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)|
|Members:||Mr. Sersale di Cerisano
|Mr. He Yafei
|Mr. Graf zu Rantzau
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) (S/1995/97 and Add.1)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Guinea-Bissau, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), documents S/1995/97 and Addendum 1.
Members of the Council also have before them document S/1995/117, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.
I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to the following other documents:
S/1994/1441 and S/1994/1451, letters dated 9 and 28 December 1994, respectively, from the Permanent Representative of Angola to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, concerning the Lusaka Protocol;
S/1995/51, letter dated 17 January 1995 from the Chargé d’affaires ad interim of the Permanent Mission of Angola to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council; and
S/1995/94, letter dated 30 January 1995 from the Permanent Representative of Angola to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, transmitting the text of a message dated 24 January 1995 from the President of the Republic of Angola addressed to the Secretary-General.
The first speaker is the Minister for External Relations of Angola, His Excellency Mr. Venâncio de Moura. On behalf of the Security Council, I welcome him and invite him to make his statement.
I begin by congratulating you, Sir, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Angola and on my own behalf, on your assumption for February of the presidency of this important United Nations body, which bears primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and international security.
Let me also congratulate His Excellency Ambassador Emilio Cárdenas, the outgoing President, on the way in which he conducted the work of the Council last month.
Our warm congratulations go also to the newly elected members of the Security Council, to which I wish the best of success in their work in solving the numerous problems that the international community is facing.
The presence in this Chamber of a ministerial delegation from the Organization of African Unity (OAU), composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of several African countries, heartens us and further shows us that African countries, whether independently or through their continental organization the OAU, are deeply committed to the search for solutions to the extremely serious problems afflicting the African continent. We hail the presence of the Foreign Ministers here today and thank them for their gesture of solidarity with the Government and the people of Angola, who aspire to peace and understanding.
Of late, Angola has been discussed extensively in this important United Nations body because of the devastating war that has lasted for several years, with respect to the resolution of which the Security Council continues to make an invaluable contribution.
At the last meeting of the Council devoted to the situation in Angola, we described to members the efforts that the Angolan Government and the international community are making towards a negotiated solution of the post-election crisis in Angola. Today, the situation in Angola has evolved in a positive way, and there are prospects for a lasting peace for the Angolan people. Over two months have elapsed since the formal signing of the Lusaka Protocol. Notwithstanding the understandably slow pace of the process due to its complexity, we can state our certainty that the implementation of the phases provided for in the Lusaka Protocol is, from our point of view, irreversible. This leads us to believe that, this time, peace has come to stay.
Therefore, it is a pleasure for me to announce before this forum that the current military situation on the ground in Angola is calm. The cease-fire that entered into force on 22 November 1994 is being observed without any major incidents. The minor incidents that have occurred are not unusual in a sensitive process such as ours and, therefore, are far from posing a threat to the success of the peace process and cannot be used as a pretext for hindering or delaying the completion of the steps set forth in the Lusaka Protocol. The Joint Commission created under the Lusaka Protocol is operating normally under the guidance of its tireless Chairman, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, who has made every effort to promote the full implementation of the provisions of the Protocol.
As members know, the invitation addressed by His Excellency President Jose Eduardo dos Santos to the leader of Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), Mr. Jonas Savimbi, for a meeting within Angolan territory and the acceptance of that invitation constitute another positive step towards the creation of a climate of confidence for the Angolan people and the international community, which will help strengthen peace and national reconciliation.
I stress that, with the letter the President sent to Mr. Savimbi and Mr. Savimbi’s recent response in which he gave his agreement to the meeting — with proper preparation — and took due account of his responsibility for the meeting’s taking place, the meeting could well take place shortly.
The meetings of the military chiefs of staff of the Government and of UNITA, held at Chipipa, Huambo province, and at Waku-Kungo, Kuanza-Sul province, constituted another important step towards building trust between the two military forces, which in the near future will form a single army under the command of a single commander-in-chief. A practical result of these meetings was the acceleration of the disengagement of Government and UNITA forces in the areas in which they were in direct contact, thus avoiding the risk of confrontation and allowing the establishment of verification, monitoring and control machinery, including a three-way communications system, the beginnings of free movement of people and goods, and the cessation of hostile propaganda between the Government and UNITA.
The report of the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, on the evolution of the peace process in Angola since the adoption of resolution 966 (1994) clearly illustrates the situation as I have described it.
Taking into account the positive developments in the process, which to some extent allay the concerns of the Council as expressed in its resolution 966 (1994), my Government considers that the conditions have been created for the speedy constitution of a UNAVEM III with a specific mandate as set forth in the Lusaka Protocol, including technical, material and human resources sufficient for it to carry out its mandate. The creation and rapid deployment of UNAVEM III would be one of the best ways to avoid the mistakes that were made at the time of the implementation of the Bicesse accords, thus avoiding the derailment of the process.
We are aware of the high costs involved in the deployment of UNAVEM III, but, quoting His Excellency President José Eduardo dos Santos,
“these costs will be but a fraction of the cost of a war and dealing with its victims”.
In this context, my Government wishes to emphasize the need for the quick deployment of UNAVEM III, because it alone — as we all know — will bear responsibility for the quartering, disarming and selection of UNITA troops that are to be integrated into the unified national army of Angola and for the demobilization of the excess military personnel that will be reintegrated into civilian life after receiving vocational training.
My Government wishes to reaffirm that the Lusaka Protocol signals the beginning of a decisive step towards the definitive solution to the Angolan internal conflict, by establishing a unique opportunity for eliminating completely the threat of renewed war. At the same time, it has paved the way for the normal functioning of the democratic institutions that emerged from the multi-party elections, which both the United Nations and the international community declared to be free and fair.
The Lusaka Protocol thus creates prospects for the exercise of democracy in Angola, a democracy free of armed parties and one in which the will of the people, expressed at the ballot box, will be respected. Under such conditions, the Government of the Republic of Angola will be in a position to concentrate all its efforts on the social and economic development and well-being of all the Angolan people. In order for us to fulfil this aspiration, it is important that the international community should continue to play its role in the consolidation of peace and stability in Angola and discourage all those who plan to act in a manner contrary to the spirit and the letter of the Lusaka Protocol.
The Angolan Government believes that this meeting of the Security Council, with the creation of UNAVEM III, will open up a new phase, because it will spare the people of Angola, who yearn for peace, more frustration. As to the responsibilities of the Government, I wish to reiterate our determination to make every effort to facilitate the tasks of UNAVEM III by ensuring safety and providing the necessary facilities for its work.
Though such an amount is unprecedented in the annals of the Council’s peace-keeping activities, my Government estimates that the costs of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol may be as much as $1.26 billion. As we have previously stated, both here and at the bilateral level with some of those present here today, that amount would cover the following expenses: installation of UNAVEM III in Angola; installation and temporary cantonment of UNITA military personnel and their families; reconstruction of the main airfields, railways, ports, roads, bridges, streets and other infrastructure that will be used by the United Nations troops — here I wish to state that, according to studies carried out by my Government through its relevant Ministries, there are at this time 109 destroyed bridges, a number not equalled even in the colonial war; resettlement of displaced persons, of whom there are approximately 3.5 million in the country, victims of the war; demobilization of excess military personnel, both of UNITA and of the Government; social reintegration of demobilized personnel, including technical vocational training before reintegration into productive society; re-establishment of the State administration in areas previously under the control of UNITA forces, which, under the provisions of Security Council resolution 864 (1993), will have to pull out of those areas; reconstruction of the various kinds of infrastructure destroyed during the war; and Government administration and communications.
Towards the amount I have referred to, and in order to address the various points I have indicated, the Government will immediately contribute approximately $64.7 million in cash. This amount would be allotted as follows: $15.5 million outlaid from the Government budget for a residential compound; parking facilities; harbour space for vessels; harbour and airport warehouses, including offices; and fuel and fuel derivatives. This would include a 30 per cent discount on international prices for incoming goods, exemption from customs-clearance formalities, the granting of parcels of land and so on. The disbursement of these amounts by the Angolan Government will be facilitated if UNITA completely disengages itself from the mining areas it occupies in the province of Lunda, where it is illegally mining diamonds.
