Security Council meeting 4418

Date15 November 2001
S-PV-4418 2001-11-15 16:30 15 November 2001 [[15 November]] [[2001]] /

The situation in Angola.

The meeting was called to order at 4.50 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in Angola

The President

I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Angola, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Malawi, Namibia and Zimbabwe, in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda.

In accordance with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion without the right to vote in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

The President

On behalf of the Council, I extend a warm welcome to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, His Excellency Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Miranda (Angola) took a seat at the Council table.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. De Loecker (Belgium), Mr. Araujo Castro (Brazil), Mr. Heinbecker (Canada), Mr. Sousa (Cape Verde), Ms. Patel (Malawi), Mr. Kalomoh (Namibia) and Mr. Jokonya (Zimbabwe) took the seats reserved for them at the side of the Council Chamber.
The President

In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend an invitation under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Africa.

It was so decided.
The President

I invite Mr. Gambari to take a seat at the Council table.

The President

The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.

I now give the floor to Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General.

Mr. Gambari (Special Adviser on Africa)

On 17 October, I briefed the Council on the activities of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) since April 2001, as contained in the Secretary-General’s report in document S/2001/956 of 10 October 2001. Today, I will simply highlight some of those developments and update the Council on the others.

It is unfortunate that fighting in Angola has continued and, in some cases, intensified. The guerrilla activities of UNITA have spread to several parts of the country and, indeed, UNITA has claimed responsibility for attacking the locality of Caxito in Bengo province in May, for shooting at a World Food Programme plane near Kuito in June and for attacking a passenger train in Kwanza Norte in August. These attacks have caused over 400 civilian deaths and many more injuries.

The Government of Angola has launched a number of military offensives in the past weeks, particularly in the eastern province of Moxico, where it was reported that the Government took 600 UNITA combatants prisoner, 100 have surrendered and over 1,000 armament pieces were captured. UNITA’s strategic operational command centres were also reported to have been destroyed by Government forces.

The continuation of the fighting continues to have a devastating effect on the country’s social fabric and has further impoverished its people. In general, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated. Today, a tenth of all Angolans depend upon food assistance to survive. Humanitarian agencies report that the condition of children in Angola is very serious. Furthermore, war has also led to massive population displacements in Angola. A total of 4.1 million people are estimated to be displaced. Since the beginning of this year alone, humanitarian agencies estimate that as many as 323,000 persons are likely to have been displaced by war-related violence and warn that the number of newly displaced persons could reach 350,000 for the year. War, conflict and displacement have led to significant urbanization. Around 60 per cent of the Angolan population lives in urban areas today and the continuation of the fighting is likely to aggravate the situation further.

Concerning the peace process, the Government of Angola has continued to reaffirm its commitment to peace within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. In this regard, the Government of Angola also established the Fund For Peace and National Reconciliation and approved a four-point peace plan early this year. On 11 November, in an independence anniversary speech, President dos Santos, inter alia, reaffirmed the validity of the Lusaka Protocol and declared that his Government is ready to discuss ways, mechanisms and guarantees to integrate all citizens who are part of the military wing of UNITA led by Mr. Savimbi.

In May, Mr. Savimbi requested the Church, through a letter, to continue its search for peace and national reconciliation in Angola. The leadership of UNITA further issued a document entitled “Proposals for the Solution of the Angolan Conflict”. And in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General, UNITA reiterated its interpretation of the Lusaka Protocol. Although UNITA appeared to accept the continuing validity of the Lusaka Protocol, many of the specific proposals emanating from these communications appear to lie outside the framework of that Protocol.

On its part, the Church responded by reiterating its appeal for an urgent ceasefire and by forming a peace network comprising several prominent church and civil society leaders. Furthermore, the Angolan National Assembly decided to create a Commission for Peace and National Reconciliation, which is to examine the prospects for establishing mechanisms that may facilitate contacts with the main parties and other relevant actors.

In a speech to the Central Committee of the ruling MPLA on 23 August 2001, President dos Santos announced his intention not to stand as a candidate in the next general elections. However, he also indicated that there were several preconditions before the elections could take place, such as the need to revise the electoral law, adopt a new constitution, carry out a census, resettle displaced populations and have security guarantees in place.

After my last visit to Angola in May 2001, I reported to the Council that there were issues on which the Angolan Government would like the United Nations to begin immediate engagement with its representatives. These are, first, the management of the Peace and Reconciliation Fund; secondly, the pilot project for the resettlement of demobilized soldiers and internally displaced people; and, thirdly, national elections projected for the second part of 2002. In a letter to the Secretary-General, President dos Santos formally sought the assistance of the United Nations in these areas. Consequently, a multi-agency United Nations team was sent to Angola in late September to discuss the details of the request with the authorities. The mission has since returned to Headquarters and the results of its findings and recommendations were considered at high-level meetings in the Secretariat. The report submitted by the mission will be shared with the Government of Angola and a follow-up programme of action is being prepared by the Secretariat.

Meanwhile, in our view, careful attention needs to be paid to the situation in the Angola-Zambia border area. According to UNOA’s assessment, the situation there is neither secure nor stable. Refugees continue to arrive from Angola into the western province of Zambia, reportedly in deplorable conditions. Quite apart from the humanitarian concerns, it is important that the recent efforts of the Governments of Angola and Zambia to improve security coordination and cooperation along their common border not be jeopardized.

Finally, in his report of 10 October, the Secretary-General urged the international community to continue to exert its influence and to assist the parties in finding lasting peace in Angola within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol, including through the identification of practical steps that can help the parties to return to the resolution of their outstanding issues under the Lusaka Protocol and also encouraging the positive role of civil society in promoting lasting peace in Angola.

Just as I was coming here, our Office in Angola informed me that, today, President dos Santos met with the President of COIEPA, one of the leaders of civil society in Angola. We consider this to be a positive development. In any case, the Secretary-General has directed me to visit Angola later this year, upon invitation of the Government, for consultations with the Government and other stakeholders in the country on how best the United Nations could help in the search for a negotiated peace, so that we can bring the fighting to an end in Angola. The people of Angola deserve peace so that they can enjoy the benefits of the resources which God has given them.

The President

I shall now give the floor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda.

Mr. Miranda (Angola)

At the outset, allow me to congratulate you, Madam, on behalf of my Government and on my own behalf, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council. I also send greetings to your predecessor for the dynamic and brilliant manner in which he conducted the activities of this Council during his term.

You and your Government, Madam President, are paying great attention and according great importance to major contemporary issues in Africa. We were here last Friday to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Now the Security Council is once again discussing the peace process in my country.

We are sincerely grateful to you, Madam, to your predecessors and to all the members of the Security Council for the attention devoted by the Council to peace in Central Africa, particularly in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his continuing efforts in helping to bring peace to Angola. His Special Adviser for Assignments in Africa will be visiting Angola in the coming year.

My Government has been working hard, and its efforts have resulted in the creation of an environment of tranquillity throughout practically the whole of our nation. As a result, the political and military situation has gradually and substantially improved, allowing for some circulation of people and goods between different points in our country.

This reflects an increasingly broad implementation of an agenda of peace, based on a combination of political, social and military initiatives, with a view to bringing the Lusaka Protocol to completion.

In the political arena, the Government has given priority to national dialogue. Indeed, the Intersectoral Commission, created to coordinate all efforts aimed at bringing lasting peace, has been meeting with political parties and civil society, including churches, non-governmental organizations and civic associations, as well as with representatives of the international community — the troika of observers for the peace process, the diplomatic corps and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

The purpose of these meetings is to put together a large number of initiatives, all aimed at promoting a culture of peace, tolerance and national reconciliation. In the social arena, the Fund for National Peace and Reconciliation has supported citizens who have recently been reintegrated into civil society, providing for their basic needs and thereby making it possible for them to participate in the economic and social life of the country. In our Government’s view, the international community has an important role to play, through the United Nations, in the implementation of these social reintegration programmes.

In the military arena, the Angolan Government has taken extraordinary and forceful measures to complete the unfinished tasks under the Lusaka Protocol, particularly the disarmament of UNITA military forces and the extension of the State authority throughout the national territory, preserving the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation and creating conditions for the restoration of order. The Government has done its utmost to fill the vacuum in good governance that UNITA, in an attempt to cause chaos and facilitate the seizure of power by bullets, rather than ballots, tried to create. In accordance with those principles, the Government liberated all the counties previously controlled by rebels, thereby bringing life back to normal there.

The Government of Angola will continue to strive for peace. Accordingly, we once again reaffirm the validity of the Lusaka Protocol. As the President of the Republic, His Excellency José Eduardo dos Santos said on the occasion of the commemoration of our National Day on 11 November,

“The Government is ready to discuss the means, forms and guarantees to bring under its responsibility and authority all the citizens of UNITA’s military wing, led by Jonas Savimbi”.

History has demonstrated in a very clear fashion that Jonas Savimbi has never negotiated an agreement in good faith. He has taken advantage of periods of relative peace to rearm and prepare for new military campaigns, with the sole purpose of taking power through force. For that reason, it is difficult to count on him for a reconciliation that we want to be genuine and lasting; he has always declined any offers extended to him by the Government, including by the vice-presidency of the country.

The increasingly peaceful environment of Angola would not be possible without the support of the international community, which has made a distinction between those who have always opted for peace and democracy and those who have chosen war. As a consequence, the Security Council imposed binding sanctions against UNITA’s military wing, led by Jonas Savimbi. The most obvious effect of the sanctions has been the significant reduction of his capacity to wage war and, hence, a growing number of UNITA members who have been persuaded to lay down their weapons and join the path of peace.

This outcome clearly demonstrates the efficacy of the sanctions as a means, not as an end in themselves. This fact leads my Government to call on the international community to stay the course and tighten the sanctions, particularly in the area of telecommunications, as recommended by the Southern African Development Community, until peace becomes irreversible in Angola. Nevertheless, my Government is concerned with findings in the Security Council’s sanctions Committee report, according to which some United Nations Member States are not fully complying with the sanctions resolutions.

Some countries are continuing, under various pretexts, to allow movement by elements of UNITA’s military wing, for whom travel abroad has been banned by the Security Council. The capitals of some countries became propaganda bases, inciting war in Angola and rebellion against its sovereign institutions. The authorities of those countries have not shown enough commitment to freezing the bank accounts supporting such activities. UNITA’s offices abroad, which should have been closed as a result of the sanctions, are continuing to operate in those countries, now under the cover of non-governmental organizations.

The Security Council resolutions on sanctions against UNITA were adopted in accordance with the powers given to the Council by the United Nations Charter. All Member States are legally obligated to abide by and implement these resolutions. The obligations resulting from the Security Council resolutions prevail over any other obligation to which United Nations Member States might be subject by virtue of any treaty or international agreement to which they are or may become party. This principle should also be applied regarding sanctions against UNITA.

This principle should be applied with regard to sanctions on representation, travel and finances of UNITA leaders and adult members of their immediate families. We must seriously consider the question of the non-governmental organizations used as fronts to perpetuate former UNITA representation offices. It is equally important to prevent the use of electronic means of communication, which have become essential tools in UNITA’s propaganda campaign.

Therefore, my Government issues a strong appeal to all United Nations Member States to faithfully observe the pertinent resolutions adopted by the Council, which represent a valuable contribution to the establishment of peace in my country.

In addition, the recommendations made in the Monitoring Mechanism reports should be urgently considered by the Security Council.

The dynamics of this process have led thousands of people, tired of war, to accept voluntarily the peace initiatives taken by my Government. To date, more than 100,000 people, both civilians and members of UNITA’s military wing, who were living outside the law have now been reintegrated into our society.

This massive influx of people from the jungle raised to 4 million the number of people in need of assistance, and this has made even more complex an already difficult humanitarian situation.

Allow me to take this opportunity to issue an appeal to the international community to continue providing its incalculable support in order that my Government can, as soon as possible, alleviate the suffering of millions of Angolan citizens in dire need of food, health and medical assistance.

The President

I thank the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola for his kind words addressed to me.

Mr. Ryan (Ireland)

We welcome to the Security Council the Minister for External Affairs of Angola, Mr. João de Miranda. Today’s meeting, coming soon after the recent visit to the Council of your colleague the Minister of Interior, Mr. Dias dos Santos, is evidence that the Council continues to treat the situation in Angola with great seriousness. Indeed, it could reasonably be suggested that on a number of fronts the Council and the United Nations are as closely engaged today on Angola as at any point in recent years. In addition to the work of Under-Secretary-General Gambari, the sanctions Committee and the Monitoring Mechanism, under the direction of Ambassador Juan Larraín, have been working systematically to improve the situation in Angola. The recent visit of the inter-agency team to Angola and, before that, the visit of the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), demonstrate further an engaged United Nations — committed to supporting the Angolan people’s desire to achieve peace, stability and national well-being.

The past months have seen atrocious attacks by UNITA on Angolan civilians. These attacks, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of people, confirm that UNITA continues to embrace violence as a means to secure the power denied it democratically by the Angolan people in 1992.

Ireland continues to believe that the Acordos de Paz and the Lusaka Protocol must be the basis for peace and progress in Angola. The Protocol charts a political path for all shades of Angolan political opinion. Under the Protocol, UNITA has the opportunity to abandon violence and to join other parties in a democratic national dialogue. We believe that if UNITA takes these steps, it could rightly expect a role in this dialogue. We would be less than frank if we did not acknowledge that the recent flurry of statements and letters from UNITA has left us none the wiser about its readiness to enter into meaningful dialogue. We believe, however, that, despite understandable temptation to the contrary, the Angolan Government should remain open to the possibility that UNITA could yet change course. That said, the obligation and responsibility to take a new course lie entirely in UNITA’s hands.

We believe also that the courageous efforts of civil society and the churches should be recognized and embraced as a central part of a forward-moving process. The people engaged in these organizations are taking hard risks for peace. They should be supported strongly and listened to by all for the expertise and the wise perspectives they bring consistently to our common concerns. I am very pleased to hear of President Dos Santos’s meeting today with an important non-governmental organization representative in Luanda. This is a most welcome development. We look forward to further such interaction, building on this significant meeting.

We are firmly of the view that the implementation of the Security Council’s sanctions against UNITA is making an important contribution to the international effort to end its campaign of violence. Few would now argue — or try to argue — that the sanctions and the work of the Monitoring Mechanism have not severely diminished UNITA’s capacity to wage conventional war against the Angolan authorities and the Angolan people. Many of those States, organizations and individuals which in the past supported UNITA in different ways have over the last three years either reversed course or decided against risking further illegal involvement in the Angolan conflict. These changes have not come about by accident, and the United Nations should not waver in maintaining its successful sanctions regime. At this point, we wish to record the important role that improved relations between Angola and neighbouring States have played in the last few years. We would urge that the political, diplomatic and military cooperation that has brought about these improvements should be maintained and enhanced.

While UNITA’s capacity to sustain conventional warfare has greatly diminished, this has not been reflected in any significant improvement in the humanitarian situation. We were most disappointed that, because of the poor security situation, the Secretary-General recently reported that the expected progress in relation to access to the enormous at-risk population has failed to materialize and that the resettlement plan for 2001 has fallen so far short of expectations.

So many of Angola’s social and economic indicators remain at the wrong end of the spectrum — all the more so for a country with such a plentiful supply of valuable natural resources. The child and mother mortality rates for Angola, which UNICEF’s annual report ranks as the second highest in the world, are a bleak commentary on the country’s present situation and future prospects. The magnitude of internal displacement — estimated at up to 25 per cent of the population — is horrific. The fact that there are almost as many landmines as people in Angola further underscores the huge agenda before us all.

We have spoken before of the crisis level of the population’s humanitarian needs. There is an enormous health, education and infrastructure deficit. There is an urgent need for the international support in these areas to be supplemented systematically by a greater diversion of steadily increasing State revenues from natural resources into programmes to rebuild Angola for the people of Angola, who are the natural owners of those God-given resources.

We were greatly encouraged to hear the Minister of the Interior of Angola, Mr. Dias dos Santos, tell the Council on 20 September that he recognized the need for the Angolan authorities to do more for their people in this regard. We would make the case that this should be done not only for the welfare of the people — the clear and absolute first priority — but also to confirm in all eyes the legitimacy of Angola’s institutions and State structures. We look forward to hearing more on this subject over time, in the full realization that the Angolan Government’s task is a very difficult one. We are very encouraged by Minister Miranda’s comments today confirming this commitment.

UNITA’s forced reduction to hit-and-run guerrilla-level violence and terror against civilians is aimed at achieving continued national instability. At the same time, the decreasing support for UNITA would, I believe, be further eroded if the people as a whole saw clearly that sustained national programmes were under way to meet their everyday rightful needs.

The steady and expanded United Nations involvement on the ground in Angola — through the presence of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) and the ongoing work of Under-Secretary-General Gambari — is very important. We would prefer to see UNOA provided with more resources, including its work in the area of human rights. We see Under-Secretary-General Gambari’s intention to return to Angola in the coming period, following the recent visit there of an inter-agency team, as a further strengthening of the relationship between Angola and the United Nations. We also see it as a recognition by both sides that much work remains to be done by us all, together.

Mr. Granovsky (Russia)

I have the honour to speak today on behalf of the troika of observer States to the Lusaka Protocol — Portugal, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.

We are delighted to welcome Foreign Minister João Bernardo de Miranda back to the Security Council, and, through the presidential statement that we will soon adopt, to reassure him of our collective commitment to peace in Angola based on the Lusaka Protocol and on the relevant Security Council resolutions.

We are pleased also to be joined today by Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari and look forward to his upcoming visit to Angola later this month. As always, Mr. Gambari’s visit has our full support, and we hope that the Government of Angola will continue its engagement with him.

Since it has been only six weeks since we met privately with the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Dias dos Santos, we do not wish to repeat all of the elements of our last troika statement. Our views on sanctions were clearly expressed at that meeting and remain unchanged. In this meeting, we want to focus on some other areas.

We have always believed that there is no military solution to the Angolan conflict and that therefore dialogue is the only path to peace. The quest for peace has been ongoing for much of the last decade. This process resulted in the signing of the Bicesse Accords and of the Lusaka Protocol, which, in our view, continue to represent the only viable basis for long-term peace in Angola.

Though the military wing of UNITA continues to wage war, we believe that the political life of the country must continue. Ordinary Angolans must always be able to talk to each other across the political divides within their country. Such discussions reflect the belief that their country’s suffering can be resolved only through dialogue.

One of the new voices in Angola calling for dialogue in the pursuit of peace is that of the growing civil society movement within Government-controlled areas of the country. The emergence of a dynamic civil society movement that includes the churches is a positive trend in Angola’s development. We believe that this should continue to be encouraged by the Government as part of its commitment to Angola’s political evolution.

Regrettably, the development of a civil society movement remains limited to the parts of Angola that are controlled by the Government. In areas of the country under UNITA’s control, there has never been a civil society movement other than UNITA. There is no freedom of expression, no freedom of association, and no freedom of movement. UNITA’s military faction represents one of the last holdouts of totalitarianism in Africa.

We hear the calls for dialogue from our Angolan friends, and we support them in this. However, just as we believe that many things may be subject to debate and compromise, we believe that some things are not. A dialogue conducive to durable peace must be rooted in the common and non-negotiable principles of the Lusaka Protocol and focused on their implementation.

In the case of Angola, the troika believes that these principles can be summed up in seven words: “One country, one elected Government, one army.” In other words, the fundamental pillars of the Lusaka Protocol must remain intact. State Administration must be extended to all areas of the country. UNITA military personnel must disarm and be permanently demobilized. The option must remain open for UNITA to enter into the political life of the country as a political party, pursuing the aspirations of its membership through free and honest political activity.

We continue to support the Lusaka Protocol because we believe that these are the principles on which a just a lasting peace will rest.

We are often asked when the dialogue will start. Our response remains that it will start when UNITA renews its commitment to the fundamental principles that its leadership accepted in the Bicesse Accords and the Lusaka Protocol. When that is done, the road ahead will be clear.

In the meantime, the political life of the country must progress. No faction or individual can ever be given veto rights over the future of Angola. Above all else remains the principle that defines our policy and dictates our actions: that the democratic process is the only path to political power in Angola.

Mr. Kuchinsky (Ukraine)

I am grateful to you, Madam President, for this opportunity to meet with Foreign Minister João Bernardo de Miranda and to hear a firsthand account of the developments in Angola. I also wish to thank Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari for his lucid and comprehensive update on the situation.

I wish to use this opportunity to reaffirm Ukraine’s strong support for the peace process in Angola and for the steps taken by the Government of Angola aimed at promoting the democratization process, the rule of law and the protection of human rights.

Earlier this year, my country arranged for an exchange of delegations to our respective capitals and had very constructive and useful talks. Let me also reaffirm that my country will continue our efforts to bring peace, stability and prosperity to Angola. We hope that we will continue to build on and expand our friendly and mutually beneficial relations.

Ukraine welcomes the general improvement in relations between the Government of Angola and the United Nations, and the strengthening of an atmosphere of trust. This is a welcome result of what has been done in the Security Council, and of the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser for Africa. We believe that the role played by the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) in the coming months will be particularly essential for the continuation of the peace process, especially in view of the request to UNOA by the Angolan Government to seek the completion of the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol.

The promulgation of an amnesty law, the creation of a peace fund, the announcement of elections and other forward-looking measures are indeed valuable contributions to peace and reconciliation in Angola. The growing involvement of the civil society and the churches in the peace and democratization processes is also very encouraging. The most recent report of the Secretary-General and Minister Miranda’s briefing today confirmed that UNITA increased its terror campaign in different parts of Angola, which is targeted primarily at the civilian population and aimed at undermining hopes for a peaceful settlement. We hold the Savimbi-led UNITA fully responsible for this aggravation of the situation in the country, which testifies to UNITA’s lack of genuine commitment to the peace process. UNITA’s sustained military activity is unacceptable and gives the lie to its repeated declarations that it seeks a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

We are glad to hear that the Government of Angola is still ready to restart a dialogue with UNITA, and we join other members of the Council in welcoming the four-point agenda for peace prepared by the Government of Angola. Indeed, the past month’s developments underlined the urgency of a negotiated settlement of the conflict, which remains the only viable alternative to the prospect of another long decade of guerrilla warfare.

Here, I think, it is important to underline that the resumption of dialogue with UNITA should not mean a renegotiation of the Lusaka Protocol, which should remain the main point of departure for further steps in the peace process. As we have just heard, the Government of Angola made its position very clear in this regard.

I believe it is important to re-emphasize that the Council should continue to strengthen its sanctions policy against UNITA. I would like to reiterate that the Government of Ukraine fully supports the work of the monitoring mechanism. Its latest report, together with the previous reports, provided us with an elaborate picture of UNITA’s operations and functioning, and of sanctions-breaking mechanisms and channels. I wish to voice our strong support for the continued monitoring of sanctions against UNITA and our agreement with the recommendations of the Monitoring Mechanism regarding the need to establish a permanent capacity within the United Nations to ensure the monitoring of sanctions. Continued violations of sanctions remain a serious concern for my delegation.

We appreciate the efforts of the Organization of African Unity, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and individual Member States to reinforce the detection and suppression of cross-border movement of arms and petroleum, and other sanctions-breaking activities. At the same time, we note the critical role played by illegal flight activities in resupplying UNITA with weapons and ammunition. We recognize that SADC needs a great deal of assistance in pursuing this matter. In fact, it needs special and sophisticated equipment, adequate training for staff, sufficient financing and other important things.

The Government of Ukraine stands ready to assist in this process, in particular through providing training in air navigation to personnel. When preparing for this meeting, I took with me some materials containing information on equipment that can be provided to SADC to enhance its capacity to strengthen air-traffic control systems in the subregion. We intend to send these materials to the Chairman of the Angola sanctions Committee shortly. Ukraine is also interested in participating in the donor conference relating to Angola, which will provide additional assistance to SADC member States in implementing the sanctions regime.

Finally, let me reiterate that the restoration of a lasting peace in Angola cannot be complete without the economic rehabilitation of the country. The assistance of the international community in overcoming the consequences of the conflict, and the provision of humanitarian aid to the war-affected population, should be regarded as indispensable parts of the overall peace efforts in Angola.

Mr. Josselin (France)

The ongoing Angolan conflict, after 26 years of civil war, is a matter of deep concern for France.

The establishment of a lasting peace in Angola appears to be a distant aim, since the hopes of reaching a final settlement of the conflict have not materialized. The refusal of Jonas Savimbi to comply with the Lusaka Protocol, signed on 15 November 1994, has caused the deadlock in the peace process and the resumption of fighting since the end of 1998.

Considering that UNITA bears most of the responsibility for these failures, France would like to strengthen the effectiveness of the sanctions system against the rebels in order to compel them to respect their obligations and comply with the requirements of the Lusaka Protocol. This is why France, in its capacity as a permanent member of the Security Council, has supported the adoption and maintenance of international sanctions against the UNITA authorities. It continues to give its unswerving support to the Monitoring Mechanism, whose mandate the Security Council has decided to extend.

In this connection, we urge the creation of a standing mechanism for monitoring targeted sanctions and the traffic of raw materials in conflicts, as recommended by the Monitoring Mechanism. Since diamond trafficking finances the bulk of the war effort of UNITA, we would fully support effective measures to control the trade at the worldwide level.

While the Government has managed to considerably weaken the UNITA forces, UNITA has preserved its guerrilla capacities throughout the country. Attesting to this fact are the recent terrorist attacks against the civilian population, which were condemned unanimously by the international community. France, together with the Security Council, has strongly condemned the train attack perpetrated on 10 August by UNITA forces, which caused more than 250 civilian casualties. Such acts are unacceptable and do nothing but strengthen the determination of the international community to enhance the effectiveness of the sanctions against UNITA.

The consequences of the conflict are tragic for the Angolan people, the great majority of whom have never known peace. Combat and guerrilla activities sow terror among the population. Roads and railways are the target of these murderous attacks. Finally, dissemination of several million landmines throughout the territory makes it very difficult to travel by road. I ask Minister Miranda to understand that France is conscious of the suffering of the Angolan people.

This devastating conflict has lasted far too long. Accordingly, France encourages the protagonists to implement the Lusaka Protocol, which charts a possible course towards peace and national reconciliation. The policy of open-mindedness exhibited by the Government of Angola is an encouraging sign in that regard. Let me mention, among other examples, the measures taken with regard to amnesty and the reintegration of former combatants and the announcement of elections and institutional reforms, to which the international community should, at the appropriate time, give all the necessary support. I also welcome the Government’s overtures towards Mr. Jonas Savimbi inviting him to engage in a regular dialogue, under certain conditions, and asking him to set a date for the cessation of hostilities or to solemnly renounce war.

Above and beyond those gestures, which illustrate a willingness to make peace, we must now realize this policy of national reconciliation. A return to dialogue is possible, particularly thanks to the mediation of civil society. We therefore keenly encourage the Government not to let up on its efforts to involve all political groups and all civil society actors, whose vitality we salute.

The role of the churches should be particularly encouraged. Don Zacarias Kamuenho, Archbishop of Lubango and President of the Inter-Denominational Committee for Peace in Angola, has received the congratulations of both President Dos Santos and Jonas Savimbi after having been chosen by the European Parliament to receive the Sakharov Prize for human rights. France would be pleased to welcome him during his next visit to Strasbourg. We encourage the Government to invite the churches to resume dialogue with the rebels in order to convince them to lay down their weapons and return to the negotiating table on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.

The international community must provide a massive and rapid commitment in order to accompany Angola in the peace process and to help rebuild the country. In that regard, France supports the mission to be undertaken to Angola by Mr. Gambari at the end of the year to examine how the United Nations can contribute to finding a negotiated peace. The role of civil society that has now been recognized in the area of reconciliation deserves greater support from the United nations. I support the proposal put forward by the delegation of the United Kingdom last month for the speedy convening of a Security Council meeting under the Arria formula with representatives of civil society. Non-governmental organizations and the churches could thereby share with us here in New York their experience in the field with a view to brainstorming on possible ways out of this crisis.

Finally, I should like to refer to a matter of the utmost concern to the Government of France, namely, the seriousness of the humanitarian situation. The latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Angola, published in October, shows that there has been a considerable deterioration in the humanitarian situation. Particular attention should be given to the fate of civilians in areas where security cannot be guaranteed by the Government. These are rural areas under guerrilla control and areas under the control of UNITA. The number of displaced persons since the resumption of the conflict at the end of 1998 reached more than 3 million at the end of August, 1.3 million of them confirmed by humanitarian organizations.

Access to such populations in distress is very difficult. The poor state of runways, the lack of fuel and the precarious security conditions are impediments to the intervention of humanitarian organizations. The Government and UNITA must facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid throughout the territory. It is absolutely necessary that UNITA cease threatening the security of humanitarian convoys. The Government, for its part, must do its utmost to ensure security in the areas under its control. I also call upon it to authorize humanitarian organizations, where possible, to enter into discussions with UNITA forces to negotiate access to populations in distress. The success of such negotiations would be an initial sign of the genuine will of the rebels to make pace.

Lastly, I should like to pay tribute to such humanitarian organizations as Doctors Without Borders and Doctors of the World, which are working tirelessly under difficult conditions to come to the aid of millions of Angolans. We thank them for that.

I should like to recall that, in the longer term, national reconciliation and the return of stability in Angola require an improvement in the economic and social situation on the basis of a structural adjustment agreement to be concluded with the International Monetary Fund, and through the establishment of the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Those are areas in which the international community can play an essential role in supporting the peace process.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate France’s confidence in the determination of the Angolan Government to promote national reconciliation. The implementation of the Lusaka Protocol is the only viable basis for a political settlement to the conflict. France extends its full support to the efforts under way to finally put an end to the Angolan tragedy.

Mr. Eldon (United Kingdom)

I welcome Minister Miranda to the Council Chamber this afternoon. It is a great honour for us to have had two such senior representatives of the Angolan Government with us here in such a short space of time. I think it is a testimony to the importance with which both the Council and the Government of Angola regard the deliberations that we have on Angola in the Chamber and in the small room next door. I should also like to welcome Minister Josselin. It is a great honour to have him with us.

I can be rather brief this afternoon, partly because the representative of Belgium will be speaking later on in his capacity as Presidency of the European Union and partly because of the statement made earlier in this debate by Ambassador Ryan of Ireland, with which my delegation finds itself in near total agreement.

The presidential statement agreed by the Council on 20 September rightly highlighted the fact that primary responsibility for the continued conflict in Angola lies with UNITA, led by Jonas Savimbi. The top priority for the people of Angola should be peace. In the presidential statement we will adopt at the end of today’s debate, the Council will reaffirm again that the Lusaka Protocol remains the only viable basis for a political settlement of the conflict in Angola.

It is clear to us that the top priority for the people of Angola should be peace. It is equally clear to us that dialogue is the only way to achieve a lasting and sustainable peace process. Military solutions are not the answer, as bitter experience has shown in Angola and elsewhere. The dialogue in Angola should be as broad and as inclusive as possible, representing the various stakeholders in the peace process. The United Kingdom welcomes the important work of Angolan civil society and the Angolan churches in their attempts to bring about a resumption of the peace process. I would join Ambassador Ryan in welcoming both the commitment to civil society that Minister Miranda gave us today and the extremely welcome news, passed on to us by Mr. Gambari, of the meeting between President Dos Santos and the leader of the Inter-Denominational Committee for Peace in Angola.

That is an extremely welcome development. I believe that it is right, and that it would be helpful, for some way to be found to invite representatives from Angolan civil society and the churches to brief the Council on the role they are playing in the peace process. I have every reason to believe that this would be entirely consonant with the views of the Government of Angola, and I welcome Minister Josselin’s support for the proposal I made when the Council debated this matter in September — that at some stage we might consider arranging a suitable Arria formula meeting.

Equally important elements in the process towards peace in Angola are those of economic reform and the development of good governance. That is going to need great attention, I think, as the Minister has recognized.

The news given to us by Ambassador Gambari of the good reception that the United Nations technical team had in Luanda recently is very welcome. I hope that early progress can be made by the United Nations in responding to the Angolan Government’s request for assistance with the peace and reconciliation fund, pilot projects and preparations for the elections. I hope also it will be possible, perhaps as a result of Ambassador Gambari’s visit, to explore ways in which the United Nations can help further, both in terms of the general development and governance situation and of the advancement of the peace process. Like Ambassador Ryan, we regard the work of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) on human rights as of great importance and hope that this will continue.

Finally, I would like to refer to the humanitarian situation. Both Ambassador Ryan and Ambassador Gambari have referred to this, and the Minister himself has drawn graphic attention to the difficulties that people in Angola are facing in this regard. Further work is necessary. Further assistance is necessary. In particular, I hope it will be possible to make progress in terms of the development of humanitarian corridors and of the general principle of freedom of access for humanitarian workers and personnel throughout the country, to wherever people are in need. It has been almost 18 months since the Council was briefed on the humanitarian situation. I think it would be very helpful if, following Ambassador Gambari’s return, we could perhaps arrange another briefing of the Council by the humanitarian agencies, which it might benefit the wider membership to hear, to consider where more help is needed and where we can all do more in cooperation with the Government of Angola to try to do something about the dreadful situation in which many people find themselves today.

Mr. Koonjul (Mauritius)

Let me first thank you, Madam President, for convening this public meeting, which gives both the Security Council members and the general membership the opportunity to discuss the overall situation in Angola. My delegation is grateful to His Excellency Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola, for his very important statement. My delegation also thanks Ambassador Gambari, Special Adviser on Africa, for his comprehensive briefing on this issue. We commend him for his effort to find ways and means to help the peace process in Angola.

Over recent months, there has been an increase in terrorist attacks perpetrated by UNITA against innocent civilians in Angola. Mr. Savimbi and UNITA go on defying the international community and they continue their systematic acts of violence against the defenceless civilian population and Angola’s economic and social infrastructure. It is indeed time for the Council to declare Mr. Jonas Savimbi a war criminal, in line with what has been decided by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). There is no doubt that the primary responsibility for the ongoing violence in Angola lies squarely with Mr. Savimbi and UNITA and their refusal to implement the Lusaka Protocol. My delegation would like once again to reiterate that the Lusaka Protocol remains the only viable basis for the resolution of the conflict in Angola.

It is imperative for UNITA to abide by the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol. Taking into account the present extent of violence in Angola, one can imagine what the situation would have been had the Security Council not imposed sanctions against UNITA. These sanctions have to a great extent disrupted the activities of the rebel group. They have substantially reduced UNITA’s capacity to wage a conventional war. This Council should remain focused. It should maintain and even increase the pressure against UNITA. The sanctions should be not only closely monitored, but also tightened. We should keep in mind that UNITA would not hesitate to derive maximum benefit should there be any lapse on the part of the Security Council to pursue the sanctions regime. For my delegation, it is clear that the Monitoring Mechanism has greatly contributed to improving the effectiveness of the implementation of measures against UNITA.

It is extremely important for Member States to ensure strict compliance with Security Council resolutions 1173 (1998) and 1127 (1997). It is unacceptable that some countries have failed to cooperate with the Monitoring Mechanism in the implementation of resolution 1173 (1998). We are deeply concerned over the findings of the Monitoring Mechanism that huge quantities of diamonds originating in Angola vanished into thin air after leaving the country, and that not a single diamond dealer has claimed to have witnessed Angolan gems being traded on any diamond bourse. This illicit trade in Angola is directly helping UNITA sustain its activities.

We welcome the positive steps taken by some Governments in implementing Security Council resolution 1127 (1997). We do not share the view that the resolution is incompatible with some regional treaties, and we call on the concerned countries to take the necessary steps to ensure its effective implementation. We welcome the circulation of the most recent list of senior UNITA officials and immediate adult family members, and urge all Member States to ensure that these people are refused entry into their territories. It is important that this list be regularly updated, to keep the pressure on UNITA.

The financial network of UNITA is another aspect that deserves the utmost attention. As long as UNITA continues to obtain financial support, it will persist in its efforts to destabilize Angola. We take note that the sanctions Committee and the Monitoring Mechanism have already initiated work to identify the financial network of UNITA. We need to pursue our efforts to target the financial network. The funds of the UNITA membership must be tracked and, should it become necessary to lift the veil that hides its financial transactions, the international community must take all measures to stem the source of funding to UNITA.

