Letter dated 17 December 2010 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council 

  

  

 Please find attached a report on the work of the Security Council during the presidency of the United Kingdom in November 2010 (see annex). The report was prepared under my national responsibility, following consultation with the other members of the Security Council. 

 I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council. 

  
  
(Signed) Mark Lyall Grant 
 


Annex to the letter dated 17 December 2010 from the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council 

  

  

   Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (November 2010) 

  

  

   Introduction 

  

  

 During the month of November 2010, under the presidency of the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations, Mark Lyall Grant, the Security Council held 16 consultations of the whole and 18 formal meetings, including 2 private and 16 public meetings.

 The public meetings included one at the ministerial level. On 16 November, the Council convened a high-level meeting on the Sudan, under the presidency of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, William Hague.

 In November 2010, the Council adopted five resolutions and three presidential statements and issued five statements to the press. 

 In November, the Security Council sought to improve its working methods, in particular by making its debates and consultations more interactive. Under “Other matters” on 30 November, the members of the Security Council considered these innovations. They agreed that it would be beneficial to the Council’s work to streamline the introductions made by the presidency at the beginning of a meeting in the Security Council Chamber; to continue use of video-conferencing technology to provide updates from the field; and to hold more flexible and interactive consultations, including by reducing the use of speaker lists, recognizing that not all Council members may wish to speak on all issues and making better use of “Other matters” to discuss issues of current concern.

 They further agreed to consider ways of enhancing the Council’s engagement on conflict prevention, including by devoting more time to this issue, developing the concept of a monthly briefing by the Department of Political Affairs, and making more use of high-level events to discuss issues of current concern. They also agreed to consider how to refresh Security Council informal formats, such as “Arria meetings”; and whether to divide the November debate in the General Assembly on the Security Council annual report and on reform of the Security Council into two separate sessions, the better to give each issue full consideration.

  
/…
  
   Middle East 
  
/…
  
   The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question 
  
 On 23 November, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, briefed the Council on the situation in the Middle East. He said that the diplomatic impasse since the end of the settlement moratorium on 26 September was worrying. He encouraged the parties to engage seriously and make substantive progress quickly once talks resumed. He encouraged more sustainable financing for the Palestinian Authority’s State-building plan. He expressed concern at the possible deterioration in access for international organizations between East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank as a result of the proposed changes to the administration of the crossings. Although the weekly number of truckloads entering Gaza had increased, the current figure of just over a thousand was far short of the 3,000 weekly truckloads entering in June 2007. The Under-Secretary-General noted that Palestinian militant groups had fired eight rockets and 41 mortars from Gaza into Israel during the reporting period and condemned rocket fire, which indiscriminately endangered civilians. 

 In the consultations that followed, most Council members urged the resumption of direct negotiations. Many called on Israel to halt all settlement activity; underlined the need for further steps to ease restrictions on the flow of goods and people in and out of Gaza in accordance with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009); condemned rocket fire from Gaza; and called for progress on intra-Palestinian reconciliation. 

 Some Council members expressed support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. They also welcomed Israel’s decision in principle to withdraw from northern Ghajar, and stressed the need for the decision to be implemented quickly.

/…
  

___________