|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6457th Meeting* (AM)
Elected Members of Security Council Wrap Up Tenure,
Brief on Accomplishments of Subsidiary Bodies
The outgoing members of the Security Council — Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda — delivered briefings this morning on the work of subsidiary bodies they had chaired during their two-year tenure.
Austria’s Representative reported on the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005), which had placed sanctions on those “impeding the peace process” in Darfur, as well as the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals.
The representative of Japan described the activities of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), which had placed sanctions on Iran related to its nuclear programme, the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and the Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions.
Mexico’s representative briefed on the Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea, and on the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.
Turkey’s representative reported on the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006), which had imposed a set of sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the aftermath of that nation's claimed nuclear weapons test, and on the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) that aimed to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts.
Finally, the representative of Uganda described the activities of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.
In addition to describing the activities of each of their committees, the outgoing Committee Chairs offered recommendations for the future operations of each of the groups. Turkey’s representative, in the context of the sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, reminded Council Members and others that all sanctions regimes required determined and sustained efforts on the part of the entire membership of the United Nations. He called for full cooperation with the Security Council Committees in that regard.
As the meeting concluded, Rosemary DiCarlo of the United States, whose delegation holds the Council presidency for December, thanked the outgoing Chairs for their work over the past two years.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 11:03 a.m.
The representatives of the five outgoing non-permanent members of the Security Council — Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda — today briefed the Council on the subsidiary bodies they have chaired.
THOMAS MAYR-HARTING (Austria), noting that he had provided a briefing to the Council on the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) regarding Al-Qaida and the Taliban on 15 November, reiterated that if, under current Committee guidelines, consensus could not be reached, any de-listing request might be submitted to the Council for review and a majority decision. The procedure of the triennial reviews could be changed to require a positive re-confirmation of each list entry under review, which would introduce a time limit for the listings and put an end to the question of whether the sanctions regime was punitive or preventative in nature.
Turning to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1592 (2005) concerning the Sudan, he recalled having shared personal observations on 15 November, saying it was not easy to monitor an embargo that covered part of a territory of a State where arms were used regularly while Council members’ interpretation of the role of sanctions in resolving the conflict differed. Resolution 1945 (2010) had been an important step in clarifying the embargo exemptions. A common interpretation of the sanctions regime would be helpful.
He said that a main objective of the Committee over the past two years had been to promote dialogue between the Committee and all relevant stakeholders. To that end, he had maintained useful contact with relevant Permanent Representatives. He had also maintained dialogue with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and close contact with Department of Peacekeeping Operations, in order to facilitate the work of the Panel of Experts. Headway had also been made regarding contacts with the private sector, but more needed done to increase due diligence and awareness among companies doing business in the Sudan, particularly in Darfur.
No persons or entities had been designated to the list regarding the travel ban and assets freeze since adoption of resolution 1672 (2006). He considered, however, that those responsible for attacks against UNAMID and the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) should be considered for listing in the future, as should those individuals who committed sexual and gender-based violence. It would facilitate the work of the Committee if the confidential annexes to reports received by the Committee remained confidential.
Briefing on the informal working group on international tribunals, he said 26 meetings had been held in 2009 and 25 in 2010. Close dialogue had been maintained with the representatives of the affected and the host countries. In October 2009, the Austrian Mission had organized an Arria formula meeting on residual issues of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He had briefed the Council on activities of the Working Group, and the Group’s annual reports had been published. The Group had considered requests to facilitate their completion strategies.
He said that after more than two years of negotiations, final agreement on the establishment of an international residual mechanism for the criminal tribunals was now within reach, addressing the trail of fugitives, management of archives, protection of witnesses and supervision of enforcement of sentences. A resolution in that regard, adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, would send a strong message against impunity that high-level fugitives indicted by the Tribunals could not hide out and escape justice. He was optimistic that the draft resolution could be adopted before the end of the year.
TSUNEO NISHIDA (Japan) Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006), of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and of the Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions, said that he had recently briefed on the 1737 Committee, so he would concentrate his remarks on the other two Groups.
The overarching theme of the peacekeeping working group, he said, was filling the gaps between the Security Council mandates and the actual implementation on the ground. As stated in the last report, its most important contribution was bringing Council members closer to major troop and police contributing countries and the Secretariat. The interactive dialogue among a wide range of stakeholders at meetings had enhanced transparency and accountability in the work of the Council. It also provided opportunities to create some common ground to meet various challenges.
On the way forward, the report, he said, encouraged more inclusive dialogue among stakeholders, especially on the establishment, renewal or modification of the mandate of a peacekeeping operation. Addressing critical gaps affecting mandate implementation and building common ground on peacekeeping tasks to prepare for transition and exits were other priorities addressed in the report.
On the procedural Working Group, he said that the Group initially worked on improving the implementation of previously agreed measures to improve the Council’s working methods, focusing on the Council’s interaction with non-members and other entities, enhancing dialogue with the troop and police contributing countries, format of Council meetings, Council missions and the timing of the issuance of the Secretary-General’s reports.