In our region, SADC countries are fully engaged in ensuring the implementation of the sanctions against UNITA. At the SADC Summit held in Blantyre, Malawi, in August 2001, SADC approved concrete measures in response to Security Council sanctions against UNITA. These measures target illegal flights across SADC national borders, the certification system for trade in rough diamonds and the supply of petroleum products to UNITA. SADC has also taken the decision to compile and submit a full report on how its members are implementing the recommendations of Security Council resolution 1295 (2000). The Council should appeal to the international community to help the countries of the region in capacity-building aimed at fully implementing the sanctions against UNITA.

The Government of Angola deserves all our encouragement for its efforts to achieve national reconciliation. The United Nations should support efforts of the Government to hold free and fair elections when the conditions so permit. We commend its four-point agenda and call on UNITA to cease violence and enter into serious dialogue with the Government. Both Mr. Savimbi and UNITA must understand that there is no justification for their criminal acts and that the only way forward is through dialogue.

We also welcome the engagement of civil society in the search for peace in Angola. The Council must express its full support for the contribution of civil society in this regard. My delegation is deeply concerned about the large number of internally displaced persons resulting from the terrorist attacks by UNITA and the resulting humanitarian situation. We call upon the international community to help these internally displaced persons by providing them with appropriate humanitarian assistance and to facilitate the efforts of the Angolan Government in addressing this problem.

It would remiss of me if I did not place on record the contribution of the United Nations Office in Angola in the search for a solution to the Angolan conflict. My delegation would like to express it full support to Ambassador Gambari for his mission to Angola and for the consultations he will be undertaking with the stakeholders. We look forward to hearing from him on his return.

Mr. Ahsan (Bangladesh)

We thank you, Madam, for convening this meeting on the situation in Angola. We wish to join previous speakers in welcoming the Foreign Minister of Angola once again to our midst and to thank him for his comprehensive statement. We also thank Ambassador Gambari for his briefing this afternoon.

Only last month we had an opportunity to review the situation in Angola in the wake of gruesome attacks by UNITA on civilians. Since then, as Ambassador Gambari mentioned, reports of more fighting and of violence by UNITA have reached us. We have not seen any appreciable improvement in the situation. We therefore find it opportune to address this issue once again in the Council.

Seen in its totality, however, the picture is not all that discouraging. The sanctions imposed on UNITA are taking effect. We deeply value in this regard the work done by the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA, chaired by Ambassador Larraín. The Mechanism’s pioneering work in monitoring sanctions implementation has actually established the concept that effective monitoring is a sine qua non for the implementation of sanctions. Given UNITA’s pursuit of the military option, it is clear that the international community should do all it can to make things difficult for UNITA. Sanctions, therefore, must be implemented effectively.

It is right that with increasing cooperation from States in the region, the focus of the sanctions should now be more on diamonds, arms, UNITA’s financial assets and the activities of its representatives abroad. The Mechanism’s recommendations in these areas have been before the Council for close to a year now, and we believe that the time has come to ask what the Council wants to do with them. An answer can be found only if a serious review of these recommendations is undertaken. We have therefore supported the idea of the review currently underway in the sanctions Committee. We believe that such a review will show that much more needs to be done in a number of areas covered in the sanctions.

The latest report of the Mechanism also brought to the fore how extensively and effectively the UNITA representatives abroad have made use of the Internet, as personal contact among them has been made increasingly difficult by various restrictions, including on travel.

Here we wish to reiterate a particular point that concerns certain regional arrangements that UNITA officials have abused in continuing unrestricted movement across borders. We believe that the binding nature of relevant Council resolutions must be upheld and necessary adjustments should be made to those arrangements to ensure compliance. We attach particular importance to the tracking of UNITA’s funds and financial assets, and we encourage the Mechanism to persist in their efforts in this regard.

The key role of regional States has been established in ensuring full implementation of sanctions in the area of diamonds and arms. We strongly support the steps taken by the States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and emphasize the need to assist them in their endeavour.

Reaching out to all citizens, meeting their basic needs and restoring their basic rights are priority areas on which the Government of Angola must focus. The creation of the Fund for Peace and National Reconciliation, the four-point peace plan, resettlement of the displaced population and, as we just heard from Minister Miranda, the meeting between the President of Angola and the chief of the Inter-Denominational Committee for Peace in Angola (COIEPA) are steps in the right direction. In determining more such steps, consultation with all political parties, civil society and church and community leaders is essential. This, we believe, will pave the way for free and fair elections that the Government intends to hold.

My delegation would like to take this opportunity to recognize once again the excellent work by the United Nations Office in Angola with regard to capacity-building in the area of the administration of justice and protection and promotion of human rights. The process of peace and reconciliation in Angola, however, needs to be bolstered. While the primary responsibility for it lies with the Government and people of Angola, we agree with Minister Miranda that the international community should extend the necessary assistance. Ambassador Gambari, on behalf of the United Nations, has been pursuing consultations with authorities in Angola in order to redefine the role of the United Nations in helping the peace process. We believe innovative and courageous steps are needed to pull Angola out of the morass. Through Ambassador Gambari’s laudable efforts, the Security Council should continually seek to assess the situation on the ground and facilitate the search for a negotiated solution.

Finally, we are happy to endorse the statement that the Council will adopt at the end of our meeting today.

Mr. Ouane (Mali)

The delegation of Mali, which attaches great importance to transparency in the work of the Council, would like to thank you, Madam, for convening this open meeting to consider the situation in Angola. I would also like to welcome the presence at our discussions of His Excellency Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, and thank him for his statement. I would also like to thank Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for Special Assignments in Africa, for his very useful update.

In referring to the situation in Angola, I would like to stress the points that, in my delegation’s view, should be given great importance. The first concerns the continuation of fighting and the deterioration of the situation in Angola. We hold Mr. Savimbi and UNITA responsible for the continuation of the conflict because of their refusal to discharge their obligations under the peace agreements, the Lusaka Protocol and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council. UNITA persists in following a logic of war by continuing to attack innocent civilians and the economic facilities in Angola. We firmly condemn these actions, and we urge UNITA to put an end to them immediately.

Another question to which the Security Council must continue to give great attention is the humanitarian situation. We fully agree with the appeal made to all the parties to facilitate the unhindered provision of emergency assistance to the populations in the areas of conflict. We have taken due note of the intention of the Angolan Government to develop a strategy to solve the problem of persons displaced by the war.

The question of sanctions directed against UNITA should continue to draw all our attention. Indeed, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola quite rightly recalled a moment ago, the sanctions against UNITA are not an end in themselves, but a way of urging UNITA to give up the military option, thus contributing to reinforcing the peace process in Angola. My delegation is of the view that the sanctions imposed on UNITA are appropriate, because they help in a positive way to reduce its military capacity. This is why we are in favour of maintaining these sanctions.

We also welcome the positive work done by the sanctions Committee created pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) and by the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions. We also join in the request made to all States to strictly implement the sanctions imposed on UNITA, especially through full cooperation with the Monitoring Mechanism. In the same vein, we encourage the recent efforts by States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) through its ad hoc committee on the follow-up of the implementation of the sanctions against UNITA. Mali will continue to follow this important issue, even after we leave the Security Council next month.

In spite of the continuation of the conflict because of UNITA, my delegation continues to place great hope on prospects for peace in Angola. With this in view, we welcome the dedication of all parties to the Lusaka Protocol, which remains the only viable basis for a peaceful settlement to bring back lasting peace to Angola.

To this end, we urge UNITA to begin, without delay, discussions with the Angolan Government in order to implement the relevant provisions of the Lusaka Protocol and those of the various Security Council resolutions and statements. Similarly, we encourage the Angolan Government to continue consultations with all the components of Angolan society, particularly the civil society and religious groups, to promote the peace process.

In this connection, the four-point peace plan constitutes a sound basis. We also believe that the efforts under way for the restoration of the administration of the State, respect for the rule of law, protection of human rights and improvement of the social and economic situation should be continued and encouraged by the United Nations and the donor community.

We welcome the democratization process begun by the Angolan Government, and we encourage the continuation of consultations under way between the United Nations and the Angolan Government for the preparation of elections foreseen for the second half of the year 2002. Similarly, we reiterate our full support for the United Nations Office in Angola and for the efforts of the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Ambassador Gambari, who is preparing to go on mission to Angola soon. We fully support the efforts Ambassador Gambari has made, and we look forward with interest to a new meeting within the Security Council when he returns from Angola next month during the Malian presidency of the Council.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that my delegation fully supports the presidential statement that we will adopt following this meeting.

Mr. Valdivieso (Colombia)

I would like to welcome the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda and to thank him for his statement. I would also like to thank Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary-General’s Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa, for his briefing. The upcoming visit that he will make is a sign of the United Nations commitment to maintaining peace in Africa and, particularly, to addressing the conflict in that country, one of the longest lasting conflicts on the continent.

The Council is exerting its full authority and its capacity for action to contribute to peace in Angola, using respect for the Lusaka Peace Accords and its Protocol as a basis. The refusal of Jonas Savimbi and his rebel group to comply with those agreements have obliged us to impose international sanctions and to ensure that they are properly complied with, in the trust that the spirit of the agreements will prevail and in the hope that the rebels will lay down their weapons so that national reconciliation can be achieved.

Nevertheless, we have noted with concern how a conflict which has already claimed half a million victims can still continue to generate even more victims, desolation and poverty among ordinary people. In the course of this year, 380,000 more persons have been added to the number of internally displaced persons. The broad majority of the population still cannot reap the benefits of the mineral richness of the country, and many cannot even cultivate their land because of the large number of anti-personnel mines that have been sown throughout the rural areas.

My delegation is deeply concerned about this situation, and we can extract at least three conclusions from it. First, Angola must continue to receive a large amount of humanitarian assistance in order to meet the immediate needs of the people. Yet, we have heard the various humanitarian organizations complaining that the Government of Angola has been transferring the burden of this responsibility on to the shoulders of the international community. We want the Government of Angola to take this comment into account.

The second conclusion is that in the efforts to achieve peace in Angola greater participation must be given to the spokespersons of civil society in the country. They ought to have an opportunity to articulate the needs of the sectors of the population who are marginalized from the political process. We are pleased that the spokespersons of the Catholic Church have proposed playing a greater role in this connection and that their proposals have been heeded. We would also encourage Mr. Gambari to conduct wide-ranging consultations in the course of his visit to the country. We also think that the proposal that has been made by the representative of the United Kingdom, and supported by France, is most timely. This proposal is that the Council meet, within the context of the Arria formula, together with representatives from the civil society.

The third and last conclusion is that, in the absence of a political agreement or settlement in Angola, the Security Council must continue to monitor compliance with international sanctions against UNITA, in particular those that are related to the arms embargo, travel restrictions and monitoring financial assets of that organization resulting from their illicit diamond trade.

We would like to appeal to members of the United Nations to support these measures, particularly those countries that were identified in the recent report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA as not entirely complying with the adoption of domestic monitoring measures.

I should like to conclude by reiterating to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola my Government’s commitment to contribute from our position on the Council to ensure that there will be lasting peace for the people of Angola, based upon the agreements that were signed and the resolutions adopted by this Council.

Mr. Shen Guofang (China)

Like previous speakers, I welcome Mr. Bernardo de Miranda, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, as he discusses with us the question of peace in Angola. His presentation has brought the Council first-hand information on the situation in that country. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General’s Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa for his presentation.

This past year we have noted that some changes have occurred in the Angolan peace process. The Angolan Government has adopted a series of measures aimed at reconciliation in order to promote the peace process. It has also put forward a four-point peace agenda that points in the right direction for the political settlement of the civil war in Angola.

The Angolan Government has reaffirmed that it will strive to promote the peace process in its country on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol. Furthermore, the Angolan Government has actively conducted extensive consultations with various parties and factions in Angola in preparation for the general elections. We have also noted the statement made by President dos Santos at a ceremony celebrating the twenty-sixth anniversary of Angola’s independence, where he expressed the hope that the Angolan Government would strive to promote peace and would — in a spirit of mutual respect, tolerance, dialogue and effectiveness — explore ways and means to achieve durable peace and national reconciliation. We express our appreciation to him.

