Letter dated 23 May 2006 from the Permanent Representative
of Argentina to the United Nations addressed to the President
of the Security Council
Please find attached the report on the work of the Security Council during the Argentine presidency, in March 2006 (see annex). This report was written under my supervision, after consultations with the other members of the Security Council.
I should be grateful if you would circulate this letter and its annex as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) César Mayoral
Annex to the letter dated 23 May 2006 from the Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations addressed
to the President of the Security Council
Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Argentina (March 2006)
Under the presidency of Argentina in March 2006, the Security Council undertook a very heavy programme of work, addressing a wide range of issues on its agenda including the extension of the mandates of five peacekeeping operations (UNMEE, UNAMA, UNMIS, UNMIL and UNOMIG), the consideration of 14 reports of the Secretary-General, the adoption of seven resolutions and five presidential statements. The President also made three statements to the press on behalf of members of the Security Council.
During the month of March, the Security Council held 21 official meetings and 21 informal consultations.
There were three open debates on Afghanistan, Haiti and small arms; three public meetings on the Middle East, Lebanon and Côte d´Ivoire, and three open briefings on Iraq, Liberia and the Sudan.
Through its website, the presidency provided regular updates on the programme of work as well as on the activities of the Security Council.
The situation in the Middle East
On 16 March, Serge Brammertz, Commissioner of the International Independent Investigation Commission investigating the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri, presented the third report of the Commission (S/2006/161, annex) at a public meeting of the Council. The Acting Secretary-General of the Lebanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Ambassador Boutros Assaker, and the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad, also addressed the Council.
The Council members continued their discussions in informal consultations, attended by the Commissioner. At the end of the consultations, the President of the Council delivered a statement to the press, welcoming the report of the Commission and commending the Commissioner and his team for their work. The members of the Council noted with satisfaction that the investigations had advanced and welcomed the steps taken by the Commission to extend technical assistance to the Lebanese judicial and law enforcement agencies with regard to their investigations into other terrorist attacks. The members of the Council took note of the common understanding on legal and operational matters of the Commission and the Syrian authorities regarding the cooperation of the Syrian Arab Republic with the investigation.
In informal consultations on 23 March the Council heard a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, the Legal Counsel, Nicolas Michel, on the consultations held with the Government of Lebanon to explore the requirements for a tribunal of an international character to try those eventually charged with involvement in the terrorist attack that killed former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others. The Legal Counsel referred to the main elements of the report of the Secretary-General (S/2006/176) and members of the Council exchanged views in this regard.
On 29 March, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1664 (2005) in which it requested the Secretary-General to negotiate with the Government of Lebanon an agreement aimed at establishing a tribunal of an international character based on the highest international standards of criminal justice, taking into account the recommendations in his report and the views expressed by Council members.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
In informal consultations held on 14 March the Council considered the situation in the Middle East. The purpose of the meeting was to consider recent developments in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in particular the Gaza Strip. Members of the Council subsequently negotiated a draft presidential statement presented by the delegation of Qatar, which was not adopted.
On 30 March the Council held a public meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Tuliameni Kalomoh, briefed the Council and referred to the main developments that had occurred in the Middle East since the last briefing, at the end of February.
In the ensuing debate, the 15 Council members made statements. The representatives of the Observer Mission of Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Austria, Yemen and Malaysia also participated and made statements. The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People took the floor under rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure.