Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for October

4 October 2011

Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for October

4 October 2011
Press Conference
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for October


Saying she expected a “good ride” for the Security Council this month, U. Joy Ogwu (Nigeria), its President for October, today outlined a programme of work comprising a varied mix of both new and routine agenda items.

Briefing at a Headquarters press conference, she said that since the world was not static but dynamic, the work programme allowed for the addition of new items, to be dealt with as and when they arose.  So far, however, three open debates were scheduled, with the first set for 12 October, when both Council and non-Council members would meet to assess United Nations efforts on security-sector reform and consider related recommendations by the Secretary-General.

Ms. Ogwu said that first debate was of critical importance to Africa.  Given that the continent took up a significant proportion of the Council’s agenda, it had been felt necessary to review and examine security-sector reform, while helping to find a way forward.  Initiated by Nigeria as President, the Council sought to determine how engagement on security-sector reform could benefit from conflict-prevention approaches and amplification of the perspectives of societies in which reform was being undertaken, she said.  Olugbenga Ashiru, Minister for Foreign Affairs, would preside over the meeting, at the end of which the Council was expected to issue a presidential statement.

During the second open debate, scheduled for 24 October, the Council would discus the Middle East, she said.  It would consider the prevailing situation in the region, with a focus on how to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the problems there.  The third and last open debate was set for 28 October, when members as well as non-members would assess efforts being made to enhance implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) on women and peace and security.  The debate would provide an opportunity for Member States, representatives of United Nations entities and other stakeholders to examine progress and challenges relating to the implementation of the resolution.

Ms. Ogwu said the presidency was convinced of the importance of preventing conflicts even before they broke out, either by addressing their root causes, by engaging in preventive diplomacy, through early-warning mechanisms, and especially through mediation.  Thus in convening the debate, the intention was to accentuate women’s critical role in conflict prevention all over the world, which largely remained either unacknowledged or undocumented.  “We do hope that a study will emerge from this, so that the role of women in mediation will be documented as a basis or a framework for future policy,” she said.

Besides those debates, the Council had approved several consultations and briefings during the month, including consultations on the report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 1990 (2011) on the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), on 6 October; on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), on 17 October; on Western Sahara; on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID); on Somalia; and on the report on implementation of resolution of 1559 (2004) concerning Lebanon.  The UNISFA meeting would focus on implementation of the agreement and reviewing the role of the Security Force, she explained.

The sanctions regime imposed on Côte d’Ivoire would be discussed in closed consultations scheduled for 20 October, she said.  The Council would be guided by resolution 1980 (2011) in carrying out what was viewed as a mid-term review of the sanctions regime, which included an arms embargo as well as financial and travel measures pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004).  The Council would also consider the mid-term report of the Group of Experts on the implementation of the sanctions, she said, adding that the consultations on UNISFA, UNAMID, Libya and Somalia would be preceded by briefings by the respective Special Representatives of the Secretary-General.

On 14 October, the Council was expected to receive, in closed consultations, what had become the traditional monthly briefings by the Department of Political Affairs, she said.  Specifically, the first would be on piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.  Convened at Nigeria’s request, it would provide a platform for discussing the various regional efforts deployed on that issue, as well as possible areas of international support.

She said that on 31 October, the Council would hear a briefing on post-conflict peacebuilding.  Also during the month, several mandate reviews and adoptions were scheduled, in addition to a private meeting with the International Court of Justice, on 25 October, during which its President, Hisashi Owada, was expected to discuss the Court’s role in the maintenance of international peace and security.

Asked about her country’s position on the Palestinian application for United Nations membership and the expected experts’ meetings on that matter, Ms. Ogwu confirmed that the first experts’ meeting was scheduled for this Friday.  “I want to assure you that we will neither be stalled nor be stampeded,” she declared.  “This group will meet in a transparent manner, as much as possible in a cohesive manner, as much as possible at a rational pace.”

She went on to state that her country supported the two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  In 1984, Nigeria had recognized Palestine, and the country would continued to be a peaceful arbiter on the Middle East question, she said.  “We want and do advocate peace in the end,” she added, emphasizing that Nigeria’s support of Palestine was unequivocal.

Pressed further on how her delegation would vote on the Palestinian application, she said that was Nigeria’s decision and responsibility, but it would approach the issue with the greatest sense of duty and responsibility.

Asked why there appeared to be “little concern” on the Council’s part for the safety and security of the people of Bahrain, and why the Council seemed “reluctant” to discuss the violence there, which predated that in Syria, Libya and other countries, she said that was “too strong a word”, pointing out that the Council dealt with issues as they were brought before it.

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