These measures and actions of the Angolan Government have won the support of the Angolan people and of the international community, including the United Nations. However, because of the disturbances currently being created by Savimbi and the UNITA armed forces, there has been little progress in the peace process. The Lusaka Protocol has yet to be effectively implemented. The primary responsibility for that rests with Savimbi and the UNITA armed forces. Their acts of violence have not only impeded the peace process in that country, but have also caused great loss of life and destruction of property.

We resolutely condemn the recent violence perpetrated by Savimbi and his armed forces. We demand that they lay down their weapons, implement the provisions of the Lusaka Protocol in earnest and demonstrate their readiness to start negotiating with the Angolan Government. In the current circumstances, we support the continuation of sanctions against UNITA and believe that they should be closely monitored. In this connection, we express our appreciation to the Southern African Development Community for the measures it has taken to implement the resolutions of the Security Council concerning UNITA.

In order to further support the peace process, we urge the United Nations to give sufficient attention to and support for the elections in Angola. We call on the international community to provide assistance to the Angolan Government. The Chinese delegation also thanks Ambassador Gambari for his efforts to promote the peace process in Angola. We look forward to his briefing following his visit to Angola and hope that the Secretary-General will make proposals to promote the next phase of the peace process in Angola.

Mr. Mejdoub (Tunisia)

I extend a warm welcome to Mr. Miranda, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Angola, to the Security Council.

The Tunisian delegation welcomes the holding of this meeting, which attests to the Council’s sustained interest in the question of Angola and to its commitment to settling an armed conflict that, as has been noted, has gone on for more than a quarter of a century, inflicted terrible suffering and loss on the Angolan people and delayed the country’s development process.

In spite of some improvements, the economic, social and humanitarian situation continues to bear the direct brunt of the conflict. We would refer in particular to the large number of internally displaced persons, especially women and children. We call on humanitarian agencies, in close cooperation with the Angolan authorities, to pursue their efforts to relieve the suffering of the internally displaced persons.

Mr. Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA, which refuses to honour its commitments under the Lusaka Protocol and continues to defy the international community and the resolutions of the Security Council, bears full responsibility for the situation. Despite the weakening and shrinking of its military capacities, UNITA is pursuing its guerrilla activities by targeting civilians. This situation is of great concern to my delegation. We strongly condemn such action, which is all the more unacceptable in that Mr. Savimbi’s main reason for perpetuating the conflict has nothing to do with serving the cause of peace or the well-being of the Angolan people.

We welcome the oft-reiterated commitment of the Angolan Government to the Lusaka Protocol and its initiatives to promote the peace process and to stabilize the situation in the country. We also welcome its intention to organize democratic elections. We invite the international community, the United Nations in particular, to assist in the organization of such elections and to ensure that they take place in the best possible conditions and with the participation of all the grassroots forces of the countries.

It is obvious that the Angolan Government has fulfilled its share of responsibility. It is now up to UNITA to respond positively to the outstretched hand of the Angolan Government, to renounce the military option and to cease holding hostage the future of the entire country. Moreover, we believe that the ongoing conflict in Angola threatens security and stability in southern Africa.

Tunisia shares the conviction that there can be no military solution to the conflict. We therefore call once again for the strict and rigorous application of sanctions imposed on UNITA, which we believe to constitute the only means of cutting UNITA’s supply lines for arms and other war matériel. Sanctions should be maintained until the peace process becomes irreversible.

We emphasize in this context the importance of the investigation work done by the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA. In this regard, we attach great importance to the Mechanism’s investigations, especially those related to the smuggling of diamonds, which are the crux of the war in Angola and among the major sources of income for rebel movements in Africa in general and in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular. We express the hope that all interested parties will cooperate with the Monitoring Mechanism so as to shed full light on violations of diamonds sanctions.

In conclusion, we support the forthcoming visit of Ambassador Gambari to Angola and encourage him to pursue his efforts to help the Angolans regain the path to peace, stability and reconciliation.

Mr. Kolby (Norway)

First of all, I would like to thank Ambassador Gambari for his briefing. I would also like to join others in welcoming the Foreign Minister of Angola to the Council. In its work related to the situation in Angola, the Council can benefit tremendously from such direct contacts with the Government and other positive forces in Angolan society. We also welcome this opportunity to listen to the views of non-member countries. I am therefore grateful to you, Madam, for convening this open debate.

We are concerned about the increased violence and military activity in Angola. As a result, we are seeing humanitarian degradation, an increased number of internally displaced persons and a flow of refugees into neighbouring countries. All concerned must do everything possible to help those who suffer. I understand that the Government is using the army and its logistical capabilities to try to help bring humanitarian aid into areas outside the reach of the United Nations. These efforts must continue. Furthermore, we would like to encourage the Government to look closely for ways to increase its efforts to reduce the suffering of the Angolan people. In this connection, let me also stress the importance of improving the safety situation for humanitarian personnel.

The main responsibility for the lack of implementation of the Lusaka Protocol and for the conflict in Angola rests with Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA. We strongly condemn the UNITA attacks, particularly the gruesome attacks on civilians. UNITA must enter into an immediate ceasefire and engage in a constructive and forward-looking dialogue with the Government. I share the view expressed in the Secretary-General’s latest report that the conflict in Angola cannot be resolved by military means. The road to peace and reconciliation goes through constructive dialogue.

In this regard, I commend the Government for the positive measures taken. Efforts aimed at seeking a political solution to the conflict must continue. It is my belief that, in this process, and in its efforts to consolidate democracy and good governance, the Government should closely cooperate and sustain a dialogue with civil society. Interesting initiatives have been taken by forces within civil society and the churches. I was pleased to learn today about the meeting between the President and the leader of the Church. At some stage, it might be an idea for the Council to meet with representatives of such groups. It could be useful for us to learn more about their activities and ideas and find out how the Council could encourage their activities.

The human rights situation in Angola is cause for concern. In this regard, we believe that the contribution of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) is important in improving the situation. It is particularly important that UNOA cooperate closely with the Government of Angola. We commend the Government for its open approach to this cooperation. We hope that the Government will keep its focus on human rights issues and maintain its responsible approach by seeking to continue to identify and overcome existing weaknesses.

Lastly, let me touch briefly upon the issue of sanctions against UNITA. The sanctions are a very important tool for the Council, enabling it to maintain the pressure on Savimbi and UNITA. Such pressure is needed. We see from the reports of the Monitoring Mechanism that the sanctions do serve a purpose, by limiting UNITA’s ability to conduct war. The sanctions should therefore be kept in place. All Member States can do their part for the benefit of the situation in Angola by implementing those sanctions strictly. Judging from the reports of the Mechanism, there is room for considerable improvement.

Ms. Lee (Singapore)

First of all, I would like to join my colleagues in welcoming the Minister of External Relations of Angola to the Council, as well as the other ministers who are present here today. We also thank Under-Secretary-General Gambari for the statement that he made at the beginning of the meeting.

From the outset, we would like to refer to the situation on the ground in Angola. That is the backdrop to our meeting and the reason why we must work urgently towards achieving peace in Angola. In this respect, we would like to highlight some figures concerning the humanitarian situation faced by the people of Angola on a daily basis. According to a Save the Children Fund report earlier this month, one in three children in Angola will not live beyond 5 years old, and 34 per cent of families do not have easy access to potable water. Furthermore, 44 per cent of the population does not have the benefit of proper sanitation facilities. These are sobering figures, particularly for a country so richly endowed with natural resources, including two of the most valued: diamonds and oil.

At first glance, the conflict in Angola appears to be relatively straightforward. There are only two major antagonists: the Government in Luanda and the UNITA rebels in the jungles. Yet the fighting has been going on for 26 years. It must be clear by now that a solution to the conflict does not lie in the use of force. This Council has reiterated on several occasions that there is no military solution to the conflict in Angola.

Let us look at the positive factors that we have at our disposal. First, the Government of Angola is committed to peace and has made laudable efforts to promote the peace process. Secondly, we already have in place sanctions against UNITA, which have succeeded in curtailing its ability to wage conventional war against the Government. Thirdly, Angolan civil society has also played a positive role in trying to achieve peace and stability in Angola. However, UNITA has begun to move back towards guerrilla warfare, which will only perpetuate the cycle of violence. We therefore need to look at how we can combine the pressure of sanctions with other approaches to bring about national reconciliation and peace in Angola.

We note that the draft presidential statement to be adopted at the end of this meeting will express the Council’s support for the efforts of the Angolan authorities, in consultation with all political parties and civil society, in their efforts to achieve national reconciliation. In order for this to be achieved, the most important reconciliation that has to take place is that between the two major antagonists, which have not engaged in direct dialogue.

In the initial stages, perhaps Angolan civil society could assist the Government in its efforts achieve a peaceful settlement by trying to build up UNITA’s confidence in the peace process. For his part, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Africa, Under-Secretary-General Gambari, during his forthcoming visit to Angola, could also explore with the Government the possibilities of bringing UNITA to the negotiating table.

Although we are aware that in the past negotiations have been unhappy experiences for the people of Angola, we cannot avoid negotiations in the search for peace. Negotiations are likely to be protracted; there are no quick solutions to the conflict. All parties must remain firmly committed to a political settlement.

The United Nations has played its part. The international community could also play its part in directly impressing on UNITA, by fully complying with existing sanctions against UNITA, that it should respond positively to overtures seeking to bring it to the negotiating table. UNITA has repeatedly claimed that it, too, wants peace; this claim should be put to the test once again. If UNITA responds positively, negotiations could proceed within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. Until such time, we urge the Government of Angola and the international community to continue to address the dire humanitarian situation in Angola. In this respect, we encourage the Government of Angola to give priority to the repair of the airport in Kuito, which is in a serious state of disrepair. This has put the humanitarian staff at risk, as well as hampered the operations of the aid agencies in delivering assistance to the large number of displaced persons in the province.

Finally, we would like to reiterate our support for the initiatives of the Government of Angola in the search for peace for Angola.

The President

I will now make a statement in my national capacity.

Let me begin by again thanking Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari for his comprehensive and lucid briefing on an issue of vital importance to peace and stability in the southern African region. We also welcome the contribution of the Minister of External Relations of Angola, Mr. João Bernardo de Miranda, and thank him for his important contribution to our deliberations.

The Jamaican delegation continues to be deeply disturbed by the precarious humanitarian situation in Angola. We have noted very carefully the words of the Minister of External Relations, and his appeal for assistance from the international community. We have noted that, despite progress made in stabilizing populations in accessible areas, there has been a marked deterioration. At the end of August, the number of persons reportedly displaced since the resumption of hostilities in December 1998 reached over 4 million. We are particularly concerned about the very serious condition of children, as reported by the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies, and we wish to stress the importance of guaranteeing the safety and security of humanitarian personnel, as well as their freedom of movement and ability to access vulnerable populations.

We wish to stress that the continuing conflict in Angola is the primary responsibility of UNITA. We renew our demand that UNITA fulfil its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and relevant resolutions of the Security Council. It is time that the leaders of UNITA accepted that a political solution is the only route towards securing an end to Angola’s intractable and tragic civil war. The recent attacks by UNITA on civilians must receive our condemnation. At the same time, it is important that the Security Council and the international community maintain the pressure on UNITA through the sanctions. It is clear that the sanctions have been having some effect through the Monitoring Mechanism. But it is also clear that Member States need to cooperate fully if the sanctions are to have their desired effect: to cut off UNITA from sources of funding for its military operations.

We are also encouraged by the re-emergence of civil society in Angola. We are encouraged by reports that some members of UNITA reacted positively to the initiative of church leaders to mediate a negotiated peace between UNITA and the Angolan Government. It must be made clear, however, that UNITA cannot continue to seek a solution outside of the Lusaka Protocol. We are particularly encouraged by the formation in early September of a peace network comprising several church and civil society dignitaries. We welcome the assistance which the Angolan Government has offered to UNITA with a view to its transformation into a political party in readiness to contest the general elections scheduled for next year.

We welcome the continued affirmation of the Government’s commitment to peace within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol and the steps taken to establish the Fund for Peace and National Reconciliation, as well the Government’s approval of a four-point peace plan.

