|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for October
Setting out the range of situations to be addressed by the Security Council in October, the Permanent Representative of Argentina, whose delegation holds that body’s presidency for the month, this afternoon underlined the importance of making further progress on inclusiveness and transparency of the Council’s work.
Announcing an open debate on that topic planned for 23 October, María Cristina Perceval proposed that Member States assess progress made and gaps that remained in opening up the Council’s work to the full United Nations membership. They should also bring concrete suggestions for improvement, she said.
Other open debates this month would include one on women, peace and security on 28 October, which would focus on the plight of women who, she noted, made up 80 per cent of those living as displaced persons in the world today and suffered a lack of access to basic needs, as well as sexual abuse and forced marriage. Efforts of women to organize themselves to effect change would be included in that discussion. The head of UN-Women would brief. The quarterly open debate on the Middle East was planned for 21 October. No draft resolution on the Palestinian question, however, had been submitted.
Regarding the Council’s transparency, she said that as President she hoped to promote greater inclusiveness by listening to all viewpoints and building consensus in that context. In the 23 October open debate on the topic, she said that progress was particularly needed on the question of due process in listing persons for targeted sanctions. The Chair of the 1267 Committee on Al-Qaida sanctions planned to brief. The possibility would be considered of extending the ombudsman mechanism to all sanctions regimes, to increase transparency and impartiality.
Also at that meeting, the process of referring situations to the International Criminal Court would be discussed, she said, stressing that the Court should not be used to settle political scores but be an impartial body that administered justice. Referrals must be followed up. Fatou Ben Souda, the Court’s Prosecutor, had been asked to brief on the matter.
Concerning the rest of “a very heavy agenda”, she said that meetings on Syria were planned to assess the elimination of chemical weapons in the country as well as the humanitarian situation there, but no meetings on the political aspects of the crisis had yet been scheduled. She also flagged open briefings on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia and South Sudan, as well as briefings in consultations on Western Sahara and Yemen.
Turning to briefings on sanctions regimes, she said that for the first time there would be a formal meeting on the measures concerning Somalia and Côte d’Ivoire. On peacekeeping issues, she noted that the military commanders of three missions would brief on 9 October, with commanders of other operations available to answer questions.
Approval of the Council’s annual report would be considered on 22 October, she said, noting that complaints had consistently been voiced at the late presentation of the report in previous years; this was the first year that it would be ready in time for delegations to consider it ahead of the related General Assembly meeting. The monthly wrap-up session would also take place as an open meeting.
A series of questions — sparked by comments made by the Argentine President at the 24 September Council Summit — was asked about assistance to rebels in Syria, which, correspondents said, were later named terrorists. She said that more clarity was needed in fighting terrorism. Prudence was needed before action was taken to assist armed groups. "Sometimes people change, but we're not talking about change here," she added.
On the veto, she called interesting the French initiative to refrain from use of that tool in cases of crimes against humanity, but she commented that it was not immediately clear what situations that covered. On perceived inequities concerning International Criminal Court referrals, she said that, in her personal opinion, the fight against impunity was a long process, and the way to strengthen justice was not to undo progress that had been made.
Further discussion of the Ebola epidemic was being considered by the Council because of the presence of peacekeepers in the affected region and related reasons, she said, adding however that the response to the disease was under the competency of other United Nations bodies. Similarly, repression of journalists came under the area of expertise of the Human Rights Council.
However, she stressed many issues affected international peace and security. Peace, she said, was achieved through equality and tolerance, respect for human rights, development and social inclusion. "Anything else is not peace but mere mitigation of violence," she stated.
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