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Africa, terrorism to top Security Council agenda for October

Africa, terrorism to top Security Council agenda for October

Ambassador Richard Ryan
Africa and terrorism will top the agenda of the Security Council for the month of October, according to the Permanent Representative of Ireland, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the 15-member body.

The Council will put particular emphasis on Burundi, which is entering a "very delicate phase" leading up to the 1 November establishment of a new Government, Ambassador Richard Ryan told journalists today at a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. Other African nations whose concerns will be addressed by the Council this month are Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Liberia.

On 31 October the Council will take up a report on the follow-up to the recent elections in East Timor in a meeting chaired by the Foreign Minister of Ireland, Brian Cowen, the Council president said.

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan will also be receiving attention from Council members, who will have to find "the right balance between political and humanitarian" efforts, Ambassador Ryan said.

Referring to Security Council resolution 1373 on terrorism, which was adopted last Friday, the Council President said immediate attention would be paid to the establishment of a committee to work on implementing the resolution's binding provisions.

Mr. Ryan said there was a growing view that the committee chairman will likely be chosen from among all members of the Council. Traditionally, such chairmen came from the elected, and not the permanent, membership of the Council. The appointment of the chairman should come quickly, he said, since the resolution said work should begin within 30 days. "That clock is already ticking. We will have to make very rapid progress."

The President stressed that all members of the Council felt that the new committee should work "in sync" with the General Assembly as the resolution was drawn from 12 existing conventions on terrorism.

Ambassador Ryan noted that all States parties were required to report to the Council within 90 days about their efforts to implement the resolution. He cautioned that the initial reports from some countries would not be perfectly comprehensive, adding that Security Council members may have to assist other States in their drafting. "This will be a long-term process," he said.