The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1995/97 and Add.1)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Wang Xuexian
|Mr. Graf zu Rantzau
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
The next speaker is the representative of Zimbabwe. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
We warmly welcome you, Mr. Minister, and congratulate you on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council during these very important deliberations. Although this is only Botswana’s second month on the Council, your Ambassador’s celebrated successes in peace-keeping, peacemaking, mediation and reconciliation in Namibia and South Africa, and his vast experience in the field of diplomacy, give us all immense confidence that the Council is destined for a very productive month. In the same vein, allow me to pay tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Emilio Cárdenas of Argentina, for his particularly able and diligent stewardship of the Council during the month of January.
Allow me also to extend a warm welcome to the Foreign Ministers of States members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and to the Secretary-General of that organization. Their presence here clearly demonstrates and underlines Africa’s ardent desire for the speedy resolution of the conflict in Angola. Their presence, participation and wise contributions to these deliberations constitute a most important and significant boost to the peace process.
The Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, must be congratulated for his tireless efforts to resolve conflicts around the world. In that connection, he has placed before the Council a clear and insightful report on Angola with precise and constructive recommendations.
There can be no doubt that the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 was a major step towards the establishment of peace and stability in Angola. In this respect, the Secretary-General is correct in his assessment that the Lusaka Protocol was a clear manifestation of the earnest desire of the people of Angola to resolve their differences by political means. Let us pay tribute to President Frederick Chiluba and to the Government and the people of Zambia for successfully hosting the delicate negotiations and for facilitating the peace process. At the centre of this delicate process was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, who deserves our special appreciation for the great skill and admirable patience with which he conducted the slow, arduous and difficult negotiations.
There can be no doubt that the success of the peace process in Angola ultimately depends on the people of Angola themselves. The important statement made by the Foreign Minister of Angola before the Council this morning bore eloquent testimony to this. However, assistance from the international community is essential. The report of the Secretary-General before the Council states that the cease-fire that came into force in November 1994 has been holding. The parties to the conflict have thereby demonstrated their firm commitment to peace. In so doing, they have satisfied the requirements set by previous Security Council resolutions. The time has now come for the Security Council to honour its commitments and immediately deploy the required force, in full, to oversee and verify the implementation of the agreements reached by the parties.
In his report the Secretary-General is very clear as to what needs to be done. He observes that both the Government of Angola and UNITA are respecting the cease-fire, have shown commitment to ensuring the safety and security of United Nations personnel and have committed themselves to the Lusaka Protocol and national reconciliation. In the light of these observations, the Secretary-General, in paragraph 60 of his report, recommends that a new United Nations operation in Angola, the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) immediately take over from UNAVEM II, that it have the mandate and strength described in the report and that it be initially established for a period of 12 months.
The message from the Secretary-General is loud and clear. The parties have shown their commitment to peace. It would be a serious mistake to continue to test their patience any further. The Security Council should therefore deploy UNAVEM III without undue delay.
We take heart at indications in the Secretary-General’s report that the request for troops for UNAVEM III is fully subscribed. This is both an auspicious development and a clear vote of confidence in the Angolan peace process. The Security Council should therefore seize the moment and avoid mistakes of the past which could well derail the delicate peace process.
I thank the representative of Zimbabwe for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Senegal. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
I must first offer my regrets for not arriving in the Chamber earlier. I was in consultation along with the other members of the African delegation.
I should like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Legwaila on his assumption of the presidency of the Security Council and to thank him for his efforts in conducting the Council’s affairs this month.
Allow me also to express my delegation’s appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Emilio Cárdenas, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Argentina, for the talent and devotion he displayed in presiding over the Council’s work in the month of January.
The international community welcomed the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, on 20 November 1994, by the Angolan Government and UNITA. That agreement, which was the culmination of a long and complicated negotiating process, was a crucial turning point in the fratricidal conflict that has ravaged Angola for so long.
I wish to pay tribute to the efforts made throughout this process by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, His Excellency Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, by the three observer States — the United States of America, Portugal and the Russian Federation — and by the countries of the region, particularly Zambia and its leaders, that made an invaluable contribution to the successful outcome of the Lusaka talks. It is now up to the Angolan leaders to break with the past and resolutely set out on the road to peace, national reconciliation and the construction of a better future for all the sons and daughters of Angola.
In this regard, the statement made this morning before the Council by His Excellency Mr. Venâncio de Moura, Minister of External Relations of Angola, shed some light on the situation prevailing in his country since the establishment of the cease-fire and gives us grounds for optimism. By the same token, the Secretary-General, in his report of 1 February 1995, notes encouraging and revealing signs of the parties’ will to respect the cease-fire and carry the Lusaka peace process to a successful conclusion.
It has always been our view that frank and sincere dialogue — based on respect for commitments entered into in the framework of the Bicesse Accords, for the choice made by the Angolan electorate in the September 1992 elections and for the recent Lusaka Protocol — is the best way to guarantee the establishment of the peace to which the Angolan people so deeply aspire. The example of Mozambique is proof that, with a genuine desire to forge ahead, there is no obstacle to peace and national reconciliation that cannot be surmounted.
Taking advantage of the impetus created by the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), meeting in Addis Ababa from 23 to 27 January 1995, decided to send a ministerial delegation to attend this meeting of the Security Council and reaffirm full support of the Council of Ministers for the peace process in Angola, based on the “Acordos de Paz”, the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the results of the first multi-party elections.
On behalf of His Excellency Mr. Moustapha Niasse, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal — whom I have the honour to represent in the OAU delegation — I should like to associate myself with the statement made by His Excellency Mr. E. C. I. Bwanali, the Minister of External Affairs of Malawi, as chairman of the OAU delegation.
We believe that deploying the third phase of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), as provided for in the draft resolution now before the Council, will contribute to helping the parties re-establish peace and achieve national reconciliation in Angola. None the less, the will and renewed commitment of the international community will not in themselves be enough to restore peace in Angola. It is essential that the Angolan leaders demonstrate their unwavering desire to settle the conflict and restore peace in their country by peaceful means.
Alongside the efforts at the political and military levels, it is just as urgent for the necessary conditions to be created for launching the new United Nations humanitarian programme, which must be put into effect if peace in that country is to be consolidated.
Allow me to take this opportunity to appeal to the international community to contribute generously to the inter-agency programme for Angola that has been set up by the Secretariat’s Department of Humanitarian Affairs.
For its part, my country will spare no effort to continue participating in the restoration of civil peace and national harmony in Angola.
In conclusion, I should like to pay a well-deserved tribute to the courageous and dedicated United Nations personnel, particularly those in the Unit for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, who risk their lives every day in the course of the tremendous efforts they make to carry out their mission.
I thank the representative of Senegal for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
I am most grateful for the opportunity to address the Security Council. Let me begin, Sir, by extending to your country my delegation’s sincere congratulations on Botswana’s assumption this month of the presidency of a Council that is about to take a very important decision on the situation in Angola. Tanzania is confident that under your and your Ambassador’s able leadership the Council will succeed in discharging its onerous responsibilities for international peace and security. I should also like to extend our appreciation to your Ambassador’s predecessor, Ambassador Emilio Cárdenas of Argentina, for the fine work he did during January.
For more than 30 years, peace has eluded the people of Angola. The devastating impact of the war on the people’s lives and on the country’s economic and social infrastructure has been immense, claiming the highest casualty rate of any conflict in the world — 1,000 deaths daily. As a result, hundreds of thousands have perished, thousands have been crippled for life, and nearly 3.5 million people have been displaced, made refugees or orphaned. At the same time, most of Angola’s useful land has been turned into a wide expanse of dangerous minefields.
It is against this backdrop that the international community has always applauded any move, especially since the Bicesse Accords, that appeared to promise the people of Angola some respite and an opportunity for peace. Therefore, the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 must rightly be seen as the culmination of the arduous and protracted efforts of the international community in support of the negotiating process aimed at bringing about a lasting peace in Angola.
The Security Council meets today to follow up on the progress made since the adoption of Security Council resolution 966 (1994) of last December, two months ago today. Fortunately, unlike in the past, the current report of the Secretary-General (S/1995/97 and Add.1) bears good tidings on Angola. This is a refreshing departure from the all-too-familiar gloomy political and military picture painted of the Angolan situation. Even with a measure of guarded optimism, it is the view of the Secretary-General that there is — and I quote —
“improved cooperation on the ground with troops of the Government of Angola and the Uniâo Nacional para la Independência Total de Angola (UNITA)”. (S/1995/97, para. 3)
The Secretary-General’s observations were reaffirmed today by Mr. Venâncio de Moura, External Relations Minister of Angola, when he made his important statement in this Chamber. It is clear that the people of Angola are tired of war and very much want to give the Lusaka Protocol a chance so that they can at last live in peace and engage in national reconciliation and the reconstruction of their rich country.
In this connection, Tanzania commends most warmly the Government of Angola for persistently seeking to negotiate in good faith and for offering to contribute in kind towards an expanded United Nations presence in Angola. Indeed, we have come this far in the Angolan peace process largely because Luanda has been very accommodating. We equally welcome on board UNITA forces which, like the Government, have indicated their commitment to full respect for and implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, the Bicesse Accords and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. We hope that there will be no backtracking along this path.
The very presence in our midst of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) ministerial delegation is a firm demonstration of Africa’s solidarity with the people of Angola and of its desire to contribute to the peace process. This is also an opportune moment to reaffirm that the climate in Angola is inexorably headed towards a lasting settlement and that Africa looks forward to peace at last in southern Africa. The examples of South Africa and, more recently, Mozambique should augur well not only for Angola but also for all theatres of conflict in the continent.
Tanzania could not agree more with the positive thrust of the Secretary-General’s report, and particularly with the last chapter, which describes the signing of the Lusaka Protocol as
“a critical turning point in the Angolan peace process.” (S/1995/97, para. 54)
The Angolan parties on the ground are doing their utmost to ensure that the cease-fire holds. The Heads of the Angolan armed forces and the UNITA forces have since the cease-fire regularized their contacts and are pledged to cooperating with and assisting the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). The long-awaited meeting between President Eduardo dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi should also go a long way towards assuring the international community of the entire Angolan people’s resolve to pursue the peace process.
