The situation in Angola Letter dated 10 March 2000 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2000/203)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Wang Yingfan
|Mr. Ben Mustapha
I acknowledge with great pleasure the presence among us of Mr. Peter Hain, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, and I welcome him.
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Angola
Letter dated 10 March 2000 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2000/203)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo and Zambia, 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.
I welcome Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, Minster for External Relations of Angola.
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 a letter dated 10 March 2000 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola addressed to the President of the Security Council, document S/2000/203, transmitting the final report of the Panel of Experts established by the Security Council pursuant to resolution 1237 (1999) of 7 May 1999.
I should like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to document S/2000/200, which contains the text of a letter dated 8 March 2000 from Uganda.
I call on Mr. Robert Fowler, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola.
Thank you for this opportunity to brief the Security Council on the report of the Panel of Experts on violations of the Security Council sanctions against UNITA. I am particularly glad that the Minister for External Relations of Angola, Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, has been able to attend the meeting today.
The Panel has produced a consensus report which I highly commend to the Council. It is, I think, an outstanding product, despite the very short time the Panel members had to produce it. I extend my thanks to the Panel, three members of which are with me today: Ambassador Anders Möllander, the Chairman; Colonel Tiroyamodimo, the Vice-Chairman; and Mr. Stanlake Samkange, the Rapporteur.
The Panel was created pursuant to the Council’s resolution 1237 (1999) of 7 May 1999. This was the first time the Council created a body of this kind. The Group’s mandate was to collect information on how the Council’s sanctions against UNITA were being violated and on those responsible for these violations, and to offer recommendations on how these sanctions might be made to work. The Panel has done just that with regard to each of the five areas of the sanctions regime implemented since 1993: the prohibition on the sale or supply of weapons and related material and other forms of military assistance to UNITA; the prohibition against the sale or supply of petroleum and petroleum products to UNITA; the seizing of bank accounts and other financial assets of UNITA; the sanctions against representation abroad and travel by the UNITA leadership and the adult members of their immediate families; and lastly, the prohibition on the sale or export of diamonds by UNITA.
As the Panel’s report makes clear in paragraph 2, the underlying objective of the sanctions is to foster a durable political settlement to the civil war in Angola by limiting UNITA’s ability to pursue its objectives by military means. If these recommendations are acted upon, this report will have a real and substantial impact on UNITA’s ability to wage war by reducing its revenues, increasing its costs and choking off its supply. The Panel’s recommendations stand to thwart Mr. Savimbi’s plans to take through force of arms what he was denied by Angola’s voters eight years ago — if, that is, the Council acts on this report with the same clear-eyed purpose and sense of responsibility that informed the work of the Expert Panel.
The Security Council has repeatedly declared that UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi, is the principal cause of the resumption of Angola’s civil war. More than a million Angolans have lost their lives during this 30-year war. Two hundred more die each day. It is a brutal and odious war in which the principal victims are innocent civilians. Five out of six Angolans alive today have never known peace and have never experienced what virtually everyone in this room understands to be a normal existence. There is not a person, a building, an enterprise or an institution in Angola which has not been damaged by this horrible war. Indeed, UNICEF tells us that Angola is the worst country in the world in which to be a child.
Humanitarian agencies and human rights observers, who have access only to the outer edge of the human catastrophe unfolding in Angola, offer terrifying data suggesting that as much as a third of Angola’s beleaguered population is internally displaced. In this connection, I am very grateful to Mr. Holbrooke for focusing this Council’s attention on the issue of persons internally displaced within their own country. Most Angolans do not even have the option of fleeing across borders. The horror in Angola is far worse than even these terrible statistics indicate. It is, however, both possible and necessary for the Council to respond and finally change the situation. This report offers us a clear design for doing so.
The war has undermined Angola’s bright prospects for development and continues to undermine good governance. It persistently threatens to further destabilize neighbouring countries. Our priority must be to end this war soon. Sanctions alone cannot do this, but they can contribute significantly to creating conditions conducive to stopping this war once and for all. (spoke in English)
Security Council sanctions against UNITA have not worked well. More than a few people I have encountered in my travels as Committee Chairman have accused me of idealism in suggesting that these sanctions were ever intended to have any real impact. Many regarded their imposition as a political gesture on which the Council had little intention of following through. The result has been not only a culture of impunity regarding the violation of Security Council sanctions, but also a massive failure even to communicate the activities covered by sanctions and an imperfect understanding of what they were intended to achieve.
Mr. Savimbi, however, was one of the few who did understand both the scope and purpose of these sanctions, and he took methodical and far-sighted action to neutralize their impact by systematically establishing a variety of overlapping supply systems and by purchasing friends and facilitators in a number of countries and within the international arms bazaar, the diamond market and among rogue air services. As sanctions began to bite, Mr. Savimbi adapted his plans, constantly jinking and twisting to thwart — until recently, very successfully — the objectives of the sanctions regime.
This excellent report chronicles how Mr. Savimbi was able to do this — how diamonds were used to buy arms, and how inadequate arms export control regimes, largely in Eastern Europe, coupled with the secretive practices and opaque operations of the international diamond market and the advent of ample and freewheeling “pirate” air services in the post-cold-war era, combined to provide UNITA with just-in-time deliveries of state-of-the-art weaponry. The report highlights the fact that these all-too-willing suppliers of services could not have provided Mr. Savimbi with the wherewithal he needed without the active support of some foreign Governments, sometimes at the highest level.
The report further notes that despite the meticulous, specific prohibitions against access to the outside world, many officials — mostly in Western capitals — have continued to allow UNITA’s representatives to lobby Governments and the media. Other Governments have continued to extend warm welcomes to members of Savimbi’s extended family and those of his senior lieutenants, opening their schools and universities and issuing residence permits and travel documents — specifically contrary to measures imposed by the Council to deny UNITA’s leadership these precious benefits of international legitimacy and acceptance.
The report does name names, including, in a few instances, at the highest level. This, of course, makes everyone nervous, because, frankly, it has not been done. Some, it is claimed, are beyond criticism. However, African leaders, at their Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit meeting in Algiers last July, set, I believe, a new standard for acceptable behaviour, one designed to ensure that the “African renaissance” takes root and flourishes. I doubt that such findings would have been possible without such a brave and unequivocal signal, and I salute the leadership of the OAU for setting the stage for such a report.
As was made clear by the Panel in paragraph 99, violations did not occur along clear geographical, ideological or linguistic lines — a fact fully reflected in the body of the report. Sanctions busting was not limited to any particular region or subregion.
Panel members visited almost 30 countries over a six-month period and amassed a very large body of information from a very wide variety of sources. The Panel reported only information that had been confirmed or corroborated by more than one source in which its members had confidence. As a result of the Panel’s unwillingness to use information that was not so corroborated, the information contained in the report is less detailed than would have been the case had a less rigorous standard been applied.
The Panel offers 39 recommendations, all of which strike me, as Chairman, as being realistic and achievable. Some are essentially procedural; others are more complex. Among the most challenging for us, I suspect, will be those recommendations that would have the Council apply sanctions against leaders and Governments found to have been deliberately and methodically violating the sanctions against UNITA. The recommendations propose means through which this might be done, including the imposition of an embargo on arms sales to named countries for a period of three years — the first recommendation — and the imposition of visa requirements and the revocation of special travel privileges on the nationals of countries that enable UNITA to flout restrictions on travel by its senior members and their immediate families; that is recommendation 22. The Panel also proposes, in recommendation 37, a ban on the holding of United Nations or other international governmental conferences in countries deemed to be in breach of these sanctions, and it further recommends that such countries not be elected to senior positions within the United Nations system or as chairman-in-office of any international or regional organization.
In the area of weapons and military assistance, recommendation 2 would have Governments register, license and monitor the activities of arms brokers and make relevant information available to international organizations seeking to curtail illicit arms transfers. Recommendation 4 would provide for the mandatory authentication and reconciliation of all end-user certificates, and recommendation 3 would encourage the destruction of surplus arms. The Panel supports the idea advanced by Ukraine of bringing together Eastern European suppliers of arms with a view to formulating concrete proposals on how best to stem the illicit flow of arms from this region into Angola, and it recommends that representatives of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) be included in these discussions.
Unfortunately, in the time available, the Panel was not able to learn more about how precisely and from where the international arms merchants hired by UNITA were able to obtain such a large range of sophisticated weaponry. The report chronicles how Mr. Savimbi bought end-user certificates from friendly Governments, through which those arms dealers were able to fill their orders. But there are still some important missing links between these bureaucratic niceties and the decisions we all know must have occurred within some of the manufacturing and exporting countries — and the motivations behind such decisions — which led to the release of such lethal material, with or without a credible paper trail.
From my perspective, this ought to be a principal focus of any decision we might take in the Security Council to pursue our monitoring efforts, and I commend to the Council, in this regard, the recommendation of the Government of Ukraine and of the Panel to convene the conference I mentioned earlier with respect to arms-exporting countries to determine how the supply of arms to UNITA might be better curtailed.
With respect to petroleum and petroleum products, recommendation 8 calls for the monitoring of the border areas adjacent to Angola, and recommendation 9 calls for the institutionalization of information-exchange mechanisms among oil companies and Governments to facilitate the flow of information regarding possible illegal diversions of fuel. The creation within SADC of an ad hoc committee is proposed in this regard. In recommendation 10 the Panel recommends that a DNA-type analysis be conducted for the purpose of determining the origin of fuel obtained or captured from UNITA.
By recommendation 11 the Panel also calls for the implementation of tighter internal controls within Angola, as well as, by recommendation 12, for the stricter application and enforcement by Governments of air safety regulations regarding the transport of fuel and other hazardous commodities by air.
With reference to diamonds, under recommendation 13 the Panel proposes forfeiture where the legal origin of rough diamonds cannot be established by the possessor and, by recommendation 14, for the imposition by Governments of restrictions — including blacklisting and criminal action — on individuals and enterprises found to be intentionally breaking relevant United Nations sanctions. In particular, in recommendation 16 the Panel recommends that dealing in undeclared rough diamonds be made a criminal offence in countries hosting important diamond-marketing centres. In addition, in recommendation 17 the Panel recommends that a conference of experts be convened to establish a system of controls that would allow for increased transparency and accountability in the control of diamonds from the source of origin to the bourses — including the development of mechanisms for identifying, within diamond markets, those stones that may have reached diamond centres without a customs declaration, and the establishment of a comprehensive database on diamond characteristics and trends. The Panel also calls upon the diamond industry itself to develop and implement more effective arrangements to ensure that its members worldwide abide by the relevant sanctions against UNITA. That is recommendation 18.
