Security Council meeting 3899

Date29 June 1998
S-PV-3899 1998-06-29 18:25 29 June 1998 [[29 June]] [[1998]] /

The situation in Angola Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1998/524)

The meeting was called to order at 6.25 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in Angola

Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola (S/1998/524)
The President

I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola and Mali 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.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Van Dunem “Mbinda” (Angola) took a seat at the Council table; Mr. Ag Oumar (Mali) took the seat reserved for him at the side of the Council Chamber.
The President

I give the floor to the Deputy Secretary-General.

The Deputy Secretary-General

We have gathered this evening to mourn irreplaceable colleagues. Maître Alioune Blondin Beye and seven members of his team paid the highest price possible for peace in Angola. We are here to remember them all: Maître Beye, Koffi Adjoyi, Beadengar Dessande, Amadou Moctar Gueye, Ibikunle Williams, Alvaro Costa, Jason Hunter and Andrew McCurrach. But we are also here to pray that their mission of peace was not in vain.

Warm, tenacious, full of energy, full of enthusiasm, Maître Beye was a man totally dedicated to his Mission in Angola, a Mission which he had nursed since its inception five years ago.

He literally gave the Mission all the hours God gave him. He would regularly telephone Headquarters at 2 a.m. his time. He would spend seven hours in one session negotiating with one side. If — as happened more than once — one of the parties chose to break an impasse in negotiations by introducing a new document at 11.30 p.m. on a Saturday night, Maître Beye would not wait until the next morning. Everybody would get to work there and then.

There would always be those who said the Mission was not making enough progress — that the Lusaka Protocol should have been implemented in full by now. To them, Maître Beye would simply recall the alternative: that when the process started, Angola’s war took more than 1,000 lives every day.

It was the cruellest of ironies that death took Maître Beye at a time when he had just fully recovered from extensive heart surgery; when he was looking forward to a well-earned vacation this summer; when he was contemplating the time he could rightly look back upon his work as a duty accomplished.

His legacy and his name will live on in Angola. Recently, he used the funds of a prize awarded to him by Germany to endow a school in Malange province. The school now bears his name.

Those who knew him well will remember his favourite phrase when things were going well — his trademark, if you like: “On va boucler” — “We’re going to wrap it up”.

Let that optimism become his legacy. No one can replace Maître Beye, but his work can and must be carried on. There could be no more fitting conclusion to his life than a timely completion of the Lusaka Protocol — a realization of his dream of a reconciled Angola. The suffering has gone on long enough, the hopes have been vanquished too many times. Today, I hope the parties in Angola will join us in humanity’s greatest prayer: that which asks not for victory but for peace.

Expression of sympathy in connection with the deaths of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Angola and his colleagues in the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola

The President

Council members express their deepest condolences to the family of Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Angola, and to the families of the colleagues and crew who were accompanying him: Mr. Koffi Adjoyi, Mr. Beadengar Dessande, Mr. Moctar Gueye, Mr. Ibikunle Williams, Captain Alvaro Costa, Mr. Jason Hunter and Mr. Andrew McCurrach.

The members of the Council also express very deep condolences to the Governments concerned, namely, the Governments of Mali, Togo, Chad, Senegal, Nigeria, Portugal and South Africa.

Over the past several years, the Council has relied on the wise counsel of Maître Beye in guiding the peace process in Angola. Maître Beye dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the cause of peace and maintained his optimism even under the most adverse circumstances. The Council expresses its hope that the efforts of this eminent son of Africa will not have been in vain and that his vision of a peaceful and prosperous Angola will soon triumph.

I request members to stand and observe a minute of silence in memory of those who so tragically lost their lives on 26 June 1998.

The members of the Council observed a minute of silence.
The President

I give the floor to the representative of Angola.

Mr. Van Dunem “Mbinda” (Angola)

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Angola and on my own behalf, I should like to express our deepest sorrow at the unexpected death of the African fighter for just causes, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the peace process in Angola.

The death of Mr. Beye occurred in very sad circumstances, and at a crucial phase of our peace process. There is no doubt that it will prove an irreparable loss. His dedication to the struggle for peace in Angola, once again demonstrated during his mission to a number of African countries in search of support for the effective conclusion of the Lusaka Protocol, was a true testimony to his humanism and an example of his sacrifice, which were without precedent in the history of African diplomacy.

During his five years as head of the peace process in Angola, Maître Alioune Blondin Beye was a dedicated friend to Angola and to the Angolans. That is why we are saying here that his death is not only a loss for the peace process in Angola but also for Africa and for all of humanity. His sacrifice, his spirit of humanism and his total dedication even at the most difficult moments — such as this moment in the peace process in Angola — will stay in the memory of the Angolan people. At this moment of grief, on behalf of my Government, we would like to pay our profound homage to him. To the grieving family, to the friendly Government of Mali and to the entire United Nations family, the Mission of Angola to the United Nations, on behalf of the Angolan Government, transmits its most profound condolences, which extend also to the rest of the delegation with which Mr. Beye lost his life.

May his soul rest in peace.

The President

The representative of Mali has asked for the floor. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Ag Oumar (Mali)

I wish on behalf of the Government of Mali to thank the members of the Security Council and the Secretariat staff for the minute of silence they just observed in memory of a man who was first and foremost the pride of the people of Mali and who died as he carried out his mandate.

I grow emotional as I think of how all of Mali feels this loss. Africa, and the entire world, will also feel the loss of Maître Beye. The Deputy Secretary-General has noted that there would always be those who said the mission was not making enough progress; with Maître Beye’s sense of optimism, Mali wishes that his work will indeed be completed, with the determination of all concerned. He left with optimism, and those who follow him will inherit the optimism that he always maintained.

I thank the Permanent Representative of Angola for the condolences he has just expressed. The condolences are mutual, because Maître Beye viewed Angola as his second home. It has been said that Maître Beye had no one work-place; his work-place was wherever he was at the moment — his bed, his car, his dining table.

It is the wish of the Government of Mali that Maître Beye’s work for peace should be completed one day. That would be the greatest tribute that the United Nations could pay to Maître Beye and to his memory.

The President

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda.

The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.

Members of the Council have before them the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola, document S/1998/524.

Members of the Council also have before them document S/1998/577, which contains the text of a draft resolution prepared in the course of the Council’s prior consultations.

It is my understanding that the Security Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. If I hear no objection, I shall now put the draft resolution to the vote.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

favour against
abstain absent

favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0

Bahrain, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, France, Gabon, Gambia, Japan, Kenya, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States

The President

There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1180 (1998).

The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.

The meeting rose at 6.40 p.m.
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