SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS MEETING OF WORLD LEADERS ON OCCASION OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY"S MILLENNIUM SUMMIT

7 September 2000
SC/6919

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS MEETING OF WORLD LEADERS ON OCCASION OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY"S MILLENNIUM SUMMIT

7 September 2000

Press ReleaseSC/6919

SECURITY COUNCIL HOLDS MEETING OF WORLD LEADERS ON OCCASION OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY’S MILLENNIUM SUMMIT

20000907

Adopts Declaration on Ensuring Council’s Effective Role In Maintaining International Peace and Security, Especially in Africa

The Security Council this afternoon reaffirmed its determination to give equal priority to the maintenance of international peace and security in every region of the world, and to pay special attention to the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa as well as to the specific characteristics of African conflicts.

Meeting at the level of heads of State and government, the Council took that action as it decided to adopt a declaration on ensuring an effective role for the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa. The Council unanimously adopted resolution 1318 (2000), to which the declaration was attached.

By other terms of the text, the Council decided to continue to take resolute action where the illegal exploitation and trafficking of high-level commodities contributed to the escalation or continuation of conflict. Further, it strongly encouraged the development of comprehensive and integrated strategies to address the root causes of conflicts, including their economic and social dimensions.

Elsewhere in the text, the Council called for effective international action to prevent the illegal flow of small arms in areas of conflict and stressed that the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, war crimes, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law should be brought to justice.

The Council also affirmed its determination to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping operations by: adopting clearly defined, credible, achievable and appropriate mandates; including in those mandates effective measures for the security and safety of United Nations personnel and, wherever feasible, for the protection of the civilian population; taking steps to assist the United Nations to obtain trained and properly equipped personnel for peacekeeping operations; and strengthening consultations with troop-contributing countries.

Underlining the importance of enhancing the United Nations’ rapid deployment capacity, and urging Member States to provide sufficient and timely

Security Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6919 4194th Meeting (PM) 7 September 2000

resources, the Council agreed to support the upgrading of United Nations capacity for planning, establishing, deploying and conducting peacekeeping operations; and the provision of a more up to date and sounder foundation for financing them.

In his introductory remarks, Council President Alpha Oumar Konare (Mali) said that, while the United Nations had achieved some success in maintaining international peace and security, the Organization had suffered some failures over the past 10 years, especially in Africa, where Sierra Leone was the latest example. New initiatives were needed to better meet such challenges. Africa had the means to extricate itself from its problems, but needed to feel it was not alone.

Among the issues highlighted by speakers in today's meeting were the need to provide peacekeeping missions with robust and achievable mandates, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, the security implications of HIV/AIDS, and the need to address the root causes of conflicts.

At the outset of the meeting, Council members observed a minute of silence in memory of the three humanitarian personnel killed in West Timor yesterday.

The Council also adopted a Presidential statement this afternoon, in which it expressed its deep concern at the continuation of hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Speaking during today's meeting were the heads of State or government of the United States, Argentina, China, France, Namibia, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Canada, Jamaica, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Mali. Malaysia was represented by its Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Secretary-General also made a statement.

Today's meeting began at 1:48 p.m. and adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

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Council Work Programme

The Security Council met at the heads of State and government level this afternoon. It had before it a draft resolution and an attached annex on ensuring an effective role for the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa (document S/2000/845).

The text of the draft resolution reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

Decides to adopt the attached declaration on ensuring an effective role for the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa.”

Annex

“The Security Council,

“Meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government in the course of the Millennium Summit to discuss the need to ensure an effective role for the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa,

I

“Pledges to uphold the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, reaffirms its commitment to the principles of sovereign equality, national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States, and underlines the need for respect for human rights and the rule of law;

“Reaffirms the importance of adhering to the principles of the non-threat or non-use of force in international relations in any manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and of peaceful settlement of international disputes;

“Recalls its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and resolves to strengthen the central role of the United Nations in peacekeeping and to ensure the effective functioning of the collective security system established by the Charter;

II

“Pledges to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations in addressing conflict at all stages from prevention to settlement to post-conflict peace- building;

“Reaffirms its determination to give equal priority to the maintenance of international peace and security in every region of the world and, in view of the particular needs of Africa, to give special attention to the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa, and to the specific characteristics of African conflicts;