Now that it is clear that everything is almost in place in Angola — as is so eloquently stated in the Secretary-General’s report — the international community owes it to itself and to the long-suffering people of Angola to immediately take prompt and effective action to consolidate the process. In this connection, my delegation would like to express the hope that the Council will endorse the recommendation of the Secretary-General that a new United Nations operation in Angola — UNAVEM III — should take over from UNAVEM II without any further delay and with the commensurate mandate and strength, as well as the necessary resources.
Allow me to conclude with a word of appreciation to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and to his indefatigable Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, for their perseverance in efforts to find a workable solution to the long-standing question of Angola. It is my delegation’s hope that their efforts, along with those of the entire United Nations system, will not diminish as the international community mobilizes support for UNAVEM III, with its heavy political, military and humanitarian responsibilities. The role of Zambia and the observer States — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America — in facilitating the Lusaka talks also deserve our unalloyed commendation.
I thank the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania for his statement and for his kind words addressed to the presidency of the Council.
The next speaker is the representative of Guinea-Bissau. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
On behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea-Bissau, who was to be part of the ministerial delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) but has been unable to attend this meeting, and on behalf of the delegation of Guinea-Bissau, I should like to express my warmest and most heartfelt congratulations to Botswana on its assumption of the presidency of the Security Council of the United Nations. We are familiar with your Ambassador’s talents as a negotiator and his experience of international problems, as well as his profound commitment to everything related to the equilibrium of societies and to peace. We are therefore convinced that, under his auspices, our work will be crowned with success.
We express our deep gratitude to and admiration of your predecessor for the work accomplished under his presidency.
We also congratulate the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, on his exhaustive and clear report on Angola and the deployment of the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). He can count on our support.
Praise is also due to the members of the Security Council for their resolute action to find solutions to critical world problems which disturb us deeply, and for the excellent initiatives they have taken to assure the success of the work on Angola under way in the Security Council.
The tragedy being played out in Angola has been described at length in the Council Chamber in all its political, economic and social dimensions. The countries of Africa, rightly fearing the disastrous effects of this tragedy on their already weakened economies, deem it wise to make every effort to avoid further risks and to bring an end to this tragedy, which has lasted too long.
Despite their efforts and sacrifice, the past years have been a lost period for the development of their country. The socio-economic situation has been completely undermined by the effects of war and especially by the continued fratricidal battles, which drain financial resources and thereby stifle the economy and destroy many human lives.
That is why the African countries, at their most recent ministerial meeting, clearly expressed their unfailing solidarity with the people of Angola in their just struggle to safeguard their national independence and territorial integrity, while supporting the achievements of the Bicesse and Lusaka agreements. That meeting was also an opportunity for the Ministers to reiterate their full support for respect for the most fundamental rights of all human beings and to promote the advent of an era of democracy and reconciliation in Angola. All the States of Africa pledged to make their contribution to the peace process under way and to the strict implementation of the agreements concluded for a lasting peace, which is the reason for the welcome presence here of a ministerial delegation composed of eminent sons of our continent.
The Republic of Guinea-Bissau welcomes the measures taken by the Angolan Government and the competent institutions of that country to achieve national reconciliation, by, inter alia, the promulgation of a law of amnesty for offences committed in the framework of the post-electoral crisis and by agreeing to contribute effectively to the success of the deployment of UNAVEM III and provide the necessary assistance. We also commend and encourage the Government of Angola and UNITA to pursue their efforts to honour the commitments made in the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. We are gratified by the efforts made by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Blondin Beye, and by the three States observers to the peace process in Angola, as well as by certain neighbouring States, particularly Zambia, that contributed to the success of the Lusaka peace talks.
As members of the Council are aware, the people of Angola and of Guinea-Bissau have longstanding bonds of history, culture and fraternal struggle. That is why my Government and the people of Guinea-Bissau fully support the peace process in that brotherly country.
Guinea-Bissau endorses the important resolutions of the Security Council and the results of the multi-party elections supervised by the international community, which we consider to have been free and fair. My Government firmly supports UNAVEM III and is ready to provide, within its means, whatever contingent may be requested of it in order for that Mission successfully to fulfil its mandate.
For the tireless and commendable efforts which it unceasingly makes in the search for viable solutions to the many conflicts in Africa, and especially the conflict in Angola, the Organization of African Unity deserves our gratitude, particularly for its initiatives to promote national reconciliation and the establishment of peace in Angola. Since its founding, it has constantly been the political framework in which the historic commitment to the maintenance of peace and the liberation of all Africa has been affirmed. The Government and the people of Guinea-Bissau are, and will remain, loyal to the philosophy of their immortal leader, Amílcar Cabral, for a free, independent, sovereign and peaceful Africa.
I thank the representative of Guinea-Bissau for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Mozambique. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
At the outset, I wish to extend to you, Sir, our warmest congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February. We are delighted to see you, Mr. Minister, presiding over our deliberations. We have no doubt that your country’s presidency assures the successful outcome of the Security Council’s work this month. Let me pledge my delegation’s determination to work closely with you in the discharge of your duties.
I should also like to pay special tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Emilio Cárdenas of Argentina, for the brilliant manner in which he presided over the Council’s business last month. I reiterate my Government’s deep gratitude for his leadership in the convening of the highly successful meeting on the situation in Mozambique in January.
I wish to seize this opportunity to express once again our appreciation to the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, not only for his competent leadership of the Organization, but also for his untiring efforts and his dedication to the cause of international peace and security. The Government and the people of Mozambique, of course, remain indebted to him for the constructive role he played in the successful completion of the mission of the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ).
The Council is meeting once again to discharge its responsibilities at an extraordinary time in the history of the people of Angola, a time when peace and stability are within their grasp. My delegation has carefully examined both the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM) and the draft resolution before the Council. We also listened with keen attention and interest to the statements made today by His Excellency Mr. Venâncio de Moura, Minister for External Affairs of Angola, and by His Excellency Mr. E.C.I. Bwanali, Minister for External Affairs of Malawi and Head of the ministerial delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to this meeting. We thank the Ministers for giving us a vivid picture of the situation prevailing in the sister country of Angola. Their statements underscore the urgency and determination with which the international community at large and the Council in particular must address the issue before the Council today: the establishment, as a matter of high priority, of a peace-keeping operation for Angola.
In that regard, my delegation particularly wishes to welcome and support the proposal made by the Secretary-General in his report to the effect that
“a new United Nations operation in Angola, UNAVEM III, immediately take over from UNAVEM II”. (S/1995/97, para. 60)
As a matter of fact, my Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Leonardo Santos Simão, speaking before the Council on 27 January 1995, stressed the importance of this issue, as follows:
“May I take this opportunity to underline the importance we attach to the early deployment of the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). Our recent experience [with the deployment of a United Nations force in our country] has shown that the sooner such a verification mechanism is established and deployed, the better for the success of the peace process. I would therefore urge the Council to look into this matter more diligently and expeditiously.” (S/PV.3494, p. 5)
The relevance and urgency of this action by the Council can not be overestimated. The signing of the Lusaka Protocol last November was the culmination of a long and delicate process of negotiations to address the war situation in Angola and to contribute to bringing about peace and stability not only in that country but also in the entire region of southern Africa. We strongly believe that peace in Angola can no longer be delayed. More than ever, the United Nations and the international community at large are duty-bound to extend the hand of solidarity to the people of Angola and their legitimate Government in their quest for peace and stability. In assisting the Angolan people, we attach utmost importance to the observance of the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations as well as to the principles of sovereignty, and of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Angola, all in line with the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol. We are of the view that the international community can assist States Members of the United Nations while fully respecting those principles.
In this context, we cannot agree that the deployment of any peace-keeping operation should have any strings attached. We therefore express our support for the Angolan delegation’s view that some paragraphs of the draft resolution ought to be revised in order to enjoy the full agreement of the Government of Angola.
We are happy to note that the Council is considering the establishment of a comprehensive, wise peace-keeping operation in Angola, which would include not just political and military aspects, but also humanitarian and mine-clearance dimensions. In its endeavours to face the challenges of humanitarian assistance, the Government of Angola will no doubt need the support of the international community. In particular, the role of the United Nations will be of great importance in providing a proper framework for the effective coordination of humanitarian aid. We consider the mine-clearance programme to be essential for the resettlement of returnees and displaced persons. The success of the programme is crucial to efforts to rehabilitate the infrastructure in the countryside and promote agricultural production in rural areas.
Mozambique is linked to Angola by long and special ties of brotherhood and friendship. We are united to Angola not just by a common historical past and by a common language; more than that, we are united to that sister country because our peoples fought together for the independence of their countries, because together we forged our national identities and together we resisted destabilization and aggression. Even in our search for peace, the Angolan peace process and the Mozambican peace process trod the same path; they experienced the same hurdles; they faced the same uncertainties.
A few days ago, in this very Chamber, the Council celebrated the successful conclusion of the mission of ONUMOZ in my country. But so long as peace is not a reality in Angola, the success achieved in Mozambique can be considered neither complete nor solid. That is why my delegation wishes to reaffirm its unconditional support for and solidarity with the people and the Government of Angola. We reiterate our readiness to do our best to assist in the efforts for peace, harmony and national reconciliation in that sister country. My delegation wishes to urge every State Member of the United Nations to do the same.
I thank the representative of Mozambique for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Sweden. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. President, let me first of all say that my delegation finds it particularly fitting that you, as Foreign Minister of Botswana, should be presiding over this important meeting. We are sure that under the presidency of Botswana this month the Council will be in good hands.
The participation today of an Organization of African Unity (OAU) ministerial delegation, headed by the Foreign Minister of Malawi, is also a telling sign of the importance of the occasion and of the support for and commitment of the OAU and its member States to the successful conclusion of what we hope will be the final step towards a lasting peace in Angola. I was very pleased to see the Foreign Minister of Angola among us, and my delegation appreciated his interesting statement.
Since the time of Angola’s independence, Sweden has been actively engaged in development cooperation and other forms of support for development and peace in Angola.
The people of Angola have for too long already suffered the plight of a devastating civil war. We therefore greeted the signing of the first peace accord, as well as that of the Lusaka Protocol of November last year, with special relief and satisfaction. That Protocol and the subsequent cease-fire provide the necessary basis for a process leading to a lasting peace. However, the situation remains uncertain. As has been proved on many occasions, formal undertakings by parties involved in a conflict are not necessarily enough. Agreements must be respected by all concerned and they must be implemented. The events of 1992, when UNITA resorted to arms after defeat in the general elections, must not be allowed to happen again.
