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In second "wrap-up" meeting ever, Security Council reviews past month's work

In second "wrap-up" meeting ever, Security Council reviews past month's work

For the second time in its history, the United Nations Security Council today held a public wrap-up discussion of its work for the month, led by the delegation of Colombia, which held the presidency for August.

During the meeting, several Council members praised the work of the Colombian presidency for its focus, and highlighted the adoption of two significant texts - a resolution on the Council's role in the prevention of armed conflict and a presidential statement on the small arms issue. Many recalled the two-day debate on the Middle East, but expressed regret over the absence of specific Council action on what was widely viewed as the deteriorating situation in the region.

The month of August, presided over by Colombian Foreign Minister Guillermo Fernandez de Soto and Permanent Representative Alfonso Valdivieso, began with a day-long public debate on small arms, in the wake of the United Nations Conference on the subject in July.

Other public meetings during August focused on the situations in Sierra Leone, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Liberia and Angola. The Council also heard an open briefing on the situation in Kosovo, as UN personnel and residents prepare for general elections there in November.

Foreign Minister Fernandez de Soto said his country had reached the objectives it had set out to achieve during the month-long presidency. These included taking an important step in tackling the issue of illicit small arms trafficking, discussing in depth the conflicts in Africa, working towards a comprehensive solution to the problems facing Afghanistan, and participating in work on reforming the Council itself.

France will hold the Council presidency, which rotates among members according to the English alphabetical order, during September.