Security Council

SC/8933


Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York


Security Council

5615th Meeting (AM)

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT WELCOMES NEW SECRETARY-GENERAL,

COMMITS TO WORKING CLOSELY TO ADDRESS MULTIFACETED WORLD THREATS

Ban Ki-moon Highlights Deep Sense of Mission, Dedication,

As He Addresses Council for First Time as United Nations Chief

The Security Council today welcomed Ban Ki-moon – participating today for the first time in his capacity as United Nations Secretary-General in a formal debate of the Security Council — and committed itself to work closely and in a focused and action-oriented manner with him to better address the world’s multifaceted and interconnected challenges and threats, within its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. 

In a statement read out by the Council President for January, Vitaly Churkin (Russian Federation), following an exchange of views on threats to international peace and security, the Council encouraged the Secretary-General to provide more regular, analytical reporting on regions of potential armed conflict, and stressed the importance of establishing comprehensive strategies on conflict prevention, in order to avoid the high human and material costs of armed conflict.

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Pointing to an exceptionally challenging agenda ahead in 2007, Mr. Ban said at the debate’s conclusion that some of the most acute and persistent challenges were in Africa, pledging that one of his top priorities would be to step up efforts to address the crisis in Darfur.  He would also seek to consolidate the recent positive developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Equally, he would strive to inject new momentum into the search for peace and stability in the Middle East by rededicating himself to the work of the Quartet in resolving differences between Israel and Palestine, and supporting Lebanon towards a peaceful, democratic and fully independent future.

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The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and was adjourned at 12:25 p.m.

The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/2007/1, reads as follows:

“The Security Council welcomes the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon.  The Council commits itself to work closely and in a focused and action oriented manner with him, in order to better address the multifaceted and interconnected challenges and threats confronting our world, within its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, as provided for by the Charter of the United Nations.

“The Security Council pledges to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirms its commitment to the principles of sovereign equality, national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States, underlines further the need for respect for human rights and the rule of law, including protection of civilians in armed conflict, and the importance of adhering to the principles of refraining, in international relations, from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations, and of peaceful settlement of international disputes.

“The Security Council, recalling that the 2005 World Summit Outcome recognized that development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing, emphasizes that the challenges and threats confronting the international community demand a resolute and coherent response, based on the collective security system of the Charter of the United Nations.  The Council reaffirms its commitment to address the whole range of threats to international peace and security, including armed conflict, terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

“The Security Council recognizes the essential role of the United Nations in the global effort to combat terrorism, which in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and security.  The Council, therefore, welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  It stands ready to play its part in its implementation.  The Council, in keeping with its responsibility in the international community’s efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, underlines its determination to intensify its efforts, including in translating the commitments made at the Security Council Summit meeting, in the course of the 2005 World Summit meeting, into practical results.  It reiterates further that States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law.

“The Security Council reaffirms its resolve to take appropriate and effective actions against any threat to international peace and security caused by the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their means of delivery, in conformity with its primary responsibilities, as provided for in the United Nations Charter.

“The Security Council recognises the importance of more effective international efforts to prevent conflict, including intra-state conflicts, and encourages the Secretary-General, as already requested in Security Council resolution 1625 (2005), to provide the Council with more regular, analytical reporting on regions of potential armed conflict, and stresses the importance of establishing comprehensive strategies on conflict prevention in order to avoid the high human and material costs of armed conflict.

“The Security Council underlines the need for improved United Nations capacity to assess conflict situations and for the effective planning and management of United Nations peacekeeping operations and for quick and effective responses to any Security Council mandate.  The Council also recognizes the importance of a more strategic approach to the oversight and direction of peacekeeping, to maximize the prospects for successful transition in the countries concerned, and so as to make possible the most effective use of scarce peacekeeping resources.  To this end, the Council requests the Secretary-General to focus in managing of and reporting on peacekeeping missions on the steps needed to achieve the objectives of the mission, both by the host Government and by the international community, and to propose to the Council, as appropriate, initiatives to accelerate the transition process.

“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of post-conflict peacebuilding to assist countries emerging from conflict in laying the foundation for sustainable peace and development and, in this context, welcomes the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission that should play an important role to achieve the objective of improving United Nations capacity to coordinate with regional organizations, countries in the relevant regions, donors, troop contributors and recipient countries, and to perform peacebuilding activities, in particular from the start of peacekeeping operations through stabilization, reconstruction and development.  It appreciates the progress made thus far in the initial work of the Commission on Burundi and Sierra Leone.  The Council underlines the importance of close interaction between the two bodies and will regularly address the work of the Commission in its own discussions and will take into account the advice of the Peacebuilding Commission.

“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to working in partnership with the Secretary-General and the Secretariat, other United Nations organs, regional, subregional and other intergovernmental organizations, non-Council members, including those Member States that are parties to a conflict, and with troop-contributing countries, financial and other stakeholders in pursuit of the common objective of maintenance of international peace and security.”

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Statements

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EMYR JONES PARRY ( United Kingdom) …

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…  Above all, the international community needed a comprehensive Middle East strategy.  It must redouble its efforts to support those who wanted to achieve peace, rather than turmoil in that region.  At the core of that strategy would be Israel-Palestine.

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REZLAN ISHAR JENIE ( Indonesia) …

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In addressing conflicts, he reaffirmed the need for respect for the principles of sovereign equality, national sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States, as well as the principles of refraining from the threat or use of force.  The principles of peaceful settlement of disputes, inclusive dialogue, constructive collaboration and preventive diplomacy should be kept a priority in addressing threats to international peace and security.  Sanctions should be the last resort, with clear, transparent and measurable timetables.  In the Middle East, peace remained far from a reality.  The situation in the Middle East would remain grim and protracted if the Israel-Palestine conflict was not resolved in a just and peaceful way.  Settling that conflict in a way acceptable to all parties would have a profound impact on the prospect of peace in the region.

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DUMISANI S. KUMALO ( South Africa) …

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The Council, as presently constituted, was limited in the way it could deal with the threats of the twenty-first century, he said.  Mandated to maintain international peace meant that the Council would have far-reaching impact on the lives of many people worldwide.  In recent years, however, the Council had been too quick to threaten or authorize enforcement action in some cases, while being silent or inactive in others.  For example, the Palestinian-Israeli issue was a legitimate item for the Council.  The Council, however, had failed to act even in the face of the most shocking contraventions of international law.  Instead, it had increasingly resorted to taking up issues that did not fall within its mandate.  Often, the Council had resorted to Chapter VII of the Charter as an umbrella for addressing issues that might not necessarily pose a threat to international peace and security, when the Council could have opted for alternative provisions.  Chapter VII should be invoked, but as a measure of last resort.

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Mr. CHURKIN ( Russian Federation), in his national capacity, …

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Equally, he would strive to inject new momentum into the search for peace and stability in the Middle East, he said.  That meant a rededication to the work of the Quartet in resolving differences between Israel and Palestine – differences that carried such a unique symbolic and emotional charge for people far beyond the conflict’s physical boundaries.  It meant supporting Lebanon in everything from its physical reconstruction to its quest, as yet incomplete, for a peaceful, democratic and fully independent future.  …

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For information media • not an official record