With regard to finances and assets, the Panel recommends that Member States make provision for the forfeiture of UNITA-controlled assets the provenance of which cannot be traced to a lawful source. By recommendation 19 the seized and forfeited assets should, in the main, be used to benefit the people of Angola. However, under recommendation 20, as an incentive, a substantial bounty should be offered to any institution, non-governmental organization or individual that traces, tracks down and identifies UNITA assets that are subject to sanction. Further, in recommendation 21 the Panel recommends that banking procedures be developed to facilitate the identification of individuals covered by sanctions and the freezing of assets.
With reference to travel and representation, Governments that have issued passports to UNITA officials and members of their families are called upon now to revoke them and to report to the Committee in this regard. That is recommendation 23. Governments are also called upon to review carefully the status of senior UNITA officials and representatives residing in the countries concerned. That is recommendation 25. In recommendation 26 the Panel also calls for the updating of the list of UNITA members subject to Council-imposed sanctions, for the expansion of the information contained therein, and for the addition to that list of known official or unofficial UNITA representatives abroad.
More generally, in recommendation 28 the Panel recommends that SADC consider introducing mobile radar systems that can be rapidly deployed in the subregion for the purpose of detecting illegal supply flights across national borders, and in recommendation 29 that SADC give consideration to the establishment of an air traffic regime for the control of regional airspace. The Panel calls on the international community to provide assistance to SADC to implement these recommendations.
The Panel calls on Member States geographically close to Angola to take immediate steps to enforce, strengthen or enact legislation making it a criminal offence under domestic law for their citizens or other individuals operating on their territory to violate Council-imposed sanctions against UNITA. In addition, in recommendation 31 the Panel recommends that Member States involved in the supply of arms to African countries more generally also take steps, where they have not already done so, and that the enforcement of such measures be made a high law-enforcement priority. The report specifies that pilots prosecuted for sanctions busting should face permanent loss of certification, as well as incarceration. In addition, the Panel’s recommendation 24 calls for a warrant to be issued for the arrest of a particular UNITA officer central — extremely central — to UNITA’s supply operations and urges that this be a top international law-enforcement priority.
The report offers guidance on the management of sanctions more generally — for instance, calling for the establishment of formal links and regular collaboration between the United Nations and regional and other organizations involved in sanctions-monitoring and enforcement activities, including Interpol. That is recommendation 32. In recommendation 33 the Panel recommends that a “Sanctions Information Package”, including a Web site, be developed to increase awareness of the scope and purpose of particular packages of sanctions and to facilitate access to relevant information on the part of national and international bodies.
It is clear that these sanctions are beginning to be taken more seriously and, more important, that they are beginning to work. The credible testimony of a number of former senior UNITA officers — notwithstanding the views of some former comrades-in-arms of Mr. Savimbi — suggest that, beginning last summer, UNITA was finding it harder to locate suppliers who would risk exposure, and more expensive to deal with those who were willing to assume such risks. They were equally clear, however, about the fact that Savimbi believes that he can still buy the products and the people he needs — that, in other words, it remains only a matter of money. Many witnesses stressed that continued vigilance would be required to ensure that the world’s attention remained focused on the matter of the effective application of sanctions; for, if we revert to past practice, Mr. Savimbi will soon find willing, cut-rate suppliers who will re-emerge from under the rocks once the spotlight has shifted elsewhere.
There are welcome developments across the spectrum of the sanctions regime. I might cite, in this regard, very recent information from Brussels regarding measures undertaken by the Belgian Government designed to respond to many of the concerns reflected in this report. These steps are, I believe, consistent with what the Panel is calling for and include initiating research on techniques to identify the origin of rough diamonds and engaging the Government of Angola in improving the reconciliation of information contained in improved certificates of origin — which can still be improved.
Additional information from a variety of sources will, we think and hope, continue to become available. I would note, in this regard, that the Government of Belarus has now provided the substantive reply to the Panel’s questions to which the report refers. In addition, several Governments are investigating suspected sanctions busters with the objective of criminal prosecution. I know the Committee looks forward to learning of the results of these investigations. In referring to information available to the Panel, I should also note the steadfast support and encouragement that the Angola sanctions Committee and the Panel have received from United Kingdom Minister of State, Peter Hain, and I am delighted that he could be with us today.
The release of this report clearly does not suggest that our collective efforts to deny UNITA the wherewithal to make war are at an end. The fundamental lesson the Panel has drawn is that continued vigilance is required if UNITA is to be deprived of its military capability. This will remain true until peace is at last firmly and irretrievably anchored within Angola. More than once, we have seen how Mr. Savimbi’s UNITA used every second of what we took to be peace to prepare for the next phase of the war, to which he would return as soon as he had been able to reconstitute his forces and restore his military supplies.
In my discussions with the diplomatic community in Luanda a couple of months ago, I was struck by the utter absence of any enthusiasm for further periods of phony peace or for yet another round of sham negotiations. Instead, there seemed to be a widespread belief that, until UNITA was denied the ability to pursue its objectives through military means, the people of Angola would never know peace. This, of course, is the mission assigned to me as Chairman of the Committee and the one the Council assigned to the Expert Panel: show us how we can deny UNITA the military option. The Panel has admirably acquitted this task. Its report has provided us with comprehensive and far-reaching recommendations detailing how this mission might be accomplished more effectively. Now it is up to us, as members of the Security Council, to implement it.
The Panel was, of course, not able to bring all investigative leads to a conclusion within its six-month mandate. Members of the Panel rightly look to the Sanctions Committee and to this Council to follow through. Specifically, the Panel recommends in its final recommendation — recommendation 39 — that, as Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, I be required to report to the Council on actions taken to follow up on the conclusions and recommendations contained in this report. It further recommends that the Council ensure that it is able to monitor closely the further implementation of sanctions as well as follow up on information collected by the Panel where the Panel itself was unable to complete its investigations — possibly, by establishing a monitoring mechanism in addition to the Sanctions Committee. In other words, now that the sanctions are beginning to have real impact, we must not make the mistake of letting up the pressure on UNITA.
Allow me to reiterate my thanks to Panel members for acquitting their task with such commendable professionalism and skill and for producing so lucid and compelling a report. Allow me also to thank colleagues in the Secretariat and in the field who made it possible to overcome the administrative difficulties associated with launching a demanding initiative unprecedented in its design and objectives.
The Member States that contributed to the Trust Fund established in association with the Panel also deserve particular recognition. They are Brazil, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Other Governments, including that of Switzerland, also provided support.
I am speaking here today as the Chairman of a subsidiary body of the Council. To underscore this point, our President and the members of the Council have permitted some innovative seating arrangements this morning which allow me to honour the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman and the Rapporteur of the Panel, who have joined us here today.
It would, however, be remiss of me if I did not acknowledge the support that my own Government has provided. The time and attention I have been allowed to accord to my chairmanship of the Sanctions Committee and the cost and extent of the travels that I and my colleagues in the Canadian mission have undertaken are reflections of the real and deep commitment that the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, accords to addressing persistent threats to human security — threats which, tragically, are as acute in Angola as anywhere else in the world. I should note, however, that Mr. Axworthy and the Government of Canada have been scrupulous in respecting the independent nature of the initiative of the Expert Panel and have neither sought nor were offered an opportunity to influence the content of the Panel’s report.
Mr. Axworthy has, however, on numerous occasions urged me to make these sanctions work better — that is, to do our bit to restore the Council’s credibility in the matter of the effective application of appropriate sanctions, a theme to which he intends to return next month during Canada’s presidency. With the consent of the members of the Council, he hopes to convene a meeting of the Council in mid-April to allow member States to address the broader issue of making sanctions more generally effective and to act decisively on the recommendations contained in the report before us.
Finally — and this time Dick Holbrooke is really going to score some points on my attempt at Oscar presentations — I must personally thank David Angell, who, appropriately, sits today in the Canadian seat. Without David’s remarkable diplomatic skills, none of us would have achieved nearly as much.
Many members of the Council will be aware that I had intended this morning to screen some further videotaped testimony from UNITA defectors. I have chosen not to do that, at least at this time, for two reasons. First, given the not always accurate press stories at the end of last week and the earlier than foreseen distribution of the Panel’s report, Members of the Organization have less of a need to be assisted in a quick appreciation of the import and value of this report. Secondly, and more importantly, I do not want to divert attention from the report itself or to distract in any way from its main messages. The video was intended to support and buttress some of the findings of the Panel, which, as the report indicates, drew on the interviews I conducted in Luanda a couple of months ago as well as on many other sources of information. This excellent report needs no embellishment to assist in driving home its conclusions and recommendations. They speak forcefully and effectively for themselves and I heartily commend them to you, Sir.
I thank you, Sir, for your kind welcome and congratulate you on bringing us together in open meeting on this vital subject. I am also extremely grateful to Ambassador Fowler for his updating briefing.
For far too long, Angola has been ravaged by conflict, used as a proxy by the super-Powers during the cold war and largely ignored when their priorities shifted. The Angolan people continue to suffer enormously. Their suffering is only briefly punctuated by false dawns of hope provided by ultimately unsuccessful peace accords.
Angola is the worst place in the world to be a child. Life expectancy is 42 years. There are over 3 million internally displaced people. Millions of landmines are laid by both sides, killing and maiming every day. The humanitarian situation is dire. It is a country so devastated it makes you want to cry and yet a country so rich in resources that, with peace and good governance, it could feed the whole of southern Africa and be a Power for prosperity and success in a continent blighted by poverty and failure.
We cannot allow the misery to continue. The time has come for the international community to face up to its obligations. It is no good putting our hands up in the United Nations for sanctions against UNITA and then taking no action while citizens in our countries make money out of misery. That is simply hypocrisy. We must all rigorously implement and enforce sanctions. The time has come to stamp on the sanctions busters. That is why the report of the Expert Panel is so vital.