Although there is a general climate of peace as far as military activity is concerned and there is already free movement of people and goods, the social and humanitarian situation is still a matter of concern. The consequences of the war are clearly evident. Other tasks that we must carry out include reintegration of the excess UNITA troops to be demobilized, various forms of assistance to the millions of displaced persons and refugees who are returning to their places of origin, reconstruction of basic infrastructure and clearance of land-mines.
Since this is a far-reaching humanitarian operation that will include people from UNITA and other political parties within the framework of a true national reconciliation, the international community is urged to play an important role as part of this operation and not impose conditions of various kinds. Peace is within our grasp; it is close. Let us not focus on absurd or contradictory demands different from positions already taken by the Assembly or Council.
The mobilization of financial and humanitarian aid is therefore a sine qua non for us to overcome the challenges that we face under the present circumstances. In this context, therefore, I launch an appeal to the international community and to all governmental and non-governmental organizations, asking them to continue, even more vigorously, to lend their support, in all possible forms, to the Angolan Government, which truly wants a lasting peace for all Angolans so that conditions may be created for beneficial cooperation with all Member States with which the Government of Angola maintains relations.
I also wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government and the people of Angola, to express our gratitude for the generous humanitarian assistance that we have so far received from various Governments, at the bilateral and multilateral levels, specialized agencies in the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations. Our special thanks go to those who have been directly involved in the distribution of humanitarian aid to the needy, very often at the risk of their own lives.
Before concluding, I reiterate the deep appreciation of my Government to my colleagues the Ministers of Foreign Affairs who, representing, firstly, the Organization of African Unity and, secondly, their respective Governments, travelled to New York to express their solidarity with the people of Angola at this time when it is striving for a well-deserved and lasting peace. I assure Their Excellencies that we will do honour to this gesture of solidarity by promising to do everything in our power to fulfil the commitments we entered into at Lusaka. I should like to reiterate once again the deep gratitude of the Government of the Republic of Angola for the tireless efforts they have made on behalf of peace and national reconciliation in Angola. I extend our gratitude also to all those countries that have already indicated their willingness to contribute men, matériel and other support to UNAVEM III. We hope that the adoption at this meeting of the resolution establishing UNAVEM III will be a step towards the definitive establishment of lasting peace in Angola.
Lastly, we should like to express our concern with regard to some paragraphs — specifically, paragraphs 6, 8 and 12 — in the draft resolution that is soon to be put to the Council for adoption. Indeed, this concern was the reason for our late arrival today. At the appropriate moment, we shall put forward specific proposals to improve the text. These will reflect a number of concerns that we had already submitted for the consideration of the President of our Republic, who called us this morning to convey his concern in respect of the paragraphs I mentioned just now.
I thank the Minister of External Relations of Angola for his kind words addressed to me.
I should like to inform members that I have received a letter dated 8 February 1995 from the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations. The letter reads as follows:
“I have the honour to request that during the meeting of the Security Council devoted to consideration of the situation in Angola, the Council extend an invitation, under rule 39 of the provisional rules of procedure, to His Excellency Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).”
This letter will be published as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/1995/123.
If I hear no objection I shall take it that the Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 to His Excellency Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The next speaker is the Minister of External Affairs of Malawi, His Excellency Mr. E. C. I. Bwanali. I welcome His Excellency and invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me, Sir, to start by congratulating your country on its assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of February. My delegation is particularly pleased to see you in the Chair, and we are confident that the deliberations of the Council will be ably and effectively guided and that fruitful results will be achieved. We wish the representative of your country well as he carries out the many tasks that will come before him during his tenure.
My delegation also wishes to congratulate his predecessor in office for a marvellous job done during the month of January.
I have the honour to speak before the Security Council as leader of a delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Council of Ministers, made up of Foreign Ministers from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia and representatives of Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. In doing so, I should like to declare our full support for the position of the Angolan Government, as so clearly set out by its Foreign Minister, Mr. Venâncio de Moura, on the subject now being considered by the Council. However, each of the Ministers in my delegation will be free to address the Security Council individually on the issue under discussion. I wish also to acknowledge the presence in our delegation of the representative of the current Chairman of the OAU, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, who is also a member of our delegation.
We have carefully studied the report of the Secretary-General to the Council, which provides a very clear, comprehensive and detailed account of the developments that have taken place since the initialling of the Lusaka Protocol on 31 October 1994. We are particularly encouraged by the Secretary-General’s assessment and conclusions indicating that, despite some infringements, the cease-fire provided for in the peace agreement signed on 20 November 1994 is generally being observed by all parties and that significant progress has been achieved in the implementation of the Angolan peace processes.
We concur with the Secretary-General’s assessment. However, it is the view of the OAU Council of Ministers that these achievements need buttressing if the fragile peace process in Angola is to be sustained. It is in this context that my delegation has been mandated to come and convey to the Security Council Africa’s grave concern that, unless urgent and appropriate measures are taken by the international community, particularly the United Nations, to sustain the current momentum, the entire peace process in Angola could be seriously threatened.
There is an English saying, “once bitten, twice shy”. And in the case of Angola, this saying, vis-à-vis international involvement, would seem à propos. Indeed, we can still recall how, nearly four years ago, when everything seemed to be going well and peace appeared to be holding, suddenly the guns came alive and, in a flash, Angola slid back into a war even more vicious than that previously experienced.
We can thus appreciate the concerns of those who urge caution against any increased international involvement until peace has been firmly established in Angola. However, we are convinced that the situation is different this time around and that the Angolan people are tired of war.
It is now 80 days exactly since the Lusaka Protocol was signed and 78 since the cease-fire came into effect. In that period, the Angolan people have demonstrated their earnest desire for peace, as confirmed by the generally agreed assessment that, despite minor infractions, the cease-fire is holding. Meanwhile, the two parties — the Government of Angola and UNITA — have continued their efforts to implement the other aspects of the Lusaka Protocol. For example, the military commanders have met several times in the context of the Joint Commission and, as the Foreign Minister of Angola informed us today, the UNITA leader, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, has now unconditionally agreed to meet the President of Angola, Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos.
There is therefore a need for a clear demonstration of firm international support and solidarity for the people of Angola as they seek to build and consolidate the peace based on the Lusaka Protocol. It is for this reason that my delegation has come to urge the Council to facilitate the speedy establishment and deployment of the enlarged United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), one of the mechanisms provided for in the Lusaka Protocol. In this connection, we are encouraged by the apparent consensus amongst members of the Security Council on the need for the speedy establishment and deployment of UNAVEM III.
We have taken careful note of the concerns expressed in the light of past experiences, especially in respect of UNAVEM I, that we must “do it right this time”. In this context, reference has been made to paragraph 32 of the Secretary-General’s report. Whilst we concur fully with the need to do it right this time, it is our view that the speedy deployment of the mechanisms provided for in the Lusaka Protocol would serve as a confidence-builder and encourage the parties concerned to move forwards even further in implementing the “Acordos de Paz”. It would also help to secure the prevailing cease-fire, without which the fragile peace process in Angola could collapse, with dire consequences. It is our conviction, therefore, that the speedy establishment of UNAVEM III is the best way to ensure that, this time around, we can “do it right”.
Before concluding, I wish to take this opportunity to express my delegation’s appreciation and gratitude for the sympathetic understanding and cooperation we have received from all those with whom we have had the chance to hold consultations on the matter before this meeting. We especially appreciate the understanding with which our particular concerns in respect of the enabling draft resolution — which the Council will be considering later today — were received. We believe that this cooperation has facilitated the presentation to the Council of an enabling draft resolution which, whilst possessing some difficult elements here and there, generally takes account of the concerns of all the parties. It has been our concern that the enabling resolution should not have so many conditionalities that it becomes itself an impediment to the advancement of the peace process. We believe that the draft resolution before the Council today can be adopted by consensus and we hope that it will be so adopted.
Members of the Council are called upon to take this historic decision, one with enormous implications for the future of political developments in Angola. We believe that time and circumstances have presented the international community with a rare opportunity to help bring about permanent peace in Angola. It is in this respect that the OAU Council of Ministers decided to send a delegation to New York.
If this opportunity is allowed to slip away, posterity will judge us very harshly. We owe it to the present and future generations of Angolans to do right by them. It is now all in the hands of the Council.