A successful peace process requires strong determination and mutual trust between the parties. If this is not the case, no United Nations mission, no matter how well planned and equipped, can succeed in its task.
It is a good sign that the military commanders of both sides have met, but it seems not to be enough. Direct talks between President dos Santos and the UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, are necessary for any real process towards national reconciliation. Sweden therefore calls on both parties to do their utmost to ensure that the peace process moves forward.
In this connection, we would like to express our thanks and admiration to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye, for his vigorous efforts for the Lusaka process and its implementation, as well as for his help in improving the political atmosphere in Angola.
The Lusaka Protocol assigns a crucial role to the United Nations. We therefore welcome the Secretary-General’s assessment that the respect for the cease-fire shown by the Government of Angola and UNITA and their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of personnel have made it possible for him to recommend that the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) now take over from UNAVEM II. It is also encouraging to learn that many Member States, not least neighbouring countries, have indicated a readiness to contribute a significant number of units and observers to the new operation.
Sweden participated with military and police observers in UNAVEM II. The Government has decided to provide 20 military observers to UNAVEM III.
The Swedish Government intends to continue to support the peace process and the rebuilding of the country in ways that are found most suitable. Humanitarian relief programmes will continue, but assistance will increasingly be directed towards basic needs such as the strengthening of transport facilities, logistics and so on.
The number of mines dispersed is a serious problem, causing continuous suffering and death, as well as preventing the return of normal life. A decision has therefore been taken in cooperation with the Angolan Government and the World Food Programme to begin mine-clearance operations to be carried out by Swedish military personnel.
The Swedish Government also takes a positive attitude towards examining the possibility of sending Swedish military experts to start up demobilizing centres or, alternatively, to assist in demobilizing operations.
What we now hope for, and indeed expect, is the full commitment of the parties to the process towards real and lasting peace and security in Angola. Sweden, for its part, is ready to make its contribution towards this goal.
I thank the representative of Sweden for the kind words he addressed to me.
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 on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
Let me begin by congratulating the Permanent Representative of Botswana on his assumption of the office of president of the Security Council for the month of February. My delegation feels sure that under the Presidency of Botswana, the affairs of the Security Council are in very good hands. We also wish to thank his predecessor, Mr. Cárdenas, Permanent Representative of Argentina, for his successful and efficient conduct of the business of the Security Council during January.
My delegation is delighted to welcome the high-powered ministerial delegation from the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Its presence with us today underscores the importance which Africa attaches to the acceleration of the peace process in Angola and to the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, which was informed and influenced by the conclusions reached in the “Acordos de Paz”.
We also welcome in particular the Honourable Mr. E.C.I. Bwanali, the Foreign Minister of Malawi, who is Chairman of the OAU ministerial delegation, and also the Honourable Mr. Venâncio de Moura, Foreign Minister of Angola, whose Government has demonstrated its commitment to the Lusaka Protocol and to the “Acordos de Paz”.
Clearly, there are indications on the ground to assure us that the enterprise we are about to undertake in the United Nations Verification Mission in Angola (UNAVEM III) portends a viable prospect. The first indication is the fact that the cease-fire agreed to last November is generally holding. Second, after the trauma of a long-drawn-out conflict, the parties now seem determined to pursue the cause of peace in the higher interest of national survival, national reconciliation and national reconstruction. Thirdly, under the veritable leadership of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Ambassador Blondin Beye, and with the efforts of the Chief Military Observer, Major-General Chris Garba, the otherwise fluid situation in Angola now shows a clear possibility of stabilizing. Fourthly, there is the solid commitment of the Government and people of Angola to the prompt deployment of UNAVEM III by offering to make a substantial contribution in kind to the operational costs of the new peace-keeping operation. We commend this gesture and trust that it will induce similar cooperation and willingness on the part of the international community to assist the ongoing peace process in Angola.
My delegation is particularly grateful to the Secretary-General for his excellent report (S/1995/97), dated 1 February 1995, which has provided valuable insights into the continuing problems in Angola in the political, military, civil and humanitarian spheres. After decades of internecine civil war, it is conceivable that the people of Angola are now fully prepared to let go the war psychosis in favour of the pursuit of peace. Such conflict situations cannot but have deleterious consequences for the country’s basic infrastructure, civil society and economic development. It is against this backdrop that our current authorization of UNAVEM III finds its form, legitimacy and consistency.
Through the mandate of UNAVEM III, the United Nations seeks to provide a credible force level that can contend with the enormity and complexity of the problem on the ground within a time-frame that will not imply a perpetual United Nations presence in Angola. At the same time, UNAVEM III is mandated to ensure that there is constant monitoring of the state of play in Angola, including the strict observance of the cease-fire as well as progress in the implementation of the peace process. This deliberate mix of obligations with responsibility, in the view of my delegation, enables the international community to be fully involved in all stages of the UNAVEM III operation.
At the core of the current mandate is the flexibility that the Secretary-General must retain to determine the course, content and timing of the deployment of military forces and civilian personnel as the situation on the ground in Angola may warrant. In our view, the deployment must in no case commence any later than 31 March 1995. We do not expect the imposition of any additional layer of requirements that could constrain the Secretary-General in carrying out his responsibilities under the mandate to be approved by the Security Council for UNAVEM III.
As for the duration of the mandate itself, our preferred option is for an initial period of 12 months, in line with the Secretary-General’s objective recommendation and consistent with the realities on the ground. We can, however, agree to the six-month initial period proposed in the current draft, but only on the understanding that the United Nations is not about to terminate its presence in Angola after only six months, rather, that it is prepared to undertake additional periods of extension, based on actual performance, to enable the political process to take root.
A critical element in this effort is the need to create a conducive environment for the political process to materialize. It is in this context that we welcome the call for a meeting between the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA as soon as possible. We are confident that President dos Santos is ready for this meeting, and we urge Mr. Savimbi to join him for it without further delay. Such a high-level meeting would provide additional impetus to the peace process and constitute an enabling and confidence-building measure between the parties. In the long term, since the issue in Angola appears to be largely one of pure power-sharing, my delegation believes that the objective should be that all Angolans, without exception, should have equality of opportunity and equality of access to decision-making within a political framework. That, in essence, is the true value of democracy and the prerequisite for a sustainable democratic process.
The magnitude of the social dislocation and disruption that have occurred in Angola requires that all efforts be made to salvage the situation and assist the Republic to reconcile, rehabilitate and reconstruct itself. In this regard, the international community has a continuing role to play. We commend, meanwhile, the efforts of those States and organizations that have so far assisted these efforts, and we urge them to continue. We request those that have not yet done so to make such contributions and urge them to endeavour to do so on an assured and continuing basis.
In conclusion, my delegation expresses its full support for the draft resolution before the Council. We are particularly gratified that the resolution reaffirms the Security Council’s commitment to both the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Angola. In our view, there is no paragraph in the draft resolution we are about to adopt that derogates from the sovereign rights of the Angolan Government — that is, in the maintenance of law and order and the preservation of the territorial integrity of the country — either before, during or after UNAVEM III.
Finally, my delegation hopes that today’s adoption of this draft resolution will represent for the Council a critical watershed and an important step towards the establishment of a durable peace in Angola, a country which, after all, has been at war with itself for far too long and whose people deserve, now more than ever before, the opportunity to resume normal, productive lives.
I thank the representative of Nigeria for the kind words he addressed to the presidency.
The Chinese delegation sincerely welcomes His Excellency the Foreign Minister of Botswana to the United Nations to preside personally over this meeting and congratulates him on his country’s assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February. We wish you, Sir, complete success in carrying out your noble duties.
I should also like to thank Ambassador Emilio Cárdenas of Argentina for the remarkable manner in which he directed, with his trademark efficiency and promptness, the work of the Council last month.
I also wish warmly to welcome to today’s Council meeting the Foreign Minister of Angola and the other Foreign Ministers from the delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and thank them for their important statements.
The Angolan peace process is at a critical juncture. The Lusaka Protocol, which was finally signed by the Angolan Government and UNITA at the end of 1994 after long and hard negotiations, and the entry into force of the cease-fire agreement thereafter, have laid a favourable foundation for that peace to which the Angolan people so ardently aspire. The determination of the two Angolan parties to engage in national reconciliation and end their conflict by peaceful means has set an example for the settlement of other conflicts and disputes in Africa. It is our ardent hope that both Angolan parties will maintain the cease-fire and unswervingly bring to fruition the grand cause of national reconciliation in accordance with the timetable set forth in the Lusaka Protocol, thus making their contributions to peace and stability in Angola.
The establishment of the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) is not only strongly desired by the two parties and by the people of Angola, but is also a concrete expression of the actions of the international community to support and consolidate the Angolan peace process. OAU’s sending such a large, high-level delegation to New York to participate in the consideration of the Angolan question in the Security Council has demonstrated the readiness of African countries and OAU to contribute at least their share to the settlement of conflicts in Africa. This is highly commendable. The United Nations and the Security Council should attach great importance to resolving African problems and to strengthening cooperation with OAU so as to help Angola set out along the road towards rebuilding peace at an early date.
The post-cold-war world is far from tranquil. We urgently need a peaceful and stable environment in order to promote our common development and improve people’s standards of living. That need is all the more pressing and actual in today’s Africa, for without peace and stability in Africa, world peace and stability will remain elusive.
Africa needs no external interference, but it does need assistance and cooperation. The Chinese Government and people have always set great store on strengthening cooperation with the African countries. We have been following closely, and supporting, the efforts of the Angolan people towards an early end to the war and for a lasting peace. We also sincerely support OAU in its efforts to safeguard political stability in Africa and actively participate in international affairs, particularly the political settlement of African conflicts.
The Angolan people, which is now in the throes of a critical transition, need continued strong support from the international community. The draft resolution before us reflects the objective situation and Angola’s need. The Chinese delegation will therefore vote in favour.
I am pleased to welcome you, Sir, as the representative of the country that occupies the presidency of the Security Council this month, and I am pleased to wish you, as well as the Permanent Representative and the delegation of Botswana, every success in the important undertaking at hand.
We are grateful to the Permanent Representative of Argentina for the large amount of work he did as President of the Security Council last month. I am also happy to welcome here the ministerial delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which includes Ministers for Foreign Affairs, in particular, the Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of Angola, Mr. Venâncio de Moura. The participation in this Security Council meeting of such a representative delegation from the African regional organization underlines the importance, not only for Angola but for Africa as a whole, of the issue before us today.