We have worked very closely with Ambassador Fowler and have fully supported his work, both financially and operationally. I would like to congratulate him on the drive and commitment he has brought to the Angola sanctions Committee and to thank his country, Canada, for the support that it has given him. His determination and the work of his expert panels have highlighted the porous and haphazard nature of the enforcement of sanctions against UNITA.
The report is very important for the United Nations. It exposes the hypocrisy of those countries — and, sometimes, leaders — that condemn UNITA while some of their citizens and companies supply Jonas Savimbi with the arms, munitions, fuel and assistance without which 25 years of murderous activities would have ended long ago.
The report names and shames some of those illegally supplying UNITA: some African Government Ministers and public officials, who should be ashamed of they way they are inflicting catastrophe on their fellow Africans; many arms dealers from Eastern Europe; and air companies and fuel suppliers that make money out of a war that has been privatized and is therefore less amenable to diplomatic pressure of a conventional kind. All of these are merchants of death. It is time for all the Governments of the world to act against them. The United Nations must provide a lead.
The full force of law must be brought to bear on those responsible. Britain has frozen several of Savimbi’s bank accounts. I have named a number of alleged sanctions busters. I have passed their names to the United Nations Angola sanctions Committee. I will continue to pass on all such information. If we discover that any British citizens or British-based companies are implicated, we will act against them. We have to cut off Savimbi’s means to wage war.
The private sector has a major role to play, too. Private companies should take a lead. De Beers has done so. I congratulate it on its initiative to stop trading in blood diamonds from Angola. Other diamond traders should back De Beers’s commitment to a written guarantee on all invoices that its diamonds are not fuelling wars.
The Belgian Government and industry are now coming up with proposals on conflict diamonds — and not before time. I hope other trading centres will follow suit. I am sure the Israeli Government will want to do the same about Tel Aviv. It is encouraging that Southern African diamond-producing nations, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association and the Diamond High Council in Antwerp are looking at the problem of conflict diamonds. I urge others to do so as well.
The expert panels have shone their torch into some dark corners. We now need to turn on the light and expose the full extent of the vile trade in UNITA diamonds, arms, fuel and other supplies. And we must remember that these same forces are driving equally devastating conflicts elsewhere in Africa: in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Sierra Leone.
Let us not forget why we are doing this. The Angolan Government has had significant successes against Savimbi’s war machine. That is welcome. But military action alone will not end the conflict. The Government cannot destroy UNITA’s military capability, just as UNITA has no possibility of winning the war. Only a political solution can bring lasting peace. There will have to be a negotiated peace settlement. But Savimbi’s word cannot be trusted. He has always reneged on the peace agreements he has signed. Without him, the war would end soon and UNITA supporters could express their aspirations through legitimate political channels.
UNITA represents an important constituency in Angola. I again urge UNITA to replace Savimbi as leader. With him out of the way, and a different leadership, UNITA can be as much a part of the solution as it has, so sadly, been part of the problem.
The whole of Angola has been corrupted by the war. Once-noble objectives held by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola for decent public services, a drive against poverty and equality of opportunity were first diverted because of the necessity to fight UNITA. Then they were forgotten, as rich elites lined their own pockets at the expense of their long-suffering people. Angola desperately needs to use its wealth to spend more on building up its skills base, social projects, public services and infrastructure. I have had excellent meetings to discuss this with the President of Angola and, today, with the Foreign Minister, who is here with us. I am very grateful for their warm invitation to visit Angola. I intend to do so soon.
To win full backing from the international community, the Angolan Government needs to ensure full transparency and accountability, particularly in the oil account. This is essential if Angola’s immense economic potential is to be realized. It needs also to ensure that respect for human rights and freedom of speech flourishes. It needs to involve all sections of civil society in that task.
The military defeats suffered by Savimbi, coupled with renewed interest in and attention to sanctions busters, led by this report, provides an opportunity, unprecedented in 25 years, to end this war. We have an absolute duty to grasp it. We have it in our power to do so by making sanctions bite. All that has been lacking so far is the political will.
Savimbi’s supplies are ferried in by air, or sometimes by road. They reach him only because they are permitted to do so. It would not be difficult to stop this. The intelligence capacity is there. Sanctions-busting planes and lorries are easy to detect. Their points of origin can be identified. Let every country cooperate to do this.
We need to ensure that the purveyors of misery are detected by enforcing sanctions. I thank Ambassador Fowler for enhancing our capacity to do so. We welcome the Expert Panel’s exposure of UNITA’s secretive and illegal network of middlemen and Government sponsors. But we need to do more than naming and shaming to break UNITA’s ability to rearm. As the report makes clear, public censure must now be followed by decisive action in the sanctions Committee, in the Security Council, in the States concerned and by their neighbours.
Britain looks forward to a series of mandatory United Nations resolutions to implement the report’s key recommendations. The Security Council, meeting next month, must take decisive action. There must be no delay and no equivocation. The credibility of the Security Council is at stake. The Security Council commissioned this report; we have a duty to act upon it and to support it.
Tough decisions will be needed. Governments in some of the countries named, including Belgium and South Africa, have started to take action against their nationals who are breaching sanctions. I welcome this. Unfortunately, others are already excusing themselves or denying their complicity. But now there is nowhere to hide. It is up to all of us — every one of us here today — to follow through. The Panel’s report highlights the plight of the Angolan people. We must not let them down.
I thank the Minister of State of the United Kingdom for his encouragement to the Council to act on this report.
First of all, allow me, on behalf of the delegation of Ukraine, to welcome the Minister for External Relations of Angola, Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, and the British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Peter Hain.
I would like to start my comments on the outstanding presentation by Ambassador Fowler with one recollection, which, in my view, will be very relevant in the context of today’s meeting. Approximately a year ago, the Security Council received a report from the Secretary-General, on the basis of which it decided to terminate the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola. Undoubtedly, the resumption of war in Angola and the United Nations retreat from that country was an outright failure — one of the biggest failures of this world body in recent years.
Today the Security Council has received another report, which provides undeniable evidence that the United Nations is coming back to Angola willing to make a tangible contribution towards restoring peace and security in that part of the world. Ukraine is strongly convinced that decreasing UNITA’s ability to wage war by strengthening the effectiveness of the measures imposed by the Security Council against it is a fundamental prerequisite to achieving the ultimate goal of putting a stop to the long-lasting suffering of the Angolan people.
I would like to express my delegation’s appreciation to all of the members of the Panel of Experts, whose studious efforts have resulted in the very important document just presented to the Council. The leadership of Ambassador Fowler in that endeavour has been of particular significance and should receive the Council’s distinct acknowledgement.
As to our reaction to the substance of the report’s findings and recommendations, for understandable reasons my delegation’s comments today will be only initial and certainly not comprehensive.
First of all, I would like to focus special attention on one particular point, which bears direct relation to my country. It is known that during the last twelve months, Ukraine has been the object of unsubstantiated allegations in some media implicating her in the violation of sanctions imposed by the Security Council against UNITA. Very unfortunately, some of our friends, primarily in Africa but also in some European countries, were about to believe the truthfulness of those reports without their credible corroboration.
As a staunch and proven supporter of the Charter of the United Nations and decisions of the Security Council, Ukraine was seriously concerned by the emergence of such erroneous presumptions. My Government has not only denied these allegations as absolutely groundless but has also provided reliable evidence that Ukraine was fully in compliance with international law and norms relating to the enforcement of sanctions against UNITA.
Today these assurances of the Government of Ukraine are impressively confirmed by the relevant findings of the Panel of Experts. With your permission, Mr. President, I would like to quote the most important pertinent conclusions from the report:
“The Panel’s investigation turned up no evidence that the Government of Ukraine sold arms or otherwise provided military assistance directly or indirectly to UNITA.” (para. 40)
Furthermore, as it is stated in another conclusion of the report:
“The Panel found no evidence to suggest that Ukraine was directly or indirectly involved in the training of UNITA personnel.” (para. 45)
It has always been inconceivable that Ukraine could ever be involved in direct or indirect support of antigovernmental forces or in violation of Security Council’s sanctions regimes. The Government of Ukraine is very grateful to the Panel of Experts for dispelling any doubt in that respect.
Ukraine will take active participation in further consideration by the Council of the report’s recommendations. I would limit my present comments to only one of them, recommendation 6, found in paragraph 57, which is based on the earlier proposal by Ukraine to convene an international experts’ meeting of major arms-producing countries with a view to elaborating effective measures to prevent the reselling of arms from the end users to third parties.
We understand the reasons why the report advances the idea of bringing together Eastern European arms suppliers. However, we strongly believe that the task of stemming the illicit flow of arms into Angola has to be addressed by all major arms producers and suppliers rather than be tackled only by a group of Eastern European countries. Ukraine will strongly advocate expeditious, but also well-considered, further action by the Security Council in response to the recommendations of the report. Unquestionably, these recommendations have to be studied thoroughly. At the same time, we believe it is important to start the relevant work without delay, and we are looking forward to Canada’s leadership in that endeavour.
We also feel that it is absolutely important to hear the views on the report of the wider membership of the United Nations and to take them duly into account before initiating the Council’s drafting work on its further decision. This is why, Mr. President, we would encourage you to resume this discussion as soon as you deem practicable in order to allow those not members of the Council to air their opinions on the matter.
I should like to welcome here the Minister for External Relations of Angola, Mr. De Miranda, and Minister Peter Hain of the United Kingdom. We are also pleased to see some members of the Panel here, particularly the Chairman, Ambassador Möllander.
Thank you, Mr. President, for putting the situation in Angola on the Council’s agenda today. The people of Angola have been suffering for too long from really devastating humanitarian consequences of a conflict which has gone on for far too long.
Today, for the first time we are considering the report submitted by the Panel of Experts just introduced by Ambassador Fowler. I have three comments I wish to make on the report introduced by the Ambassador of Canada.