I thank the Minister of External Affairs of Malawi for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of India. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
We are pleased to see you, Sir, presiding over this meeting of the Security Council. It is fitting and proper that it is under Botswana’s presidency that the Security Council will be approving the establishment of the enlarged United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). This decision will reflect the international community’s continued concern for and commitment to peace and reconciliation in Angola. Despite discouraging set-backs in the past, the United Nations has kept up its patient and persistent engagement in Angola.
In Angola peace appears to be on the horizon. The people of Angola seek peace. The cease-fire is generally holding. There are prospects of a face-to-face meeting between the President of Angola and Mr. Savimbi.
At this critical time, when we are on the threshold of peace, it is important that the United Nations should give a decisive and early push towards a final settlement. This is the time to give a clear and unequivocal message to those elements that might still have some doubts or reservations about the future.
In his report, the Secretary-General has proposed the phased deployment of troops and other personnel. There should be adequate flexibility provided in this regard to ensure that the progressive achievement of the tasks of UNAVEM III is not delayed. We would also urge the Security Council to keep the termination date of the mission sufficiently flexible to ensure the fulfilment of the objectives of the mission.
We wish to use this opportunity to appeal to His Excellency Mr. Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi for an early meeting between them. It is our fervent hope that they will fulfil the expectations of the international community and the Angolan people and display the necessary political will to bring about political reconciliation and trust at all levels to ensure the establishment of a lasting peace and an end to all bloodshed in Angola.
India has participated in the United Nations peace-keeping operations in Angola ever since their beginning in 1989. In the present phase we have already deployed 16 military observers. Twenty civilian observers will be joining them shortly. We have committed an infantry battalion and an engineering support company for UNAVEM III. All these units will come fully equipped, and are ready for deployment. This is a reflection of our earnest desire to help the international community to restore peace and normality in a country with which India has the friendliest of relations.
Besides this contribution of troops, India has an ongoing bilateral programme of economic and technical cooperation with Angola.
India’s contribution to UNAVEM III in Angola is part of the long-term, consistent and principled support that my country has extended to the cause of peace and security on the African continent. India has been at the forefront of United Nations peace-keeping operations, starting with Congo and including Namibia, Mozambique, Somalia, Liberia and Rwanda. India has always been in the forefront of championing African causes of freedom, justice and economic and social development.
The underlying cause of the recent conflict in Angola and in other parts of Africa has to be attributed primarily to the cold war. Fortunately, the cold war is over now. Durable peace must now be established so that the underlying problem of inadequate development can be tackled as a top priority. This is also the surest way of ensuring the establishment of sustained peace and prosperity in Angola and elsewhere.
I thank the representative of India for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Norway. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me first, Sir, to congratulate you on your assumption of the office of President of the Security Council for the month of February and to thank your predecessor, Ambassador Cárdenas, for the excellent work he accomplished. I would also like to extend a warm welcome to the ministerial delegation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), under the leadership of the Foreign Minister of Malawi, and to the Foreign Minister of Angola; we listened to their interventions with the closest attention.
In 1994 the grave humanitarian situation caused Angola, together with Rwanda, to be the largest recipient of Norwegian humanitarian aid. Angola’s road to peace has been long and arduous. After numerous set-backs in the negotiations, Norway welcomed with satisfaction the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 and the entry into force of the cease-fire. A significant step had been taken towards the restoration of lasting peace in Angola. We congratulate the people of Angola and join them in their wish to see an end to the human suffering and the tragic toll that the protracted war has inflicted. The Lusaka Protocol means that a decisive step has been taken towards the final resolution of the internal conflict in that war-torn country.
In this connection, my delegation commends most sincerely the excellent work accomplished by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Blondin Beye. Norway believes that a critical factor for the eventual success of the peace process in Angola is the creation of conditions that will make the implementation of the provisions of the Protocol possible. The establishment of the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), as suggested in the report of the Secretary-General, will have a key function in assisting the Government of Angola and UNITA in coping with the remaining obstacles and thus in achieving the all-important goal of national reconciliation and the restoration of a durable peace in Angola.
Since the operation started, Norway has participated in UNAVEM with military observers, and I can announce today that my Government has determined that we should maintain our contribution within the framework of UNAVEM III at about the same level. We are pleased that the Security Council in its draft resolution has decided on a mandate period of one year, as suggested in the report. Implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is already behind the time set in the report, and a shorter period than one year would seem unrealistic to us.
However, much remains to be done within the framework of the Peace Accords and the relevant Security Council resolutions in order to give full effect to the peace settlement. We note with appreciation the Secretary-General’s observations regarding the respect for the cease-fire shown by the Government and UNITA, their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of United Nations personnel and their commitment to the Lusaka process and to national reconciliation. We feel that further concrete confidence-building measures will be imperative for a successful peace process, and therefore urge the parties to the Protocol to continue to commit themselves fully and faithfully to implementing its provisions and to respect and maintain the cease-fire throughout the country.
As my Foreign Minister stated in his address to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session, Norway stands ready to support regional processes to encourage closer cooperation between African nations. In general, regional organizations should take on more responsibility for peace-keeping in the future. The presence today of the ministerial delegation of the OAU sends a positive signal that we note with great appreciation. It follows from what I have said that we would welcome a substantial regional effort in UNAVEM III.
In a country like Angola, humanitarian action can serve as a dynamic force for peace. It can help create momentum towards restoring security and promoting reconciliation. The number of non-military tasks planned for UNAVEM III is indeed significant. We support the priorities set for the United Nations humanitarian programme: relief assistance, mine clearance, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, repatriation of refugees and resettlement of internally displaced persons.
The operation will be costly. I would like to emphasize the fundamental importance of a sound financial basis for UNAVEM III. It is incumbent on all Member countries to fully meet their responsibilities in this respect.
In a comprehensive peace-keeping operation like UNAVEM III, the issue of the coordination of the various elements and activities, be they of a military or a non-military character, is crucial. We welcome the plan to establish integrated teams to coordinate day-to-day functions and to ensure the most efficient use of available resources. As far as possible, longer term development assistance to Angola should also be designed and managed with a particular view to reinforcing the peace process.
As a country passing through a crucial stage in the process of building democracy, Angola needs the support and encouragement of the international community. Norway has played its part in trying to repair the severe damage to Angola’s economic and social fabric. In 1994, Norway contributed $6.8 million in humanitarian assistance to Angola. Of these funds, more than $1.3 million was spent on mine clearance. Mine-clearance programmes in Angola will be high on our priority list in 1995 also. To date, $700,000 has been earmarked for a central mine-clearance school in Luanda. In 1994, most of the Norwegian humanitarian assistance was channelled through international and national organizations such as the World Food Programme, the Red Cross, Norwegian People’s Aid, the United Nations Children’s Fund and Church Action for Angola, as well as through the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs.
In addition, $2.2 million was given to Angola as long-term development assistance in 1994. We will continue our long-term support for the people of Angola; the same level of assistance is foreseen for 1995.
There is now a real chance that the Angolan peace process will be crowned with success. The international community is showing full solidarity with Angola through the decisions that are being taken today. But this solidarity can only support the efforts of the Government of Angola and UNITA, whose will to implement the peace accords and to engage in genuine reconciliation will remain decisive.
Let me therefore conclude by expressing the hope that Angola will continue the successful trend of Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique in establishing a peaceful and democratic society.
I thank the representative of Norway for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zambia, His Excellency the Honourable Mr. Remmy K.K. Mushota. I welcome Mr. Mushota and invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
On behalf of my delegation and of other delegations from the southern African region, let me extend to you, Sir, our congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February. It is particularly gratifying to see you, a son of southern Africa, presiding over the Council’s deliberations on Angola. We wish you well.
My delegation is most grateful to you, Sir, and to the other members of the Council for giving me the opportunity to participate in this important meeting, which has been convened to consider the establishment of a third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III).
Since I am addressing this body following the historic signing on 20 November 1994 of the Lusaka Protocol on Angola, allow me to convey my Government’s gratitude to the Secretary-General, to the Security Council and to the United Nations as a whole for all the efforts that culminated in the signing of the Angolan peace agreement.
In the same vein, permit me to congratulate Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Angola, who presided over the Lusaka talks with patience, total commitment and steadfastness. Our commendations go also to the troika of official observers from Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America for their tireless efforts in ensuring that the Lusaka talks succeeded.
