The UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement on Friday, voicing concerns about drug trafficking and organized crime in Guinea-Bissau, a country in western Africa.
In the statement read out by Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian of Ghana, the council's president for October, council members called for the United Nations to examine how it could boost its support of the country's attempts to fight crime.
"The Security Council is especially concerned over the security and safety of Bissau-Guinean officials involved in combating drug trafficking and organized crime," Christian said, stressing the need for concerted steps to protect those officials.
The statement welcomed the decision of the Economic Community of West African States to hold a regional meeting on drug trafficking later this year, as well as plans to hold an international conference in Lisbon this December that will focus specifically on the impact of trafficking on Guinea-Bissau.
The council also agreed to consider the government's request that Guinea-Bissau be included on the agenda of the UN Peace building Commission, set up a year ago to help countries emerging from conflict avoid sliding back into war or chaos. So far, the commission has been focusing on Burundi and Sierra Leone.
The statement followed the report earlier this month of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the latest activities of the UN Peace building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau, in which he warned that drug trade was entrenching organized crime and reducing respect for the rule of law.
"There is no reliable data on drug seizures, the volume of drugs in transit through Guinea-Bissau or the local consumption of narcotics," Ban wrote. "However, there is a growing consensus that Guinea-Bissau is a major drug trafficking transit point in the subregion."