AFGHANISTAN, TERRORISM, AFRICA, CONTINUING MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE AMONG CRUCIAL ISSUES FOR SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2001

14 January 2002
SC/7266

AFGHANISTAN, TERRORISM, AFRICA, CONTINUING MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE AMONG CRUCIAL ISSUES FOR SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2001

14/01/2002
Press ReleaseSC/7266

Security Council

2001 Round-Up

AFGHANISTAN, TERRORISM, AFRICA, CONTINUING MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE

AMONG CRUCIAL ISSUES FOR SECURITY COUNCIL IN 2001

Adopts Comprehensive Anti-Terrorism Strategy; Sends

West Africa, Great Lakes Missions; Monitors Kosovo, East Timor Progress

In the shadow of the 11 September attacks on the United States, terrorism and the question of Afghanistan loomed over the Security Council's agenda in 2001.  Throughout the year, however, the Council also focused on a global range of unstable situations, notably the long-term conflicts in Africa and the continuing violence in the Middle East.  In addition, the significant progress in Kosovo and East Timor was closely monitored.

The Council once again demonstrated its interest in holding open debates on issues that have an impact on global peace and security.  This year, the discussions addressed:  civilians in armed conflict; women, peace and security; small arms and light weapons; conflict prevention; and HIV/AIDS.

On the day after the terrorist attacks, members broke tradition by standing in unison to adopt a resolution condemning them, expressing sympathy with families of the victims and the host country.  Council members also expressed their readiness to combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with Charter responsibilities.

On 28 September, the Council adopted a wide-ranging and comprehensive resolution –- 1373 (2001) -– with steps and strategies to combat international terrorism and established a Counter-Terrorism Committee to monitor its implementation.

Before 11 September, the Council had met twice on Afghanistan, mainly to strengthen sanctions on the Taliban.  On 13 November, during the first Council meeting on Afghanistan after the attacks, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the country was one of the United Nations’ greatest challenges and that challenge was now at its “most urgent stage”.  The subsequent plan for a broad-based political reconstruction of the country, presented to the Council by his Special Representative, Lakdhar Brahimi, had progressed to its second stage by year's end.

In Africa, where numerous conflicts had led to a worsening humanitarian situation, the Council stressed the complete implementation of hard-won ceasefire agreements, control of the illicit trade in resources and arms, and development for peace-building.  In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Council emphasized compliance with the Lusaka Peace Agreement in an effort to stem violations in the east and effect the withdrawal of foreign armies.

Discussing the resurgent violence, including an attempted coup, in the Central African Republic, the Council looked at persistent economic and social tensions.  After the Council strengthened the peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, that country was able to move towards stability, but with continued rebel activity the Council applied new sanctions on Liberia, in an attempt to cut off the illicit trade it said supported them. 

The Council sent missions to West Africa and the Great Lakes region, among others, in 2001, continuing to recognize the regional nature of many conflicts.  For that reason, it lent its full support to the establishment of an Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to West Africa, along with new cooperation with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In Kosovo, despite constant ethnic tension and flare-ups of ethnic extremism, province-wide elections were held in November with the multi-ethnic participation that Council members emphasized as essential in discussions that preceded the event.  Speakers in the Council noted, however, that many factors in its final governance remained unresolved by the elections.

The situation seemed clearer, in Council meetings, after elections in another area recently devastated by violence and administered by a United Nations mission -- East Timor.  After its vote for a Constituent Assembly and its plans for 2002 independence were endorsed by the Council, United Nations operations in the territory were hailed as a model for peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building.  Council members and other speakers warned, however, that a hasty or ill-planned exit could allow accomplishments there to unravel.

A lack of progress was highlighted in other tragic situations.  For one, no agreement was reached on the deteriorating situation in the Middle East, as the death toll continued to climb in the cycle of violence that began in September 2000.  Open Council debates heard more than 40 speakers each, with most speakers criticizing what they called illegal and inhumane acts by Israel, with some condemning all acts of lawlessness and terrorism.  Two draft resolutions that proposed the establishment of an observer force and a monitoring mechanism, respectively, failed to be adopted in separate meetings, due to the negative vote of the United States.

Following are summaries of Council activity in 2001.

Asia

Afghanistan

The rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, capping two decades of instability in that country, began in 1996 and ended late in 2001.  But, Security Council concern over the regime had been building long before the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States.  Due to accusations of drug trafficking, the export of terrorism and human rights abuse, sanctions against the Taliban had been imposed by resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000), including embargoes on arms and travel, along with financial measures.

On 5 June, at an open meeting on Afghanistan, widespread support was expressed for the creation of a monitoring mechanism for those sanctions, along with measures to strengthen support for them by the "six plus two" countries -- the six neighbouring countries, plus the Russian Federation and the United States. The six neighbouring countries are China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  On 30 July, the monitoring mechanism for the sanctions was established with the adoption of resolution 1363 (2001).

The next meeting on the country took place on 13 November, after the

11 September attacks and after the United States had begun armed action against the Al Qaeda organization and its Taliban hosts.  At that meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that Afghanistan was one of the United Nations’ greatest challenges and that challenge was now at its “most urgent stage”.

Speaking prior to a briefing of the Council by his Special Representative on Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, the Secretary-General stressed that the objective must be a stable, peaceful Afghanistan that carried out its international obligations and posed no threat to any of its neighbours. Any future arrangements, then, must reflect the will, needs and interests of the Afghan people, which required the end of interference in Afghanistan's affairs by neighbouring countries. 

Mr. Brahimi, addressing the Council during a day-long session that heard statements from 38 other speakers, including 21 foreign ministers, said world leaders had indicated that this time the international community would have the will and staying power to help Afghans reconstruct their country.

Based on ideas discussed by Afghans, Mr. Brahimi presented a potential approach to the crisis.  First, the United Nations would convene a meeting with the representatives of the Northern Alliance and other groups, in order to ensure fair representation in a process leading to an agreement on a framework for political representation.  The second stage would have Afghan representatives prescribe concrete steps to be followed towards the establishment of a permanent, broad-based government.  Those steps would include a proposal for a provisional administration, approval for a transitional administration, and the convening of a second Loya Jirga, or meeting of tribal leaders, to approve the resulting government.

In the ensuing debate, many speakers supported the idea of a broad-based, all-inclusive government and the involvement of the United Nations in the processes leading up to its establishment.  Highlighting the humanitarian crisis, speakers called for speedy responses in light of the approaching Afghan winter, and the millions who were without food or shelter.

The following day, 14 November, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1378 (2001), affirming that the United Nations should play a central role in supporting the efforts of the Afghan people to urgently establish a new and transitional administration leading to the formation of a new government.  It expressed full support to the efforts of Mr. Brahimi, who was entrusted with the overall authority for the humanitarian, human rights and political endeavours of the United Nations in Afghanistan.

Following that meeting, the representatives of the Northern Alliance and other Afghan groups convened a meeting in Bonn, Germany.  On 5 December, they signed an agreement on provisional political arrangements, pending the re-establishment of permanent government institutions.  The next day, the Council endorsed that agreement, unanimously adopting resolution 1383 (2001).  By its terms, the Council declared its willingness to take further action, on the basis of a report by the Secretary-General, to support the interim institutions established by the Agreement and to support its implementation.