Above all, I wish to pay a deserved tribute to the Government of the Republic of Angola and to UNITA for the mature and statesmanlike manner in which they conducted themselves during the Lusaka talks and for their determination to reach a peace agreement.
The Lusaka Protocol was a product of painstaking efforts by the principal parties to the Angolan conflict and by a concerned international community. Indeed, it testifies to the total commitment of the United Nations in general and the Security Council in particular to the peace process in Angola.
Since the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, there have been some positive developments, particularly in the military and political areas. For example, the meetings of Chiefs of Staff — on 10 January 1995 at the village of Chipipa in Huambo Province and on 2 and 3 February 1995 in Waku-Kungo — were an important development towards the implementation of the peace agreement.
In the humanitarian area too there has been appreciable improvement. We note with appreciation the launching by the United Nations of a $213-million inter-agency appeal fund for Angola to cover humanitarian activities for 1995.
Equally important has been the series of meetings of the Joint Commission. The arrival in December last year of a significant number of the expected 500 observers was a welcome move on the part of the United Nations, the more so as it took place within one month of the signing of the Lusaka Protocol.
The people of Angola, like all the rest of us in the southern African subregion, are acutely aware that the onus of establishing lasting peace in that country rests first and foremost upon the people of Angola themselves, for peace cannot be imposed from outside Angola. Nevertheless, the international community has a responsibility to assist the people of Angola in achieving that lasting peace. As is well known, peace is indivisible and a key to development efforts. It is for this reason that the United Nations has invested heavily in the peace process in that country, for which those of us from that part of the world are most grateful to the world body. The Lusaka Protocol is living testimony to the commitment of the international community.
In a number of its resolutions, the Security Council is on record as having committed itself to the implementation of the peace agreement on Angola. The time has come therefore to establish UNAVEM III in order to give effect to that commitment by this body. Indeed, the credibility of the United Nations and, in particular, that of the Security Council is at stake. Therefore, nothing should therefore be allowed to stand in the way of or, indeed, frustrate the immediate implementation of the agreement, as stipulated in the Lusaka Protocol.
The Angolan situation should not be treated any differently from other peace-keeping operations in which the United Nations has been involved. Yes, peace is an expensive commodity to achieve or maintain. In view of its crucial importance, though, it is my delegation’s contention that no price is too high to pay for peace. My Government is convinced that the United Nations will live up to its expectations in this regard.
Angola is a country that is potentially rich in natural resources. Unfortunately, the long, fratricidal war has taken a heavy toll on its ability to exploit those resources to the full. The country will come out of its quagmire only if peace is guaranteed.
An era of peace and tranquillity has dawned in southern Africa. A new South Africa has been born, to the joy and jubilation of all the people of the subregion. Mozambique has emerged from a costly civil war into full-fledged democracy. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate the people of Mozambique, under the able leadership of His Excellency President Chissano, for their momentous achievement. There cannot, therefore, be any credible reason why Angola should be an exception to this new era of peace and stability in our subregion. The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is in our view critical in that it will have the effect of healing a wound in our subregion that would otherwise fester and promote reconciliation amongst the people of Angola.
Southern Africa is poised for a period of sustained development with the establishment of peace in Angola. Peace for Angola means peace for all of us in the subregion and, indeed, the African continent as a whole.
It is for this reason that we are looking forward to assistance from the international community in general and the Security Council in particular for the people of Angola in regaining lasting peace through the full implementation of the Lusaka Protocol on Angola without any equivocation or procrastination. My Government is confident that the Council will rise to the occasion by delivering the goods to the Angolan people and humankind as a whole through the immediate deployment of peace-keeping forces in Angola.
I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Zambia for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Portugal. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. President, may I take this opportunity to welcome your presence here today and congratulate you on the manner in which Ambassador Legwaila has been very ably steering the work of the Council this month. A word of appreciation is also in order for the excellent work of Ambassador Cárdenas as President during the month of January, when important steps were taken towards improving the transparency of the Council and its links with the rest of the States Members of the United Nations. For this he has our sincere thanks.
I would like to salute the Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) delegation, whose presence here today attests to the importance that organization attaches to bringing peace to Angola and supporting the work of the United Nations towards that end.
To His Excellency the Minister of External Relations of Angola, Mr. Venâncio de Moura, I would like to extend a very cordial welcome.
Our role in the Angolan peace process is well known to everyone, and as one of the observer countries, Portugal played an active part in bringing the Lusaka Protocol into the light of day. It is the successful end of that very long and arduous process of negotiations that brings us here today, as the Security Council authorizes the launching of a new, enlarged United Nations peace-keeping operation in Angola.
The success of the Lusaka negotiations is the result of a number of factors, not least of which is how serious the Angolan Government and UNITA were about bringing the fighting in Angola to an end. But the unswerving persistence, dynamic skills and sheer wisdom of Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, was also — undoubtedly — a key element in that success. Always supported by the three observer countries, Maître Beye was able to transform dim hope into feasible reality. On behalf of my Government, our most sincere congratulations and appreciation go out to him.
Another very important factor contributing to the success of the Lusaka process was the work of the neighbouring States in demonstrating, through their solidarity with the Angolan people, that peace was possible and that it was an objective worth striving for. The very important contribution of the Government and the people of Zambia in hosting the negotiations can never be overestimated.
The Government of Portugal supports the draft resolution of the Security Council authorizing the establishment of the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). The negotiations are over. It is now time to act. The tasks before UNAVEM III, in the context of the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and other relevant Security Council resolutions, have been clearly set out by the Council. Let UNAVEM III not fail because the international community did not give it the capacity to fulfil these tasks.
While we understand the rationale behind a phased deployment of UNAVEM III, we also believe that the flexibility to deploy additional forces must be retained and must not be allowed to be held hostage to delays resulting from disagreements on whether one or another of the conditions has or has not been met.
The Angolan Government and UNITA must demonstrate that they understand what the United Nations and the international community are doing towards bringing peace to their country. They must show the necessary will to cooperate in order to bring about a successful implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and the completion of the peace process. It is up to them to bring peace to Angola.
But we must proceed with caution in establishing conditions to be met before UNAVEM III can move on to its next phase. By giving the parties the opportunity to challenge whether those conditions have been fulfilled, we are not only allowing for delays in the deployment of additional personnel but also threatening to derail the peace process itself.
Above all, UNAVEM III needs to be given a clear mandate and the necessary means to achieve it. In keeping with its constant support for the peace process in Angola, Portugal stands ready to participate fully in that peace-keeping operation. We will be ready to send support units as well as military and civilian police observers, and to participate in the force’s command structure. We appeal to the international community to support UNAVEM III in any way it can.
We have all travelled a long way to see peace come to Angola, but none more so than the people of that country, who deserve a chance to live a life different from one ravaged by war. The Security Council has taken a very important step towards peace in Angola. Let it be a firm and decisive one.
I thank the representative of Portugal for his kind words addressed to me and to my countryman Ambassador Legwaila.
The next speaker is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lesotho, His Excellency Mr. Molapo Qhobela. I welcome His Excellency and invite him to take a place at the Council table and make his statement.
At the outset, let me congratulate Botswana most warmly upon its assumption of the presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of February. Given his well-known and tested leadership qualities and his diplomatic skills and rich experience, we have full confidence that your country’s Ambassador will guide the work of the Council to a successful conclusion during his tenure of office. He can therefore count on my delegation’s full support and cooperation in the discharge of his onerous international functions.
Last month’s President, His Excellency Mr. Cárdenas, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations, discharged his duties and responsibilities with diligence, and therefore deserves commendation.
The Kingdom of Lesotho subscribes fully to the statement made by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Malawi on behalf of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). However, we wish to offer a few observations and views of our own.
It is an honour for me, on behalf of the Government and people of Lesotho, to take this opportunity to address this body on an issue that remains of great concern to us in the southern African subregion and the African continent at large. It is of concern to us not only because it threatens the very foundations of democracy but because it again touches on the fundamental principle of the right of humanity to life.
