|Date||19 December 2005|
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
|President:||Sir Emyr Jones Parry
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. Cheng Jingye
|Mr. De Rivière
Adoption of the agenda
Briefings by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council
In accordance with the understanding reached in the Council’s prior consultations, I shall take it that the Security Council agrees to extend invitations under rule 39 of its provisional rules of procedure to Ambassador Abdallah Baali, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994) concerning Rwanda; Ambassador Simon Idohou, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa; Ambassador Ronaldo Sardenberg, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone; Ambassador Lauro Baja, Chairman of the Security Council Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) and Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia; and Ambassador Mihnea Motoc, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003) and Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
It is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members have before them photocopies of a note by the President of the Security Council transmitting a letter dated 14 December 2005 from the Chairman of the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004) addressed to the President of the Security Council, which will be issued as document S/2005/789. Members also have before them photocopies of a letter dated 16 December 2005 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) addressed to the President of the Security Council, which will be issued as document S/2005/799.
At this meeting, we will hear briefings by the Chairmen of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Somalia; the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003); the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004); the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa; the Security Council Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004); and the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Abdallah Baali, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994) concerning Rwanda.
For almost two years, I have served in my personal capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and as my tenure draws to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to share some of my experiences by giving Council members some brief background regarding the arms embargo and then a short account of the work of the Committee during the past year.
On 28 July 2003, the Security Council adopted resolution 1493 (2003), by which it imposed an arms embargo on all foreign and Congolese armed groups and militias operating in the territory of North and South Kivu and in Ituri, and on groups not party to the Global and All Inclusive Agreement on the Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The resolution also provided for the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to monitor the situation with regard to arms supply and the position and movements of armed groups.
Resolution 1596 (2005) extended the arms embargo to any recipient on the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with certain exemptions, including the army and police of that country, under conditions set out in the resolution. That resolution also imposed travel restrictions and an assets freeze on persons and entities acting in violation of the arms embargo. The most recent resolution, 1616 (2005), renewed the arms embargo, travel restrictions and assets freeze until 31 July 2006.
The Committee has been active since its establishment, holding two formal meetings and 15 informal consultations during 2005. The Committee also issued three notes verbales, calling the attention of Member States to their obligations under the resolutions.
On 21 June and 12 October 2005, the Committee sent notes verbales to all States, conveying the preliminary list provided by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a revised list of receiving sites for supplies of arms and related materiel or technical training and assistance intended solely for support of or use by units of the army and police of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
There have been seven instances of States, in accordance with paragraph 2 (c) of resolution 1596 (2005), notifying the Committee with regard to exemptions to the arms embargo, namely, the export of non-lethal military equipment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Cognizant of the important role played by regional States in implementing the arms embargo, the Committee, in 2005, held two rounds of discussions with States in the region besides the Democratic Republic of the Congo, namely, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa, in order to have in-depth discussions on relevant issues.
On 1 November 2005, the Committee issued a list of persons and entities subject to the travel restrictions and assets freeze specified in resolution 1596 (2005). That list is now available on the Committee’s website.
Since the first Group of Experts was established, under resolution 1533 (2004), three subsequent groups of experts have fulfilled their mandates and submitted their reports to the Council through the Committee. In each case, the Committee held extensive discussions on the reports, including their observations and recommendations. Those reports have also been discussed in the Council. The mid-term report of the current Group of Experts was discussed by the Committee recently. Its final report is expected shortly.
Those reports all contain details of the Groups’ monitoring and investigations regarding the arms embargo, as well as their observations and recommendations for improving its effectiveness. The reports also contain details of the challenges experienced by the Group in the fulfilment of its various mandates.
In its midterm report, the Group reiterated information contained in its earlier reports that foreign and Congolese armed groups continue to destabilize the peace process in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and that the Group is attempting to track the source of the illegal arms surrendered in North Kivu. The Group expressed concern that non-customs airports are still being used at the country’s entry and exit points for lack of a well-functioning civil aviation system.
In the area of customs, the porosity and length of the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with its neighbours, the lack of adequate monitoring of its land and lake borders and the numerous possibilities for smuggling continue to be aggravating factors in the failure to implement the arms embargo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
During the past two years, during which I have chaired the Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I have become acutely aware of the importance to the Security Council of the sanctions tool in the maintenance of peace and security. I have also become aware of the challenges faced by committees and the limitations on the effectiveness of sanctions relative to the level of political will brought to bear on an issue, both by States imposing measures as members of the Security Council and by those implementing the measures, as all States are obliged to do.
