Letter dated 5 January 2012 from the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council



 India held the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August 2011. An assessment of the work of the Council has been prepared under my supervision in consultation with the other members of the Council (see annex).

 I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council. 



(Signed) H. S. Puri 

Annex to the letter dated 5 January 2012 from the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council



   Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of India (August 2011)






 During August 2011, under the presidency of the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, H. S. Puri, the Security Council held 17 informal consultations of the whole and 9 official meetings, one of which was held in private. In addition, the Council adopted one resolution and two presidential statements and issued eight statements to the press. 



Middle East





 The Security Council was briefed in consultations on 19 August by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, on the situation following a series of terrorist attacks in southern Israel. Council members considered a draft statement to the press on the incident but failed to adopt it. 

 On 25 August, the Security Council was briefed on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. After the briefing, Council members considered the issue in consultations. During his briefing, the Under-Secretary-General talked about recent terror attacks and escalating violence in the Middle East, the status of the Israel-Palestine peace process and the situations in Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. He said that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians remained profound and expressed the hope that the international community would be able to shape a legitimate and balanced way forward to help the parties resume meaningful negotiations that would realize the two-State solution. Meanwhile, he said, the achievements of the Palestinian Authority in terms of State-building, security and economic improvement must be consolidated and bolstered, both through political progress and economic assistance. The Authority was experiencing a serious fiscal crisis and needed $250 million in additional commitments to meet its obligations. The Under-Secretary-General called on donors to provide timely and generous support. 

 At the same time, he said, Israel had announced a series of new settlement expansions in the West Bank, with some 5,200 units planned in East Jerusalem and 277 units approved for the Ariel settlement — the largest number approved outside East Jerusalem in a single settlement by the current Government. Turning to Gaza, he said that the living conditions of the population there remained a priority for the United Nations. While imports into Gaza had increased by 12 per cent since his last briefing, a comprehensive easing of the closure of the Gaza Strip was needed, along with a substantial improvement in the security situation.

 On the situation in Lebanon, the Under-Secretary-General highlighted several security incidents of concern, including the targeting, on 26 July, of a convoy of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) outside the city of Saida, which had injured five peacekeepers. He said that Israeli violations of the Lebanese airspace continued on an almost daily basis, and in high numbers. In addition, two explosions had taken place in Beirut, on 29 July and 11 August. On 13 August, a shooting had been directed at the property of a member of Parliament. Serious clashes had also erupted between armed factions in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain el-Hilweh, and a school of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East had been hit, causing material damage.