As one of the troika of observer States, Russia supports the immediate transition from the second United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) to the third (UNAVEM III), which will have a broader mandate for implementing the measures set out in the Lusaka Protocol. The further consolidation of the still very fragile peace in Angola requires the Security Council’s immediate approval of the mandate of UNAVEM III with a phased and effective deployment of the peace-keeping operation. This should be done, of course, as economically as possible with regard to financial, material, human and other resources. This decision by the Security Council will make it possible to reinforce the cease-fire and the atmosphere of trust in Angola and will give a new and powerful impetus to the settlement process within Angola that should completely transform it for the better.
The draft resolution agreed on in prior consultations is realistic, balanced and fully in keeping with the goals of strengthening peace and stability in Angola, and also meets with the criteria for launching a new peace-keeping operation. It is significant that the draft resolution has been drawn up strictly in accordance with the timetable agreed on by the Government of Angola and UNITA within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol, that it contains no preconditions and that it creates the necessary basis for the most rapid possible phased deployment of UNAVEM III’s basic force. Accordingly, the Russian delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The success of the peace-keeping operation in Angola will be critically dependent not only on the timely deployment of adequate United Nations forces in Angola, but also and especially on the Angolan parties’ taking consistent and constructive positions and on their resolve to follow the timetable for implementation to the letter. The Angolan parties, especially UNITA, must demonstrate the necessary political will to fulfil the obligations they have entered into in the interests of strengthening the peace and achieving national reconciliation so sorely needed by the Angolan people, who have experienced the horrors and suffering of two decades of fratricidal war. In this connection, we place our hopes in the personal meeting between the President of Angola, Mr. dos Santos, and the leader of UNITA, Mr. Savimbi; that meeting, as the draft resolution notes, could build the necessary political momentum for the successful implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
For its part, the Russian Federation, which has already seconded military observers to the United Nations Mission in Angola, will continue to do all it can, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to promote the process of restoring peace and stability in Angola, a country with which Russia has strong ties of friendship and cooperation.
I thank the representative of the Russian Federation for the kind words he addressed to me.
Sir, please accept my delegation’s sincerest congratulations on Botswana’s assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. We are sure that with the experience and diplomatic skills of Botswana’s Permanent Representative, we shall successfully complete our tasks. My delegation wishes to assure him of its full support.
We also express our gratitude for the outstanding work of Ambassador Emilio Cárdenas of the Argentine Republic last month.
My delegation also wishes to welcome the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), particularly His Excellency the Minister of External Affairs of Angola, Mr. Venâncio de Moura, who have come to the Council to support and contribute to the peace process in Angola. We believe that if we could rely on the resolute support of regional organizations in the search for solutions in those regions of the world where conflicts are taking a considerable economic and human toll on the countries involved, such conflicts would find no fertile ground in which to grow. In this respect, we express our deepest gratitude to OAU for its efforts in Angola and in other regions of Africa where difficult situations stemming from internal political conflicts persist. We call upon it to do in the future, in other countries or regions of the continent where conflicts persist, what is now being done for Angola.
My delegation considers the signing of the Lusaka Protocol of 20 November 1994 the culmination of the conflict in Angola. In adopting it, the parties clearly demonstrated their desire to resolve the conflict and restore peace in their country by peaceful means. For that reason, we appreciate the efforts both of the Government of Angola and UNITA to uphold the agreed cease-fire. Although the implementation of the Protocol has not been perfect and has been delayed in certain aspects, the overall outlook is rather positive and encouraging.
My delegation is grateful for the Secretary-General’s report on the second United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), submitted to the Council in accordance with paragraph 8 of resolution 966 (1994). The report gives a wide-ranging and comprehensive picture of the current situation in Angola, and we therefore support both its content and its appeal for the prompt provision of the humanitarian assistance Angola needs.
In his report, the Secretary-General has recommended that the United Nations mission in Angola should continue following the progress achieved in the political realm through the “Acordos de Paz”, the signing of the Lusaka Protocol and the commitment by the parties to implement and abide by the Council’s resolutions. My delegation gives its broadest support to that recommendation and therefore also supports the draft resolution now under consideration, which establishes the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) peace-keeping operation, with an initial mandate in force until 8 August 1995.
It is also the wish of my Government to see the Lusaka Protocol implemented without further delay so that the leaders of Angola can get their country moving along the path of peace, democracy and development. This, if properly fulfilled, would give justification for the provisions of paragraph 10 of the draft resolution: the intention to conclude the mandate of UNAVEM III when the objectives of the Lusaka Protocol have been achieved. Thus, once the mandate of UNAVEM III comes to a close, the destiny of Angola will lie exclusively in the hands of the Angolans themselves.
We therefore believe that the draft resolution should be seen not only as an incentive but also as cause for profound reflection so that the parties involved in the conflict in Angola may act in all seriousness and looking to the future of their country.
We appeal seriously to the leaders of Angola to come to the firm conclusion that, once the mandate of UNAVEM III is over, if they do not help themselves to resolve their own internal political problems it will not be easy for the international community to come to their aid. We trust that those leaders will act with prudence, maturity and a high sense of patriotism and that they will put Angola in its rightful place in the international scene.
I thank the representative of Honduras for his kind words addressed to the presidency.
The French delegation is pleased to see you, Sir, presiding over the Security Council on this important occasion for Africa, and we are pleased also that the Council is in the hands of your country’s Ambassador during the month of February.
At the same time, I should like to convey to the Argentine delegation our great appreciation of the good work done by Ambassador Cárdenas during the month of January.
France would also like to welcome the impressive delegation from the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which is honouring us by participating in this Council meeting on Angola. The delegation’s presence shows how interested Africa as a whole is in the question of Angola. For us, this is an additional guarantee that should make it possible for the Angolans to put an end to a fratricidal war and return to the path of democracy and progress. In this connection, my Government welcomes the role that OAU intends to continue to play in resolving the Angolan conflict. The involvement of regional organizations in solving crises is indeed a great advantage and vital to the success of the United Nations.
The Security Council will shortly be adopting a draft resolution establishing the third phase of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). This operation will include more than 7,000 personnel.The draft resolution provides a full framework for United Nations actions over the next two years. Indeed, UNAVEM III, as established, will have a clear mandate enabling it to underpin the efforts of the Angolan Government and UNITA to implement the Lusaka agreements signed on 15 November last until presidential elections are held and the elected President of the Republic assumes office.
In the mandate, nothing has been overlooked. UNAVEM III will perform political, military, police, humanitarian and electoral duties. We note also that special attention is given to mine clearance operations — which, inter alia, will make it easier for refugees to return — and to supplying the Angolans with information. My Government is also glad that the Secretariat has learned from past experience and that a United Nations radio station will soon be brought into service in Angola.
In adopting this draft resolution, the Council is not, however, giving carte blanche to the Angolan Government and UNITA. In 1992, the electoral process, monitored by the United Nations, was not enough to put an end to the Angolan crisis. This failure must not be repeated.
The United Nations involvement in Angola, having gone on for more than three years, should now enjoy full cooperation from the Angolan Government and UNITA. This cooperation is a prerequisite for the deployment of the infantry battalions that will be the mainstay of UNAVEM III. Moreover, the Security Council states that it intends to review the United Nations role in Angola should the Secretary-General report that the cooperation required from the parties falls short or is slow in coming. For my delegation, this provision is no mere formality.
The Angolan Government and UNITA negotiated the terms of the Lusaka agreement with a certain fierce resolve. In this connection, we pay tribute to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, who, with his patience and skill, was able to bring the two parties together to sign the document. We now hope that the Angolan Government and UNITA will show the same fierce resolve in fulfilling the obligations that they have taken upon themselves.
The Security Council has been kept scrupulously informed of the course of the negotiations. The draft resolution provides that it should also be scrupulously kept abreast of the details of their implementation.
Ten years ago Southern Africa was riven by every conflict imaginable. Peace and democracy have gradually triumphed in this part of the continent — first in Namibia, then in South Africa, then in Mozambique. Now only Angola is left. The Angolan people have shown many a time and oft that they want peace and national reconciliation. We hope that the opportunity they are now being given to end the war will enable them finally to turn over a new page in their history. My country, for its part, will do its utmost to ensure that this is so.
I thank the representative of France for his kind words addressed to me and to my country’s Ambassador.
I should like, first of all, to join other representatives in expressing my warmest congratulations to you, Sir, and my thanks for presiding over our work today. Your authority, your prestige and your experience are certainly helping to bring to a successful conclusion a most important debate on an African country — Angola.
I should like to take this opportunity also to express my good wishes to our dear friend Ambassador Legwaila, who is chairing the Security Council during the month of February. We all know that, in view of all his professional and human qualities, the work of the Council will be greatly enhanced.
May I also express sincere thanks to the President of the Security Council last month, the Ambassador of Argentina, whose presidency was really exemplary to many of us — not only because it was brilliant, but also because it was most productive, and in a timely manner. That is something that the Security Council greatly needs.
The draft resolution which the Security Council is about to adopt authorizes full deployment of the United Nations peace-keeping operation in Angola in support of the agreement reached at Lusaka. This agreement ends the civil war that has afflicted Angola in the 20 years following its independence. Divisions and hatred became so deeply rooted during this period that restoring mutual trust is probably the most difficult challenge of the current phase. Thus, in the view of my Government, the deployment of a peace-keeping mission with broad dimensions and a detailed mandate, as envisaged in the draft resolution, is both necessary and fully justified.
A prerequisite to the operation’s success, however, is full adherence by the parties to their commitments. In this sense, the exchange of letters between the President of Angola, His Excellency Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos, and the President of UNITA, Jonas Savimbi — which was brought to the Council’s attention yesterday — represents an encouraging development indeed, since it marks the opening of a direct dialogue at the highest political level. We hope that a meeting between the two leaders can take place soon so as to symbolize the beginning of a new era in the life of Angola.
We believe that the time has come for the Angolan parties to redirect their many resources towards fulfilling the needs of the people. As the late President of the Italian Republic, Sandro Pertini, said in his inaugural speech several years ago,
“Now is the time to empty the arsenals and to fill the granaries!” May I add that, with its latest allocation, my country has committed a total of about $60 million in humanitarian assistance to Angola over the past three years alone, and it intends to continue to do its part.