The capacity of States to implement sanctions varies widely. The level of cooperation with the Committee and its monitoring arm, the Group of Experts, also varies widely from one State to another. The Group of Experts faces serious challenges in carrying out its mandate, including lack of access to certain sites and to information, as well as generally inadequate levels of cooperation. Wherever and whenever the Committee was able to assist in that regard, it did so.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the excellent cooperation I received from the members of the Committee and the unfailing commitment they demonstrated in carrying out their mandate. I would like to commend the Group of Experts for the excellent work they have done under difficult conditions. I would also like to thank the Secretariat for the advice and support that it provided during my tenure. I would like to assure my successor that this is a challenging but rewarding job at the same time. I would also like to assure my successor that I will do whatever is needed to ensure a smooth transition.
As I am also the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 918 (1994), concerning Rwanda, I wish to say a few words on the status of that Committee.
As the Council is aware, the restrictions imposed by paragraph 13 of resolution 918 (1994), on the sale or supply of arms and related materiel to the Government of Rwanda, were terminated on 1 September 1996, in accordance with paragraph 8 of resolution 1011 (1995). However, all States are required to continue to implement those measures with a view to preventing the sale and supply of arms and related materiel to non-governmental forces for use in Rwanda. Furthermore, in accordance with paragraph 11 of resolution 1011 (1995), States are also required to notify the Committee of all exports to Rwanda from their territories of arms or related materiel.
During the period 2004 and 2005, the Committee received no information on violations of the sanctions measures. That does not necessarily mean that there had been no violations. In that regard, I would like to note that, in the absence of a specific monitoring mechanism to ensure the effective implementation of the arms embargo, the Committee will continue to rely on the cooperation of States and organizations in a position to provide information on violations of the arms embargo.
I thank Mr. Baali for his briefing, as well as for the manner in which he carried out chairmanship of his committees and for all the work he has done on behalf of the Security Council.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Baja, in his capacity as Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992), concerning Somalia, as well as the Security Council Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004).
I am pleased to present my report on the two subsidiary bodies of the Security Council that I have been honoured to chair: the sanctions Committee on Somalia and the Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004).
Established on 24 April 1992 by virtue of Security Council resolution 751 (1992), the sanctions Committee on Somalia is today the oldest subsidiary body of the Security Council. While the situation in Somalia has been on the Council’s agenda since that time, the Council’s attention to, and treatment of, the arms embargo only began 10 years later. I have been given the privilege of guiding the Committee for the past two years, and I would like to make some comments about the 14-year-old sanctions regime, and about the working methods of the Committee in general.
First, given the wide spectrum of divergent views I found regarding the continued relevance of the arms embargo during my recent visit to the region, the Security Council may need to consider reassessing the sanctions regime. The inextricable link between the arms embargo and the political process, particularly when it concerns security inside the country, and the practical considerations of implementing the regime, suggest that more reflection and action are needed to ensure that that component of the Council’s strategy for achieving stability and security in Somalia is attuned to the present state of events. The lifting of sanctions should, however, be based on political judgement rather than on technical requirements for the lifting of such sanctions.
Secondly, the engagement of neighbouring States is essential for the effective implementation of the arms embargo. The dialogue with Somalia’s neighbouring States initiated under my chairmanship, through meetings with representatives of their missions in New York and my recent visit to the region, has provided the Committee with more access, information and insight and has resulted in more cooperation and commitment from those States. That should be continued and enhanced. I am pleased to know that that dialogue is now being emulated and institutionalized in other subsidiary bodies of the Security Council.
Thirdly, the lack of capacity to enforce arms embargoes remains a critical issue. Without sufficient resources and capacities — which have not been forthcoming from the international community — enforcement becomes almost impossible. It may be recalled that in the World Summit Outcome approved in September, our leaders expressed their support for strengthening State capacity to implement sanctions provisions. Capacity-building will have to be addressed very soon.
Fourthly, maintaining lively interaction between the Committee and the Monitoring Group will greatly facilitate the Committee’s work. The Committee has had to rely a great deal on the Working Group, which is doing an excellent job, in the absence of a reporting mechanism by Member States. In the Committee established pursuant to resolution 751 (1992), the innovation of regular communications from the Monitoring Group, in the form of biweekly updates from the field, has kept the Committee abreast on the latest developments during the long periods between regular reports.
In the coming months, the Security Council will have to address a number of challenges: first, the request by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia for exemption from the arms embargo to enable it to form a credible police force; secondly, the request for a similar exemption from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development for its trainers and observers; thirdly, the increasing piracy in Somali waters and adjacent seas; and fourthly, the growing fundamentalism in the country.
