The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1995/588)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Qin Huasun
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
|Sir John Weston
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) (S/1995/588)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola and Brazil 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 III) (S/1995/588).
Members of the Council also have before them document S/1995/646, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.
The first speaker is the representative of Angola, whom I invite to make his statement.
We are awaiting our Ambassador, who has just arrived from Angola and should be here any minute. I apologize to you, Mr. President. By the end of the meeting he should be here to speak on behalf of my Government.
We shall await his arrival.
The next speaker is the representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a place at the Council table and to make his statement.
At the outset, let me congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for the month of August. We are confident that under your wise and skilled leadership the work of the Security Council will be conducted in a highly effective way. I take this opportunity also to thank your predecessor, Ambassador Martínez Blanco, for the able way in which he conducted the business of the Council during the month of July.
Let me express our gratitude and appreciation for the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation with regard to the peace process in Angola. As the report itself states,
“the Angolan peace process has made steady progress since the adoption of Security Council resolution 976 (1995).” (S/1995/588, para. 2)
We can now identify an atmosphere of increasing confidence between the Government of Angola and UNITA.
The meeting in Lusaka on 6 May 1995 between the President of Angola and Mr. Jonas Savimbi was a very welcome development in this context. The United Nations, especially through the Security Council, has been instrumental in paving the way for an effective peace process in Angola.
The Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, have been key players in bridging differences and in facilitating the consolidation of the peace process. I should like to stress the indefatigable efforts of Maître Blondin Beye in the negotiations that preceded the Lusaka meeting. His role has since continued to be a fundamental one. The recent visit of the Secretary-General to Angola was another very important step aimed at preserving the momentum of the peace process.
Brazil has always had a strong commitment to the cause of peace in Angola and has consistently supported United Nations efforts with this objective.
The Security Council has before it today a draft resolution that would extend the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 8 February 1996. As a whole, we consider it a balanced text. Its most important element is the confirmation of the commitment of the United Nations to the consolidation of the peace process in Angola. The United Nations is allocating personnel and resources to Angola which will help to direct the country towards peace and development. As the peace process is consolidated, greater attention will have to be given to the tasks of development and reconstruction. It is our hope that the international community will not fail to assist the Government and the people of Angola in these fundamental tasks.
I should like, finally, to stress the political priority that Brazil attaches to its participation in UNAVEM III, as publicly reiterated by President Henrique Fernando Cardoso on the occasion of a ceremony to decorate a Brazilian peace-keeper taken hostage in Bosnia.
I thank the representative of Brazil for the kind words he addressed to me.
It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection I shall put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
Permit me at the outset, Sir, to express my delegation’s delight at seeing you preside over the affairs of our Council this month. We have no doubt whatsoever that with you as our President the work of the Council is indeed in excellent hands. My delegation would also like to express hearty thanks to your predecessor, Ambassador Martínez Blanco, and to the entire Honduran delegation for their excellent stewardship of the Council during the month of July.
May I also seize this opportunity to formally welcome to the Council the new Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, Sir John Weston. We feel sure that his contributions to the work of our Council will be as distinguished as those of his predecessor.
The latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola is on the whole a positive one with regard to the peace process in that country. The news coming out of Angola is gradually and steadily getting better; one could indeed say that the peace process in Angola now seems truly irreversible. There is a lesson here for the international community: that the cause of peace is better served by perseverance than by a policy of cut and run.
On the political front, the 6 May 1995 meeting between the President of Angola and the UNITA leader has created a positive atmosphere and generated a momentum which has been taken advantage of by all concerned to advance the peace process. Furthermore, my delegation is particularly encouraged by the fact that contacts between the two leaders have become more frequent. The proposals that have been put forward in the area of national reconciliation and power-sharing, through the offer of a vice-presidency to Mr. Savimbi, have the support of my Government. We therefore urge both sides to work towards further accommodation in the higher interest of lasting peace in Angola. In this context, we were further encouraged by the assurances the Secretary-General received, during his recent visit to the country, from both the President of Angola and the leader of UNITA of their continued and even greater commitment to the peace process. Experience of other conflict situations has shown that the success of a peace process is truly dependent on the will and commitment of a people and its leaders, supported, of course, patiently by the international community.
On the military side, we note that no major breach of the peace has occurred, although the incidence of violations is still unacceptably high. With regard to the humanitarian situation in Angola, we are happy to note that it has continued to improve since February 1995 as a direct result of the peace process and the expanded presence of the United Nations in the country. However, we appeal to the international community to contribute generously to the funding of other humanitarian activities, including for demobilization and reintegration and for the repatriation of refugees. Although these problems do not catch the attention of the international media or get headlines, their resolution is no less vital for the consolidation of peace in Angola.
In spite of these positive signs in the peace process in Angola, we are concerned, none the less, about the slow progress in troop disengagement, demining and the establishment of the quartering areas. It is important to strive to overcome the various difficulties, including logistical and financial, that have accounted for the slow pace of progress in these areas. We therefore call on the Government of Angola and on UNITA, in cooperation with the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), to finalize arrangements for the establishment of quartering areas, complete the disengagement of troops and expedite the conduct of demining. We also hope that arrangements reached by the two sides during the high-level meeting in Luanda, from 19 June to early July 1995, concerning the acceleration of the timetable for the implementation of the various aspects of the Lusaka Protocol, will be strictly adhered to and that both sides will further demonstrate their commitment by cooperating with UNAVEM III personnel and, in particular, with the Joint Commission.
My delegation notes with satisfaction that as of July 1995 UNAVEM III personnel had been deployed to 55 sites throughout Angola and that 5 additional sites will soon have a UNAVEM presence. The current strength of UNAVEM III, which stands at 1,970, has, in our view, undoubtedly had a salutary effect on the peace process in Angola.
We are grateful to the Secretary-General for highlighting the socio-economic aspects of the peace process in Angola, efforts which are now referred to as post-conflict peace-building. Angola is a country that has suffered from the devastating effects of war for over 30 years. Therefore, improvements in the social and economic areas hold the key to the establishment of durable peace in that country. In our view, the international community should assist the people of Angola as they try to tackle the enormous challenges they will face in what will surely be a long and arduous process of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
In conclusion, my delegation is gratified that the validity of our repeated calls for accelerated deployment of UNAVEM III infantry battalions has been borne out by the view of the Secretary-General that the progressive deployment of elements of UNAVEM III has helped consolidate the cease-fire and promote the spirit of the Lusaka Protocol. While taking due cognizance of the practical difficulties of a faster pace of deployment — in particular, those having to do with mines — we hope all efforts will be made to match the pace of deployment with the greater commitment that has been demonstrated by the Angolan parties. My delegation would also like to remind the Angolan parties of their responsibility for the safety and protection of UNAVEM III personnel and the humanitarian agencies operating within their respective territories.