My first comment is that the report highlights a wide variety of kinds of actors who are involved in varying degrees in relations with UNITA. The experts mention Governments, but also companies, individuals, various traffickers, arms suppliers, airlines, mercenary groups and diamond firms. The information also concerns very different regions: Africa, Europe and North America. The first impression one gets from the Panel report is that there is a great variety of actors and situations, and we should bear in mind this variety. The report cannot be reduced to three or four names, but rather describes a complex reality.
My second comment is that the report stresses the consequences of sanctions busting, namely continued fighting in Angola, for which UNITA is primarily responsible. So the consequences are really disastrous for the people of Angola as a whole. The report also describes how UNITA continues military activities outside of Angola. This is particularly the case with information about UNITA’s military support for rebels and for some belligerent States in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The report indicates that in exchange for that support, those belligerent States and rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have helped UNITA get fuel or trade diamonds. Thus, the report rightly shows that there is a serious effect of contagion of fighting and an increase in regional instability, which is particularly disturbing, as Ambassador Fowler has just told us in his introductory comments.
My third comment is that the report describes how sanctions busting has evolved over time. Some information is more historical, for example, ties between UNITA and Zaire before 1997, with Congo-Brazzaville before 1998, or some facts that go back to 1993 or 1995. Other information is more recent and deserves very close scrutiny. In several cases, the report shows that the sanctions regime has become more effective. Much of this is because of the development of the military situation in Angola and efforts made by the Government of Angola. But also, gradually, measures have been taken by the countries and in the professions concerned. For example, there were decisions by the diamond industry last October, six months after the Panel of Experts was established to implement resolution 1173 (1998) of June 1998. Establishing the Panel of Experts has obviously had some impact in encouraging people to do something, but we have to analyze the actual steps taken, especially by the De Beers company. In any case, such decisions, such an evolution, should be encouraged.
It is now for the Security Council to look closely at the information provided and the recommendations made by the Experts. As I have just said, the experts’ report describes a complex reality. That information deserves detailed scrutiny by the members of the Council. I should like to ask some questions in this regard.
With regard to the question of dates, in some cases the experts were rather imprecise about the dates of alleged incidents. For example, it is often not indicated exactly when some incidents took place. Sometimes the year is given but the day or month is not indicated; sometimes there is no exactitude at all. It would therefore be desirable to have more precise information on the dates so that we can better determine — particularly with regard to the economic sanctions imposed in 1998, concerning diamonds in particular — whether the events described by the experts occurred before or after the imposition of those sanctions.
There is also the question of the sources of information. Quite often those are not spelled out, thereby raising questions. Sometimes the experts indicate that they have obtained information from “a source close to Savimbi”. It is true that one cannot include all the names in a public report. But some of these matters can be detailed later.
There are also questions as to UNITA’s representation abroad. The report mentions that persons regarded as being linked to UNITA have been present in or have visited certain countries. But the experts do not say whether those persons are or are not on the list drawn up by the sanctions Committee. One could therefore ask whether it is really a case of violations of sanctions when the persons mentioned are not on that list. In this connection, we should also make the proper distinctions in order to better understand what steps need to be taken — particularly with regard to those proposed by the Panel — to update the sanctions Committee list.
We also have some questions about the scope of the violations that have taken place. We regret that the report still does not give an overall estimate of UNITA’s revenue — what it has raised from diamond trafficking or the total amounts spent on arms and fuel purchases. I know it is not always easy to get reliable estimates, but we believe that even a rough estimate would help us estimate the relative importance of the various supply networks being used by UNITA, for example, for arms and fuel. If one could compare the orders of magnitude in figures, then we would better be able to assess the facts cited by the experts. That would help us determine what steps need to be taken to ensure better respect for sanctions.
For example, more precise information is needed about the network for the sale of rough diamonds. The report mentions the measures announced by the main companies in the diamond market, particularly those by the De Beers company in October 1999. But the report does not indicate whether measures were taken before then to implement the sanctions enacted by the Security Council in 1998. The report gives us quite a lot of information about diamonds, but only as to certain European markets, particularly the Antwerp market, but very little, and in some cases none, about other diamond markets in Europe or elsewhere. Without question, more detail would also be useful in this connection.
On all of these points it will be necessary to get explanations from the countries mentioned in the experts’ report. States cited by the experts, either because of deeds committed by the Governments themselves or because of deeds committed by their nationals or from their territories, should be permitted to make their views known. Ambassador Fowler’s report directly accuses certain Governments. Those are serious accusations. They were published just yesterday without the States concerned being able to make their views known simultaneously. In fact, we do not even know whether those States had an opportunity to respond to the experts during the time the report was being prepared or whether they were specifically informed about the accusations against them before the issuance of the report.
It is for these reasons that my delegation would like members of the Council to consider thoroughly the information in the report and the explanations that will be provided by the countries concerned. One way to do this could be to turn this task over to the competent sanctions Committee, under the direction of its Chairman, Ambassador Fowler. The Committee could question the Chairman of the Panel, Mr. Möllander, in greater detail. It could also receive communications from States cited in the report that wish to make their views known. The Committee could then transmit its own conclusions to the Security Council. It will ultimately be up to the Council to consider, on the basis of the sanctions Committee’s conclusions, what follow-up action to take on the recommendations of the experts.
I would note that some of those recommendations are general in nature — for example, those on arms production registers — and should be dealt with in the competent forum. Other recommendations, particularly those dealing with the imposition of new sanctions on third States, could result in problems regarding the effectiveness of that kind of step and the multiplication of sanctions regimes. These questions go beyond the framework of sanctions against UNITA and will require some thought at the appropriate time by the entire Council on sanctions in general.
The Panel of Experts, under the leadership of the Ambassador of Canada, has gathered a lot of information. It has made a major effort that France has supported. My country was one of the first to make a voluntary contribution to the Panel. It is now up to the Security Council to consider closely the information and recommendations of the experts and draw its own conclusions. Efforts to implement sanctions should be pursued in order to make UNITA respect its obligations.
I would like to thank the President for convening this open meeting of the Council to enable Ambassador Fowler, Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993), to present the report of the Panel of Experts on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA.
I acknowledge the presence of the two Ministers at this important meeting.
I wish to express my delegation’s appreciation for Ambassador Fowler’s forceful presentation of the report. Chairman Fowler and the entire team of the Panel of Experts deserve our commendation for their outstanding work in trying to give meaning to the efforts of the Council for a more effective implementation of the sanctions regime. We are profoundly grateful to Ambassador Fowler and commend him for the seriousness, energy and resources he has brought to bear on the work of the Committee. The result is an active and robust Committee which is at the forefront of the international campaign to cripple the war-making capability of UNITA. The success of those efforts is evidenced by the current military situation on the ground in Angola — in which UNITA has suffered serious setbacks, thus decisively turning the tide of this long, debilitating war.
The report before the Council is as in-depth and comprehensive as it is bold and candid. It has the courage to name people, commercial companies and Governments on the basis of investigations carried out by the Panel of Experts. Naturally, all those named should have the right to respond to the allegations and to clarify their own roles in the alleged sanctions-busting activities. If those clarifications are not plausible and cannot be borne out by facts, the international community and the Council will doubtless draw their own conclusions and take appropriate actions.
We note that the Panel of Experts has investigated UNITA’s supply routes, which must now be effectively blocked if we are serious in our objective to frustrate UNITA’s war efforts. UNITA spends hundreds of millions of dollars for its fuel, munitions and weapons supplies, which come in through various means — often on transport planes with international and regional connections and sometimes with pilots well known to agencies monitoring African conflicts. They invariably go through neighbouring African countries, frequently with the assistance of corrupt officials who take their cut but whose Governments claim ignorance of these illegal activities. Clearly, what is needed is a new will and determination on the part of the international community and this Council to enforce more vigorously the sanctions regime, and the full and more effective cooperation of the countries and the companies concerned in stopping breaches of the sanctions. This would include making those responsible accountable for their transgressions under international law.
On the diamond industry front, we welcome the decision of the Government of Angola to embark upon a wholesale effort to revamp and restructure virtually all aspects of the diamond- mining and diamond-trading industry of the country. We also recognize the steps being taken by Luanda to enhance enforcement of the sanctions, including the introduction of new, standardized certificates of origin which will be harder to forge and make it easier to verify and keep track of diamonds. In these efforts, we believe that the responsible Governments and industry authorities should be invited to work with the sanctions Committee to devise practical measures to limit and ultimately halt UNITA’s access to legitimate diamond markets. Major diamond-trading centres named in the report need to be consulted and fully engaged. At the same time, we are also mindful of the concerns that international solutions to the Angolan problem must not be allowed to adversely affect the entire global diamond industry. We must do nothing to harm the legitimate diamond industry. Its cooperation is vital in finding ways to help us regulate the trade so that it does maximum good and minimum harm.
Although it is possible that UNITA has enough wealth and resources to keep going for years, we are convinced that the options for action contained in the report with respect to this aspect of the sanctions regime are implementable. Diamonds are UNITA’s lifeline, which must now be cut in order to dry up its main source of income for waging the war. UNITA’s assets must be tracked down and confiscated and its bank accounts frozen. The international banking community must fully cooperate with the Council in this regard. Appropriate Council action should be taken in respect of those individuals, companies and Governments that have been named in the report and cannot plausibly or convincingly explain their alleged roles.
The report also makes clear that the weapons made available to UNITA were of foreign origin. The illegal supply of weapons to Angola and other parts of Africa is simply too numerous to ignore. The idea of bringing together these foreign suppliers of arms with a view to formulating concrete proposals on how best to stem the illicit flow of arms would be a constructive and, hopefully, an effective process in addressing this aspect of the problem.
On another aspect of the report, we share its assertion that there is a clear link between all crises in Africa. Angola was led to intervene in the Democratic Republic of the Congo because UNITA sought to operate from that country. Paragraph 50 of the report indicates the substantial presence of UNITA troops and advisers fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the deployment of UNITA troops in the north-eastern sector of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These undeniable linkages clearly underline the need for the Council to deal with all the crises in the region in a comprehensive manner.
