SecCo roundup 2007 – Press Release (excerpts)

Security Council


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

Security Council

2007 Round-up 



The Security Council in 2007 focused intensive efforts on resolving, monitoring and managing a daunting range of complex situations already on its agenda, in concert with the new Secretary-General, developing groundbreaking peacekeeping arrangements and other innovative strategies aimed at strengthening global security.

The suffering in Sudan’s Darfur region and elsewhere in Africa, the tragic volatility of the Middle East, final status arrangements in Kosovo and other post-conflict areas, non-proliferation, terrorism, protection of human rights and a host of other difficult issues were the items Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described as priorities when he addressed the 15-member body for the first time on 8 January.


The troubled Middle East continued to be the subject of monthly briefings, with the Council concerned over the widening rift between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, the humanitarian situation in Gaza, continued rocket fire into Israel and Israeli settlement activity.  The Council supported the November talks in Annapolis, Maryland, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as a way to get back onto the Road Map towards a lasting two-State solution.  …


Following are summaries of major actions taken by the Council in the past year:

Middle East

Question of Palestine

The Council heard its usual monthly briefings on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, with perhaps the most notable occurring on 30 November, when B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, hailed the Annapolis meeting of late November — at which the Israeli and Palestinian leaders reached a joint understanding to conclude a peace treaty and resolve all outstanding issues without exception for the long-troubled region before the end of 2008 — as the “most significant breakthrough” for the Middle East peace process in several years.  (Press Release SC/9184)

In a subsequent briefing, Mr. Pascoe told the Council on 21 December that bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization had indeed begun, but new settlement activity and ongoing violence remained of concern.  He noted the holding of the Paris donors’ conference on 17 December, reiterating that donors must follow through on the reported $74 billion pledged for the next three years, the Palestinian Authority would have to implement its reform agenda and Israel would need to ease significantly its restrictions on movement and access.  Casualty figures during the reporting period underscored the insecurity facing civilians on both sides of the conflict.  (Press Release SC/9214)

During a briefing in January, the then Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, cast the situation in a gloomier light, warning: “None of us can afford another year like the last one in Lebanon and the Middle East”.  The period since the Secretary-General’s last report on the situation in December 2006 had been marked by heightened levels of instability and suffering, combined with a renewed sense of international urgency to find a political way forward, he noted, stressing the urgent need for solutions to the political impasses among the Palestinians and in Lebanon.  (Press Release SC/8943)

On 13 February, a day-long debate, in which some 40 delegates participated, followed a briefing by Alvaro de Soto, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority.  He cited a newly active Quartet, a Palestinian national unity Government, a more closely involved Arab world and the beginning of a political dialogue between the parties as holding the potential to help restore calm and re-energize the peace process.  (Press Release SC/8953)


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For information media • not an official record 


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