Of course, we support the six-month extension of UNAVEM III’s mandate, as proposed by the Secretary-General, and my delegation will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
Finally, we wish to pay a well-deserved tribute to Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to Major-General Chris Garuba, Force Commander of UNAVEM III, to all the personnel of UNAVEM III and to the Secretary-General himself for his personal efforts and contribution to the peace process in Angola.
At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I am convinced that, given your outstanding talent and rich diplomatic experience, you will guide the Council to success in its work this month. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank your predecessor, Ambassador Martínez Blanco of Honduras, for his outstanding contributions to the complete success of the Council’s work last month.
Encouraging progress has been made in the peace process in Angola since the adoption of Security Council resolution 976 (1995). President dos Santos and UNITA President Savimbi held a direct meeting in Lusaka in May of this year. The Angolan Government and UNITA have since increased their contacts and have reached an agreement on the adjusted timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. All this has undoubtedly laid the groundwork for its comprehensive implementation. However, there are still many disturbing problems to be resolved properly in the peace process, which include, inter alia, the formation of the new armed forces, the acceleration of the demining process and the exchange of prisoners.
Security Council resolutions on the question of Angola are aimed mainly at advancing the Angolan peace process so as to bring about genuine national reconciliation in Angola, restore peace and stability in the country and enable its people to embark on the road of reconstruction and rehabilitation. The United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) has played an important role in securing humanitarian assistance, consolidating the cease-fire between the Angolan parties and facilitating national reconciliation. Therefore, the Chinese delegation supports the Secretary-General’s proposal to extend the mandate of UNAVEM III and will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.
The Chinese Government has unswervingly supported the peace process in Angola from the beginning and deeply sympathizes with the Angolan people in the sufferings caused them by frequent wars. It has provided Angola with humanitarian assistance and production facilities. We will work together with the international community to contribute further to peace and stability in Angola.
Peace and stability are the foundations of nation-building in the interests of a people. It is in keeping with the long-term fundamental interests of the Angolan people, as well as with the common aspiration of the international community, that the two sides in Angola should resolve to lay down their arms and embark on the road to national reconciliation. We sincerely hope that the Angolan Government will continue to cooperate closely with the parties concerned in a joint effort towards the smooth advancement of the peace process in Angola. Angola is a richly endowed country with industrious people; achievement of its national reconciliation will give a major impetus to peace and stability in southern Africa as a whole.
Let me at the outset congratulate you most warmly, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August. My delegation has full knowledge of the diplomatic skills and leadership qualities you have demonstrated in your capacity as Chairman of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement. You can rest assured of the full support and cooperation of my delegation during your tenure of office. I also wish to extend a word of appreciation to the Permanent Representative of Honduras, His Excellency Mr. Gerardo Martínez Blanco, for the able manner in which he steered the work of the Security Council during the month of July.
The delegation of Botswana is grateful to the Secretary-General for his untiring efforts in the search for solutions to conflicts in Africa. We are particularly grateful for his briefing to the Security Council on his recent visit to Angola. We have no doubt that this visit, along with those he has made to other parts of Africa, has advanced the course of peace.
The Secretary-General’s report, contained in document S/1995/588, registers progress in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. This has given us reason for optimism that the peace process in Angola is entering a phase in which we can nurture the hope that the process will soon be irreversible. We welcome with satisfaction the commitment of the Government of Angola and UNITA to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and the efforts they have made to bring peace to their long-troubled country.
This commitment has enabled the international community to come to their assistance, as manifested by the deployment of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III), whose presence has helped to consolidate the cease-fire. We are particularly encouraged by the intensification of high-level contacts, which have made it possible for an agreement to be reached on a number of areas outlined in the report of the Secretary-General, including, to mention but a few:
“… quartering of UNITA forces; return of FAA to barracks; incorporation of UNITA troops into the national armed forces; reopening of roads and free circulation of people and goods; [and] disarmament of the civilian population …”. (S/1995/588, para. 16)
My delegation is concerned that the mine clearance programme is proceeding very slowly. It is most unfortunate that the people of Angola, who have suffered so much over the years, should now be exposed to the hazard of land mines at a time when those whose lives were spared by the cease-fire can begin to nurture dreams of a better tomorrow. In this regard, we fully support the Secretary-General in his appeal to Member States to provide the necessary equipment for mine clearance.
The Secretary-General’s report also deals with the economic and social aspects of the peace process in Angola. It is the view of my delegation that it is important to address these aspects in a manner that will create a firm foundation for durable peace. After many years of war, concerted efforts should be made to help the Angolans “beat their swords into ploughshares”. The effects of the war are beyond the capacity of the people of Angola to tackle on their own. While we do not expect this to be part of a peace-keeping mandate, we certainly express the hope that the international community will continue to contribute substantially to the economic and social reconstruction of Angola. Southern Africa eagerly awaits the return of peace and stability to Angola, a member of the Southern African Development Community, whose contribution to regional economic integration and cooperation is of the utmost importance.
The draft resolution before the Council contains several elements which my delegation is delighted to be associated with. The seventh through the eleventh preambular paragraphs succinctly capture the essence of developments in Angola and the Security Council’s assessment of those developments. It is appropriate therefore that the Council should commend the Secretary-General, his team of dedicated personnel and the three observer States, Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States, for their contribution to the peace that is unfolding in Angola. It is also important that the Council should take note of the consolidation of the cease-fire, and of the fact that the peace process is entering a new and promising phase.
This is a clear acknowledgement of the progress that has been registered and an unambiguous message to the people of Angola that they have made a good start and that they should continue the good work they have started for the benefit of future generations of Angolans and for their subregion, as well as for the greater human family whose many beautiful faces are amply represented in UNAVEM III. There can be no doubt that much remains to be done to advance the process to a stage of irreversibility.
The operative paragraphs specifically address concrete issues highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report. My delegation fully supports the overall spirit of the draft resolution, as it clearly goes to the heart of issues which are vital to the settlement of the Angolan conflict. As the Security Council extends the mandate of UNAVEM III for a six-month period, the peoples of southern Africa can look with hope and appreciation to the role the international community is playing to make their subregion a better place to live in. We look forward to yet another success story in the resolution of conflicts in southern Africa.
At the outset, Sir, I should like to congratulate you sincerely on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August. We are fully convinced that under your guidance the work of the Council this month will be successful. My delegation stands ready to cooperate fully with you and your delegation.
