The Ambassador of France, which this month holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, today said he would work to lift the sanctions against the Sudan and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during September.
"We believe that the time has come, if possible, to lift the sanctions on the Sudan," said Ambassador Jean-David Levitte. "The same objective stands regarding the arms sale embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."
"We have undertaken discussions with our partners and we are going to try to obtain, on both of those situations, the adoption of two resolutions in the course of this month," he said. At the same time, he stressed that the issues involved were "extremely sensitive and extremely difficult."
"It's a bit like a sea serpent when we talk about the Sudan situation," he said. "As far as Yugoslavia is concerned, that's still in the troubled context of the Balkans region."
Among other key events planned for the month, he announced that the Council would convene a meeting, which would likely be presided over by French President Jacques Chirac, on the tragedy of child victims of armed conflict. That one-hour meeting was scheduled for 19 September - the opening day of the General Assembly's special session on children.
Ambassador Levitte also said France would use its presidency to focus attention on Africa, which he called "first and foremost among our concerns." In particular, work would continue on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, former South African President Nelson Mandela is scheduled to address the Council on Burundi. The Council would also deal with the renewal of the mandates of UN peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone and the Horn of Africa.