The Foreign Ministers from all five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, along with Secretary-General Kofi Annan, today issued a wide-ranging statement laying out their joint position concerning various hotspots across the world, including Iraq, which they said must carry out its obligations under relevant resolutions.
In a press statement released following their meeting, the Secretary-General and the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States said they had agreed that "Iraqi non-compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions is a serious matter and that Iraq must comply."
The statement added that the Ministers had begun consultations on how the Security Council could deal with the issue to ensure the implementation of its resolutions.
Turning to the fight against terrorism, the Ministers and Mr. Annan reaffirmed the UN's key role in meeting current challenges and emphasized the need to strengthen global efforts to combat the scourge, especially through the Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee.
The statement also welcomed the dramatic changes taking place in Afghanistan, underscoring the "urgent need" for the international community to assist in restoring the country.
Concerning the situation in the Middle East, the statement reiterated the group's determination to promote a "just, comprehensive and lasting settlement" based on Security Council resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, and the principle of land for peace. The Ministers and the Secretary-General "strongly support the goal of achieving a final Israeli-Palestinian settlement, and remain committed to implementing the vision of two States, Israel and an independent, viable and democratic Palestine, living side by side in peace and security."
Unequivocally condemning all acts of violence and terrorism, the group voiced increasing concern at the mounting humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian areas and, "while recognizing Israel's legitimate security concerns, call on Israel to take the immediate measures necessary to alleviate humanitarian sufferings of the Palestinian people."
Regarding Africa, the statement stressed the importance of bringing lasting peace to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and welcomed the developing political dialogue in the region. They commended the commitments taken by the Government of Angola and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) to restore peaceful and secure conditions in the country. On the New Partnership for Africa's Development, the Ministers "welcomed the pledge by African leaders to the people of Africa to promote peace, security and development and to consolidate democracy and sound economic management."
In addition to the Secretary-General, Foreign Ministers Tang Jiaxuan of China, Dominique de Villepin of France, Igor Ivanov of the Russian Federation, Jack Straw of the United Kingdom, and Colin Powell of the United States took part in the meeting.