27 November 2013
Press Conference

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

Press Conference by Security Council President for Month of November

 


Speaking at a Headquarters press conference today, the Security Council President for November noted that 17 open sessions and 13 closed consultations had been held to consider 20 agenda items, including the Middle East, Iran, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the work of the sanctions committees.


Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China said, in his overview of the month, that the Council had also held discussions on Libya, Central African Republic and Lebanon, among other issues.  As well, four resolutions and two presidential statements had been adopted and six press statements had been issued.


Mr. Liu said he had introduced the Council’s annual report to the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly and had spoken at the commemorative meeting to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, where he had reiterated the Council’s strong support for the Middle East peace process.


On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said that the Council had witnessed several positive developments, including the laying down of arms by the M23 and other armed groups and had adopted a presidential statement to promote cooperation and ensure lasting peace and security between the countries in the region.


Turning to Somalia, he said that the Council had held three meetings and had unanimously adopted two resolutions, including resolution 2124 (2013), which authorized an increase in the number of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) personnel, with over 4,000 troops, to enhance its capacity to support the Somali national army in their fight against Al-Shabab terrorists.


The Council, he continued, had adopted resolution 2125 (2013), which extended by a year the authorization to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, as well as armed robbery at sea.  The text also had urged Member States to work in conjunction with relevant international organizations towards adopting legislation that would facilitate prosecution of suspected pirates and to cooperate on the issue of hostage-taking.


On South Sudan, he noted that two consultations had been held on the work of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).  Deep concern had been expressed on the incidences of extortion, robbery and assault by the country’s military, police and other security authorities against the Mission’s personnel.


“Following the consultations, the South Sudan authorities responded on the matter very seriously, and President Salva Kiir issued an order to the military and police to abide by the Status of Forces Agreement,” Mr. Liu noted.


Resolution 2126 (2013) had also been adopted, extending the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA), he said.  The Council had urged the Sudan and South Sudan Governments to take all necessary steps to ensure that Abyei was effectively demilitarized.  It also had urged the Governments to implement confidence-building measures among the respective communities in the area, including through reconciliation processes.


Speaking on the deferral of the International Criminal Court proceedings against Kenyan leaders, Mr. Liu said that, although the draft resolution had not been adopted, Council members had noted Kenya’s role in maintaining peace and security and combating terrorism.


He also said, regarding the United Nations Regional Office in Central Africa and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), that the Council had adopted a presidential statement encouraging the African Union and countries in the region to maintain the momentum in their fight against the armed group.  The text had also called on the international community to continue helping affected countries to achieve the desired results.


In regards to Syria, he said that the Council had continued to follow developments in the country and had received a briefing on the humanitarian situation, as well as the verification and the destruction of its chemical weapons.


Responding to questions on Syria, he said that Council members had reiterated the need for the Syrian Government, the opposition parties and the regional players to play a constructive role towards achieving a political solution to the crisis in the country.


He also called on the international community to ensure the success of the Geneva II conference in January 2014, adding that, “it is highly important for all the parties concerned to understand that it is the future of Syria and the welfare of its people that is at stake, so all the parties should move forward with the political solution to resolve the crisis.”


Answering another question on the deferral of the case of the Kenyan President and his Deputy before the International Criminal Court, Mr. Liu said that 60 per cent of the matters before the Council dealt with African issues. Thus, it was important the Council maintained close working relations and cooperation with African members, the African Union and subregional organizations.


He also stated that it was important for Council members to listen to African countries.  The aforementioned case was clearly an African issue.  The Council’s consideration had been aimed at ensuring regional stability, countering terrorism and ensuring that the President of Kenya and his Deputy had performed their constitutional duties.


He added that the Council had held a consultation on the draft resolution, but that it had not been able to adopt the text.  However, it should be noted that comments made after the vote stressed the need to maintain close cooperation between the Council and the African Union.  In addition, Kenya’s frontline role had been acknowledged by nearly all Council members.


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For information media • not an official record