Security Council to aim for action on Angola before Annan's trip there later this month
Following a private meeting, Ambassador John Negroponte of the United States, which currently holds the Council’s rotating presidency, told reporters that all of the members had welcomed the fact that the ceasefire of 4 April had been holding.
He said the Council had engaged in a "lengthy discussion about the military and humanitarian and other challenges" ahead. Members also reviewed the "nature and scope of the United Nations presence in Angola going forward in light of the new challenges which are faced in that country."
Asked when Council action could be expected, Ambassador Negroponte said, “we are talking about the possibility of reaching some resolution of this question in the not-too-distant future, if possible prior to [the] Secretary-General’s trip to Angola,” scheduled for 25 to 27 August.
Such an outcome would require "further discussions within the Security Council itself and with the Government of Angola," he stressed.
During its closed-door talks, Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Africa, presented Mr. Annan's latest report on Angola. The report proposes the creation of a new UN Mission in Angola, to be known by the acronym UNMA, which would be divided into two components, one dealing with political, military and human rights work and the other devoted to humanitarian concerns, economic recovery and development.
"It is now in [Council members'] hands as to the next steps that they propose to take in terms of carrying forward the recommendations of the Secretary-General," said Under-Secretary-General Gambari.
Asked about the UN-Angola relationship, he said it was "very positive, because there is a recognition that the UN has a very important role to play, not on the humanitarian side, which as you know is very serious, but also, under the Lusaka Protocol, the UN has special responsibility to mediate between the Government and UNITA [National Union for the Total Independence of Angola.]"
"There is no alternative to cooperation and new partnership between the Government of Angola and the UN and international community based on burden-sharing so that everybody does what they are supposed to do to help consolidate peace in Angola," he stressed.