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Africa again looms large on Security Council agenda for February, President says

Africa again looms large on Security Council agenda for February, President says

Amb. Peter Burian
Africa, particularly the crises in Somalia and Sudan’s strife-torn region of Darfur, will again dominate the Security Council’s work programme for February, although other world hotspots will also be addressed, along with thematic debates on the issue of security sector reform and weapons of mass destruction, the President of the 15-member body said today.

“Among the priorities of our presidency will be [the] urgent crises in the world, including Somalia… [and the] crisis in Darfur,” Ambassador Peter Burian of Slovakia told a press conference in New York.

“We think that the Council should really speed up the process of implementation of the three-phased approach and we hope it will lead to early implementation of this idea of a hybrid operation,” he added, referring to a proposed UN-African Union (AU) force for the region.

“Slovakia along with those traditional and regular issues is including two of its priorities for open debate in the Council. One is security sector reform open debate and a second is the debate on the implementation of resolution 1540 and 1673 and the role of international organizations,” he added, referring to Council resolutions on weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Burian also said the 15-member body would like to hear a briefing from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his recent attendance at the AU summit. During his address to that meeting, held in Addis Ababa, Mr. Ban issued a strong call for action to end the suffering in Darfur.

The Council will also hold consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as discussing Timor-Leste and the Middle East, the President said.

“Then we’ll have on 13 February…an open debate on the Middle East and we’d like to again use the opportunity to take stock and reflect [on] the result of the Quartet meeting just going on in Washington D.C. and see how the Council again can be supportive of this process,” he added, referring to today’s meeting of the diplomatic grouping comprising the UN, the US, Russia and the European Union.

The situation in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR) will also be discussed this month.