|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for March
A comprehensive strategy for Somalia and newly emergent crises in Africa would be among the priority issues to be considered during China’s March presidency of the Security Council, that country’s Permanent Representative told correspondents at a Headquarters press conference this afternoon.
“We cannot have a piecemeal solution,” Li Baodong said of Somalia, which would be the subject of an open debate on 10 March. He said that the situation remained very disturbing and deserved constant attention. Noting that the term of the Transitional Federal Government was going to end in August, he stressed that the Council had to plan ahead for that period.
The meeting on Somalia, he said, would cover the political, security, reconstruction, economic and social aspects of the situation, focusing as well on piracy and unemployment. He supported the African Union’s leading role in facilitating peace and constitution-making, and looked for an even closer relationship between that organization and the Council. He offered condolences, in addition, for the recent loss of life among the Union’s peacekeepers, adding that the fighting showed the urgency and complexity of the matter.
Among other pressing issues, Mr. Li highlighted the situation in Côte d’Ivoire, which he said would be the subject of consultations on 3 March with a briefing by Alain Le Roy on the latest developments. As the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expired on 23 March, a debate had been schedule for 17 March ahead of its expected renewal, to review the Mission’s work and hear a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.
Noting that that the peace process in the Middle East had encountered difficulties, he said that the regular monthly briefing on that situation would take place on 22 March, following a mid-month meeting of the diplomatic Quartet. The Special Coordinator for Lebanon would brief the Council on the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006) regarding that country on 29 March in consultations.
Also in consultations, he said, the Council would review a report on the Secretary-General’s good offices efforts in Cyprus on 15 March and consider the work of its subsidiary sanctions committees on Sudan, Iran and Somalia/Eritrea on various dates throughout the month.
In the Council Chamber, he said, there would be briefings by the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General and Chairs of the Peacebuilding Commission’s configurations on Liberia and Sierra Leone, on 16 and 24 March, respectively. The Peacebuilding Commission’s annual report would be considered on 23 March, he added.
The Council would be following many other situations closely, he added, including in Haiti, where the run-off presidential election was due in March and would greatly affect security and stability in the Caribbean country. It would also closely monitor the situation in Libya; Council action there would depend on how the issue was unfolding.
He pledged that China would adhere to the principles of fairness and neutrality, and work in an efficient and pragmatic fashion, coordinate with non-Council Member States and other United Nations bodies, and communicate well with the media, which he called the Council’s “sixteenth member”.
Questioned on China’s position on a no-fly zone over Libya, he said no one had formally presented a proposal to the Council to that effect. His country’s position on the crisis, he stressed, was based on respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Libya, as well as on the need for a peaceful resolution, prioritizing the safety of Libyans and foreign nationals in the country. China’s policy on Libya took into account respect for the opinions and positions of Arab and African countries, he said.
Asked about China’s position on human rights in its territory in light of its support for Council resolution 1970 (2011) which referred the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court, he said that that situation was very special, and China, in voting for that resolution, had shared the concern of the international community and considered the opinions of Arab and African States.
China’s position had not changed, he said, adding that in his country, people had freedom of speech and assembly. He stressed that over the past 100 years, the country had gone through much hardship due to upheavals. It therefore wanted to have peace, stability and independence. He said that reform that had started in 1978 was still moving forward and that China, although it was over 5,000 years old, could still learn from others.
Asked about reports of violations of the arms embargo in Côte d’Ivoire, he said his delegation took such allegations seriously, but underlined that it was important to have accurate information before accusations were made. He was now was working closely with other Council members and experts to understand the real situation.
In answer to other questions, he said that China always supported the Palestinian people in pursuing their national rights based on relevant Council resolutions, and strongly opposed current Israeli settlement activities. He regretted that the recent resolution to that effect had not been passed.
Finally, on the Korean peninsula, he said the key to resolving the nuclear issue and safeguarding peace and security there was the six-party talks. Once those were stalemated, the situation became dangerous. He called for the implementation of the joint statement on the talks made on 19 September 2005. In the effort to reinforce peace and security, all parties must build confidence and find a solution through dialogue, he added.
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