East Timor

With the successful staging of national elections on 30 August and plans for independence endorsed for 20 May 2002, United Nations operations in East Timor, under the Organization’s Transitional Administration in that Territory (UNTAET), were hailed in the Council, by the end of 2001, as a model for peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building.  In the eight meetings on the topic, however, there were also warnings that the accomplishments and investments of the international community were at risk without a coherent exit strategy, which could mean continued United Nations presence for some time.

Timorese leader Jose Ramos-Horta told the Council, in a day-long open debate on 26 January, that East Timor had been “knocked back to year zero”, in September 1999, by the militia-led violence that followed a referendum on independence from Indonesia.  In that meeting, Mr. Ramos-Horta commended UNTAET on its efforts to “Timorize” operations as it fulfilled its multiple roles of administration, security, humanitarian assistance and coordination of institutional and physical rebuilding. 

Urging further delegation of authority to the East Timorese people in the Territory's transition to independence, the Security Council, on 31 January, extended the mandate of UNTAET until 31 January 2002.  Through resolution 1338 (2001), the Council also urged the international community to provide financial and technical assistance, to help to build the new nation and to create an East Timor Defence Force.

Reviewing the situation a few months later, on 5 April, Hédi Annabi, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said that the new East Timor Defence Force had begun training that week.  There had also been an increase in the number of refugees returning home from West Timor, making more 180,000 total returnees.  An estimated 100,000 were still in West Timor, however.  Those remaining continued to face intimidation and lacked access to information about the real conditions inside East Timor, he added.

In the discussion that followed the briefing, the President of the National Council of Timorese Resistance, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, drew attention to the unresolved issues of justice and reconciliation, security, and the prospects for development.  Mr. Ramos-Horta spoke of development of the draft constitution, which, he said, addressed issues of tolerance, non-violence, democratic commitment, and compliance with international human rights norms and the rule of law.  That document would bind all political parties, regardless of the election result, he said.

In a final briefing before the elections, on 30 July 2001, Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Transitional Administrator in East Timor, told members that the "end is in sight", but that there was much further to go if East Timor was to truly and fully benefit from its independence.

After the August elections were staged in an uncontested manner, the Council warmly welcomed the results in a 10 September presidential statement.  In a subsequent briefing, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, reported that the elections had been held with participation from more than 91 per cent of the electorate.  There was not a single confirmed allegation of a breach of the Electoral Offences Regulation.

Delegations overwhelmingly welcomed the successful outcome of the elections, congratulating the East Timorese people for their "political maturity", and UNTAET, under the leadership of Sergio Vieira de Mello, for the manner in which the elections were organized and conducted.  Member States, including Indonesia, were thanked for their support.  Many speakers agreed that it was, indeed, a proud moment in the history of United Nations peacekeeping operations.  Others called on all political parties to respect the election outcome, work together to draft the constitution, and prepare East Timor for independence.

On 31 October, in its final meetings of the year on the topic, the Council, through a presidential statement, endorsed the recommendation by the Constituent Assembly of East Timor that independence be declared on 20 May 2002.

In the same statement, it also endorsed the Secretary-General’s plans for adjusting the mission’s size and configuration in the months prior to independence, agreeing that a successor mission, headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Sergio Vieira de Mello, would consist of military, civilian police and civilian components.  Among those would be experts providing crucial assistance to the emergent East Timorese State.  The mission would gradually downsize in the two years following independence.

Mr. Vieira de Mello, briefing the Council, outlined some of the problems yet to be faced.  He said that one of the most onerous tasks was assisting the Timorese in drafting budgets fitted to limited means, as the international presence was reduced.  The support provided by the current mission, with its budget roughly 10 times that of the national one, could simply not be sustained after independence.

Prior to that briefing, in an open debate, Indonesia's representative said his country was looking forward to resolving outstanding issues and establish a sound basis for future relations, as well as to processes which would lead to the withdrawal of foreign troops.  As 33 other speakers addressed the Council in that meeting, wide support was expressed for the Secretary-General's recommendations, particularly those on United Nations disengagement in a strategic, gradual way that resulted in a viable and self-sustainable new nation.

Iraq

The Council's five meetings on Iraq in 2001 focused on the need to alleviate the poor humanitarian situation of the Iraqi people, while ensuring the Iraqi Government’s full compliance with Security Council resolutions, which would allow the lifting of sanctions.  For that reason, the "oil-for-food" programme of resolution 986 (1995) was extended only until 3 July in the first meeting on the situation, on 1 June, through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1352 (2001).  In the interim, the Council expressed its intention to consider new arrangements for the sale or supply of commodities and products to Iraq, and for the facilitation of civilian trade.

Subsequently, in a public meeting held on 26 and 28 June, deliberations focused on draft proposals by the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation for modifying the current sanctions regime, as well as on relations between Iraq and Kuwait.  Also raised during that meeting was the need to reconsider aspects relating to the "no-fly" zones in Iraq and the issue of missing Kuwaiti citizens and property.

Kuwait’s representative called for full compliance with United Nations resolutions, saying that Iraq’s intentions towards his country were not peaceful, given repeated threats to the security and sovereignty of Kuwait by high-level Iraqi officials.  When the meeting resumed on 28 June, Iraq's Under-Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs said his country had implemented all the relevant Security Council resolutions.  It had recognized Kuwait’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and borders, as well as having returned all Kuwaiti property that could be found and all prisoners of war.  Iraq had also condemned all forms of international terrorism.  He said the aim of the United States and the United Kingdom was to perpetuate the blockade on Iraq, despite its efforts to meet its obligations. 

When the Council voted unanimously to extend the oil-for-food programme for a period of 150 days on 3 July, through resolution 1360 (2001), it decided that revenues for the food/nutrition and health sectors should continue to be allocated on a priority basis, to ensure an equitable distribution of humanitarian relief to all segments of the Iraqi population throughout the country.  On 29 November, the Council extended the programme for a further 180 days beginning 1 December.  By unanimously adopting resolution 1382 (2001), it also approved a proposed Goods Review List for implementation on 30 May 2002.  Items on the list  -- such as specific advanced telecommunications equipment -- must go to the Council’s Sanctions Committee for approval or denial, after an assessment of the risk of their being diverted to military purposes.

On 20 December, upon the release of a report by the Secretary-General, Council members expressed concern over the still incomplete repatriation of Kuwaitis and third-country nationals and the return of Kuwaiti properties by Iraq, through a press statement read by the Council President.

Africa

Angola

Much of the Council's work on Angola during the year, including six formal meetings, focused on the sanctions regime on the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), in light of its continued armed activity.  Terrorism on the part of UNITA, the country's humanitarian situation, the relevance of the 1994 peace agreement, and democratization also received attention.  A year-end briefing called for more proactive United Nations involvement in the country.

The Government of Angola and UNITA have been engaged in an intermittent, devastating civil war since the country’s independence in 1975.  In January 1999, the Secretary-General concluded that the Angolan peace process had once again collapsed, after UNITA refused to proceed with the implementation of the 1994 peace agreement, known as the Lusaka Protocol.

In consequence, the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Angola (MONUA) ended in early 1999.  The following October, the Security Council authorized the establishment of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) to explore effective measures for restoring peace, assist the Angolan people in the area of capacity- building, humanitarian assistance, the promotion of human rights and the coordination of other activities. 

A Monitoring Mechanism on sanctions against UNITA was established in 2000 and a report, following a six-month investigation, was issued on 21 December (document S/2000/1225, annex).  On 22 February 2001, the Council discussed the report, and on 23 February, it extended the Mechanism's mandate for three months, requesting an addendum.  On 19 April, through resolution 1348 (2001), it extended that mandate until 17 October, again requesting further material.

