The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1994/1197)
|President:||Sir David Hannay
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Li Zhaoxing
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1994/1197)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Angola in which he requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), document S/1994/1197. Members of the Council also have before them document S/1994/1216, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I shall first call upon those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
Nigeria is delighted that both the Government of Angola and the União Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) have agreed on all the issues relating to national reconciliation at the Lusaka talks and that we are at last at the threshold of a breakthrough in the Angolan Peace Process. My delegation commends the parties for the flexibility and restraint they have demonstrated. We commend also the personnel of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), in particular the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye, and the Force Commander, Major-General Chris Garuba, for their tireless efforts, which have been pivotal in achieving this success. The troika States — the United States, Portugal and the Russian Federation — have done a superb job, and they also deserve our commendation.
The present draft resolution rightly recognizes that the recent development apropos the Lusaka talks, though no doubt a significant event in itself, is none the less only the first step in a long process ahead for a peaceful settlement in Angola. Much remains to be done within the framework of the “Acordos de Paz” and relevant Security Council resolutions to bring the Angolan settlement to full effect and to sustain it fully.
My delegation therefore supports the tenor of the draft resolution before us, which, among other things, calls upon the parties to honour their commitment already made at the Lusaka talks and to conclude without further delay a comprehensive agreement to that effect. It is also important that the parties redouble their efforts to establish an effective and sustainable cease-fire throughout Angola so that the pending agreement will not be put in peril.
We believe that the Security Council has got it exactly right by extending UNAVEM lI’s mandate until 8 December 1994. Aside from indicating its satisfaction at the ongoing peace efforts in Angola, this extension makes clear to the parties the need for them to achieve a prompt conclusion of all outstanding issues in the Peace Process, including the military talks and the establishment of a cease-fire, both of which are crucial to the restoration of the strength of UNAVEM II to its previously authorized level and a further consolidation of the Peace Process itself.
In the present draft resolution the Security Council once again reaffirms its readiness to consider promptly any recommendations from the Secretary-General for an expanded United Nations presence in Angola once the conditions are ripe and appropriate. My delegation fully supports this readiness and sees it as a further assurance to the parties and to the people of Angola that the international community remains committed to the satisfactory resolution of their conflict, which has caused untold hardships and incalculable loss of life.
Bearing in mind that Angolans bear ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the peace agreement, we call on the parties to cooperate fully with the international community in the collective effort to secure peace, stability and development for their country.
We shall support this draft resolution.
I shall now put to the vote the draft resolution in document S/1994/1216.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Argentina, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Djibouti, France, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Russia, Rwanda, Spain, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 952 (1994).
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
Angola has been racked by war for more than 20 years, with millions of Angolan victims. One of Africa’s richest countries has become one of its poorest nations. The real question is whether Angola can become a real nation; we hope so.
The Lusaka Peace Talks will soon produce a peace agreement. The question is whether they will produce real peace; we hope so on that point also.
The resolution we have just adopted will allow military observers to go into the field as soon as the peace agreement is initialled and a cease-fire is in place. We understand the importance of the presence of United Nations observers in the early stages of the peace process, when confidence-building measures and a re-establishment of trust between the parties will be sorely needed.
However, the international community will not send United Nations personnel into a war zone. If the parties want the international community to help them in their attempts at peace-making, they must lay down their arms. The tasks of a military officer can never be considered risk-free, but we will not recklessly expose these officers to needless risks, and we will insist that a cease-fire be declared in order to minimize the risks.
Similarly, before deploying an enlarged force of peace-keeping troops into Angola, my Government will want to see evidence that the parties are serious about holding to a cease-fire and implementing the peace agreement. As the resolution we have adopted says, we are ready to consider promptly the Secretary-General’s recommendations for an expanded United Nations presence after the Lusaka peace agreement has been formally signed. At that time we will also consider whether the circumstances warrant immediate authorization to deploy that force or whether more time is needed for the parties to demonstrate their good faith before the international community enters into a huge commitment of personnel and resources.
We consider that today’s resolution gives the Secretary-General a good deal of latitude to deploy logistical and humanitarian planners to lay the ground for further United Nations involvement in Angola and to finalize his contingency plans. We trust that the parties will initial the Lusaka agreement this weekend, thereby resetting their feet on the path towards peace. We urge them both to show the requisite flexibility and resolve to move quickly through the remaining technical details and sign the agreement in accordance with the timetable laid out by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative. The future of Angola rests in their hands.
My delegation voted in favour of resolution 952 (1994), which extends the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) until 8 December 1994.
This extension is a special one. After the delays and the slow pace noted by the Security Council in the peace negotiations between the parties, we are today in a position to note substantial progress in the discussions. This progress must take shape quickly and must lead to the initialling and then the signing of the Lusaka Protocol within the allotted time.
