Security Council: Bangladesh takes over presidency, stresses need for openness

4 June 2001

The chief United Nations delegate of Bangladesh, which has just assumed the monthly rotating presidency of the Security Council, said today he would adopt an action-oriented and open approach during his month-long term.

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, said his goals were to "make the Council more proactive rather than reactive and to bring more transparency to the Council."

In order to promote transparency, Ambassador Chowdhury said that Council meetings would be held publicly whenever possible so that other delegates could attend and the press could follow the proceedings.

During the month of June, Ambassador Chowdhury will lead a Council mission to Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. While the Council has sent teams into conflict areas in the past, this mission will mark the first one led by the President and comprised of all 15 members. "So it will be almost like a mobile Security Council," he observed.

Reviewing the schedule for the coming month, Ambassador Chowdhury noted that the Council would have to take decisions on the mandates of four UN peacekeeping operations - in Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Western Sahara and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He characterized the situation in the DRC as "complex," but stressed that the Council was actively engaged in the matter.

The Council would also continue to closely monitor the situation in the Middle East. "We'll be in touch with the Arab Group [and] the Non-Aligned caucus in this regard, and we are advised that some requests from their side will come our way with regard to the Palestine and Middle East issue," the President said.

Concerning Afghanistan, he said the Council would meet on an expert report which proposed ways of enforcing the arms embargo against the Taliban.

Another major area of concern was Burundi. "What we hear from various sources is that the situation is very delicate there," he said. "The Council needs to send a very strong message to the parties in Burundi to exercise maximum restraint."

The presidency of the Security Council rotates each month according to the English alphabetical order.


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