The Mechanism's report concluded that the rebel movement was still conducting guerrilla warfare, attacking mostly civilian targets, destroying infrastructure, killing innocent people and laying landmines.  The addendum (document S/2001/363) noted that the Council's firm commitment to monitoring sanctions has had a positive effect on thwarting UNITA's military lifelines.  Governments that violated sanctions in the past were taking steps to implement the measures.  However, despite a lessening of the attitude of impunity, the intention of sanctions-busters to continue to derive profit from Angola's cruel war remained firmly intact.  The report and its addenda detailed such sanctions-busting operations.

At a meeting on 19 October, which heard 30 speakers on the report, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, Richard Ryan (Ireland), said the sanctions regime was working, but its effectiveness needed to be improved.  Penalties for sanctions violators (“secondary sanctions”) and a possible permanent monitoring mechanism for United Nations sanctions were among the issues raised in the ensuing discussion.

In the first of two meetings held on 15 November, Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, briefed the Council.  He said that in the previous month the fighting in Angola had continued and in some areas, intensified, further impoverishing the people and contributing to the deteriorating humanitarian situation.  In the second meeting on that date, the Council, through a statement read by the President, reaffirmed its intention to keep the sanctions under close and ongoing monitoring.  It stated its support for the Angolan Government’s efforts to implement the Lusaka Protocol, and for its intention to hold free and fair elections and other efforts towards peace, stability and national reconciliation.

Following a December mission to Angola, Special Advisor Gambari, in a Council briefing on the twenty-first of that month, said that a convergence of opinion was emerging for the first time, that the United Nations should again play a more proactive role in the Angolan peace process. Issues on which the Government wished to begin immediate cooperation included management of the Fund for Peace and Reconciliation, pilot projects for demobilized soldiers and internally displaced persons, and assistance in the electoral process.

Burundi

The Council held six formal meetings to consider the situation in Burundi, which was marked in 2001 by both the inauguration of a transitional government and an escalation of violence.

Long-standing internal conflict in Burundi led, in 1993, to a coup attempt in which the first democratically elected President, a Hutu, was killed, followed by widespread fighting between the largely Tutsi army and Hutu rebels, which resulted in an estimated 200,000 deaths and massive displacement.  Intensive efforts by former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela –- the Facilitator for the peace process -- led, on 28 August 2000 in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, to the signing of a Peace and Reconciliation Agreement by most of the parties.  On 1 November, a power-sharing plan came into force that allows for a Hutu and Tutsi President to alternate at the helm of the country.  The two main Hutu rebel groups have rejected the Facilitator’s plan and have vowed to continue fighting the Tutsi-dominated army.  Meanwhile, humanitarian suffering in Burundi has continued unabated.

In the Council's first formal meeting of the year on the situation, on

2 March, it issued a presidential statement condemning the recent attacks by armed groups there, particularly those launched on Bujumbura by the Forces for National Liberation.  It stressed the importance of providing urgent humanitarian assistance to displaced civilians.  A second presidential statement, adopted on

29 June, called for an immediate suspension of hostilities and for the armed groups to enter into negotiations.

Three months later, on 26 September, Council members voiced strong support for the impending 1 November installation of the Transitional Government in Burundi, in a third presidential statement.  The Council expressed its belief that the creation of a broad-based and inclusive government would mark "a critical turning point" in the peace process and encourage donors to honour pledges and provide additional aid.  On 29 October, the Council endorsed the efforts of the Government of South Africa and other Member States to support the implementation of the Arusha agreement, and strongly supported the establishment of an interim multinational security presence in Burundi to protect returning political leaders and train an all-Burundian protection force. 

When the inauguration of the Transitional Government took place, it was accompanied by an increase in violence.  The Council expressed its concern in a presidential statement on 15 November and called on all Burundians to reject violence and pursue their objectives through the institutions and mechanisms of the transition process.

Central African Republic

Prolonged political tension and social crises in the Central African Republic, which the Secretary-General has called the "soft underbelly" of the subregion, were further exacerbated this year by an attempted coup d'état in May by a former President of the Republic.  The situation was the focus of four meetings by the Council in 2001.

On 23 January, the Council was briefed by Tidiane Sy, the Secretary-General's Representative and head of the United Nations Peace-Building Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA), which had replaced the peacekeeping mission that helped secure a 1997 agreement ending civil war there.  He highlighted the severe social and economic difficulties arising from the political tension and security crises, in particular, the considerable tension between the party in power and the opposition. 

Following that briefing and statements by the country's representatives and one World Bank official, the Council issued a presidential statement expressing its concern at the political and social tensions that had recently resurfaced in the country, which threatened to disrupt recent national reconciliation efforts.  It called on the Government to implement economic reforms and ease social tensions and stressed the priority need for the payment of salary arrears in the civil service.

Following an attempted coup d'état in the country on 28 May, in which six were killed and tens of thousands displaced, Council members issued a condemnation of the action in a press statement.  A further review on 17 July led to the adoption of a presidential statement strongly condemning the killing of a United Nations Security Coordinator, Jean-Pierre Lhommee, a French national, on the day of the attempt.  The Council also reiterated its condemnation of the attempted coup d’état.

Following the Secretary-General's third report on the on the situation, which outlined proposals for a revised mandate of BONUCA, the Council met on

21 September to debate the question.  General Lamine Cisse, former Minister of the Interior of Senegal and the new representative of the Secretary-General in the country, told the Council a stronger United Nations office would encourage effective disarmament and strengthen the judicial system and rule of law.

On 26 September, the Council adopted a presidential statement noting the intention of the Secretary-General, in coordination with the Government of the Central African Republic, to extend BONUCA's mandate for one year, and to strengthen its role.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Through 16 meetings in 2001, the Council focused on the need to implement the Lusaka Peace Agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and stop the exploitation of resources that helped prolong the bloodshed.  While the ceasefire had been holding in most of the country, there was concern over continuing conflict in the eastern region.  The human rights and humanitarian situations remained poor, and humanitarian agencies faced deteriorating conditions, including deaths.

In expressing concern over those conditions, the Council underlined the urgent need for increased international economic assistance in support of the peace process.  Throughout the year, Council members continued to stress the

importance of the inter-Congolese dialogue and expressed support for the Facilitator for the inter-Congolese dialogue, Sir Ketumile Masire.

The current chapter in the conflict dates from August 1998, when, in an attempt to stabilize the country and consolidate his control, then President Laurent Kabila expelled the Rwandan troops that remained in the country after his 1997 victory.  That action prompted army mutinies in the capital Kinshasa and the Kivu provinces in the east.  Although the Kinshasa mutiny was put down, the mutiny in the Kivus continued and mushroomed into a drive to topple the Government.  Opposing the Kabila Government were factions of the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD), supported by Rwanda, and Uganda.  The Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), another rebel group, emerged later.  Defending the Kabila Government were the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe militia.  President Kabila is also supported by Angola, Namibia, Chad, Zimbabwe, and the Congolese army.

In July 1999 in Lusaka, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe, signed the Ceasefire Agreement, with the MLC signing on in August.  Along with cessation of hostilities, the agreement called for an international peacekeeping operation, and the beginning of a "national dialogue" on the future of the country.  To maintain liaison with the parties and carry out other tasks, the Council set up the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in November 1999, incorporating United Nations personnel authorized in earlier resolutions.

