Letter dated 25 June 2009 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Croatia to the United Nations addressed
to the President of the Security Council
I have the honour to transmit herewith the report on the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Croatia in December 2008 (see annex). This assessment was prepared under my own responsibility, following consultations with other members of the Security Council.
I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex coul d be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Ranko Vilović
Chargé d’affaires a.i.
Annex to the letter dated 25 June 2009 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Croatia 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 Republic of Croatia (December 2008)
During the month of December 2008, under the presidency of Ambassador Neven Jurica, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Croatia to the United Nations, the Security Council engaged in an extensive and robust programme of work. The Security Council held 35 formal meetings, with 2 resumptions, and 18 consultations of the whole to discuss African, Asian and European issues, and also held one high-level event on the thematic issue of threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, which was chaired by the President of the Republic of Croatia, H.E. Stjepan Mesić.
In December 2008 the Security Council adopted 14 resolutions, 4 presidential statements and 4 statements to the press.
The situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question
On 3 December, the Security Council held a debate to discuss the situation in connection with the Libyan ship which was headed to the Port of Gaza carrying humanitarian supplies. Members of the Council made statements. The Council also heard statements by the Permanent Observer for Palestine and the Permanent Representative of Israel. The Council did not reach any specific conclusion.
On 5 December, the Council addressed events in Hebron in consultations of the whole. Following the consultations, the President of the Council informally conveyed to the press that the members of the Council welcomed Israel’s evacuation of settlers, condemned the resulting settler violence, urged respect for the rule of law without discrimination or exception and encouraged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to continue their security cooperation in the Hebron Governorate.
On 16 December, the Security Council adopted resolution 1850 (2008) by 14 votes in favour, with one abstention. The adoption was preceded by a Council debate with ministerial participation of several members and with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Ivo Sanader, chairing. The Secretary-General also addressed the Council. Reiterating the vision of the two-State solution while noting the importance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet’s ongoing work, the Council, in resolution 1850 (2008), declared its support for the Annapolis process and the irreversibility of the negotiations. The Security Council supported the parties’ agreed principles for the bilateral negotiations, called on both parties to fulfil their obligations under the Road Map and refrain from any steps that could undermine confidence or prejudice the outcome of negotiations, and called on all States and international organizations to contribute to an atmosphere conducive to negotiations and to assist the Palestinian Authority. It urged intensified diplomatic efforts to foster mutual recognition and peaceful coexistence in the region in the context of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and welcomed the consideration of an international meeting in Moscow in 2009.
On 18 December, the Security Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Council heard a briefing by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, on the situation in Gaza and the West Bank. He also addressed the situation in Lebanon and the dynamics between the Syrian Arab Republic and Israel. He said that the main objective in the coming year was to sustain the political process during a period of transition, emphasizing the importance of the adoption of resolution 1850 (2008). He appealed for the observance of basic humanitarian principles in Gaza and warned against the escalation of violence. The Security Council then heard statements by the Permanent Observer for Palestine and the Permanent Representative of Israel. Representatives of Brazil, Cuba, Qatar, Turkey, Japan, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Chile, Pakistan, Venezuela, Morocco, Norway, Australia, Iceland, and the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People also addressed the Council.
On 28 December, after consultations of the whole that had begun the previous evening following the outbreak of violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel, the President of the Council read out a statement to the press, expressing serious concern at the escalation of the situation in Gaza and calling for an immediate halt to all violence, calling for all parties to address the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza and stressing the need for the restoration of calm in full, which will open the way for finding a political solution.
On 31 December, the Security Council held an emergency meeting on the situation in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. The Secretary-General addressed the Council, emphasizing profound concern that the Security Council’s call for an end to the violence had gone unheeded and emphasized the suffering of the civilian population in Gaza, saying that all parties must fully uphold international humanitarian law. He stressed the need for decisive action and welcomed efforts by European and Arab leaders. The Permanent Observer for Palestine and the Permanent Representative of Israel also addressed the Council. Members of the Council made statements, followed by the representatives of Egypt and the Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States.