Similarly, my delegation would like to bid a warm welcome to the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, Sir John Weston, with whom we expect to work closely on the matters that come before the Council.
My delegation thanks the Secretary-General for his report on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). We welcome with great satisfaction the fact that the peace process in Angola is progressing, and that, due to the intensification of high-level contacts between members of the Government and UNITA, the mistrust among the parties has been diminishing. We consider that the agreement reached among the parties for a revised and accelerated timetable to implement the Lusaka Protocol is an encouraging development that will undoubtedly give fresh impetus to the peace process.
The report, however, indicates that there have been violations of the cease-fire, some of which can be attributed to delays in the separation of forces, acts of banditry, and a lack of discipline among the troops, none of which constitutes a significant violation of the peace. The report also indicates that other elements vital to the peace process, such as the separation of forces, the quartering of troops and mine-clearing, are being carried out slowly.
In that connection, my delegation considers that any delay in compliance with any of these essential elements could in one way or another affect the implementation of the peace process. In particular, as the report of the Secretary-General emphasizes,
“mines continue to be a major hazard for the Angolan population and UNAVEM and humanitarian personnel”. (S/1995/588, para. 14)
My delegation is gravely concerned at reports of renewed laying of mines by the parties. We therefore appeal to the parties to put an immediate and final end to these activities, which inflict such damage on the civilian population.
It is also necessary to hasten the establishment of quartering areas for the demobilization of UNITA troops, the withdrawal of the Angolan armed forces to their barracks, the strengthening of the logistic infrastructure for the unified national army, the exchange of prisoners and the repatriation of mercenaries. In this connection, we recognize the importance of the talks the parties held at Luanda in the second half of June this year, at which they considered questions that are basic for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.
As to the humanitarian aspects, my delegation has duly noted that the humanitarian situation in Angola continues to improve as a direct consequence of the peace process and the increased United Nations presence in that country. None the less, we are concerned about the economic and social situation in Angola. The Secretary-General’s data on health, malnutrition, infant mortality, maimed persons, and displaced persons and refugees in Angola are truly alarming. The situation is a challenge to the international community. Hence, my delegation supports all efforts by United Nations programmes and agencies concerned with the economic and social development of Angola, and we praise the efforts of the Government of Angola, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to convene a round-table meeting in September 1995 to consider what is needed for the economic and social reconstruction of the country.
My delegation would like to thank the Secretary-General, his Special Representative, the three observer States to the Angolan peace process, and the personnel of UNAVEM for their efforts to make possible compliance with the Lusaka Protocol and to consolidate the cease-fire and the peace process in that country. Similarly, we wish to thank Member States, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations for their contributions to meet the humanitarian needs of the people of Angola. Finally, we urge the Angolan parties to cooperate fully with the United Nations peace-keeping operation in Angola with a view to enabling it to fulfil its mandates and, in general, the objectives of the Lusaka Protocol.
In that light, my delegation supports the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the mandate of UNAVEM III be extended for an additional six months, until 8 February 1996, and will vote in favour of the draft resolution on this item.
At the outset, Sir, allow me to congratulate you most warmly on your assumption of the presidency for the month of August. Knowing you personally, and knowing your vast diplomatic experience and skills, we are fully confident that we are in good hands and that your presidency will yield successful results.
I should also like to pay a well-deserved tribute to your predecessor, Ambassador Martínez Blanco of Honduras, for the exemplary manner in which he conducted the Council’s affairs last month.
Today once again my delegation would like to extend a warm welcome to the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom. We assure him and his hard-working delegation of our full cooperation at all times.
With regard to the question under consideration, my delegation is grateful to the Secretary-General for his comprehensive report on the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III). We find its detailed analysis of the current state of affairs in Angola very informative and indicative of the course of action which this Council should be pursuing at this moment in time. Of particular importance are the Secretary-General’s recommendations in paragraph 40 of the report.
We note with satisfaction that the Angolan peace process has continued to make steady progress. We welcome the recent positive developments reflected in the Secretary-General’s report. We welcome, in particular, the successful meeting in Lusaka on 6 May 1995 between President Dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi. We are pleased to note that the meeting has given further impetus to the Angolan peace process. It has already led to an improvement of the atmosphere of trust between the two parties and to the intensification of the high-level contact between them.
However, there are a few shortcomings to which the Angolan parties should pay due attention and which they should address in an effective and timely manner if the peace process in their country is to reach a successful conclusion. These include the slow pace of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, particularly in the area of troop-disengagement, demining and the establishment of the quartering areas. It is also vital that the parties continue to demonstrate the political will and commitment necessary for the achievement of peace and national reconciliation through strict and timely compliance with the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions, with a view to achieving durable peace, security, and economic and social development in their country.
The draft resolution before us, extending the mandate of the UNAVEM III for another six months, sets out a fully justified course of action given the situation on the ground and the progress achieved so far in the implementation of the Angolan peace process. It demonstrates the international community’s commitment to continuing its support to the Angolan people in their search for peace and national reconciliation. It represents a vote of confidence in their willingness and ability to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in their country.
In conclusion, I would like to express my delegation’s appreciation to the Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, to his Special Representative in Angola, to the three observer States of the Angolan peace process, to all the States of the Organization of African Unity, and to the personnel of UNAVEM III under the able command of Major-General Garuba for their invaluable and effective contribution to finding a just and lasting solution to the conflict in Angola. We are pleased to note that their concerted efforts have borne fruit.
First, I congratulate you, Sir, on your accession to the presidency of the Security Council and wish you every success in the performance of your responsible functions.
We are grateful to the Ambassador of Honduras for his very skilful direction of the Council’s work during the month of July.
We should also like to welcome the new Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, Sir John Weston. I wish to assure him that the Russian delegation is ready to continue to cooperate with the delegation of the United Kingdom.
The Russian delegation wishes to express its profound gratification at the progress in the peace-settlement process in Angola, which has now entered a qualitatively new and encouraging stage. We are delighted that the Government of Angola and UNITA are demonstrating a commitment to the spirit of the Lusaka Protocol and an increased degree of cooperation in its implementation.
At the same time, we think it is important to remind the parties in Angola of the need to observe fully the timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, first and foremost making up for the delay in the disengagement of troops and their quartering and in the formation of a single army and in demining.
We are gratified to note that the steady deployment of military and police observers and United Nations troops, including a Russian military contingent, has helped to consolidate the cease-fire. In this connection, we emphasize that the operation in Angola acquires particular importance in the light of the difficulties that have recently been encountered by the United Nations in a number of other hot spots. We believe that the positive progress in the process of an Angolan settlement needs to be maintained as an encouraging example of United Nations peacemaking.
