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
|Sir Jeremy Greenstock
I would like to say how grateful we are to you, Mr. Minister, for convening this open meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Angola. I would also like to thank Ambassador Fowler, the Chairman of the Council’s sanctions Committee on Angola, for his constant efforts to ensure the follow-up to the strict implementation of the sanctions regime against UNITA. Our meeting today follows the Council’s very important debate yesterday on general questions relating to sanctions — which was also held under your presidency, Sir — and clearly demonstrates, if there is a need to do so, the resolve of the Council and, through it, that of the international community to give its full attention to the question of sanctions imposed by the Council in accordance with the Charter with a view to establishing peace and security.
In the case of Angola, sanctions against UNITA have proved their effectiveness because they have significantly weakened Mr. Savimbi’s military capability and reduced his supply sources and the income he utilizes for the war effort. The Chairman of the Committee and the Panel of Experts have made laudable efforts to ensure rigorous follow-up to the implementation of the sanctions regime. Their tenacity has enabled us to send an unequivocal message as to the Council’s determination to ensure respect for its resolutions and to demonstrate to UNITA that it cannot indefinitely continue to threaten peace and stability in Angola and in the subregion.
The report of the Panel of Experts is the outcome of six months of research and investigation. That report, which we welcome, has been the object of a prior debate within the Security Council and has raised questions as to some of its conclusions and recommendations.
Although, as we said earlier, irrefutable evidence is required, commensurate with the significance of the deeds reported, we still believe that the report deserves special attention and serious consideration by many States and parties.
The official responses addressed to the Security Council following the publication of the report, and the measures already taken by some countries that have, inter alia, established national commissions of inquiry, certainly demonstrate the serious approach to this question in Africa and elsewhere. These are important inputs that should be taken duly into account in order to give a complete picture of violations of the sanctions regime against UNITA. They will certainly be helpful to the future monitoring mechanism as it carries out its tasks.
The six-month period provided for in the resolution that is to be adopted, which we support, will enable the Council to have a better grasp of this issue.
Let me begin by saying how pleased the Bangladesh delegation is at seeing you, Mr. Minister, once again chairing a meeting of the Security Council. We also welcome in our midst the Minister for External Relations of Angola. Let me also begin by commending the delegation of Canada, and particularly Ambassador Fowler, for convening this meeting on Angola sanctions. It is right for the Council to focus on the situation in Angola in general and the sanctions imposed against UNITA in particular, and the initiatives of Ambassador Fowler and his colleagues have the full support of our delegation.
We recall our discussion a little over a month ago on the report of the Panel of Experts on the sanctions imposed against Angola. We commended the work done by the Panel, as we found it useful, not only in the context of the Angola sanctions, but also for the implications the recommendations would have on the current thinking of the Council in terms of general issues relating to sanctions.
There is no doubt that the sanctions have not been working, and the Panel, in its report, has pointed out why. It is for the Council to decide how best it could deal with the recommendations of the report in order to make the sanctions more effective. The approach that the Council took was to implement most of the recommendations. The draft resolution that we shall adopt later today will be doing just that. There are other issues raised in the recommendations that need further study and call for the collection of information, and perhaps those issues which may not have been pursued adequately by the Panel for want of time or other reasons should also be looked into. We therefore agree that we need a mechanism to meet this requirement, a mechanism which would be geared to this purpose. We feel that the mechanism would do well to look at the working methods of the Panel and improve them. This would not only result in a better product, it would spare it some criticism. We would look forward to its reports, which should provide valuable information to the work of the Council in this regard.
The Angola situation as it stands today is the result of complicity, corruption and greed. The country, with a great potential to develop, is currently rated the most horrific place on earth for a child. UNITA bears the primary responsibility for this. There is no military solution for the problem, and a political dialogue must be started between the concerned parties. The sanctions are aimed at making it difficult for UNITA to pursue its military campaign. However, all-round cooperation is needed to make that happen.
We welcome the decisions of some of the countries cited in the Panel report to set up commissions of inquiry and other mechanisms to investigate the allegations. Others should follow that example. The results of these inquiries are valuable tools for the sanctions Committee’s future work. We hope the Committee will be able to use the information in its dialogue with the States concerned.
The draft resolution covers most of the recommendations relating to arms, diamonds, financial assets, travel restrictions, et cetera. The recommendations are far-reaching and bold, we know. We have worked out a draft resolution which goes far enough, within the bounds of practicability. It is our view that since we now know the reasons, modalities and mechanism behind the large-scale flouting of the measures imposed against UNITA, we should be able to act to stop it. Political will to do so can overcome many of the impediments that might stand in the way. The role of diamonds in this continuing war is clearly known to us today. All concerned, including the industry and the Government of Angola, should do their part in putting in place appropriate mechanisms to observe the sanctions measures. The same holds for the other areas covered in the draft resolution. We would urge all parties concerned to extend cooperation for the development of more effective mechanisms to ensure observance of the measures imposed.
We are encouraged by the positive response to the recommendations by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. We support their resolve to shoulder their responsibility. It remains for the international community to support and assist them in their endeavour to take all steps in containing the situation in Angola in accordance with all existing Council resolutions in this regard.
Before concluding, I would like to touch upon the humanitarian situation in Angola, essentially a product of the protracted war which has exacerbated the already precarious humanitarian situation. We welcome the Secretary-General’s observations in his latest report on the situation in Angola and agree that the efforts of the Government of Angola in providing basic social and economic services to the people should be supported.
In closing, we hope that the draft resolution that we adopt today will go a long way towards ensuring that the sanctions are respected and that their purpose is served: achieving the greater goal of peace and stability in Angola.
I thank the representative of Bangladesh for his very kind words addressed to the Canadian delegation.
Like my colleagues who spoke before me, I would also like to welcome the participation of the Minister for External Relations of Angola, Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, in this very important meeting of the Security Council.
The distinctive character of this meeting is certainly predetermined by the content of the draft resolution before the Council. Ukraine has been consistent in its position 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 restoring peace in Angola. The report by the Panel of Experts on the violation of Security Council sanctions against UNITA, presented to the Council a month ago, has in itself contributed tremendously to a more serious and responsible attitude to those measures. The decision that the Council is about to adopt will produce a much more far-reaching effect.
The direction of this draft resolution is manifold. Its main purpose consists in improving the implementation of the existing measures imposed against UNITA. Certainly, we can differentiate between groups of countries bearing special responsibility for specific areas, which, for example, could include Angola’s neighboring countries, or countries involved in arms manufacture or marketing, or States closely involved with the diamond industry, as well as others. It is indeed important that the Council is attempting to make very distinct recommendations to those States. At the same time, if we bring together all those different groups, we will undoubtedly wind up getting what is called the international community. Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to take an action-oriented approach towards those recommendations.
Furthermore, by taking a decision on the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to collect information and investigate allegations of violations of the measures against UNITA, the Council is making a bold step towards strengthening its own capacities in relation to this particular sanctions regime, as well as to its overall sanctions policy. It is from this standpoint that my delegation attaches particular importance to the close connection between the monitoring mechanism and the sanctions Committee on Angola. It is also from this perspective that we acknowledge a correlative character between this meeting and important events both inside and outside the Council which took place yesterday.
Another specific element of the draft resolution which my delegation would like to emphasize is a very clear forewarning of the inevitable repercussions on States proved to have violated the measures imposed against UNITA. The relevant provisions of the draft resolution to that effect provide strong evidence of the Council’s determination to end the culture of impunity with regard to this sanctions regime.
I would like to conclude by reiterating my delegation’s appreciation and strong support for the efforts of Ambassador Robert Fowler aimed at improving the effectiveness of the sanctions against UNITA.
I thank the representative of Ukraine for the kind remarks he addressed to the Canadian delegation.
I shall now make a statement in my capacity as Foreign Minister of Canada.
At the outset, I join others around this table who have welcomed the Minister for External Relations of Angola. I think it is vital that he be with us as we discuss an issue so crucial to his country. We appreciate his taking the time and making the effort to join us in this debate.
Tomorrow, we will be considering the role and responsibility of the Security Council in protecting civilians in armed conflict. Today we have the opportunity to take resolute Council action where the need could not be more acute. The endless and utterly senseless civil conflict in Angola has only one enduring certainty: civilians desperately need protection. Previous speakers have made plain the dimensions of the threats faced by ordinary Angolans. Angola is a place where more than a million souls have perished in the violence; where a complete humanitarian collapse looms never very far, with people barely surviving from day to day; where for rural dwellers it is literally too dangerous to set foot out of the house for fear of being blown away by a landmine; where children are in greater peril than anywhere else on earth; where one in three people have been uprooted from their homes; and where, quite simply, no one has escaped undamaged by war in one way or another.
