Letter dated 26 April 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Pakistan held the presidency of the Security Council for the month of January 2013. An assessment of the work of the Council has been prepared under my supervision in consultation with other members of the Council (see annex).
I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Masood Khan
Annex to the letter dated 26 April 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Pakistan (January 2013)
Under the presidency of Pakistan in January 2013, the Security Council had an intensive programme of work, covering a wide range of agenda items. The Council considered a number of issues including the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan/South Sudan, the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, West Africa, Libya, Cyprus, the Middle East including the Palestinian question,
non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Haiti, and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. The situations in the Syrian Arab Republic and Mali also remained under the Council’s attention in view of the unfolding developments there. The Council held thematic open debates on counter-terrorism (15 January) and United Nations peacekeeping operations (21 January), both significant areas of the Council’s work. The debates led to the adoption of important outcomes. The Council responded to the terrorist attack in Algeria. The Council also discussed the rule of law. Also in January, the Council undertook a mission to Yemen to demonstrate its support for the transition under way in that country. The Council concluded its work for the month with a wrap-up session held on 31 January.
During the month of January, the Security Council held 16 meetings and 18 consultations of the whole. The Council adopted four resolutions, one presidential statement and six statements to the press.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
At the quarterly open debate held on 23 January, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, briefed the Council. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Observer State of Palestine to the United Nations, Riad Malki, addressed the Council. The Permanent Representative of Israel, Ron Prosor, also made a statement.
In his briefing, the Special Coordinator said that the Secretary-General had repeatedly highlighted that 2013 could be a decisive year for the two-State solution and concerted action was vital in that regard. He deplored the dramatic increase in new settlements announced by Israel, including in the E-1 area, and the withholding of tax revenues owed by Israel to the Palestinian Authority since the General Assembly had accorded Palestine the status of non-member observer State. Urging both sides to refrain from actions that could make resumption of meaningful negotiations harder, he noted the warning by President Abbas that building of settlements in E-1 was a “red line”. He also recalled demonstrations against the barrier as well as the establishment by the Palestinians, of an encampment named Bab al-Shams in the E-1 area, and their subsequent eviction. He expressed concern at increased violence in the occupied Palestinian territory and at the fate of Palestinian prisoners under administrative detention in Israeli jails.
The Special Coordinator expressed the hope that, following the Israeli elections, the new Government would engage the Palestinians in the pursuit of peace. Noting that the Quartet envoys had met in Amman on 10 January, he expressed concern that a clear and realistic path ahead was still lacking and said that he looked forward to renewed United States engagement in that regard.
In the ensuing debate, many Council members and non-members called for immediate resumption of direct negotiations with clear benchmarks and deadlines, condemned the construction of illegal settlements, including in the E-1 area, and called on Israel to halt this activity. They also called on Israel to release the tax revenues it had withheld from the Palestinian Authority and welcomed continued international support to the Palestinian Authority in this regard. Many speakers welcomed the adoption of General Assembly resolution 67/19, according the status of non-member observer State to Palestine, while some cautioned that the only way to establish a real Palestinian State is through direct negotiations on final status issues, without preconditions, between the Israelis and Palestinians, and that General Assembly resolution 67/19 cannot be viewed as establishing terms of reference or as prejudging any final status issues, notably with respect to territory. Many also warned that the year 2013 was critical for the two-State solution, as the window of opportunity was closing, and called on the parties to exhibit leadership. They also called for international action in this regard. Some members also referred to the continuing blockade of Gaza as well as Israel’s continued occupation of Lebanese territories and the Syrian Golan.
Document Type: Assessment, Letter
Document Sources: Security Council, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
Subject: Land, Middle East situation, Palestine question, Peace process, Settlements, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 23/01/2013