The Security Council working group established under resolution 1566 (2004) is mandated to
“consider and submit recommendations to the Council on practical measures to be imposed upon individuals, groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities, other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee”. (resolution 1566 (2004), para. 9)
The resolution further requested the working group
“to consider the possibility of establishing an international fund to compensate victims of terrorist acts and their families … and submit its recommendations to the Council”. (ibid., para. 10)
Members of the working group conducted its activities in two phases. The initial phase involved the gathering of information, views and perspectives from sources inside and outside the United Nations to assist the working group in accomplishing its mandate. The second phase was devoted to discussion and consideration of the recommendations of the working group to the Council.
A key strategy for the working group was to maintain transparency and openness in its work. Contributions from non-members of the Council were welcomed and encouraged. More than 50 member countries and non-members of the working group submitted written proposals and ideas on how to achieve the Group’s mandate.
As part of its information-gathering phase, the working group invited resource speakers to discuss relevant topics. The working group benefited from the experience and expertise of the resource speakers covering practical, theoretical, legal and political aspects of the work of the Security Council and other international and regional bodies in counter-terrorism.
The working group noted that paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1566 (2004) are indicative of the themes that its efforts should focus on. In that light, the working group agreed to explore possible recommendations to the Security Council under three broad headings: practical measures to be imposed against individuals, groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee; victims of terrorist acts; and scope of application of the measures that could be adopted under resolution 1566 (2004).
Under the rubric “practical measures”, members agreed to focus on the freezing of financial assets, preventing movement, preventing the supply of arms, strengthening prosecution and extradition, curtailing recruitment and training, preventing public provocation, and use of the Internet. On the issue of victims, members agreed to discuss the support for victims and the possible establishment of a compensation fund for them. In the area of the scope of application of the measures against terrorist individuals, groups and entities other than those designated by the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee, members agreed to discuss the question of establishing effective means to identify those individuals, groups and entities.
As the President pointed out, the recommendations of the working group to the Security Council are contained in the group’s report, which will be circulated as an official document very soon. I hope that the Council will have time to digest our recommendations for any further action in the future.
Having submitted my report as Chairman of the Somalia Sanctions Committee and the 1566 (2004) working group, I would like to add a few comments as the Philippines completes its two-year term on the Security Council at the end of this month.
The Security Council spends most of its time in managing internal conflicts. Its scope of action extends from pre-conflict peacemaking through conflict management to post-conflict peacebuilding. That nation-building consumes more than half of the time and attention of the Council and tends to diffuse its focus from the more existential threats to international peace and security, as a result of which real threats to global security are being addressed through actors and arrangements outside the Council. The establishment of a peacebuilding commission could relieve the Security Council of many economic, social and humanitarian dimensions of security crises.
The Security Council mirrors power realities. The unequal power structure gives rise to views of its inability to act in an objective, consistent and credible manner. To counter that perception, Security Council actions must therefore not only be transparent and accountable, but must be seen and heard to be so by the international community. Some measures need to be taken to ensure its effective and efficient functioning, especially in informal consultations. The various suggestions made at the December and June retreats of the Council deserve consideration for implementation.
I hope the Council finds time to evaluate its own practice and performance from time to time. It is essential for an organization as important as the Council to do so. No organization stays relevant unless it learns to stay ahead of the game and is able to adjust to paradigm shifts. There is a need for the Council to assess itself and improve its structures and practices if it is to serve the interests of the international community.
The Council itself must have its own lessons learned unit that would analyse and consider the effectiveness of the measures it implements and the practices and procedures it employs, particularly in the area of sanctions and the mandates of the sanctions committees and other subsidiary bodies of the Council. Right now, there is no entity in the Council that does such work, and that is a huge gap in making the Council effective and efficient in fulfilling its mandate under the United Nations Charter.
I would like to suggest a possible innovation in the Council work starting next year. In my observations, the subsidiary bodies of the Council have worked in parallel, divided by an imaginary wall of what members consider to be each group’s mandate from the Council. What happens is that each group develops its own practice, finds solutions to its own problems and essentially duplicates each other’s efforts and reinvents the wheel on similar, if not common, sets of challenges. I think that a regular exchange of views, lessons learned and best practices among the various chairs of the Council’s subsidiary bodies will eliminate wasteful duplication of effort and add synergy to the overall cooperation among Council members in the pursuit of its goals.