When the Government of Angola and UNITA signed the Bicesse Agreement on 31 May 1991 in Portugal, the whole world, particularly Africa, commended the event, which — it was thought — could bring to the Angolan people the peace, national reconciliation and democracy they had long desired. The Angolan people, in turn, demonstrated their acceptance of the objectives of that Agreement by participating enthusiastically and in an orderly manner in the legislative and presidential elections of 29 and 30 September 1992, considered free and fair by the international community. Unfortunately, the refusal by UNITA to accept the electoral verdict and the simultaneous launching of armed actions by UNITA marked yet another cruel chapter in the history of that country.
We welcomed the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994. This was the product of lengthy negotiations, which culminated in the agreement for a cease-fire in Angola. We welcome this move, and wish to express our hope that it will usher in a new era of peace, national reconciliation and reconstruction in Angola, and also contribute to the necessary climate for development in the entire southern African subregion.
My delegation wishes to pay tribute to the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Angola, Mr. Beye, for the patient and skilful manner in which he discharged his mandate. We also wish to commend President Chiluba of the Republic of Zambia for the role he played in facilitating, and by being host to the negotiations that led to, the signing of the Lusaka Protocol.
Our task here today as emissaries of the OAU Council of Ministers is to highlight the need for the United Nations to support and consolidate the peace process in Angola by prompt deployment of the third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to ensure the implementation of the peace process and to act as a deterrent against any possible violations of the cease-fire that might result in a degeneration in the present situation.
Already, some African States, like Zambia and Zimbabwe, have declared their preparedness to participate significantly in the peace-keeping effort by contributing troops under UNAVEM III. We are informed that the Republic of South Africa has offered to assist in the clearing of land-mines under the umbrella of the United Nations. It is in this regard that we would appeal for these countries to be provided with the required logistical support through UNAVEM III.
We wish at this stage to underscore the commitment of the Angolan Government to reaching a peaceful and negotiated settlement and to complying with the letter and spirit of the Lusaka Protocol. Not only did the Lusaka Protocol mark the beginning of a critical stage towards the final resolution of the internal conflict in Angola, it also reaffirmed the conviction of the Angolan Government that there was no military solution to the post-electoral crisis in that country. In this regard, the Kingdom of Lesotho hails the Angolan Parliament for having passed a law granting amnesty for crimes committed against the State’s internal security establishments, and other offences related thereto committed in the context of the post-electoral military conflict.
The humanitarian situation in Angola is desperate. A large part of Angola has been sapped of its vitality and bears the deep scars of years of war. Southern Africa, and Africa in general, would appeal to the international community to assist Angola with humanitarian aid and technical and financial support in order to ensure that the demobilized soldiers, displaced persons and refugees are socially reintegrated and that the programme of national reconstruction is implemented.
At this juncture, I should like to refer to the draft resolution. It is our considered opinion that time is of the essence in UNAVEM III’s being implemented. It would indeed be a pity if we missed the boat and had to prolong the suffering of the Angolan people. We are further of the opinion that many conditions set in the draft resolution tie the hands of the Secretary-General in effectively and efficiently implementing the mandate of UNAVEM III.
In concluding my few remarks, I wish to reaffirm the solidarity of Lesotho and Africa with the people of Angola as they forge ahead to enter the next millennium as a citadel of peace and democratic stability. We hope that this body will in its wisdom find it necessary to react speedily to Africa’s plea so that the brotherly people of Angola can enjoy peace and prosperity in the years ahead.
I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lesotho for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Spain. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Allow me first to convey the satisfaction of the Spanish delegation at seeing you, Sir, preside over the Security Council for the month of February. We are aware of the symbolism of the Council’s being presided over at this meeting by an African country, a neighbour of Angola. I am certain that your proven diplomatic qualities will ensure the success and wise conduct of the Council’s work.
We also wish to congratulate Ambassador Cárdenas, and the Argentine delegation as a whole, for the very competent and effective manner in which he led the Council in January.
Spain, which during its recent membership of the Security Council worked with other members to make a positive contribution to the Angolan peace process, wishes on this occasion to join the other States Members of the United Nations in welcoming the establishment of a new peace-keeping operation, expanding the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II) to become UNAVEM III. This marks a new phase of the United Nations presence in Angola, one which we hope will be the final stage of a long peace process. This decisive stage has been reached on the basis of the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 between the Government of Angola and UNITA, which was accomplished with the assistance of the United Nations through the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Blondin Beye, the observer States and States of the region.
My delegation welcomes the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, Mr. Venâncio de Moura, whose presence underscores the firm political will of his Government to comply with the commitments undertaken in the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol and to ensure that these commitments are strengthened through a significant United Nations presence in the country throughout the period of implementation.
The decision of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity to send a ministerial delegation to New York to attend this debate demonstrates the keen interest of the African continent in ensuring that the national reconciliation efforts of the Angolan parties are accompanied by a firm commitment by the international community. We are pleased to note the significant attendance by Foreign Ministers and the depth of today’s debate, which demonstrate great support for the establishment of UNAVEM III and its rapid deployment.
Spain, which has close ties of friendship and cooperation with Angola, joins in the expression of good wishes and active support, and is confident that the draft resolution before the Council will be adopted unanimously.
We wish to emphasize the importance of the rapid deployment of UNAVEM III in order to consolidate the progress achieved in the peace process and to implement the Lusaka Protocol. We understand that the provisions of the draft resolution relating to the effective deployment of the components of UNAVEM III are intended to ensure that this will occur in the best possible conditions and with the firm support and cooperation of the parties. We trust that the Secretary-General will soon be able to inform the Council that these requirements have been met.
We are all aware that the decision which the Security Council intends to adopt today marks the beginning of the final stage of the peace process in Angola, which may yet encounter certain difficulties. We are convinced that the commitment of the parties and the support of the international community will make it possible to overcome any obstacles, which we hope will prove to be minor, as reconciliation allows any lingering suspicions or mistrust to be set aside. A meeting between the President of Angola and the President of UNITA would represent a very important step in the right direction.
The series of important gestures made by both the Government and UNITA to date — among which we stress the smooth establishment of the Joint Commission in Luanda, the two meetings held by the Chiefs of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces and UNITA, and the agreements reached between them — are encouraging signs which should help us to appreciate the will of the parties to fulfil their respective commitments to the cause of peace, so widely desired.
As the Spanish poet Antonio Machado said: “In walking, we have no path before us; it is in walking that the trail is blazed”. We believe that the parties resumed their journey along that path by signing the Lusaka Protocol. The international community is at their side and encourages them through the draft resolution which the Council is about to adopt.
It is Spain’s earnest hope that the people of Angola, who have endured the devastating consequences of a bloody civil war, will be able to begin to build on the foundations of reconciliation and reconstruction of the country, with the assistance of the international community and the United Nations. Angola is thus already participating in the mainstream of democratization and progress which pervades all of southern Africa and leads it towards a better future.
I thank the representative of Spain for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of the Netherlands. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
First, Sir, I should like to offer you my sincere congratulations on your assumption of the presidency of the Council.
The presence in our midst of many illustrious visitors — the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity, as well as no fewer than 11 Foreign Ministers of African States — is a reflection of the fact that this is a momentous occasion. More than two years after the first United Nations attempt to bring peace to Angola failed, the guns are largely silent and we find ourselves on the eve of a new, large-scale peacekeeping operation. After 34 years of suffering, of the gruesome ordeal of the struggle for independence, followed by relentless civil strife, there is hope again for the Angolan people.
My country has a long-standing relationship with Angola in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance, and we have therefore witnessed with particular interest the long and difficult road both parties have walked to finally arrive at the Lusaka Protocol. We were extremely pleased when, on 20 November last year, the Protocol was finally signed. We commend the role that the Secretary-General, the three observer States, Zambia, as host country of the negotiations, and several other African States have played in this respect. Most of all we pay tribute to the special representative of the Secretary-General, Maître Beye, who, apart from being a professional optimist, seems to have endless patience and perseverance.
