Security Council Members, Wrapping Up Work for August, Commend Meetings on Ebola, Regional Organizations, Syria, Security Sector Reform

31 August 2015

Security Council Members, Wrapping Up Work for August, Commend Meetings on Ebola, Regional Organizations, Syria, Security Sector Reform

The Security Council in the past month was strengthened by discussion of root causes of conflict, humanitarian concerns and other issues not previously on the schedule, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria, President of the body for August, said in a wrap-up meeting this morning.

“Such thematic meetings underscore the importance of collective action and strengthen it,” U. Joy Ogwu said, pointing to a meeting on lessons learned from the Ebola epidemic, an open debate on regional organizations and their role in meeting contemporary challenges to the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as a meeting on security sector reform, which resulted in the first stand-alone resolution on that critical topic.

In a discussion before Ms. Ogwu’s statement, Council members expressed appreciation for the meetings and surveyed the Council’s August work on ongoing situations in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Yemen, Libya and the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, urging a unified approach.

Action on South Sudan, some said, showed that, when there was a will to deal with a conflict, the Council could act despite the differences.  In that vein, the representative of the United Kingdom, Matthew Rycroft, welcomed the united support for a renewed diplomatic approach to end the carnage in Syria, as well as for elimination of the use of chlorine as a chemical weapon, but urged much more progress towards the goal of ending the conflict.  “Let us seize the momentum and unity of this month to draw to a close over four years of fighting,” he said.

The representative of France, François Delattre, along with other speakers, praised the timely briefings on allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, in an effort to implement a zero-tolerance policy on such abuse.  Timely preventative action was taken in regard to Burundi and Guinea-Bissau, Spain’s representative, Román Oyarzun Marchesi, noted, with several speakers urging further augmentation of preventative efforts.

Several speakers pointed to the Arria formula meeting on the suffering of vulnerable groups due to terrorism as a model for dealing with some of the worst aspects of that scourge.  They reiterated their positions on the urgent need to deal with all the outrages of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS).

The inclusion of the suffering of lesbian, gay, transgender and other groups under terrorism in that meeting represented an important advance, the representative of the United States, DavidPressman, stressed.  “We took an important step in realizing the Charter’s ambition and standing up for those who were vulnerable in conflict,” he said.

Others, such as Venezuela’s representative, Rafael Dario Ramírez Carreño, reiterated their caution on foreign intervention in internal conflicts, which could increase chaos that allowed terrorist groups to flourish.  Jordan’s representative, Eihab Omaish, reminded the Council of the continuing, severe effects on the entire region of multiple conflicts and terrorism.

On working methods, Chile’s representative, Cristián Barros Melet, among others, underlined a need to follow up on proposed constraints to the right to veto, the selection of the next Secretary-General and unity of the Security Council in face of non-proliferation issues.  Chad’s representative, Mahamat Zene Cherif, stressed the ongoing need to end what he called the exclusion of non-permanent members from important discussions.

Many speakers today prefaced their remarks with condolences to Brazil for the death of General Jabarandi Jose Luiz Jaborandy, Jr., Force Commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).  Many members also pledged their full support and cooperation with the Russian Federation during the delegation’s upcoming presidency in September.

In his presentation, Russian representative Vitaly Churkin pointed to the many challenges that must be addressed when his country assumed the presidency in September, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, where, he noted, conflicts were now resulting in mass migrations.

He called for deeper analysis of the multiple crises in the region and their communalities, as well as the political issues underpinning them.  He outlined plans for a major September meeting on all the issues involved.  He also signalled his delegation’s intention to submit a resolution expanding the mandate of the investigative mechanism on chemical weapons to apply to allegations of the use of those weapons in Iraq.

Also speaking were the representatives of Malaysia, New Zealand, China, Lithuania and Angola.

The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 11:54 a.m.

For information media. Not an official record.