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East Timor among highlights of Security Council agenda in May, president says

East Timor among highlights of Security Council agenda in May, president says

A meeting to mark the independence of East Timor - a United Nations success story - will be among the highlights in the work of the Security Council in the month of May, the current President of the 15-member body said today.

"If you are to look for success stories in the work of the Security Council nothing beats East Timor in recent years," Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore told a press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, noting that there would be a public meeting on 20 May to celebrate East Timor's independence.

Outlining the Council's agenda for the current month, Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani also drew attention to tomorrow's public meeting on children's rights, which would hear senior officials involved with this issue, as well as young people from East Timor, Liberia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. "The purpose of this event is to demonstrate the Security Council's support for the General Assembly's special session on children," which will open on Wednesday, Ambassador Mahbubani said, adding that the Council hoped to adopt a presidential statement on the subject.

In the coming days the Council would also hold an open session to hear a report from the Council team that has just concluded a mission to the Great Lakes region of Africa. As for Asia, the body was planning to hold a public briefing on Afghanistan in advance of the country's Emergency Loya Jirga, set for June.

The Council also had a full programme dealing with the mandates of peacekeeping operations as well as various trouble spots around the world, the President said.

"Our theme for the month is to have what we call a results-oriented approach," Ambassador Mahbubani said. During Singapore's rotating presidency, he noted, UN officials would be asked to provide fact sheets on various topics in advance of briefings "so that they will concentrate on giving us their analytical assessment rather that a factual description." Council members would be encouraged to make their interventions as brief as possible "to ensure the meetings hopefully will finish faster."

In order to focus the discussions, Singapore would post on its website annotated agendas of each informal Council meeting a day in advance, the Ambassador Mahbubani said. "This of course doesn't prevent Council members from raising any issues that they want to raise," he noted. Efforts would also be made to improve the website by posting draft presidential statements and resolutions as they became available. At the end of the week, the website would provide a weekly summary of what had been accomplished.