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I should be grateful if you would have it circulated as a document of the Security Council.
Under the presidency of Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou, Permanent Representative of Cameroon, the Security Council had a very heavy agenda in October 2002, not only because many mandates typically come up for renewal during this period of the Council’s working year but also because of the prevailing international situation.
During the period under review, the Council thus considered many issues of major significance for the maintenance of international peace and security, in Europe, Asia, including the Middle East, Oceania and especially Africa.
In addition, it considered thematic issues, such as the fight against terrorism, women in armed conflict and controlling the proliferation of small arms.
For the first time, the Security Council held a public meeting on cooperation between the United Nations system and the Central African region in the maintenance of peace and security. The conflict in Côte d’Ivoire was also added to the Security Council’s agenda on 31 October.
The Security Council devoted equal attention to all the situations posing a potential threat to international peace and security of which it is seized. Despite its topicality, the question of the disarmament of Iraq, while figuring prominently in the Council’s deliberations during Cameroon’s presidency, did not overshadow the other distressing conflict situations in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and other parts of the world.
Although most of the various consensus elements aimed at the peaceful disarmament of Iraq through the resumption of inspections were agreed and finalized during October 2002, the Council, in its prudent quest for legitimacy, wisely organized, at the request of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, a public debate on the situation in Iraq, thereby giving non-members of the Council an opportunity to express their views on this highly sensitive and much-debated issue.
During October, the Security Council adopted four resolutions and six presidential statements. It held 33 formal meetings, including two private meetings with troop-contributing countries and three closed private meetings at which it heard briefings by the President of the International Court of Justice, the President of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Prosecutor of the two Tribunals.
Members of the Council also met 14 times to hold informal consultations.
It should be mentioned that the Council’s different caucuses held an almost unprecedented number of parallel meetings. The caucuses of the five permanent members, the non-aligned members and the 10 elected members all served as forums for informal consultations, thereby undoubtedly facilitating subsequent decision-making on the delicate Iraq situation.
The President of the Security Council had pledged that his presidency would be characterized by systematic transparency and consultation, in order to facilitate consensus-building among the members of the Security Council.
Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 18 October, the Security Council held its monthly meeting of informal consultations on the development of the situation in the Middle East, in particular the diplomatic efforts for peace made by the Quartet and the security and humanitarian situation on the ground.
All delegations urged respect for resolution 1435 (2002) of 24 September 2002, and called for, inter alia, the lifting of the siege of the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority and the cessation of acts of violence and provocation.
The President of the Council made no statement to the press on this matter after the consultations.