In demanding adherence to the Lusaka agreement this year, the Council reiterated its call for the complete withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country, and for all parties to complete the disengagement and redeployment of their forces.  The call for withdrawal of foreign troops was supported by the Presidents of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Joseph Kabila was appointed President following his father’s death in January 2001) and of Rwanda who addressed the Council in separate meetings.

On 22 February, by resolution 1341 (2001), the Council expressed its intention to monitor progress in the disengagement of foreign troops with a mission to the region, and indicated its readiness to consider measures to be taken should any parties fail to fully comply with the resolution.  It further reaffirmed that it was ready to support the Secretary-General, if and when he deemed it necessary, to deploy troops in the border areas of the eastern regions of the country.  In demanding an end to the deployment of child soldiers, the Council called for cooperation with MONUC, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and other organizations, to effect their speedy return and rehabilitation.

On 3 May, the exploitation of natural resources and wealth of the Democratic Republic was examined in a day-long open discussion, after which the Council, in a presidential statement, condemned such activities.  The discussion followed consideration of the report of the Expert Panel charged with investigating the illegal exploitation of Congolese natural resources, such as coltan, diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, timber and coffee.  The Council reviewed an addendum to the report in another day-long meeting on 19 December, during which some speakers responded to its specific allegations. 

On 15 June, the Council extended and revised the mandate of MONUC, after briefings on 13 June by Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, and Olara Otunnu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.  The revised concept of operations included the creation of a civilian police component and an integrated civilian/military planning section to coordinate disarmament, demobilization, repatriation and reintegration operations.  It also included a strengthening of MONUC's presence in Kisangani, and augmentation of the Mission's logistic support capability to facilitate current and foreseen future deployment.  The Council authorized MONUC to assist in the early demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of armed groups, and requested the Secretary-General to deploy military observers to monitor the process of early withdrawal, where it was implemented.

In that action, the Council also called on the Secretary-General to ensure sufficient deployment of child protection advisers, to provide consistent and systematic monitoring and reporting on the conduct of the parties concerning child-protection commitments.  The Council also reaffirmed that an international conference on peace, security, democracy and development in the region should be organized under the aegis of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

On 24 October, after an extended debate, the Council, in a presidential statement, supported the initiation of phase III of the deployment of MONUC, in particular, its deployment towards the east of the country.  On 9 November, the Council affirmed, by resolution 1376 (2001), that the implementation of phase III would require the demilitarization of Kisangani, the full restoration of freedom of movement for persons and goods throughout the country, and full cooperation with MONUC military and logistical operations.  Other prerequisites included direct dialogue between the Governments of the Democratic Republic and Rwanda, and the establishment by Rwanda of conditions conducive to voluntary demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of armed groups.

Ethiopia and Eritrea

Fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea erupted in May 1998, as a result of a border dispute, and recurred several times since then despite ceasefires.  Both countries signed an Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities on 18 June 2000, which called on the United Nations, in cooperation with the OAU, to establish a peacekeeping operation to assist in its implementation.

In June 2000, the Council decided to establish the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).  The Mission's mandate included liaising with the parties, verifying the cessation of hostilities and planning a future peacekeeping operation.  Further negotiations, facilitated by the President of Algeria, resulted in the signing of a comprehensive Peace Agreement on 12 December 2000.

The Council met five times on this question in 2001.  On 9 February 2001, through a presidential statement, the Council strongly supported the December Peace Agreement and welcomed a further agreement to establish a Temporary Security Zone, paving the way for the safe deployment of United Nations peacekeepers. 

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno told the Council at a 19 April briefing that the establishment of the Temporary Security Zone on 18 April marked the formal separation of the forces of Ethiopia and Eritrea.  The establishment of the Zone would permit the restoration of Eritrean civilian administration, including police and local militia, and preparations for the return of the population.  There had been no significant violations of the ceasefire, and the situation remained calm, he reported.

In the debate that followed, Council members welcomed the progress, but stressed the importance of establishing direct flights between Addis Ababa and Asmara.  They also pointed to a need for the orderly return of internally displaced persons to the Temporary Security Zone before the start of the rainy season, unhindered access to humanitarian assistance for those in need, and a speedy start of the work of the Boundary Commission.

On 15 May, in a presidential statement, the Council again stressed that the parties must provide unrestricted free movement and access UNMEE and its supplies, including within the Temporary Security Zone, which it said must be completely demilitarized.

The Council twice extended the mandate of UNMEE in 2001, most recently on

14 September until 15 March 2002.  By unanimously adopting resolution 1369 (2001) for that extension, the Council also urged the parties to redirect their efforts from weapons procurement and other military activities towards the reconstruction and development of their economies.

Great Lakes Region Mission

On 30 May, the Secretary-General told the Council that the timely and important visit of the Council mission to the Great Lakes region had served to consolidate a momentum for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as it met to consider the report on that visit.  He said that the humanitarian situation remained an urgent challenge, and he appealed for greater financial support for humanitarian aid, which had so far only received 20 per cent of needs outlined in the consolidated appeal.

In introducing the mission’s report, the representative of France said he was concerned about the impasse in which Burundi found itself.  To address concerns about the refugee problem, the mission had suggested establishing a Tanzanian/Burundian commission to find practical ways to reduce tension.  The representatives of many of the countries in the region spoke about disengagement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recalcitrance of rebel groups and misappropriation of Democratic Republic resources.

Liberia

Due to its support for Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and other armed rebel groups in the West African subregion, on 7 March the Council imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Liberia.  These included an arms embargo, a ban on the export of Liberian diamonds, and a travel ban on named individuals in the Liberian Government and others said to provide support to the RUF.  Unanimously adopting resolution 1343 (2001), the Council demanded that Liberia expel all RUF members and prohibit all the group's activities on its territory.

On 5 November, a report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia was presented to the Security Council.  That Panel was appointed by the Secretary-General to investigate violations of the March sanctions.  While noting some cooperation and lessening of violence, the Panel reported that, in order to maintain a lasting peace agreement in Sierra Leone, Liberia’s total disengagement from the RUF must be ensured.

At that same meeting, Ed Tsui, of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said that Liberia's fragile economic situation could be worsened if sanctions were not accompanied by increased humanitarian donor response.  He stressed that the Liberian economy was highly dependent on the export of natural products.  Should the Council consider further sanctions, it should also take into account the intended impact on the Liberian people.

Sierra Leone

The conflict in Sierra Leone dates from March 1991 when fighters of the RUF launched a war from the east of the country near the border with Liberia to overthrow the Government.  In October 1999, Council resolution 1270 (1999) established the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to aid with implementation of the Lomé (Togo) Peace Agreement, which was signed on 7 July 1999 between the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF.

Due to continued instability, the Security Council increased the authorized strength of UNAMSIL several times, to, as of 19 May, 17,500 military personnel, including 260 military observers.

On 25 January, the Council took up the report of the Panel of Experts it established last July to collect information on violations of the arms embargo, as well as on the connection between the trade in diamonds and the arms trade.  The Panel found that sanctions on both weapons and diamonds were being broken “with impunity”.  The Panel also made wide-ranging recommendations, calling for:  a global certification scheme for diamonds; an embargo on weapons exports from specific producer countries; a travel ban on senior officials from Liberia; and creation within the United Nations Secretariat of the capacity for the ongoing monitoring of Security Council sanctions.

