On the eve of the election campaign period, commencing on 17th October and ending on 15th November 2012, the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) commends the political parties and all other election stakeholders for the peaceful conduct of their activities and achieving important electoral milestones, including the voter registration and nomination of candidates. UNIPSIL is confident the same spirit of peaceful competition and dialogue will be exhibited by all during the electoral campaign period.
On 18 May 2012, Sierra Leone's elections stakeholders, including the ten registered political parties, the National Electoral Commission, the Sierra Leone Police, the Media, traditional and religious groups and others signed a declaration committing themselves to peaceful elections on 17 November 2012. The signatories to the Declaration re-affirmed their commitment to the independence, professionalism and political impartiality of national institutions. Joining them, the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation undertook to provide equal access to all shades of political opinion, a promise reinforced some weeks later by its own Election Guidelines.
The United Nations Security Council, in its recent resolution 2065 (2012), dated 12 September 2012, welcomed the "Declaration on the 2012 elections" and called for its full implementation, emphasizing that Sierra Leone's political leaders and national institutions bear the primary responsibility for the success of the elections, which would be a key benchmark for the consolidation of peace in Sierra Leone.
As the election campaign period begins today, the United Nations and the wider international community encourage the continued commitment of the people of Sierra Leone, their political leaders and national institutions to pursue constructive political dialogue and non-violence and respect for the rule of law and the country's institutions during the electoral process. The United Nations and the international community as a whole wish to take this opportunity to re-affirm their continued support to national efforts to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections on 17th November, 2012.