Among the most bitter fruits of long years of civil war and hatred is the unprecedented proliferation of land-mines in Angola. The figures given by the Secretary-General in his report — 10 million mines buried throughout the country — are simply appalling. The Italian Government strongly supports the coordinated and comprehensive programme outlined by the Secretary-General with regard to the de-mining action. When one considers that land-mines kill or maim some 500 people every week in the world, one realizes that the need for de-mining becomes even more urgent in order to save the lives of thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians, especially women and children.
In the final analysis, this is a problem with broad regional implications — let us think of Mozambique — and potential global repercussions. Beyond the initial emergency phase, de-mining training will take on enormous importance in giving countries afflicted by this phenomenon autonomous means to combat it. The Italian Government has consolidated experience in this sector and has already intervened in various crisis areas. Needless to say, our knowledge and expertise are at the disposal of the Angolan people, as they were for the people of Mozambique.
In his report, the Secretary-General foresees the establishment of a de-mining school to be established by the Central Mine Action Office. In time, this school could acquire a regional dimension and become a point of reference for countries in need. This proposal, we believe, deserves careful consideration in the framework of the numerous initiatives being examined by the United Nations. I wish to repeat here that the Italian Government and the Italian mission here in New York are at the full disposal of the Foreign Minister of Angola, Mr. Venâncio de Moura, of the Permanent Representative of Angola, Ambassador Van Dunem “Mbinda”, and of course of the Secretariat, in order to establish useful links to provide more help and expertise.
Finally, among the confidence-building measures for Angola, the Secretary-General’s proposal, which is taken up in the draft resolution, to establish a radio transmitter within the framework of UNAVEM III seems particularly important. Previous experience has taught us that radio communications have a fundamental importance, both in the negative sense, when they amplify distorted news and provocations, and in the positive sense, when, under responsible management, they help disseminate correct information. We thus invite the Secretary-General to pursue the direction indicated in his report.
To conclude, I would like to salute the African Foreign Minsters who have been with us at the United Nations yesterday and today. Their presence in New York at this stage is physical proof not only of the unity of African countries, but also of the fact that a consensus is emerging on the need for a coordinated approach in which the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity, subregional organizations and national Governments all have a crucial role to play in peace-keeping in Africa.
This said, I am glad to inform the Council that Italy will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
I thank the representative of Italy for his kind words addressed to me and my countryman, Ambassador Legwaila.
I should like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Sir, on your country’s assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. We are privileged indeed to have you preside over the Council, on whose work the outstanding professional and human qualities of Ambassador Legwaila have already left their mark.
I should also like to thank Ambassador Cárdenas for the exemplary manner in which he and his delegation conducted the proceedings of the Council. Furthermore, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the ministerial delegation of the Organization of African Unity, its Secretary-General and, in particular, the Minister for External Relations of Angola. I would like to thank them for their substantial statements, which underline the importance which the Organization of African Unity attaches to the situation in Angola and to African solidarity.
The signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 and the agreement on a cease-fire two days later are encouraging events in the recent tragic history of Angola. Since then, despite mutual accusations by the Angolan Government and by UNITA of cease-fire violations, the cease-fire has generally been observed.
The decision of the Security Council to restore UNAVEM II to its previous level certainly played an important role in the consolidation of the cease-fire. But another important factor was the cooperation between the Government of Angola and UNITA. The meetings of their Chiefs of Staff and the regular meetings of the Joint Commission have been important confidence-building measures. Yet there is one crucial confidence-building measure still missing: a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi. Such a meeting must take place as soon as possible.
We have carefully studied the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the Council establish an enlarged peace-keeping operation, UNAVEM III, in Angola. In the decision of the Council, two aspects have to be considered. On the one hand, a sizeable United Nations presence in Angola will certainly assist the peace process and help to successfully implement the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. On the other hand, the situation in Angola remains fragile. We cannot be absolutely sure whether the parties will continue to demonstrate the political determination to abide by the commitments they undertook in Lusaka.
Another more practical but none the less substantial aspect of the Council’s decision is that, if peace-keepers are to be deployed, there must be not only a peace to be kept, but other conditions as well, to lend meaning to the peace-keepers’ task. The timetable agreed upon by the parties in the Lusaka Protocol has already slipped considerably. In this respect, the approach outlined in the report of the Secretary-General and reflected in the draft resolution to authorize UNAVEM III immediately but to deploy the infantry units only gradually seems to us to be sensible.
I should also like to highlight two other important elements of the draft resolution: the importance, given the magnitude of this problem in Angola, of expeditiously establishing a well coordinated and comprehensive mine-clearance programme, and the importance of establishing a United Nations radio station in consultation with the Government of Angola.
As an element for future consideration I should like to mention the necessity of finding a solution to the problem of the financing of political parties. This is an important matter. Experience in Mozambique, where the Government originally undertook the obligation to provide financial and other means to RENAMO, has shown this aspect to be particularly relevant in a peace process.
Let me now return to the underlying question of authorizing UNAVEM III. Only the Government of Angola and UNITA can make UNAVEM III a success. Only their willingness to achieve peace and their commitment to making the Lusaka Protocol work can lead to long-lasting peace for Angola. If the cooperation required of the Angolan parties is not forthcoming, the Security Council will have to reconsider the role of the United Nations in Angola.
We have carefully considered the various arguments. There are obvious risks if the international community gets involved in a new peace-keeping operation in Angola. But we think that the international community is right to incur those risks to help achieve a real and lasting peace in Angola. We shall therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution.
I thank the representative of Germany for the kind words he addressed to me and to our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Legwaila.
My delegation is delighted, Sir, to see you presiding over this meeting of the Security Council. We wish also to convey our sincere congratulations to Ambassador Legwaila on his assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February. We are convinced that his wisdom and competence will ensure that the work of the Council yields fruitful and positive results. My delegation assures you of its full cooperation.
We wish also to congratulate the previous President, the Ambassador of Argentina, on the way in which he conducted the work of the Council in January.
The delegation of Rwanda pays tribute to the Secretary-General for his excellent report dated 1 February 1995 on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II).
We also take this opportunity to pay a heartfelt tribute to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mâitre Blondin Beye, for his fine work in the quest for a just, equitable and lasting peace in Angola.
We warmly welcome the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola as the Council considers the question of his country. The delegation of Rwanda also welcomes the members of the ministerial delegation dispatched by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on this day, 8 February 1995. The Government of Rwanda knows the importance of OAU involvement in the settlement of regional conflicts in Africa. My Government appreciates the key role of that organization in negotiations between the various conflicting parties in Rwanda. That is why we are convinced that, with adequate material and financial support, the OAU can be an African tool with a role complementing that of the organs of the United Nations.
In the historic record of cooperation between the United Nations — in this case the Security Council — and the Organization of African Unity, 8 February 1995 will stand as a memorable date for present and future generations because of its special mark on the peace process in Angola.
The historic content of the report before the Council enables the delegation of Rwanda to feel the steady wind of optimism wafting over Angola and over the Council’s work on this item since the adoption of resolution 966 (1994) on 8 December 1994. We note with pleasure the international community’s relief at the positive outcome of the peace process, a process long hampered by stumbling blocks that nearly discouraged the architects of national reconciliation in Angola.
The brother African country of Angola, long the victim of an unrelenting civil war and of enormously lethal events, has just provided eloquent proof that it is always possible to reconcile warring brothers who want to bury the hatchet the better to work together to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation.
In that context, my delegation pays tribute to the leaders of the Angolan Government and of UNITA for their clear-sightedness, courage and ability to compromise, which led to the “Acordos de Paz” and to the signing of the Lusaka Protocol. The whole world now sees the signing of the Lusaka Protocol as the keystone of the Angolan peace process.
At a time when the international community has taken regretful note of the fact that the majority of least-developed countries and many of the world’s conflicts are to be found in Africa, the delegation of Rwanda welcomes the positive developments in the political situation in southern Africa: in Pretoria, Maputo and Luanda.
In the case of Angola, we welcome the prospect of a meeting between President José Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Jonas Savimbi, a historic meeting that will affect the future of peace in a country that had long been a victim of the East-West conflict, conducted through African proxies. That situation was confirmation of the African saying that when elephants clash, it is the grass that suffers.
The rebuilding and the socio-economic development of Angola can never succeed on territory said to hold the world’s greatest concentration of land-mines. The Rwandese delegation therefore hopes for the very rapid deployment of UNAVEM III, which can hasten mine-clearance, and the demobilization and socio-professional reintegration of UNITA troops not retained in the national army.
Now that the hour of national reconstruction and of the strengthening of democracy has come in Angola, the delegation of Rwanda wishes to commend all those vital forces that are writing a glorious page in the history of modern Africa by putting an end to a 20-year-long fratricidal war.
However late it was in emerging, the example of Angola will remain memorable in the annals of African history and of United Nations diplomatic history, much to the joy and happiness of the Angolan people and of the international community.
The immensity of the task of national reconstruction for the socio-economic development of Angola requires the mobilization of multifaceted assistance from the international community for that country.
The delegation of Rwanda hopes that the arms merchants who, from near or far, contributed to the destruction of Angola will become builders of its reconstruction and socio-economic development.
It is also to be hoped that the international community will step up its humanitarian assistance, which will then quickly become development assistance for the socio-economic recovery of Angola.
In order to contribute to making irreversible the coming of the era of peace, stability and democracy in Angola, my delegation supported UNAVEM II and on 8 December 1994 expressed a desire for the rapid deployment of UNAVEM III.
As regards the principal objectives and mandate of UNAVEM III, the delegation of Rwanda supports its establishment in order to back the parties in their efforts to restore peace and to achieve national reconciliation in the country in the spirit of the “Acordos de Paz”, of the Lusaka Protocol and of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
We deplore the delay in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and hope that the remaining military and police observers authorized in the framework of UNAVEM II will soon be deployed in order to help monitor respect for the cease-fire.
My delegation, which is optimistic regarding the new era of peace and political stability in southern Africa, supports the idea of the rapid deployment of UNAVEM III and will therefore vote in favour of the draft resolution.
I thank the representative of Rwanda for the kind words he expressed to our Ambassador.
I shall now put draft resolution S/1995/117 to the vote.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Argentina, Botswana, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Rwanda, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 976 (1995).