III

“Strongly encourages the development within the United Nations system and more widely of comprehensive and integrated strategies to address the root causes of conflicts, including their economic and social dimensions;

“Affirms its determination to strengthen United Nations peacekeeping operations by:

– Adopting clearly defined, credible, achievable and appropriate mandates,

– Including in those mandates effective measures for the security and safety of United Nations personnel and, wherever feasible, for the protection of the civilian population,

– Taking steps to assist the United Nations to obtain trained and properly equipped personnel for peacekeeping operations,

– Strengthening consultations with troop-contributing countries when deciding on such operations;

Agrees to support:

– the upgrading of United Nations capacity for planning, establishing, deploying and conducting peacekeeping operations,

– the provision of a more up-to-date and sounder foundation for financing peacekeeping operations;

“Underlines the importance of enhancing the United Nations capacity for rapid deployment of peacekeeping operations and urges Member States to provide sufficient and timely resources;

IV

“Welcomes the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations of 21 August (S/2000/809), and decides to consider the recommendations which fall within its area of responsibility expeditiously;

V

“Stresses the critical importance of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, and emphasizes that such programmes should normally be integrated into the mandates of peacekeeping operations;

VI

“Calls for effective international action to prevent the illegal flow of small arms into areas of conflict;

“Decides to continue to take resolute action in areas where the illegal exploitation and trafficking of high-value commodities contributes to the escalation or continuation of conflict;

“Stresses that the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide, war crimes, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law should be brought to justice;

“Emphasizes its determination to continue to sensitize peacekeeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in all operations;

VII

“Calls for the strengthening of cooperation and communication between the United Nations and regional or subregional organizations or arrangements, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter, and in particular in respect of peacekeeping operations;

“Emphasizes the importance of continued cooperation and effective coordination between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity and African subregional organizations in addressing conflict in Africa, and of enhanced support for the Organization of African Unity Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution;

VIII

“Underlines that the ultimate responsibility for resolving disputes and conflicts lies with the parties themselves and that peacekeeping operations aimed at helping to implement a peace accord can succeed only to the extent that there is a genuine and lasting commitment to peace by all parties concerned;

“Calls upon all States to intensify efforts to secure a world free of the scourge of war.”

Statement by Secretary-General

KOFI ANNAN, Secretary-General of the United Nations: To say that the eyes of the world are upon you is both to say too little and too much. Too little, because the fate of future generations could be affected by the decisions of this Security Council Summit. Too much, because many in the present generation have lost confidence in the ability of the United Nations to make the difference between war and peace.

This contradiction reflects what I believe to be a crisis of credibility facing this Council -- and this Organization -- in discharging its gravest responsibility: the maintenance of peace and security. No amount of resolutions or statements can change this reality. Only action can: prompt, united and effective action, pursued with skill and discipline to halt conflict and to restore the peace. Nowhere is your commitment more urgently needed than in the continent of Africa, where millions are suffering daily from the ravages of war.

Whenever possible, we must summon the will to act preventively, before a crisis reaches the point of no return. When that fails, and the Council resorts to sanctions, it must summon the will and the wisdom to ensure, on the one hand, that they are effectively enforced, and on the other, that they reach their intended target without inflicting unnecessary hardship on innocent people.

When we are asked to deploy a peacekeeping mission, we must ensure that it has a clear and achievable mandate and the strength and authority to defend itself and its mandate. When all else fails, and only armed intervention can save large numbers of people from genocide or other atrocities, there too, the Council must summon the will and the wisdom to confront the agonizing dilemma which such cases pose to the world's conscience.

Yet in all these cases, summoning the will to act is only part of the solution. Having the ability to act -- and to act effectively and decisively – is the other. We all recognize that too often in the peacekeeping operations of the past decade, the path to failure was paved with good intentions and inadequate mandates.

Last March, I asked a panel of distinguished veterans of peacekeeping and peace-building missions to provide frank and realistic recommendations to assist you and the larger membership in fulfilling this urgent task. Their report is before you, and I have already committed myself to implementing those changes for which I am responsible. It is my sincere hope that you will do the same.

The United Nations and its peacekeepers are not the answer to every crisis, or every conflict, or every threat to human life. Nor is peacekeeping a substitute for the political will of the parties to achieve a peaceful settlement. But where we are the answer -– where only our unique universality and legitimacy can help a wounded and abandoned people return to a life of peace and dignity -– we must be given the means to make the difference between life and death. The world looks to you for an answer.