We support the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to 8 February 1996, as envisaged in the draft resolution. We also wholeheartedly support the appeal to the international community contained in the draft resolution to provide aid and assistance to Angola’s efforts in the economic and social fields, with the aim of restoring and maintaining sound and stable conditions for development.
Russia, acting in coordination with the other members of the troika and in close contact with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, will continue to do everything possible to promote the success of the peace process in Angola, on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol. It is our belief that the draft resolution we are considering today in the Security Council is fully responsive to the tasks of strengthening the peace process in Angola, and the Russian delegation will support it.
I thank the representative of the Russian Federation for his kind words addressed to me.
I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in document S/1995/646.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Argentina, Botswana, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Oman, Russia, Rwanda, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1008 (1995).
I shall now call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.
First, at this meeting of the Council which is taking place at the beginning of August, I should like to thank Ambassador Martínez Blanco for the impeccable way in which he conducted the Council’s work in the month of July. To you, Mr. President, go our greetings and our best wishes for success. I am sure that, with your remarkable experience, the Council under your guidance will perform its duties in the most excellent manner.
Let me also welcome again, in this public meeting, the new Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, Sir John Weston.
Italy has just cast its vote in favour of the resolution by which the Council has extended the mandate of the UNAVEM III mission in Angola until 8 February 1996. We voted in favour because the resolution is well balanced, touches on all the essential points needed to ensure the progress of the peace-keeping operation there, and strongly supports the action of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye.
In these days that are particularly difficult for the international community, it is indeed a source of satisfaction to note that the peace process in Angola has entered a road that, we hope, will lead to a definitive solution to a 20-year-old civil war.
There are growing indications that the parties are committed, now more than ever, to solving the remaining problems. After the historic Lusaka meeting between the President of Angola, Mr. Eduardo Dos Santos, and the leader of UNITA, Mr. Jonas Savimbi, the contacts under way between the parties demonstrate a renewed commitment to the national reconciliation process.
In this regard, the decisions reached by both sides on an accelerated timetable for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, to make up for past delays, are very meaningful and welcome.
The deployment of the UNAVEM peace-keeping mission that is now under day has made a fundamental contribution to such developments. We are especially grateful to the countries that have deployed “blue helmets” in Angola. But, of course, what is and remains fundamental is the resolve to conclude the peace process shown by both parties, to which we should like to convey, through our colleague Ambassador Afonso Van Dunem “Mbinda”, who is sitting with us today, our sincere appreciation and congratulations.
The positive aspects of the Angolan situation, as illustrated by the Secretary-General’s report, are now far greater than the negative ones. These negative aspects should not, however, be underestimated. In particular, some violations of the cease-fire are still occurring; progress continues to be slow in troop disengagement and the establishment of quartering areas; demining is still not proceeding at the necessary speed.
On the subject of demining, we all know that the largest number of mines in the world is today to be found, unfortunately, in Angola. Every day dozens of innocent people are killed or maimed by these mines. Their presence still constitutes a serious problem for the activities of UNAVEM III also. They are a fundamental obstacle to the economic recovery of Angola, which should be the top priority not only for the Government but also for the international community once the peace process has been consolidated. In this regard, let me say once again that Italy, both directly and through the European Union, is already meeting its obligations.
Finally, the Italian Government has taken due note of the Secretary-General’s appeal for financial support of the demobilization and reintegration programme. We are fully aware that any delays in these activities might lead again to dangerous tensions in the country. We shall not fail to make our contribution to success in this area also.
I should like, first, to express to you, Sir, our compliments and our wishes for all success on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August. I should like also to thank Ambassador Martínez Blanco and his delegation very warmly for the excellent job they did while occupying the presidency during the month of July.
My delegation voted in favour of resolution 1008 (1995), just adopted, which extends the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) for six months, until 8 February 1996.
Since the beginnings of the United Nations involvement in Angola, the Security Council has consistently supported a process that originally appeared to be almost impossible to conclude successfully. Today, the situation appears in a completely different light: the cooperation of the parties and the trust that has developed between the principal negotiators give us reason once again to hope that there will be a happy outcome to the Angolan conflict.
The meeting between the President of Angola and the head of UNITA will have been a historic and decisive stage in this process. We hope that the contacts between the two former belligerents will continue and intensify. Important progress has been achieved with respect to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. What is important now is for the Angolans to do everything necessary to ensure that all the commitments that have been undertaken on both sides are implemented.
This applies to all areas: first, political matters with the integration into the State apparatus of former members of UNITA; secondly, military matters with respect to the setting up of a national army, which will have to be preceded by the withdrawal and quartering of troops on both sides; and finally, economic, social and humanitarian matters, which comprise, inter alia, respect for human rights with the return to civilian life of thousands of combatants who have known no occupation other than armed struggle.
Clearly, it is no less essential that the Angolans should feel right now that things are changing. Angola has the unenviable reputation of being the most heavily mined country on the African continent. The French Government regards tasks related to demining as a matter of the first priority, for freedom of movement and safety for the entire Angolan people must be restored rapidly.
By requesting the Secretary-General to carry out full deployment of UNAVEM III, the international community is restating today its desire to support Angola to the very end of the peace process, which, logically, should conclude with the restoration of democracy and progress. May our hopes not be disappointed.
I should like, first, to extend to you, Sir, my delegation’s congratulations on your assumption of the Council presidency for the month of August. We know that we will be in good and wise hands. We would also like to express our great appreciation to the Permanent Representative of Honduras and his delegation for their excellent stewardship of the Council during the month of July.
I should like to join other representatives by extending my delegation’s welcome to the United Kingdom’s new Permanent Representative. We offer him our very best wishes and our hopes for great success as he takes over his new responsibilities at the United Nations.
The Council has acted today to continue an effort which is succeeding — step by step and more slowly in some areas than we had hoped, but succeeding surely and steadily. My delegation strongly endorses the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) to continue its support of the full implementation of the “Acordos de Paz”, the Lusaka Protocol and the resolutions of this Council. Several factors have contributed to the successful progress to date, not the least of which has been the regular personal contact between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi. We commend those two leaders on the impetus they have given to the peace process and encourage them to continue in this constructive vein.
We also commend the excellent works of the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and all those associated with UNAVEM III for bringing the peace process to this hopeful stage.
The United States has been a firm supporter of the Lusaka accord and believes that this process has placed Angola on the road to lasting peace. Over the past two years we have provided more than $200 million in humanitarian and emergency assistance in the form of food aid and medical supplies. The United States wishes, in cooperation with the United Nations, to help Angola to develop its long-term economic potential and reduce its reliance upon emergency assistance.