I propose that the chairs of the Council’s subsidiary bodies meet as a group on a regular basis to share and sort out lessons learned and best practices from each and by all of those bodies. Such meetings could be enhanced by the resources of the Secretariat and outside experts and observers to create a deeper and systematic analytical framework and practical and workable courses of action. I believe that a meeting of that type could be held at least twice a year, either on the side or as part of the biannual retreat held by the Council in spring and fall every year. I hope that the Council can consider that proposal for implementation in the immediate future.
In that connection, civil society and non-governmental organizations, as appropriate, could play key supporting roles in ensuring that Security Council resolutions and statements are not devalued by remaining textual references in the archives of the Council, or worse, by inattention from parties on the ground.
It has been a rare privilege for the members of my delegation and myself to serve on the Security Council with so many able and outstanding colleagues. There have been occasions when we have felt like the husband who dutifully works his required hours and at the end of the day rushes out of his office to catch the five o’clock bus for home. One day, he misses the bus, but, anxious to be home nevertheless, runs after it hoping to catch it at the next stop. He misses the bus again at the second stop, at the third stop and at the fourth stop, but he keeps on running after it until he finally reaches home. Out of breath, he profoundly announces to his dear wife: “Honey, I missed the bus but I kept on running after it till I reached home, and I saved us $2”. The loving wife, in her usual enigmatic voice, says, “My poor darling, stupid husband — you should have run after a taxi and saved us $10.”
I would like to end by thanking the members of the Somalia sanctions Committee and the 1556 Working Group for the constructive and positive manner in which they approached their task. I thank the secretariat — led by Mr. Gregor Boventer, who acted as Secretary of both subsidiary bodies and who lead a competent team composed of Ms. Anna Frangipani-Campino and Mr. Tilo Stolz, Ms. Seok Hoon Bodek, Ms. Vicky Aquino-Tiga, Ms. June Park, Ms. Lesley Brough and Ms. Rosario Faraon — for their support in ensuring that we work in a professional atmosphere with comfortable facilities. And I am very glad, Sir, to have ended our term under your presidency and under the skill of British diplomacy.
I am not sure how one follows that, but I would like to thank Ambassador Baja for his inimitable briefing and especially for all the work he has done on behalf of the Council in stewarding the work of the two subcommittees.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Motoc, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003) and of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004).
It is not without a certain sense of sorrow that I proceed with the presentation of the discharge reports as outgoing Chairman of the 1518 and 1540 Committees of the Security Council, all the more so since for once, this afternoon, the action does not really seem to be in this Council.
Both Committees that I had the honour to preside over had in common — beyond certain differences — the fact that they were novel undertakings of the Council, with the full range of challenges and opportunities that come with such endeavours. I can safely state at this point that we put the best resources behind those two commitments, and I have put all my energy into rising to the expectations of the Council, and ultimately of the international community, in two crucial areas: that of restoring to the Iraqi people the funds and assets estranged from them by the former regime of Saddam Hussein, and of preventing weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of non-State actors, including terrorists.
The Council will therefore have to bear with me for one slightly longer presentation covering both mandates, but I will try to be quintessential on each. Before starting, allow me to note that, while in 2004 the double tasking of an elected member at the helm of subsidiary bodies was rather rare, the trend encompassed many of my distinguished colleagues beginning this year. That not only makes elected tenures in the Council an ever more complex undertaking, but also raises the question of the modalities in which the Council as such can effectively and systematically oversee the evolution of the work of its subsidiary bodies.
I will speak first on the 1518 Committee. We conducted eight meetings in the interval under review. A great deal of work was undertaken informally among Committee members and in cooperation with the new Iraqi Mission to the United Nations. I do not intend to describe that work in detail, since the 2004 annual report is on the website and the one for 2005 will be issued shortly. Allow me only a few brief comments here.
The 1518 Committee was entrusted with the mandate to continue managing the list of individuals and entities associated with the deposed Iraqi regime in connection with the removal of financial and other assets from the country. Such funds, or other assets and economic resources, were to be frozen and repatriated to the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI). At this moment, the list of individuals comprises 89 names, while the list of entities has 206. I am pleased to report that the regime put in place by successive resolutions of the Security Council in that regard works. Data confirmed by Iraqi officials testify to the return of proceeds resulting from such freezes to the Iraqis through the DFI coming from 26 countries, in an amount exceeding $1 billion.
This month, the first movable asset — an executive jet — was returned to Iraq, thanks to the efforts of the Government of Liechtenstein and other Member States. I am also satisfied to report to the Council that this month the Committee adopted its delisting guidelines.
