Letter dated 16 January 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
I have the honour to transmit herewith a report of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Guatemala in October 2012 (see annex).
The report 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.
Annex to the letter dated 16 January 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Guatemala (October 2012)
During the presidency of Guatemala in October 2012, the Security Council adopted four resolutions and issued three presidential statements and six statements to the press. The Council also held two open debates: one on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, and one on the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security. …
In another noteworthy development, on 4 October the Security Council Affairs Division launched the Council’s new Internet page (www.un.org/en/sc ), which may be consulted in the six official languages.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 15 October 2012, the Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, in which it heard a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, who emphasized that the window of opportunity for taking constructive action to preserve the two-State solution might be in the process of becoming more limited and that there was no alternative to a sustainable and just solution to negotiated peace. He also focused on the economic crisis facing the Palestinian Authority; the security situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel and the region; the obstacles that must be overcome in order to relaunch the stagnant peace process between Palestinians and Israel; and the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, which remained critical to peace and stability in the region, in particular the grave concerns regarding the escalation of violence. Mr. Feltman also expressed alarm at the high level of tension between the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey, and the risk that the conflict would intensify if the parties did not show restraint. He noted that it was possible that the situation in Lebanon would deteriorate as a result of the country’s continued exposure to the Syrian conflict. With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he condemned settlement activities and called for an end to attacks on Israeli territory. The Permanent Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer for Palestine then delivered statements.
In the discussion that followed, many members of the Security Council and other States condemned Israeli settlement activities and described them as illegal under international law. In addition, they stated that such activities undermined progress towards a two-State solution. Some members called on both parties to cease unilateral actions that undermined peace efforts. Council members agreed on the need for the parties to return to direct negotiations and condemned the rocket attacks on Israel originating in Gaza.
Several members of the Security Council and other States noted that it was essential that Israelis and Palestinians re-engage with the peace process, including by presenting proposals on territory and security and working to establish mutual confidence-building measures. Numerous members expressed support for the Palestinian bid for enhancement of its status in the United Nations, while some members cautioned against such unilateral actions.