We are concerned, however, that road conditions are inhibiting the deployment of United Nations peace-keepers to Angola and are slowing the progress of the peace process. About 45 per cent of the bridges in Angola were damaged or destroyed during the civil war. We must also be mindful of the possibility of increases in mine accidents as humanitarian-aid convoys begin using roads ahead of mine-clearing operations. Destroyed bridges and a number of mined areas have already slowed movements of peace-keepers. In order to help to surmount these obstacles, the United States has made an offer of bridging material to UNAVEM III, in addition to the assistance for mine clearance that we have pledged.
Land-mines have been a deterrent to more rapid progress in accomplishing UNAVEM’s goals. The completion of scheduled deployment depends on having clear and passable routes. The Secretary-General has called upon States Members of the United Nations to aid ongoing demining efforts in Angola. United States support for mine-clearance and mine-awareness activities is an important component of our efforts. At the international meeting on mine clearance, held in Geneva in July, my delegation announced a contribution of more than $7.5 million for demining in Angola this year. This figure includes cash and equipment to support demining by non-governmental organizations and the United Nations. These funds effectively double all current demining spending in Angola.
Some skilled non-governmental organizations have already been successfully engaged in demining, but their activities are insufficient for the number of mines and the size of the territory. The Angolan armed forces and UNITA must be involved to the greatest extent possible in clearing the areas they have mined.
The Angolan Government and UNITA both have acknowledged the seriousness of this problem. They plan to cooperate through the Angolan Central Mine-Action Office. The Government of Angola has already allocated $3 million for demining, and UNITA is becoming more involved in national demining planning — a trend that we hope will continue.
United States assistance is designed to aid the peace process immediately by facilitating the deployment of UNAVEM III troops. In the longer term, United States assistance will also help to clear crop lands to reduce the need for food aid and will give the Angolans the ability to conduct demining operations themselves for the long time required to eradicate this threat from the land.
The assistance provided by the United States is merely a start when we consider the magnitude of the problems facing Angola. We look to other United Nations donor States to support demining and reconstruction activities through non-governmental organizations, through contributions to UNAVEM III and through donations to the United Nations Unit for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Angola. We will continue to coordinate closely with the United Nations and with other donor States to build up the Angolan Government’s ability to continue mine-clearance operations and other efforts at reconstruction and development for the long term.
The success of the peace process will require the concerted efforts of the Angolan Government, UNITA, the United Nations, donor Governments and Angola’s friends and neighbours. We hope that our combined efforts can contribute to a lasting peace in Angola, and we appeal to other States to contribute funds, equipment and personnel towards this very worthy goal.
I thank the representative of the United States for the kind words he addressed to me.
Speaking for the first time in a formal meeting of the Security Council, may I begin by joining others in welcoming you, Sir, to your duties as President of the Council and expressing my delegation’s readiness to work closely with you during your period in office. May I also take the opportunity to express the thanks of my delegation to Ambassador Martínez Blanco for his very effective conduct of business during the month of July. May I also, on my own personal account, express thanks to all the colleagues around the table who have been good enough to express words of personal welcome to me.
In voting in favour of this resolution, my delegation warmly welcomes the progress which has been made so far in consolidation of the cease-fire in Angola and implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Much remains to be done, but Angola is now closer to peace than seemed possible even a short time ago. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the achievements of the Secretary-General, whose useful visit to Angola last month helped take the peace process forward, to his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, to the personnel of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) and to those in the Government of Angola and UNITA who are actively involved in carrying forward the peace process.
The meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi on 6 May 1995 was a milestone in this process. It is essential that the momentum generated by that meeting be maintained at all levels. The parties need to demonstrate their commitment both in high-level talks and in action on the ground. We attach the greatest importance to the avoidance of delays in the crucial areas of troop disengagement, demining and the quartering of former combatants. These are the essential, practical bases for a lasting peace, and it is vital that work on them now be carried forward promptly.
It is a source of satisfaction to my delegation that the British logistics battalion with UNAVEM III has been able to play its part in establishing the infrastructure for the Mission’s deployment. Within UNAVEM III, the battalion and the civilian contractors who are to replace it are working together to ensure a smooth hand-over. The first infantry battalions are in place. It is important that conditions be established as soon as possible for the full deployment of the remaining infantry battalions. Further delays would carry with them risks, and everything possible must be done to avoid these.
I should like to make two further points. First, the British Government has played a major part in humanitarian relief in Angola. I should like to stress the importance we attach to UNITA and the Government of Angola continuing to cooperate fully with the international humanitarian relief effort. Secondly, I should like to take this opportunity to welcome the Secretary-General’s proposal for an expansion in the human rights component of UNAVEM III. The additional human rights observers will have an important role to play in helping to ensure that basic rights are respected. Their presence will underline our common goal of achieving a stable, prosperous and democratic future for the people of Angola.
I thank the representative of the United Kingdom for the kind words he addressed to me.
Allow me first to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Council. I want also to address my delegation’s thanks to the Permanent Representative of Honduras, Ambassador Martínez Blanco, for his guidance last month. Of course, we also wish to welcome the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom; we are looking forward to close cooperation with him.
Germany has just voted in favour of the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) until 8 February 1996.
In the view of my Government, the groundwork for the successful implementation of the Lusaka Protocol has been laid. As a consequence, the Secretary-General has been able to proceed with the full deployment of the infantry units of UNAVEM III. We hope that all units will be operational by the end of this month.
My Government, however, realizes that much work remains to be done. In the political area we hope that very soon a second meeting between President dos Santos and Mr. Savimbi will take place to finalize the composition of the new Government. That meeting should also put an end to the current incidents of non-respect of the cease-fire and should lead to the substantial involvement of both parties in the future political life of Angola. Both parties have to realize that there is no room for competition to obtain a better position for the future.
The disarmament and quartering of demobilized units should follow swiftly. A viable compromise has to be reached concerning the future composition of the armed forces. For those who will not be part of the armed forces, alternatives should be made available.
Again, the international community will have very little understanding if parties try to increase their relative advantage at the expense of the peace process itself. In this context, my Government is very much concerned about reports of renewed mine-laying. This will not only delay further the attempts to clear the roads for UNAVEM III; it seems also to be a futile attempt to stem the tide of the peace process. Because of the special importance of mine-clearing for the deployment of UNAVEM III and for the future of Angola in general, especially in terms of its economic development, my country is providing personnel and material for this purpose.
To summarize, we believe that the integration of both parties into the future political life of Angola remains the cornerstone of a peaceful settlement of the civil war. UNAVEM III can assist. But only if the legitimate interests of all concerned are respected will we see democracy and peace in Angola.