Of even greater importance is the fact that the cease-fire, concluded shortly after the signing of the Protocol, is holding, since agreements and cease-fires have been concluded before in Angola, but did not last. The draft resolution before us bears witness to the fact that the international community has learned from previous experience and is not naive any more about stated good intentions by warring parties; it contains numerous conditions for the deployment and continuation of activities of the various components of a third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), which are all linked to the need for the parties to show good faith and the necessary political will by effectively implementing the commitments which they themselves have undertaken. The Netherlands Government therefore urges the parties not to allow any further delays, but scrupulously to comply with the time-table envisaged in the Lusaka Protocol. On the other hand, in order to avoid a dangerous vacuum, the timely deployment of the peace-keeping forces — once the conditions listed in the Secretary-General’s report are met — cannot be overemphasized.
In order to facilitate the peace process, an early meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi is, in our view, crucial, and we call upon both leaders to make every effort to realize such a meeting at their earliest convenience.
It goes without saying that my Government wholeheartedly supports the decision the Security Council is about to take to establish UNAVEM III. Netherlands military and police observers have served in UNAVEM II, even during the fiercest hostilities, and will continue to serve in UNAVEM III. We fully share the importance attached in the draft resolution to the speedy establishment of a comprehensive mine-clearance programme in Angola. Among all the activities UNAVEM III is expected to carry out, mine-clearance is of the utmost importance, as the continuous presence of mines could greatly hamper the implementation of other elements of the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol.
In 1994 my country contributed 10 million Netherlands guilders — roughly $6 million — for humanitarian assistance to the people of Angola. We express the sincere hope that, through the efforts of both the Angolan parties and UNAVEM III, our future assistance and cooperation will not have to be limited to emergency and humanitarian aid only, but our humanitarian assistance to Angola will be continued in 1995.
Let me finally express the hope that on the road to peace and national reconciliation all sides will be guided by statesmanship, wisdom and above all generosity towards their former adversaries. UNAVEM III will be there to help, but it is ultimately for the Angolans themselves to realize our common dream of a unified, peaceful, democratic and prosperous Angola, where good governance, multi-party democracy, power-sharing and respect for human rights prevail. Let peace not become elusive once more. The Angolan people deserve better — and much better — than that.
I thank the representative of the Netherlands for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Minister of State for African Affairs of Tunisia, His Excellency Mr. Sadok Fayala, whom I welcome. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
It is a great pleasure for me to congratulate you, Sir, on your assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the current month. We wish you every success in the performance of your noble duties. I also congratulate your predecessor, the Ambassador of the Argentine Republic, on his excellent work last month.
I wish to tell you first, Mr. President, of the great interest that President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, current Chairman of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), takes in a final settlement of the conflict in Angola, and of the OAU’s determination to spare no effort, in collaboration with the Security Council, to maintain and consolidate peace in Angola and in Africa as a whole.
I should also like to take the opportunity provided by my participation in this debate to congratulate the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Angola, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the countries making up the troika of observers — the United States of America, the Russian Federation and Portugal — and the countries of southern Africa, particularly Zambia, for the commendable efforts they have all made to promote a settlement of the Angolan conflict.
The signing of the Lusaka Protocol and the declaration of a cease-fire between the two parties were crucial stages on the way to achieving a lasting peace in Angola. The United Nations can rightly be regarded as the architect of the peace process now going on in that country. It sponsored the process from start to finish and did everything necessary to ensure its success. What has been achieved so far by the efforts of the United Nations, the OAU, the members of the troika and all the countries of the region guarantees that the Lusaka Protocol will continue to be implemented on a solid foundation.
Furthermore, the setting up of a Joint Commission to supervise the implementation of the peace accords will ensure that any difficulties will be overcome that may stand in the way of a final settlement of the Angolan conflict. In this context, the prompt deployment of the new United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) would certainly speed up the implementation of the Protocol, in response to the expectations of the Security Council and the international community as a whole. Likewise, the supervision and verification of the disengagement of forces, the monitoring and observance of the cease-fire, and the verification of the withdrawal, quartering and demobilization of troops are tasks that only the United Nations can perform and which are vital if the peace process is to be propelled forwards.
The Angolan people expect the Security Council to continue to provide assistance until peace is restored in their country, which, for 19 years now, has been ravaged by a fratricidal war that has caused enormous losses and great suffering. The Government of Angola and the leaders of UNITA, both during and after the signing of the Lusaka agreement, have made their willingness to further the peace process clear. Further cause for satisfaction is the fact that the cease-fire has been respected and that the parties have committed themselves to ensuring the safety of United Nations personnel. These are sufficient conditions for the rapid deployment of UNAVEM III.
Moreover, the readiness of the President of the Republic of Angola and the Head of UNITA to meet in the near future and the offer by the Angolan Government to provide logistic support to the UNAVEM forces provide additional assurances that the United Nations operation will be launched under very favourable circumstances.
The consolidation of peace in Angola is a priority matter that requires cooperation from us all. The reconstruction of the country, the repatriation of refugees, the return of displaced persons, the de-mining operations and the reintegration into civilian life of demobilized troops are major challenges that call out for more assistance from the international community.
We welcome the Secretary-General’s arrangements for the humanitarian relief programme that the United Nations, in cooperation with the specialized agencies, intends to implement at the present stage of the peace process. The role of UNAVEM III is crucial in this context as it will enable relief to be delivered to the needy and will strengthen coordination between the various humanitarian activities.
The Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), at its sixty-first regular session in Addis Ababa — from 23 to 27 January 1995 — reaffirmed its total support for the peace process under way in Angola on the basis of the “Acordos de Paz” and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. In order to ensure the success of this process, the Council of the OAU dispatched the African ministerial delegation that is present here today, to ask the Security Council to authorize the establishment of UNAVEM III and the rapid deployment of troops.
The presence of the ministerial delegation also provides an opportunity to reaffirm the OAU’s desire to continue and to strengthen its cooperation with the United Nations, particularly in the area of preventive diplomacy, through the OAU’s central mechanism for the prevention, management and settlement of conflicts in Africa. This cooperation has proved very useful in a number of situations, and the case of Angola once again provides us today with an opportunity to observe a successful peace-keeping operation conducted by the United Nations with the participation of the African countries.
We hope that the Security Council will adopt a resolution commensurate with the expectations of the Angolan people, that will be equal to the task of consolidating peace throughout southern Africa — and throughout Africa as a whole — so that Africa can embark irreversibly on the process of development.
I thank the Minister of State for African Affairs of Tunisia for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Mr. President, as my delegation warmly welcomes your presence here today, I congratulate Ambassador Legwaila on his assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of February. We are fully confident that under his wise and skilled leadership the work of the Security Council will be conducted in a highly effective way. He can count on the full support and cooperation of the Brazilian delegation. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank his predecessor, Ambassador Emilio Cárdenas, and his very competent staff for the manner in which they conducted the business of the Council during the month of January. I again express appreciation for the important steps taken with regard to transparency, a trend that, we are pleased to see, has also become a concern of the current presidency.
Again, we are pleased to extend our warmest welcome to His Excellency Mr. Venâncio de Moura, Minister of External Relations of Angola. We would like to thank him for the comprehensive statement he has just made. His insights into the situation in his country and his analysis of the next steps to be taken in the political, military, humanitarian and economic fields are an indication of the magnitude of the tasks to be accomplished in the pursuit of lasting peace and stability in Angola. As in previous statements he has made at the Security Council over the last few years, his words stand for his Government’s unequivocal commitment to working with the international community for the attainment of the objectives of peace and national reconciliation in his country.
I also wish to express my Government’s recognition of President José Eduardo dos Santos’ unfailing and constant adherence to the cause of peace. His leadership and political wisdom have been vital in the process that has led to the signing of the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol.
Allow me also to express the great honour we feel at participating in this important session in the presence of the ministerial delegation from the Organization of African Unity led by His Excellency the Honourable Mr. E. C. I. Bwanali, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malawi.
The presence of so many dignitaries from African countries signifies Africa’s firm support for and solidarity with the Government and people of Angola at a time when a major decision is to be taken at this Council on the next stages of the protracted Angolan peace process. The decision taken at the recent meeting of the OAU Council of Ministers in Addis Ababa clearly reflects that organization’s resolve to participate actively in matters pertaining to peace and stability in Africa.
These are indeed momentous times for the history of Angola. Through the various phases of the prolonged Angolan conflict we have managed to arrive at the threshold of its final solution. After many years of conflict, Angolans can finally expect to experience living in peace, cherishing the moment that their country will be free of war, fear and insecurity.