Angola is a very rich land that is very poor in human security. Indeed, it is ironic and tragic that its very riches — mineral and petroleum wealth — have been so cruelly exploited to increase rather than diminish the suffering of the Angolan people. The renewed violence that has thwarted the prospects for peace might have been impossible if UNITA had not been able to misdirect earnings from those resources into the pursuit of violence.
To its considerable credit, the United Nations has been engaged from the outset in efforts to resolve the Angolan war and to establish peace. Thousands of Blue Berets, civilian and military, have been sent there for that cause, some paying with their lives; millions of dollars have been spent in humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts; countless negotiators have worked for days, weeks and months to obtain commitments by the parties to stop the fighting for good. However, there has been little return on this enormous investment. Lasting peace remains elusive. Yet, until peace prevails, there is no alternative but to persevere.
Yesterday, the Council agreed to improve the use of sanctions as an instrument to pursue peace and advance human security. Today, we can translate that general commitment into specific action for Angola. We can give real meaning to the sanctions regime against UNITA as a way forward. Denying UNITA the means to wage war would help promote peace. To be sure, that was the objective when measures to that end were adopted several years ago. But it is no secret that non-adherence to the relevant Council decisions, deliberate or otherwise, has been the rule rather than the exception.
The Security Council took an unprecedented step to reverse this trend a year ago when it approved the creation of an independent Panel of Experts to collect specific information on compliance and non-compliance with the provisions of the sanctions regime, and to provide the Council with recommendations on how to make the sanctions work. The Panel, working independently of the sanctions Committee and holding itself to the most stringent of evidentiary standards, has produced a comprehensive, well-supported and practical report for which it deserves the Council’s gratitude.
Along with the Panel, the Chairman of the sanctions Committee, Ambassador Fowler, and his very able staff also merit our appreciation — which many members have expressed — for the single-minded determination and vision with which this challenging initiative was pursued and completed.
They have done their work, and now the Security Council must do its work. The draft resolution before the Council would operationalize many of the Panel’s recommendations through specific action aimed at stopping the illicit trade in diamonds, petroleum and arms, while reinforcing financial and other restrictions on rebel leaders.
Canada will certainly do its part to ensure that these measures are followed through. We will provide $100,000 to assist the independent monitoring mechanism provided for in the draft resolution to prepare its report on whether to impose additional sanctions on parties found to be in violation of the Angola sanctions.
As many speakers have properly pointed out, neighbouring countries have a greater responsibility in implementing sanctions regimes. However, that is not a burden they can or should be expected to shoulder alone. To that end, we are ready to give technical and financial assistance to countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to improve the effectiveness of their efforts.
Finally, Canada is prepared to sponsor the meeting of experts on the diamond trade called for in the draft resolution. This would help devise a system of controls that would allow for increased transparency and accountability in the flow of diamonds from the source to the world’s diamond bourses.
As elsewhere, these new measures will work only if the sanctions regime itself is linked to a wider process of negotiation. To that end, we call upon both parties, UNITA and the Angolan Government, to demonstrate leadership and to negotiate and fully implement an agreement on the basis of the Lusaka accord.
After 30 years of civil conflict, the people of Angola deserve no less than lasting peace and stability. It is to be hoped that the work of the Angola sanctions Committee will contribute to reaching that goal. This ground-breaking effort has, I believe, further and wider application for the Council’s activities and its efforts to promote human security.
The Panel’s work underscores the complexity of imposing and enforcing targeted sanctions. It nevertheless proposes practical ways of doing so. Without question, these will require the commitment of considerable will and resources. Without doubt, there is resistance in some quarters to making them work. However, if successful, these measures could serve as a template for focused action against belligerents in other conflict situations.
The Panel’s efforts have also highlighted the reality and the impact of the new war economies — the nexus of parties to armed violence, the exploitation of people and resources and the commercial interests that profit from them. In a growing number of conflict situations, economic agendas coexist with political and military goals in the perpetuation of violence and the victimization of people. This highlights the large and growing importance of non-State actors in conflicts, and as a result emphasizes the need for the Council and Governments to come to grips with this reality and to respond effectively. Addressing the implications of the new war economies for peace and security merits further reflection and will involve the development of creative responses by the Council.
Finally, the Panel’s findings underline that, while the Council’s decisions reflect the will of the international community, their implementation depends on the action of individual Members. In applying targeted sanctions — financial or arms embargoes, for example — this means sharing know-how, experience and intelligence in dealing with other threats, such as money-laundering and the drug trade, where tactics for confronting them may be similar. For some countries, Canada included, it may also mean examining existing legislation and legal tools to determine whether they could be adapted to better influence the negative behaviour of actors operating in their or other jurisdictions.
The Angolan war is a direct and devastating threat to the security of the Angolan population. The Council is right to remain involved. The work of the Angola sanctions Committee and the Council’s commitment today will, we hope, bring a resolution of this conflict much closer. In applying the broader lessons of these efforts, it may also help the Council to protect not just Angolans, but civilians victimized by armed conflicts wherever they may occur.
I now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.
The next speaker is the Minister for External Relations of Angola, His Excellency Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, on whom I now call.
At a time when my country is going through a difficult period, I am pleased once again to address the members of the Council. I should like to begin by congratulating the President this month, Ambassador Robert Fowler, for the wise and able manner in which he is conducting the proceedings of the Council. My special greetings are also extended to the Foreign Minister of Canada, Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, who is presiding over today’s meeting on Angola. This fact is an indication of the commitment and solidarity of the Government of Canada with the Government of Angola in its efforts to restore peace.
Seven years ago, when the Council for the first time imposed sanctions against UNITA rebels in resolution 864 (1993) and in other subsequent resolutions — adopted, respectively, in 1997 and 1998 — we believed that the political authority and the means at the disposal of the Security Council would ensure strict compliance with these measures by all States.
However, this did not happen. The Security Council and the United Nations in general were unable to stop the serious and systematic violation of the sanctions. While it would be fair to attribute this fact largely to the lack of an effective mechanism to monitor the sanctions, nevertheless it was also due to the bad faith of the one person who is mainly responsible for terrorism in Angola, Mr. Savimbi; some members of the international community; and transnational organized crime linked to trafficking in diamonds and weapons, which finds Angola’s ongoing crisis to be fertile ground for increasing its profits.
It is no secret to anyone that despite Security Council resolutions, certain States and individuals continue to provide all kinds of support to Mr. Savimbi, thus challenging the authority of the Council. We do not believe that anything can justify the support provided to a man who has turned against the Angolan constitutional order, as is the case of Mr. Jonas Savimbi. In 1992 he rejected with violence the electoral results, and he is still attempting obstinately to oust by force a democratically elected regime. As a result, the Angolan people are being plunged into misery and deprivation.
We find it difficult to understand the reason why, despite hard evidence that the sanctions were being violated, the United Nations has only very recently decided to investigate the extent of these violations and the identity of the main perpetrators.
Although the investigation came rather late, it goes without saying that it does set a precedent in United Nations history. Its findings and recommendations have received overwhelming support from the international community, thus dispelling any doubts as to the objectivity and transparency of the report presented to the Council. The fact that the draft resolution contains more than 80 per cent of the recommendations in the report is indeed noteworthy.
It is now incumbent upon the Security Council to assume its responsibilities, to make use of its authority and to justify the faith placed in it by the States Members of the United Nations. My Government considers it imperative that the Council demonstrate a sense of realism and justice by activating, whenever necessary, the appropriate mechanisms provided for in the Charter of the United Nations to ensure that all States unconditionally abide by its resolutions, particularly resolutions 864 (1993), 1127 (1997) and 1173 (1998).
The draft resolution we will be adopting today provides a basis for all States to demonstrate their adherence to the sanctions regime against UNITA. We want to believe that good sense will prevail and that all Governments will cooperate with the sanctions Committee and the United Nations in general, with a view to preventing Savimbi and his group from obtaining access to any external support, whether it be political, diplomatic, military, material or financial.
This action must include prohibition of the use of the territory of any State to carry out political activities or propaganda campaigns and the bringing to justice of all individuals or companies whose practices are in conflict with Security Council resolutions on Angola.
