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Security Council President outlines work programme for April

Security Council President outlines work programme for April

The incoming President of the Security Council today said that the 15-member body could discuss coordinating its work in the area of conflict management with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at an open session later this month.

"One thing I would like to have as an open meeting is my initiative to try and get the Security Council talking to ECOSOC about the grey areas of conflict management, conflict prevention, peacekeeping and post-conflict peace-building," said Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, which just assumed the Council's rotating presidency for the month of April.

Ambassador Greenstock told a UN press conference that with the agreement of the Council members, he said he would hold a meeting on 27 April with the ECOSOC bureau at the Security Council table "to discuss conflict management where we have responsibilities that overlap, for instance, disarmament, demobilization and reconciliation, and its relationship to peacekeeping operations."

Ambassador Greenstock also referred to the Security Council's "joint interest with ECOSOC in conflict prevention and post-conflict peace-building -- handing over after a peacekeeping operation [responsibility] to those running the economic and social aspects."

Under Article 65 of the UN Charter, ECOSOC "may furnish information to the Security Council and shall assist the Security Council upon its request."

Ambassador Greenstock also said he would work to "make the Council's business progressively more transparent" by holding meetings in open session whenever possible.

In an overview of the Council's planned work during April, the United Kingdom Ambassador said he anticipated holding meetings on the UN Expert Panel on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the situation in Sierra Leone and West Africa; and the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

The Council President also predicted an in-depth discussion of the situation in Western Sahara, where the UN has deployed a peacekeeping mission to allow the people of the Territory to determine whether they want independence or integration with Morocco.

"We've rolled over MINURSO for a couple of months saying this will be the last time three or four times, and this may or may not be the last time," he said, referring to the Mission by its French acronym. He added that there could be "quite a heavy debate on what we do with MINURSO and what happens in Western Sahara in the next phase."