Letter dated 17 October 2012 from the Permanent Representative of Colombia 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 Colombia in July 2012 (see annex).
The document was prepared under my responsibility, after consultation with the other members of the Security Council.
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Néstor Osorio
Annex to the letter dated 17 October 2012 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 (July 2012)
Under the Presidency of Colombia in July 2012, the Security Council followed a pattern of intense activity as reflected in its programme of work. The Council considered agenda items relating to Africa, on Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia, Somalia/Eritrea, the reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan, West Africa, peace and security in Africa (Mali), and the situation in Libya. The Council also discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, the United Nations Supervision Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq, resolution 1701 (2006) and Yemen. Regarding Europe, the Council examined issues relating to Cyprus and Kosovo. The Council also heard reports from the Chairs of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions and the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea.
The Council also held an open debate to consider post-conflict peacebuilding, and explored this issue further in the context of an informal interactive dialogue.
In the month of July the Council held 18 public meetings, 20 informal consultations, 1 interactive dialogue and 4 private meetings. The Council adopted eight resolutions and issued nine statements to the press.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 2 July, the Council held closed consultations and was briefed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Gaza. She mentioned that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which had entered its sixth year, was causing severe limitations on basic rights, had nearly eliminated prospects for Gaza’s economic development and had created an unnecessary dependency on humanitarian assistance. At the same time, she condemned the indiscriminate rocket firing from Gaza as a blatant violation of international law. Regarding the steady expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, she indicated that such actions were clearly prohibited by international law. She expressed concern regarding violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property. She referred to discriminatory policies such as two separate legal systems, two separate infrastructures and a series of movement restrictions that apply only to Palestinians. She pointed out that the treatment and conditions of Palestinians imprisoned or detained by Israel merited attention from the international community.
Some members of the Council condemned the expansion of Israeli settlements as illegal under international law, and some also condemned the firing of rockets from Gaza. Some members of the Council expressed the urgent need for a genuine dialogue between the parties.
On 25 July, the Council held the quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Robert Serry, briefed the Council on recent developments in the region. He indicated that June was characterized by quiet direct exchanges between the parties in an attempt to reach agreement on a package of measures that would create an environment conducive to restarting talks and pave the way for high-level contacts. He said that Quartet envoys had remained in close contact with each other and the parties and that there had been a number of high-level visits. He expressed his concern over new settlement announcements since this represented a further violation of Israel’s obligations under the road map. The Special Coordinator advised that time was running out for the establishment of a Palestinian State living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel. He encouraged the parties to make every effort to overcome obstacles and take the necessary steps to enable an environment conducive to serious engagement.
The members of the Council, the Permanent Observer of Palestine, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Israel, the Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and 22 more delegations took part in the debate.
Member States stressed the importance of resuming Israeli-Palestinian dialogue and negotiations. Some members condemned the construction of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Certain members called for vigorous diplomatic action to attain lasting peace in the region based on a two-State solution, and building upon previous agreements and obligations. Various members emphasized the Quartet’s role in supporting the parties in their efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Document Type: Assessment, Letter
Document Sources: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Security Council, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO)
Subject: Access and movement, Closures/Curfews/Blockades, Gaza Strip, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Middle East situation, Palestine question, Peace process, Quartet, Road Map, Settlements, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 17/10/2012