|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for November
Saying that the Security Council was, as usual, looking at a fairly busy schedule for the coming month, José Filipe Moraes Cabral ( Portugal), its President for November, today outlined its programme of work comprising both new and traditional agenda items.
At a Headquarters press conference, he said that several holidays in November would force a further concentration of the work, but that some spaces had been kept open in order to accommodate for any unforeseen need or crisis.
In the first open debate on 9 November, on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, he said there would be no Secretary-General’s report to discuss on that occasion, as that was not due until May of next year. The Council would hear from the Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Director of Law of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). No presidential statement was expected.
He said that on 10 November the Council would take up the elections for the International Court of Justice, and on 23 November, there was a briefing on new challenges to international peace and security, a theme on which the Council had been working for the past two and a half years.
The Council was also trying to wrap up several of its ongoing debates and attempting to chart a course for more structured and consistent ways to keep its eyes on new challenges.
There would be a briefing on the impact of climate change on refugees and displaced persons, which would focus, not just on desertification and its implications on the movement of populations, but also on rising sea levels, which had resulted in the loss of territory of some States, particularly, small island Pacific States.
Also, Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) would brief the Council on pandemics and communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, in conflict situations. Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov would also brief the Council, on developments in trafficking and organized crime, and their overall impact on international security.
Finally, he said the Council would discuss an issue on which it had worked for many years, and to which it attached great importance, namely, its working methods. That would follow on the previous open debate from April of last year, and would consider any applicable aspects of Japan’s Note 507.
The Council would also hold its regular debates on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Timor-Leste, and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
Additionally, it would convene its regular briefings and consultations on Libya, Guinea-Bissau, Cyprus, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Middle East, Yemen, peacekeeping, Lebanon, and consultations on the sanctions regimes in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Somalia, Eritrea, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He said he would be presenting the Security Council’s annual report to the General Assembly on the morning of 8 November, and had requested that the Assembly split the debates, with consideration of Security Council reform in the afternoon, so as to give the report its due attention in the first part of the day. The Council would then gather the Assembly’s comments from that debate and take them for further discussions during the Finnish seminar and workshop on 17 and 18 November for newly elected Council members.
Asked about the current dangers of arms proliferation in Libya, he said that arms proliferation was a very worrying development there, as one was “not talking about little guns”. Rather, those were man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS), chemical weapons, and a wide variety of sophisticated weapons, and there were tribes and peoples who were refusing to surrender those weapons; that was “very worrying and nasty indeed”. Such proliferation also affected neighbouring countries and had a negative impact on the wider region. The Security Council resolution recently adopted on 31 October was a first attempt to bring the situation under some control. It was difficult but important to have mechanisms to stem that “very dangerous” proliferation.
Regarding questions about the Palestinian application for statehood, he said that Council members would have a chance to say what they thought about the admissibility of that application at the first “formal” meeting of the Council on that issue, meaning there would be a record of the interventions. After that meeting, a report would be drawn up, which would mirror the Council’s position as presented during that meeting. That report would then be presented at the next meeting of the Council’s Standing Committee on Admission of New Members, which would meet further at the level of Permanent Representatives.
Responding to further questions from correspondents on the situation in Libya and the impartiality of United Nations staff, he said that the United Nations staff was not only impartial by definition, but was impartial in practice. The international community and the United Nations expected that the standards of behaviour of the new Government in Libya should be in agreement with international standards and respect for humanitarian law. All those violating human rights should be held accountable. He expressed the hope that the Libyan authorities would not only respect their own declaration in that regard, but enforce it.
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