SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS TO REVIEW COMMITMENTS OF SEPTEMBER 2000 SUMMIT; SECRETARY-GENERAL CITES COUNCIL’S ‘CRISIS OF CREDIBILITY’

7 March 2001
SC/7024

SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS TO REVIEW COMMITMENTS OF SEPTEMBER 2000 SUMMIT; SECRETARY-GENERAL CITES COUNCIL’S ‘CRISIS OF CREDIBILITY’

07/03/2001
Press ReleaseSC/7024

Security Council

4288th Meeting (AM & PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL MEETS TO REVIEW COMMITMENTS OF SEPTEMBER 2000 SUMMIT;

SECRETARY-GENERAL CITES COUNCIL’S ‘CRISIS OF CREDIBILITY’

The Security Council met in a day-long session today to review the commitments made at its Summit last September to strengthen the ability of the United Nations to address challenges to peace and security.

The Summit, held on 7 September 2000 and addressed by 14 heads of State or government and one foreign minister, produced a declaration committing the Council to a number of principles, including:  to treat all regions of the world equally and give special attention to Africa; to strengthen peacekeeping and other instruments at its disposal; to contribute to addressing the root causes of conflict; and to strengthen cooperation and communication between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.

In an opening statement this morning, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that the task it faced in undertaking such a review was to establish what progress it had made in overcoming the “crisis of credibility” the United Nations had faced in September.  He noted that Council resolutions were not self-implementing.  Rather, they hardly did more than express a wish or an aspiration.  He asked Council members to bear in mind that the impact of its decisions on reality depended on a great deal of subsequent effort by Member States and the Secretariat.  Constant dialogue on how to translate those aspirations into real change on the ground was needed.  That dialogue, he said, must start before a resolution was passed, and continue long afterwards.

Following the Secretary-General in the morning, the Council heard from non-members.  While most noted some progress in implementing September’s commitments, many also noted failings.  The Council was told it was still not treating conflicts in all regions of the world -- and particularly in Africa and the Middle East-- equally.  Its efforts to involve States that contributed troops to peacekeeping missions in its work were described as not yet adequate, and non-members called for greater transparency and consistency in Council decision making.

Egypt’s representative noted that the Council’s response to recent positive developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had been to reduce the size of military component of the United Nations mission, and to decrease the level of tasks it was to undertake.  Yet, the Council still expected that to contribute to peace in a country “larger than Western Europe and on whose territory six African armies, three rebel groups and a myriad of armed groups are fighting”, he noted.  He added that the Council’s credibility would continue to decline as long as it failed to address Israeli occupation and aggression in the Middle East.

Canada’s representative said the Council had failed to engage sufficiently with regional and subregional organizations, and was too often absent during peace negotiations.  As a result, peace agreements assigned the United Nations roles that the signatories were not prepared to take on, and the Organization could not possibly execute.  That must change, he said, noting that, while perhaps not easy, the level of engagement with those organizations might be the source of failure or success of the Council’s efforts.

Pakistan’s representative expressed appreciation for the Council’s efforts to be more interactive with non-members, in particular with troop-contributing countries.  However, increased accessibility and transparency were still necessary.  Political will and concerted action were needed, not idealistic debates or holistic pronouncements.  In many cases, the lack of political will was itself a political decision, and inaction the most politically expedient option. That was unacceptable.

At the afternoon session, the Council members spoke, with the United Kingdom’s representative saying that, while the Council had been less effective than it should in Africa, the special characteristics of African conflicts were being addressed more directly now.  More importantly, Africans themselves were beginning to take practical action to address what had dragged Africa down and left it lagging.  The United Nations must work fast to support African development, as well as peacekeeping.

Singapore’s representative said that, after all the lofty pronouncements about civilians in armed conflict, it was unfortunate that the Council had not been able to act when civilians were in great danger, as the Palestinians had recently been.  The Council’s credibility was diminished by inconsistency in dealing with conflicts.  The challenge it now faced was to rebuild a common will.  The time had come for a common vision for dealing with conflicts to be built.  To ensure its effectiveness, the Council must also have a strong relationship with the rest of the United Nations community.

The representative of China said the Council had recently made extra efforts and some headway in monitoring and containing international conflicts and disputes, including those in Africa.  However, its endeavours on a number of issues, including the Palestine-Israel conflict, had so far failed to yield results and constituted a challenge to its authority.  In addition, the workload of the Council had increased at such a rate as to undermine its efficiency.  China believed the Security Council should focus on primary issues of maintaining international peace and security, and not pack its agenda with all the other issues on the United Nations’ agenda.

At its morning session, the Council also heard from non-members Sweden (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Japan, Argentina, Algeria, Australia, Brazil, Peru, Croatia, Namibia and Belarus.  When the meeting resumed in the afternoon, it also heard from Council members Mali, France, Jamaica, Russian Federation, Colombia, United States, Tunisia, Norway, Ireland, Mauritius and Bangladesh.  The President of the Council, Ukraine, made a closing statement.

The meeting, which began at 11:10 a.m., suspended at 1:30 p.m.  It resumed at 3:20 p.m. and concluded at 5:50 p.m.

Background

The Security Council met this morning to discuss follow-up to its high-level Summit on ensuring an effective role for the Council, held in September last year. 

That Summit was attended by the heads of State or government of last year’s Council members Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, France, Jamaica, Mali, Namibia, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States.  Malaysia was represented by its Minister for Foreign Affairs.  It adopted resolution 1318 (2000), to which a declaration on making the Council more effective was attached.

(For more information on the high-level Summit and the declaration, see Press Release SC/6919 of 7 September 2000.)

Before the Council today was a letter from Ukraine’s representative, Valeri P. Kuchynski, to the Secretary-General, which includes an annexed explanatory note on the follow-up meeting, titled “On the way of making intentions real” (document S/2001/185).  Ukraine holds the presidency of the Security Council for March.

Mr. Kuchynski explains that the September summit meeting was both a remarkable and an indispensable event, noting that the Secretary-General said, at the meeting, that many vulnerable communities now hesitated to look to the United Nations in their time of need, and that only action to halt conflict could restore the Organization’s reputation.