In this context, we would like here and now to appeal to regional organizations such as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), of which my country is a member, to use their good sense and lend unequivocal support, as the Southern African Development Community did through its foreign ministers, to the report which has been submitted by the sanctions Committee on Angola, including its recommendations. We would also like to call on the OAU to make the report a reference document for all approaches to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.
At its last summit, in Algiers, the OAU declared the year 2000 to be the year in which all conflict in Africa should end. To that end, the organization is cooperating with the mechanisms created by the United Nations to counter all acts that threaten international security by politically isolating all those who directly or indirectly encourage and support subversive wars in our continent.
Finally, I would like to reiterate my Government’s full support for and recognition of Ambassador Robert Fowler as Chairman of the sanctions Committee, and I would like to appeal to members of the Council, to the Secretariat of the United nations and to the entire international community to continue to provide all necessary collaboration for the successful completion of its tasks.
I thank the Minister for External Relations of Angola for the kind words he addressed to the Canadian delegation.
The next speaker on my list is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso, Mr. Youssouf Ouédraogo. I welcome him, and I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
During this month of April 2000, Canada is presiding over the Security Council. You, Mr. Minister, have taken the opportunity to give the international community a month devoted to the subject of human security. The end of April will find you in Accra, Ghana, for the conference on children affected by war. This programme eloquently reflects your concern, Sir, and that of Canada, to promote human security.
Burkina Faso is gratified by your presence, Sir, and by your commitment, and we welcome the good relations between our two countries. We would also like to reaffirm that we hold all the States members of the Security Council and their representatives in high esteem.
I pay tribute to Ambassador Fowler, who is presiding over the Security Council this month. Allow me also to pay tribute to Ambassador Chowdhury of Bangladesh for the effective and professional way in which he presided over the Council during the month of March.
Today, the Security Council is continuing its consideration of the situation in Angola. I should like to take this opportunity to welcome the presence here today of the Minister for External Relations of Angola.
The agony and torment of the Angolan people has lasted for more than 25 years. From the struggle for decolonization and the intrigues of the cold war to the current struggle for power, there has been no respite for our Angolan brothers. They have experienced heroism, extreme weariness and every form of suffering and pain, both physical and mental.
Given these conditions, the Security Council’s involvement in the search for peace in Angola is urgently required. The creation of a Panel of Experts entrusted with the task of examining the violation of sanctions imposed by the Security Council against UNITA is part of that requirement.
The Government of Burkina Faso thus understands the situation and offers its support. That is why our current aim is not to demolish or downgrade the report, but merely to highlight its weaknesses and shortcomings in order to better serve the cause of peace through a rigorous, impartial, transparent, reliable, fair and just investigation.
In our statement to the Security Council on 15 March 2000, we made our position clear. We do not, therefore, intend today to reopen the debate on the report of the Panel of Experts; rather, we wish to reaffirm that Burkina Faso, in support of the measures decided on by the Security Council against UNITA, repudiates and rejects the conclusions in the report of the Panel of Experts that named the President of Burkina Faso as well as those implicating Burkina Faso in violations of the sanctions imposed against UNITA.
Furthermore, we intend to bring before the members of the Council and the international community the fact that, in a spirit of straightforward cooperation with the United Nations on this specific matter, my Government decided to set up, on 22 March 2000, a inter-ministerial committee entrusted with the task of following up the implementation of sanctions against UNITA. The committee is composed of representatives from the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Territorial Administration, Security, Economic and Financial Affairs, Trade, Transport and Tourism, Justice and Communication.
The committee’s mission is clear: it must see to the strict implementation of the sanctions, and in particular ensure that all necessary measures are taken by the ministerial departments concerned, and it must carry out a periodic evaluation of the implementation of the measures adopted.
Within the framework of its mandate and its mission, that committee will remain in contact with the United Nations sanctions Committee. It will also be responsible for carrying out investigations at the national level to determine the validity of the evidence provided by the sanctions Committee. If necessary, it will submit reports to the Government of Burkina Faso and to the United Nations sanctions Committee.
My Government has also issued instructions to the security service to take appropriate measures to strengthen existing provisions, particularly those prohibiting the entry into the territory of Burkina Faso of any person targeted by the relevant resolutions of the Security Council relating to sanctions against UNITA. The committee has already begun work and has prepared a memorandum that will be presented to the Angola sanctions Committee tomorrow.
All of these decisions reflect the determination of the Government of Burkina Faso to demonstrate once again its firm resolve to support unreservedly the efforts being made by the Organization of African Unity, the United Nations and the international community to effectively implement the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions on Angola.
The Council will shortly adopt a draft resolution on the subject under consideration. My delegation is in favour of the Council’s proposal to create a monitoring body to pursue investigations and to look into allegations of sanctions busting in Angola, provided, of course, that the Panel of Experts works in an atmosphere of transparency and fairness. Given those conditions, my country would be prepared to cooperate with that body, because the Government of Burkina Faso remains open to any honest, transparent and objective initiative aimed at restoring peace in Angola.
The way to a solution is not always clear, neither to the protagonists nor to the observers. Allow me to say, humbly but firmly, without indulging in hypocrisy or subterfuge, that it is the conviction of the Government of Burkina Faso today, as in the past, that only a political solution can bring about a durable peace in Angola. The Government of Burkina Faso invites the Security Council to keep this reality constantly in mind and reaffirms its full support to the Council in this connection.
The next speaker is the representative of Portugal. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Let me again salute your presence here today, Mr. President — a testimony to the importance your country attaches to the application and enforcement of sanctions regimes not only in Angola, but around the world.
I should like to recognize, too, the presence among us of the Minister of External Relations of Angola.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia — and the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey align themselves with this statement.
The European Union welcomes the convening of this meeting immediately following the meeting we held here yesterday to establish a working group of the Security Council on sanctions. Indeed, it is most appropriate that this Council is now taking further decisive action on the question of sanctions against UNITA following the report of the Panel of Experts from the sanctions Committee and the efforts of its Chairman, Ambassador Bob Fowler.
The decision of this Council, with the concurrence of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the late Maître Beye, to impose sanctions on UNITA has been a major part of the policy of the international community to compel Mr. Jonas Savimbi and his followers to embark on the path of peace and to abide by their own commitments, as expressed in the Lusaka Protocol. Resolutions 864 (1993), 1127 (1997) and 1173 (1998) were thus adopted. Sanctions have had a relevant impact on the situation on the ground, as they have prevented UNITA’s leaders from travelling abroad freely and made the procurement of weapons and supplies more difficult and expensive.
However, and as the report of the Panel of Experts makes clear in its findings, there have been a number of significant violations of the sanctions regimes imposed on UNITA. These violations cannot be accepted and must stop. We must ensure the full and effective implementation of the sanctions regimes to prevent UNITA from pursuing the military option. Indeed, the European Union welcomes fully the provisions of the draft resolution to be adopted today by this Council. The present resolution allows for the work done by the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1237 (1999) to be followed up by a monitoring mechanism. We are looking forward to its findings. We welcome the Council’s expressed intention to review the situation with regard to violations of sanctions not later than 18 November 2000.
The European Union remains deeply committed to a peaceful and political solution to the conflict in Angola and will continue to make every effort to achieve that objective. The suffering of the Angolan people after decades of war and the continued humanitarian disaster that the country is facing must be ended as soon as possible. The transformation of UNITA into a genuine political party and its acceptance of the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol would go a long way towards ensuring this objective. There can be only one Administration in Angola and that is the Government of National Unity and National Reconciliation. There can be only one army in Angola and that is the national army.
For its part, the Government of Angola must continue to make every effort to create the necessary conditions for a smooth extension of the state administration to the areas previously controlled by UNITA, in respect for the principles of democracy, good governance, human rights and human dignity. The European Union believes that the United Nations has an important role to play in assisting the Angolan Government to attain these goals. In this regard, it is most fitting that this Council adopted just last week a resolution endorsing the decision of the Secretary-General to extend the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) for a further six months. We support the work of UNOA in Angola in accordance with resolutions 1268 (1999) and 1294 (2000). Indeed, the European Union remains ready to consider how to assist the Government of Angola in facing the challenges of rebuilding and reconstructing the country within a democratic environment. Particular attention will continue to be given to humanitarian assistance in order to alleviate the suffering of the Angolan population affected by the conflict.