That, Sir, is our factual work. I should like to add that it was rewarding to work for such a noble cause as facilitating the return to Iraqis of what is rightfully theirs and contributing to the redress of one major injustice inflicted by the dictatorship on its own people. It was good to see, throughout these two years, how the cooperation with the Iraqi authorities has improved at the pace of that country’s overall transformation.
Let me now pass swiftly to outlining the work of the 1540 Committee in 2005. I will concentrate on the examination of national reports on the assistance-related issues and outreach activities, recalling that the full report will be available as Security Council document S/2005/799.
As of 16 December 2005, 124 States had submitted their initial reports to the Committee. The examination of all is already completed. In addition to that, as of the same date, 40 Member States had responded to the Chairman’s letters requesting additional information. To assist the Committee in examining the reports in a structured and consistent manner, a matrix has been developed based on the provisions of resolution 1540 (2004). All information — reported or identified from official data provided by States to various international organizations — on measures adopted by States to implement resolution 1540 (2004), is now reflected in individual matrices that the Committee subsequently decided to share with reporting States.
On the basis of operative paragraph 7 of resolution 1540 (2004), the Committee undertook to operate as a clearinghouse on matters related to facilitating assistance to countries lacking the legal or regulatory infrastructure, implementation experience and/or resources for full compliance with the provisions of the resolution. So far, the Committee has compiled in a structured manner and posted on its website all information on both available offers for assistance and needs evidenced by the reports. As the assessment by the Committee progresses, it will become clearer to what extent Member States and international and regional organizations can support the implementation process by providing directly, or otherwise facilitating, such assistance to those requesting it.
In terms of outreach activities, the Chairman and members of the Committee and its experts have continued to raise the issue of further reporting and promoted the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004) through a great number of meetings, conferences, seminars and workshops addressing a wide range of constituencies concerned. The Committee recently reached out on the reporting issue to the membership of the Latin American and Caribbean and Asian regional groups at the United Nations. In 2005, the Committee conducted interactive meetings with the Directors General and representatives of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Chairman of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
As transparency and cooperation have been constant guidelines for the work of the 1540 Committee, and as such an important guarantee for the effectiveness of the regime put in place by the resolution, the Committee and I have strived hard to reach out on a regular basis to Member States, including through joint briefings systematically conducted with my Danish and Argentinean colleagues chairing the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the 1267 Committee, respectively. In September, we addressed in that format the global gathering of Speakers of national parliaments here in New York. Our experts cooperated closely in all areas related to the execution of regimes instituted by resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004). We have also interacted constantly with the valuable work conducted by the Permanent Representative of the Philippines at the helm of the Security Council Working Group established pursuant to resolution 1566 (2004).
A lot of work remains to be done to achieve universal reporting, as required by resolution 1540 (2004), and to put available assistance to work. Two years after the passing of the landmark Security Council resolution 1540 (2004), which reaffirmed that the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and their means of delivery is at all times a threat to international peace and security, and which filled a major gap in existing international instruments and arrangements by regulating against the spread of such deadly tools to terrorists, I believe we are significantly more advanced in our knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of national systems in terms of preventing the nexus between WMDs and terrorist groups. We have made headway in our endeavour to secure our world with the safety belt of common, minimal protective measures against that dreadful prospect. As Chairman of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), I am proud of our implementation work so far and believe that it makes the extension and consolidation of the regime put in place by the Security Council in 2004 fully worthwhile.
On a final note, I wish to say a word of special appreciation to the Vice-Chairmen of the 1518 Committee, Brazil and Denmark, and of the 1540 Committee, Benin, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. I am indebted to them for their outstanding dedication and support. None of the achievements listed above would have been possible without the contribution and professionalism of the colleagues sitting on those committees, representing the members of the Council. I feel very humbled by the outstanding contribution made by Mr. Volker Beck and his colleagues who make up the 1540 Committee’s group of experts. I wish to recognize the dedicated work of those members of the Secretariat from the Department of Political Affairs who assisted the 1518 and 1540 Committees in their undertakings. Let me add all my commendation to Ambassador Abe and his colleagues from the Department for Disarmament Affairs.
While it is not with a light heart that we part with the chairmanships of the 1518 and 1540 Committees, I should like to pledge, on behalf of my delegation, our full readiness to support in every helpful way the future work that the Security Council may entrust to its subsidiary bodies in these areas. I also wish every success to those who will succeed Romania. And to you, Mr. President, I extend my thanks for arranging for this meeting and for bearing with me.