Jamaica supports the Secretary-General’s response to the formal request of the Angolan Government for the assistance of the United Nations. The follow-up programme of action, which would be prepared by the Secretariat following Under-Secretary-General Gambari’s next visit to the region, should provide a basis for the Security Council to act in furtherance of the peace process. We urge the Government to do all it can to ensure that the necessary political and security conditions are in place for the scheduled elections. But should UNITA choose to remain outside of the political process, it must not be allowed to derail the elections by creating insecurity and uncertainty, and in so doing, dictate the pace at which important political changes occur.

In closing, I wish to emphasize our support for Under-Secretary-General Gambari’s visit to the region, and we look forward to hearing from him on his return.

I now resume my functions as President of the Council.

The next speaker is the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malawi. I invite her to take a seat at the Council table and to make her statement.

Ms. Patel (Malawi)

Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you most warmly, Madam, on your assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for the month of November 2001. My delegation is convinced that your expertise, experience and personal commitment will successfully guide this institution through the numerous issues of critical global importance that regularly come before the Council, including the one under deliberation now.

My delegation would also like to pay special tribute to you personally, Madam President, and also to the other members of the Security Council for making it possible for the Council to have time for an open special meeting on the situation in Angola. This is an issue of utmost urgency for my Government, for the region of the Southern African Development Community and for all sub-Saharan Africa, especially because of the very desperate plight of our brothers and sisters as a result of the ravages of the senseless war in that country. I am hopeful, therefore, that our deliberations will be useful and that they will help determine concrete steps to break the current impasse in the global search for a speedy resolution of the long-running civil war in Angola.

My delegation wishes to endorse and echo the sentiments of grave concern and disappointment expressed by the other delegations in this special meeting. We share the growing disillusionment with the apparent inadequacy so far of any measures by the Security Council to reign in Jonas Savimbi and his insurgent UNITA. Certainly, we are getting overanxious at the slow movement towards a decisive settlement of the Angolan crisis. My delegation therefore hopes that fresh and speedy efforts will be made and that renewed political impetus will be injected into existing measures to compel Jonas Savimbi to abide by all Security Council resolutions that aim to bring durable peace to Angola. The resuscitation of the dialogue between the Angolan Government and the UNITA rebels remains central to peace and development in that country.

UNITA’s continued belligerence does not bode well for ongoing internal and global efforts to maximize the potential benefits of peace, stability and socio-economic rehabilitation and progress for the people of Angola, who have had more than their fair share of suffering. It is totally unacceptable that their plight continues to deteriorate and that their human rights and aspirations are sacrificed at the altar of the narrow political self-interests of a brutal gang of mindless individuals such as Savimbi and his UNITA accomplices. My delegation would, in that regard, like to issue a firm and unequivocal condemnation of UNITA’s intransigence and the attendant barbarism. We hold Savimbi wholly responsible for all the heinous acts of terrorism against his countrymen.

Malawi reiterates its recognition of, unwavering faith in and support for the 1994 Lusaka Protocol for Angola. This framework remains the only legitimate path and viable option for a peaceful settlement of the problem in Angola, able to lead to the eventual restoration of security and political stability in that country.

UNITA’s senseless and incessant attacks against unarmed civilian populations, including travelling civilians in passenger trains and buses, the recent murder of chiefs and the cold-blooded slaughter of diamond miners in the north-eastern areas of Angola are a stark reminder to the international community of the rebel group’s ruthlessness and lack of patriotism. These incidents of brutality are also proof that the current sanctions regime against UNITA is seriously ineffectual, as the embargo has come nowhere near achieving the desired goal of financially starving Savimbi’s war chest.

It may not be too presumptuous, in this sense, to suspect the probability of covert links between UNITA and external criminal interests which could be feeding into Mr. Savimbi’s war effort. In this light, it will be necessary to investigate every possible loophole in the sanctions regime, with a view to strengthening them and also widening their net to cover the demand side of the diamonds and other resources that are propping up UNITA.

On its part — and as pointed out by the representative of Mauritius — during its summit meeting in Malawi in August this year, SADC agreed to tighten United Nations sanctions against UNITA by adopting a wide range of measures against the movement. I therefore call on the international community to support SADC in implementing the sanctions regime against UNITA.

In conclusion, my delegation wishes to caution that the implications for Angola and the entire southern African subregion of a continued stalemate in the civil war are ominous and ghastly, politically and economically. While Malawi greatly appreciates the commendable work done so far by the United Nations Office in Angola, as well as the enormous personal commitment of the United Nations Secretary-General and his personal representative to Angola, there is still a need for an urgent shift towards criminalization of the atrocities of UNITA, within the context of the existing international legal regime for crimes against humanity. More importantly, it should be made abundantly clear to Mr. Savimbi that the international community will not forever stand idly by and watch him terrorize and decimate the Angolans with impunity. Our patience with him has worn thin.

The President

The next speaker on my list is the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities of Cape Verde, Mr. Manuel Inocêncio Sousa. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. Sousa (Cape Verde)

In April 1997 — when, in the framework of the Lusaka Protocol, the normalization of State administration began in M’banza Congo — hopes were high among the entire Angolan population and the international community, because everyone thought that the time had come when peace and political stability would be restored to Angola and national reconciliation and reconstruction could begin.

Regrettably, it took only a few months for these hopes to fade due to UNITA’s delaying tactics. The Angolan people were stunned by these developments, and the international community was at a loss.

Despite the persistent efforts of the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola and of the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation, once again UNITA, headed by Jonas Savimbi, opted for war over peace.

Angola and Cape Verde have a very special relationship because of their many historical and cultural ties. We have therefore been following with great concern the development of the situation in this fraternal country, to which we have always lent our support, in a spirit of solidarity, in its quest for a lasting peace — a prerequisite for its development.

The Angolan people have suffered greatly because of the war, which has sown death and destruction and ruined the country’s economy.

However, the efforts of the international community and of the Angolan people themselves to restore peace and political stability and to rebuild the country continue to be hindered by the actions of UNITA, which increasingly is resorting to terrorist attacks, ravaging the civilian population and the infrastructure in an attempt to hinder the normalization of the political situation in Angola.

That is why Cape Verde has supported sanctions against UNITA and is pleased that they have without a doubt contributed to reducing that group’s military capacity.

The President of the Security Council, in a statement made on 20 September last, condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist acts perpetrated by Jonas Savimbi’s organization and emphasized the fact that no political objective whatsoever could justify them.

The Republic of Cape Verde has noted with satisfaction the contents of the letter dated 8 October from the Government of Angola to the Security Council, which states that, as a consequence of the sanctions and the increased international pressure on the military wing of UNITA to compel it to respect the commitments entered into within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol, positive results are beginning to be seen.

Given the fact that individuals and organizations outside of Angola are continuing to support the rebel movement and are profiting from the illicit trade in weapons, means of transport and communications equipment, as well as illicit financial transactions and trafficking in the natural resources of the country, additional measures should be taken to put an end to such criminal activities.

Such measures can be taken only through effective monitoring mechanisms within the context of a review of the sanctions, which, I am convinced, the Council will be able to reinforce.

At a time when the combat against international terrorism is becoming an increasingly important priority for the international community, the terrorist acts perpetrated by Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA — which have already been the subject of general condemnation on the part of the international community and of the Security Council — should be thoroughly reviewed by the Council to determine whether additional measures should be taken in this framework in order to put a definitive end to criminal attacks against civilians.

The Angolan Government has taken important initiatives to promote the peace process, national reconciliation and the stabilization of the situation in the country. It has already announced that it intends to hold elections in the framework of the democratization process in Angola, in accordance with universally accepted democratic norms and principles.

We welcome these measures and the manner in which the Angolan Government has complied with its commitments vis-à-vis the international community in the framework of the peace process. We would like to reiterate our frequently reiterated position that the Lusaka Protocol remains the appropriate legal and political framework for the establishment of a lasting peace in Angola.

The President

I thank the representative of Cape Verde for the kind words he addressed to me.

The next speaker on my list is The Honourable Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Information and Broadcasting of Namibia, The Honourable Tuliameni Kalomoh.

Mr. Kalomoh (Namibia)

Madam President, this is the third time in less than two weeks under your presidency that an African issue has been discussed by the Security Council. It is our fervent hope and expectation that when the Council next meets, it will be to consider tangible progress on any of the issues discussed in the last two weeks.

My delegation appreciates the prominence that you, Madam President, are giving to the situations threatening international peace and security in Africa. This approach is testimony to the excellent historical relationship between your country and Africa, and to your stated objective to give special attention to the conflicts besetting our continent.

The situation in Angola is naturally of deep concern to Namibia. The people of Angola have endured a brutal, vicious and devastating war for more than a quarter of a century. Just a few days ago, they celebrated 26 years of their independence — 26 years of pain, suffering and tears. They have suffered horrendous terrorist attacks at the hands of UNITA, led by Mr. Jonas Savimbi. UNITA’s acts of banditry have also assumed cross-border dimensions, involving neighbouring countries including Namibia.

It is not my intention to bore the members of the Security Council with the tortuous history of the many failed attempts by the international community to help the people of Angola find a lasting and broadly acceptable political solution to the problems of that country. However, to put the current situation in Angola in context, I wish to draw the attention of the Council to the following events, which preceded the situation we are in today.

We all recall that in 1992, the people of Angola and the international community were both frustrated and deeply disappointed when, after losing the elections, which were observed by the international community and organized and supervised by the United Nations, UNITA rejected the results and resumed full-scale war. That is a matter of historical record.

In 1997, the people of Angola and, again, the international community were indignant when UNITA abandoned the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol, which had been painstakingly negotiated and completed in 1994 by the Government of Angola and UNITA under the active mediation of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the late Maître Blondin Beye. Again, UNITA failed to comply with the conditions of the Lusaka Protocol, to which they are a signatory.

Today, there are some who think that somehow Mr. Jonas Savimbi is now so transformed as to be interested in genuine negotiations, and that he can be trusted to honour any commitment that will emerge. If history is any guide, however, this judgement is clearly mistaken. It is crystal-clear that Mr. Savimbi continues to defy the will of the international community, as well as its repeated demands, that he return to the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Mr. Savimbi must not be allowed to engage in further deceit and subterfuge by always appearing to be interested in a peaceful solution while preparing for war. His latest suggestion for a revision of the Lusaka Protocol should be rejected.

Mr. José Eduardo dos Santos of the Republic of Angola, as well as other leaders in the region, have repeatedly invited Mr. Savimbi to resume the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol. Instead, however, he has opted to continue his brutal and mindless war against the people of Angola. Faced with this situation, the Security Council has no other option but to continue to exert maximum pressure to compel UNITA and Mr. Savimbi to return to the peace process.

My delegation commends the efforts of the Government of Angola to implement the Lusaka Protocol, including through the Fund for Peace and National Reconciliation. We call on the international community to lend whatever assistance it can provide, both financial and technical, to the people of Angola to enable them to carry out the arduous task of organizing free and fair elections. We remain deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in the country, and we call on the international community to increase assistance to the Government of Angola to address this situation.

While it is clear that the military offensive by the Angolan armed forces and the sanctions imposed by the Security Council have substantially diminished the ability of UNITA to wage a serious conventional war, the last report of the Monitoring Mechanism still shows that UNITA operations continue in many areas.

Many UNITA representatives abroad continue to perform their activities in a number of countries without any impediment, mostly in Europe and North America but also in Africa. Furthermore, operations with regard to arms and diamond transactions, as well as support for UNITA’s finances and propaganda machinery, continue unabated. It is particularly disturbing that the Mechanism reports that while it has raised some of these issues with the authorities of the countries concerned, nothing has been done to put an end to violations of the letter, and indeed the spirit, of the sanctions resolutions against UNITA.

One of the methods used by UNITA to conduct its propaganda is electronic technology. We trust that countries where its web sites and other electronic propaganda tools are situated will take urgent, concrete steps to correct the situation. My delegation would support a further strengthening of sanctions, in particular through measures in the telecommunications area.

The report correctly summarized the efforts in the region of the Southern African Development Community to collectively and individually implement and further strengthen the sanctions regime, in particular through the strengthening of air traffic control systems and the prevention of the diversion of petroleum and diamond smuggling. Some progress has been made in all these areas, and efforts are continuing to be made to close all loopholes used by UNITA to further its terrorist activities against the Angolan people. Furthermore, countries in the region are fully participating in the Kimberly Process, and my delegation is confident that work on a certification scheme for rough diamonds will be finalized as soon as possible.