The follow-up debate, the letter states, is intended to evaluate implementation of commitments made at the Summit (in resolution Council 1318 (2000)).  To give concrete substance to the discussion, the letter poses a series of questions.  These include:  How effectively is the Council’s stated understanding of the need to give special attention to Africa being translated into practical action?  Are there any forgotten conflicts or situations which need greater attention from the Council?  Are there any specific tasks to strengthen peacekeeping that require more energetic Council efforts?  And, what instruments of peace has the Council overlooked in its efforts to strengthen the range of means at its disposal?

The letter also asks to Council to consider how effectively it has contributed to addressing the root causes of conflict, and what progress has been made, and what more should be done, to strengthen cooperation and communication between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.

An appendix to the letter categorizes the principles, initiatives and messages raised by the Secretary-General and member States at the Summit last September. 

Secretary-General’s Statement

Secretary-General KOFI ANNAN recalled that the Council had at its September meeting held at the level of heads of State and government committed itself in resolution 1318 (2000) to do the following:  act preventively in the future; improve the capacity of the United Nations to act effectively; and to do so quickly and decisively.  “I told the Council on that day that it was facing a crisis of credibility”, he said.  “ We are here today to assess whether that is still true or what progress has been made in overcoming that crisis.”

The Secretary-General asked the Council to consider carefully, at the outset of its debate today, to consider on point very carefully.  The resolutions of the Council were not self-implementing.  In themselves, those resolutions hardly did more than express a wish or an aspiration.  Their impact on reality depended on a great deal of subsequent effort, by Member States, as well as by the Secretariat.

He added that it was vital that delegates who attended the Council’s regular meetings maintained a constant dialogue with their capitals, which should stimulate dialogue in their capitals, focusing on how aspirations contained in each resolution could be translated into real change on the ground.  The dialogue needed to start before a resolution was passed, and it needed to continue long afterwards.

Noting that all or most Council members were engaged in such a dialogue, he said the Secretariat stood ready and willing to assist them.  But, too often, those dialogues involved only a handful of experts.  Only through a much deeper and broader involvement of Member States, reaching up to the highest political level, could the will and resources needed to implement resolutions be mustered, he asserted.  That, of course, applied to resolution 1318 (2000) itself.

He hoped Council members and their colleagues and political masters back home would make the most strenuous efforts to see that resolution 1318 (2000), which pledged to make to United Nations more effective in addressing conflict and listed the measures to do that, and resolution 1327 (2000), adopted two months later, which spelt out those measures in much greater detail, were translated into concrete action.

The Secretary-General added questions of his own to those posed by Ukraine in its paper prepared for today’s meeting:  Were their capitals now engaged in an active debate on the best way to fulfil the commitments made by the Council in resolutions 1318 (2000) and 1327 (2000)?  Were they seriously discussing how to implement resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security, or the recently adopted presidential statements on strengthening cooperation with troop-contributing countries, and on peace-building?

There was no question that, with those decisions, the Council had undertaken important new commitments, he said.  He hoped the next six months would be marked by vigorous action on the part of the Council to put those commitments into effect.

Statements

MICHEL DUVAL (Canada) said he would focus on two of the questions raised by Ukraine’s discussion note:  on strengthening peacekeeping operations and on strengthening cooperation and communication with regional and subregional organizations.  The report card on strengthening operations was mixed.  Canada was pleased at the Council’s quick response to the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations -- the Brahimi Report -- and there had been changes already in decision-making processes for operations.  That included, for the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), a willingness to amend mandates to ensure they were clear, credible and achievable.  He regretted, however, that its duty to protect civilians in armed conflict was not upheld.

There had been some progress on transparent three-way relationships among the Council, the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries, he said.  Singapore’s initiative on that was welcome, but it was time to turn words into action.  The establishment of a Security Council working group on peacekeeping was also pleasing, but it must not be allowed to substitute for substantive responses to ideas put forward in the open debate.  Canada had circulated a proposal for a mission-specific cooperative mechanism for mandated operations, which emphasized that the issue was not communication and consultation, but cooperation and participation.  Troop contributors must be able to fully participate in decision-making, and the confidence of troop contributors must be won.  That confidence could only come from cooperation.

Second, while the Secretary-General had made real progress in working with regional and subregional organizations, the Council had not, he said.  It was too often absent during peace negotiations, with the result that peace agreements assigned the United Nations roles that the signatories were not prepared to take on and that it could not possibly execute.  That must change, and so too must the engagement of regional organizations by the Council to delay effective Council action, as that also served nobody’s interest, in the long run.  Effective collaboration with regional and subregional organizations might never be easy, but it might well determine whether the Council succeeded or failed.

PIERRE SCHORI (Sweden) spoke on behalf of the European Union and the associated countries of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta, as well as Iceland.

He said his country had, in the past six months, seen certain steps forward in strengthening United Nations activities in peace and security, but much remained to be done.  He said unless the well known constraints of United Nations peace operations were addressed, the Organization would not be able to realize its full potential in helping control and defuse crises, whether in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or elsewhere.

By the adoption of resolution 1327 in November last year, he said the Security Council had reacted quickly to the reforms proposed by the Brahimi Panel.  Work had also been undertaken by the Member States in the General Assembly to follow up on those recommendations.  So far, however, the reforms proposed in the Brahimi Report had received only partial endorsement.

The Union believed that the Brahimi proposals offered a unique opportunity for improving the way the international community approached peacekeeping, and strongly urged the United Nations and its Member States to work towards full implementation of its recommendations.  It hoped that the resumption later this spring of consideration of the Brahimi Report would result in endorsement of a wider range of its recommendations.

The role of the United Nations could not go beyond the will of the parties involved in a conflict, he continued.  Unless there was a real desire for peace among them, there were limits to what the international community could do to help and peace efforts would fail.  As had been affirmed by the Council before, conflicts could not be dealt with effectively without the root causes being tackled.  A long-term and comprehensive perspective was necessary to prevent conflicts and consolidate peace.

On Africa, he said the Union would do its utmost to ensure that the upcoming United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects would lead to prompt and decisive actions that fostered early and sustainable solutions.  Additionally, programmes aimed at disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants into civil society should, whenever necessary and appropriate, be an integrated element in mandates for peacekeeping operations.

The international community must demonstrate that violations of sanctions would not be tolerated, he said.  The Union reiterated its full support for the resolution on conflict diamonds adopted unanimously by the General Assembly last year.  There was a clear need to give urgent consideration to the establishment of a global certification scheme for rough diamonds.  The European Union welcomed the launch of the phase of the Kimberly process in Windhoek last month, and looked forward to rapid progress and the presentation of clear recommendations to the next General Assembly.  The international community must stop the use of diamond sales in funding continued conflict and suffering.