He said he hoped that the Council would hold more open debates on working methods, such as the one held in April this year under Japan’s presidency. Taking note of views expressed in that debate, the Group had worked to revise presidential note 507, resulting in a new note that gave particular significance to interaction with non-Council members and other relevant entities.
Hopefully, that Group would continue its efforts in enhancing transparency, efficiency and interaction with non-Council members in the coming years, he said. A new blue book, with the new 507 note and other useful documents, was a friendly guide to the working methods of the Council and was now available to delegations.
CLAUDE HELLER (Mexico), briefing on the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea, said many challenges had been faced that reflected the difficult situation in the Horn of Africa. The Committee’s mandate had been extended to cover the sanctions regime against Eritrea. He had led a mission to the Horn of Africa in April, joined by delegations of the United States and Turkey, during which he had consulted with authorities and other relevant actors from Yemen, Eritrea and Kenya. He had also met with representatives of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and of Puntland. He had also convened a high-level meeting in New York with representatives of Eritrea and Djibouti and he held meetings with representatives of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and others.
He said that the Committee had added various names of individuals and entities to the consolidated list. More than 20 decisions had been adopted on exemptions to the sanctions regime in support of humanitarian assistance efforts and the Somalia Government. It was important that in the future, the Committee Chair kept the Council membership and the Secretariat duly informed of technical and substantial aspects of both sanctions regimes. The Council should use clearer language in its resolutions regarding cooperation between the various bodies of the Organization. Greater clarity was needed on issues such as the formal capacity of the Committee to respond to questions raised, for instance, the lack of provisions concerning arms carried by security staff accompanying delegations visiting Somalia.
Concerning the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) regarding the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he noted that the Council had been briefed on 15 November, but reiterated that, among the three categories of weapons of mass destruction, the Committee had identified the fewest measures regarding biological weapons. There was a pressing need to enhance cooperation with international entities regarding exchange of information. Stressing that implementation of that resolution by States depended on the available capacities of States, and the Committee must continue efforts to ensure that requests for and offers of assistance were coordinated. The appointment of a coordinator in that regard would be first step. He also suggested that the Committee’s mandate should be extended for 10 years instead of three, in order to address a long-term strategy.
Turning to the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, he said two thematic debates had been organized and two presidential statements adopted. The adoption of resolution 1882 (2009) had been a milestone as it had extended the criteria for listing of parties to armed conflict that recruited children to those who used mutilation and sexual violation of children. An Arria formula meeting had been convened to strengthen cooperation with non-governmental organizations.
He said the Working Group had adopted 11 conclusions and recommendations regarding Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Uganda, Colombia, Philippines and Nepal. The Group’s first field mission, from 22 to 26 November, had gone to Nepal, in order to take stock of progress made following signing of the plan of action by the Government and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist. The mission had met with representatives of the Government, the military leadership and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist, as well as with representatives of civil society, among others. He suggested that the Working Group should maintain its practice of field missions.
ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) and of the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004), said that he had recently briefed on both committees and would therefore keep his remarks short. He had tried to make the work of the Counter-terrorism committee more visible around the world, through meetings and seminars at many levels, including at the regional level, and therefore the Committee had a much better idea of regional challenges. The Committee should continue its strategic approach. Prevention of and incitement to terrorism were two areas that required greater attention.
On the 1718 Committee, he said that among its achievements had been the identification of new entities associated with the nuclear programmes of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He encouraged the committee to implement the new programme of work in the most effective way. He commended Member States who had acted in a responsible manner in reporting possible sanctions violations, and noted that implementation of any sanctions regime required determined and sustained efforts. Much had been done to make the 1718 sanctions effective, but it was not enough — latest developments in that country were a reminder of that. He hoped that all stakeholders would continue to cooperate fully with the Committee.
RUHAKANA RUGUNDA (Uganda), briefing on the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, said the Working Group’s priorities included: considering how conflict early warning and response mechanisms could be made more effective; how countries emerging from conflict could be better supported to build sustainable peace and avoid relapse into conflict; strengthening the working relationship between the Council and the African Union on conflict prevention and resolution in Africa; and the African Union-United Nations Strategic Partnership on Security Sector Reform.
He said the Working Group had held four meetings in 2010. On 20 July, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs had briefed the Group on the proposed establishment of a United Nations Office in Central Africa. On 16 August, the Working Group had held an open interactive panel discussion on the role of conflict early warning mechanisms in the prevention and resolution of conflicts in Africa, which had provided an opportunity to exchange views with the key practitioners of early warning mechanism.
The Working Group continued to focus on security sector reform as one of the key prerequisites for peace and stability in fragile and post-conflict African countries, he said. On 2 December, the Group had held a panel discussion on the strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations on security sector reform.
He recommended that the practice of holding more open interactive meetings be maintained, as it was an opportunity for participation and input of perspectives by more Member States and stakeholders. It was essential that the Council continued to support conflict prevention and resolution efforts in Africa to reinforce the commitment and resolve shown by the African Union in that regard.
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For information media • not an official record