Twenty-six speakers addressed the Council in the day-long discussion, with many calling for the imposition of new measures that would stem the illicit trade in Sierra Leone diamonds, as well as the flow of illegal weapons into that country.  They also stressed the need to effectively address the role of Liberia and other countries in fuelling the conflict.  Liberia was among a number of countries named in the report that expressed disagreement with its findings.

On 8 March, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees asked the Security Council to strengthen UNAMSIL, as a key to enabling the return of refugees and general stability.  On 30 March, the Council, in extending UNAMSIL's mandate for six months, increased its military component to a strength of 17,500, including the 260 military observers already deployed.  By its unanimous adoption of resolution 1346 (2001), the Council also demanded that the RUF and other military groups immediately cease their reported abuses of human rights, particularly the harassment and forced recruitment of adults and children for fighting and forced labour. 

On 28 June, Oluyemi Adeniji, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNAMSIL, told the Council that the peace process in Sierra Leone had witnessed remarkable changes.  The Mission had solidified its contacts with the RUF, while continuing to work closely with the Government of Sierra Leone.  Consultations with the parties had included delicate discussions on the Kambia district, which had led to considerations of resuming disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the RUF in that district.  Progress had been made in other aspects of the peace process, as well, and most roads in the country were now open, which had helped spur the resumption of humanitarian operations.

On 18 September, the Council extended the mandate of UNAMSIL for another six months starting 30 September, by adopting resolution 1370 (2001), as orally amended, again demanding an end to human rights abuses and other ceasefire violations of the RUF.  As the illegal diamond trade continued to motivate such violations, on 19 December the Council decided to extend, for 11 months beginning on 5 January 2002, the prohibition on the import of Sierra Leone rough diamonds, except those controlled by the Government under the Certificate of Origin regime, by unanimously adopting resolution 1385 (2001).

West Africa

Following two missions to West Africa, on 14 May an open meeting was held  in an effort to stem the related cycle of instability, insecurity and displacement in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.  An integrated, regional approach to those problems was crucial, said Ibrahima Fall, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.  An inter-agency mission to 11 West African countries, which he headed, also proposed the creation of a United Nations Office for West Africa, as well as the expansion of the mandate of UNAMSIL to Guinea and Liberia.

Carolyn McAskie, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, led an additional mission to the subregion to assess the humanitarian situation there.  She said that Guinea, after years of dealing with the spillover from the war in Sierra Leone, was now facing a humanitarian crisis of its own. There was some improvement in Sierra Leone, but reintegration of ex-combatants and resettlement of the displaced would be crucial.  Meanwhile, new refugees were threatening to pour in from Liberia.  She proposed a subregional capacity for the exchange and analysis of strategic information, support to regional civil society organizations such as the Mano River Women’s Peace Network, and a stronger presence of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

In the exchange of views that followed the briefing, members agreed on the need for an integrated, regional approach to security problems.  They also supported many of the recommendations of the inter-agency report, particularly the establishment of a United Nations Office in West Africa and measures to strengthen the role of ECOWAS in the region. 

After another briefing on the results of the inter-agency mission to West Africa, on 19 December, that support was reiterated.  The Council issued a presidential statement voicing full support for the establishment of the Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for the subregion, stressing also the need to strengthen the capacities of ECOWAS.

Somalia

The Council's four meetings on Somalia revolved around the question of establishing a United Nations peace-building presence there, in light of the national reconciliation process that began with a multi-faction peace conference in Arta, Djbouti, in the middle of 2000, and the formation of a transitional government.  Following a decade of anarchy and famine, major challenges of security, reconstruction and development still confronted the country; the possibility of holding democratic elections in 2003 was also discussed.

On 11 January, the Council issued a presidential statement expressing support for the Arta peace conference and the establishment of the transitional government.  As the delivery of humanitarian assistance remained difficult, however, on 19 June it unanimously adopted resolution 1356 (2001), which exempted non-lethal equipment, such as protective jackets and helmets, from a 1992 embargo on weapons deliveries to the country.

On the question of establishing a United Nations presence inside the country, the Secretary-General submitted a report in which he indicated his readiness to prepare a proposal for a peace-building mission inside Somalia to assist with the completion of the peace process.  He said that the security situation, however, did not yet allow him to recommend the deployment of such a mission inside the country.  During a day-long discussion of the report, on

19 October, Council members expressed similar concerns about such a deployment.  But, the Somali Prime Minister said that failure to deploy a peacekeeping mission soon would contribute to the vicious cycle of inadequate security.

On 31 October, the Council called the Arta peace process the most viable basis for peace and national reconciliation, through a presidential statement.  It reaffirmed the Council's commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement in Somalia.

Sudan

Noting the steps taken by the Government of the Sudan to comply with the provisions of Council resolutions, and welcoming the accession of the Sudan

to the relevant international conventions for the elimination of terrorism, on

28 September the Security Council decided to terminate, with immediate effect, sanctions referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4 of resolution 1054 (1996) and paragraph 3 of resolution 1070 (1996).

The Council took that action as it adopted resolution 1372 (2001) by a vote of 14 in favour, with 1 abstention (United States).  By the terms of resolution 1054, the Council had decided that all States should significantly reduce the number, level and movements of their diplomatic staff in the country, and called on States to restrict movement, in their territories, of members of the Government of the Sudan, its officials and members of its armed forces.  It also called upon all international and regional organizations not to convene any conference in the Sudan.

By resolution 1070 of 1996, the Council had decided that all States should deny aircraft associated with the Sudan permission to take off from, land in, or fly over their territories. 

The representative of the United States, explaining its abstention, said the Sudanese Government had taken substantial steps to meet demands set out in resolution 1054.  Problems remained, however, such as the withholding of information concerning an attempted assassination of President Mubarak of Egypt.  The Sudanese authorities were now engaged in serious discussions about ways to fight terrorism, and he expected them to engage fully in that fight.  His Government, he said, would also continue to demand that the Sudan address human rights abuse and the suffering of the Sudanese people.

Western Sahara

The Council, in 2001, extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission

for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) several times:  on 27 February,

27 April, 29 June and 27 November, through resolutions 1342, 1349, 1359 and 1380, respectively.  By that last action, the Council extended the mandate until

28 February 2002 and supported all efforts for further dialogue to find a political solution to the conflict, under the auspices of the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, James Baker III.

Morocco and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (POLISARIO Front)) have contested the Territory since Spain relinquished control in 1974.  The MINURSO was established in 1991 to oversee the holding of a referendum in which the people of Western Sahara would choose between independence and integration with Morocco, as part of the United Nations Settlement Plan.  The referendum process has been stalled for years, due to appeals to the voter-identification process and other problems.

Middle East

Israel/Palestinians

In five meetings during 2001, the Council provided a forum for Member States to express their deep concern over the deteriorating situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as violence within Israel, as the cycle of violence that began in September 2000 continued.  The Council reached no agreement on action, however, as twice the United States vetoed resolutions.

On 15 and 19 March, in an open debate -- requested by the Group of Arab States, the Islamic Group, and the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine -- many governments expressed support for an international observer mission to the region.  Most speakers criticized what they called Israel's use of excessive and indiscriminate force against Palestinian civilians.  Several speakers also condemned all acts of lawlessness and terrorism.  Almost all speakers urged an end to Israel's economic blockade of Palestinian towns and its encirclement of villages with troops and tanks.

