4 December 2012
Press Conference

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for December


The Security Council in December planned to intensify its focus on the Sahel, particularly the crisis in Mali, along with continued consideration of a range of situations around the world, the Permanent Representative of Morocco said as he briefed correspondents at Headquarters on the programme of work for his country’s presidency of the body.


Peace and security in Africa, with a focus on the Sahel, was one of the priorities that Morocco had put forward for its presidency, Mohammed Loulichki said.  A 10 December meeting, at the ministerial level, would be an opportunity to strengthen the Organization’s response to the multiple challenges that faced the countries of the region, he added, noting that the Secretary-General, as well as his Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, were expected to brief.  The Council was looking forward to an outcome in the form of a presidential statement. 


As well, he continued, a briefing specifically on Mali was planned for tomorrow with Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman addressing the Council on developments in the political process and the request of regional organizations for an international military force to be deployed to the insurgency-plagued North.  The Council would discuss the details of that request in light of materials submitted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union.


Responding to questions on Mali, he said that there was a draft resolution on the crisis in process, but it would be premature to predict what decision would be taken on it.  In his national capacity, he pointed out that the situation required urgent action and he hoped the Council would be in a position to adopt a resolution by 20 December, at which time the body was planning to break for the holidays.


Other priorities put forward by his country, as a major troop contributor, included a review on 12 December of peacekeeping practices that focused on enhancing effectiveness, he said.  Also scheduled was an open debate on post-conflict peacebuilding on 20 December, considering components such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, security sector reform, reconciliation, capacity-building and socio-economic development.  A presidential statement for the latter meeting would be expected.


Running through the rest of the programme chronologically, he said that on the first day of December, a press statement had been issued welcoming progress in normalization of relations between Iraq and Kuwait.  Today, there would be a briefing on Yemen.  On 6 December, there would be consultations on Sudan and South Sudan, he added, commenting that expectations for progress had risen as the two countries were seen to be in a dynamic that could pave the way for resolving pending issues.


Also planned on 7 December were the regular December briefings by the five Council members who would be ending their terms chairing subsidiary bodies of the Council.  Consultations on Guinea Bissau and related sanctions would take place on 11 December.  Consultations on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria would then follow on 17 December.  A briefing by the Office in Central Africa on the Lord’s Resistance Army and other issues would take place on 19 December.


He said, in response to questions, that he expected a new dynamic in the regular briefing on the Middle East, given the agreement to end the violence in Gaza, which included terms of lifting the blockade, as well as the upgraded status of Palestine in the Organization and the subsequent Israeli announcement of new settlement building, about which the Observer of Palestine had sent a letter to the Council.  The briefing would be held on 19 December.


Depending on developments, the Council would also be prepared to meet on non-proliferation, including in regard to any new launchings by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said in reply to further questions, but he refused to speculate on what actions might be taken.   The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could also come up at any time, he added, reporting that after the recent adoption of what he called a strong resolution on the issue, there was a dynamic of dialogue taking place in the region.  However, he was not aware of any new letter from the related expert’s panel on external support to the 23 March rebel movement, he replied to a query. 


In answer to questions on Syria, he said that following a briefing a few days ago, Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi was in consultation with various countries; he did not know if Mr. Brahimi would be received again by Syrian President Assad.  “The Security Council is seized with the issue of Syria and could take it up on the initiative of any member,” he said.


* *** *


For information media • not an official record