Letter dated 16 December 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
I have the honour to enclose herewith the assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Austria in November 2009 (see annex). This assessment was prepared under my responsibility following consultation with the other members of the Security Council.
I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) Thomas Mayr-Harting
Annex to the letter dated 16 December 2009 from the Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Austria (November 2009)
Under the presidency of Austria in November 2009, the Security Council addressed a wide range of issues, including on Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, the Middle East and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Security Council held 16 meetings, including two open debates, six briefings and three debates, as well as 13 consultations of the whole. The open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict was chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria, Michael Spindelegger. At the meeting, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1894 (2009).
The Council adopted four resolutions (on protection of civilians in armed conflict, Bosnia and Herzegovina, sanctions relating to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia), two presidential statements (on Guinea-Bissau and Iraq) and three statements to the press (on the election in Afghanistan, Somalia and the Lord’s Resistance Army).
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 24 November, the Council heard a briefing on the situation in the Middle East by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Haile Menkerios. He reported that political efforts towards a negotiated two-State solution had reached a deep and worrying impasse, even as security and economic efforts had continued on the ground. He reiterated the Secretary-General’s call for immediate action to strengthen the process, a reaffirmation of road map requirements and their implementation, and clear terms of reference for negotiations on all core issues grounded in the resolutions of the Council and agreements reached between the parties. He recalled that the Secretary-General had issued a statement deploring Israel’s continued settlement activity and had expressed his dismay at the continuation of demolitions and evictions in Jerusalem. He pointed out that the situation in East Jerusalem underlined the importance of parties refraining from provocations and incitement. As to the situation in the Gaza Strip, he recalled that key elements of resolution 1860 (2009) remained to be fulfilled. He expressed concern at the deterioration of public infrastructure, environmental degradation and destruction of livelihoods in the Gaza Strip, and that no meaningful progress had been made to kick-start essential United Nations civilian construction activities. He reported that 12 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into southern Israel during the reporting period.
During subsequent consultations of the whole, Council members urged the parties to rapidly resume peace negotiations. They stressed the need for Israelis and Palestinians to fulfil their road map obligations and a number called for the complete freeze of settlement activity by Israel, including in East Jerusalem. Members expressed concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and reiterated their call for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009).
Document Type: Assessment, Letter
Document Sources: Department of Political Affairs (DPA), Security Council
Subject: Gaza Strip, House demolitions, Incidents, Internally displaced persons, Middle East situation, Palestine question, Peace process, Protection
Publication Date: 16/12/2009