The adoption of the draft resolution before us today will be a concrete sign of the international community’s commitment to finding peace in Angola. This is an endeavour that demands much from a number of countries and requires the cooperation of all involved. The European Union urges all Member States to ensure thorough and consistent application of all the provisions of the sanctions against UNITA. The European Union is committed to rigorous enforcement of the sanctions. On our part, we reaffirm our determination to continue supporting international efforts to tighten United Nations sanctions against UNITA. The European Union and its member States have already instituted a number of measures specifically designed to improve the enforcement of the sanctions regimes. In this regard, the European Union also stands ready to examine what assistance it might provide to the Southern African Development Community countries in their efforts to implement the sanctions regimes.
It is important that decisions of this Council be respected and be seen to be respected. We must therefore be creative in finding methods and resources to follow up and improve the implementation of the sanctions. The efforts of both the Committee on sanctions against UNITA and the Panel of Experts have given us a welcome opportunity to do just that.
The European Union attaches great importance to the social and economic development of the whole southern African subregion. For this to be a reality, the peace and stability of Angola are vital components and we must continue to strive to attain this elusive goal.
The next speaker is the representative of Belgium. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I thank you, Mr. President, for having agreed to preside over this important meeting of the Security Council and I congratulate Canada for the eminent role it is playing and in particular Ambassador Fowler for the delicate task he is discharging with honour. I also welcome most particularly the presence among us of the Minister of External Affairs of Angola. I subscribe fully to the statement that has just been made by the representative of Portugal on behalf of the European Union.
Belgium unreservedly supports the aims pursued by the sanctions Committee and believes that the report of the Panel of Experts constitutes a significant stage in the search for solutions that would allow Security Council sanctions against UNITA to be effectively applied.
The report that was submitted to the Council on 10 March is innovative, and it attests to the will to tackle the causes of and the real responsibility for the violations of the sanctions. This is why the international community has the right to expect that the quality of the report measures up to the expectations it created and that the recommendations resulting from it will allow for a genuine improvement in the effectiveness of the sanctions.
Belgium attaches all the more importance to these problems since in recent months it itself has engaged in significant deliberations and consultations aimed at examining the various actions that can be undertaken to contribute to peace and stability on the African continent, in particular in Central Africa. The recent missions to the region by several members of the Belgian Government are a concrete illustration of this. Their main purpose was to encourage all the parties directly involved to implement the Lusaka agreements and to support the restoration of peace in the Great Lakes region. All steps aimed at reducing the suffering of the populations of African countries affected by wars, such as Angola and Sierra Leone, will therefore receive Belgium’s firmest support.
It is from this perspective that Belgium took a great number of measures aimed at ensuring the application of the sanctions of the Security Council, actions that unfortunately were not mentioned in the report of the Panel of Experts that was the subject of the debate in the Security Council on 15 March. I made this point on that occasion, and I would appreciate it if the Council would take note of those measures.
First of all, I want to stress that Belgium cooperated from the beginning, and without reservation, with the sanctions Committee and with the Panel of Experts.
An inter-ministerial working group, referred to as the task force, was set up, and it includes all the ministries and Belgian services concerned. The group has met seven times since the beginning of the year and has studied and adopted several measures to improve control over the origin of diamonds. This task force led to a reinforcement of customs controls and to the start of judicial inquiries against people suspected of illegally trafficking in diamonds.
I wish to recall that Belgium is the only European Union country that has a licensing system for the import and export of diamonds. Besides the customs controls, a second, physical inspection of all imports and exports is carried out by sworn experts. Our country is also considering the adoption of a law on extraterritoriality for crimes in the diamonds sector.
The control of the provenance and the origin of diamonds, which the Panel of Experts took up in paragraphs 92 and 95 of its report, constitute a key element of a problem whose complexity cannot be underestimated. The possibility of identifying with certainty the origin of a diamond through a physical examination is for the moment considered by specialists to be an almost impossible endeavour. The number of diamonds of small size dealt with each year is in the hundreds of millions. Moreover, it remains difficult to distinguish between diamonds coming from different mining areas that extend beyond borders. Lastly, determining the origin of a diamond is not enough to establish when it was extracted from a given deposit; moreover, that deposit may even have passed from the control of the Government to that of Savimbi. Belgium nevertheless remains convinced that effective procedures intended to control the diamond trade can be developed and continues actively to encourage research undertaken in this field. Furthermore, Belgium is the only country to have detailed statistics in this area that make it possible to identify trends. These data are at the disposal of all interested parties.
The Diamond High Council of Antwerp, a body that represents the private diamond sector, took into account the recommendations of the Chairman of the sanctions Committee. It took steps intended to lead to a better application of the sanctions, inter alia, through the establishment of a task force on Angola. Together with Angolan authorities, it has set up a system of issuing more reliable certificates of origin. At the request of the Government, it is also engaged in reviewing its procedures. Let me also mention that another working group that includes representatives of the Belgian Government and the Diamond High Council was created with the mission of drafting a programme of measures to be taken. This group met for the first time in September 1999.
The Diamond High Council also signed an agreement with the relevant judicial authorities, by virtue of which it is committed to centralize and to communicate all information that comes to its attention having to do with criminals or criminal activities. A study is being carried out within the High Council, and preliminary contacts have been made to examine to what extent a system of control comparable to that in place for Angola is also possible for Sierra Leone.
The physical control of the arrival or dispatch of diamonds is done in Antwerp by sworn experts. Since the introduction of sanctions against UNITA, no case of embezzlement has been noted. However, it was judged that the administrative statute relating to these experts should be reformed, and currently the competent governmental authorities and the Diamond High Council are discussing a new statute. When those deliberations are concluded, the sanctions Committee will be informed of their results.
Belgian expertise in diamonds is recognized and long-standing. Belgium will always put this expertise at the disposal of the international community, inter alia, within the framework of the conferences of experts on this subject. An international conference of representatives of all the diamond centres will be convened in Antwerp in July, in which Ambassador Fowler will participate.
The report of the Panel of Experts on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA constitutes, in the eyes of our country, a significant instrument contributing to the resolution of the problem arising from the illicit financing of groups that perpetuate wars in which the first to suffer are civilians.
Belgium reiterates its complete willingness to continue to work in close collaboration with the sanctions Committee and with its Chairman, Ambassador Fowler.
I would like to thank the representative of Belgium for his very detailed presentation. I am also grateful that the senior representative of the Diamond High Council could also be with us today.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Bulgaria. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
May I say how pleased we are to see you, Sir, presiding over this important meeting of the Security Council. We would also like to welcome the participation of the Minister for External Relations of Angola in this debate.
On behalf of the Bulgarian Government, I would like to welcome the forthcoming adoption of the Security Council’s draft resolution on Angola. We believe that this draft resolution will further strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions regime against UNITA and will contribute to putting an end to the bloody civil war in Angola. We are confident that the role of the Security Council is instrumental in bringing peace and reconciliation to that country, as well as more stability to the whole African continent.
Allow me also, through you, Mr. President, to congratulate Ambassador Robert Fowler, Chairman of the sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola, for his ability to guide the Council towards final agreement on what appeared to be a complex and multifaceted text by accommodating a large number of views and proposals. Bulgaria very much hopes that this balanced and realistic document will be diligently implemented and will serve as an efficient tool for improving the implementation of sanctions and curtailing violations of relevant Security Council resolutions.
My delegation aligned itself with the statement made by the representative of Portugal on behalf of the European Union, and fully subscribes to the positions expressed therein on the situation in Angola. Therefore, I will confine my intervention today to some issues of particular importance to my country.
Let me reiterate that Bulgaria entirely shares the noble motives and goals that inspired the Council’s decision to entrust qualitatively new tasks to the Panel of Experts created by resolution 1237 (1999). The Panel succeeded in increasing the awareness of United Nations Member States about the urgent need to curb illegal arms transfers and other support to UNITA. In fact, today’s session demonstrates that following the Panel’s report the international community is stronger and more united in its will to achieve compliance with the sanctions and to hold violators accountable.
My Government on several occasions had the opportunity to express its comments and observations, particularly on the parts of the Panel’s report pertaining to Bulgaria. It is worth mentioning that serious doubts were raised not only by Bulgaria but by a number of delegations, including Security Council members, about the working methods and credibility of sources used by the Panel, as well as its objectivity and ability to substantiate its findings by concrete evidence. Now I would like to offer some additional comments to the views already put forward on this matter.
We are of the opinion that when there are grounds to suppose that a Member State could be involved in sanctions violation, all relevant evidence should be made available to the that Government for consideration and reply. We are not satisfied by the explanation given to our written request submitted in this respect that the Panel’s report is “a self-contained document”. Such an argument simply does not and cannot suffice, especially when a country’s good name is, without foundation, unfairly damaged.