At the outset, I wish to express my delegation’s pleasure at seeing you, Sir, presiding over the work of the Council and to offer your our fullest cooperation in the execution of your duties, which, given your abilities, we are sure will be successful.
We would also like to congratulate Ambassador Gerardo Martínez Blanco and his entire delegation and to thank them for their outstanding work during his presidency in the month of July. We also wish to welcome the new representative of the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sir John Weston.
My delegation is grateful to the Secretary-General for his written and oral reports on developments in the situation in Angola, which have been invaluable in our deliberations on the subject.
We note with great pleasure the progress achieved in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. The meeting between President dos Santos and UNITA’s leader, Mr. Savimbi, was definitely an important milestone that, in addition to contributing to confidence-building, demonstrated a significant change in the parties’ attitudes regarding their commitment to the peace process. We commend the Government of Angola and UNITA for the progress that has been achieved. We hope that this new climate of confidence will strengthen and grow and that the new timetable agreed upon for the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol will be respected and met.
In the resolution just adopted, the Security Council acknowledges the efforts of the Angolan leaders and renews the mandate of UNAVEM III for six months, thus demonstrating that the international community has regained trust in the process and continues to stand ready to contribute to its successful conclusion.
A great deal still remains to be done and various problems remain to be solved. Operative paragraphs 4 and 7 of the resolution set forth the principal areas in which the parties must redouble their efforts to move ahead without further delays in the peace process.
The people of Angola must resume their normal pace of life throughout the territory as soon as possible, engaging in the planting of the fields, education, health and well-being — and all of this must include the reinsertion of the former combatants into civilian life. Here, we note that it is essential to continue and increase the assistance and cooperation of the international community, as well as support for the mine-clearance programmes and participation of human rights observers in the field.
We hope that the good conditions prevailing in Angola will continue and solidify, in order to ensure full deployment of all the infantry units of UNAVEM III as soon as possible.
The Republic of Argentina has decided to contribute to this United Nations operation a naval squadron composed of three high-speed patrol boats from the Argentine fleet. This new contribution is in keeping with the importance which my Government attaches to the peaceful evolution of the Angolan situation and which it has already demonstrated by its uninterrupted participation in UNAVEM I and II, with military observers and civilian police.
The Argentine Government reiterates that the Government of Angola and UNITA must respect and guarantee, to a maximum degree and at all times, both formally and materially, the security and protection of all international personnel in Angola and the fulfilment of their mandates.
Finally, we hope that the reviews of the situation in Angola to be made every two months by the Security Council on the basis of the reports of the Secretary-General will confirm the present positive trend in this process and the resolution of the still outstanding problems. The people of Angola deserve no less.
My delegation takes this opportunity to congratulate you, Sir, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of August. We are convinced that the work of the Council, in working for peace and security throughout the world, will benefit from your wisdom and your wealth of experience. You can count on my delegation to cooperate with you to the greatest extent possible.
We take this opportunity also to thank your predecessor, Mr. Gerardo Martínez Blanco, the Permanent Representative of Honduras, for the sure-footed and competent way in which he conducted the work of the Security Council during the month of July.
My delegation would like to welcome the new Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom and to pledge him our sincere cooperation.
With respect to the resolution which my delegation has just voted in favour of, we would like first to thank the Secretary-General for his report on UNAVEM III dated 17 July 1995. My delegation is always pleased when reports like this one, with all of the impact it may have, are presented in a positive light, without sacrificing the truth.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Blondin Beye, for the fruitful and delicate work he continues to do in Angola.
My delegation also congratulates the Secretary-General on the attention he has been paying to Africa by visiting Angola as well as other African countries which are going through a difficult period in their history. Indeed, it is in misfortune that we find out who our true friends are. However, it is likewise true that friendship is neither a temporary nor a transient thing. This is why we believe that this honoured visitor should become a spokesman for Africa, so that the entire world can better understand the countries he visited. Condemnations must become advice and brotherhood must be accompanied by solidarity.
My delegation welcomes the progress achieved by the Government of Angola and UNITA since the adoption of Security Council resolution 976 (1995). We regard as positive the contacts which have been made and continue to be made between the various Angolan parties to resolve their problems and find common ground. We encourage such contacts. It is true that any lasting solution can come only from the Angolans themselves. Any outside help can only provide a structure and framework to facilitate reconciliation between these brothers.
This is why the Rwandan delegation is convinced that national reconciliation goes hand in hand with national reconstruction. Successful demobilization of the military personnel on both sides is possible only if there are options to be offered to the demobilized troops.
My delegation believes that mine clearance is a vital operation for the survival of the population and one of the most important prerequisites for the resumption of the reconstruction of the country.
With respect to the Angolan police, which is denying access to the civilian police, my delegation recognizes that Angola, as a sovereign country, has the right not to expose its police to external elements, and that it is also within its right to organize itself as it sees fit, as any sovereign country does, to ensure safety and security within its borders. It is clear that the United Nations forces sent to the country are there not to oversee or to control the host country but, rather, to assist it.
With respect to the proliferation of weapons, it is regrettable that the central African region has increasingly become an area teeming with weaponry. It is well known that no country in that area manufactures weapons, but the arms merchants do not hesitate to provide arms to criminals to make it easier for them to hoist themselves to power or to keep themselves there. My delegation is convinced that collecting arms from the population is not enough. Rather, the problem should be attacked at its roots: that is, we should denounce those countries which illegally provide weapons to Africa. This profiteering to the detriment of Africa is becoming more and more disturbing, particularly since in some cases those who provided the weapons in the first place are the same ones who come to organize their collection or who send representatives specializing in human rights.
Regarding the financial aspects, it is interesting to note from the report that the cost of UNAVEM III operations is out of all proportion to the cost of the forthcoming programme for the reconstruction of the country which is to be presented at the round table to be held in September. UNAVEM III costs $25 million per month and the round table projects a cost of $620 million, and nothing specifies how long this money is to last or how soon the funds will be available. It is easier to understand now why the African countries tend to be on the road to under-development. Funding which relates to militarization, tribal wars and genocides is very easily put together, whereas funding for development is virtually denied to the African countries.
It is true that the international community is tired of helping Africa, but it is our hope that they will take a look at the direction in which the assistance goes. They will find that this assistance does not necessarily go where it is supposed to go. The international community may be tired, but it is high time for it to ask itself whom it is tired of aiding, and why.
After 30 years of war, the international community has the duty to help Angola not only to achieve reconciliation but also, and above all, to find the necessary and adequate funds to ensure its national reconstruction.
I thank the representative of Rwanda for the kind words he addressed to me.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as representative of Indonesia.