The Union supported moves by the Council to make the objectives of sanctions and the criteria for lifting them clear from the outset, to assess the possible humanitarian impacts of sanctions regimes, he said.  Describing international tribunals as a crucial instrument for post-conflict reconstruction, he said it was important that individuals who had committed war crimes, genocide or crimes against humanity during an armed conflict were held criminally responsible for their acts.  The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda had served the important functions of accountability, reconciliation, deterrence and peace-building.  The Union underlined the importance of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and renewed its call upon all States to become parties to the Statute with a view to its early entry into force.

Measures in the fields of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building were closely interlinked and crucial for building a solid foundation for peace, he said.  It was essential for the Secretariat to be given an information and analysis capacity that would permit it to understand the profound, as well as the immediate causes, of conflict.  That would provide the Secretary-General with the necessary input to develop integrated strategies for conflict resolution.  For peace efforts to succeed, the various relevant elements of the international community must act in a concerted manner.

HIDEAKI KOBAYASHI (Japan) said it was particularly significant that the Council had pledged to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations in addressing conflict at every stage, with particular emphasis on Africa.  A comprehensive and integrated approach must be taken in addressing conflict situations, including economic and social dimensions in addition to political and military dimensions.  The prevention of conflicts and peace-building could not be achieved unless the root causes of the conflict were addressed.  That would require reconstruction, development and capacity-building.

To ensure the effectiveness of such an approach, he said, the Council must be particularly mindful of a smooth transition from one stage of conflict prevention and peace-building to the next.  That required a coherent strategy throughout all stages of United Nations involvement, including avoiding gaps in international assistance provided during transition periods.  Such funding gaps could seriously undermine progress made during earlier stages of peace-building.  It would be particularly important to consider this issue as East Timor continued to move towards independence.

He went on to say that the cooperation of the entire international community was also essential.  Players outside the Council -- including Member States and relevant regional organizations, as well as United Nations agencies and funds -- must be mobilized and fully involved in order to attain full cooperation and ensure the success of any peace efforts.  Turning to the requirements of the Council itself, he said that reform was essential in order to reflect the realities of today’s world and enhance its effectiveness and legitimacy.  It was disappointing that the declaration of the Council Summit made no reference to the need for such reform.  He hoped that the Council, and particularly the permanent members, would remain committed to the issue.

ARNOLDO LISTRE (Argentina) said that, at the September 2000 meeting, Argentina’s President pointed out that if the Council did not fully exercise its responsibility, none of the United Nations other tasks would be successfully implemented.  Thus, an appropriate review must be on two levels -- resolutions and statements made since, and the impact they have had on conflicts.  Many decisions taken since resolution 1318 (2000), including on exit strategies, peace-building activities, illegal exploitation of natural resources, were demonstrations of achievement. 

The political will of Council members to take action when confronted with a specific conflict, as well as “non-indifference” of other United Nations Member States, were essential for the Council to be effective, he said.  That political will could be made concrete by providing enough resources to finance peacekeeping missions, with those best able providing logistical support for them, and with the contribution of troops to even those missions that involved a higher level of risk.  It would also be evident in the willingness of the Council to hold substantive consultations with troop contributors, and in its ensuring its decision-making was transparent on establishment, modification and termination of missions.  Political will from the Council and the United Nations must be accompanied by political will from the parties to a conflict, made manifest by respecting ceasefires, guaranteeing freedom of movement and security to international personnel, and by abiding by commitments to disarm and demobilize.

The debate on strengthening the collective security system must include humanitarian intervention, he said.  There was no simple formula for that, as it was linked to the very independence and sovereignty of States.  Argentina believed in the principle of non-intervention, but it also believed the principle of non-indifference was complementary and must be observed.  He also believed that the Council should make periodic and critical assessments of its work, despite the complexity of such a task.  The differences between each conflict the Council addressed meant that it must undertake both general assessments and assessments of its responses to individual conflicts.

ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said that it might be presumptuous to engage in stock-taking on resolution 1318 (2000) at this time, as that important document should serve as an ongoing guide for policy reform.  As the Council had increasingly ventured into the fields of competence of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, however, it was heartening to see a reaffirmation of the Council’s primary responsibility -– ensuring international peace and security.  It was also important to note the Council’s timely reaffirmation of its commitment to ensuring the sovereign integrity of all States since, increasingly, others had begun to call national sovereignty into question in the name of addressing the ills of globalization, among other issues. 

He said that, while there had been a general lack of determination to intervene in the settlement of conflicts in Africa, the Council was now giving more attention to that issue.  There now appeared to be an interest in genuine improvement and expressions of political will on the part of the Council.  It must be said, however, that often involvement came too late -- for example, in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Council must strive to always act on behalf of Member States and not just its permanent Members.  It must also rely on African Member States and groups, such as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), that indeed had a more firm knowledge of the situation on the African continent.  Recent debates on peacekeeping operations and disarmament and demobilization were to the Council’s credit.

He said that, while African leaders had made efforts to address the issues in that region, the Council must not feel that it had been relieved of its duties.  Indeed, the Council’s role remained vital, particularly in ensuring that the United Nations could effectively monitor peace agreements already in effect.  The humiliating situation in Sierra Leone, with its searing images of blue-helmeted hostages being taken, should serve as a lesson to all of the need for, among other things, clearly defined procedures that would allow forces on the ground to provide for the security of themselves and other citizens.  It was clear that the Council needed to take a more active role as a bastion against the use of force. 

The Council should be vigilant of its own resolutions, international security and relevant peace agreements, he said.  It should always act on the side of the victim against the aggressor or occupier.  Further, comprehensive reform was necessary to endow the Council with greater legitimacy and effectiveness.  He expressed satisfaction that some countries that had heretofore been indifferent to the challenges facing peacekeeping operations in Africa had participated in the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).  He urged those countries to continue their active support and involvement.