We believe that only an impartial and balanced approach could contribute to putting an end to the violations of United Nations sanctions, not against UNITA only but in a global context as well. It seems that such an approach has gradually evolved as a result of the recent deliberations in the Security Council and on the application of the sanctions against UNITA. The established six-month period will allow for additional analysis and monitoring of the implementation of the sanctions and, hopefully, for more precise conclusions.
Despite its reservations and rejection of the unsubstantiated accusations against Bulgaria, my Government has given serious consideration to the Panel’s report. A governmental commission was promptly established to investigate all circumstances related to possible involvement of Bulgarian institutions and individuals in activities that might constitute violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA. A number of preliminary results of its ongoing investigation have been made available and duly communicated to the Council members with a view to facilitating their work.
Having already cooperated in good faith with the Panel of Experts, Bulgaria is now ready to offer its full cooperation and support to the future monitoring mechanism. Needless to say, we shall provide it with all relevant information available to us in order to facilitate its work and further clarify the facts related to the conclusions and recommendations of the former Panel’s report. Bulgaria is confident that such a transparent and responsible approach will be duly appreciated and will help consolidate its reputation as a reliable member of the United Nations community.
At the same time we very much hope that a number of lessons learned from the former Panel’s report will be taken into account in the activities of the new monitoring mechanism. We expect it to work by combining transparency with confidentiality and using only trustworthy and verified information from reliable sources. We also expect it to pursue its mandate in close cooperation and consultation with the Governments concerned. Furthermore, the established procedure should be strictly observed so as not to allow any irresponsible and untimely “leakage” to the media.
The composition and activities of the future monitoring body should also reflect the principles of objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity, which we deem to be essential for the final outcome of its work. It is our view that none of the countries referred to in the report should be represented in the new body. Given the serious reservations shared by various delegations, we even doubt whether it would be appropriate for experts who participated in the former Panel to be included into the new one.
We fully share and support the provisions of the draft resolution on measures to be taken at the national, regional and international levels in order to curb illicit arms supplies to UNITA. However, the tasks we are facing not only in Angola but in Africa as a whole are obviously of broader magnitude. Alleged violations of UNITA sanctions have once again brought up the challenging issue of illicit arms brokering. In view of its complexity and global nature, this challenge cannot be addressed by a single country but should be tackled comprehensively through the concerted efforts of the entire international community. In this respect the present resolution will contribute to strengthening national and international control over conventional and small arms and their proliferation to Angola/UNITA and other African States. We are looking forward to the major input of the United Nations conference on illicit trade in small arms and light weapons to be held in 2001.
In concluding, let me assure you, Mr. President, of my Government’s willingness to continue its cooperation with the Security Council and its subsidiary bodies on monitoring sanctions against UNITA and to contribute to the collective efforts of the international community for preventing illicit arms trafficking, including through measures at national, subregional and regional levels.
The next speaker on my list is the representative of Mozambique. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and make his statement.
Allow me to begin, Mr. President, by expressing my delegation’s sincere appreciation and congratulations on your deserved assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of April. The leadership you have already displayed assures us of success in the deliberations of the Council.
I would also like to extend our appreciation to your predecessor, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdury of Bangladesh, for the excellent manner in which he conducted the affairs of the Council last month.
It is only fitting that you should be chairing this particular Council meeting. The contributions of your Permanent Representative to the question of Angola have been remarkable, particularly in his capacity as the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993). In that capacity on March 10 he presented the unprecedented report of the Panel of Experts on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA. I wish to convey my delegation’s great appreciation to Ambassador Fowler and to the Panel of Experts for outstanding service on behalf of the Security Council.
The report is an important and valuable instrument that will help the Security Council and the international community to act credibly and forcefully against the UNITA of Jonas Savimbi as well as against his supporters. On the basis of information and evidence available to it, the Panel of Experts clearly identifies who is violating sanctions against UNITA, and how, and who is contributing to prolonging the suffering of the people of Angola. The Panel also offers suggestions on measures to be taken in order to curtail the situation.
The 39 recommendations contained in the report represent a well-thought-out strategy to make Security Council sanctions more effective, thus forcing UNITA to abide by the commitments it undertook when it signed the Lusaka Protocol in 1994. The recommendations provide also for measures against those supporting UNITA in flagrant violation of Security Council sanctions. Because we believe in the merit of those recommendations, we wish to take this opportunity to express our support to all recommendations contained in the report of the Panel of Experts.
We applaud all members of the Council for their decision to establish the Panel of Experts with such a remarkable mandate. Now that the result of the Panel’s work is before them, it is the responsibility of Council members to see to it that the exercise is worthwhile and to take the next step.
The report clearly states, inter alia, that in order to add credibility and seriousness to the sanctions against UNITA appropriate measures must be taken against those who are violating them. The report emphasizes the need for stricter control on the flow of illicit arms and petroleum products to UNITA-controlled areas. It also recommends that traders and other individuals or companies found to be breaking sanctions relating to UNITA-held diamond should lose their registration, be placed on an industry blacklist and be barred from any involvement in the diamond industry. Diamonds should bring prosperity, not impose continued suffering on the Angolan people. Sanctions violators are increasing the ability of UNITA to wage war and are consequently prolonging the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Angola and the destruction of that country’s infrastructure and resources.
It is reported that as a result of the work of the Panel of Experts and the release of the report on sanctions against UNITA, it has become harder for Savimbi to sell diamonds and buy weapons. That positive development shows the real impact of sanctions when they are strictly applied.
We are encouraged by the information that several States are establishing, at the national level, commissions and other mechanisms to investigate allegations of sanctions violations. We hope that they will work expeditiously and produce results that will be made known to the international community. Any delay in that process could mean that another life is lost in Angola.
A number of paragraphs of the report make reference to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and to the important role that SADC countries should play in implementing measures to strengthen sanctions against UNITA. Those measures are related to inspecting and monitoring petroleum products supplies and the introduction of mobile radar systems with the objective of detecting illegal flight activity, among other measures. We in SADC support all measures aimed at strengthening the sanctions regime against UNITA and those which will bring peace and stability to Angola, which is a member of our regional organization.
While SADC countries will study existing capacities within the region, it is clear that to implement the measures mentioned in the report they will need substantial technical and financial support from the international community so that they are not found wanting. We would therefore appeal to those in a position to do so to support SADC countries in carrying out this task. We welcome pledges of support from members of the Council, including your own Government’s pledge, Mr. President.
Humanitarian assistance is also required for the Angolan populations that have fallen victim to this senseless war imposed by Jonas Savimbi.
We believe that the Council’s credibility is at stake, for it has taken a bold decision which should be realized — a decision that represents a real shift in the way the Council enforces its decisions and conducts its business. There is a real opportunity for the Council to make significant progress and to reassert its authority as a guarantor of international peace and security. We believe that a resolution commensurate with the task at hand would do justice to the excellent work done by Ambassador Fowler and the Panel of Experts.
We believe that this is the least that the Council can do for the Angolan people, whose Government has shown the necessary commitment, flexibility, accommodation and desire for peace in our sister country. The presence here of His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Relations of Angola is yet another demonstration of his Government’s commitment to peace in Angola.
I thank the representative of Mozambique for his very kind words.
The next speaker is the representative of New Zealand. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
Let me congratulate you, Mr. President, on bringing this important matter to the Council in this open format. I would like also to acknowledge the significance of the presence here today of the Foreign Minister of Angola.
One of the key findings of the study entitled “The Sanctions Decade”, which was launched yesterday morning by the International Peace Academy, is that the most important element in the success of sanctions is the degree to which they are enforced. My Government believes that Ambassador Fowler, by his leadership and his energetic chairing of the Angola sanctions Committee, and the Panel of Experts, which has reported specifically on violations of the Angola sanctions regime, have done the people of Angola and the United Nations a tremendous service.
We cannot forget that an estimated 1 million people have died in the fighting in Angola over the past 25 years. That is despite successive United Nations peacekeeping and mine-clearance operations to which my own country contributed throughout much of the last decade. Nor can we forget the callous shooting down of two United Nations aircraft, in December 1998 and in January 1999; the perpetrators of those acts have still to be brought to justice.
