Situations in Africa, Middle East key topics for Security Council in June, President says
The Security Council will devote a considerable amount of its time this month to various situations on the African continent, while also closely following the events in Iraq and the wider Middle East, the President of the 15-nation body said today.
Briefing the press on the Council's work programme for the month of June, Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sablière, of France, said priorities would include Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Burundi, Guinea Bissau and Liberia, making June “a very African month.”
Ambassador de la Sablière said that this morning, the Council had discussed renewing and strengthening the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). Members were unanimous in their willingness to adopt the best possible draft resolution to support South African President Thabo Mbeki’s facilitation efforts, but a decision could not be taken until the third week of the month.
Discussions on the situation in Darfur would include a presentation by the Secretary-General this afternoon on the outcome of the 26 May Addis Ababa donors conference and another, later in the month, by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). On 29 June, there would be two meetings on Sudan, one to discuss the North-South peace process and the other on the question of combating impunity.
Regarding other African crises, Ambassador de la Sablière said that on 15 June, Burundi’s Minister of Justice would address the Council, at his own request, on the international investigative commission on crimes of genocide in his country. On 23 June, the Council would hear an update on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, where presidential elections were scheduled for 19 June. On Liberia, the Council would consider the report of experts on sanctions and discuss the renewal of those measures.
Outside of Africa, he said that on 16 June, the Council would hear an update by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a week before an international reconstruction conference on the country. Reports concerning the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Advisory and Monitoring Council for Iraq would also be heard during the month.
The Council’s monthly consideration of the situation in the Middle East would take place on 17 June, just a few days before the important summit to be held between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Afghanistan would also feature on the Council’s agenda when it considers the provision of electoral support as well as combating the production and trafficking of drugs.
Video of press briefing [56mins]