France wishes to offer its warmest congratulations to Mr. Blondin Beye and the three observer States on their continuing efforts. Their tenacity and patience make it possible for us finally to envisage the conclusion of the peace agreement.
Through this resolution, the Security Council also shows its desire to consolidate the peace agreement that is to be concluded. In fact, the Council is now authorizing the restoration of UNAVEM II strength to its previous level.
However, this gesture by the Security Council must be met by a gesture from the parties that clearly shows their good will and sincere desire for peace. This is why the deployment of the personnel is contingent on the Security Council’s receiving a report from the Secretary-General that the Lusaka Protocol has been initialled — some days before its signing — and attesting to the establishment of an effective cease-fire between the parties. In my delegation’s view, this last condition seems especially justified because the report of the Secretary-General mentions the continuation of fighting on the ground. The military situation in Angola is therefore still of concern to us, as is the humanitarian situation of a civilian population that is the real victim of the conflict ravaging Angola.
The durability of the peace agreement must be guaranteed by the complete cessation of hostilities between the parties, and deeds must finally live up to stated intentions.
The comprehensive report of the Secretary-General dated 20 October last, for which we are grateful, provides the Security Council with information on the situation in Angola and on the latest political developments regarding the next steps in the Peace Process. The account therein gives us reason to be hopeful that the prompt and successful conclusion of the Lusaka process is in the offing. The adoption of resolution 952 (1994) can indeed represent a turning-point in United Nations involvement in the issue, thus opening the door for its expanded presence in Angola.
The restoration of the strength of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) to its previous level of 350 military observers and 126 police observers, as decided by the Security Council, is an important measure. It is intended to contribute in an impartial manner to consolidating the initial, and most critical, stage of the peace agreement to be reached.
My Government is of the view that the Mission in Angola has to be adequately staffed in order to be capable of successfully discharging its complex, important and impartial mandate, especially in the beginning, as we are committed to entering a new period on a sound and solid basis.
Paragraph 4 of resolution 952 (1994) is very clear. We believe that once the peace agreement has been initialled and an effective cease-fire is in place, the Secretary-General will notify the Council and proceed as authorized. In the meantime, we consider that he can set in motion the relevant planning for the deployment of this expanded contingent of military and police observers. We firmly trust that the parties will soon conclude work on all the remaining technical issues and thus ensure a final comprehensive political settlement.
We welcome the decision taken by the Government of Angola to initial the agreement. We earnestly encourage the União Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) to act likewise. The parties must show the required flexibility and renew their commitment to peace.
In this connection, we look forward to the moment when we shall be deliberating on the expansion of the United Nations presence in Angola. We wish to thank the Secretariat for the contingency planning done to date. We take this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the Brazilian Government to contribute with military personnel to UNAVEM III, soon to be established.
The Security Council’s adoption of resolution 952 (1994) indicates the firm hope of members of the Council that by 31 October at the latest the Lusaka Protocol will be initialled, putting an end to a lengthy negotiating process between the Government of Angola and the União Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA), and opening the way to a new, auspicious stage in the Angolan peace process, with a renewed commitment by the international community.
In that spirit of well-founded hope, Spain voted in favour of resolution 952 (1994); we consider that the period of the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) until 8 December 1994 is an appropriate length of time to permit the Lusaka Protocol to be initialled, then signed, and for implementation to begin in conformity with the timetable established by the Secretary-General in his report of 20 October (S/1994/1197). We hope that by 8 December the conditions will exist to enable the Security Council to consider seriously and, if circumstances warrant it, to decide on expanding the United Nations presence in Angola.
We applaud the progress achieved in recent weeks in Lusaka by the Angolan Government and UNITA, with the assistance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye, and with the help of the three observer States and a number of States of the region. We here appeal to both parties to continue to display the flexibility and spirit of compromise they have shown thus far, so that the Lusaka talks can come to a speedy conclusion with the achievement of a comprehensive solution to the conflict.
To prove their firm commitment, the parties must establish and respect an effective cease-fire upon the initialling of the Lusaka Protocol, so as to end a situation on the ground which has not thus far mirrored the progress achieved at the negotiating table. It is regrettable that hostilities have not yet ended and that some continue to seek military successes, which can only serve to undermine the process in the eyes of the international community and exacerbate the humanitarian situation in the country. The desire to achieve a political settlement must therefore be reflected in an immediate cessation of hostilities.
In today authorizing the restoration of UNAVEM II to its previous level upon receipt of a report from the Secretary-General that the parties have initialled a peace agreement and that an effective cease-fire is in place, the Security Council is reaffirming its commitment to help the people of Angola at this crucial stage. It is to be hoped that the parties will rise to the circumstances and show that our commitment is not in vain. The future of their country demands this.
The Russian Federation hails the positive results recently achieved in the Lusaka negotiations, which bring an end to a complex and important stage in the negotiating process among Angolans, and which guide that process towards a positive conclusion.