My delegation voted in favour of the draft resolution before us today to extend the mandate of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM III) for a period of six months. Extending the Mission will help Angola continue to work towards solutions to its difficulties and will continue to bring the nation closer to a lasting state of security and peace.
My delegation would like to express its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his informative report on the progress made by UNAVEM III in facilitating the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. We were encouraged to read about the many accomplishments of the Mission, which have created a solid framework for the reconstruction of Angola. We were pleased to learn that many aspects of the humanitarian situation have improved, and that services by humanitarian agencies, including much needed medical care, have expanded to cover previously inaccessible areas. Furthermore, the initiation of the implementation of agreements for the resettlement of some 40,000 displaced persons, and the demobilization and integration of the armed forces, are indeed important steps towards peace in that war-torn country. We expect that owing to the success of past emergency relief there will be a shift in focus from emergency relief to the rehabilitation of the nation.
These and other successes have been facilitated by the regular and continuing contact between President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Mr. Jonas Savimbi. We encourage the continuation of cooperation and dialogue to further the effective and timely implementation of the peace process, which will bring lasting peace and reconciliation to Angola. It is essential to promote mutual trust and confidence so as to ensure the parties’ continued commitment to solving the challenges that still lie ahead.
Despite the many advances of the Mission, my delegation was disheartened to learn that the pace of progress in some areas remains slow, due partly to a lack of adequate resources. Although the recent agreements between the parties to accelerate the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol have demonstrated political will, we must underline the importance of international assistance so that the Mission can accelerate the pace of its plans to address Angola’s needs adequately. One of the most crucial tasks is an acceleration of demining efforts. Mine clearance not only is of the utmost importance to the deployment of peace-keeping forces in all regions, but is indispensable for the long-term reconstruction of the economy.
We also believe that there is room for improvement in terms of the security of the delivery of humanitarian aid. Attacks along humanitarian routes, although isolated and rare, have resulted in some civilian casualties, and have hampered the delivery of much-needed supplies. We echo the call for the parties to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian supplies.
Although there has been an overall increase in the level of safety and security, my delegation believes that the attacks on humanitarian-assistance routes are evidence that there are still some outstanding security-related problems. We note with concern the incident in which a United Nations military observer sustained serious injuries as a result of an ambush by unidentified gunmen. We cannot overstate the need for all parties to respect the safety, security and freedom of movement of all civilians and United Nations staff in Angola. Another security concern is the monthly number of cease-fire violations, which has remained constant from May to June. Although none of the violations constituted a major breach of the peace in the eyes of the Mission, the fact that the number of violations remained steady is an indication that, despite progress in other areas, acts of violence continue to play a role in Angola.
One person who has certainly furthered the goals of the Mission is the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to Angola, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, whom we would like to thank for the tireless and skilful diplomacy he has repeatedly demonstrated in striving towards a solution to Angola’s difficulties. We also pay tribute to all of the Mission personnel, who have been instrumental in the consolidation of the cease-fire and in many other achievements in the overall process of restoring lasting peace and stability in Angola.
I now resume my functions as President of the Council.
I call on the Permanent Representative of Angola.
I wish to apologize for the delay in addressing the Council. It was caused by the preparation of translations of my statement into the working languages of the United Nations. I shall deliver my statement in Portuguese; I trust that the translations into the working languages of the United Nations will convey the thinking and ideas of my Government and my people.
We always feel honoured to address this important body, the Security Council; this is especially true now that the peace process in my country has entered a crucial and decisive phase.
Allow me to begin, Sir, by congratulating you personally and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Angola on your assumption of the presidency of the Council for this month. I also extend my congratulations to your predecessor, the representative of Honduras, for the hard work he carried out during his term.
I take this opportunity also to reaffirm the deep appreciation of the people and the Government of Angola for the tireless diplomatic efforts pursued by the Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, by his Special Representative, Mr. Alioune Blondin Beye, and by the three observer States, as well as for the special role played by the Government of Zambia, and particularly by His Excellency President Frederick Chiluba, whose contribution has been a key factor in the dialogue that is taking place between Angolans.
The prospects for the making of a final peace and for political and economic stability — goals which the Angolan Government has pursued for nearly 20 years, through enormous efforts, and for the sake of which it has made countless sacrifices — increasingly appear to be within reach. Indeed, when the Council adopted resolution 976 (1995) authorizing the current peace-keeping operation in Angola and the subsequent deployment of United Nations troops, it did so in the conviction that the time had come to put a final end to the Angolan conflict and to push for peace and national reconciliation.
The Council’s authorization of one of the largest and most expensive peace-keeping operations ever undertaken — it will cost about $400 million per year — is revealing of the complexity and scope of the process under way for the settlement of the Angolan conflict, as well as of the international community’s clear commitment to the success of the Mission, which we would like to see proceed in an increasingly dynamic and effective manner. At the same time, we do not underestimate, as some did in the past, the negative factors that could derail the process.
This step taken by the international community following the signing by the Government and UNITA of the Lusaka Protocol, the new instrument setting forth the legal framework for the country’s transition from war to peace, gave a major boost to the peace process and helped curtail initial pessimism — as did the positive unfolding of such a difficult and complex process, shrouded at first in a climate of deeply held mutual mistrust and hostility rooted in a long, destructive war.
The presence and activities of United Nations “blue helmets” on the ground, especially after the arrival of the first infantry units from Uruguay, India, Zimbabwe and Brazil, have generally permitted the maintenance of détente and the observance in practice of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. Nevertheless, the full discharge of the mandate of the United Nations force will be effective only if it continues to be provided with the necessary adequate means for that purpose and if its activities are extended to all areas of the country’s territory envisaged under the “Acordos de Paz” and within the spirit of the agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Angola.
To that end, the full deployment of UNAVEM III troops, which is scheduled to be completed this month, will help deter any conceivable attempts to undermine the Peace Accords, even though we are aware that the ultimate guarantee of their success rests on political will, a true desire for peace, and the good faith of the signatories.
Despite the serious difficulties that have cropped up in the implementation of the Lusaka Accords, the Angolan Government considers that, on balance, the progress made so far has been positive. Still, we do not wish to overlook certain dangerous factors, which I shall shortly touch upon.
On the positive side, we note the cessation of large-scale offensive military operations, the disengagement of the troops on the ground and the beginning of the clearing of land mines from some of the main roadways. As a result of this, a climate of relative tranquillity has been established in several areas. This has allowed for the free circulation of people and goods, and the return of many displaced people to their original localities.
In the political arena, my Government has begun a direct dialogue with the leadership of UNITA, which has proved to be effective as a way of speeding up the implementation of the various aspects of the pledges made in Lusaka.