It is not a question, Ambassador Motoc, of bearing with you. It is a question of offering you my thanks and the thanks of the Council for the work you have done on two Committees, one of which whose subject matter is intrinsically difficult. The extent of that is demonstrated by your report.
I now give the floor to Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone.
Following the military coup of May 1997, the Security Council determined that the situation in Sierra Leone constituted a threat to international peace and security. In October 1997, by resolution 1132 (1997), it imposed an embargo on the supply of arms, petroleum and related products to Sierra Leone. A travel ban was also imposed on members of the military junta and their relatives.
In March 1998, by resolution 1156 (1998), the Council lifted the oil embargo and by resolution 1171 (1998) of June 1998, it confirmed the removal of sanctions on the Government and reimposed the embargo on arms to Sierra Leone other than to the Government, as well as a travel ban on leading members of the Revolutionary United Front and the former military junta.
In July 2000, by resolution 1306 (2000), the Security Council imposed an embargo on rough diamonds from Sierra Leone for 18 months, except those controlled by the Government of Sierra Leone, through the Certificate of Origin regime. In 2001, the Council’s measures regarding the import of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone were extended for 11 months by resolution 1385 (2001) and for a further six months in 2002 by resolution 1446 (2002).
Subsequently, in the light of Sierra Leone’s full participation in the Kimberley Process, the Council decided that the Government was able to ensure proper control over diamond-mining areas and signalled its intention not to renew the embargo against the import of rough diamonds from the country. This was done through a press statement on 5 June 2003 (press releasepress release SC/7778).
This is a very intricate story. That is why I decided to preface my remarks with it.
I was appointed Chairman of the 1132 sanctions Committee for Sierra Leone for 2004 and 2005. Only the arms embargo and travel restrictions remain in force. Following consultations within the Committee on two occasions, the names of some 18 individuals affected by sanctions were removed from the list, and the latest revised version was published in September 2004. During Brazil’s two-year term, we have consulted with members of the Committee and of the Security Council on the need to streamline the legal basis for sanctions in Sierra Leone. This has not been discussed in detail within the Committee, as it is primarily a matter for the Security Council, and the Committee has also recognized the need to safeguard the sensitive work of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
In our view, the expertise of the sanctions Committee should feed into the Council’s decision-making process in appropriate ways. There are often overlaps in the responsibilities of sanctions committees and the Council, and they should be handled with some degree of flexibility, while recognizing that it is solely the Council that is responsible for decisions related to the actual scope and design of sanctions.
In his twenty-seventh report on the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), which the Council will consider tomorrow, the Secretary-General indicates that over its six years of operation the Mission has forged effective partnerships and has placed Sierra Leone “on a firm path to post-conflict recovery” (S/2005/777, para. 59).
The Government has made further progress towards consolidating constitutional order and assuming full responsibility for the maintenance of security in the country. In spite of the challenges still presented by many root causes of the conflict in Sierra Leone, and in spite of the fragile socio-economic situation, we trust that the prevailing stable environment will allow for increasing international involvement and long-term sustainable peace dividends. The presence of the United Nations Integrated Office for Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) from 1 January 2006 will greatly contribute to that result.
In that context, it is my view that as UNAMSIL completes its drawdown the Security Council might soon start reviewing the Sierra Leone sanctions regime, with a view to updating its legal basis and streamlining and updating the measures currently in place, as well as the Committee’s mandate. Consultations within the sanctions Committee and with the Government of Sierra Leone will contribute to that end.
As Brazil approaches the end of its tenure on the Security Council and its chairmanship of the 1132 sanctions Committee, may I thank, through the President, the Permanent Representative of Algeria, who served as a Vice-Chairman of the Committee for 2004 and 2995, the Permanent Representative of Argentina, who served in that capacity this year, and the Permanent Representative of Pakistan who did so in 2004.
I cannot conclude without extending my appreciation to the members of the Secretariat who have assisted us in this task, in particular the Secretary of the Committee, Mr. James Sutterlin, whose readiness to assist and experience in the subject matter have been an essential asset in the work of the Committee.
I thank Ambassador Sardenberg for his briefing.
I now give the floor to Jean-Francis Régis Zinsou, who will speak on behalf of Mr. Simon Bodéhoussè Idohou, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.
Madam President, I should like to beg your indulgence, as, in my capacity as the Chairman’s assistant, I will be reading out his statement. Mr. Idohou was called on to carry out a very important function on behalf of our head of State: he is accepting a prize that is being awarded to my country.
“I take the floor today with a certain sense of historical solemnity to carry out one of the most significant acts of the final part of Benin’s mandate as a member of the Security Council — that of reporting to the wider membership on the manner in which Benin has discharged its responsibilities to this organ.