The safety of United Nations personnel, in both peacekeeping and humanitarian missions, is a matter of vital concern. Yesterday’s fatal attacks on United Nations staff working in West Timor highlight again the dangers faced by men and women who venture into the field for the United Nations. I would like to stress the responsibility of the Council to focus on this matter. Let us, together, ensure that staff have the safety and security they need to do their job.

Statements

ALPHA OUMAR KONARE, President of Mali and Security Council President: Your presence here today attests to your commitment and faith in the role of the United Nations. The entire world is wondering when there will be peace and security in the world, especially in Africa. Security and peace go hand in hand. Has the international community in fact demonstrated success in maintaining international peace and security? Indicators by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) show that there is a better life for many. But conflicts continue to batter civilians, particularly women and children.

The United Nations has achieved some success in maintaining peace and security, but it must be recognized that it has suffered some failures over the past 10 years. This is especially true in Africa, where Sierra Leone is the latest example. New initiatives are necessary to better meet these challenges. Africa intends to shoulder its share of efforts to maintain peace and international security. Africa has the means to extricate itself from its problems, but it needs to feel that it is not alone. In renewing our commitment to peace and security, we need to provide the United Nations with the means to ensure peace.

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, President of the United States: I thank President Konare for honouring the United Nations personnel killed in West Timor and ask the Indonesian authorities to disarm and disband the perpetrators of this crime and bring them to justice.

This historic meeting is being held by a President and in the presence of a Secretary-General who are both outstanding Africans. Mozambique and Namibia are both African success stories for the United Nations in Africa. In the Horn of Africa, a United Nations peacekeeping mission is engaged in the disengagement of two belligerent forces.

It seems that both for Africa and the world, we will be forced increasingly to define peacekeeping more broadly. War crosses borders and destabilizes whole regions. Malaria and other diseases cause a quarter of the deaths on the planet. Without prevention, HIV/AIDS, whose ravages are currently focused in Africa, will cross into Asia. We must invest in the basics of prevention –- clean water and education. I have asked Congress for a credit of $1 million for vaccines research.

We must advance a larger agenda to fight the poverty that feeds conflict and disease. For about $4 billion a year we can provide a school lunch for every school child in developing countries. We also have to meet the challenge of climate change. In a decade or even sooner, it will become as big a challenge to poor nations as is disease today. Some may say that these issues do not belong in the Security Council. I disagree. They will increasingly become security issues unless we can fight the deprivation that causes war, poverty and disease.

FERNANDO DE LA RUA, President of Argentina: Preserving international peace is a primary responsibility of the Council, and it must be strengthened. The Council has been placed before new challenges. International security nowadays also includes human security. In recent conflicts civilian populations have been increasingly targeted and victimized by violations of human rights.

Can the United Nations remain indifferent to those violations within the border of a State? There is no simple answer. The matter is linked to questions of sovereignty and territorial integrity. But a complementary value should be added: “the principle of non-indifference”. Those who commit war crimes cannot go unpunished. The creation of the International Criminal Court and other international courts is therefore an indispensable component of a stable and fair peace. Peacekeeping operations must be amended to the new realities. They may even include contributing to organizing a new State. In all cases the mandate must be clear and can only be implemented if there is a political will and if it is financed with sufficient resources. “Graduality” and the situation of developing countries should also be taken into account when revising contribution scales.

Argentina, the major troop-contributor country in the region, participates in nine peacekeeping operations. We recognize the contribution of the report on peacekeeping operations. The painful conflicts in Africa have several causes, and those causes should be addressed by the Council with sensitivity. Argentina had brought humanitarian assistance to African countries directly or through the white helmets. We reiterate the standing commitment of Argentina to support the safety of United Nations personnel. This is all the more pertinent in the light of the people assassinated in West Timor. We express our condolences to the family and colleagues of those staff members.

JIANG ZEMIN, President of China: History has proven that the success of United Nations peacekeeping operations depends on observance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, particularly respect for State sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of recipient countries, neutrality and non-use of force except in self-defence. It is true that peacekeeping operations have contributed to international peace and security, but they are not a panacea. To enable them to work better, it is essential to treat symptoms and, at the same time, remove the root causes that lead to conflicts.

