28 May 1998


Press Release
SC/6522/Rev.1*



SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES AD HOC WORKING GROUP TO REVIEW SECRETARY-GENERAL'S RECOMMENDATIONS ON MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA

19980528
Resolution 1170 (1998) Adopted Unanimously; Working Group, Comprised of All Council Members, To Convene for Six Months

Expressing grave concern that the continuation of armed conflicts in Africa threatens regional peace, the Security Council this morning decided to establish an ad hoc working group to review all the Secretary-General's recommendations related to the maintenance of international peace and security in Africa, as proposed in his report of 13 April, on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.

The Secretary-General's report (document A/52/871-S/1998/318), requested by the Council at a ministerial meeting it convened on 25 September 1997, addresses the sources of conflict in the continent, ways to prevent and address those conflicts and how to lay the foundation for durable peace and sustainable development following their resolution. Its key recommendations concern arms and arms trafficking, sanctions, refugees, structural adjustment, development assistance, debt and trade, the Security Council and international business and practices. (For further information, see Press Release SG/2045- AFR/50-SC/6501 of 15 April.)

Unanimously adopting resolution 1170 (1998), the Council decided that the working group, would be convened for a period of six months and would comprise all its members. Its tasks are to prepare a framework for the implementation of the Secretary-General's recommendations and submit specific proposals for concrete action for consideration by the Council by September. The Council also expressed its intention to convene at the ministerial level on a biennial basis, beginning in September and subsequently as needed, in order to assess progress in promoting peace and security in Africa.

Also by the resolution, the Council stressed the importance of appropriate consultations and cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on the follow-up to the report. The Council welcomed the contributions of the OAU to conflict prevention and resolution in Africa, including its Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, as well as those of subregional arrangements. It also welcomed the efforts made


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by Member States, regional organization and the United Nations to enhance the capacity of African States to contribute to peacekeeping operations, in accordance with the United Nations Charter.

Stressing that the challenges in Africa demanded a comprehensive response, the Council expressed the hope that the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the relevant United Nations bodies, regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions, as well as Member States, would consider the Secretary-General's report and its recommendations and take action within their areas of competence. It invited Member States and regional organizations to provide assistance to the OAU's Mechanism in order to enhance its capacity in the anticipation and prevention of conflicts.

Further by the resolution, the Council expressed concern that the use of mercenaries and presence of armed militias continued to contribute to instability in Africa. Emphasizing the destabilizing effects of the illicit transfer of arms, the Council urged the governments concerned to combat the trafficking of such weapons.

The Secretary-General was asked to keep the Council regularly informed of the efforts being undertaken by the United Nations system in implementing his recommendations. He was also encouraged to continue to take concrete actions aimed at enhancing the capacity of the OAU to anticipate and prevent conflicts in Africa.

The meeting, which began at 11:49 a.m., was adjourned at 11:51 a.m.

Text of Resolution

The text of resolution 1170 (1998) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Recalling the statement of its President of 25 September 1997 (S/PRST/1997/46),

"Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 13 April 1998 submitted to the General Assembly (A/52/871) and to the Security Council (S/1998/318) in accordance with the above-mentioned statement,

"Fully supporting the engagement of the United Nations in Africa through its diplomatic, peacekeeping, humanitarian, economic development and other activities,

"Reaffirming the principles of political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States,


Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6522/Rev.1 3886th Meeting (AM) 28 May 1998

"Reaffirming also the obligation of all Member States to settle their disputes by peaceful means and stressing its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, "Recalling the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations on regional arrangements,

"Mindful of the Cairo Declaration of 1993 (A/48/322, annex II), which stipulated that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution would have as a primary objective the anticipation and prevention of conflicts,

"Recognizing that the adoption of the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty (A/50/426), declaring Africa a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, is an important contribution to the promotion of regional peace and security, and to global efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament,

"Gravely concerned that the continuation of armed conflicts in the continent threatens regional peace, causes massive human displacement, suffering and poverty, perpetuates instability and diverts scarce resources from long-term development,

"Recognizing the importance of the commitment of the United Nations through its Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other United Nations agencies and of humanitarian organizations to assist the efforts of African States to address humanitarian and refugee crises in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law,

"Stressing the close linkage between international peace and security and sustainable development,

"Noting that African States have made significant strides towards democratization, economic reform, and respect for and protection of human rights and stressing the importance of promoting political stability, peace and sustainable development,

"Stressing the importance of promoting good governance, the rule of law and sustainable development as essential factors in the prevention of conflicts in Africa,

"Expressing concern that the use of mercenaries and presence of armed militias continues to contribute to instability in Africa,

"Emphasizing the destabilizing effects of the illicit transfer of arms, especially small arms, and urging Governments concerned to combat the trafficking of such weapons,

Security Council - 4 - Press Release SC/6522/Rev.1 3886th Meeting (AM) 28 May 1998

"1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 13 April 1998 and the comprehensive recommendations contained therein, and commends the Secretary-General for his efforts to address the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa, and for the steps he is taking to reinforce the role of the United Nations system towards these ends;

"2. Stresses that the challenges in Africa demand a comprehensive response and, in this context, expresses the hope that the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, other relevant bodies of the United Nations, regional and subregional organizations, international financial institutions and other relevant organizations, as well as Member States, will consider the report and its recommendations and take action as they deem appropriate within their respective areas of competence;

"3. Notes the important role of the Secretary-General in coordinating the work of the United Nations agencies concerned in the implementation of the recommendations in his report, and requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed of the efforts being undertaken by the agencies and other bodies of the United Nations system in this regard;

"4. Decides to establish an ad hoc Working Group, comprised of all members of the Council, for a period of six months, to review all recommendations in the report related to the maintenance of international peace and security, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, and in that context, to prepare a framework for the implementation of recommendations, as appropriate, and to submit specific proposals for concrete action for consideration by the Council by September 1998;

"5. Expresses its intention to convene at the ministerial level on a biennial basis, beginning in September 1998 and subsequently as needed, in order to assess progress in promoting peace and security in Africa;

"6. Stresses the importance of appropriate consultations and cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU on the follow-up to the report;

"7. Welcomes the important contributions of the OAU to conflict prevention and resolution in Africa, including its Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution, as well as those of subregional arrangements;

"8. Welcomes also the efforts made by Member States, regional organizations and the United Nations to enhance the capacity of African States to contribute to peacekeeping operations in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

Security Council - 5 - Press Release SC/6522/Rev.1 3886th Meeting (AM) 28 May 1998

"9. Invites Member States and regional organizations to provide assistance to the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution to enhance its capacity in the anticipation and prevention of conflicts;

"10. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to take concrete actions aimed at enhancing the OAU capacity to anticipate and prevent conflicts in Africa, on the basis of the United Nations-Organization of African Unity Cooperation Agreement of 15 November 1965;

"11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."

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