“When my country began its tenure in the Council in January 2004, it was entrusted with the responsibility of chairing the informal Working Group on General Issues on Sanctions, a body that had been in a deadlock situation for several years. My delegation spared no effort in working to break the impasse and to revitalize the Group. As a result, the Working Group was able to resume its activities with a revised mandate and has carried out a number of studies aimed at enhancing the work of the Security Council in the area of sanctions. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Mahiga of the United Republic of Tanzania.
“My country has also held the vice-chairmanship of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In that framework, it chaired its subcommittee C, charged with considering the reports of one third of the Member States.
“Benin has also held the vice-chairmanship of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) since its creation in 2004.
“In 2005, Benin chaired the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Security Council on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, which was established by the Council in March 2002 with the following mandate, which has not changed since its inception: to monitor the implementation of Security Council recommendations on conflict prevention and resolution; to issue recommendations aimed at enhancing cooperation between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, as well as between the Security Council and other United Nations bodies dealing with Africa; to consider, in particular, regional matters and issues arising as a result of various conflicts that affect the Council’s work on conflict prevention and resolution in Africa; and to make recommendations to the Security Council concerning security so as to enhance cooperation between the United Nations and African regional and subregional organizations in the area of conflict prevention and resolution.
“In 2005, the Working Group continued its activities in a new context. Indeed, the debate held in 2005 on United Nations reform placed particular emphasis on ways and means of meeting the challenge of preventing threats to our collective security. The question of conflict prevention and resolution elicited great interest in the context of the review of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, as a precondition for their realization.
“Africa continues to suffer from crisis and conflict situations in several countries of the continent. It is facing complex difficulties that could cause countries emerging from conflict to relapse into violence. That reality led to a great number of exchanges with a variety of organizations and stakeholders in the context of efforts to reform the United Nations and to enhance its effectiveness in the area of conflict prevention and resolution in Africa.
“The Working Group felt, therefore, that it should take an active part in the debate, within the framework of its mandate, and contributed to forging a consensus on the important issues of relevance to it within the overall package of United Nations reform. It therefore drew up a programme of work identifying some general issues and some more specific issues that had been raised in the Council in order to highlight the need to develop a comprehensive strategy for conflict prevention and to harmonize the approach taken to African questions by the United Nations and by the Security Council in particular.
“Given the overall attitude that prevailed during the preparation of the programme of work, several Working Group members suggested that its implementation be spread out throughout 2005 and subsequent years, bearing in mind the possibility of adjusting the programme in keeping with the priorities of the incoming Chairman.
“The Working group followed closely the discussions in the Council and supported its work on African issues. It met whenever it was deemed to be necessary to assess the situation and to consider possible contributions it might make.
“In addition to the discussions held within the Working Group and within the Council, the Group held two major events: a policy forum on the role of the Security Council in enhancing the United Nations capacity for conflict prevention, held in the Trusteeship Chamber on 13 June 2005; and a seminar on cooperation between the United Nations and the African regional organizations in the field of peace and security.
“It is well known that more than 60 per cent of the Council’s time is dedicated to African issues. In that context, the Chairman of the Group held frequent bilateral and multilateral consultations with representatives of States on the Council’s agenda and with Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Africa and exchanged views with them on the problems facing those countries and on measures the Council could take that would be of assistance to them.
“Bearing in mind the sensitivity of specific country-related issues, the Working Group agreed not to tackle them directly but rather to address them only within the context of the consideration of cross-cutting and horizontal issues included in the programme of work I mentioned earlier. Such issues were taken into account in the Programme of work of the Working Group.
“The Working Group decided that the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission would definitively settle the controversial question of cooperation between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, bearing in mind the Council’s tendency to draw a clear distinction between the areas of competence of the two bodies in the absence of a specific institutional framework for cooperation. Indeed, such cooperation and the need for it were generally recognized by Council members as a way of ensuring greater consistency in addressing complex crises in Africa.
“To that end, the Working Group assessed the institutional approach of the United Nations in conflict resolution and the importance of peacebuilding in Africa from the perspective of practicality. It mainly addressed the question of how to coordinate the action of the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council to prevent economic crises from resulting in political crises and outbreaks of violence. As outgoing Chair, I would like to stress the need to keep that issue on the agenda of the Working Group, because the ideas considered during the aforementioned policy forum should be studied in greater depth.