We welcome the extension of the mandate of the Monitoring Mechanism until April 2002. The Mechanism must now use this period to get explanations from those countries it has cited as still harbouring UNITA elements, facilitating the organization’s funds and assets and providing it with facilities as well as technical and other support, directly and indirectly. It should, on the basis of that information, make recommendations to the Security Council for appropriate action. For its part, the Council should ensure that its resolutions and the recommendations of the Monitoring Mechanism are fully implemented.

Among the issues raised in the report of the Monitoring Mechanism is the freezing of UNITA assets and bank accounts. We believe that, given the capacity and political will, this will further diminish UNITA’s capability to continue to finance its war effort.

The last report of the Monitoring Mechanism is before the Council. It is comprehensive and detailed and contains important recommendations. It is thus incumbent upon the Council to consider the report and to take appropriate and effective action on the recommendations contained therein.

In conclusion, my delegation would once again wish to thank the Security Council sanctions Committee, under the able leadership of Ambassador Ryan of Ireland, as well as the Monitoring Mechanism for its important work. We look forward to receiving its recommendations in its next report. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General and his able Special Adviser for Africa, Under-Secretary-General Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, for their efforts to bring peace to the sisterly country of Angola. The United Nations Office in Angola greatly facilitates their work, and we welcome the recent extension of its mandate.

The President

I thank the representative of Namibia for his kind words addressed to Jamaica.

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.

Mr. Araujo Castro (Brazil)

I would like to express our appreciation for the convening of this open debate on Angola, a country to which Brazil feels very close. I also congratulate you, Madam President, on the way Jamaica has been conducting the business of the Security Council during this important month.

In 1993 and 1994, a period during which we were also constantly and acutely concerned about the situation in Angola, I had the honour of being Brazil’s deputy representative to the Security Council. It is with pleasure that I return to the Chamber today to speak before an increasingly transparent and inclusive Security Council.

Brazil welcomes the participation here today of Angolan Foreign Minister João Bernardo de Miranda, and thanks him for the statement that he made. We also listened with attention to the briefing by Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari and wish him success in his upcoming trip to the region.

For many years, peace has been an elusive goal in Angola. With the persistence of instability, development and prosperity have continued to be postponed realities for the people of Angola. Many opportunities for breaking this sad cycle have been lost because of the behaviour of UNITA, which is, as is widely recognized, primarily responsible for the continued fighting. We hope that this meeting, and Mr. Gambari’s contacts, will provide a renewed basis for the end of hostilities in Angola.

As President Fernando Henrique Cardoso stressed in the General Assembly last Saturday in the opening statement of the general debate,

“it is … urgent that a lasting solution be found to the conflict in Angola, which deserves the opportunity to get back on the road to development.” (A/56/PV.44)

Angola cannot afford to see this situation unchanged for long. The alarming humanitarian situation in the country must be addressed on a priority basis. We are all very much aware of the large number of displaced people, of civilian victims of UNITA’s violence and of Angolans in need of assistance. Much needs to be done to be able to deal with the humanitarian situation. The security environment must be improved for the provision of dramatically needed humanitarian assistance.

It is clear that a comprehensive and long-lasting solution to the humanitarian question is directly related to the end of the conflict. Such a solution depends on a process that leads to the disarmament and demobilization of Savimbi’s UNITA and its transformation into a political entity fully committed to tolerance, democracy and pluralism. How to get there is the question that the Security Council has been grappling with for a long time.

UNITA needs to be convinced that there is no alternative to peace. It has to end its military action and enter into dialogue with the Government on how to implement the Lusaka Protocol. Today it is clearer than ever that the use of force will not bring peace to Angola. UNITA’s fight is even more senseless and condemnable if it has no serious intention to achieve peace. UNITA must abide by its own commitments to peace and national reconciliation. Brazil recognizes that the Lusaka Protocol and the Acordos de Paz contain the basis for stability in Angola. They have been negotiated and agreed. They need to be implemented. It is to those documents that we should turn in the search for a peaceful future for Angola.

Sanctions have proved to be a useful means to deprive UNITA of the tools of war. We strongly support the firmness of the Security Council in demanding strict compliance with the sanctions regime imposed against UNITA. In this regard, Brazil commends the work done by the Monitoring Mechanism, under the leadership of Ambassador Juan Larraín of Chile, and the sanctions Committee, led by Ambassador Richard Ryan of Ireland. The international community needs to maintain the pressure in order to avoid breaches that could be exploited by the rebels. It should also continue to expose those individuals and countries that violate the sanctions. Curbing the illicit traffic in diamonds and arms, closing UNITA’s sources of financing and cutting its representation and its lines of supply will hopefully lead Mr. Savimbi to comply with Security Council resolutions.

We acknowledge with satisfaction that genuine efforts are being made by the Angolan Government to improve the situation in the country and to promote political openness and national reconciliation. It is as clear for the Government as it is for Member States that it is in the best interest of Angola that peace prevail as soon as possible.

The perspective of presidential elections opens a unique opportunity for a demonstration of commitment to stability. It is not the first time that elections are expected to bring peace to Angola.

Having rejected democracy and the results of the past election, Mr. Savimbi may try to influence the process through violence and intimidation. This has to be denied by pushing for peace. For the next election process to be perceived as free and fair, and for the full recognition of legitimacy in the authorities elected, the international community expects a stable environment, where fundamental rights can be guaranteed, where freedom of movement and expression is assured and where democracy can indeed be exercised.

Brazil is confident that the Government of Angola will make the best of the situation, in the benefit of the people and the future of the country. For the people of Angola, peace is more than the end of hostilities. It is having better living conditions, security and opportunities. It is essential that the Government assume on a priority basis the responsibility for providing these improved conditions for the Angolan people.

The United Nations has a role to play. Some potential areas of interaction have been identified both by high-level contacts with the Government and by the multidisciplinary team that visited Angola in September. Beyond those immediate areas, there is more room to cover, and it is not fair to expect the United Nations to be a bystander, as the future of Angola is being defined by the actions taken today. We support Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his decision to send Ambassador Gambari to Angola shortly to consult on how the United Nations could further help in the search for peace in the country.

Today, the main asset of the United Nations in Angola is having the confidence of Luanda. It took skilled work on the part of the Secretary-General, his Special Adviser and United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) to bring the United Nations relationship with Angola to its current level. Brazil trusts the diplomatic ability of Mr. Gambari and hopes that his visit will enhance the mutual confidence that the United Nations and Angola have been building lately. In the same vein, we hope that the Special Adviser will be received in Angola, once again, with an open spirit.

Although it is true that the conflict in Angola has seen some positive movement, thanks to sanctions and the international isolation of UNITA, we are still far from stability. Nevertheless, the experience of the Security Council in Angola must not be a sequence of frustrated expectations.

It has been said that only time resolves conflict, but time needs help. We have serious doubts that UNITA wants to resolve the conflict, let alone help time. But the Government and the United Nations can certainly push in this direction. The United Nations and the Security Council know that bringing peace to Angola is a great challenge — a hard but achievable goal. To accomplish this task, we must not overlook the sensitivities and difficulties involved. For the Angolan Government, the main interlocutor able to discuss peace is clearly seen as justifiably unacceptable.

UNOA has been instrumental in helping Angola, step by step, in its path to peace. Brazil believes that the setting of measurable objectives can foster improvement the situation in the country. The upcoming visit of Ambassador Gambari can be another element in helping time. The United Nations should listen to the Government, political parties and representatives of civil society, as well as to interested States, so that possible alternatives to resolve the Angolan conflict are shared by all. We look forward to hearing from Mr. Gambari on the results of his tour, if possible in an open meeting like this one.

Brazil stands ready, as it always has, to assist the Secretary-General and the Security Council in their efforts to promote peace in Angola.

The President

I thank the representative of Brazil for his kind words addressed to the Jamaican delegation.

The next speaker on my list is the representative of Belgium. I invite him to take a seat at the Council table and to make his statement.

Mr. De Loecker (Belgium)

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The countries of Central and Eastern Europe associated with the European Union — Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia — and the associated countries of Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, as well as the European Free Trade Association country member of the European Economic Area Iceland, align themselves with this statement.

At the outset, I wish to welcome the presence among us of Minister Miranda and to thank him for his assessment of the situation in his country. We also wish to thank Mr. Gambari, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for Africa, for his statement. We wish him every success in his mission.

The United Nations agenda this week is an especially busy one. Nevertheless, we should like to thank you, Madam, for having taken the time in the Council to broach the situation in Angola. You are aware of the considerable importance that the European Union attaches to the situation in that country.

Angola is a country torn by decades of cruel civil war. Recent brutal attacks on civilians and children by UNITA have served to remind us of the inhumane scale of this conflict. The European Union was appalled at the savagery of the attack by UNITA on civilians aboard a train in August, which left some 250 people dead and 165 wounded.

In the midst of these barbarous acts, the mobilization of civil society and of the churches in Angola for the establishment of a peace network has sent out a message of hope. This bold commitment to peace deserves our fullest respect and support. It highlights the fact that there is no military solution to the situation in Angola and that confrontation has to be replaced by dialogue.

The route to peace is clearly mapped out in the Lusaka Protocol, which remains the basis of the peace process. Lusaka continues to be the framework for the formulation of creative solutions designed to remove obstacles in the way of its implementation. Those solutions must be sought in the context of an all-encompassing national dialogue. The door must be left open for UNITA, even if UNITA at this point is not prepared to take the opportunity offered. We call upon Mr. Savimbi to carry out confidence-building measures and to enter into dialogue with the Government on how to implement the Lusaka Protocol.

We welcome the Government’s positive gesture in the offer of an amnesty and the holding of elections next year. It is important that these elections contribute to the peace process. These elections have to be free and fair. They require proper preparation. Participation of the population should be as broad as possible. We have also taken note of the decision by President Dos Santos not to stand again in those elections. This brave decision may serve as an example for the whole continent. Furthermore, the European Union supports the democratization and economic reform measures initiated by the Government.

The Security Council has to play its full part in Angola, in particular through sanctions, which remain the most appropriate instrument for leading UNITA to adherence to the Lusaka Protocol, particularly by blunting its war machine. The efforts of various panels of experts and their follow-up have made it possible to improve the effectiveness of those sanctions. The European Union calls on all countries of the world to respect these sanctions scrupulously. Furthermore, actors outside the Council can help improve respect for the sanctions. An example is the Kimberley Process, which aims to ban conflict diamonds from the international market. However, it remains clear that sanctions are not a solution in themselves and that they must form part of a more comprehensive political framework.

The United Nations has been making considerable efforts on the ground. We should here like to thank the Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, for his work. The European Union supports his mission and his efforts in the region. We also welcome the extension of the mandate the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA). In this respect, we believe that UNOA should pay particular heed to human rights, an area financially supported by several States members of the Union.

The Secretary-General’s report presents a horrific picture of the situation on the ground. We call on all parties concerned to provide unrestricted access for humanitarian agencies. The laying of mines, in particular, is a cause of acute concern for us, and we urge the parties to cease resorting to such methods. No military arguments can justify further suffering for the population. UNITA’s military faction must urgently abstain from attacking humanitarian activities coordinated by United Nations agencies. The European Union will continue to support the humanitarian efforts of the international community in Angola. We also expect an active engagement from the Government to improve the humanitarian situation.

As in the case of many domestic conflicts, the situation in Angola carries serious risks of spilling over into neighbouring countries, particularly on account of refugee movements and cross-border military action. The relationship between Angola and Zambia assumes paramount importance in this regard. We urge the countries in the region to embrace dialogue, cooperation and mutual respect for territorial integrity, in order that the violence may be prevented from spreading beyond Angola’s borders.

May I thank you once again, Madam, for arranging for monitoring of the situation in Angola, which calls for our fullest attention. Positive moves have been sketched out. It is now a matter for the Security Council and also for the international community as a whole to ensure that those moves are acted upon and that progress towards peace and stability is achieved. We sincerely hope that we shall not have to witness again in the future the atrocities perpetrated against the civilian population in Angola.