On 27 March, the United States vetoed a draft resolution expressing the Council's readiness to set up an observer force, explaining that the resolution ignored the basic need to have the agreement of both parties.  The United States would have supported the text, he said, if it had called for an end to incitement and violence, as well as for the implementation of all agreed commitments, including the agreements reached at Sharm el-Sheikh.

On the 20 and 21 August, the Council heard from 48 speakers on the situation, as it held another open debate at the request of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.  Implementation of the recommendations contained in the Mitchell report was overwhelmingly stressed at the meeting as the only viable path towards ending the violence in the Middle East and reviving the peace process.

That report, the product of a trip to the region by former United States Senator George Mitchell, that was issued on 21 May, included a call for an immediate ceasefire, a renunciation of terrorism and a resumption of peace talks and rebuilding confidence and trust between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. It also called for a freeze on construction of settlements, a lifting of economic restraints on Palestinian areas, a limit to Israel’s use of lethal force against Palestinians, as well as for the Palestinian Authority to prevent Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

In the August meetings, many speakers continued to support the establishment of an international observer force in the Middle East.  Others decried the further escalation of violence, Israeli extrajudicial assassinations, the occupation by Israeli authorities of Orient House and other Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, and what they called other deliberately “provocative acts”. 

The Islamic Conference urged the Council to take the necessary measures to protect Palestinians, to restitute Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, and to lift restrictions imposed upon entry to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Muslim and Christian places of worship in the city.  "The protection we seek should restrain Israel from continuing its illegal and inhuman practices that target the Palestinian people, and clear the air for resumption of the peace process", he said.

On 14 December, meeting from late on Friday night until early the next morning, the Council again failed to adopt a draft resolution by which it would have condemned all acts of extrajudiciary executions, excessive use of force and wide destruction of property, and looked to the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to help the parties.  The draft received 12 votes in favour with

2 abstentions (Norway, United Kingdom), and was vetoed by the negative vote of the United States.

Israel/Lebanon

In 2001, the Security Council twice extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), on 30 January and 31 July, through the unanimous adoption of resolutions 1337 (2001) and 1365 (2001), respectively.  By the latter resolution, the mandate was extended until 31 January 2002, maintaining the mission’s military strength at 4,500 troops. 

By those resolutions, in light of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in June 2000, the Council called on Lebanon to reassert its authority in the south, deploy armed forces there more quickly and control all checkpoints.  The Council also expressed concern about serious violations of the United Nations withdrawal line and urged parties to end them.  It supported UNIFIL efforts to maintain the ceasefire along that line by patrolling, observing from fixed positions and keeping close contact with the parties.

Israel/Syria

The mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was extended twice in 2001, most recently on 27 November, by resolution 1381 (2001), until 31 May 2002.  The UNDOF was established by Security Council resolution 350 of 31 May 1974 to maintain the ceasefire between Israel and Syria and to supervise areas of separation and limitation.

After each of the extension resolutions were adopted, the Council expressed, through a presidential statement, its agreement with passages of the Secretary-General’s reports on UNDOF in which he called the situation in the Middle East potentially dangerous and likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement was reached.

Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Council met five times this year on Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing mainly on ethnic relations, refugee returns and the country's eventual integration into Europe.  By unanimously adopting resolution 1357 (2001) on 21 June, it extended the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) until

21 June 2002, and authorized the multinational stabilization force (SFOR) to continue for a further 12 months.

On 22 March, the Council condemned unilateral moves by the Croat National Congress to establish Croat self-rule, which would have openly contradicted the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed in Paris in 1995.  It called on new State and entity governments formed after the general elections of 11 November 2000 to make further progress on the return of refugees, consolidation of State institutions and economic reform.

In a briefing before that meeting, Wolfgang Petritsch, the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement, informed Council members that a record number of refugees and displaced persons -- more than 67,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina -- had gone home in 2000.  More than 2,000 had returned to areas where they were a minority, almost double the rate of 1999.

Jacques Paul Klein, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of United Nations Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, told the Council on 21 September that Bosnia and Herzegovina needed a practical vision to help the region shed its Balkan past and embrace a European future.  At the same meeting, Mr. Petritsch stressed that enhancing State and entity finances, improving the civil service and setting up a modern legal framework would give Bosnia and Herzegovina the institutions to maintain stability and, in due course, take the country into Europe.

In its final meeting, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Hédi Annabi, told the Council that a regional police mission should take on the responsibilities of the police, judiciary and penal systems.  The mission should be about one quarter of UNMIBH’s present staff –- perhaps 450 police officers. 

Cyprus

Noting that the Government of Cyprus agreed it was necessary to keep the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) beyond 15 June, the Security Council extended the mission’s mandate twice this year, most recently until

15 June 2002, by resolution 1384 (2001).  By that action, the Council also reaffirmed all its relevant resolutions on the situation.

The UNFICYP was established through Security Council resolution 186 in 1964, with the mandate to prevent a recurrence of fighting between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, and to contribute to the maintenance and restoration of law and order.  Following the hostilities of 1974, the Council expanded the mandate to include maintaining a buffer zone between forces.  In the absence of a political settlement, UNFICYP has been extended thereafter every six months.

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

On 10 September, the Security Council terminated prohibitions preventing the sale or supply of arms and related material to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, through unanimous adoption of resolution 1367.  The prohibitions, which aimed at fostering peace and stability in Kosovo, were set up by the Council in resolution 1160 (1998).  They banned the sale of arms and related material, such as weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment and spare parts, to Yugoslavia.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

As had long been a concern of the Council, ethnic violence spilled over from other parts of the former Yugoslavia into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2001, dominating Council action in 2001 with respect to that Balkan State.  Subsequent efforts led to the signing of a Framework Agreement by the leaders of four Macedonian parties, that called for a peaceful, multicultural development of civil society.

The Foreign Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia briefed Council members on 7 March, following weeks of armed incidents by ethnic Albanian extremists along the northern border with Kosovo, which resulted in the deaths of three Macedonian soldiers on 4 March.  Immediately following the briefing, the Council adopted a presidential statement strongly condemning the violence and the killing of the soldiers in the Tanusevci area.  Two weeks later, on 21 March, it demanded an end to all extremist violence in the region, including terrorist activities, by adopting resolution 1345 (2001).  A later resolution, 1371 (2001) of 26 September, reiterated that message.

In support of the signing of the Framework Agreement, the Council issued a presidential statement on 13 August, calling for its immediate implementation.  In promoting the harmonious development of civil society, the Agreement called for respect for the ethnicity of all Macedonian citizens.

Georgia

On 24 April, the Council called "unacceptable" the continued lack of progress on a comprehensive settlement of the conflict between regional Abkhaz authorities and the Republic of Georgia.  That presidential statement was issued just one month after a previous statement, on 21 March, welcomed the resumption of dialogue between the parties on such outstanding issues as the political status of Abkhazia within the Republic and the return of refugees and displaced persons.

Social unrest in the region, in the north-west of Georgia, escalated into separatist violence in 1992.  The United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) was established in August 1993 to verify compliance with ceasefire agreements and to monitor human rights.  The Council unanimously extended the mandate of UNOMIG twice in 2001, most recently until 31 January 2002 through resolution 1364 (2001).

Kosovo

Focusing on progress towards provisional self-government and inter-ethnic dynamics, the Council met 11 times on Kosovo in 2001.  Province-wide elections, held on 17 November 2001 with participation by all ethnic groups, were seen by most members as a major achievement.

