|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for April
The Central African Republic, the “women, peace and security” agenda, and security sector reform would be among the Security Council’s top priorities in April, the organ’s President for April said at Headquarters today.
At a press conference on salient aspects of the Council’s April work programme, U. Joy Ogwu (Nigeria) said she expected the 15-member body to adopt six resolutions, respectively relating to the Central African Republic, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), prevention of genocide, security sector reform, Western Sahara and the sanctions regime imposed on Côte d'Ivoire.
The first of three open debates, to be held on 25 April, would cover the “women, peace and security” agenda, she said, adding that “sexual violence in conflict” would be the sub-theme. The Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict was expected to brief, but no outcome to the debate was foreseen because strong tools were already in place to implement the agenda.
She said the second open debate, on 28 April, would focus on security sector reform. “We cannot have effective rule of law without security sector reform, especially in a post-conflict environment,” she emphasized, adding that the issue was a growing part of United Nations engagement in development. The Council would examine that question in the context of conflict prevention and national ownership, and a draft resolution highlighting the contribution of security sector reform to the maintenance of international peace and security was expected, she said, noting that it would be the first such text adopted by the Council.
The third open debate, on 29 April, would focus on the Middle East.
More broadly, she said the Council would hear briefings on threats to international peace and security on 16 April, in commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of the Tutsi genocide. A resolution drafted by Rwanda was expected.
She said that, during consultations on 3 April, the Special Coordinator of the joint mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations would Council members on implementation of resolution 2118 (2013) prohibiting the production and stockpiling of chemical weapons in Syria.
On 10 April, she continued, consultations on Sudan and South Sudan would feature briefings by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy and the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. Consultations on Western Sahara, to be held on 17 April, would include updates by the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy and Special Representative on implementation of resolution 2099 (2013). Members would be informed about the challenges of operating the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), the mandate of which was due to expire on 30 April.
She went on to state that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) would brief the Council in a 23 April public meeting on the situation in that country, and on implementation of the Mission’s mandate. On 24 April, members would hear a briefing by the Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative for Darfur, she said, and — during consultations — by the Chair of the 1572 Sanctions Committee on Côte d’Ivoire.
On 30 April, the Council would hold consultations on the Middle East, focusing on the humanitarian situation in Syria. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator would deliver a briefing to members on implementation of resolution 2139 (2014), to be followed in the afternoon by the Chair of the newly formed Sanctions Committee on Yemen.
Finally, she said that, in order to demonstrate Nigeria’s support for transparency, there would be a private meeting on implementation of document S/2010/507 — a note by the Council President outlining measures to enhance transparency and dialogue with non-Council members. “We do not intend a marathon race,” she stressed. “We expect quiet, constructive work dealing with issues on the ground, without distractions and hoping for the best.”
Responding to questions, the President clarified that the debate on the Middle East would be its regular quarterly one, emphasizing: “We cannot predict what will come up.”
Asked about Ukraine, she said that she had not seen a letter from that country, but the schedule did contain a footnote on that situation to signal the Council’s possible consideration of that question.
In response to a question about Western Sahara, Ms. Ogwu said she expected full involvement in consultations by the parties concerned.
As for the role of development in reducing conflict, she said conflicts were often exacerbated by sectarian interests, and it was important to address their root causes.
On the question of transparency, she declared: “We have a vibrant Security Council with the maximum participation of States.” The higher interest was that of all concerned, especially those with situations taken up by the Council. “We do it with a sense of duty and responsibility.”
Asked about the possibility of a permanent Council seat for Africa, she said negotiations were ongoing. “We have to work in incremental steps,” she emphasized. “It cannot be a revolution.”
Responding to a question about footnotes on the Central African Republic and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said the former’s humanitarian, political and security situation was “dire”, and it was likely that a draft resolution would be tabled in the second week of April. As for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the footnote had been added in anticipation of the unforeseen, she said, expressing hope that the issue would be handled outside the Council.
In response to a final query, she spoke in her national capacity, saying that freedom of information did not constitute a threat to peace and security. Decisions on such matters must be taken by a sovereign national State, and it was up to citizens and the authorities to hold a dialogue.
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