We very much welcome the decision to be taken today to establish a new peace-keeping mission — UNAVEM III — aimed at assisting Angolans in restoring peace and achieving national reconciliation on the basis of the Bicesse Accords and the recently signed Lusaka Protocol. This is a decisive step by the international community in the quest for lasting peace and stability in Angola.
The deployment of 7,000 military personnel — in addition to the 610 military and police observers — with an initial mandate of 18 months is a decision that constitutes a critical turning point in the Angolan peace process. The objectives and mandate of UNAVEM III are neither easy nor simple. They will involve activities in the political, military, police, humanitarian and electoral fields. It is worth mentioning that this is the first new peace-keeping operation the United Nations has set up in Africa since the successful conclusion of the peace process in Mozambique and the peaceful transition in South Africa.
Under the Lusaka Protocol, the United Nations troops are called upon to perform a series of vital tasks. These range from monitoring and verification activities to controlling quartering areas, ensuring that armed elements remain separate during the demobilization process, and collecting weapons.
At this point in the peace process, not a moment should be lost in the deployment of UNAVEM III’s infantry units. In his report, the Secretary-General quite rightly stated — and the Council in its wisdom has concurred with him — that United Nations infantry units should be deployed promptly in Angola. A step in the right direction was authorizing the immediate dispatch of the planning and support elements needed to prepare that deployment and the subsequent deployment of additional elements for the establishment of operational quartering areas for UNITA forces. This reflects the international community’s clear support for the peace process and makes a concrete contribution to creating the necessary circumstances under which the infantry units will be better able to discharge their mandate.
The momentum reached with the signing of the Lusaka Protocol, followed by the positive initiatives leading to the creation of a basis for mutual understanding and trust, must be fully maintained. Fortunately, the international community is doing its part with the establishment of a sizeable peace-keeping operation and by granting it the flexibility it needs to achieve results within a reasonable time without imposing undue preconditions or an overburdened timetable for results.
To accomplish the complex task before it, the Organization can profit and learn from the experience acquired in the recently and successfully concluded operation in Mozambique. That operation clearly shows that, to be effective, peace-keeping operations must be adequately staffed and equipped and that unnecessary delays in their deployment should be avoided at all costs.
Brazil has always supported a peaceful solution to the conflict in Angola. Our ties with that sister country have deep historical and cultural roots. In accordance with this position, the Brazilian Government is ready to accept an invitation to become a major contributor to the Angolan peace process at this crucial juncture. At this moment, we are in a position to take the necessary internal measures to send a full infantry battalion, an engineering company and two medical units to Angola without delay.
These are times for hope and optimism. Peace in Angola will constitute yet another major achievement within the process that began in South Africa and that has just been completed in Mozambique — a process we expect to be extended to other countries in the continent. Now it is the time to begin the task of reconstructing the country so that the immense potential with which Angola has been endowed can be used to further the cause of the development and welfare of its brave people.
I thank the representative of Brazil for the kind words he addressed to my countryman, Ambassador Legwaila.
The next speaker is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Namibia, His Excellency Mr. Theo-Ben Gurirab. I welcome Mr. Gurirab and invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
Let me at the outset, albeit belatedly, extend my best wishes to one and all for a splendid new year and share with you my own dream for a world completely at peace, with prosperity for all. This ought to be our common yearning: that 1995, the United Nations Year for Tolerance, will usher in a change for the better in old habits and in the ways we have been doing things up till now.
Allow me, Sir, to congratulate your country on its assumption the presidency of the Security Council for this month, a month when, by happy coincidence, the question of Angola is being discussed. You, Sir, will no doubt be playing a crucial role in helping find a lasting solution to the Angolan conflict. As the leader of the Southern African Development Community, Botswana is well placed to bring its accumulated wisdom and diplomatic excellence to bear upon the deliberations of the Council. We in Namibia have strong sentiments towards you personally, towards your Ambassador to the United Nations, and towards your great country, whose history and destiny are so closely tied up with Namibia’s own fortunes and fate. You can always count on my support and on the cooperation of my delegation.
I wish also to congratulate your predecessor, His Excellency Ambassador Cárdenas of Argentina, on having successfully presided over the Council in January.
My thanks go also to the indefatigable and imaginative Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, for his hard work, and especially for his excellent report (S/1995/97 and Add.1), which provides useful information on the situation in Angola and details for the deployment of a third United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). In the same vein, I would like to commend my brother and colleague, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for the patience, perseverance and diplomatic skill he displayed during the protracted negotiations that culminated in the Lusaka Protocol.
The signing of the Lusaka Protocol was a significant victory and a breakthrough for us all, especially for the Angolan people, who have for so long been yearning for peace and normalcy in their lives.
President Chiluba of Zambia was a sage adviser and a lightning-rod behind the scenes, encouraging, cajoling and inspiring the negotiators — and not least the observer delegations too — to turn set-backs and frustrations in the negotiations into challenges and opportunities on the basis of the step-by-step consensus-building that eventually produced the expected result. The Government and the people of Zambia wholeheartedly gave President Chiluba the support he needed to carry on with this noble task. We salute President Chiluba for his critical role, and we express gratitude to his people for their generosity and their commitment to helping their Angolan neighbours to end the human tragedy in their country.
As Angola’s neighbour, Namibia has a strong, direct interest in finding a lasting solution to the conflict in that sister country. In our continued search for peace in Angola, the President of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency Mr. Sam Nujoma, accompanied by me and other senior Government Ministers, visited Angola on 3 February 1995 for discussions with His Excellency President José Eduardo dos Santos and his Ministers. We left Angola fortified in the knowledge that the Angolan Government is interested in a lasting peace in that country. Namibia is seriously considering making a meaningful contribution to the peace process in Angola, including the implementation of UNAVEM III.
We have made repeated offers for similar consultations with the leadership of UNITA and have invited Mr. Jonas Savimbi to come to Namibia for discussions. Neither we nor others in the region have been successful so far in this regard. I wish to take this opportunity to renew our invitation to Mr. Savimbi to visit Namibia and to find a way to turn a new page and be able to interact with other African leaders, in the interest of peace, stability and regional cooperation.
Africa has repeatedly expressed appreciation to the members of the Security Council and other United Nations Member States, in particular the troika — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America — for the pivotal role they have played in the Angolan conflict. That conflict has been long and difficult, but the United Nations did not abandon its mission or leave the Angolan people to their own fate. As the Council embarks on the larger mission of the deployment of UNAVEM III, it is the view of the Government of Namibia that the Secretary-General should be allowed sufficient latitude and flexibility to be able to carry out the mandate entrusted to him effectively.
What this means is that the United Nations and, in particular, the Security Council should adopt uniform standards and approaches in situations of conflict and peacemaking that involve the Organization. International peace-keeping and regional conflict management and resolution are laudable undertakings that require effective coordination and generous funding by the entire international community.
The Organization of African Unity (OAU) Council of Ministers, at its sixty-first session, held in Addis Ababa, decided, inter alia, to send a high-powered delegation of several African Foreign Ministers, together with Mr. Salim Ahmed Salim, our able and dedicated Secretary-General, to take part in this important debate. We are here to join hands with the members of the Council and the Secretary-General to speed up the deployment of UNAVEM III in Angola so that there is no delay. Its deployment will serve both as an effective deterrent to likely violations of the cease-fire and as a concrete confidence-building measure in the eyes of the Angolan people themselves. The Angolan Government and UNITA have made a commitment to peace and reconciliation, starting with the cease-fire which, while so far satisfactory, still remains susceptible to threats or actual violations, whether deliberate or accidental.
We can now clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is high time cooperation and brotherhood replaced blood-letting and enmity in Angola.
Namibia welcomes the ongoing meetings between the Chiefs of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces and UNITA as positive steps. Such high-level meetings will strengthen the cease-fire before and after the deployment of UNAVEM III and will help create the necessary confidence-building measures. In this context, the face-to-face meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi, which we hope will take place soon, will usher in a new phase in Angola and further strengthen the transition from war to peace.