The Panel’s report casts some sunlight on the subterranean world of sanctions-busting in diamonds, arms and military equipment and other means of support for UNITA’s continued war against the legitimate Government of Angola. That war continues to take the lives of 200 persons each day. UNITA must be deprived of the means to wage war. It is essential that all Member States respect their obligation to comply fully with the measures imposed against UNITA contained in resolutions 864 (1993), 1127 (1997) and 1173 (1998).
The Panel’s report points the way towards the more effective use of the sanctions tool by the Council in the future. For sanctions to remain credible, the Council must act when violations are brought to its attention, as they have been in the case of Angola. We therefore strongly endorse positive action on today’s draft resolution, which contains a comprehensive range of measures to ensure the cessation of the violations identified in the report of the Panel of Experts.
I thank the representative of New Zealand for the kind words he addressed to my delegation.
The next speaker is the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
My delegation welcomes with pleasure this opportunity to address the Security Council. It is a greater pleasure to do so under the Canadian presidency — especially under your own leadership, Sir — when addressing a subject in which Canada, under the chairmanship of Ambassador Robert Fowler, has invested so much. We are particularly honoured that you, Minister Axworthy, have taken time from your other ministerial functions to chair these discussions. The presence of a delegation from the Canadian House of Commons is clear proof of your Government’s commitment to the establishment of a sanctions regime which not only works but also produces the intended results.
We want to commend the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola, and the Panel of Experts on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA established by Council resolution 1237 (1999), chaired by Ambassador Möllander, for the report on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA. We do not and must not underestimate the boldness required to produce such a compelling report.
It has been noted that the recent record of sanctions is an account of successes and failures. The Panel of Experts’ report on UNITA sanctions is clear proof that these sanctions have been allowed to fall into the latter category. Indeed, the state of failure appears so pervasive and pertinent that it is only legitimate to undertake a comprehensive re-examination of the circumstances and procedures regarding the application of Security Council-mandated sanctions. In this regard, we must welcome the Council’s decision yesterday to establish, on a temporary basis, an informal working group of the Council to develop general recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of United Nations sanctions.
We must nonetheless caution that the more effective use of sanctions by the Council will also depend on how well the Council deals with the violations put forward by the Panel of Experts. UNITA sanctions were imposed to secure specific objectives. They were imposed to counter not only perceptions of impunity on the part of UNITA leadership, but also as a tool to end the suffering of the people of Angola. If those who could be proved to have aided and abetted Mr. Savimbi do not suffer any consequences, the legitimacy of sanctions as an effective tool available to the Council will be severely undermined.
There is no denying that the people of Angola have suffered enormously. In spite of the enormity of their pain, it might not be too late to reassess what can now be done differently to bring their torment to an end. What the report of the Panel of Experts can achieve in the short term is to focus our attention on strengthening the framework against which sanctions on UNITA were imposed.
The Panel of Experts makes useful recommendations, which, if acted upon promptly, will bring Savimbi’s roof tumbling down. We should not, however, lose sight of the fact that the implementation of some of these quite apt recommendations relies on the capabilities of countries that are severely constrained in that regard. Our collective partnership in enhancing their necessary capabilities will therefore remain critical. At this juncture, I welcome the assurance of support and assistance to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), of which we are a member.
UNITA has taken the Council for a ride for too long. Reports that it has not been doing so alone are cause for great concern. We therefore also welcome and support the establishment of a mechanism which would seek additional information concerning the serious allegations in the report. We urge and support stern measures by the Council against proven violations.
We recognize that others may want to avoid the political consequences of such an outcome. We also realize that the report raises serious questions regarding the conduct of certain political leaders. It is gratifying to remember, however, that the grave charges against those who have proclaimed their innocence can be lessened only through a fair process. In the end, it would be fair to let the chips fall where they may. Those who are culpable must bear the responsibility.
We have welcomed the report of the Panel of Experts. Above all, we have welcomed it because it provides us with the added benefit of increasing our knowledge base and experience in developing a more systematic approach for dealing with sanctions violations. We therefore also welcome the Canadian proposal to convene a conference of experts to develop a regime to govern the use of sanctions. It is our hope that it will be inclusive of a broad range of perspectives.
Mr. President, you have succinctly observed that
“Sanctions are economic statecraft in action. When purposefully used and implemented to prevent or stop aggression, violence and abuse, this is statecraft in the service of people.” (S/PV.4128)
Regrettably, this statecraft has so far failed the people of Angola.
I thank the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania for the kind words he addressed to me.
The next speaker on my list is the representative of Gabon. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I should like at the outset to express my satisfaction and that of the delegation of Gabon at seeing you, Sir, preside over this meeting of the Security Council on Angola, a country that has suffered through almost 30 years of war. Your presence here at this Council meeting attests to the importance that you and your country, Canada, attach to the restoration of peace and security in Angola. I should like also to thank your predecessor, Mr. Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh, for his excellent work as President last month.
The Gabonese authorities have long been greatly concerned over the conflict situation in the sister Republic of Angola. In 1988 and 1989, President Omar Bongo himself deployed every effort in support of peace and national reconciliation in Angola. At that time, he and his peers — Mr. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Mr. Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Mr. Dos Santos of Angola, Mr. Sassou Nguesso of Congo, the late Mr. Mobutu of the former Zaire, Mr. Chissano of Mozambique and Mr. Pinto da Costa of Sao Tome and Principe — were seeking together a solution to the Angolan conflict.
In that spirit, and in seeking implementation of the Bicesse peace Accords, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant Security Council resolutions, the President of the Republic of Angola, Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos, and Mr. Jonas Savimbi met on 10 August 1995 in Franceville and then on 1 March 1996 in Libreville. Those two meetings were organized following agreement with the Angolan authorities and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General at the time, the late Maître Alioune Blondin Beye. May his soul rest in peace.
Following UNITA’s refusal to comply with the commitments entered into, including those in the Lusaka Protocol, the Gabonese and Angolan authorities agreed to work together closely to encourage UNITA to comply with its obligations under all relevant agreements.
I should also like to recall that, within the context of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa, in 1993 a non-aggression pact was signed among countries of the subregion. Under the terms of that pact, and as a matter of principle, Gabon does not allow or encourage any destabilizing actions against other States, least of all from its own territory.
It is thus clear that Gabon has always supported, and will continue to support, the efforts of the Government of Angola to restore a lasting peace there.
The report of the Panel of Experts of 10 March 2000, contained in document S/2000/203, refers to sanctions violations in the area of weapons, military equipment, diamonds, UNITA’s material and financial assets and petroleum and petroleum products, as well as travel and representation abroad by UNITA members.
According to the Panel of Experts, Gabon delivered 150,000 litres of fuel to UNITA, aircraft coming from UNITA-controlled areas often refuelled in Libreville before returning to Eastern Europe, and UNITA had “unofficial” representation in Gabon, headed by a certain Francisco Camalata who was active on UNITA’s behalf but kept a low profile.
Following the publication of the report of the Panel of Experts on 15 March 2000, upon instructions from my Government, I sent a letter to the President of the Security Council and the Chairman of the sanctions Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 864 (1993). In that letter, we requested information about, for example, the precise dates and the type and registration of the aircraft in question. We also inquired by what means — by air or by sea — the 150,000 litres of fuel were supposedly delivered to UNITA, given that the State of Gabon does not have such transport facilities available to it.
It is regrettable that the Panel of Experts, which supposedly had information about the accusations made against us — the delivery of 150,000 litres of fuel to UNITA, the refuelling of aircraft coming from UNITA-controlled areas and the hosting in Gabon of an unofficial UNITA representative — not only failed to provide any tangible evidence, but did not even reply to our letter.
It is also regrettable that the Panel of Experts did not take the trouble to visit Gabon. According to paragraph 6 (a) of resolution 1237 (1999), which was adopted by the Security Council under the Gabonese presidency, the mandate of the Panel of Experts is
“To collect information and investigate reports, including through visits to the countries concerned, relating to the violation of the measures imposed against UNITA”.
Is it sufficient for the Security Council or its committees simply to make a statement of fact without providing any evidence or for the parties accused to be held responsible for the actions alleged? Were such a practice to continue, would it not risk destroying the credibility and authority of this important United Nations body? Does not this represent a lack of transparency?
Gabon has nothing to be ashamed of. Nevertheless, we carried out initial investigations, working with the Angolan Embassy in Libreville, in an attempt to locate Mr. Francisco Camalata. Our initial investigations have not been conclusive, but we shall continue to pursue them. My Government has sent the Council a detailed report to this effect. Pursuant to paragraph 6 (a) of resolution 1237 (1999), we would like to be able to count on the cooperation of the Panel of Experts in helping us to identify those who might be responsible for such actions, in case we have missed them, so that we can not only punish those responsible, but prevent any recurrence of such actions.