The main effect of the recent meeting between His Excellency President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the leader of UNITA was a reduction in the initial mutual distrust that affected the unfolding of the process. My Government will continue to do its utmost to implement the commitments made at that meeting.
Despite the important progress that has been made in the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, which is reflected in the report submitted to this Council as well as in the results of the Secretary-General’s recent visit to Angola, some dangerous factors that seriously concern my Government still persist.
The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is five months behind schedule. The key lag has to do with the fact that so far the UNITA military forces have not been confined to quarters and that there has been a consequent delay in the final formation of the country’s single national army.
Isolated military actions here and there, the renewed mining by UNITA of areas from which the mines had earlier been cleared, the kidnapping of defenceless individuals: all these are issues that are still on the agenda of the Joint Commission.
These and other issues that hinder the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol need to be solved with the utmost urgency, since that would effectively dispel the risk of military confrontations and of a relapse into war, with very unpredictable consequences. In this context, it is worth recalling that so long as UNITA’s forces are not disarmed and confined to quarters, and so long as the formation of the single army is not completed, the implementation of the subsequent phases of the peace process, notably the integration of UNITA officials into the National Unity Government, will continue to be postponed. At the same time, this opens up the possibility of a proliferation of cease-fire violations.
Seeking to accelerate the conclusion of the formation of the national army, we agreed to the principle of the full incorporation of UNITA’s forces into the Angolan armed forces. That will increase the number of their initial personnel to 120,000 men, following which there is to be demobilization of the surplus troops in a more appropriate manner, until a total number of 90,000 is reached, as set forth in the Lusaka Protocol. This is a gigantic task, aimed at both making up for the delay in the process and preventing the creation of rogue armies and the acts of banditry that could result from a hasty demobilization without the safeguarding of the full social reintegration of the surplus troops. In order for this wide-ranging goal to be achieved, it will be essential that the international community provide appropriate and multifarious assistance, since Angola’s current economic and financial situation prevents my Government from being able to shoulder the attendant costs on its own.
My Government is also concerned with the psychological spectre of the climate of tension that persists in some regions as a result of military incidents, such as attacks, sabotage operations and the laying of mines, and the continuation of UNITA’s hostile propaganda.
We continue to exert efforts to put an immediate end to such actions, which, while not imperilling the peace process yet, represent threats that it would be better to avoid entirely. The slow pace of the release of the prisoners of war is another issue of great concern. Immediately after that process began, the Government freed more than 200 prisoners, while UNITA released only seven. In the light of that, we have been forced to halt the process until UNITA changes its attitude. In this regard, there is an essential role that the International Committee of the Red Cross can play in helping to clarify the situation and overcome this impasse.
At the outset of UNAVEM III’s new mandate, particular attention should be paid to the removal of the causes of the delays in the implementation of the Peace Accords. No opportunities should be given for the occurrence of premeditated delays aimed at evading the obligations imposed by the Protocol, because that would violate both its letter and its spirit.
In order to help shape the new reality created by the peace prospects and to cement national reconciliation, the Angolan Parliament has recently given its permission for the specific revision of the Angolan Constitution, in order to accommodate the leader of UNITA in one of the two offices of Vice-President that will be part of the Angolan political system. With the adoption of this measure, an attempt was made to adapt the configuration of the current political order to the evolution of the political process in Angola in matters that pertain to the organization of political power, while defining the hallmarks of these changes.
Thus, the current Angolan political order will vest its powers in the following bodies and institutions: the President of the Republic, who is concurrently the head of the executive branch; two Vice-Presidents of the Republic, who will exercise the powers, the duties and the responsibilities assigned to them; the National Assembly; the Government; the Prime Minister, who assists the President of the Republic in running the executive branch and is politically responsible for the actions of the Government before the Parliament under a standing delegation of powers from the President of the Republic; the courts; and the office of the Attorney-General of the Republic. Those will be the constitutional bodies, and I wished to mention them.
Within the context of these constitutional measures, the Parliament also decided to bring to a conclusion the process of the presidential elections, by stipulating that the candidate who received the greatest number of votes in the presidential election held on 29 and 30 September 1992 was elected, and that the two offices of Vice-President of the Republic be held by the political parties that received more than 30 per cent of the votes in the parliamentary elections held on 29 and 30 September 1992. Thus, the party that received the greatest number of votes, the MPLA, will designate, from within the ranks of its leaders, a Vice-President, who, among other assigned responsibilities, will substitute for the President of the Republic during his absence or any other temporary impediment, while the other Vice-President is to be designated by UNITA, as the party that received the second greatest number of votes.
I cannot help but underscore the great importance and the extensive scope of this measure, which is only the latest in a series of other measures that were enacted earlier, such as the amnesty for crimes committed during the crisis that followed the elections. Suffice it to say that it was a result of a legislative initiative by the party of the majority, the MPLA, and its President, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, that this gesture of great openness and political tolerance, inspired by a spirit of acceptance and magnanimity, enabled the Parliament to overcome an issue that seemed insurmountable.
Thus, the necessary political and psychological conditions have been created to enable all Angolans to move on towards peace, democracy and multifaceted development.
Settlement of the Angolan conflict will make an important contribution to stability and security in southern Africa and to the exploitation of the region’s vast economic potential and its greater integration. Moreover, it will allow the resources that are currently devoted to humanitarian assistance to be reallocated for development or to other regions of the world with pressing needs.
The southern region of our continent has been endowed with bountiful human and natural resources that will benefit its peoples and the world at large once they are put fully to use towards achieving the goals of development.
In closing, I should like to express, on behalf of the people and Government of Angola, profound gratitude to the Governments of Argentina and Algeria for the generous, unstinting service of their heroic soldiers who gave their lives for the cause of peace while performing their noble mission in Angola.
We also wish to express our appreciation to the Government of the United Kingdom for the work of its military contingent, which will soon conclude its mission in Angola. To the Governments of the countries that have provided infantry troops, as well as to those that have integrated the military observers and civil component of UNAVEM III, we reiterate our deep appreciation.
And I cannot fail to note our gratitude to all Governments, to the organizations of the United Nations system and to the non-governmental organizations which, moved by a keen sense of human solidarity, have been extending humanitarian assistance to the Angolan people.
Finally, let me express our appreciation to all those who helped to draw up the resolution that has been adopted today.
I want, on behalf of the Government of Angola, to thank all those who have spoken at this meeting of the Security Council. The issues of Angola have been covered very thoroughly. The resolution that has been adopted, which provides for an extension of UNAVEM’s mandate for six months, is indeed a gesture of confidence in the people of Angola.
I thank the representative of Angola for his kind words addressed to me.
There are no further speakers. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.
The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.