The draft resolution before the Council seeks specifically to authorize the creation and early deployment of UNAVEM III in Angola in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol, and this is what the OAU Ministerial delegation has come here to support. In this context, I wish to place on record my commendation to the chairman of the OAU ministerial delegation, the Foreign Minister of Malawi, my colleague and brother the Honourable Mr. Bwanali, for his sterling leadership of this mission, and also to say to my other colleagues that our working together to serve Africa in this case is an example that our continent should emulate in other conflict situations in Africa. It goes without saying that Namibia also shares the concerns and preoccupations which the Foreign Minister of Angola, my good friend and colleague Mr. Venâncio de Moura, expressed in his important statement. It is my sincere hope and expectation that the collective wisdom of the Council will help overcome those concerns.
On 15 July 1993, I addressed the Council on the issue of Angola. I implored the international community to consider providing massive assistance for the reconstruction of Angola. In his current report, the Secretary-General states that Angola is reported to be the most land-mine-infested country in the world. It is estimated that in Angola there are between 9 and 15 million land-mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance that have been broadcast throughout the country over the three decades of conflict.
I also pointed out then that the successive reports of the Secretary-General had revealed massive destruction of cities, economic infrastructure, public utilities, hospitals and schools. What was true in 1993 is even truer after two more years of war.
I wish once again to appeal to the international community for generous assistance for the reconstruction of Angola. Non-governmental organizations will have an important role to play in providing humanitarian assistance to the Angolan people. In 1993 I made an appeal for a pledging conference for the reconstruction of Angola to be considered. I reiterate that appeal today. In this regard, I welcome the initiative of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, which has already issued an appeal for the clearing of land-mines — a necessary condition for the resettlement of the displaced population and for normalization of their lives.
Lastly, successful reconstruction of Angola will be the surest and most secure way of guaranteeing peace and reconciliation in Angola, as well as accelerating the Southern African Development Community’s objectives of regional integration, trade, reconstruction and development.
I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Namibia for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Alfred Nzo, whom I welcome. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
It is indeed an honour for me to participate in these proceedings today as South Africa’s representative on a delegation of the Organization of African Unity. Since an African issue is being considered today, it is particularly appropriate that the Security Council’s work is being guided this month by a fellow African Member State, the Republic of Botswana.
I wish at the outset to associate myself with the statement made by the Foreign Minister of Malawi on behalf of the ministerial delegation of the Organization of African Unity. It needs to be emphasized that a peaceful settlement of the Angolan civil conflict is not only essential for the people of Angola themselves, but also of major importance to political stability and economic development in southern Africa as a whole.
For these reasons, the South African Government welcomed the signing of the Lusaka Protocol on 20 November 1994 by the Angolan Government and UNITA. The South African Government has also subsequently noted with satisfaction the first steps that have been taken in the implementation of the accord. We are pleased to note that the cease-fire is generally respected. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Angola, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, has played a pivotal role in this process and deserves great credit for his dedication and perseverance. States in the region played an important role in the process — particularly Zambia, which hosted protracted negotiations. I also wish to refer to the substantial role that has been played by the observer States — the troika of Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.
Yet it is the Angolan Government and UNITA that deserve our particular congratulations on reaching an agreement to end the civil conflict. We must accept that the durability of the peace process in Angola is largely dependent on the political will of the Angolan people themselves. In this respect, we are encouraged by the prospects of a meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi. This meeting will no doubt further enhance the peace process.
The South African Government is of the opinion that the people of Angola need not only the encouragement but also the concrete support of the region and the international community at this decisive stage of their history. In this regard, a crucial aspect in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is the role of the United Nations in Angola. The South African Government believes that an effective United Nations presence is needed on the ground, together with a realistic and adequate mandate. It is therefore essential that such a United Nations force be established and deployed without delay.
Members of the Council are aware that our presence here today follows from the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa from 23 to 27 January. The Council of Ministers requested that the Security Council should decide today to establish the third United Nations Verification Mission in Angola (UNAVEM III) as well as on an early deployment of its forces. As a member of the delegation of the Organization of African Unity here today, I wish to emphasize my Government’s support for this position. The Angolan peace process has entered a crucial phase; it urgently needs to be consolidated and strengthened. Only an expanded United Nations force with a broadened mandate will be able to bring the necessary support to bear on a process which remains fragile. The South African Government therefore agrees with the recommendations contained in the most recent report of the Secretary-General on UNAVEM II, especially the recommendation that a new United Nations operation, with the mandate and strength described in the report, should immediately take over from UNAVEM II. We are therefore pleased that these recommendations are embodied in the draft resolution to be adopted today.
Let me conclude by saying that such an expanded United Nations presence will be able to count on the practical support of the South African Government, which in principle remains prepared to play a role when called upon to do so.
I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of South Africa for his kind words addressed to me.
The next speaker is the representative of Algeria. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
I begin, Sir, by expressing the warm congratulations of the Algerian delegation on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. Your professional and human qualities guarantee the success of the Council’s work at a time when the international community is preparing to mark further significant progress in the southern part of the African continent — which includes your country, Botswana — in the establishment of peace and stability which Namibia, South Africa and Mozambique have embraced one after the other, to general satisfaction.
I wish to convey my profound gratitude to your predecessor, Ambassador Cárdenas, for the effective way in which he led the Council last month.
The recent meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity fully appreciated the significance and scope of the Lusaka Protocol of 20 November 1994 and the promising prospects thus opened up for the restoration of peace, stability and security in Angola. In dispatching a strong delegation comprising several Foreign Ministers and the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity to participate in this debate, Africa has committed itself as a whole to the success of the process of national reconciliation in Angola and to the strict implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, with the invaluable assistance of the United Nations. Moreover, the very signing of the Lusaka Protocol was the result of efforts, including those of the United Nations, focusing on a regional negotiating mechanism led by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, to whom I am pleased to pay a well-deserved tribute.
The Lusaka Protocol, an extension of the Bicesse Accords of May 1991, embodies the will of the Angolan Government and of UNITA to make full use of political means to put an end to a particularly devastating fratricidal conflict. It is thus an important development, marking the point of no-return in the Angolan people’s march towards the achievement of a notably better national future.
Indeed, despite the precarious situation and the difficulties inherent in moving from confrontation to cooperation on the path to national reconciliation, the steps taken by both parties and the stages that have already been passed have greatly helped to meet the conditions for the systematic implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, with a United Nations presence, whose human and material resources can measure up to its tasks.
The cease-fire entered into force on 22 November 1994. In the view of the observers of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM II), it has been generally effective, and any violations that may have been committed are considered minor. The Joint Commission, established in implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and chaired by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, has held several meetings and is accomplishing its work satisfactorily. The meeting of the Chiefs of Staff held on 10 January allowed important decisions to be taken with a view to guaranteeing respect for the military provisions of the Lusaka Protocol, particularly by initiating a disengagement of the forces of the two parties and thus contributing to the consolidation of the cease-fire and to a climate of mutual trust. The expected meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Jonas Savimbi should strengthen this climate of trust and give decisive momentum to the peace process.
The international community and the United Nations should, in the words of the Secretary-General in his most recent report on Angola, respond positively to this challenge. The United Nations should not only assist in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol in order to speed up the peace process, but also coordinate and facilitate humanitarian activities linked to that process. The task is both urgent and essential. We must assist refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes. We must ensure the reintegration into civilian life of the demobilized soldiers and de-mine parts of the territory, in order to allow the safe movement of persons and goods and help the economy to recover. These are areas of work which are equally crucial for strengthening peace and stability in the country.
In his conclusions, the Secretary-General very clearly indicates that the situation in Angola is encouraging and that the dynamic of peace is well under way there. On this basis and to consolidate the process, the Secretary-General proposes that a new United Nations operation, UNAVEM III, immediately take over from UNAVEM II, whose mandate expires today.
Algeria endorses these conclusions, especially since, as the Secretary-General has emphasized, the conditions set by resolution 966 (1994) of 8 December 1994 for deploying a new United Nations operation in Angola — in particular, respect for the cease-fire — have been met. UNAVEM III should be deployed as soon as possible, for any delay or additional conditions could raise unnecessary obstacles to progress in the peace progress. To consolidate such progress and make it irreversible requires a clear message and a firm commitment from the international community.
I thank the representative of Algeria for the kind words he addressed to me.
Several speakers remain on my list. In view of the lateness of the hour, I shall now, with the concurrence of the members of the Council, suspend the meeting until 3.30 p.m.