Mr. Heinbecker (Canada)

The recent report of the Monitoring Mechanism is, in our opinion, a very important continuation of the work of the United Nations in Angola. We commend it for its attention to detail and for its consistency. The distinguished members of the Mechanism, under Ambassador Larraín’s leadership, have once again successfully completed extraordinarily difficult work with dedication and professionalism. We are all indebted to them. We also salute the presence here of the Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa, Mr. Ibrahim Gambari. We call on the Government of Angola to cooperate fully with him. He carries the support of the international community in his work. We commend as well the astute leadership on this issue of Ambassador Ryan. His stewardship of this issue has been insightful, effective and exemplary.

We are particularly encouraged that more and more Member States are providing the Mechanism with the assistance it needs. Such cooperation in the implementation of Security Council decisions is welcome. I would also remind colleagues that it is not discretionary; it is a condition of membership in this Organization. It is important that Member States recognize and act on this obligation. The Mechanism has identified Member States that have allowed the blatant continuation of UNITA’s activities. We call upon the Member States that are named in the report to end these violations.

It is, after all, this Council’s authority that is being flouted. And that should be of concern to this Council and a stimulus to act. We urge the Council to take more resolute action towards Member States that continue such violations by, for example, imposing secondary sanctions.

Canada welcomes the progress made by the Mechanism in examining the financial component of the sanctions regime. Information on such transactions will ultimately make the sanctions imposed on UNITA more effective.

spoke in French
Mr. Heinbecker (Canada)

We encourage the States that host the bank accounts, residential property and the businesses of the high authorities of UNITA to cooperate with the Mechanism and freeze their assets. These measures will play an important role in limiting the possibilities for UNITA to buy arms and logistical equipment to enable it to continue this tragic civil war.

spoke in English
Mr. Heinbecker (Canada)

The Mechanism’s analysis of UNITA’s continuing use of electronic technology for communication and the dissemination of propaganda worldwide is especially troubling. The international community must look closely at this technology and find ways of limiting or preventing its use. We hope that a more concerted effort will be made in this regard, because, sadly, despite the positive steps taken to tighten sanctions, UNITA has intensified its terrorist attacks. Horrific attacks on schools and children and innocent civilians are a deliberate attempt to compound the already grave humanitarian situation. These atrocities put Savimbi in the same category of a lengthening list of terrorist criminals that the world must bring to justice. (spoke in French)

War, destruction and devastation continue to characterize the grim picture before us in regard to Angolan children, of whom one out of every three will never reach the age of five. More than 3 million persons need humanitarian assistance, and 1.5 million of them have been displaced inside their own country.

spoke in English
Mr. Heinbecker (Canada)

Terrorism and civil war account for much of the suffering — in fact, the great majority of the suffering — but not for all of it. With the vast resources available to the Government of Angola, from diamonds and oil revenues, we believe more can be done to provide basic services to the people of Angola. Like Ireland, we, too, are encouraged by the undertakings of the Government of Angola in this Chamber.

We do applaud the steps taken by the Government to implement a national diamond certification programme. We hope that the Government can also find an effective means to address the new problem of diamond smugglers that have moved into territory previously occupied by UNITA.

With the United Nations itself, there is a need to reform the manner in which sanctions are made to work. Canada fully supports the Mechanism’s recommendations. We call for a renewed commitment to the implementation of sanctions by all Member States and for permanent monitoring and stringent enforcement. It is important in this case, too, as it is with respect to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, that the Security Council monitor whether its decisions are implemented and act when they are not, because, frankly, if Council resolutions are not monitored and not enforced, then we would be better off if they were not passed in the first place.

Mr. Jokonya (Zimbabwe)

We are delighted to see you, Madam, presiding over these deliberations today. We are also delighted to see our brother and friend, Under-Secretary-General Ibrahim Gambari, whose report has enriched our minds today. Let me also recognize the presence of the honourable Minister here, João Bernardo de Miranda of Angola.

Today’s meeting on the situation in Angola, coming as it does after the release of the Secretary-General’s report (S/2001/956) on the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA), and the supplementary report (S/2001/966) of the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA, could not have been more timely. Having participated in the debate on the ground-breaking report of the Panel of Experts on violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA on 18 April 2000, and also having co-sponsored the resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflicts, which was adopted by the General Assembly on 1 December 2000, my delegation has requested the floor not only to associate itself with this revealing report by the Secretary-General, which not only has provided an insight into the economic agenda and UNITA’s role against innocent Angolans, but also calls for the relentless pursuit of those recalcitrant elements and/or entities that continue to abet UNITA’s sanctions-busting exploits.

During the debate on the report of the Panel of Experts on the violations of Security Council sanctions against UNITA, my delegation submitted to the Council that the failure to account for the presence of economic agendas in conflict had at times undermined international efforts to consolidate fragile peace agreements. In paragraph 12, the supplementary report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA observes that cross-border supplies still reach UNITA from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In that same paragraph, there are allegations that the Congo remains a conduit for UNITA diamonds.

However, it should be noted that the report is not referring to the territory under the control of the legitimate Government in Kinshasa but to rebel-held territory in the eastern Congo. According to the report, the cooperation between UNITA and other rebel movements in the eastern Congo has made it possible for that part of the country to remain a major transit point for UNITA diamonds. We can only conclude that this cooperation and support to UNITA by the eastern Congo rebels is not founded on the principle of [inaudible]. In fact, in those rebel-controlled areas that straddle the common border of Angola and the Congo, a new political economy based on anarchy and chaos has emerged. As a result of diminishing external patronage, the rebels under the tutelage of UNITA have been forced to develop their own means of economic sustainability. Globalization and liberalization have made it easy for these disparate groups to establish parallel and transborder economic linkages necessary for survival, and in terms of reflecting this transformation, UNITA is instructive.

During the 1980s UNITA was based near the southern border with Namibia and relied on cold war-sponsored cross-border support from the apartheid regime in South Africa. But today it controls diamond fields in the centre and north of Angola and has, through a shifting pattern of regional transborder and international commercial linkages, managed to sustain its war-making capacity. These linkages have enabled the conflict in Angola to reach levels of destruction far in excess of that during the cold war. As one writer has put it; “Had Savimbi been Chairman of a multinational company overseeing such transformation, apart from earning a huge bonus award he would also have won international acclaim”. But that transformation would not be possible without those State and non-State actors that disregard the embargo against UNITA.

Madam President, with your indulgence let me remind the honourable members that the collapse of the 1994 Lusaka Protocol and the return of Savimbi to war was a consequence of UNITA’s failure to comply with its treaty obligations to demobilize, surrender its weapons and hand over areas under its control to State administration. Since that time, the Security Council has adopted numerous resolutions imposing weapons and oil embargoes against UNITA, prohibiting diamond trade, restricting travel of UNITA’s leaders around the world and freezing its bank accounts and those of its leaders abroad. To the chagrin of all and sundry, UNITA’s war chest continues to grow in spite of these measures. This is so, because there are willing individuals and organizations that are determined to pursue their narrow, selfish motives at the expense of the Angolan people, who have not known peace since 1975.

The Secretary-General’s report is an indictment of UNITA for crimes against humanity. Indeed, since May of this year UNITA has renewed its attacks on innocent civilians, triggering a new wave of internally displaced Angolans. I need not enumerate all acts of wanton destruction, as the Secretary-General’s report provides a detailed catalogue of the carnage.

The Government of Angola has never closed its doors to negotiations with UNITA within the framework of the Lusaka Protocol. Just two months ago, on 20 September 2001, Angola’s Minister for the Interior, Mr. Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos “Nandó”, submitted to the Security Council that

“We, the Angolan Government, remain open to a peaceful resolution of our conflict on the basis of the Lusaka Protocol. This Protocol resulted from long negotiations and has essential elements needed to bring the Angolan conflict to an end”. (S/PV.4376)

The Minister also reiterated that sanctions against UNITA were not an end but a means to restrain to the maximum extent possible the alternatives available to Mr. Savimbi and to lead him back to the Lusaka Protocol, the sole instrument available for the resolution of the Angolan conflict.

My delegation welcomes the renewal of the Monitoring Mechanism’s mandate for at least another six months. We also associate ourselves with Angola’s call for the imposition of new restrictive measures against UNITA in the area of telecommunications under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter and operative paragraph 6 of Security Council 1295 (2000). It is the submission of my delegation that, as long as the international community, particularly those countries that have extended their patronage to terrorist groups which pass for rebel movements in eastern Congo, do not bring to rein their surrogates, efforts to strengthen the sanctions regime against UNITA and plug the loopholes opened as a result of that organization’s cooperation with rebel movements in the Congo will remain an exercise in futility.

In an article entitled “The Economic Functions of Violence in Civil Wars”, David Keen has remarked:

“Conflict can create war economies. Often in the regions controlled by the rebels or warlords and linked to international trading networks, members of armed groups can benefit from looting. Under these circumstances, ending civil wars becomes difficult. Winning may not be desirable. The point of war may be precisely the legitimacy which it confers on actions that in peacetime would be punishable as crimes”.

Angola is one of the major oil-producing countries of Africa and has vast diamond-mining areas. It also produces gold, and were it not for the environmental degradation, the legacy of millions of landmines strewn about its land, Angola has one of the best agricultural profiles in Africa. Unfortunately, because of the war, Angola has not been able to address the needs of its people. It has been said that the discovery of diamonds in a country should be seen as a benefit that brings wealth and prestige. However, in the case of Angola, because of UNITA, diamonds have become a curse that fuels greed and threatens the very existence of that country.

In conclusion, let it be known that the dependence of UNITA on international trade networks renders its illicit trade vulnerable to concerted application of appropriate compliance and regulatory measures. The international community has an obligation to punish all those trading partners that have benefited and continue to benefit from UNITA’s war against the Government and the people of Angola.

The President

I call on to Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary-General’s Adviser for Special Assignments in Africa.

Mr. Gambari (Special Adviser on Africa)

I wish to thank our visitor, Mr. Miranda, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Angola. I would also like to thank members of the Council and other delegations for their important statements and for the confidence which they place in the efforts of the Secretary-General, in close consultation with the Government of Angola, civil society and other stakeholders in the country, to help promote peace and national reconciliation there.

I wish to assure all that we in the Secretariat will not relent in those efforts aimed at helping to find ways and means to stop the war in Angola, which has gone on for far too long. In our view, the end of the fighting throughout Angola is the best way to end the difficulties surrounding the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need in Angola. It is also the best way to end the suffering, at last, of the people of Angola as a consequence of the war.

May I recall that, about two years ago, the four pillars of United Nations policy towards Angola were not universally accepted or, indeed, very popular. Two years later, those pillars of our policy have been received and today endorsed by the Council for their continued relevance. I believe they need restating.

First, there can be no military solution to the conflict in Angola and UNITA, above all, needs to realize and accept that fact.

Secondly, UNITA is primarily responsible for continuing the conflict and thereby for inflicting enormous suffering on the innocent civilian population of Angola. Therefore, the Security Council has the responsibility of tightening its own sanctions against UNITA in order to make the armed wing of UNITA abandon violence and embrace the political process.

Thirdly, the efforts of civil society to promote a peaceful political settlement of the conflict in Angola need the full support of the international community.

Fourthly, we need to support the efforts of the Angolan Government in the provision of humanitarian assistance for those in need in Angola and in capacity-building on human rights.

I have one other point. The delegation of Singapore drew attention to the state of disrepair of the airfield in Kuito in Bié province, which will retard the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need. I am glad to inform members that our Office in Luanda informed me today that we received a special message on behalf of the Government of Angola at the highest level confirming that urgent action has commenced to repair the airfield and that the Government will increase efforts to transport relief materials from Huambo to Kuito, in close collaboration with the United Nations agencies.

Finally, I have taken careful note of the expression of support for the mission to Angola that I will be undertaking on behalf of the Secretary-General. I look forward very much to the visit and hope that, with the usual cooperation of the Government of Angola, civil society and other stakeholders there, the consultations in the country will be positive and contribute, in however modest a way, to finding lasting peace in the conflict in Angola. As usual, I will be delighted to make a report to the Council upon my return. That is, of course, after I have briefed the boss, the Secretary-General, who has sent me.

The President

There are no more speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.

The meeting rose at 8 p.m.
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