AHMED ABOULGHEIT (Egypt) welcomed the chance to evaluate the Council’s progress towards implementing its Summit declaration of last September.  He wished to respond, he said, to certain specific points in that declaration.  The Council had determined it would give equal priority to all regions while paying special attention to Africa.  Egypt -- along with other African delegations -- had been pleased by that determination, and had hoped the swift response to Sierra Leone’s crisis would be typical of future responses to African problems.  However, he felt the gap between promise and concrete steps was still wide.  The crisis on the border of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia was spiraling and threatened to erupt into a regional conflict.  The Somali crisis continued, and there was no visible enthusiasm from the Council to seize on positive developments arising from the Arta conference.  And, the Burundi problem had not received the attention it deserved.

The Council’s approach to the crisis affecting the Middle East was regrettable, he said, especially since it began to explode only three weeks after the Council Summit.  It had failed to discharge its responsibility towards the defenceless Palestinian people and to put an end to the blatant aggression of the Israeli occupying forces.  As long as the Council continued to fail to address the Palestinian question, its credibility would continue to decline and its pledge to give equal priority to all regions of the world would remain hollow and meaningless. 

The Council had also determined, in September, to adopt clear, credible and appropriate mandates congruent with the situation on the ground, he added.  However, its recent resolution on the Democratic Republic of the Congo mission (1341 (2001)) was inconsistent with that. Instead of being encouraged by recent positive developments there, the Council chose to reduce the MONUC military component and curtail the Mission’s tasks.  It had done that entertaining a hope it would contribute to peace in a country larger than Western Europe, in which six African armies, three rebel forces and a myriad of armed groups were fighting.

Measures were needed for the formal and institutionalized participation of troop contributors in decision-making at all stages, he said.  The gap between troop contributor’s demands and the Council’s response was still wide.  The Council seemed convinced that its troop contributor consultations were merely to foster a common understanding of the situation on the ground.  Regarding measures to address the root causes of conflict, Egypt attached great importance to revitalizing the working group on the causes of conflict in Africa, and he expressed the hope that Council members would actively participate in the work of that body.  He also expressed the hope that the Council would consistently adhere to Charter Article 50 when applying sanctions, and would apply it without discrimination or politicization.

PENNY WENSLEY (Australia) said that her country had willingly and actively participated in over 30 peacekeeping and peace monitoring operations since the founding of the United Nations.  It was, therefore, heartening to see the commitment expressed by world leaders in the Security Council and General Assembly Millennium Declarations, respectively, encouraging the United Nations to modernize and strengthen its role in maintaining international peace and security.  In that regarded, she specifically supported the following principles contained in Council resolution 1318 and the recent activities in moving them forward:  the establishment by the Council of a working group on peacekeeping with a mandate enhancing consultations with troop-contributing countries; last month’s open debate on peace-building; and action to support the commitment of the Council to prevent the flow of small arms into conflict areas.

She said that the Brahimi Report on United Nations peace operations provided the opportunity to bring about much-needed changes in the way the Organization carried out its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.  She welcomed recent action taken to increase personnel in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and strongly supported the current review of the Department so that its strategic planning capacity could be strengthened.  Implementation of those initiatives had been slow, however, and much remained to be done.

She urged all countries to join in support of the Brahimi Report’s recommendations –- despite differences of opinion on certain details.  Broad support was critical for such issues as post-conflict management, rapid force deployment capacity and training programmes for personnel.  The success of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was reflective of what could be achieved with such support.

She went on to say that in its resolution the Council had correctly stressed the need to bring to justice perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Australia had always been committed to the work of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.  It also supported the creation of an international criminal court.  Such a court would make a significant contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security.  She noted that this year’s Conference on the illicit trade in small arms would provide an opportunity to address that problem through practical and concrete measures.  Finally, as the Commission on the Status of Women was now holding its current session at Headquarters, it was important for the Council to take gender awareness into account when it considered ways to give practical effect to the goals of the Millennium Summit.

GELSON FONSECA (Brazil) welcomed the implementation of some of the recommendations of the Brahimi Report.  The capacity of the Secretariat to deal with peacekeeping questions must be improved, as noted by the Brahimi Report.  There must be a genuine commitment to ensuring that peacekeeping operations had the resources for their effective execution.

The importance of conflict prevention was recognized, he continued.  There was no uniform answer to fit all conflicts.  Each situation had characteristics that required specific solutions and an ongoing effort.  An enormous commitment was needed to deal with the problems of peace-building, which involved the provision of infrastructures.  Institutional mechanisms must be put in place for the effective implementation of peace-building efforts.

He also stressed the urgent need for Security Council reform.  There was extreme frustration among the membership of the Organization that the issue had languished for eight years.  The effectiveness of the Council’s role hinged on its representing the entire membership.  Reform should be carried out to ensure that the Council’s activities were transparent.

MASOOD KHALID (Pakistan) strongly objected to elements of the appendix to the working paper before the Council (document S/2001/185), which contained certain views held by individual Member States and not the entire United Nations membership.  Those views carried no consensus support in either the General Assembly or the Security Council, and their inclusion threatened to detract from the main issues that needed to be addressed.

The Council was not a debating club and must not be reduced to one, he continued.  Its main responsibilities, which were clearly spelled out in the Charter, included conflict prevention, dispute resolution, peacemaking, conflict management, peacekeeping and peace-building.  Ignoring any one of those pillars enormously weakened the Council's standing, and adding on new areas of interest reduced its effectiveness.  Not implementing its own resolutions undermined the Council's credibility, and addressing the symptoms and not the root causes became an exercise in futility.  Holding international peace and security hostage to national interests did a disservice to both the Council and the United Nations as a whole.

Indeed, the Security Council had clearly neglected its key obligations, he said.  Some had only been honoured in their selective application, and others in their complete omission.  That was why the international community was still burdened with "forgotten" conflicts -- the unfinished business of the Council -- which were still consistently ignored.  One such example was the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.  The Council had an obligation to address that issue in order to resolve it in accordance with its own resolutions and the aspirations of the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Continuing, he expressed appreciation for the efforts that the Council had been making to be more interactive with non-members, in particular steps to promote greater cooperation with troop-contributing countries.  However, increased accessibility and transparency were necessary.  Political will and concerted action were needed, not idealistic debates or holistic pronouncements.  However, too often the global objectives of international peace and security were held hostage to the dictates of the national interests of a few.  In many cases, the lack of political will was itself a political decision and inaction -- the most politically expedient option.  That was unacceptable.

