Letter dated 11 February 2002 from the Permanent Representative of Colombia
to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
I attach my assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Colombia in August 2001 (see annex). This assessment has been prepared under my own responsibility following consultations with Member States that were members of the Security Council in 2001 and 2002, pursuant to the note of the President dated 12 June 1997 (S/1997/451), and it does not represent the views of the Council.
I should be grateful if this communication and the attached assessment could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed ) Alfonso Valdivieso
Annex to the letter dated 11 February 2002 from the Permanent Representative
of Colombia to the United Nations addressed to
the President of the Security Council
Assessment of the work of the Security Council
during the presidency of Colombia (August 2001)
During the month of August, the Security Council considered various conflict situations in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East in the manner described in the present document. The thematic agenda dealt with the question of small arms, conflict prevention and topics arising from the wrap-up session for the month conducted at a public meeting.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Guillermo Fernández de Soto, presided at the beginning of the month at the public meeting on the question of small arms and, at the end of the month, at the meeting at which the resolution on that subject was adopted and at the public meeting for the wrap-up session on the work for the month.
The programme of work for the month was as follows:
(a) Three formal meetings at which two presidential statements, on small arms (S/PRST/2001/21) and on the situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (S/PRST/2001/20), were made and resolution 1366 (2001) on the prevention of armed conflict was adopted;
(b) Five public meetings, at which two general debates were held, on the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, and on the question of small arms; two briefings by the Secretariat, on the situation in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and a wrap-up session for the month;
(c) One private meeting on the situation in East Timor, which resulted in the issuance of a communiqué on 23 August referring substantively to the topic (see appendix I);
(d) Eleven informal consultations on the topics specified in the present document, resulting in eight statements to the press (see appendix II).
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
The President of the Security Council received a communication from the Representatives of Mali and Qatar, on behalf of the Islamic Group (S/2001/797), requesting that a meeting should be convened immediately to consider the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. On 16 August, meeting informally, under “Other matters”, the Council considered the request and decided to convene a public meeting of the Council in order to hold an open debate on the subject. The open debate was held on 20 and 21 August.
At the request of Norway and the United Kingdom, informal consultations were held on 23 August to review the situation. At the meeting, the representative of the United Kingdom, on behalf of his own delegation and that of Norway, introduced a draft statement by the President. A number of delegations made statements commenting on the United Kingdom proposal. It became clear in the course of the debate that the Council would be unable to reach a consensus on the format to be used for a Council decision on the matter. While one group of countries said that they were willing to use the format of a statement by the President, other delegations indicated that they would not even consider the draft text. The United Kingdom called on Council members to consult their Governments and requested the President to convene informal consultations the following day to take a final decision on the approach to be taken.
On 24 August, the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, was considered once again in informal consultations. In the course of the exchange of views, it became clear that there was no consensus in favour of taking up negotiations on the draft statement by the President introduced by the United Kingdom and Norway. The President announced that the item would be considered at a later date.