To meet the needs of the times, it is imperative that the Security Council reform itself where necessary so as to strengthen its role, maintain its authority and improve its efficiency. The expansion of the Security Council should be based on equitable geographical distribution and should, first of all, address the under-representation of the developing countries. Any reform of the Council should adequately reflect the will of the majority of United Nations Member States. To that end, all Member States must have detailed and patient discussions in order to reach consensus on this issue.

Without African stability and development, there can be no world peace and prosperity to speak of. The current poor and backward situation in Africa is due to the long-time competition and plundering of old colonialism. African countries have realized their national independence and should not be reduced to a neglected corner. In dealing with the problems of African countries, the United Nations and Security Council should fully respect their sovereignty, pay close attention to their opinions and take effective measures to help their peoples on the road to tranquillity, development and rejuvenation.

JACQUES CHIRAC, President of France: The Council has come under criticism and the assessment of peacekeeping operations has been harsh but, it must be said, fair. To enable the Council to better assume its primary responsibility under the United Nations Charter for maintaining international peace and security, we must first take on board all the consequences of the changing nature of conflicts, which are increasingly internal in origin. The world community needs to tackle the causes. When the causes are underdevelopment and lack of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights, the Secretary-General should be able to bring them to the attention of the Council and use his power of mobilization.

We must improve the Council’s means of action. Four lessons are to be learned from the 1990s: budget concerns must not be a paralyzing constraint from the outset; we need to make sure that objectives are in line with the mandate and the resources provided; States must provide the United Nations with the right quality and quantity of personnel and equipment; and credible and implemented peace agreements are the key to the effectiveness of the Organization’s actions. It is inadmissible for our Organization to be held hostage in conflicts and it is not right that those who do not keep their word should continue to receive international aid.

In addition, we must strengthen the partnership between the Council, the Secretariat and regional organizations and initiatives. Closer consultations at an earlier stage are critical when we are planning to call on the United Nations to facilitate implementation of an agreement or to take over a regional action. Finally, we must reform the Council. In order to maintain its full authority, the Council must be more representative. When it was enlarged in 1963, the United Nations had 110 Members. Today, it has 189. France is in favour of enlarging both the permanent and non-permanent membership, and giving greater representation to countries of the South.

SAM NUJOMA, President of Namibia: It was exactly 10 years ago that Namibia attained independence, which was preceded by a protracted liberation struggle against apartheid colonialism. Our independence was assisted by a very successful peacekeeping operation, the United Nations Transitional Assistance Group (UNTAG). There have been, however, some failures. It is therefore significant that the Council consider constructive ways to strengthen its role in the maintenance of international peace and security.

First, the Council should ensure the equal importance of, and undertake swift responses to, breaches of international peace and security in all regions, and not treat Africa as an afterthought. Second, recent events have demonstrated the invaluable role of regional and subregional organizations such as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in maintaining peace or restoring international peace and security. Third, the use of sanctions has had varied success towards maintaining or restoring international peace and security. Their appropriateness should be thoroughly reviewed for each situation.

Sanctions regimes should not be open-ended, but they remain a valuable tool in situations where wars and rebel atrocities are fuelled by the illegal trade in diamonds and other natural resources. The situations in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone are cases in point. Sanctions can be used in the same way to curb the illicit arms flow to and within Africa, which endangers lives, threatens peace and security and seriously hampers development on the continent.

Fourth, when peacekeeping operations are approved, they should be provided with appropriate mandates and adequate resources. And fifth, due attention should be given to the root causes of conflict, including poverty and underdevelopment. The Council should join with other United Nations bodies to develop comprehensive and integrated strategies to address these underlying causes of conflict. The Council itself should be reformed and enlarged. An early decision on this matter would greatly enhance the Council’s effectiveness, transparency and democratic character.

VLADIMIR V. PUTIN, President of the Russian Federation: All of us are participants in a really historic meeting of the Security Council. The last few months of the millennium remind us about our responsibility and our obligations towards our peoples and the whole world. In the new century we could make use of the summit format more often, not only at Headquarters, but also closer to the events under consideration. It is before our eyes and with our direct participation that the face of a new epoch is being shaped. And it does not matter that ideas about it can differ in the detail. In principle, we are united in a belief that this epoch must become an epoch of equal security and just peace.

Under no circumstances can the new century and the new millennium be a cause for a reconsideration of norms and behaviour tested by time. The principles laid down in the United Nations Charter have passed more than one test for durability and proven effective. First of them is the principle of the supreme rule of international law. Second, is our common responsibility for world stability and for a collective approach to the settlement of conflicts. Only the Council has the right to sanction for extreme measures such as the use of force in crisis situations. It does so on behalf of, and in the interests of, the whole world community. While formulating in exact terms the mandate and the rules for conducting peacemaking operations, in particular on the basis of Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, we should not allow the introduction of anybody’s Self-serving interest.

One of the most acute problems of today’s world are the incessant conflicts in Africa. In order to solve this important problem the United Nations and its Security Council should most closely coordinate their activities with the peacemaking efforts of the African nations themselves. Cooperation between the Council and regional organizations in response to crises has become the reality of our times. The Russian Federation makes a tangible contribution to those efforts, carrying out peacemaking activities with other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States in strict observance of the United Nations Charter. It also participates in 10 out of 15 peacemaking operations conducted under the United Nations aegis.

ZINE EL ABIDINE BEN ALI, President of Tunisia: Notwithstanding the scientific and technological achievements which have changed the face of the world, a large proportion of mankind, in our African continent in particular, are still suffering from the scourges of war, overpopulation, poverty, famine, disease and marginalization. The increasing gravity of conflicts and wars calls for combined efforts on the part of the international community to eliminate the causes of tension and find peaceful, just and lasting solutions to them.

For the Council to shoulder its huge responsibilities in a fair and equitable manner, I renew our call for the support of the position expressed by the group of Non-Aligned countries and the African group on the issue of developing the Council’s functions and work methods, and of expanding its structure. The aim is to ensure that the Council becomes more representative, keeps pace with the different developments on the world scene and to ensure its resolutions assume greater effectiveness and greater credibility away from any form or manifestation of double standards.

While noting with deep satisfaction the decline in the use of the right of veto, and the search for consensus in most cases, we hope this trend becomes permanent -- for the sake of consultation prior to decision-making. International peacekeeping operations are still in need of considerable effort to ensure their effective preparation, organization, deployment and financing, and participation in them by Member States. Tunisia considers that our States, whatever their size and their possibilities, are called upon to assume their role in maintaining international peace and security.

LEONID KUCHMA, President of Ukraine: The exclusive monopoly of the Security Council on authorizing the use of force in international relations, as well as effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and for the suppression of acts of aggression should remain the major foundations of this system. It is absolutely essential that in the next century this nerve centre of world politics preserves its undeniable authority and enhances its legitimacy and effectiveness. This goal should be attained by elevating the level of confidence placed in the Council, improving the instruments of peace at its disposal and by undertaking its comprehensive reform.

In its attempts to resolve conflicts, the Council should address their root causes to determine the real sources of confrontation. Significant opportunities could be offered by better development of underutilized potential for cooperation between the Council and other organs and institutions of the United Nations, starting with the General Assembly. There is also pressing need for appropriate implementation of the provisions of Article 65 of the Charter, which regulates such cooperation with the Economic and Social Council.

One of the key components of a comprehensive conflict-prevention strategy could be the establishment of United Nations regional centres. It is also important to further expand the range of instruments required for the maintenance of peace and security. In this context, conflict-prevention operations should gain prominence as a qualitatively new model of peacekeeping activities. It is also indispensable to elaborate a clear and coherent methodology for the imposition and lifting of sanctions, which takes into consideration the concerns of innocent civilian populations and the interests of third countries.

I deem it necessary to draw attention to the so-called “frozen conflicts” in the post-Soviet space. The tensions in Abkhazia, Georgia, have been destabilizing the situation in the region for a whole decade and pose the threat of a wide-scale humanitarian catastrophe. There is also a need to resolve the Transdniesterian conflict. Postponing final settlement of such crises might have irreversible consequences. The poverty and suffering of the civilians in these conflicts make active peacekeeping efforts absolutely indispensable.

SHEIKH HASINA, Prime Minister of Bangladesh: We are gathered here at a time of changing realities and increasing challenges. Maintenance of international peace and security in a globalized world is a major responsibility. The Security Council, as the only body devoted exclusively to maintenance of international peace and security, can do better in a world of proliferating civil conflicts. Today’s conflicts are more complex with involvement of governments, as well as non-State actors who operate beyond international law.