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
Mr. Minister, we are honoured by the fact that you have chosen to chair this important meeting. We congratulate Botswana on its ascension to the presidency of the Council and look forward to working closely with Ambassador Legwaila as he wisely guides us through this month’s work.
We are also most appreciative of the outstanding management of the Council by the Ambassador of Argentina last month. His efficiency and humour were invaluable to our work.
I should also like to welcome the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to our proceedings. We very much appreciate their presence and support.
Finally, I should like to welcome our good friend, the Foreign Minister of Angola, to these very important proceedings.
Today the Council has taken an important step to support peace in Angola and the tide of democracy sweeping southern Africa.
The Lusaka Protocol, signed on 20 November 1994, has, we hope, brought an end to the long civil strife that has plagued Angola. It is an agreement that meets the legitimate concerns of both Angolan parties. It provided concrete guarantees of UNITA’s political and physical survival, through its participation in all sectors of the Government, the military and the police. And it ensures that UNITA will voluntarily relinquish its armed forces and assume its legitimate role as an opposition political party. The Lusaka Protocol and the efforts of the Angolan parties to fulfil their commitments are vital and promising steps on the road to a lasting peace in Angola. The third United Nations Verification Mission in Angola (UNAVEM III) will form an integral part of that process.
However, there is disturbing news today that Mr. Jonas Savimbi is casting doubt on the Lusaka Protocol. The resolution, in its twelfth preambular paragraph, stresses the need for President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi
“to meet without delay with a view to building the necessary political momentum for the successful implementation of the Lusaka Protocol”.
That meeting now becomes more critical in the light of Mr. Savimbi’s remarks. We strongly urge both leaders to meet immediately.
My Government wishes to emphasize that any deployment of infantry units in UNAVEM III cannot proceed without the Secretary-General’s report that the Lusaka Protocol is being effectively implemented. Therefore, our message to all parties is very clear: do not make a serious mistake at this crucial time. Do the right thing for your people and for the future of your country. This resolution represents the international community’s confidence in the Angolan people. We hope that in the coming days it will not be undermined by any of their leaders.
The mission of UNAVEM III has clear objectives, as described in the Lusaka Protocol: to monitor disarmament and demobilization of combatants, to assist military and police integration and to facilitate the incorporation of UNITA into the Angolan Government. When these objectives have been achieved, UNAVEM III will end its mandate. We have been clear in stating in the resolution our expectation that all of this can be accomplished within two years. We mean to hold the Angolan parties to their commitment to complete the process.
The people of Angola deserve our support in helping to end the war. The Lusaka Protocol offers a genuine opportunity to construct a lasting peace, and the coordinated involvement of a United Nations peace-keeping force is vital to its implementation. A return to peace will help protect the impressive democratic movement throughout southern Africa and provide an opportunity for the Angolan people to realize the economic potential of their rich land. Despite the war, Angola provided major oil exports. Diamond mining and excellent agricultural lands offer the hope of prosperity. Peace will end the bloodshed and waste that Angola has endured for more than 30 years.
But we have to be vigilant in providing this support. The United Nations and UNAVEM can assist the process of political reconciliation, but it is up to the parties themselves to demonstrate by their actions the political will to fulfil the Lusaka Protocol. That is why we think it important that the Secretary-General inform the Council every month of progress in deploying UNAVEM III and in implementing the Lusaka Protocol, and why it is important to express our intention to review the role of the United Nations in Angola if the cooperation required from the parties, upon which UNAVEM III is based, is substantially delayed or not forthcoming. It cannot be stressed often enough that the parties must take action to live up to their commitments. The Lusaka Protocol clearly sets out a timetable, on which the parties have already fallen more than a month behind. Both the Government and UNITA must, to quote the Lusaka Protocol,
“furnish the United nations with details concerning their respective forces to include number of men, composition and type of force, type of equipment and specific location.” (S/1994/1441, annex, p. 13, para. (c))
As the Protocol itself notes,
“This will allow the United Nations to install the appropriate verification, monitoring or control mechanisms.” (ibid.)
The Protocol signed by the parties themselves lays out what they must do. But, as we have seen in the past, and in Mr. Savimbi’s remarks today, the parties are sometimes reluctant to carry out their agreements. This recalcitrance must end, for without the input and active cooperation of the parties, the peace-keeping effort we are about to embark upon can have no more success than past efforts, and it will not be sustained by this body.
We also need to ensure that the support of the international community is used effectively by the Angolan parties and that the United Nations presence does not become an excuse for failure to move forward. The initial mandate of the operation will be for six months, and the Council will be in a position to review progress before reviewing the mandate. The peace process detailed in the Lusaka Protocol is scheduled to be completed in May 1996. We have in this resolution declared the Council’s expectation that UNAVEM will conclude its operations by February 1997 — that is giving the Angolans enough time to hold elections scheduled to take place once the peace process has been completed.
The Angolan Government has offered to help offset the cost of UNAVEM III, including by providing free or at-cost petroleum, aircraft and buildings, in addition to the usual waivers of customs duties and other fees. The resolution we have adopted calls for active exploration with both parties of substantial additional contributions to help cover the costs of peace-keeping. It also requests the Secretary-General to report information on such contributions. It is fitting and fair that the rich natural resources of Angola be made available to support UNAVEM III.
In closing, let me reiterate my Government’s determination to key our support for this operation in Angola to the actions of the Angolans themselves. If Angola’s leaders are prepared to make peace by taking concrete steps towards disarmament and demobilization of troops, then the United States will support efforts to keep that peace. If they are prepared to help offset the significant costs of this operation, we will continue to support it. For we have learned elsewhere that United Nations peace-keeping can be effective only when the psychology of war gives way to a commitment to peace. My Government hopes that such a transformation has truly taken hold in Angola.
Many have worked hard to mediate an end to decades of civil war and to foster reconciliation in Angola. Peace in Angola would end Africa’s longest-running conflict, one that has cost up to a million lives, crippled 100,000 people and left 7 million refugees and displaced persons. With our decision today we have advanced substantially the prospect that the hope of the Lusaka Protocol, and the promise of peace in Angola, can be realized.
I thank the representative of the United States for the kind words she addressed to me.
May I first congratulate the delegation of Botswana on assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February and warmly welcome you here today, Mr. Minister, to preside over this important debate. Our sincere thanks also go to Ambassador Cárdenas of Argentina and to his delegation for the excellent way in which they presided over the Council’s work in January.
May I also welcome the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola and extend the British Government’s recognition and respect to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Council of Ministers, whose presence here reminds us how much the hopes of Africa ride upon United Nations engagement in the solution of African problems. May I also express the British Government’s support for the OAU’s own distinctive role, particularly in preventive conflict resolution.
The Security Council’s decision today substantially to increase the United Nations operation in Angola underlines its commitment to support the people of Angola in their long search for peace and national reconciliation. It represents the Council’s trust that the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 and the coming into force two days later of a cease-fire were a clear demonstration of the parties’ commitment to a peaceful solution to Angola’s problems. It is encouraging that the Secretary-General has now, three months later, been able to report that the cease-fire is generally holding and that the parties have reaffirmed their commitment to the “Acordos de Paz”, to the Council’s resolutions and to the Lusaka Protocol. We commend and thank the Secretary General, and in particular his Special Representative, as well as the personnel of UNAVEM II, the Government of Zambia and the three observer States to the Angolan peace process for their persistence and patience, which have brought us to today’s new phase.
The Council has kept faith with the people of Angola during the civil war that followed UNITA’s rejection of the results of the 1992 elections. But experience of Angola has taught us to be cautious. As Council resolutions have said repeatedly, the people of Angola are ultimately responsible for the future of their country. The United Nations can help them, but it cannot do so if they will not help themselves. As many have said here today, peace cannot be imposed on the people of Angola. Therefore, the Government of Angola and UNITA must demonstrate, by their deeds as well as words, that the international community has made the right decision. An early meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, following on from the successful meetings of the Chiefs of Staff, would indeed send the right signal in this regard.
The Secretary-General has stated in his report that he will not be prepared to proceed with the deployment of the main infantry components of UNAVEM III unless he can determine that the parties have implemented certain essential tasks set out in the Lusaka Protocol. The Council firmly agrees. As the resolution we have just adopted makes clear, it is not prepared to countenance further substantial delays or lack of cooperation from the parties, and would, in those circumstances, review the role of the United Nations in Angola. The Council also expects that the mission of UNAVEM III will be completed without undue delay, in accordance with the schedule set out in the Lusaka Protocol, and it believes, rightly in my Government’s view, that this can and should be done before February 1997, two years from now.
We welcome the substantial improvement in the humanitarian situation in Angola. We support the Secretary-General’s call for donors to respond generously to meet the humanitarian needs of the Angolan people. My Government has contributed around $36 million in humanitarian aid since the United Nations launched its major international appeal in 1993. We shall continue to do what we can to help.
The situation in Angola is not the only one in Africa on the agenda of the Security Council. Regrettably, war afflicts several African countries. Paragraph 17 of the present resolution encourages cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity and recalls the contribution that regional organizations can make to crisis management and conflict resolution. We very much agree, and it was with this in mind that the British Foreign Secretary launched an initiative in the most recent General Assembly session to enhance the capacity for preventive action and peace-keeping in Africa. Since then, there have been fruitful discussions with African countries, the OAU, the United Nations, and some non-African countries, held in Accra, Cairo and Harare, of practical proposals in the areas of conflict prevention and support for African peace-keeping nations, including greater cooperation in training and logistic support.
My Government also sees this resolution as a reaffirmation by the international community of its commitment to United Nations mechanisms to resolve conflicts that are beyond the means or ability of individual nations to solve. But we cannot be oblivious to the clouds that will hang over United Nations peace-keeping as a whole if important donors cannot follow through by financing the operations that they themselves have played a leading role in establishing. We are well aware of the powerful testimony that our colleague from the United States has presented on the role which the United Nations plays in furthering international security and in shouldering missions and financial burdens that would otherwise fall, in much worse form, upon individual Governments. We can only hope that her arguments will be heeded before we all have to draw very painful conclusions for the type of operation which we are unanimously supporting today.
Finally, the United Kingdom is very conscious of the potential which a lasting peace in Angola could unlock, not only in Angola itself, but in the region of southern Africa as a whole. We hope to be able to play our own part practically, as we have in the Council hitherto, in helping the Government and people of Angola to realize their commitments and their hopes for a better future. We were glad to be able to contribute a contingent to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda, and we are currently considering a request from the United Nations to contribute to UNAVEM III in Angola.