Any reform of the Council must strengthen the inclusive and participatory character of the Organization, in keeping with the principle of sovereign equality of States, he continued.  It must be aimed at reducing the anomalies of the past.  The Council must carefully weigh its actions to mitigate any adverse impact on humanitarian situations.  There was no justification for creating new centres of privilege at the expense of the rest of the membership.  The veto remained the primary obstacle to a truly democratic Council.  It was not only obsolete, but contrary to contemporary trends of promoting democracy, participation, transparency and accountability.

MANUEL PICASSO (Peru) said his country hailed the general thrust of resolution 1318 (2000), particularly its reaffirmation of the Council’s unrestricted respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and political independence.  He also supported efforts that sought greater participation by troop contributors.  That was both a practical and just recognition of those States that were performing the most difficult and risky phase of all peacekeeping operations. 

At the same time, he had viewed with concern the new criteria of the United Nations “collective security” system, which included, among other things, a redefinition of the content, scope and mandates of peacekeeping operations, as well as an expansion of the notion of the causes of conflict.  As those issues had been considered and decided exclusively within the Council, the majority of States had been left out of efforts aimed at configuring a new international order on such matters.  The Council should also be wary of discussing issues that fell within the purview of other branches of the Organization.

He said that the requirement of consensus was essential for shaping clear rules and criteria on the subject of peace and security.  It was his opinion that there was no other body but the Assembly that was capable of generating the required consensus on that issue.  Also, the Council had not yet considered the Assembly’s important role as a means of providing unified action in the area of international peace and security.  He went on to emphasize the overall need to develop strategies that addressed the causes of conflict, such as poverty and underdevelopment.  The Assembly was indeed fully empowered to become an important participant in the establishment of the new international collective security.

He said closer cooperation between the Council and the Assembly would yield positive results when the issues included in the follow-up actions to the Summit were discussed.  Such cooperation would allow the Council to act in consensus and with the support of all Member States, thus going a long way to negate the “crisis of credibility” it faced.  There was a need, among other things, to restore the Assembly as a forum for debate on international peace and security matters, and to promote a new concept of collective security based on reciprocal trust and mutual respect.

IVAN SIMONOVIC (Croatia) recalled that in January the troop-contributing countries, which shouldered the greatest share of peacekeeping in the field, had told the Security Council what they needed in order to carry out their duties, as had Member States last October with regard to the issue of women, peace and security.  Just last month, the Council had moved closer to outlining a comprehensive strategy for peace-building.  Throughout those debates, speakers had repeatedly stressed the need for political will, mutual trust and bureaucratic capacity for timely and effective action to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of conflicts.

He said that, while for the time being Africa should remain the focus of the Security Council and the United Nations system, frozen conflicts in other regions should not be underestimated.  Given the poverty and the spread of infectious diseases that were occurring on a greater scale than elsewhere, the need for a convergence of the peace and development agendas figured prominently, especially in Africa.

Investments in peace encompassed investments in health, education, the environment, human rights and good governance, he noted.  As an advocate for and guarantor of peace, the Security Council must use its visibility and prestige to consult with and augment the efforts of United Nations bodies principally charged with furthering the world development agenda.  Great importance must be attached to future substantive cooperation between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council.

MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said that the root causes of conflict in Africa remained poverty and underdevelopment.  The Council should continue to further strengthen its coordination with regional and subregional organizations that had direct knowledge of the reality of certain issues to develop integrated responses to those problems.

Progress in resolving the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo could have been achieved earlier had the Council not adopted a wait-and-see approach, he said.  A question mark remained whether the agreed numbers of military personnel contained in resolution 1341 (2001) would be sufficient to effectively deal with the situation in the Democratic Republic, given the country’s size and the enormity and complexities of the conflict there.

He said a positive point was that the Council had shown continued commitment to cut off the resources of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and he welcomed the extension of the mandate of the Monitoring Mechanism in January.  Appropriate measures must, however, be taken against sanctions violators.

He noted the criticism frequently levelled against the Council for selectivity in its dealing with conflict situations.  It was hard to argue against such criticism, if one looked at the continuing tragedy in the occupied Palestinian territories.  The military onslaught and economic strangulation of the Palestinians continued, with massive human rights and humanitarian rights abuses.  The Security Council appeared to be not fully committed to stopping the violence and finding a lasting solution to the conflict. To restore any of its credibility, the Council should ensure that its resolutions, such as 1322 (2000), were fully implemented.  It should urgently establish a United Nations protection force for Palestinian civilians.

On Western Sahara, he said the Council must be vigilant and should not accept any attempt to derail the implementation of the United Nations Settlement Plan.  He said the people of Western Sahara had suffered too much and for too long.  They must be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination.  The Council must assume its responsibility to ensure the implementation of the Settlement Plan without any further delay, he said.

He added that concrete measures should be taken to ensure a greater role for women in the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.  Additional efforts and initiatives should be put in place to end the targeting of children in armed conflict, including their recruitment and use in those conflicts.  The Council must be vigilant in responding to such situations as HIV/AIDS and poverty, which threatened international peace and security. 

OLEG LAPTENOK (Belarus) said that despite positive changes, the situation in Africa still required constant attention.  That part of the world inherited a sad and troubling legacy, and change could only occur through prompt collective action.  Indeed, the Council must not weaken its attention to all global aspects of peace and security.  In that regard, Belarus, as well as other countries in the region, could prove to be a great and unexploited resource to help the Council address many ongoing international issues.  In its turn, Belarus had been expanding its participation in the non-military aspects of peacekeeping.  It had also forwarded initiatives aimed at curbing the creation of various types of weapons of mass destruction.

He said that the Council’s attention should remain centrally linked to issues regarding the promotion and strengthening of international peace and security.  It should also focus on strengthening its relationship with the Economic and Social Council and other United Nations bodies.  Some of the basic changes that would help overcome the crisis of faith in the Council included, among others:  increasing emphasis on regional forums for maintaining peace and security; implementation of proposals contained in the Brahimi Report; and the

holding of more open meetings on such issues as exit strategies and sanctions.  The Council must strive to answer a question often posed to it -- Did the Council always speak with a decisive voice on many of those issues?  It must also ensure that its decisions were not merely on paper, but were implemented effectively.

The meeting of the Security Council was suspended at 1:28 p.m.

MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) said questions raised by Ukraine in the working paper for the debate deserved specific attention.  There was need to strengthen cooperation and communication between the United Nations and regional organizations.  Mali had taken a stand in support of such a genuine partnership. It was gratified by meetings of the Security Council and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as the other meeting between the Council and member States of the Lusaka Agreement Political Committee which took place last month.  Those meetings had led to the adoption by the Council of resolutions 1341 (2001) and 1344 (2001), respectively.