I thank the representative of Gabon for the kind words he addressed to my delegation.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Brazil. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
The Security Council is honoured today to have been presided over by the Foreign Minister of Canada. Canada is widely recognized within the Organization for its outstanding actions in favour of peace and humanitarian causes. Brazil also warmly welcomes the presence of Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, the Angolan Minister for External Relations, during the Council’s deliberations.
This meeting opens new and promising perspectives for Angola. We remember that in the closing days of February 1999, the expiration of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola occurred amid a deep sense of frustration over the fact that the resources applied by the international community and the people of Angola in the peacekeeping process were not bearing fruit.
UNITA’s responsibility for the frustration of the peace process was clear and indisputable. Today, in resuming consideration of the follow-up to the report of the Panel of Experts on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA, the circumstances are very different, and hopeful. The Angolan Government has been able to muster its forces and break UNITA’s capacity to wage conventional warfare, and the Security Council and the United Nations have re-established working links with Luanda.
The adoption on 13 April of Security Council resolution 1294 (2000) illustrates this improved relationship. We understand that the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for Special Assignments in Africa, Ibrahim Gambari, an able and talented diplomat, will soon visit Angola. We are certain his mission will succeed.
This new situation is welcome. Brazil has always underlined the important role that the United Nations should play in Angola. The draft resolution about to be adopted will strengthen the United Nations presence and again brings hope for peace.
In this, the role of the Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations has been decisive. His leadership, determination, genuine belief in United Nations principles and clear understanding of the difference a determined action by the Security Council can make allowed for the elaboration of the comprehensive and innovative draft resolution now under consideration in the Council. The report upon which the draft resolution is based, prepared by the team led by Ambassador Fowler and Ambassador Anders Möllander, imposes upon us the challenge of working seriously and effectively to stop disrespect for the decisions of this Council.
It is a milestone in the effort to strengthen the ability of the United Nations to solve regional conflicts and promote peace, development and democracy. The Fowler report is a model of such a role, as recognized by the majority of the Members of our Organization. In this regard, Brazil would like to stress the decision of the recent Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in Cartagena, which urges the Security Council to “adopt the report and pass a resolution on the recommendations contained therein”.
That resolution should provide a further legal basis for outlawing any support for Mr. Savimbi’s UNITA and send a clear signal that he is no longer an acceptable interlocutor for the peace process. Of great importance is the establishment of a follow-up and monitoring mechanism, as mentioned in recommendation 39 of the report. The report demonstrates in detail the procedures used by UNITA to finance its activities, purchase weapons and involve third parties to avoid compliance with the obligations it undertook with the “Acordos de Paz” and the Lusaka Protocol.
Brazil has always favoured dialogue and the peaceful settlement of conflicts and will continue to do so in Angola. We advocate, however, that a clear message should be sent to Savimbi — now declared a war criminal by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Organization of African Unity — and his supporters. Brazil wants peace in Angola and is ready to contribute to that end. We know that the most difficult tasks are yet to come. They are to rebuild the country, provide millions of destitute citizens with a minimum level of well-being and the fruition of their rights as human beings.
Brazil wishes to commend the Angolan Government for announcing its intention to hold general elections in late 2001 and the beginning of consultations on a draft new constitution for the country. The next step will be devising measures to complete the construction of a fully democratic State based on the full enjoyment of human rights for all Angolans. The United Nations Office in Angola, through its capacity-building arm, has an important role to play. We hope that it will soon be operational.
That will be possible only if sanctions are enforced and respected so as to ensure disarmament and the complete military demobilization of UNITA. Savimbi must be prevented from completing any financial transaction and from continuing to pursue the diamond trade. His representatives must lose the ability to travel and to work on UNITA’s behalf abroad. Those who persist in offering support to UNITA should be convinced that they are extending the suffering of the Angolan people and that they will face public exposure and shame.
The implementation of the measures envisaged in the draft resolution will require additional efforts from the SADC countries and other neighbours of Angola. It is important that the international community extend to them the necessary assistance to shoulder those new tasks.
I wish to reiterate the position Brazil has long defended in this body. The Security Council has to be firm on UNITA and its supporters. This is the only way to bring about the peace that for so long has eluded the brotherly people of Angola.
Peace in Angola will have decisive consequences for the conflict that has been tormenting the region for years. We want Angola to have an important regional and international role commensurate with its economic potential and with the courage displayed by its people.
I thank the representative of Brazil for his extremely kind words addressed to our delegation. Brazil was an inspiration to Canada on the Security Council and I thank the Ambassador of Brazil for his participation here today.
The next speaker is the representative of Spain. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
I am gratified above all that, given the importance of the topic under consideration, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada has presided over this meeting. I am also pleased to see the Minister of External Affairs of Angola here with us today.
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by the Permanent Representative of Portugal on behalf of the European Union.
Spain is convinced of the necessity, usefulness and effectiveness of the sanctions regime imposed by the Security Council on UNITA. We believe that the sanctions are working and we wish to stress the remarkable and indispensable role that has been played in this respect by Ambassador Robert Fowler, the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola. He has given decisive impetus to this issue, demonstrating yet again his professionalism, effectiveness and diplomatic know-how.
Furthermore, my country welcomes the report of the Panel of Experts established by the Security Council pursuant to resolution 1237 (1999). We believe that the report’s contents and imaginative and bold recommendations represent a qualitative step forward with regard to sanctions and an indispensable contribution to a peaceful solution to the situation in Angola. In this context, we congratulate Ambassador Mollander, the Chairman of the Panel of Experts.
We are convinced that all Member States must cooperate to implement these sanctions and remain vigilant in order to ensure their enforcement. The Security Council must be in a position to respond appropriately to sanctions busting.
I thank the representative of Spain for his very kind words addressed to our delegation.
The next speaker is the representative of Togo. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
At the outset, I wish to express my pleasure that Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada, has come here yet again to preside personally over this important meeting of the Security Council. I also wish to welcome the participation in this debate of Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, the Minister of External Affairs of Angola.
About one month ago, the Security Council met openly to consider the report of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1237 (1999) to investigate violations of sanctions imposed against UNITA. In the course of its statement, the delegation of Togo decried the fact that the report had been released first to the media, to the detriment of the States Members of the United Nations, particularly those that it implicated. At the same time, we deplored the frivolous and entirely unprofessional method followed by the Experts, as well as the lack of consistency of the allegations raised against Togo.
Nevertheless, and in order to make an in-depth study of the substance of these allegations, the Government of Togo decided on 22 March to establish an interministerial commission of inquiry composed of six members, who were later joined by the President of the Constitutional Court, the First Vice-President of the National Assembly and the President of the Supreme Court of Togo. Yesterday, I sent the report drafted by the commission to the President of the Security Council and we expect that it will soon be published as an official document of the Council.
As I stressed in my letter of 24 March 2000, contained in document S/2000/256, it goes without saying that certain allegations can be verified by members of the national commission of inquiry only on the basis of the detailed information requested by my Government. This includes details concerning the type and registration of the aircraft alleged to be involved in the violations of sanctions, as well as the dates and places connected with their refueling in Togo. It is in this context that I would like to reaffirm the willingness of the Government of Togo to cooperate closely with the sanctions Committee.
My delegation is also gratified that the draft resolution soon to be voted on by the members of the Council provides for setting up a monitoring mechanism composed of up to five experts entrusted with the follow-up of the work carried out by the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1237 (1999). My delegation truly hopes that the observations and comments made during the examination of the report of the Panel of Experts will be taken into consideration, particularly those regarding the working methods followed by the Panel of Experts.
In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm the commitment of the Government of Togo to respect resolutions of the Security Council, particularly those imposing sanctions on UNITA. I would like to emphasize my Government’s determination to shed full light on the allegations contained in the report of the Panel of Experts and, more generally, to contribute to efforts to improve the effectiveness of embargo measures.
It is in this context that the Government of Togo is planning to establish a body to follow up and monitor the rigorous implementation of various Security Council resolutions on sanctions against UNITA. We have already decided to invite to Togo the United Nations experts whose previous mission did not lead to a constructive dialogue.
The next speaker inscribed on my list is the representative of Zimbabwe. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.
We would like to recognize the presence here of Minister Axworthy, and of Minister de Miranda of Angola.
My delegation joins those who have spoken before me in extending congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of April.
