The DRC, Liberia

 

Statement by the President of the Security Council, Ambassador James B. Cunningham, Acting United

States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at the Security Council Stake-Out, May 2, 2001

 

Ambassador Cunningham: In the Security Council this morning, we went over the program of work for the

Council this month and have agreed on what we'll be doing in the course of the U.S. presidency. We also heard a

briefing from Mr. Annabi to follow up on the murders of the six ICRC workers in Congo. This is a subject of

great interest to the Council and it has obvious connections to what we are trying to achieve in the Congo. We

will be following this and hoping that those who can be, are engaged in finding the people responsible and holding

them accountable. We'll keep this on our agenda and as I told the Secretariat and the Council members it's

something that we should not forget. We should try to follow this up and see that some measure of justice is done

here.

 

Tomorrow we'll start off the month it will be heavily Africa oriented as is not unusual for the Council -- we'll

start off the month with an open meeting on the Panel Report on the exploitation of resources in the Congo. We'll

have the Foreign Minister of the DRC here as well as Ministers of State from Uganda and Rwanda. All three of

them will speak to the Council and present their views about the Panel Report and we will hear commentary from

members of the Council and then we will go on from there. It will be an important element as a background for

the Council mission to Congo, in the middle of this month, which will then come back and report. We will then

discuss the next steps that the Council might take to support the peace process in the Congo and to support

MONUC.

 

I won't go through the whole agenda. You've seen the program of work. We'll have a busy month which will be

complicated by the welcome fact that the Council mission will be underway in the Congo, complicated in the

sense that there will be a period here when a lot of perm reps will be gone. But we'll also be continuing to work

through that week and then looking forward to hearing their report.

 

Questions?

 

Reporter: Could you tell us when Liberia is scheduled?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: The discussion on Liberia will take place on Friday morning.

 

Reporter: Is there going to be any kind of a public meeting?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: No, there won't be a public meeting. On Friday we'll hear from Ambassador

Mahbubani, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, who has traveled in the region. He'll be reporting to us

and we'll discuss the Secretary General's report, as is called for in the resolution. We'll be reviewing the measures

that have been taken so far and reviewing comments on Liberia's compliance with the resolution and at the end of

that discussion we'll see where we go.

 

Reporter: Originally I thought the panel would do a bit more investigation. Is the only investigation that is now

available on Liberian compliance that of ECOWAS in the report?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: The Secretary General produced his report based on input from a number of

sources. I can't list them.

 

Reporter: Other than ECOWAS?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: He has a report from his own people on the ground, from talking to countries in the

region, from his various representatives as well as ECOWAS -- so all of that is reflected in the report.

 

Reporter: So, the report is the only information you have, is that correct?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: And whatever information that nations want to offer in the course of the discussion.

 

Reporter: Is it correct that if the Council takes no action that the sanctions automatically go into effect on May

7th?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: That's correct.

 

Reporter: I heard that on May 8th or May 9th you'll have discussion on Kosovo. What is the reason?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: There's no particular reason. We periodically discuss the situation in Kosovo

because it's an important part of our work and this meeting is part of that regular up-dating process. We'll get a

briefing from the Secretariat. We will do it in an open session so other members can come and offer their thoughts

on events there. But there is no specific driving event - it's just a matter of ongoing concern.

 

Reporter: And when will the Council be taking up Lebanon?

 

Ambassador Cunningham: We'll be taking up UNIFIL on the 15th of May. We'll be reviewing the Secretary

General's report. There's no action required. This is kind of an information point looking forward to the UNIFIL

mandate next month.

 

Thank you.