He called for the strengthening of cooperation and coordination between the United Nations and the OAU.  He also emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation between the Council and international organizations to strengthen peace and security.  He stressed resolute action on the part of the Security Council in accordance with its role in the maintenance of international peace and security.  The Council must continue to give equal attention to all situations that might imperil international peace and security.  Peace and security in Africa could only be achieved through consistent action by the Council. 

KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) observed that the response of the Council to some situations had been inconsistent.  He noted that it had deployed larger forces in Kosovo than in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, even though the latter was bigger than the entire of Western Europe.  More effective deployment of forces was needed in certain situations.  After all the lofty pronouncements about civilians in armed conflict, it was unfortunate that the Council had not been able to act when civilians were in great danger, as had been seen in the case of Palestinians.

He said the Council’s credibility had been diminished by its inconsistency in dealing with conflict situations.  The challenge faced by the Council was to rebuild the common will.  There was no shared vision, and the time had come for a common vision in dealing with conflicts.  As a small country, he said Singapore had an interest in a stronger, rather than weaker, Security Council.  To ensure its effectiveness, the Council must have a strong relationship with the rest of the United Nations community.

JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France) said today’s debate provided an important opportunity to review resolution 1318 (2000) which would provide the road map for much of the Council’s work.  He said he would focus his intervention on some of the questions that had been raised by non-members during the first half of today’s debate.  On the overall effectiveness of Council decisions, he noted that political will had been emphasized as crucial.  Indeed, successful implementation of Council resolutions went far beyond the Council’s 15 members and should involve the entire international community.  Others had stressed the importance of more cooperation between the Council and relevant regional organizations and other international bodies.  While such cooperation was occurring, there were some practical difficulties, namely, the lack of coordination among those organizations themselves.

Some speakers this morning had suggested that, while the Council had made many positive changes, there was much that remained to be done.  While that assessment might be valid, the question should be:  what does the Council want to do?  All should be aware that the United Nations could not, for example, entrust the same objectives to the Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had to the stabilization force -– KFOR  -- in Kosovo.  Each operation must be judged in light of what could and should be accomplished.  Turning to peacekeeping operations themselves, he said that the true message was the partnership at all levels, particularly that of the United Nations with the parties to conflict.

He said that the Council’s handling of sanctions had also been criticized earlier in the debate.  But, he was convinced that the Council had established a truly new sanctions doctrine and created ever more clear criteria for such regimes.  The Council had also given particular attention to the humanitarian issues involved in the implementation of sanctions.  He added that sanctions were now more encouraging than punitive.  He considered, however, that there still should be a modest sanctions monitoring system.  Taking all this into consideration, he said, one should recognize that at least some part of the road had been travelled.  

M. PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said that, since the Summit, the Council had been continually challenged by a number of conflicts and other issues that threatened international peace and security, as well as the political, social and economic well-being of the global community.  The humanitarian situation in many countries had been exacerbated by armed conflicts, natural disasters, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the number of refugees and internally displaced persons had increased dramatically.  For the most part, women and children had borne the brunt of those humanitarian disasters.  The Council had, in turn, challenged the international community and the United Nations system to be partners in seeking solutions to those problems.

She said that some of the actions taken by the Council since the Summit clearly demonstrated the will, or lack thereof, to be responsive to resolution 1318.  For example, while the Council had undertaken a comprehensive review of the Brahimi Report and even implemented some of its recommendations on United Nations peacekeeping operations, there was a recognition that institutional changes must follow.  In that regard, much remained to be done; the Council must now establish the modalities and mechanisms to implement those changes.  Some of the Council’s efforts aimed at achieving better maintenance of peace and security included an examination of exit strategies when considering the establishment of peacekeeping operations, as well as a pragmatic consideration of troop contributors.

She went on to say that, in an open debate, the Council had examined the importance of pre- and post-conflict peace-building measures.  Peace-building was recognized as an important tool in the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development.  She said that the Council had also become fully engrossed in seeking solutions to specific conflicts, particularly in Africa.  The intractable conflicts in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had been given high priority.  It was imperative for the Council to remain fully engaged in those and other issues concerning the African continent.

WANG YINGFAN (China) said over the past half year the Council had exerted extra efforts and made some headway in monitoring and containing international conflicts and disputes.  It had continued to pay special attention to the African issue.  In that regard, he mentioned activities concerning Ethiopia/Eritrea, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council had established a working group to deliberate issues of the Brahimi Report, and the Report’s sound recommendations were being implemented step by step.  However, the Council’s endeavour in addressing a number of issues, including the Palestine-Israel conflict, had so far failed to yield overall results and constituted a challenge to the authority of the Council. 

His Government held a serious and responsible attitude towards implementing the spirit of the Council Summit and placed special emphasis on action, he said.  As to questions for which there were no easy answers, his country had always maintained that solutions acceptable to all sides should be sought by exploring common ground on the basis of the principles of the United Nations Charter.  In that spirit, China had actively participated in discussions on peacekeeping operations, as well as on the question of the scale of assessment for peacekeeping operations.  His Government was working with the Secretariat on the details of China contributing logistic contingents to peacekeeping operations.

He said the workload of the Council had been increasing at such a rate that it would undermine the Council’s efficiency and ability to handle important peace and security issues in a timely and effective manner.  Improving efficiency and increasing transparency constituted two important components in the reform of the Council’s working methods.  A balance must be found between the two of them.  The Council should focus on the primary issues of maintaining international peace and security.  It was not practical to pack the Council’s agenda with all other important issues listed on the agenda of the United Nations, he said.

Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said there was no doubt that the Security Council had been less effective in giving special attention to Africa than Africa deserved.  But, the special characteristics of African conflicts were being addressed more directly, not least in Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola.  More importantly, as shown by recent developments, Africans themselves were beginning to take practical action to address the special circumstances that had dragged Africa down and left it lagging in development terms.

He said a sense of renewal and partnership was being created, both among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the world.  Africans and their non-African partners were beginning to look forward to solutions, not backwards to blame and resentment.  The United Nations needed to build on that fast, not least in its approach to financing for development and other Economic and Social Council issues, as well as to peacekeeping.