I thank the representative of the United Kingdom for the kind words he addressed to me.
Let me begin, Sir, by congratulating your Ambassador on his assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February and by expressing my delegation’s deep satisfaction at seeing you, Mr. Minister, presiding over the Council today. We have every confidence that, given your long experience, you will guide the work of the Council most effectively.
I should also like to express to the Ambassador of Argentina our appreciation for the skilful way in which he conducted the work of the Council in the month of January. His presidency last month marked an efficient beginning of our work for 1995.
Furthermore, my delegation would like to welcome the Foreign Ministers of the States members of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to our meeting. Indonesia commends His Excellency Mr. Venâncio de Moura, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola, for his valuable remarks this morning. The presence here of all those Ministers emphasizes the need for the immediate establishment and deployment of a United Nations peace-keeping operation while the search for peace in Angola is intensified.
With regard to the question under consideration, my Government wishes to convey its thanks to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his comprehensive and detailed report (S/1995/97) on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II). In particular, we welcome the very good prospects and solid logistical planning for the future work of UNAVEM III, contained in that document.
Furthermore, my delegation wishes to express its appreciation to the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Angola, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, especially for his efforts to improve the political climate in Angola and to prepare the way for a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Jonas Savimbi.
We take note of the positive developments indicated by the agreement of the Government of Angola and of UNITA to meet, and also by the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994. We especially welcome reports that the parties have been observing a cease-fire which is generally holding. This encouraging process was also reflected clearly in the insightful statement made by His Excellency Mr. Venâncio de Moura this morning. Hence, we hope that the concrete evidence of the acceptance of the Lusaka Protocol by the Government of Angola and UNITA will soon be manifested in the full implementation of the accord. We further hope that the parties will take all the decisive and necessary steps to assure the accord’s implementation, for through such an undertaking an atmosphere conducive to attaining peace will be created, thus giving impetus to national reconciliation.
In this regard, I should also like to bring to the Council’s attention the fact that certain constitutive elements of the Lusaka Protocol, such as de-mining and the quartering, disarming and demobilization of troops, under UNAVEM I and UNAVEM II, have yet to be implemented. This would seem to indicate that there is a greater time lag in operations in the field than the report on UNAVEM II may suggest. This pertains to a recent increase in the number of military observers, deployment of United Nations military and police elements country-wide and the setting up of outstations in some critical areas.
Indonesia urges that those operations be carried out immediately and that the Mission’s pace be quickened. To do so, it is imperative that the international community lend its active support and enable such features of the Mission to be successfully carried out in keeping with the agreed timetable of the Lusaka Protocol.
We wish to stress that substantial additional funds remain to be obtained from the donor community. In this connection, my Government would like to thank the Secretary-General for the addendum to his report, containing cost estimates for the enlargement of the United Nations operation in Angola, while we also appreciate the continued support of the Government of Angola for all elements of UNAVEM II.
My delegation voted in favour of the resolution establishing UNAVEM III, expressly for the purpose of keeping to the agreed timetable leading to long-lasting peace and development in Angola. We support the Secretary-General’s proposal to establish a further enlarged United Nations operation in Angola, because we find it to be a practical tactical action which would assist the parties in restoring peace, achieving national reconciliation and beginning the restoration of the economy and infrastructure.
Therefore, my Government would like to stress the importance of the Secretary-General’s recommendation that UNAVEM III should immediately take over from UNAVEM II. The speed with which UNAVEM III is deployed will be crucial for maintaining the momentum towards peace in Angola. In this regard, the commitments of both the Angolan Government and UNITA to implement the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions are essential to that effort.
Although my Government is aware that implementation has fallen behind schedule, this must not allow any party even to hope to renew the conflict. We were encouraged to hear the Honourable Mr. Bwanali, Foreign Minister of Malawi, say this morning, as leader of the OAU Council of Ministers delegation to this meeting,
“that the situation is different this time around and that the Angolan people are tired of war.” (S/PV.3499, p. 6)
We therefore recommend that all the parties concerned cooperate in expediting the electoral process which was disrupted in 1992. The holding of the second round of presidential elections, which will take place after the United Nations has declared that the requisite conditions have been met, ought to be seen as a cherished symbol of the normalization of Angola’s national life, a goal which can be realized if the people of Angola so decide.
Allow me to welcome you, Mr. Minister, to the Security Council and to congratulate you most warmly on your assumption of the presidency for the month of February. We are fully confident that you and your capable Permanent Representative will conduct the work of the Council in an effective and efficient manner.
I should also like to pay a well-deserved tribute to Ambassador Cárdenas of Argentina and members of his delegation for their excellent work last month.
It also gives me great honour and pleasure to welcome the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Their presence in our midst today is indicative of the importance of the issue before the Council. We deeply appreciate their contributions to this debate and express the hope that such démarches will be repeated in the future, in other serious and more complicated conflicts in Africa, in the interest of furthering the cause of peace and security in Africa as a whole.
The signing of the Lusaka Protocol between the Government of Angola and UNITA on 20 November 1994 and the cease-fire agreement between the two parties mark the beginning of a new era in the history of the Angolan conflict. I should like, through you, Mr. President, and through the Foreign Minister of Angola, who is with us today, to congratulate the Government and the people of Angola, as well as UNITA, on this historic event. By signing this important document the two parties have said “Enough” to the destructive war which raged in their countries for two decades and which claimed thousands of lives and caused widespread destruction of their infrastructure, State property.
In the past we have had the opportunity to welcome this positive development, and today we should like to welcome the fact that, two months after the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, the cease-fire is still holding, without major violations, and that the Joint Commission established at Lusaka is continuing its work aimed at creating an atmosphere of mutual trust and confidence between the parties. We sincerely hope that the anticipated meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi will soon take place with a view to building the necessary political momentum for the successful implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
Although the status quo in Angola is a cause for optimism that peace will be restored to that country, it is vital that the two parties continue to demonstrate the political will and the commitment necessary for the achievement of peace and national reconciliation through strict and timely compliance with the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions, in the interests of durable peace, security and economic and social development in their country.
The resolution that we have just adopted, which has authorized the establishment of the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to assist the parties in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, demonstrates the resolve of the international community to continue its support for the Angolan peace process. But, in the meantime, this resolution must send to all the parties the clear message that the international community will not entertain any delay in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We deemed it appropriate that the draft resolution should contain such a provision. We therefore hope that all parties in Angola will take today’s Security Council message seriously and in the spirit of national reconciliation, peace, brotherhood, coexistence and harmony, in the interests of building a new democratic Angola.
In conclusion, I should like to express my delegation’s appreciation to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, to his Special Representative in Angola, to the three observer States of the Angolan peace process and to all the States of the Organization of African Unity — in particular, Zambia, which hosted the peace negotiations — for their invaluable and effective contribution to finding a just, durable and lasting solution to the conflict in Angola. We are pleased to note that their concerted efforts have borne fruit.
I should like at the outset to welcome you, Sir, to congratulate you, together with Ambassador Legwaila, on Botswana’s assumption of the presidency of the Security Council, and to express my delegation’s readiness to cooperate in the discharge of your duties, which we are certain will be crowned with success.
I should also like to extend a welcome to, and to express appreciation for the presence of, the delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), composed of the Foreign Ministers of your country and of Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia, the representatives of Guinea-Bissau and Senegal and, of course, Foreign Minister Venâncio de Moura of the Republic of Angola, who is with us at the Security Council table. The presence of such an important delegation, as well as the important peace-keeping operation that the Security Council has just established, reflects the support that the international community has been lending to the peace process in Angola since 1988, as well as the renewed hope on this occasion following the signing of the Lusaka Protocol by the Government of Angola and UNITA.
Having left behind 20 years of brutal civil war, which began as the independence process in Angola was getting under way, the people of that country deserve to take in peace the path of reconciliation and reconstruction. The United Nations has actively supported this process, and today it is prepared to take an important further step. But at the same time the Government of Angola and UNITA should be aware that it is they who bear primary responsibility for crowning this process with success. On their continued commitment and implementation of the agreements reached will depend to a great extent the support that the international community is prepared to lend. We believe that this process would be significantly strengthened by a direct meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi.
In this context, we should also like to highlight in a very positive way Angola’s offer, detailed in its letter circulated as document S/1994/1451, relating to the contribution in kind that it has committed to the application of the Lusaka Protocol and to the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). We attach special importance to this effort, in the light of the great humanitarian crisis experienced by that country.
We should like most especially to thank the Secretary-General for the very complete report that he has submitted; we find especially useful the details of the mandate and the concept of the operation. We wish to emphasize that the information on the cease-fire and the parties’ repeated commitment to respect for and fulfilment of the “Acordos de Paz” and the steps established by the Lusaka Protocol were determining factors in the Council’s advances towards establishing the third phase of the Verification Mission. This United Nations peace-keeping operation is the most ambitious and complex to have been created for nearly two years.
The resolution that we have just adopted provides, through the establishment of UNAVEM III, the necessary framework for the Government of Angola and UNITA to fulfil promptly and completely the provisions of the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. Accordingly, we hope that the parties will take all necessary steps to avoid any further delays, and we hope that the UNAVEM III planning and support elements will be deployed promptly, thus allowing the rapid arrival of infantry units and other components of the force, when conditions permit.
In the light of the experience gained in other peace-keeping operations, we would particularly emphasize the need for the rapid introduction of a broad and well coordinated programme of mine clearance. We know that this is a grave long-term problem that the Angolan people will have to face, and the sooner we begin the task the better. The support of the international community in this regard is essential.
Aspects relating to public information also seem to us important in this new phase of United Nations work in Angola. We hope that concrete steps will be taken along these lines, in close cooperation with the Government of Angola.
The machinery for Security Council follow-up established in this resolution are also important, since, without depriving the Secretary-General of the flexibility that he needs for the management of a peace-keeping operation, they will enable the Security Council to manage the political aspects properly and with the necessary urgency.
The Argentine Republic, in addition to being another South Atlantic coastal State and working together with Angola in the Zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic, has close ties of friendship and cooperation with that country. Accordingly, since it gained its independence in 1975, we have been cooperating with it, and from the very beginning of UNAVEM, in 1988, we have continuously contributed military and police personnel. This commitment by Argentina to Angola continues and will be expanded in UNAVEM III. The era of peace and hope that is now beginning for Angola will undoubtedly provide opportunities for greater cooperation between our peoples.