We must now put to good use the vital store of information in our possession pertaining to the breaches of sanctions against UNITA. The Council should now look carefully at how it can target individuals who profit in the prolongation of the war. We should also examine closely the legal options open to us. All of this would require the continuing strong support and cooperation of Governments both within and outside the region. The Council obviously cannot act alone, even with such an effective and indefatigable Chairman of the sanctions Committee as Ambassador Fowler. Member States and international agencies must collaborate effectively with the Council to achieve this.
All who yearn for peace in Africa must work together to usher in this peace. The report calls for countries of the Southern African Development Community to play a major role to enforce sanctions against UNITA. This is their major contribution to help find an African solution to this African problem. With UNITA weakened by the Angolan Armed Forces military successes and increasing surveillance of its supply channels, we should not miss this opportunity to act decisively now, lest we be accused of timidity and lack of resolve, or worse still, hypocrisy. Let us work together to end the plague of destruction, pain and death forced on Angola and its long-suffering people.
My delegation is naturally concerned at the continuing acts of sanctions breaking vis-à-vis UNITA, which constitute a very serious challenge to the Council’s collective authority. My delegation therefore urges Member States to respect fully the existing Council resolutions on sanctions against UNITA. The report has put forward a set of 39 bold and far-reaching recommendations for the consideration of the Council. We believe many of these proposals are concrete measures which should be seriously considered in order to ensure that the sanctions regime will be more effectively observed. We agree with Chairman Fowler that the Council should be more actively engaged in the effort to improve the implementation and enforcement of the sanctions against UNITA and to curb existing violations. My delegation is aware that there is a very real risk that when the spotlight is turned off, UNITA and its partners will go back to doing business as usual. This should not be allowed to happen. The Council should vigorously work to put more teeth in the implementation of the sanctions regime, for with UNITA there can be no business as usual. My delegation looks forward to participating actively and constructively in a further, in-depth consideration of the report by the Council.
Finally, my delegation once again condemns most strongly the downing of the two United Nations aircraft in UNITA-held territory in Huambo in December 1998 and January 1999. The involvement of UNITA in the shooting down of the two aircraft and the “specific orders” given to UNITA soldiers by Savimbi to shoot down any and all United Nations aircraft reflect the criminal character of this rebel group and its rogue leader. Such actions cannot be tolerated or the perpetrators allowed to go with impunity.
Today I am speaking as coordinator of the troika of observer States to the Lusaka Protocol: the United States, Portugal and the Russian Federation. We are grateful to Minister for External Relations Miranda for attending this meeting and look forward to his contributions to this discussion. We also welcome the arrival of Ambassador José Patricio, who will soon present his credentials to the Secretary-General.
We welcome the report of the Expert Panel and commend Chairman Möllander and his Panel members for their sustained efforts. The work of the Panel has enhanced the role of the international community in the search for lasting peace in Angola, and it has also focused new attention on the link between the illegal exploitation of Angola’s natural resources and the continuation of the conflict. We recognize the creative and energetic work of Ambassador Fowler as Chairman of the sanctions Committee, believing that his commitment to the implementation of sanctions served as an important catalyst for this report.
Sanctions remain a key tool in the international community’s efforts on behalf of peace in Angola. The report of the Expert Panel has highlighted in stark and dramatic fashion a systematic pattern of violations by the UNITA leadership and with the collusion of foreign actors. Whether the foreign actors are motivated by greed or by political conviction, their support for UNITA’s military machine has prolonged the suffering of the Angolan people. While we believe that the overall impact of sanctions has been beneficial to the search for peace, this report clearly demonstrates a need for continued strengthening of such measures, particularly in the areas of diamond sales, arms purchases and foreign travel. We note that the cumulative impact of the three sets of United Nations sanctions has been to gradually erode UNITA’s ability to resupply its forces and to capitalize on its external links. However, the key elements of the report are its recommendations for future action. We look forward to working with the Council and others to turn this highly informative document into a reinvigorated plan of action.
The Expert Panel and the Committee have, in our assessment, increased the cost and difficulty of UNITA’s continued military campaign. It is very difficult to speculate on UNITA’s present military capacity. However, the information available to us indicates that the renewed vigour that Ambassador Fowler and the Expert Panel brought to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 864 (1993), 1127 (1997) and 1173 (1998) has had a positive impact.
In addition to making a contribution to the search for peace in Angola, the sanctions Committee and Expert Panel have also done pioneering work, under challenging circumstances, on the difficult question of applying sanctions regimes to non-State actors.
The Security Council has long maintained the position that the primary cause of the continued conflict in Angola is the failure of UNITA to abide by its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol. Sanctions remain a tool to be used in pursuit of the goals of the Lusaka Protocol, still the most viable blueprint for peace, continued democratization and national reconciliation.
The international community’s expectation of UNITA is its full demilitarization, the full extension of State administration and its full participation in the democratic political life of the country. The Security Council’s sanctions must remain in effect until all elements of UNITA have taken full, irreversible and verifiable steps to completely implement the Lusaka Protocol.
UNITA sanctions have always been targeted at the leaders of the organization who have remained outside the Lusaka process and at its military capacity, not at those leaders who have participated in the institutions established by the Lusaka Protocol, and not at the overwhelming majority of UNITA’s supporters, whom we believe to be in favour of peace.
The revelations and recommendations of the Expert Panel require careful consideration, and we look forward to a discussion in the Council on next steps. For now, however, the report paints a picture — one which is largely corroborated by our own information — of continued international support for UNITA’s military leadership. At this point, we strongly urge the leaderships of those parties cited in the report to re-examine their policies vis-à-vis UNITA and to commit themselves to comply fully with all Council measures in effect.
I should like at the outset, Mr. President, to thank you for convening this open briefing. You are well aware of the importance that we attach to this kind of meeting. I wish also especially to thank Ambassador Robert Fowler, the Chairman of the sanctions Committee on Angola, for his introduction to the report of the Panel of Experts, contained in document S/2000/203, and, through him, all of the members of the Panel.
Furthermore, I wish to welcome the presence at this meeting of the Minister of External Relations of Angola, which I deem of the greatest importance, and of Minister Peter Hain of the United Kingdom, who has honoured us once again with his presence, sharing with us his tremendous and broad-ranging personal and professional experience in matters relating to Africa.
For more than 20 years, the international community has been striving to secure a peaceful settlement to the conflict in Angola. My country can identify itself with these efforts; indeed, from 1989 onwards it has deployed personnel there, since the operations of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola began.
Despite that presence and the successive efforts of the international community, the results have not been not sufficient to bring the conflict to an end or to promote compliance with the 1991 Peace Accord or the 1994 Lusaka Protocol.
In this conflict, the existence and abundance of natural resources, and of diamonds in particular, have played a significant role in perpetuating the conflict by fostering war, facilitating the purchase of weapons, fuels and even of political support. The strategic value of diamonds was recognized by the Security Council when in 1998 it incorporated into the sanctions regime a ban on the sale of diamonds from UNITA sources.
The continued conflict in Angola has no single origin. However, the presentation of this report, the attention that it has attracted and the fact that we all have come to meet here today should be used not only to promote enhanced implementation of the sanctions but also to step up political efforts to put an end to the conflict in Angola.
The report, as we read it, raises many issues that go beyond identifying violations or attributing blame. I believe that we need to ask ourselves what we need to do to ensure that this kind of situation does not recur. In the area of peacekeeping operations, the concept of “lessons learned” is a meaningful one. It should be significant also in the context of sanctions.
This comment serves also to remind us once again of the need to consider seriously the desirability of establishing more effective monitoring mechanisms for sanctions regimes. We wonder what message is sent by a sanctions regime without effective controls.
Over the last 20 years the international community has invested considerable sums in the peace process in Angola. How much in the way of resources, however, has been allocated to the effective monitoring of these sanctions? What consequences might there have been for the Angolan peace process if there had been more effective monitoring of the sanctions regime?
The Panel’s report is a genuine effort to clarify fully certain relevant issues, such as how the sanctions are being violated, who is violating them and what measures can be taken to make sanctions a more effective instrument in the Angolan peace process. To this end, the Panel is presenting the Security Council with 39 recommendations and a set of conclusions. In the coming weeks we shall have to study them carefully and act accordingly.
However, it is noteworthy that in recent days the information contained in the report has already produced significant repercussions: many Governments and forums have started a number of investigations. We encourage these endeavours and trust that the appropriate corrective measures will be taken with equal determination.
This report is useful not only for Angola. It should serve to remind us of all that remains to be done with respect to other sanctions Committees. In this regard, it contains a number of elements that we feel might be of use to the panel of experts on sanctions recently set up by the Security Council under the leadership of Ambassador Fowler, and which will be reporting to the Council in a month’s time.
In conclusion, I would like to recall that in 1994 the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch published a lengthy report on the violations of the sanctions regime then in force in Angola. That report anticipated some of the conclusions of the current Panel. We hope that today the international community is better prepared to react to this kind of information and that we will be able to take good advantage of this new opportunity. The course of action we now take depends on each and every one of us. For our part we hope that a further report in four or five years time will not find us in the same situation.
First of all, like my colleagues I would like to say that I am pleased by the presence at today’s meeting of the Minister for External Relations of Angola, His Excellency Mr. De Miranda. We also join in the thanks expressed here today to the Panel of Experts and its Chairman, Ambassador Möllander, for the work they have done. We are also grateful to the Chairman of the sanctions Committee, Ambassador Fowler, for his introduction of this report to the Security Council.
As can be seen from this preliminary discussion today, members of the Security Council are united in their assessment of the situation in Angola and also in their assessment of the role to be played by Council sanctions in settling the conflict. It is clear that enhancing the effectiveness of the sanctions regime offers great potential for stepping up pressure on the military and political leaders of UNITA, who are responsible for the breakdown of the Lusaka process.
There is a direct link between violations of the sanctions regime and the continuing threat the region poses to international peace and security. This is the standpoint from which we are looking at the report that has been submitted to the Security Council, which contains extensive factual information about sanctions violations and specific recommendations on how to step up monitoring of the implementation of the sanctions.
Like other delegations, we are very carefully analysing the information contained in the report, and we are also looking at how in practical terms the recommendations could be adopted. It is clear that substantive consideration of the report will take place once members of the Security Council have studied the document. It is also clear that the report has to be studied in the capitals, but even at this stage we can say that the information contained in the report does confirm the need for the Council’s sanctions Committee to continue working vigorously, with a view to taking further steps so as to more successfully implement the relevant decisions of the Security Council.