Council resolution 1244 (1999) called for self-government and substantial autonomy of Kosovo, with full respect for the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, of which Kosovo is a province.  Currently, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) exercises interim legislative and executive powers, as well as administering the judiciary.  A force led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), referred to as -– KFOR -- is deployed to provide an international security presence.

The UNMIK was established in June 1999, after NATO air operations precipitated the withdrawal of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia forces, thus ending a period of devastation and displacement of the ethnic Albanian majority.  As reconstruction progressed and refugees returned, obstacles have included tension between Kosovo Albanians and the Serb minority, with violent flare-ups, the armed activity of Albanian extremists that has spilled over into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and the reluctance of the Serb minority to remain, return, or participate in the new configuration.

Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefed the Council five times during the year on developments, the first time on 18 January.  He said that under the new UNMIK head -- Special Representative to the Secretary-General Hans Haekkerup -- the Mission had continued to work to create inclusive local administrative structures.

The UNMIK had also, he said, made significant progress in strengthening the rule of law.  The police service had improved in both quantity and quality and, despite threats and intimidation, personnel in that service were largely performing in a professional manner.  He said UNMIK’s initial focus on emergency reconstruction had now shifted to economic development and the promotion of private sector enterprise.

With Mr. Guéhenno’s next briefing, on 13 February, province-wide elections were on the horizon.  Most Council members agreed with him that it was essential to define the mandate and composition of a Kosovo-wide assembly prior to the election and to ensure participation of all ethnic groups.  However, ethnic violence, especially the activity of Albanian extremists, continued to be an obstacle to such participation and, on 16 March, the Security Council issued a presidential statement urging all political leaders in the province to condemn such activity, while increasing their efforts to create inter-ethnic tolerance. 

Prior to adopting the statement, at a separate meeting, the Council heard a briefing by Special Representative Haekkerup, who said that the general security situation had not improved in the last two months and that violence in southern Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia could destabilize the region.  He hoped that the new democratic government in Belgrade could assist in normalization and a reduction in tensions.

In a briefing on 9 April, Mr. Guéhenno told the Council that despite the continuing violence in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and southern Serbia, UNMIK had continued to move forward with its key priorities of a governmental framework and the holding of elections.  Kosovo Serb participation in both efforts remained key, along with law and order, which could be strengthened by efforts to realign the police and judicial institutions.  An important element of provisional self-government was also financial responsibility, for which Kosovo’s public finances needed to be developed.

After a Council mission to Kosovo and Belgrade, from 16 to 18 June, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Council President, confirmed the complexity of the situation as he presented the Mission's report on 19 June.  He said an encouraging factor was UNMIK's developing dialogue with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The UNMIK had established an office in Belgrade, fulfilling a long-standing priority.

Mr. Guéhenno further briefed the Council on 22 June, 26 July and 28 August, addressing the challenge of the political engagement of the Kosovo Serb community, the registration process, and conditions needed for free and fair elections.

Faced with uncertain Serb participation in the elections, the Council called on all women and men of Kosovo to vote, in a 5 October presidential statement, after a briefing by Mr. Haekkerup.  The Council repeated that call on 9 November, while it also welcomed the Yugoslav President’s helpful role in encouraging Kosovo Serb participation.

Ten days after the elections were successfully held on 17 November, Hédi Annabi, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, told the Council that the election process -- from the violence-free campaign to its all-inclusive nature -- would provide a solid basis for the institutions of provisional self-government.  All parties had largely adhered to electoral rules and infringements had been adjudicated in a timely manner.  Kosovo Serb participation was patchy, but that was due in part to an intimidation campaign in northern Kosovo, led by those Kosovo Serbs who were against participation.

In the debate following the briefing, most speakers welcomed the election results.  The Russian Federation’s representative, however, said political parties were pushing for independence over a multi-ethnic society, and that discrimination and extremist violence still existed.  The representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia said that, while the elections marked a new phase in creating a future for Kosovo, they were not meant to solve Kosovo's final status.

United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka

The Council met twice in 2001 to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Prevlaka (UNMOP), most recently on 11 July when it authorized the Mission to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the peninsula for a further six months, until 15 January 2002, by resolution 1362 (2001).

The Prevlaka peninsula is a strategic area disputed by Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  The UNMOP was established in January 1996.  United Nations military observers were originally deployed there since October 1992, first as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR), and subsequently as part of the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation (UNCRO).

Open Briefings, Debates, Miscellaneous

Annual Report

On 18 August, the Council adopted its fifty-sixth annual report to the General Assembly, which covered the period 16 June 2000 to 15 June 2001 (document A/56/2).

Children in Armed Conflict

Recognizing the harmful impact of armed conflict on children and the long-term consequences on peace, security and development, the Security Council, on

20 November, expressed its readiness to include explicit provisions for the protection of children when considering mandates for peacekeeping operations, and to continue to include child-protection staff on such operations.

Before unanimously adopting resolution 1379 (2001), the Council heard over 30 speakers, including the Secretary-General, in an open meeting on the issue.  Alhaji Babah Sawaneh, a 14-year old former child soldier from Sierra Leone, who was abducted by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) when he was 10 years old, described his two-year ordeal as a child combatant and his experience with disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.  He appealed to the Council on behalf of the children of Sierra Leone to do all it could to end their sad tale.

Civilians in Armed Conflict

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette told the Council on 23 April that protecting civilians must become central to United Nations peacekeeping.  Some encouraging recent developments included criminal prosecution of human rights violations, access to vulnerable populations and the separation of civilians and armed combatants in refugee camps.  Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said at the same meeting that ending impunity for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity was a vital aim for the international community.

At another meeting on the topic on 21 November, Kenzo Oshima, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, outlined a “road map” to organize Secretariat recommendations on civilians into themes, and identify institutions to implement them.  He described a “checklist” to ensure that the protection of civilians was considered in establishing, changing or closing peacekeeping mandates.

Conflict Prevention

As it has done annually since 1999, the Council discussed its role in the prevention of armed conflict during a day-long debate on 21 June.  The basis for the discussion was a report of the Secretary-General, which aimed at instituting a culture of prevention, rather than reaction, throughout the United Nations system, and also placed much responsibility for conflict prevention on national governments.  For early prevention to be effective, he stated, the multi-dimensional root causes of conflict must be identified and addressed.

HIV/AIDS

Following up on the previous year's new perspective on HIV/AIDS as a security issue, on 19 January the Council stressed, through a presidential statement, that HIV/AIDS could threaten stability if left unchecked and that instability itself could exacerbate the disease.  It welcomed the declaration adopted at the General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS, which included measures to reduce the impact of conflicts and disasters on the epidemic.

The statement followed a briefing on the issue that morning in which Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, addressed the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among peacekeepers.  He said that some were likely infected with HIV/AIDS prior to deployment, and others contracted the disease while deployed in nations with high incidences of the disease, being sexually active while on mission.  To counter the problem, he and Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) had signed a cooperation agreement to improve the capacity of peacekeepers as advocates of awareness and prevention of HIV transmission.

International Court of Justice

In one round of secret balloting on 12 October 2001, the Council, acting in concert with the General Assembly, elected Nabil Elaraby (Egypt) to the International Court of Justice to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge and former President Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria), as of 30 September 2001.  Mr. Elaraby will serve for the remainder of his predecessor’s nine-year term -– until 5 February 2006.

