additional country resolutions under Item 4, such as the resolutions on North Korea or Eritrea.
Voting record in 2014
Support for key joint statements in 2014
Sierra Leone voted in favor of all country-specific resolutions put to the vote, except for the resolution on Belarus. Sierra Leone also supported the joint initiative calling for the Security Council to refer the Syrian case to the ICC. However, Sierra Leone did not sign the Swiss joint statements regarding human rights violations in Bahrain. Sierra Leone’s decision not to endorse action on Belarus and Bahrain detracted from its otherwise strong record.
Sierra Leone voted in favor of all the resolutions focusing on the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.
Sierra Leone's commitment to support the Council's work on country situations was best reflected in its memorable statement during the adoption of the resolution on Sri Lanka. The Sierra Leonean delegate explained the need for Sierra Leone to support an approach which is coherent with its own history. The delegate stated:
"As a country that witnessed the bloody and destructive 10-year civil war, a country that has bounced back from that bloody and destructive civil war through genuine reconciliation and accountability - we are compelled to support this resolution..."
"[T]he glaring fact is that the only way that you can bring about meaningful reconciliation, sustainable reconciliation is an end to impunity and meaningful accountability."
In 2013, Sierra Leone co-sponsored 11 country-specific resolutions focusing primarily on situations in African countries under agenda item 10.
In the future, Sierra Leone should consolidate
its very positive engagement in the Council by revisiting
its position on Belarus and Bahrain, and co-sponsoring a broader set of country
resolutions. Sierra Leone should also consider expanding its positive
engagement in the country- specific debates of the Council.