We believe that the most serious attention should be given to the Panel’s recommendations on stepping up the sanctions Committee’s efforts, inter alia, in enhancing the effectiveness of the current sanctions regime as regards all the areas set forth in the Security Council resolutions. These areas include illegal supplies of arms, petroleum products, the export of diamonds, the handling of UNITA’s assets and so forth. We are ready to work closely and actively on this issue with the Chairman of the sanctions Committee and all of our partners in the Security Council. We feel sure that we will all continue to make progress on this work and to conduct ourselves with the utmost seriousness.
We are witnessing today quite an extraordinary event. An independent expert panel, established by this Council, has investigated the violations of sanctions against UNITA, lifting the edge of a veil that had for so long hung over the complex structures and networks that have allowed UNITA to maintain its stronghold over the years. This effort is without precedent, and it is an achievement in itself.
Like others, we commend the expert panel and the sanctions Committee, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Robert Fowler, for their work. Their report will send a strong signal that this Council is serious about the sanctions it imposes. We expect that the report’s publication, in and of itself, will make a difference in terms of the effectiveness of the United Nations sanctions against UNITA.
The report itself concludes that its effects can already be seen and that it has become harder for UNITA to sell diamonds and to buy weapons because of increased risks to those involved now that their shady dealings stand in the international limelight. The Expert Panel and the sanctions Committee Chairman are to be congratulated for this.
My delegation agrees that the effects of the report can be lasting only if there is a sustained follow-up. We have often spoken out in favour of the more effective monitoring of sanctions, and we have made some concrete proposals to that effect. The report’s suggestion that the Panel should be succeeded by some monitoring mechanism, so as to avoid a return to business as usual, is important and deserves our full support.
The recommendations in the report deserve careful study by the Council. We will surely be revisiting the issue over the coming weeks and months, with more specific and detailed comments and suggestions. Allow me at this stage to limit myself to a few preliminary remarks on some elements of the report and its recommendations.
First, on diamonds: in a sense UNITA’s access to mineral wealth constitutes the core of the problem. If UNITA were unable to pay for its military and diplomatic efforts, it would never be able to continue its senseless war. Therefore it is essential that we devise ways and means to establish the origin of rough diamonds. Without documented evidence as regards the origin, it is impossible to distinguish legal trade from illegal trade, and this is obviously in the interest also of bona fide exporting countries such as Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.
More generally, the Security Council needs to address in a systematic manner the problem of how conflicts are fuelled and prolonged by the access of the parties — legal or otherwise — to vast quantities of strategic resources. This issue goes beyond diamonds, and it goes beyond Angola. In fact, three of the bloodiest conflicts in Africa — in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — are fuelled by the illegal export of resources.
Secondly, on arms: the Netherlands welcomes the concrete and practical recommendations of the Panel in response to the violations of the arms embargo against UNITA. The Panel touches upon a number of very important issues that for very good reasons are high on the agenda of other forums as well. These issues include brokerage, arms registers and end-user certificates. The Panel’s conclusions and recommendations merit study and wide distribution, so as to feed the discussions in other relevant forums.
Exchange of information and transparency are key if we are going to be serious about combatting violations of sanctions. In this respect we should intensify our dialogue with exporters and potential exporters of arms and military equipment. More specifically, my delegation sees a role for regional organizations, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), in particular, but not exclusively, with regard to embargoes on arms and military equipment. Similarly, one could think of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), since some of its members are linked, in one way or another in this report, to illegal arms deliveries and ECOWAS, after all, has such a splendid record in dealing with issues like small arms at the regional level.
Finally, as I said earlier, the most important thing now is to see to it that the Panel exercise gets the best possible follow-up to avoid a return to business as usual and to the culture of impunity which has so far prevailed. We would like to be actively involved in any future efforts to develop the monitoring mechanism proposed in the report. It also seems to us that many of the proposals and recommendations in this report contain important lessons for the improved effectiveness of other sanctions regimes. This is an issue the Council should revert to with some urgency.
My delegation joins previous speakers in thanking you, Sir, for convening this meeting. We also wish to welcome the Minister for External Relations of Angola and the Minister of State of the United Kingdom, who are with us today.
My delegation wishes to thank Ambassador Fowler for his clear and comprehensive presentation of the report of the Panel of Experts on violations of the Council’s sanctions against Angola. We also wish to pay a tribute to him for his leadership of the Sanctions Committee, because it is largely thanks to his initiative, commitment and willingness to be innovative that the Expert Panel was established by the Council. We also wish to thank the members of the Council for the diligence, fearlessness and timeliness with which they have executed their mandate.
As the report reminds us, the purpose of the sanctions was not to punish UNITA, but to promote a peaceful settlement of the lengthy conflict in Angola by requiring UNITA to comply with obligations which it undertook in 1991 and 1994 and by limiting UNITA’s ability to pursue its objectives by military means. It was for that reason that the sanctions were carefully targeted, relating to the supply of arms and fuel, UNITA’s bank accounts, foreign travel of UNITA’s officials and the operations of UNITA’s offices abroad. All of these have been addressed by the Panel’s investigations and recommendations on sanctions-busting.
We have noted from the report that the Panel’s existence and presence have already had the important effect of stimulating Governments and others into focusing on what each of them can do to improve the implementation and enforcement of sanctions and to curtail existing violations. We therefore share the Panel’s view that the Security Council and the international community must remain engaged in this effort. We must send a strong signal that breaches of the Council’s sanctions regimes cannot be tolerated and that the activities of violators will not go unpunished.
My delegation recognizes that the report of the Expert Panel and its recommendations will require detailed study by the Sanctions Committee and by the Council itself. It is also important that those cited in the report cooperate with the Council by providing it with the necessary information. At this time, my delegation therefore wishes to offer a few preliminary comments, as this report has implications not only for Angola, but for the wider international community and for the sanctions regimes imposed by the Council.
First, the report leaves no doubt that there have been serious violations of the sanctions regimes by individuals, companies and government officials. Those who have violated the sanctions regime on Angola share in the responsibility for the human suffering resulting from the conflict and, with UNITA, are equally culpable in many of the tragic incidents, including the shooting-down of the United Nations aircraft.
Secondly, the Governments of the countries whose nationals are engaging in sanctions-busting have an obligation to investigate and to take appropriate action against those who are responsible. Such investigations and actions must be undertaken in a transparent and credible manner.
Thirdly, it is clear that UNITA abused the period following the signature of the Lusaka Protocol to accumulate arms and prepare itself for restarting the war. It is also clear that it was aided and abetted in this by a wide range of individuals in many countries.
Fourthly, the international community must bring to an end the flow of illegal arms to conflict situations. It must also better regulate the legal export of arms, particularly in regard to end-users.
Fifthly, the plundering of Africa’s mineral resources to purchase arms to fuel these conflicts must be brought to a halt. In the case of Angola, without buyers for the diamonds, UNITA would not have been able to sell diamonds to finance its purchase of arms.
It is also clear that there has been a linkage established between the conflict in Angola and the conflicts in the Great Lakes region.
The perpetuation of the conflict in Angola continues to divert scarce resources, which should be used for the economic and social development of Angola. My delegation therefore calls on UNITA to spare the innocent people of Angola further hardship by ending the fighting and by complying with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol. The war-weary people of Angola deserve to live without the violence and fear which have attended them over the past 25 years.
The report presented to the Council today represents a significant milestone. The action taken by the Council will present an opportunity for us to clearly demonstrate our determination to implement our decisions aimed at furthering international peace and security.
Let me first take this opportunity to thank you, Sir, for convening this important open briefing to discuss the report of the Panel of Experts on violations of the Security Council sanctions against UNITA, an issue which is of critical importance to my country and to the entire region of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The presence here today of Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, the Minister for External Relations of the Republic of Angola, is testimony to the importance Angola attaches — and rightly so — to this matter. We also commend Minister Hain’s personal participation today and we highly appreciate his contribution.
Let me take this opportunity to highly commend Ambassador Fowler, the Chairman of the Sanctions Committee against UNITA, for his serious and tireless efforts to enhance the effectiveness of the Security Council sanctions against UNITA and the obligations of member States to fully implement the Security Council resolutions against UNITA. Not only did Ambassador Fowler prove his leadership qualities and diplomatic skills, but, through his determination, he also sought to promote and restore the credibility of the Security Council in the preservation of human security and the peaceful resolution of that conflict. Indeed, my delegation notes with appreciation that there has been progress in the work of the Committee since Ambassador Fowler took over its chairmanship. My delegation pledges its fullest support for his tireless efforts to help bring peace to Angola.
We express strong support for the work undertaken by the Chairman of the Expert Panel, Ambassador Möllander, and his team, and thank them for producing this very informative report within the prescribed period.
Eight years ago — on 15 September 1993, to be precise — the Security Council adopted resolution 864 (1993), the first resolution imposing mandatory sanctions against UNITA in the area of arms and military equipment; thereafter, similar resolutions were adopted in the area of petroleum products, diamonds and finances. That decision by the Council was due to UNITA’s intransigence and non-compliance. In its determination to resolve the conflict in Angola by compelling UNITA to comply with its resolutions, the Council reaffirmed on several occasions its readiness to review the measures and to consider the imposition of additional measures against UNITA.
Contrary to the expectations of the international community, with the assistance of some States, international organizations and individuals, UNITA became stronger day by day in its fight against the Government and the people of Angola.
I am trying to recapitulate this scenario so as to illustrate the various efforts which were employed by the Council in trying to resolve this conflict and, more importantly, so as to ensure that the Council will take seriously the report which has been presented by the Panel and the recommendations contained therein. If implemented, the recommendations can help bring lasting peace to Angola.
Resolution 1237 (1999), inter alia, established the panels to inform the Council on how the sanctions against UNITA were being violated, who was violating them and what could be done to make the sanctions more effective. As the report clearly indicates, the objective of the Expert Panel was to promote a political settlement of the long conflict in Angola by requiring UNITA to comply with the obligations which it undertook when it signed the 1991 Bicesse Peace Accord and the 1994 Lusaka Protocol. Full implementation of resolution 1237 (1999) will do just that. It will deny UNITA the ability to keep peace and development hostage in Angola and, indeed, in southern Africa.
