3 October 2008
Press Conference

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



Africa would retain the focus of the Security Council for the month of October, Zhang Yesui, Permanent Representative of China, which holds the body’s presidency for the month, told correspondents at a Headquarters press conference this afternoon.

Outlining the Council’s October programme, Mr. Zhang said that already this morning Special Representative of the Secretary-General Alan Doss had briefed the Council on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations mission there, known as MONUC.  In consultations afterward, France proposed a presidential statement on the item, which would be discussed further by members.

Also on Africa, he said there would be a debate on the activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNOGBIS), on 7 October.  The Sudan would be discussed in briefings followed by consultations on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on the 23rd, as well as on the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) the following day.  The Council would also hold a briefing followed by consultations on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) on the 27th, followed by a review of sanctions in that country, which were due to expire at the end of the month.

On the Middle East, he said that the regular secretariat briefing would be held on 22 October, but there had as yet been no proposals for follow-up meetings or actions.  A briefing on the report on the implementation of resolution 1559 on Lebanon would also be held, on the 30th.

United Nations peacekeeping mandates set to expire this month, he said, included the Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH.  Their proposed extensions would take place on 14 October, preceded by briefings, consultations and discussions with troop-contributing countries.  Also, on the 14th, a debate was planned on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), he said.

Finally, he highlighted the annual open debate on Women and Peace and Security, to be held on 29 October; a briefing on the work of the International Court of Justice, expected on the 28th; and an open meeting on the report of the Peacebuilding Commission, planned for the 21st.

After noting that the Council had also been briefed this morning by the Committee formed pursuant to resolution 1718 on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear activities, Mr. Zhang was asked to comment, in his national capacity, on the issue.  He said that the six-party talks still presented the best possibility for resolving the problem and he expressed hope that the parties would retain their flexibility and patience to be able to overcome the difficulties the talks were currently facing.  China, he said, would continue to play a constructive role.

Asked about Afghanistan, he said that China was watching the situation closely.  His country supported the efforts of the international community to put more resources in the country to help restore stability and economic viability.  China also supported reform of the Security Council, he said in response to other questions, to give more voice to developing countries, particularly those in Africa.

Asked finally to comment on progress in Darfur and Myanmar, he said all Council members supported accelerated deployment of UNAMID in the former situation, and the Secretary-General’s continuing mediation efforts in the latter.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record