To cope with evolving realities, the Council must also change. The Council has to be more pro-active. It is encouraging to note that the Council is giving more attention to humanitarian crises involving the civilian population, with peace operations being mandated to include child protection advisors. Council mandates should be able to address root causes of conflicts. In this context, this Summit should express strong support for poverty eradication, sustainable development, democracy, good governance, rule of law and human rights as foundations of durable peace.

Our efforts at peace, to be successful, should be truly collective and inclusive. Women, as half of humanity, should be allowed to play their rightful role and bring in their contributions. We should recognize their role in solving conflicts. The women of Burundi, Congo and Somalia have demonstrated their great commitment to establishing peace and democracy, and in the reconstruction of war- ravaged countries. Similarly, special efforts are needed to address the needs of children affected by armed conflicts. Here I would draw the Council’s attention to Bangladesh’s proposal for “Child-soldier-free zones” in various parts of the world. Given the enormous challenges ahead, the Council should meet more often at the Summit level. The world looks up to its leaders for making history. History demands of us -- as a generation taking the human civilization into the third millennium -- that we live up to our solemn pledge of a world free of wars -- a world where the culture of peace has taken deep roots.

JEAN CHRETIEN, Prime Minister of Canada: It is fitting that the Security Council is meeting during the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations; an occasion when Member States have come together at the highest level to reaffirm their commitment to our shared principles and purposes. More importantly, it is an opportunity for us to affirm our common resolve to make the United Nations work better and to be partners in its renewal and reform. Nowhere is this more critical than on the Council, which is the body mandated to preserve and protect international peace and security.

Canada has worked to make the Council more responsive to the security challenges and political imperatives we face at the turn of the century. We have tried to make the Council a more effective instrument and we have tried to make it more open and democratic. We have pressed for leadership in building a more peaceful world. To demonstrate that leadership, we must restore the effectiveness of peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping mandates must be consistent with the situation they aim to address and adequate resources must be provided.

In the twenty-first century, peace no longer depends only on securing borders, but also on securing people. The security of States is essential, but it is not sufficient to ensure the safety and well-being of people. Canada has worked to broaden the Council’s definition of security to encompass new human security challenges. Humanitarian principles and human rights must be given greater weight when the Council decides when to act. If the Council is unable to adapt, it will seriously undermine its credibility as a guarantor of peace, credibility that is essential to maintaining the moral authority of the United Nations as a whole.

P.J. PATTERSON, Prime Minister of Jamaica: There is now a greater burden on the Security Council to prove itself capable of protecting the most vulnerable. We have to stem the rising tide of refugees and internally displaced persons. In doing so, we will spend less on humanitarian assistance and more on development. In addition, breaches of international humanitarian and human rights laws must not go unchallenged. Lack of resources and rightful concerns over sovereignty cannot allow us to turn a blind eye to the forces of evil, but the speed and yardstick for collective action cannot be determined purely by strategic geopolitical considerations. Measures taken to effect behavioural changes must be targeted, achievable and enforced.

Conflict prevention, though, is paramount. In July, the Security Council, under Jamaica's presidency, reaffirmed that the United Nations system must manage a comprehensive and coordinated strategy to address the root causes of conflict. And long-term sustainable peace requires confidence-building between the parties and an atmosphere conducive to social, economic and political development. Regional institutions, working in tandem with the Security Council, are essential to this united effort for lasting peace.

It may sound as heresy in these hallowed halls, but we cannot conceive of an effectively pursued peace and security mandate in the absence of reform of the Security Council itself. It must have the benefit of the credibility and legitimacy derived from its Charter-given authority, the transparency of its decision-making process and a truly representative membership.

WIM KOK, Prime Minister of the Netherlands: A major shift has occurred from global big-Power confrontation to internal conflict, often based on ethnic and religious divisions, particularly in Africa. This requires a change in the way the Council deals with international peace and security. Enhancing the effectiveness of United Nations peace operations requires political courage. If and when necessary, the Member States should allow the United Nations to deploy rapidly and under a robust mandate and should be prepared to make sufficient resources available. Let us fulfil our moral obligation to future generations by eliminating the causes of conflict and sparing them the man-made humanitarian calamities that plague our world today.