The Lusaka Protocol, we all hope, will be initialled in a few days’ time. This will be a major step towards the restoration of peace in Angola. In that connection, we note the important role played in achieving these positive results by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye, by the three observer States and by the countries of the region.
Today’s resolution sends a clear signal to the Angolan parties as regards the need for them to abide scrupulously by the timetable set at Lusaka for measures related to the establishment of an effective and sustainable cease-fire, the rapid settlement of outstanding questions, and the signing of the Lusaka agreement. With the necessary political will, the parties can carry out those tasks successfully. We call upon the Angolan Government and the leadership of the União Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola (UNITA) to show maximal flexibility, restraint and a sense of responsibility for the fate of their country, so that they can achieve a comprehensive settlement.
For its part, the Security Council is prepared to provide comprehensive support and assistance in Angola. An important step in furthering the implementation of the peace agreement will be the restoration of United Nations military and police observers to their previous level, as agreed today by the Council. We assume that in future the Security Council will be prepared to consider further recommendations by the Secretary-General on the overall parameters of an expanded United Nations operation in Angola.
Along with the other two observer States and with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Russia will continue to do everything possible for the further advancement of the peace process in Angola.
With the assistance of the international community, the two Angolan parties have finally made a breakthrough after nearly a year of arduous negotiations. The Lusaka peace talks will soon be brought to a successful conclusion and an agreement will soon be initialled. The peace process for Angola is therefore at a crucial historic moment.
These are all very encouraging developments. The Chinese delegation is convinced that as long as the Angolan parties continue to show sufficient flexibility and political will, the remaining issues in the military area will be resolved through negotiations as well.
The resolution just adopted by the Security Council has reflected the fact that the international community and especially the Security Council fully support the Angolan peace process and sincerely hope for its success. The main purpose of the resolution is to promote an early national reconciliation and restoration of peace and stability in Angola so that it will embark on the road of nation-building and economic recovery. In this connection the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) has done a great deal of work and played an important role in safeguarding humanitarian assistance and accelerating the process of peace talks between the two Angolan parties. Based on its consistent position of supporting the Angolan peace process, the Chinese delegation supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation on the extension of the mandate of UNAVEM II and the restoration of the strength of UNAVEM II to its previous level and has voted in favour of the resolution just adopted.
While encouraged by the major progress in the peace process, we have noted that the military hostilities are still going on unchecked in Angola. This has not only brought enormous sufferings to the Angolan people but has also impeded the smooth operation of humanitarian relief work. It may adversely affect and even undermine the peace process of Angola. This is something the international community does not wish to see. Therefore, the Chinese delegation sincerely hopes that the two Angolan parties will, in their overall national interest, cease forthwith all military hostilities and earnestly fulfil their commitments made during the Lusaka Peace Talks by establishing an effective and sustainable cease-fire and comprehensively implementing the relevant Security Council resolutions so as to create conditions for an early realization of national reconciliation.
The Chinese Government and people have been following closely the developments in Angola and deeply sympathize with the Angolan people in their sufferings inflicted on them by war. We will, as always, together with other members of the international community, make our own contributions to a comprehensive political solution to the Angolan conflict.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of the United Kingdom.
The Security Council has adopted this resolution at an important and delicate moment in the long-drawn-out peace process in Angola. The British Government is encouraged by the progress made recently in the Lusaka Peace Talks and urges the parties to initial the agreement this weekend and establish and implement an effective and sustainable cease-fire.
We remain deeply concerned at the continuation of military hostilities, which have inflicted appalling suffering on the people of Angola and delayed time and again progress in the Lusaka Peace Talks. The Council has on numerous occasions demanded that the parties cease such activities. The parties really must now heed this demand. Once the agreement has been reached it will make it even less tolerable that they should pursue a twin-track approach of negotiating and fighting at the same time.
The Council has now authorized the Secretary-General to restore the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) to its previous strength once the agreement is initialled and an effective cease-fire is in place. In addition, the Council has reaffirmed its readiness in due course to consider a recommendation from the Secretary-General for a larger United Nations presence in Angola. By these actions, the Council has demonstrated its continued commitment to Angola. But the Council’s support for an expanded United Nations role in Angola will depend crucially on the goodwill of the parties and their implementation in good faith of the peace agreement, including a complete cessation of hostilities. If peace-keepers are to deploy, there must be a peace to keep.
We also remain concerned at the serious humanitarian situation in Angola. My Government, along with many others, has contributed generously to the humanitarian relief programmes, and we will continue to offer what assistance we can. The parties, for their part, must do everything possible to remove all obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian relief throughout the country and to ensure the safety and security of relief personnel who are working with the utmost dedication to alleviate the suffering of the Angolan people.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
There are no further speakers on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.
The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.