“On 29 June 2005, the Working Group held a meeting on the preparation and the adoption of the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme (GEMAP) in order to provide the National Transitional Government of Liberia with a strategy to aid its quest for transparency and accountability in the management of State resources, taking into account the recommendation made in the seventh progress report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Liberia (S/2005/391), of 16 June 2005.
“During that meeting, the Working Group agreed that, while cooperation on this issue between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council should not be excluded, no action could be taken until the Economic Community of West African States and the National Transitional Government reached an agreement with the development partners on that programme. It should be underlined that in its resolution 1626 (2005) of 16 September 2005, the Security Council welcomed the signing, by the National Transitional Government of Liberia and the International Contact Group of Liberia, of the Governance and Economic Management Assistance Programme, which is designed to ensure prompt implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and to expedite the lifting of measures imposed by resolution 1521 (2003). The Council also requested the Secretary-General to include information on progress in implementing GEMAP in his future reports on the United Nations Mission in Liberia. The implementation of GEMAP merits special attention by the Peacebuilding Commission and can serve as a model for other countries facing similar difficulties.
“The wrap-up discussion on the African dimension in the work of the Security Council, held on 30 March (see S/PV.5156), constituted an important milestone in the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group during 2005. The wrap-up meeting included an exchange of views on the situation in Africa and on the ways and means for the Security Council to implement new measures and increase the effectiveness of existing measures to address that situation. The then President of the Security Council, the representative of Brazil, addressed a letter to the Secretary-General (S/2005/188) on the issues to be discussed on that occasion. Those issues are of great relevance, and the debate’s conclusions inspired subsequent activities of the Working Group.
“The policy forum on enhancing the United Nations capacity for conflict prevention and the role of the Security Council, held on 13 June 2005 and organized in cooperation with the International Peace Academy and the Center for International Cooperation of New York University, focused on identifying the constraints that prevent the United Nations from playing an active and effective role in managing crises and stopping them from escalating into armed conflicts.
“The active participation of renowned specialists such as Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, who was invited in his capacity as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa, and Professor Rubin of New York University made it possible to hold an in-depth discussion of important questions, such as how the Security Council’s action can be triggered in situations that are not on its agenda, how information gathered by the early warning system can be used as indicators for the deployment of rapid responses to imminent conflicts and what practical crisis monitoring instruments can be established by the Security Council.
“The conclusions of the policy forum are set out in resolution 1625 (2005), which was adopted by heads of States or Government at the Security Council summit on 14 September 2005. It is true that that resolution, which was sponsored by the three African countries members of the Security Council, was not negotiated within the Working Group, because the resolution sought to establish a general framework for conflict prevention, taking into account African realities. Nonetheless, the resolution was made possible thanks to material collected by the Working Group.
“Thus, it is understandable that the Working Group should seek an active role in following up the resolution’s implementation, and that the Working Group has decided, in that context, to hold two seminars: the first on cooperation between the United Nations and African regional organizations in the area of peace and security, and the second on the formulation of comprehensive and coherent strategies for conflict prevention and resolution in Africa. Holding the latter seminar remains an urgent task that should be tackled as soon as possible under the incoming Chair, to whom I wish every success.
“The seminar on cooperation between the United Nations and the African regional organizations in the field of peace and security was held on 15 December 2005. It was organized with the active support and the active and very effective intellectual participation of the Secretariat. The seminar provided an invaluable opportunity for deepening insight into the issue, with contributions from various personalities such as the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union Commission, the President of the Security Council, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Hédi Annabi. We also had the participation of well-known personalities of international civil society such as Mr. Vasu Gounden of South Africa, founder and Executive Director of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, and Mr. Paul van Tongeren of the Netherlands, Executive Director of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention.
“The report of the seminar will soon be issued as a document of the Security Council. It will highlight the characteristics of the peace and security architecture of the African Union and its subsidiary bodies; the most important initiatives for strengthening that architecture; the principles and priorities of cooperation with the United Nations in the field of peacekeeping; recommendations concerning the rules for the use of force and the full integration of the African peace and security architecture in the collective peace and security system established by the United Nations Charter; and the strengthening of the African Union’s capacity in the area of peace and security.
“To conclude, I would like to thank all members of the Working Group for the strong support that they extended to me in the discharge of my functions. In addition, I thank the Secretariat, in particular Mr. Ibrahim Gambari. A comprehensive report on the activities of the Working Group in 2005 is being completed and will be transmitted to the President of the Security Council as soon as possible.”
I thank Mr. Zinsou for his briefing and for the work that he has done on behalf of the Committee, and I thank Ambassador Idohou, and Ambassador Adechi before him, for the work they carried out.
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.