The situation in Angola continues to worsen. UNITA is continuing with its atrocities, indiscriminate killing of the innocent civilian population and the laying of landmines, and this report clearly indicates that the mandate of the Panel was to promote a political settlement to the never-ending conflict in Angola. UNITA must comply with the obligations it undertook when it signed the 1994 Lusaka Protocol. Let me take this opportunity to remind the Council that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) itself has adopted various resolutions on the situation in Angola, and those resolutions should be taken into account. Furthermore, the Southern African Development Community has declared Savimbi to be a war criminal, a decision that was, in turn, endorsed by the OAU.
We agree with the conclusions of the report that UNITA would not have continued with its political and military ambitions had it not been for the support of certain States and individuals that have provided the rebel movement with safe havens, facilitated sales and passage of weapons and assisted it with end-user certificates. It is also true that the willingness of some arms-supplying countries with little or no regard as to where those arms would finally end up contributed immensely to boosting the morale of rebels in Africa in fighting against legitimate Governments. Hence, peace in Angola lies in the hands of those individuals and Governments which are intentionally and knowingly assisting UNITA’s war machinery.
We note the information presented in the report on the link between the war activities of UNITA in Angola and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We concur with the evidentiary standard employed by the Panel. However, it is highly possible that important links might have been omitted. We are therefore strongly of the view that the ongoing investigations of persons allegedly connected to UNITA will help during the monitoring process, which my delegation endorses and to which I shall revert later.
With regard to sanctions busting on arms and military equipment, the conflict in Angola has caused immense and unnecessary suffering to the people of Angola, resulting in the loss of millions of lives and the destruction of property. The United Nations continues to spend millions of dollars to help resolve the conflict in Angola. Sadly, millions of Angolans have known only war. This war could have been ended and taken off the Council’s agenda had it not been for the support UNITA receives from within and outside Africa. It is therefore imperative that the Council apply sanctions to those leaders and Governments that have sustained UNITA’s political and war machinery, in violation of Council resolutions. This bold and unprecedented action will enhance its authority and demonstrate its seriousness in the maintenance of international peace and security.
We appreciate the good work of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) in uncovering UNITA’s smuggling operations. Indeed, Namibia undertook investigations into the existence and activities of such operations, which have not been completed. The conclusions relating to arms and military equipment prove, among other things, that the capacity of UNITA to continue to pay for what it wants has kept the war in Angola going, thus maximizing the suffering and agony of the Angolan people and those of the entire region.
Paragraph 68 of the report refers to small-scale petroleum smuggling on the Namibia-Angola border. The Government of Namibia will certainly look into this matter, and we would appreciate assistance to curb those illegal dealings. We will continue to contribute to the Committee’s work in this regard.
We commend the conclusions relating to petroleum and petroleum products. We would have thought that the conclusions would include all countries whose nationals are implicated in these activities according to the report.
We are greatly concerned at the extremely lax controls and regulations governing the world’s rough diamond market. Illegal trading in diamonds is the main source of funding of rebel movements in Africa, particularly in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We take serious note of paragraph 84 of the report, and we want underscore that Namibia has not been an official channel for the illegal diamond transactions of UNITA. We carried out investigations, going as far as the diamond markets in London, and it was discovered that those diamonds came from Namibian mines. We were able to do that because Namibian diamonds have special codes attached to them, thereby making it easy to control smuggling.
The private sector has an important role to play here. We welcome the measures taken by De Beers to cease buying any diamonds from UNITA. This has undoubtedly had an effect on UNITA’s cash. We also highly commend the Angolan Government for the reform measures undertaken to restructure the mining and diamond industry. We support the Panel’s 6 recommendations relating to diamonds.
With regard to UNITA’s finances, it is important that countries where UNITA representatives control financial resources be identified. The panel should indeed provide the Committee with information on particulars of banks, bank accounts and credit cards used to facilitate UNITA’s transactions. We agree with the recommendations relating to finances and assets. In our view, recommendation number 20 will serve as an incentive for disclosing finance busting.
It is our sincere hope that bank secrecy laws will be revised to enable States to uncover the amounts of illegal funds of the identified sanctions busters with a view to freezing them and finally releasing them to the authorities concerned, for the benefit of the people concerned, in this case the Angolan people.
With regard to UNITA’s representation and travel abroad, the Government of Namibia has carried out investigations and discovered that none of the people whose names were provided by the Panel are residing in Namibia. We regret, however, our failure to communicate our findings to the Panel in time, as was indicated in the report. We continue with further investigations in this regard, and any information will be communicated to the Committee.
We support the recommendations relating to UNITA’s representation and travel abroad. We have no doubt that Interpol, if requested, can indeed coordinate an international response to arrest warrants for these sanctions busters.
We note the information provided on the role of transport in sanctions busting and propose that those proposals be further examined by the Committee. We welcome the recommendations on related matters, especially those inviting the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to consider introducing the mobile radar system with the assistance of the international community.
On board the United Nations planes shot down in Angola were Namibian nationals. For the sake of all those who perished on the two planes and all other United Nations workers whose lives were taken by the enemies of peace, we support the relevant recommendation under this section.
With regard to recommendation 35, on considering the provision of medical supplies to UNITA, further thought should be given to this proposal so as not to create any loopholes for sanctions busting.
We also agree that a copy of the report should be submitted to the Organization of African Unity and SADC Secretaries-General. We are also in agreement that the monitoring mechanism should be established.
The Panel has given us its report. The Chairman of the Committee has introduced the report. Let us go to work on the recommendations contained therein. Namibia looks forward to the discussion of the draft resolution on these recommendations at the earliest possible time.
Finally, peace is cheaper than war. Let us help bring lasting peace to Angola.
The Chinese delegation expresses its gratitude to Mr. De Miranda, Minister for External Relations of Angola, for attending this public debate. We also thank Ambassador Fowler for presenting to us, in his capacity of Chairman of the sanctions Committee on Angola, the report by the Panel of Experts.
We express our profound concern over the long-standing lack of progress in the peace process in Angola. UNITA and, in particular, Mr. Savimbi have refused to implement the commitments they undertook in the Lusaka Protocol, as well as the relevant resolutions adopted by the Security Council, and therefore should be considered the party that bears the main responsibility for the current situation in Angola. UNITA has constantly made provocations and attacked innocent civilians — even attacking United Nations personnel and aircraft — and therefore deserves the condemnation and the sanctions of the international community.
The Chinese delegation appreciates the great efforts made by Ambassador Fowler as Chairman of the sanctions Committee and his colleagues in order to improve and strengthen the United Nations sanctions regime against UNITA. We have noted that recently the international community has been achieving ever-greater consensus on the sanctions against UNITA. Various concerted actions are being taken.
However, the sanctions against UNITA are far from being effective. Mr. Savimbi and UNITA are still using all means and channels available to bust the sanctions imposed by the Security Council. One specific example is that of the diamonds produced in the areas under its control, which are being used by UNITA in illicit arms trading. It has to be pointed out that no country, company or individual should be allowed to collude with Mr. Savimbi or UNITA in an attempt to bust the sanctions imposed by the Security Council.
As long as violations of the sanctions regime continue, peace will not come to Angola and the sufferings of the people of Angola will continue. We strongly appeal to all countries to genuinely abide by the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, by putting an end to the supply of arms or any other forms of support to UNITA and by taking other effective measures to prevent violations by their own nationals. The Chinese delegation supports the work carried out by the Panel of Experts as mandated by the Security Council.
The report that has been presented to us today by the Panel of Experts is informative. I would like to reiterate that the signal sent to us by the report is very clear: measures have to be taken to strengthen the sanctions regime. The Security Council must provide positive support in this regard. Because the report and the recommendations contained therein cover many fields, such as the political, economic, commercial and military fields, they also involve many complex issues, and we have to study the report very carefully. We support the sanctions Committee’s having an in-depth consideration of the report and the recommendations contained therein so as to help the Security Council take timely and practical measures.
Like other countries, we believe that strengthening the sanctions against UNITA is in itself not our purpose. Rather, it is a tool to create the necessary conditions for a final political solution to the question of Angola. It is our hope that the international community will be able to work together, coordinate various actions and strengthen its sanctions against UNITA so as to force it to lay down its arms soon, cease all hostilities and embark upon the path towards national reconciliation at an early date.
I would first of all like to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this briefing on the final report of the Panel of Experts created by resolution 1237 (1999) of 7 May 1999.
I would also like to welcome the presence at this meeting of the Minister for External Relations of Angola and of Minister of State Peter Hain of the United Kingdom.
Naturally, I also wish to thank Ambassador Fowler, Chairman of the Security Council Committee created pursuant to resolution 864 (1993), for his very detailed introductory statement, as well as the members of the Panel of Experts, whose final report we are considering today.
In the context of the initial consideration of the matter before the Council today, I wish to make the following preliminary comments.
First, Mali deplores the continuing conflict in Angola, which has lasted some 25 years and for which UNITA is primarily responsible. The Angolan people have suffered too much as a result of the war. The time has therefore come for the international community to put an end to it. From this standpoint, the report we are considering today proposes rigorous measures aimed at cutting off sources of illegal revenue obtained by UNITA from the sale of diamonds, reducing its access to petroleum supplies and limiting its procurement of arms and ammunition. In this regard, I wish to pay tribute to the tireless efforts of Ambassador Fowler to facilitate a political settlement to the Angolan crisis by restricting UNITA’s ability to continue to pursue the military option.
Secondly, the report before us today shows that, notwithstanding the sanctions, UNITA has been able to evade their impact through the existence of a complex network that has made it possible for it to sidestep the sanctions and have at its disposal a formidable war machine. Various actors, including Governments, have been cited. In this regard, I would like to lend my delegation’s support to the proposal made by France concerning the follow-up to be given to the experts’ recommendations.
Thirdly, the report under consideration also establishes that despite violations, the sanctions have begun to bear fruit. It is clear that the serious difficulties being experienced by UNITA with regard to fuel supplies are the result of the beneficial effects of the sanctions.
