|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
PRESS CONFERENCE BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT ON PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR JUNE
The Security Council’s programme of work for June would include open debates on United Nations peacekeeping operations, protection of civilians in armed conflict, and Iraq, the last to be chaired by Turkey’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, that country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said at Headquarters today.
Also to be considered during the month would be situations in Africa, including Sierra Leone, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and the Central African Republic, Baki İlkin said, in his capacity as President of the Council, at a press conference. In other meetings, the Council would hear a briefing on Sudan by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and another by a representative of the newly created United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, based in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
He said the Council would also consider Georgia, the Counter-Terrorism Committee, Kosovo and Afghanistan, as well as several mandate extensions for current peacekeeping operations and briefings on the International Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. In addition, a report was expected from the sanctions committee on Iran, as was a draft resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The debate on United Nations peacekeeping operations, with an emphasis on troop-contributing countries, would take place on 29 June, Iraq would be considered on 18 June and the open debate on civilian protection would be held on 26 June.
Responding to questions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Council President said he could not give a deadline for action on the expected draft resolution as a complex text was still under preparation, but there was a sense of urgency following that country’s recent testing of a nuclear device. Following the tabling of the draft, expected in the course of the week, the Council would hold consultations.
He went on to say that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was well aware of what the international community expected from it -- a halt to all tests and a return to the six-party talks. It was the one party that had heightened tensions and the Council must take action in such a case.
In response to another question, he said a debate on the Middle East on 24 June would include participation by representatives of countries in the region in addition to Council members. Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair’s presence was also anticipated. The report of the Board of Inquiry on Gaza would probably not be part of the discussion, but the Council had received a summary from the Secretary-General, who would brief members if there were “tangible” developments.
Asked about Security Council reform, he said that complex issue was currently under consideration by the General Assembly and, hopefully, any outcome would be based on a broad consensus. It would be sad if the outcome were to be accepted only by the minimum vote of 133 Member States in favour.
Replying to a question about Sri Lanka, he said any briefing on that topic would be held under the same format as previous ones, but since it was not on the Council’s agenda, the Secretary-General would brief members outside the Council area.
In response to other questions, he said no action was expected following the briefing on Sudan by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The briefings on the International Tribunals would not only address their respective completion strategies, but also the need to extend the mandates of a number of judges so they could complete appeal cases.
Regarding Georgia, he said the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) would expire on 15 June, and the Council would take action on that date to “re-regulate” the Organization’s presence in the country. Hopefully the outcome would be based on the Secretary-General’s report and his recommendations.
Speaking in his national capacity, Mr. İlkin replied to a question about Turkey’s role in negotiations between Syria and Israel by saying his country had always stood ready to assist in those such negotiations, but certain recent developments, including the conflict in Gaza and the formation of a new Israeli Government, had delayed any action in that regard. However, Turkey was more than happy to resume its assistance if the parties sought it.
The Security Council’s programme of work can be found at www.un.org/Docs/sc.
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