International Criminal Tribunals

The Council met five times during the year to take up issues related to

the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.  On

19 January, it extended the deadline for nominations of judges to the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia until 31 January.  On 8 February, it adopted resolution 1340 (2001), by which it forwarded to the General Assembly a list of nominees to be considered for election as Permanent Judges.  On 27 April, the Council adopted resolution 1350 (2001), by which it forwarded a list of 64 judges to the Assembly.  On 30 March, with the adoption of resolution 1347 (2001), the Council forwarded nominations for Rwanda Tribunal judges to the General Assembly.

These actions followed up resolution 1329 (2000), which expanded the judicial capacity of the Yugoslavia Tribunal by establishing a pool of ad litem judges and enlarged the membership of the Appeals Chambers for both Tribunals.

On 27 November, the Council held an interactive dialogue with officials of the Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia, following the issuance of the Courts' annual reports.  Questions about increasing the Tribunals' judicial capacities, revising the Prosecutors' investigative programmes, and enhancing the role of judges in pre-trial and trial phases were examined.

Nobel Peace Prize

On 12 October, the Security Council met to celebrate the awarding of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations and to its Secretary-General.  In a presidential statement warmly congratulating the Secretary-General, the Council reiterated its strong support for his efforts in upholding the purposes and principles of the Charter.  Following the presidential statement, the Secretary-General congratulated all the Council members past and present saying that the Nobel Committee had honoured the Council and all parts of the Organization.

Peace-building

Peace-building could be a powerful deterrent to violent conflict, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council on 5 February, before a day-long debate on that topic.  However, it must be seen as a long-term exercise, despite the need for quick results.  Major challenges included mobilizing political will and resources from the international community.  Other speakers during the day-long debate stressed that peace-building must stretch beyond an immediate conflict to its roots and bring together a wide range of actors at all levels.

Through a presidential statement on 20 February, the Council said that actions tackling the needs of societies sliding into conflict or emerging from it should focus on sustainable development, poverty eradication, transparent and accountable governance, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.  Urging adequate financing for such objects, it also stressed the importance of a gender perspective, the reintegration of displaced persons and ex-combatants, and participation of troop-contributing countries.

Sanctions

On 22 and 25 October, wide support was expressed at a public meeting for discussions held in Interlaken, Bonn and Berlin to improve the implementation and monitoring of sanctions, although some scepticism was expressed about their overall effectiveness.  The Bonn and Berlin discussions focused on arms embargoes and travel-related sanctions.  The Interlaken process centred on the basic legal and administrative requirements for national implementation of financial sanctions.

Introducing those discussions, the observer for Switzerland, the Permanent Representative of Germany, and Sweden's State Secretary for Foreign Affairs reported on planned initiatives targeted at those responsible for threats to peace and security, while affecting innocent civilians and other parties minimally. Ibrahima Fall, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said the Council could encourage compliance by more attention to such targetting.  It might also develop models that would enable Member States to adjust their domestic laws and regulations to permit compliance.

Other speakers welcomed the steps taken to impose targeted sanctions of a limited timeframe, which were aimed specifically at changing the conduct of individuals and groups.  The President of the Council, Richard Ryan (Ireland), stressed the need to achieve agreement as soon as possible in the Council on the outcome of the Working Group on Sanctions and General Issues.  A small number of differences still existed and, while they related to issues of some sensitivity, they were not insurmountable.

Small Arms and Light Weapons

In the wake of the United Nations Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, the Council met twice on the issue in 2001.  In a day-long debate on 2 August, the Council examined its role in implementing the Action Programme of the Conference, which committed States to develop, strengthen and implement norms and measures aimed at preventing, fighting and ultimately eradicating the illicit manufacturing of and trade in small arms and light weapons.  On 31 August, the Council adopted a presidential statement that recognized its responsibility in helping to implement the July Programme of Action.

Summit Review

The Security Council met twice this year to review commitments to strengthen the United Nations’ ability to maintain peace and security, especially in Africa, which were made at the September 2000 Millennium Summit.  At a meeting on 7 March, which included both members and non-members, participants told the Council it was still treating conflicts around the world unequally and examined its efforts in regard to troop-contributing States.  They also called for greater transparency in decision-making.  Others noted that African conflicts were now being addressed more directly, and also that Council efficiency had suffered due to a rapid increase in workload.

On 22 March, the Council issued a presidential statement, saying it would intensify efforts to meet the September 2000 commitments.  To do so, it would undergo further progress reviews, with the active participation of non-member States.  The Council would also consider and act on a series of reports on maintaining peace, including the forthcoming report on conflict prevention from the Secretary-General and that of its own Working Group on General Issues of Sanctions.

Terrorism

Following the 11 September terrorist acts in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., the Council met on 12 September.  In a departure from tradition, all members stood to unanimously adopt resolution 1368 (2001).  By that text, the Council unequivocally condemned the terrorist acts and expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims' families and the host country.  Council members also expressed their readiness to combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with Charter responsibilities.

On 28 September, the Council met again on the issue and adopted a resolution, 1373 (2001), that outlined steps and strategies to combat international terrorism.  By that text, the Council also established a committee to monitor the implementation of the resolution and called on all States to report on action they had taken to that end no later than 90 days from 28 September.  Provisions included calls for suppressing the financing of terrorism and improving international cooperation in counter-terrorism.

At the end of a ministerial meeting on the subject on 12 November, the Council adopted resolution 1377 (2001), declaring that international terrorism was one of the most serious threats to international peace and security in the twenty-first century.  It called on all States to intensify their efforts to eliminate international terrorism.

By that action, the Council stressed that understanding among civilizations and addressing regional conflicts and the full range of global issues, including those related to development, would contribute to the international cooperation which was necessary to effectively fight international terrorism.  States were also called on to become parties as soon as possible to the international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, and to take urgent steps to fully implement resolution 1373.  It underlined the obligation of States to deny financial and all other forms of support and safe haven to terrorists and their supporters.

Troop-Contributing Countries

Cooperation between the Secretariat and troop-contributing countries was more vital than ever as peacekeeping became increasingly complex, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette told the Council on 16 January.  During the public meeting, many speakers stressed that the Council should consult with those countries early in operation-planning processes and whenever events on the ground changed.

Responding to those views, on 31 January the Council said, through a presidential statement, that it decided to establish a Working Group of the Whole on United Nations peacekeeping operations to seek and take account of the views of the troop-contributing countries, where appropriate.  As a first step, the Council tasked the Working Group to undertake an in-depth consideration of all the proposals made in the course of the 16 January meeting, including ways to improve the three-way relationship between the Council, troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat.  The Working Group, which would not replace the Council's private meetings with troop-contributing countries, would also deal with technical aspects of individual peacekeeping operations without prejudice to the competence of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

Regarding similar issues, the Council adopted resolution 1353 (2001) on

13 June.  That resolution called for a facilitated exchange of information between troop-contributing countries, the Secretary-General and the Council.  It also urged measures to ensure peacekeepers had the capacity to fulfil mission mandates, and encouraged States to bridge the gap on personnel and equipment and urged the Secretariat to provide support in training, logistics, equipment and other areas.

Women, Peace and Security

In a presidential statement on 31 October, the Council strongly supported an increasing women's role in decision-making to prevent or resolve conflicts.  It called on States to include women when negotiating and implementing peace accords, constitutions and rebuilding strategies.  Concerned that no women served as special representatives or envoys of the Secretary-General to peace missions, the Council urged Member States to nominate women candidates.

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For information media. Not an official record.