Contributing to the fight against terrorism and applying sanctions when needed were among tasks taken during August, Security Council President Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt) told members of the 15-nation body in a monthly wrap-up meeting this afternoon.
Summarizing activities undertaken during the month, he said the Council addressed situations in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia, acting on renewing mission mandates and responding to crisis situations.
Noting several landmark decisions, Oleksiy Ilnytskyi (Ukraine) highlighted the adoption of a resolution on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. It was now crucial that the Council followed closely how the text was being implemented, thus making yet another tangible contribution to the international efforts to combat that scourge.
On Asia, some speakers commended Council unity on many areas of concern, including that of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Elaborating on related resolution 2371 (2017) and presidential statement S/PRST/2017/16, speakers agreed that both texts had demonstrated the Council’s unity, sending a strong message to Pyongyang to immediately cease provocative missile launches. Agreeing on that issue, Michele J. Sison (United States) said that on sanctions, the Council must find that same unity to ensure the implementation of related resolutions.
Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia) rejected unilateral sanctions, which were a blatant violation of international law that also undermined the efforts of multilateral bodies such as the Council. Regarding the approval of new sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said those measures should be an instrument to bring about dialogue with the objective of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Council unity should serve to bring about a peaceful resolution to the issue, he added.
On Africa, Tekeda Alemu (Ethiopia) said the Egyptian presidency had guided the Council through a busy month. Highlighting some critical issues, he pointed to a meeting on the operationalizing of a Sahel regional force to tackle persistent security challenges and noted the Council’s support for several countries, including in Guinea-Bissau, Liberia and South Sudan, while working with national, regional and subregional partners. Turning to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he echoed a commonly voiced appreciation for the Council’s support and follow-up on the killings of two Panel of Experts members.
On that point, Joakim Vaverka (Sweden) summed up a common view, saying we owe it not only to the families, but also to ourselves and the Organization “to make sure that those responsible for these reprehensible murders are brought to justice”. He also expressed appreciation for the presidential statement on the risk of famine in northern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, noting that the Council had highlighted the need to do more to prevent conflicts that were driving many humanitarian crises. As co-penholders for the humanitarian track, Sweden stood ready to initiate meaningful Council action aimed at improving the situation for Syrians on the ground.
On the Middle East, speakers suggested referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, with some demanding swift action that would help to save lives and bring relief to the population. Vassily A. Nebenzia (Russian Federation) said it was important to confirm positive trends that would create conditions for moving dialogue in Geneva forward. With regard to Yemen, he said pressure must be exerted on all sides in the conflict there.
Underlining other pressing concerns the Council had addressed, some delegates highlighted the Deputy Secretary-General’s mission to examine the issue of sexual violence in conflict situations and her subsequent briefing. Emphasizing the significance of paying attention to that concern and related issues, Luis Bermúdez (Uruguay) stressed the need for States to enhance the inclusion of women in Governments and in peace processes. More meetings should be held with regard to women, with civil society invited to participate, he said.
Turning to working methods, Koro Bessho (Japan) highlighted some of the main revisions to presidential note S/2010/507 and the Council’s working methods. Emphasizing that the revisions could serve as a handbook on agreed measures or best practices on its working methods, he noted that incoming presidencies were encouraged to discuss the programme of work with members well in advance. On dialogue with non-Council members and bodies, he pointed out that for the first time, the note referred to the importance of annual joint consultative meetings and informal dialogues with the African Union’s Peace and Security Council and joint missions to address conflict situations on the continent.
Speakers also noted the adoption of the Council’s annual report to the General Assembly, covering the period of 1 August 2015 to 31 December 2016.
Also speaking today were representatives of Italy, France, China, Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.
The meeting began at 4:00 p.m. and ended at 5:24 p.m.