|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for July
A ministerial-level open debate on peacekeeping and regional partnerships would be among the highlights of the Security Council’s work plan in July, Eugène-Richard Gasana ( Rwanda) said at a Headquarters press conference today.
Mr. Gasana, the organ’s incoming President, noted that Rwanda’s presidency of the Security Council this month was all the more “special” as the country celebrated its twentieth anniversary of liberation and marked the day when the Rwandan Patriotic Front took control of Kigali to stop the genocide.
On the work plan, he noted that discussion on peacekeeping and regional partnerships, scheduled for 28 July, would be chaired by Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo. The “main briefer” for the event would be the Secretary-General, and he would be joined by the Chair of the African Union Commission and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
On Tuesday, 15 July, the Council would hear a briefing on post-conflict peacekeeping by the Permanent Representative of Croatia, who would present the Peacebuilding Commission’s 2013 report in his capacity as its former Chair. That would be followed by an informal interactive dialogue between Council members, Configuration Chairs, and the President and Vice-President of the Commission, as well as the Chair of its working group on lessons learned.
The Council also would work on Africa-related issues, he said, meeting on the United Nations Office for West Africa on 8 July, and on 10 July, for a formal briefing by Lithuania’s Permanent Representative in connection with the “2127” committee. Also that day, the Permanent Representative of the Republic Korea would brief in consultations on the “751/1907” committee on Somalia and Eritrea. Consultations would be held on 16 July on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), as well as on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan. On the following day, Tarek Mitri, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), would brief the Council.
Regarding the Middle East, he said the quarterly open debate was scheduled for 22 July, with a briefing by Robert Serry, Special Coordinator for the region. Closed consultations would be held on Syria, first on 7 July in relation to chemical weapons and then on 30 July on the humanitarian situation. Closed consultations were scheduled for 9 July on the “1701” report concerning Lebanon.
The Council would also consider the United Nations presence in Iraq and Cyprus, adopting a resolution on each in public meetings on 30 July. A formal meeting on 23 July would hear a briefing on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), followed by consultations with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative. The Cyprus situation also would be considered on 23 July in a closed meeting with troop contributors, followed on 24 July by consultations.
As in April 2013, the last time Rwanda held the Council presidency, the delegation, he said, would convene a public wrap-up session at month’s end. That format was intended to give the wider United Nations membership and the public a better “grasp [of] the dynamics in the Security Council, at least, during July”. The monthly programme covered the “main conflicts of the moment”, he added, promising to interact with the press as much as possible.
Responding to a series of questions concerning cross-border fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as a “letter of complaint” from his delegation last month regarding a travel waiver for a leader of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda — known as FDLR — he said he would not go into details as Council President. However, speaking in his national capacity, he added that everybody knew the FDLR was a “sanctioned entity” about which the Council had adopted several resolutions demanding its disarmament. There also was a resolution mandating the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the intervention force brigade to neutralize all armed groups in the eastern part of that country, including the FDLR.
Further speaking in his national capacity, he said that MONUSCO “is inefficient” and “should deliver properly, but it was not doing that”. He was prepared to discuss the situation with the media in a “bilateral context”, as he did not wish to “misuse” his current position.
Concerning Syria, he was waiting to hear from Luxembourg, Austria and Jordan about a possible resolution on the humanitarian situation there.
To questions concerning the “impasse” on the peacekeeping budget, he hoped there would be a “very fair outcome” and “very soon”.
What he was hearing about Iraq, he replied to additional questions, was “very scary”. There were consultations on 23 July and as for any change in the composition of UNAMI, he said developments were unfolding. He added that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative might come to brief the Council.
Replying to questions concerning the International Criminal Court, he expressed his openness to “hear those questions in his national capacity”. Asked about a possible draft presidential statement of the Russian Federation concerning oil exports and the Syrian situation, he said experts had met on that yesterday, adding “we’re working on that”.
Concerning why the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was not in the footnotes, he said it was, in connection with the item on non-proliferation. To a question on South Sudan, he said the Council was keeping an eye on the situation and might soon receive a report on that. Concerning the “crisis” of migrants trying to reach the Italian coast from Africa, it was not on the Council’s programme and thus he could not “promise anything”.
To queries about Security Council reform, he said, in his national capacity, that it was a long-term process, and added that “yes, Africa needs seats”; more than two thirds of the topics in the Council concerned Africa and he wished one day the continent’s representation in the Council would reflect that.
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