The Security Council did not give equal priority to all conflicts or crisis situations, he said.  It must concentrate on those that were most susceptible to treatment, even in the face of immense difficulties.  But, it was slowly becoming more professional and workmanlike in its approach to conflict management.  If that produced a higher rate of success, other regions or States in conflict would be more likely to turn to the United Nations for help, and the whole international conflict prevention and peace-building system would gain confidence and coherence.

He said the Council had already discussed peace-building and recognized that coordination between the Security Council and other parts of the United Nations system was essential.  But, that had not been turned into practical action.  As a start, the United Kingdom would institute, during its April presidency, a meeting between Security Council and the Bureau of the Economic and Social Council.  The President of that body had supported the idea in principle, and the United Kingdom would soon approach the President of the General Assembly.

The idea of producing comprehensive international strategies to address the root causes of conflicts was ambitious, because those root causes were disparate and complex, he said.  While the Council could not dictate a comprehensive international strategy to cover them all, it could work with other parts of the international system and with the affected regions to develop a broad partnership in addressing the root causes of conflict.

It was time for the Council, as well as African regional and subregional organizations, to start working together more constructively, he emphasized.  Why had the Council and the OAU failed to establish a continuous and productive working relationship?  A change of approach was needed to reflect the recognition that United Nations organs and regional organizations had been too self-contained and politically constrained to devote themselves to really effective collective action.  Council members must break out of their unproductive mould, as they had done in adopting this morning's resolution on Liberia.

SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that the documents respectively adopted at the Security Council Summit and the Millennium Summit clearly indicated priorities for the Organization at all levels, as well as reaffirmed respect for the Charter.  Indeed, the Council Summit had provided impetus to the efforts of improving United Nations peacekeeping operations.  He believed that it was now necessary to implement all the decisions and innovations considered at the Summit. Only after such implementation would it be possible to consider other actions.

He went on to say that there had been several comments during the debate about reform of the military components of United Nations peacekeeping operations. It was time now to see what could really be done in that regard, particularly concerning the Military Staff Committee.  Other speakers today had emphasized the need for greater cooperation between the United Nations and regional groups.  He believed that many positive initiatives had been taken in that area. 

He said that while the double standards in the Council’s work noted by some speakers did exist, it was important to understand the true differences between a NATO operation like KFOR in Kosovo, and the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Iraq, he added, was an example of a situation in which unilateral actions were taken that contravened the intentions of actions taken by the Council.  Taking all that into consideration, the Council could not magically provide a single criteria that would resolve all issues or meet the needs of all conflict situation.  That was a particular concern when addressing the humanitarian issues.

Turning to the relationship of the Council with other United Nations bodies, he was wary of the Council expanding its role into areas outside its purview. 

Any interaction between the Council and other bodies of the Organization must be done pragmatically.  And while it was certainly easier to reach agreement between 16 members than between 189, such were the drawbacks of democracy.  The Charter clearly spoke to the respective duties and obligations of all the various branches of the Organization.  The Council should, therefore, concentrate on its main task, the maintenance of international peace and security.

ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said it was clear from many of the interventions in the first half of today’s debate that Member States were following the work of the Council closely, and they expected satisfactory results in the discharge of its duties.  That notion appeared particularly true of issues regarding sanctions regimes, the  control of the flow of small arms, peace-building and the need for the Council to better focus on its prescribed objectives.  He added that non-permanent members must also shoulder their share of the responsibility.

On the issue of sanctions, he said that such regimes, under the Charter, should be used as a measure to enhance peace and security, not as a tool to extract political punishment.  He also said that many speakers had questioned the competence of the Council with regard to international peace and security, particularly in Africa.  It had been noted that the Council continued to create interminable series of issues over which it claimed dominion.  That had the effect of precluding relevant national actors, the Assembly or other United Nations bodies from taking steps to deal with those issues. 

He went on to note that the Council’s attention to Africa was understandable and United Nations presence was essential.  Africa deserved no less.  But, the Council should work more closely with regional and subregional groups that were more familiar with the conflicts on that continent.  The complexity of the situations in Africa required special attention, he added, particularly when creating strategies to prevent conflict and ensure post-conflict peace-building.

JAMES CUNNINGHAM (United States) said the last six months had shown that the Council had made significant progress in achieving the goals elaborated in its Millennium Declaration.  He thought the Council was on the road to doing even better.  The Council in the Declaration had marked the need for the adoption of clear, credible and achievable mandates.  It was in fact doing so, most recently, in adjusting its approach to new circumstances in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The United States had honoured the Summit Declaration's call for international action to prevent the illegal flow of small arms into areas of conflict through the Joint United States-Southern African Development Community (SADC) Declaration on Small Arms.  In a true innovation in its work, he said the Council was addressing trafficking and exploitation of high-value commodities, with important work on conflict diamonds and the effort earlier today to address the way "blood money" fuelled further conflict and instability.

The Summit Declaration had called for bringing to justice those who committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, he added.  Another provision of the Declaration emphasized the determination to continue to sensitize peacekeeping personnel on the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS.

There had been significant progress in the Council in working closely with regional organizations, particularly in Africa, Latin America and Europe.  The Council's working methods had changed considerably.  There was much more effort to find consensus and more openness towards exchange with other organizations and actors.  There was also much more transparency and greater recognition of the need for partnerships to be effective.

He said the Council needed to address real problems -- as it did yesterday with Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, and today in West Africa.  It needed to comprehensively review the Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ resources when a report on the subject came up in May.  Additionally, enhancing the capacity of the United Nations to plan for and manage civilian police operations would greatly contribute to lasting security in post-conflict States.  That had to become an important United Nations tool for addressing earlier stages of conflict and also for post-conflict situations, he added.

Many comments today called for the Council to be more rapid and effective in enforcing its decisions and supporting international legitimacy and international law.  For that to happen, the Council must realize and the membership must realize that the Council was not solely its own master.  It needed stronger instruments, especially as outlined in the Brahimi Report.  It needed the support of and implementation by the international community.  It had to be realized that the ultimate responsibility for resolving conflict and building peace lay with the parties, as the Council Declaration set out in September.