Zimbabwe enthusiastically welcomes the report of the Panel of Experts on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA and regards it as a privilege to pronounce itself before this body on an issue of such importance.
It is a shame that for more than 20 years now the aspirations of the Angolan people for peace, stability and development have remained thwarted by a handful of reckless adventurers and misguided zealots who in any civilized country would be rejected and disowned as the lunatic fringe of the political spectrum. The report of the Panel of Experts correctly identifies greed, and not grievance, as the rationale for UNITA’s declared war on the Government and people of Angola. Furthermore, in the process of establishing the symbiotic nature of UNITA’s relations with Rwanda and Uganda and their surrogates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the report also situates the pursuit of economic goals by UNITA, Rwanda, Uganda, the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) and the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) as the motivation for what we all along regarded as being senseless civil war. Because the report of the Panel of Experts has identified both the economic agendas and the beneficiaries in the armed conflicts that characterize Central Africa’s security landscape, my delegation now calls upon the Security Council to immediately raise the opportunity costs of pursuing those agendas through warfare.
Just last week, the head of planning of the United Nations Mission in Kinshasa, Colonel Steve Canyon, reported that Rwanda had deployed fresh troops numbering in the thousands for what could be a decisive force designed to seize central Congo and pave the way for the final march on Kinshasa. The deployment of Rwandese forces in the Kasai province has been facilitated by large-scale UNITA operations in that province. In March this year, the Government forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo lost the town of Lueza to UNITA.
While embracing unreservedly the measures recommended for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region in the Security Council draft resolution on Angola sanctions, my delegation submits that as long as Rwanda continues to occupy Congolese territory, UNITA will have a lifeline, since that territory provides the much-needed conduit for its arms and diamonds trade.
Against a background where Rwanda has introduced UNITA to some of its arms brokers and contacts, as has been reported by the Panel of Experts, it can be anticipated that as soon as the sanctions begin to take effect UNITA will expect Rwanda to come to its rescue in its hour of need, as was the case in August 1998 when two Rwandese battalions stranded in the western part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo found sanctuary in UNITA-held areas of northern Angola and were eventually flown back to Rwanda courtesy of Savimbi’s contraband-running cargo planes. The report of the Panel of Experts having established that Kigali is fast becoming a nerve centre for UNITA’s external operations, it is only fair to surmise that the Kigali-eastern Congo arms smuggling route offers possibilities for UNITA.
The SADC region has always recognised that the successful implementation of Security Council sanctions against UNITA depends on the capacity and commitment of the member States to deny UNITA the use of the subregion’s land routes, airports and airspace. In recognition of the importance of cooperation in implementing the sanctions regime against UNITA, SADC set up a subcommittee in 1997 that recommended the creation of an interdepartmental liaison mechanism within its member States to ensure effective sharing of information between the civil aviation authorities, the immigration and intelligence services and the defence and police forces, as well as the establishment of a mechanism for regional liaison.
The ad hoc committee of ministers met in Harare on 19 November 1997 and set up a task force comprised of personnel from civil aviation, immigration, intelligence, the army and police forces. The task force’s terms of reference were defined as monitoring all suspicious aircraft trafficking the subregion’s airspace; monitoring all border posts and checking for materiél and goods likely to be destined for UNITA-controlled areas; investigating all allegations of UNITA’s activities in the subregion, including companies and individuals providing logistical support to UNITA; investigating all allegations of violations of Angolan airspace, airports and airstrips located in the subregion, which were to be placed under 24-hour surveillance; and ensuring that sanctions imposed on UNITA by the United Nations were not violated by member States.
That task force recommended the establishment of national information centres that would coordinate the collection of data in accordance with task force terms of reference. The task force also recommended that a regional information centre, which would process information received from the national information centres, be established in Harare. The regional information centre was to submit monthly status reports to the national information centres.
Our experience in SADC has shown that the sharing among member States of both strategic and tactical information is an effective method of reducing UNITA’s war-making capacity. Zimbabwe, as coordinator of the regional information centre, submitted detailed operational procedures for the control and monitoring of flights within the SADC region which, when put to use by the member States, resulted in the interception of some of the cargo planes that supplied UNITA with weapons, such as Johannes Parreira’s Interstate Airways, which is mentioned in the report of the Panel of Experts. From information gathered by the national information centres, the regional information centre compiled a comprehensive dossier of companies and individuals that engaged in commercial transactions with UNITA. All this information was made available to the Panel of Experts when they visited Harare.
Experience has also taught us that resources are critical if operational information is to be disseminated in a timely manner. In view of the sensitive nature of some of the information that is transmitted between the national information centres and the regional information centre, the immediate relevance of some of that information could be lost if there is no secure means of communication. While SADC is ready to implement the recommendations in the draft resolution, we appeal to the international community to make available the requisite resources, including communications and other monitoring equipment, so that we can resuscitate and improve on the infrastructure that was established three years ago.
We expect the whole world to applaud the sanctions Committee’s report and to cooperate with the Security Council in passing and implementing the resolution before it. The postures of those who want to adopt the ostrich policy of burying their heads in the sand and pretending that there is no storm reflect the destructive bravado of the defenders of evil.
There are moral imperatives that dictate that the Council must now act decisively to adopt the resolution under consideration. The United Nations has for some time now elevated the concept of justice and transparency to the level of global ethics. This Council would desecrate its commitment and diminish itself by any accommodation that it makes with Savimbi and those who sup with him. Any act of tolerance would tarnish the Council. Any passivity in the face of what has become in Angola an onslaught on humanity would be a terrible indictment on the United Nations and on the Security Council in particular. The time to act is now.
The next speaker on my list is the representative of Rwanda. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and make his statement.
Once again we wish to congratulate Canada for putting on the Security Council agenda the consideration of important issues which Africa wants to see addressed, namely the situation in Angola under consideration today and the Carlsson report, which this body examined last Friday. I offer my thanks and appreciation to you all.
It is a coincidence that I am speaking after the representative of Zimbabwe, from whom I was expecting an update on the situation in the region and in his country in particular. But I do not wish to divert you from today’s topic. May I, with your permission, Sir, welcome the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola and wish him well.
Knowing what Rwanda has gone through, we know very well how hard the situation in Angola has been. It has been a cause of concern to us all for long enough, and the Security Council’s decisive action under Canada’s leadership looks more focused than it has been so far. My delegation wishes to commend this body and Canada for that change for the better, as far as Africa is concerned. We hope that this sign of change will be guided all along by appropriate research methodology principles and practices and the rigor they call for. However, nothing will work if we lose momentum.
Further to, and with reference to, our statements of 15 March and our letter of 29 March, which is a Security Council document (S/2000/283) dated 4 April containing my delegation’s comments on the report, we wish to share with the Council that we lost no time in following up on the allegations made against my country and President Kagame, including those repeated by the representative of Zimbabwe tonight. As stipulated in the penultimate paragraph of our comments in that document, our authorities and specialized services have thoroughly investigated the allegations time and again and have come to the same conclusions: our statements are still valid and the allegations are false, especially those just made by Zimbabwe, to include the most recent ones.
That is why, in the spirit of the new draft resolution, we wish to suggest that further investigations be made and subsequent updated reporting carried out to supercede previous ones. Today’s draft resolution indeed refers to recent findings and input from States mentioned in the report, while calling for more of them in order to gather more information and comments. We welcome this reference meant to balance the otherwise biased reporting — as we said in the document I have mentioned before. In the same vein, my delegation has no problem with the establishment of a new team of experts as proposed in the report, but our reservations are along the line of our comments: we wish to see the team more independent, more representative and professionally unquestionable than the previous team, especially when Zimbabwe is included.
This inclusive approach will give us all more chances of objectively knowing the truth and allowing us to double-check the evidence provided, as compared to receiving just some repeated allegations as erroneous as the ones that would mislead this Council in its deliberations. Rwanda wishes to reiterate its commitment to collaborating with the Security Council and Angola in finding lasting solutions to the problem of reinforcing the sanctions against UNITA. We hope that the return of peace and security to Angola and to the region will at last be forged through this body’s wise deliberations, and we thank you.
I thank the representative of Rwanda for his kind words.
It is my understanding that the Security Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution (S/2000/323) before it. If I hear no objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
favour=15 against=0 abstain=0 absent=0
Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, France, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mali, Namibia, Netherlands, Russia, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States
There were 15 votes in favour. The draft resolution has been adopted unanimously as resolution 1295 (2000).
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.