With the cycle that is beginning, a well-founded hope arises for an era of peace, stability and prosperity for southern Africa. That region of the African continent has every potential to become an important axis of development, whose benefits will undoubtedly extend beyond its borders. The Argentine Republic expresses its hope again today that this crucial opportunity will be fully seized by the Angolan people, and is prepared to cooperate to that end.
I thank the representative of Argentina for her kind words addressed to me and to our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Legwaila.
First of all, let me express my delegation’s delight in seeing you, Sir, presiding over today’s important meeting of the Council. At the same time, we congratulate your delegation on the assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February. You have our full support and confidence. I would also like to express our high appreciation for the effective and business-like manner in which Ambassador Cárdenas of Argentina guided the affairs of the Council during January.
Finally, let me welcome sincerely the Foreign Minister of Angola and all the members of the ministerial delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the Security Council.
The signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 opened the path towards peace and stability in Angola. The resolution which the Council has just adopted marks a very important step forward along this path. By authorizing the establishment of the new United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) peace-keeping operation, the international community — and, on its behalf, the Security Council — has firmly committed itself to aid the process of national reconciliation in Angola.
But let me stress that even the best-drafted Security Council resolution cannot in itself guarantee the success of the political settlement in Angola and the return of lasting peace and prosperity to this long-suffering African country. It is none other than the Government of Angola and the leaders of UNITA who bear primary responsibility for the success or failure of the peace process. It is up to them to make sure that the letter and the spirit of the Lusaka agreements are scrupulously adhered to in the months ahead. The United Nations and its Security Council will of course support them in their quest for lasting peace and reconciliation. However, this role cannot but be a supporting one and should be understood as such by the Angolan parties.
The Angolan parties also carry the primary responsibility for the safety and freedom of movement of United Nations and other personnel deployed under UNAVEM III. We hope that the intended meeting between the President of Angola, Mr. dos Santos, and the leader of UNITA, Mr. Savimbi, will give new impetus to the peace process.
The Czech Republic welcomes the first successful steps taken by both parties in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. However, we are concerned by indications that, a mere few weeks into the implementation of the Protocol, the process is already slipping behind schedule. It would hardly be acceptable for this trend to continue. It is necessary for the Angolan parties to implement the Lusaka Protocol in accordance with the agreed timetable and even to try to accelerate the whole process.
We believe that the OAU has an important role to play in pushing the peace process in Angola forward. Based on lessons from the past, the United Nations and the OAU have to work together to bring peace, stability and development to Angola and the region. After the flourishing of peace and democracy in Mozambique, successful national reconciliation and the strengthening of democracy in Angola would represent another positive example for Africa, which presently is the theatre of more internal conflicts than any other part of the world.
Based on the Secretary-General’s overall positive evaluation of the situation in Angola, as indicated in his report, the Czech Republic, whose military observers actively participated in UNAVEM II operations, fully supports the deployment of UNAVEM III. We expect in particular at this stage that the cease-fire arrangements will be meticulously implemented by both sides in good faith.
The fact that a number of countries have expressed their readiness to contribute their personnel and material to UNAVEM III is an encouraging sign of confidence in the process of national reconciliation in Angola. We are grateful that this confidence is reflected in the language of our resolution. We consider it important that the resolution was drafted very carefully and that the Security Council took into consideration all important elements needed not only for an early launch of this new peace-keeping operation, but also for its effective functioning and its successful conclusion. We also underline that, in accordance with this resolution, the Security Council will be ready to review the role of the United Nations in Angola if the cooperation required from the parties is not forthcoming or is substantially delayed.
We do not forget the fact that many Angolan civilians are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. We urge both parties to create, with the assistance of international humanitarian organizations, conditions which would facilitate the return of thousands of displaced Angolans to their homes.
In conclusion, I should like to convey our deep appreciation to the Secretary-General, the troika of observer States — Portugal, the United States of America and the Russian Federation — and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, for having contributed greatly to the success of the negotiating process.
I thank the representative of the Czech Republic for his kind words addressed to me.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Botswana.
The Botswana delegation welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), contained in document S/1995/97. I wish to pay a special tribute to the Secretary-General and his Special Representative for Angola, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, for the excellent work they have done in the search for peace in Angola. We are meeting here today to launch UNAVEM III thanks to their resilience and tenacious efforts to find a solution to the Angolan conflict.
The presence here today of the African Foreign Ministers and the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity is a clear indication of the importance which Africa attaches to the Angolan conflict. The Lusaka Protocol and the “Acordos de Paz” which preceded it are the blueprints for the settlement of one of the most brutal and destructive conflicts in Africa. It is our hope that our Angolan brothers will, this time, faithfully adhere to the spirit and letter of the commitments they have made in these declarations of intent.
We also hope that they will leave no stone unturned to ensure that UNAVEM III becomes the success that the United Nations and our tortured continent want it to be. Nobody, and certainly none of us in southern Africa, wants to hear anything about UNAVEM IV. UNAVEM III is Angola’s last chance. It is our last chance.
The will of the international community to stay the course with repeated, and costly, peace-keeping operations has been tested beyond what is humanly acceptable. Angola forms an integral part of southern Africa; it pains our hearts to see the people of Angola continue to kill each other with abandon in a region that is now otherwise free of war, a region now marked by good governance and the rule of law.
We want for the people of Angola what we cherish most in Botswana: peace and stability, freedom and development. In other words, we desire for the people of Angola exactly the good things in life that we desire for ourselves. We want Angola to become another political success story in our region, following in the footsteps of Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique. That would make southern Africa a strong and viable economic proposition.
As I have already stated, there is general “peace-keeping-operation fatigue” among members of the international community. This is perfectly understandable: peace-keeping operations, by their nature, are very expensive enterprises with no immediate benefits or returns. They are prone to breakdowns, as the experience of the United Nations in Angola, Rwanda and Somalia — to mention but three cases — has amply demonstrated. They also become wasteful in material terms, and a source of frustration. They divert scarce resources that could otherwise be released for social and economic development. It is for those reasons that our Angolan brothers must understand why UNAVEM III must on no account fail.
I have so far placed the onus for the success of UNAVEM III on the people of Angola. I believe, however, that the international community has an inescapable role to play in the progress of Angola towards stable and lasting peace, national reconciliation and reconstruction. After all, some Members of the United Nations may be as responsible as the people of Angola for the colossal destruction and mayhem that have unquestionably befallen that country. In that context, the international community should get its act together and assist the people of Angola in achieving peace.
In that regard, we wish to urge the Security Council to guard against making the United Nations Mission in Angola a victim of stringent conditionalities that could impede its implementation. We should realize that the work of the United Nations in Angola is not going to be easy. Failure or success will depend to a large extent on the patience, understanding and cooperation of all involved. There will be no easy solutions. The fact that we are discussing the deployment of UNAVEM III today is a clear indication that we are not dealing with a normal situation. It calls for the exercise of restraint and flexibility in monitoring the situation on the ground. In other words, isolated and sporadic violations of the cease-fire provisions should not be used as a pretext for the withdrawal of the Mission.
We should also realize that each peace-keeping operation is unique and that the experience gained in one peace-keeping operation is not necessarily directly replicable in others. Each peace-keeping operation is an experience in itself. This should not be taken as advocacy of or a licence for an open-ended peace-keeping mission. We have noted the concerns of those who advocate “sunset provisions” in all peace-keeping operations. There is no problem with that approach so long as it is universally applied. It would surely help make the parties to a conflict understand that the United Nations does not have an infinite amount of time at its disposal for such operations. At the same time, however, we should guard against being overly cautious, to the extent that we might threaten the success of the Mission.
In short, all we are saying is that we should not unintentionally impede the progress of UNAVEM III with too many conditionalities. We should also ensure that we have in place post-conflict peace-building measures, which are an indispensable condition for the stabilization of the country. Thus, the staged implementation of the operation at the beginning should be followed by phased withdrawal of the Mission to help the people of Angola build mutual trust and confidence and live peacefully together as good neighbours.
To that end, there should be a continued, strong United Nations presence in Angola beyond the expiry of the mandate of UNAVEM III to help the people of Angola adjust to a new life. We are happy that paragraphs 37 to 39 of the Secretary-General’s report cover some of these concerns.
Let me highlight once again the primary responsibility of the people of Angola and their leaders for the successful implementation of the provisions both of the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol. This could be their last chance to receive the support of the international community in the search for a peaceful solution to their problem.
Equally, the United Nations has a responsibility to the people of Angola. There should be no attempt or threat to withdraw the Mission for flimsy reasons at any stage in the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution. It is the collective responsibility of all involved to usher Angola into a new era of peace and stability. We should do everything in our power to ensure that we succeed this time.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
The Minister of External Relations of Angola has asked to make a statement. I call upon him now.
I asked to speak in order to thank the members of the Security Council, my fellow Ministers and all the other guests of the Council who have made statements since this morning, more than 30 in all. Once more, we thank them all for their contribution to this debate, which culminated in the adoption of a new resolution on Angola. On behalf of the Angolan people and its Government, we thank the Council and Africa for all their efforts to establish peace and national reconciliation among Angolans.
After meeting since this morning, the Security Council has adopted resolution 976 (1995). We assure members of our commitment to all resolutions of the Security Council, especially their positive elements. But, while reiterating our thanks for all the efforts of members of the Council and of the Secretary-General, we are obliged to note that my Government regrets that the resolution includes a provision that we view as a violation of the Lusaka Protocol, agreed upon by the Angolan parties with the assistance of a number of members of the Security Council.
This violation, which began with the Lusaka Protocol, should be a warning, because the Security Council will recall what happened with the Bicesse accords, when an element called “triple zero” was introduced, from 31 May 1991 until elections were held; those elections, under international supervision, resulted in the present Government. When we see the reintroduction of this provision in paragraph 12 of the resolution, we are compelled to conclude that once again new elements have been introduced, in violation of the Lusaka Protocol, agreed to by the parties, elements that might harm the legitimate Government.
But let us be optimistic, while ensuring that the violence of 1992 does not recur. Once again, we reiterate our firm and sincere commitment to the positive aspects of the resolution that has just been adopted and to the implementation of the compromise reached with the signing of the Lusaka Protocol.
There are no further speakers. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.