OTHMAN JERANDI (Tunisia) observed that the Council had begun to provide important follow-ups.  The objectives of resolution 1318 required specific support from the United Nations system.  He noted that the Council had worked in close cooperation with regional bodies on the continent, such as ECOWAS and recently with the Political Committee of the Lusaka Agreement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The concept of the maintenance of international peace and security could no longer be restricted to traditional peacekeeping operations, he said.  For international peace and security to be maintained in a sustainable manner, the underlying causes of conflicts had to be determined.  There was a need for coordinated action.  The Council must show transparency in its work.  Sanctions regimes must be specific.

He said the Council had not always met the expectations of all, as in the case of Palestinians and in the application of sanctions against Iraq.  He agreed with the representative of the United Kingdom that the Council did not have a magic wand to resolve all issues before it, but it must be able to judge all cases and to take action accordingly.  Maintaining peace and security was a collective responsibility which must be carried out by all.  Resources, including financial resources, must be made available, and political will must be mobilized. 

WEGGER STROMMEN (Norway) said the Security Council alone could not make a decisive difference in a country sliding into or recovering from conflict; the decisions of the General Assembly or the Economic and Social Council could not alone ensure stable economic growth and sustainable development; programmes of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) could not pull people out of poverty, nor the projects of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) provide a better future for children; and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs could not ensure that humanitarian needs were met or prevent new humanitarian crises.  Any real and lasting difference would only come about as a result of the combination of all efforts.

He said that one of the most encouraging results of the Security Council Summit Declaration and the General Assembly Millennium Declaration had been the consensus on the need for comprehensive peace-building, addressing conflict at all stages from prevention to settlement to post-conflict peace-building.  Another element of the emerging consensus was the need to address the root causes of conflict, including their economic causes.  One tool available to the Council for that purpose was the adoption of smarter sanctions.  However, it was increasingly difficult to agree on the usefulness, formulation and implementation of sanctions regimes in particular situations, as with the discussions on measures against Liberia -- successfully concluded this morning.  Controversies involved in implementing sanctions pointed to a need to consider the issue in a broader context.

DAVID COONEY (Ireland) said work on the important issue of conflict prevention was being undertaken in a number of different forums.  It was an area where cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations would be important.  The Union had recently focused on developing a comprehensive strategic approach to conflict prevention, and the issue would be on the agenda at the Gothenburg European Council meeting.  In addition, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee high-level meeting in April would consider guidelines on conflict prevention.  It was important that those different forums coordinate with one another to ensure that the strategies and policies being developed on conflict prevention were coherent and reinforced one another, he said.

He said the Security Council’s responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security must also involve a preventive approach, pursued as part of the collective effort of the wider United Nations system.  Ireland saw the United Nations development arms as an important instrument in addressing poverty.  It also believed that the United Nations had a critical role to play in ensuring that the 2015 goals of the Millennium Summit and the targets agreed to at the international conferences of the 1990s were met.

For the United Nations, action in crisis countries must mean that efforts in crisis management reinforced long-term development objectives, not distort them.  The United Nations must have clear lines of authority and clear organizational structures.  Every effort must be made to ensure coherence and coordination, and that lessons learned from the past and best practices were pursued.

Peace-building efforts required the closest cooperation and coordination between all parts of the United Nations system and, in particular, the Department of Political Affairs, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, and the UNDP.  There was a significant role for the UNDP as capacity-builder in the governance area and in the resident coordinator system.  He said all parts of the United Nations system should seek to mutually reinforce each other.

ANUND PRIYAY NEEWOOR (Mauritius) said there was no doubt that the Security Council, as the chief instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security, was in urgent need of reform, if it was to continue to assume the role prescribed to it by the Charter.  At the same time, while all agreed that maintaining peace and security had become more complex, the international community had not adapted its structures and methods to deal with that new situation.  Indeed, the Council continued to operate within the parameters of a world order that had long since changed -– one which did not reflect modern realities.  Its decision-making was, more often than not, flawed, inconsistent and lacking in credibility.

He went on to compare the methods the Council now used to address conflicts to firefighting without the proper tools -- in this case, inadequate financial and human resources.  He said the Council sent ill-equipped and rumbling fire engines to contain the raging fires of conflict, realizing only after it was too late that the firemen had been entrusted with an impossible job.  Somalia, Angola and Sierra Leone were examples.  Recent situations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda had also highlighted the inadequacies of the United Nations peacekeeping system.  Indeed, the overall peacekeeping activities in Africa had lacked even-handedness.

He said that the Brahimi Report had addressed many of the shortcomings of United Nations peacekeeping operations.  That report had also provided many important recommendations, many of which were gradually being implemented.  One significant recommendation had been the call for regular consultations at every stage of peace operations between the Council and troop-contributing countries.  He was hopeful that the working group on peacekeeping established last month would further improve those operations.  He suggested that the Council establish a working group with the responsibility to make recommendations on implementation of the Summit Declaration.  Consideration should also be given to holding a ministerial meeting of the Council during the next session of the General Assembly for a review of the Council Summit Declaration.

RUHUL AMIN (Bangladesh) said that since the designation of January 2000 as the month of Africa under the United States presidency, the Security Council's attention had remained focused on conflicts in Africa, as the situation demanded, in the months before and after the Millennium Summit.  Since the Summit, the Council's actions on Eritrea/Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and its action this morning on Liberia had demonstrated its proactive and resolute role.

Regarding forgotten conflicts, he said that while the Council reviewed the situation in Burundi every month, it had possibly forgotten its responsibility to provide a peacekeeping mission there, as called for in the Arusha Peace Agreement.  The Council had been requested to report on that matter last September, and the report was still awaited.

He said that with the timely adoption of resolution 1327 as a follow-up to the Brahimi Panel's report, a solemn commitment to the Summit had been fulfilled.  It was now necessary to focus attention on implementing the agreed provisions,

particularly those on developing comprehensive and integrated strategies to address the root causes of conflicts, and on enhancing the United Nations capacity for rapid deployment of peacekeeping operations.

VOLODYMYR YEL’CHENKO (Ukraine), President of the Council, in closing remarks, said the need to conduct regular review of implementation of the decisions taken by the Security Council was one of the major motivations that prompted him to convene the debate.  The review could become one of the concrete ways of ensuring that Council decisions were put into action.

He was very encouraged by the many action-oriented comments and practical proposals put forward by delegations to ensure the realization of the commitments made by the Security Council at its Summit.  He would think very carefully, in consultation with all members of the Council, about the most appropriate way of putting the proposals into writing, in order to formalize a more focused outcome of the debate.

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For information media. Not an official record.