Improving the quality of peace operations will contribute towards realizing those ambitions. But more is needed -- more in the way of conflict prevention to avoid human suffering and to save the enormous cost of military action and rebuilding of societies. Prevention is a challenge of political leadership. Member States should enable the Secretary-General to initiate actions in this regard, including the dispatch of fact-finding missions and the establishment of an effective early warning capacity.

Most armed conflicts today are among the poor. Broad-based economic growth helps to reduce poverty as a root cause of conflict, and must therefore be part of conflict-prevention strategies. Effective integration in the world economy is needed. Africa must be enabled to benefit more from the opportunities globalization provides. Likewise, African governments should be willing and able to confront the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, which this Council has rightly recognized as a risk to stability and security. Let us work together towards achieving peace and prosperity for the peoples and countries of Africa and elsewhere. Through strength and solidarity, the Security Council can help us in making our common dream of worldwide peace and prosperity come true.

TONY BLAIR, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom: Peacekeeping today is a lot tougher than it ever was before, and now involves putting our people in conditions that are a lot more hazardous. But the need for peacekeeping operations has never been greater. The circumstances of peacekeeping can mean the difference between anarchy and order, as we have seen in Sierra Leone and East Timor. The Brahimi reforms are absolutely essential. We all recognize that we cannot deal with conflict without addressing its causes, such as poverty, debt, infectious disease or any other.

There is a big difference between the kind of debate we can have now and the debate we might have had 10 or 15 years ago. We all have our own national interests, but we have a very important common interest -– maintaining order and stability; not in order to prevent change, which is inevitable, but in order to ensure that change happens without chaos. We must match the Secretary-General's vigour in our response to conflict and find a better, more effective way of dealing with it. The changes in the world do not just involve global technology. We are interdependent in a way we have never been before. We must change our perspectives.

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HAMID ALBAR, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia: For the Council to be more effective in discharging its responsibilities, there must be the necessary political will on the part of its members to take measures to resolve conflicts around the world. This should be manifested irrespective of where the conflict occurs, with each conflict treated in an even-handed manner, lest the Council be accused of being selective in its approach. Permanent members must put aside their narrow political interests and find consensus in the interest of the international community.

All Member States must unconditionally fulfil their obligations so that the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions is not jeopardized for lack of funds. Efforts should also be made for the early reimbursement for peacekeeping to ensure Member States’ ability to participate in future operations. The lack of institutional capacity of the Secretariat must be addressed, both in planning and managing peacekeeping missions. It should be strengthened to a level commensurate with its enormous tasks. Briefing on military aspects of operations by the Force Commander would be of tremendous value to the Council.

The Council and the United Nations must develop strategies for peacemaking and peace-building, including for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, as well as for conflict prevention. The Council has to face the challenge of translating its pronouncements into concrete action.

ALPHA OUMAR KONARE, speaking as President of Mali: Difficulties encountered in Sierra Leone and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, crises in Africa and other parts of the world, the growth of internal crisis and the need to protect communities from violence, including United Nations personnel and those of other agencies, form the basis for adapting the Security Council and making it more efficient and effective in its response.

Firstly, certain important questions need answers, among them how to save future generations from the scourge of war when children are both victims and butchers. We must end the sad spectacle of child soldiers by taking energetic measures against those who instil in them the culture of violence, thus perpetuating conflict.

Secondly, efforts in the field of disarmament, particularly regarding weapons of mass destruction, must be pursued and accelerated to rid the world of this terrible threat and to end all forms of the arms race. However, for regions like Africa, small arms are weapons of massive destruction. They are sometimes given away free-of-charge, and sometimes sold under conditions that defy all agreements or on credit against a promise of raw materials. We need international normative standards to control their circulation. Faced with the devastating sight of landmine victims throughout the world we appeal to all countries to ratify and apply the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel landmines.

Thirdly, it is important to address the questions of impunity and sanctions. The prevention of murderous conflicts, the application of conventions on human rights and international humanitarian law, and the protection of the most vulnerable, necessitate the entry into force of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. We must end impunity so as to protect people and communities from violence. Recent measures relating to the illicit exploitation of natural resources revealed the importance and effectiveness of targeted sanctions.

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For information media. Not an official record.