Ethiopia/Eritrea

 

            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 8, 2001

 

      Ambassador Cunningham: A couple of words about our discussion this morning. We talked principally with the

      Special Representative of the Secretary General, Ambassador Legwaila, about the process in Ethiopia/Eritrea.

      We, of course, expressed the strong support for Ambassador Legwala's efforts to achieve progress with the

      parties. Council members were seriously concerned to hear from him that the U.N. Mission in Ethiopia-Eritrea,

      UNMEE, does not currently have the full freedom of movement -- in the Temporary Security Zone and

      particularly in the adjacent 15 kilometer areas -- which UNMEE needs to do its work. It's a fundamental

      condition for its success.

 

      Council members were also very concerned by information on Eritrea's stationing of large numbers of militia in the

      demilitarized Temporary Security Zone, which should be patrolled by a small, appropriate number of civilian

      personnel and police. Council members in the discussion made clear that they expect both parties to demonstrate

      their commitment to the peace process by taking steps to build upon previous success, rather than undermine it.

      And members asked me in my capacity as Security Council President to meet with the Permanent

      Representatives of Eritrea and Ethiopia to express the Council's concerns.

 

      Members also congratulated both Ethiopia and Eritrea and the Secretary General for reaching agreement on the

      composition of the Boundary Commission which is a central element of the agreements and again, something that

      is essential to the process to move forward.

 

      Reporter: Mr. President, can I ask you one other question? Pick you hat – whichever one you want to wear.

      Mr. Kostunica, President of Yugoslavia is here today talking about the position on Kosovo… (inaudible) …he's

      going to Washington tomorrow. What's your view on where things stand and actually what's happening there?

 

      Ambassador Cunningham: Well, I'll answer as Security Council President. We'll be meeting tomorrow morning

      to hear from the Secretary General's Representative Mr. Haekkerup to get his first hand account of where things

      stand and where he thinks the next steps in the process are. I can't really comment on President Kostunica's visit

      to Washington except that it's happening.

 

      Reporter: …(inaudible)…Bosnia, Macedonia, …(inaudible).

 

      Ambassador Cunningham: Well, you know that this is always – it’s an ongoing concern. We've been following

      the situation very closely. I'm sure that will be discussed also in tomorrow's discussion.