In this connection, I would like to underline that, in solidarity with the struggle of the Angolan people, Mali is resolved to seek the further strengthening of sanctions against UNITA. It is for this reason that my delegation exhorts all Members of the United Nations to look closely at the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report. We also take the view that it is important for the international community to lend its support and provide the necessary assistance to Angola’s neighbours so as to support their efforts to secure better monitoring of the sanctions.
I should like to join other members of the Council in welcoming the presence among us of the Minister for External Relations of Angola, Mr. De Miranda, and the Minister of State, Foreign Office, of the United Kingdom.
I should also like to thank you, Mr. President, for organizing this meeting of the Council on the situation in Angola.
I should also like to thank Ambassador Robert Fowler, Chairman of the sanctions Committee on Angola, for his introduction of the report of the Panel of Experts charged with examining violations of the sanctions imposed by the Council against UNITA.
The delegation of Tunisia welcomes the publication of the report that has been presented to us pursuant to resolution 1237 (1999). This document — which is the fruit of six months of investigations, inquiries and studies undertaken by the Panel of Experts headed by Ambassador Anders Möllander to keep the Council informed about violations of the sanctions against UNITA — illustrates, if indeed there is a need to do so, the will of the Council to ensure respect for the sanctions it imposes under the Charter.
In this connection, I would like to recall that Tunisia has supported the imposition of sanctions against UNITA, in the belief that this tool can help us promote a settlement of the conflict by preventing UNITA from finding the means of continuing its destabilizing and violent objectives and by forcing it to comply fully and as clearly as possible with the obligations it agreed to when it signed the Lusaka accord. In this connection, we welcome the conclusion of the Panel of Experts that there has been a significant reduction in UNITA’s ability to manoeuvre as a result of the pooling of the international community’s efforts to ensure respect for the sanctions regime and to stop violations thereof.
The report contains numerous recommendations as to measures to be taken — notably, on the implementation of stricter mechanisms aimed at ending illicit movements of arms for UNITA’s benefit and the sale and supply of the oil that feeds its war machine. Other equally important recommendations relate to the establishment of effective controls over diamond smuggling, which is the main source of financing for UNITA’s war effort, as well as recommendations with regard to UNITA’s representation abroad and the travel of its representatives overseas. The recommendations proposed to the Council by the Panel of Experts are designed to make the regime of sanctions on UNITA more effective. There is no doubt that they constitute a strong and unequivocal message as to the resolve of the Security Council to ensure that the international community’s desire to impose peace in Angola is respected.
However, while we greatly appreciate the work done by the Panel of Experts in drafting its report, we would like to draw the Council’s attention to the sensitivity of some of the information, conclusions and recommendations it contains, which, in our view, must be handled very carefully because they involve, among other things, the naming of heads of State. We would have preferred the report to avoid giving information citing certain parties, at least at this stage, so as to first be certain of its absolute veracity. In the absence of irrefutable evidence to corroborate those allegations, and until the parties concerned are allowed to provide information that may give additional clarifications for the benefit of the investigation’s objectivity, we believe that it would be preferable to proceed gradually by first engaging the attention of the States and parties concerned before making suggestions or deciding on appropriate steps. I believe this approach would give the necessary credibility to the investigations of the sanctions Committee, and that credibility will certainly serve to enhance its ability to act.
The Tunisian delegation expresses the hope that the publication of certain elements in the report will lead to greater awareness on the part of the international community of the importance of strictly applying the sanctions regime and the need to persevere in efforts to cut off the sources of supplies to UNITA to force it to fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Agreement.
In view of the lateness of the hour, I would like to say in my national capacity that I will forgo this opportunity to make a national statement. I will defer it to a subsequent stage. But I will not let this opportunity pass without first thanking Ambassador Fowler for his presentation and the determination with which he pursued the matter and which brings us to this meeting and also to thank the Panel of Experts for its very thorough work. We look forward to examining its recommendations more thoroughly as we go back to the sanctions Committee.
The second point that I would like to mention here is that Bangladesh believes that in addition to their inherent merit, the recommendations are also very important and relevant and have serious implications for the general issues relating to sanctions, with which the Council is now seized, and the experts group which we have recently set up will also look into the general issues. I think the recommendations will have an important purpose to serve when that experts group takes up its responsibility.
I resume my function as the President of the Council.
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Uganda, in which he requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I now have the great pleasure to call on the Minister for External Relations of Angola, Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda.
Allow me at the outset to congratulate you, Mr. President, on behalf of my Government and myself, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month. I should also like to congratulate the outgoing president for the dynamic and wise manner in which he conducted the proceedings of this organ during his term in office.
Let me also take this opportunity to welcome very specially the presence in our midst of His Excellency Mr. Peter Hain, Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, and to commend him for his Government’s commitment and the efforts of the international community aimed at the effective implementation of the Security Council resolutions on Angola.
Once again this Council has an opportunity to address the question of Angola, one of the longest conflicts in the history of Africa, which, fortunately, is finally coming to an end. This meeting is not intended to search for any new peace solutions, for these already exist and are still valid. We are here today to assess the extent to which United Nations Member States are adhering to United Nations resolutions, and in particular to those of the Security Council, and to try to find ways to make them more effective.
The report of the Panel of Experts established by the Security Council pursuant to resolution 1237 (1999), the introduction to which we have just heard, is clear proof of what my Government has repeatedly stated in this Council: the rearming of UNITA’s military wing and Mr. Savimbi’s insistence on the option of war have been possible only because of the connivance of some Governments, political individuals around the world and businessmen in violating the sanctions imposed by the Security Council.
Parallel with the destruction of the social fabric and the infrastructure of Angola, we have been witnessing attempts by some political circles in various world capitals to bring about a lifting of the international pressure and cleansing the image of Mr. Savimbi, despite the condemnation of Mr. Savimbi by the Security Council and the entire international community for being mainly responsible for the continuation of the war in Angola. In addition to gravely violating the spirit and the letter of the resolutions on sanctions, such actions are an incitement to and unequivocal encouragement of terrorism in Angola. We note with concern and apprehension that those States that harbour such political circles, although they profess to uphold the sanctions, continue to allow such practices to take place.
The violation of the sanctions regime imposed by the Security Council is in all respects a criminal act. By financing and supporting the war effort, those responsible have rendered themselves co-perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed in Angola by Jonas Savimbi. At the same time, interference in the internal affairs of other States is of particular concern because such interference is always a source of conflicts. The United Nations will never be able to fulfil its role in the area of international peace and security as long as Members continue to fail to comply with its Charter and the decisions of its organs.
By imposing mandatory sanctions against UNITA, the Security Council intended to curtail its ability to wage war and to persuade its members to embrace the democratic system. The achievement of these goals will help speedily to put an end to instability in Angola.
The report that has been submitted to the Council is the result of complex and tireless work carried out at great risk by an independent team of experts who are recognized for their moral integrity, their great and unquestioned sense of justice and their devotion to the cause of world peace.
By their nature and reach, their suggestions seek to contribute to the establishment of peace in Angola and to put an end to the insecurity now prevailing in the world. We must recognize that all of this is an imperative for which all of the members of the international society bear great responsibility.
We expect the countries mentioned in the report to react in some way, trying to deny the evidence presented against them in the report. We understand this attitude, but we would be remiss were we not to remind them that sanctions violations have resulted in a major disaster at all levels of political, social and economic life in Angola. It seems to us that at this stage, the most important thing is for the countries, organizations and individuals mentioned to examine their own consciences and change their attitudes towards the war in Angola, ending their support for Mr. Savimbi.
We hope that from now on all of the countries, Governments and individuals mentioned will cooperate with Angola and with the United Nations, even tacitly, if they prefer, and that the whole of the international community will, in the interest of world peace, fully respect the sanctions imposed against UNITA and in this way contribute to ending the war in Angola.
The situation resulting from the international impunity of culprits who perpetrate, finance, encourage or abet atrocities against humankind is extremely bleak. In my country, we are witnessing, as I have mentioned earlier, a situation comparable to a natural disaster. We have already had some illustration of this here. Over 3 million people have been displaced and are surviving thanks to international charity. Hundreds of refugees in neighbouring countries have been abandoned to their fate, and a pattern of death and poverty has emerged that is unprecedented in Angola’s recent history.
All of this has happened because of one individual by the name of Jonas Savimbi, with the support of a handful of countries and individuals — in all parts of the world, unfortunately — who are completely indifferent to the suffering of their fellow men.
We feel that appeals to their consciences or sense of duty no longer suffice. It is imperative that we take decisive action and call things by their proper names. I will say it again: crimes against humanity are being committed by Jonas Savimbi. The Organization of African Unity, the Southern African Development Community and the Non-Aligned Movement have named Jonas Savimbi as a war criminal as a result of this bleak situation.
In view of the irrefutable evidence contained in the sanctions Committee report, the Security Council must consider taking measures against those implicated.
My Government fully supports the recommendations contained in the report as a step in the right direction, and we trust that they will be included in the upcoming draft resolution of the Security Council on Angola.
Making these recommendations mandatory will once again underscore the important role that the international community should continue to play in the search for lasting peace in Angola. In current circumstances, this role should include an increase in international pressure for the greater isolation of Savimbi and the direct attribution to Mr. Savimbi of responsibility for the crimes against humanity being committed in Angola; the strengthening of sanctions against UNITA; the effective implementation of resolutions 864 (1993), 1127 (1997) and 1173 (1998); and the ensuring of the smooth functioning of the sanctions Committee.
The dynamic impetus imparted by Ambassador Robert Fowler and his team from the time he became Chairman of the sanctions Committee cannot and must not be held back, because thus far he has made a significant contribution towards reducing violations and enhancing the mobilization of various sectors of the international community in order to block the sources of financial support for terrorism in Angola. This immense effort on the part of the members of the Committee and its Chairman is fully recognized and deeply appreciated by my Government. We will continue to lend our full cooperation to the accomplishment of their task.
In view of the lateness of the hour and the fact that there are as many as nine speakers remaining on my list, I should like, with the concurrence of the members of the Council, to suspend the meeting now and resume it at 3.30 p.m.