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In the absence of the President, Mr. Sharma (Nepal), Vice-President, took the Chair.
The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.
Agenda item 11 (continued)
Report of the Security Council (A/56/2)
Mr. Ling (Belarus) (spoke in Russian): The delegation of the Republic of Belarus would like to join previous speakers in thanking the Ambassador of Ireland for having presented the periodic report of the Security Council to the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly.
The report reflects the efforts deployed by the Council in the settlement of the Middle East conflict following the Al-Aqsa intifada in 2000. Belarus welcome the efforts made by the Council to put an end to the violence and civilian casualties in the region. At the same time, we regret that the most decisive of steps have not been taken in order to find a comprehensive solution in order to settle the crisis and begin negotiations towards the full implementation of earlier Security Council resolutions and the recommendations of the special Committee of George Mitchell.
Mr. Manalo (Philippines): ...
We also feel that the Council should play a role in helping to defuse tensions in the Middle East. At the same time, it is clearly recognized that terrorism is a threat to international peace and security. We have no doubt that the Security Council, particularly through its Committee created by resolution 1373 (2001), will monitor this issue in a sustained and vigorous fashion. We hope that the Council will stay in close touch with Member States with respect to implementing Council resolution 1373 (2001), as well as on other matters connected with our fight against terrorism.
Mr. Moushoutas (Cyprus): ...
Article 15 of the Charter mandates that the General Assembly annually consider and assess the work of the Council, which, under the Charter, has broad powers to take decisions regarding the maintenance of international peace and security and act on behalf of the entire membership. My delegation attaches great importance to such examinations. They promote constitutional and viable links between the two main bodies of the United Nations. They also enhance transparency and accountability in the work of the Council. Although the report mainly represents a reproduction of documents, it nevertheless clearly shows the scope and intensity of the activities conducted by the Council during the past year. My delegation welcomes the important decisions taken by the Council throughout the year to strengthen peace and security, prevent further escalation of confrontations and promote peace-building in different parts of the world. In this connection, my delegation fully agrees with the view that the report fails to explain why the Council has not been fully involved in the conflict in the Middle East, a region that demands growing attention, diffusion of tensions and a constructive solution.
Mr. Aboul Gheit (Egypt) (spoke in Arabic): ...
Secondly, under this working method, which is mostly characterized by non-transparency, the Council has considered two issues of great importance that have a direct impact on international peace and security. Those issues are the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and the struggle against international terrorism. With regard to the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Security Council failed several times during the past year to reach a decision on the request to deploy international observers to monitor the situation between the occupying Power and the occupied Palestinian people. In spite of the long and numerous consultations in the Council and the exhaustive explanations provided to the Council by the Arab countries about the importance of deploying such observers to help the two parties control the situation, the Council failed repeatedly to adopt a decision in that regard for a number of reasons. In the absence of any meaningful international mediation in the conflict, this failure has certainly contributed to the deterioration of the situation and to the increase in the number of victims, most of whom are Palestinians.
During the Council’s deliberations we heard several views on this particularly important issue. It seemed that some of the members of the Council were not convinced that the Council even has a role in the whole question of the Middle East. It also seemed that those members wanted to turn facts and legal reasoning upside down by claiming that the Council should seek permission from the occupying Power in order to adopt a resolution to deploy international observers. Since we all realize what military occupation means, and what repressive and brutal acts it entails, this so-called argument could only be interpreted by us as a clear abdication by the Council of its responsibility to provide the necessary protection to the occupied Palestinian people, and as a flagrant implication of its infamous policy of double standards, which we have consistently criticized.
The meeting rose at 5.55 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.