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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
12 November 2007



General Assembly
GA/10656

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-second General Assembly
Plenary
47th & 48th Meetings (AM & PM)

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Background

The General Assembly met today to hold a joint debate on the report of the Security Council and the question of equitable representation on the Council and an increase in Council membership.  Along with the report of the Council (document A/62/2), the Assembly has before it a note by the Secretary-General concerning the work of the Security Council (document A/62/300), which informs the world body of the matters relative to international peace and security that are being dealt with by the Security Council and of matters with which the Council has ceased to deal. 

The report of the Security Council covers the period 1 August 2006 to 31 July 2007 and details Council activities relating to all questions under its responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.  The report states that, during the reporting period, the pace of the activities of the Security Council was intense, and the volume and scope of issues before it were increasing. 

The Council continued to monitor the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on a regular basis.  The question of Lebanon also dominated the attention of the Council. ...

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Introduction of Report

MARTY M. NATALEGAWA ( Indonesia), President of the Security Council for the month of November, said the Council had on its programme of work all major aspects of the maintenance of international peace and security, including armed conflicts, terrorism, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding.  During the reporting period of 2006, the Council held 224 formal meetings, 184 of which were public, as well as 22 meetings with troop-contributing countries.  One the whole, the Council held 192 consultations and adopted 71 resolutions in addition to 52 presidential statements.

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Turning to the Middle East, the Council President said the Council considered the Palestinian question on a monthly basis, including seven open debates on situation, two of which were at the ministerial level.  The Council also debated the situation in Lebanon, unanimously adopting Resolution 1701, which renewed and enhanced the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and implemented resolution 1559, establishing the International Independent Investigation Commission and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.  ...

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Statements

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HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) said the current discussion enhanced dialogue and cooperation between the Council and the General Assembly.  The number of open meetings of the Security Council underscored the Council’s attempts to enhance its transparency and accountability.  The report showed that conflicts and tensions were still prevalent across the world and satisfactory resolutions to those conflicts required further determination and resources.  Of particular concern were the situations in the Middle East, in some African countries, the threat of terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. ...

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Mr. ALJABRI ( Saudi Arabia) ...

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Continuing, he said specific progress towards reform to adapt to global threats had been made.  However, reform of the Council regarding membership had only seen little progress.  There was among Member States a sincere desire to reform that organ, which was the beating heart of the Organization, as well as international security.  Saudi Arabia urged reform, in order to make the Council, overall, more inclusive, more effective and more transparent – to make it a body capable of dealing with crises before they happened, not just after the event.  Saudi Arabia also expressed the hope that the veto would be used to help the weak and foster their rights, not to encourage tyranny and despotism.  Resolutions enacted, but not acted upon, because of the unjustified use of the veto, had resulted in the problems in the Middle East for 60 years.  Permanent Members of the Security Council needed to play an important role in dealing with issues like those – which required radical changes in the Council.

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JORGE ARGÜELLO (Argentina) pointed out that his country had been on the Security Council during part of the period covered by the report, and followed with concern the serious situations affecting international security, particularly in Darfur, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He further hoped the upcoming Annapolis Conference would achieve substantive progress towards a legitimate solution to the Middle East conflict, within the context of international law.  He was aware of the gravity of situations that placed restrictions on human rights in many countries.

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HABIB MANSOUR ( Tunisia) ...

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On the Security Council’s functioning, he said several large open meetings had been held, and that the number of open briefings had increased.  However, more work was needed to make the body more transparent.  The report demonstrated that the Council had acted with determination, particularly in Africa, and had enhanced its role in the maintenance of peace and security.  However, the Council’s actions had fallen short in the Middle East.  Its failure to help settle the Palestinian question and live up to its responsibilities posed a serious threat, both to itself and the region.

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AHMED AL-JARMAN ( United Arab Emirates) said that, despite all the Council’s efforts to address peace and security matters, as well as to contain emergencies, tensions and internal crises and combat terrorism, it had often fallen short of expectations and even failed to address some of the pressing matters on its agenda.  Those deficits had been the inevitable consequence of the lack of transparency in its decision-making processes, its silence on a number of emerging and threatening security issues, a hasty and excessive use of Chapter VII to address issues that did not necessarily pose an imminent threat to global peace and security, and its failure to pursue alternative solutions to more pressing security issues “such as developments in Palestine and the Middle East, which have been on its agenda since its establishment”.

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For information media • not an official record

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