Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for July

2 July 2013

Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for July

2 July 2013
Press Conference
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for July

The Security Council’s work for July included a ministerial-level debate on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region, Acting Permanent Representative of the United States, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, said today at Headquarters as she assumed the 15-nation body’s presidency.

“This debate will help sustain the international attention on the Great Lakes region and encourage continued positive momentum following the signing of a regional framework agreement,” Ms. DiCarlo said, noting that the 25 July meeting would be chaired by United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson would brief the Council in that meeting, she added.  Also invited to speak were high-level representatives from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and the African Union.  A high-level representative of Rwanda had been invited to participate in the debate as a Council member.

On 17 July, the Council would convene an open debate on the protection of journalists in armed conflict and post-conflict situations, she continued.  Since the Council had last considered that topic in 2006, worldwide violence against journalists had worsened, she said, noting an increase in murders and imprisonment arising from conflict situations.

The thematic meeting would provide Council members and all Member States an opportunity to hear directly from journalists about violence they faced in conflict areas, she said.  Briefers would include Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, American journalist Richard Engel of NBC, Somali journalist Mustafa Haji Abdinur from Radio Simba and Agence France-Presse, Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad of the Guardian, and Kathleen Carroll, Executive Editor, the Associated Press and Vice-Chair of the Board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“The briefers will give first-hand accounts of dangers inherent in conflict journalism, and obviously, reporting from conflict areas is invaluable and an indirect source of information for the Council,” she said.

A side event, Tech Camp, would be held to bring together technology experts and media professionals, and representatives of non-governmental and international organizations to explore technology solutions to problems confronting journalists in conflict areas.  It would be held at the CUNY [City University of New York] Graduate School of Journalism on 25 and 26 July.  

Turning to more traditional business, she said that the Council would renew the mandates of the United Nations Mission in the South Sudan (UNMISS); African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID); United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI); United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP); United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI); and the Monitoring Group of the 751/1907 Sanctions Committee concerning Somalia and Eritrea.

Regarding the Sudan and South Sudan, there would be consultations on 11 and 24 July on the security situation on the ground, as well as on implementation of the joint border verification and monitoring mechanism, the status of the agreement on oil and economic cooperation.

A briefing in consultations on 9 July by Derek Plumbly, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, on the Secretary-General’s report on implementation of resolution 1701 (2006), would be an opportunity to get an update about the impact of the Syrian conflict on Lebanon.  In addition, there would be a quarterly open debate on the Middle East on 23 July.

The Council would follow several other troubling situations, particularly in Syria, she said.

Responding to a question about Secretary of State Kerry’s planned visit to the United Nations and his recent shuttle diplomacy for the Middle East, as well as the role of the Quartet, Ms. DiCarlo said that her delegation would use “every possible avenue” to bring the two parties to the table.

Asked about a “Geneva II” peace conference on Syria, she said that the date had not been determined and no deadline had been set, but the meeting would be convened as soon as practical, noting that Mr. Kerry had a good discussion with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Brunei to resolve some issues raised.

To an inquiry about why the United Nations retained a mission in Cyprus, where there was no conflict, at a time when it needed to maintain peacekeeping operations elsewhere, she said the Mission had helped a number of confidence-building measures, and it was half funded by the Government of Cyprus.

Asked if the Council would adopt an outcome at the 25 July debate on the Great Lakes region, she said she was anticipating a presidential statement.

On the recent protests in Egypt, she said that the country was not on the Council agenda, but Council members would be following developments closely.

Further on Syria, she said that no Member State had formally requested a Council meeting on that situation, but it was on the United States’ “radar screen every day”.

Asked about a dialogue proposed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said her delegation was open to it, but that nation had not fulfilled the commitment it had made in 2005 at the six-party talks.

Regarding sanctions committees and reported violations by Iran, she said “we are monitoring all of Iran’s non-compliance”, adding that the Council would take action if necessary.

Asked if the United States would sign the Arms Trade Treaty, she said her Government had already announced its intention to sign it after all the official United Nations translations of the document were completed.  Member States had 90 days to challenge the final translation and that period had not expired, she said.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.