U N I T E D N A T I O N S
18 December 2013
Letter dated 18 December 2013 from the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
I am pleased to inform you that the People’s Republic of China held the presidency of the Security Council for the month of November 2013. An assessment of the work of the Council has been prepared under my supervision and in consultation with the other members of the Council (see annex).
I should be grateful if this letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of
China to the United Nations
Annex to the letter dated 18 December 2013 from the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of China (November 2013)
Under the presidency of China, the Security Council held 17 public meetings and 13 informal closed consultations to consider agenda items including Africa-related issues (Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Somalia/Eritrea, the Sudan and South Sudan); Middle East-related items (the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, Iraq, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen); and a Europe-related item (Bosnia and Herzegovina), as well as the work of relevant sanctions committees. The Council adopted four resolutions and issued two presidential statements and eight statements to the press. In his capacity as President of the Security Council, the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, Ambassador Liu Jieyi, introduced the annual report of the Council to the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly. He also spoke in his capacity as President of the Council at the commemorative meeting held on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Moreover, Council members had their monthly luncheon with the Secretary-General, and attended the Finnish workshop on 21 and 22 November, together with newly elected members of the Council, to share experiences about serving on the Council.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 19 November, the Council held the
on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffery Feltman, noted that four months since the resumption of direct negotiations, the process had suffered a significant setback with a series of announcements of settlement plans in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which also led to the resignation of Palestinian negotiators. The announcement on 13 November of plans for advancement of some 24,000 units, including in E-1, were of particular concern, as these could not be reconciled with the goal of a negotiated two-State solution, he said. He reiterated the United Nations position that settlements are contrary to international law and an obstacle to peace, and that the Secretary-General expected the Government of Israel to put a full stop to those plans. Parties should intensify efforts and refrain from actions that undermined trust and the spirit of talks. He noted that the situation on the ground remained tense, and the Israeli security forces continued to carry out search and arrest operations. Violence between settlers and Palestinians continued on a daily basis throughout the West Bank, and the continued demolitions of unlicensed Palestinian structures was worrying. The situation in Gaza was once again deteriorating, including the socioeconomic situation combined with energy and construction crises. Israel had been called upon to urgently reconsider its decision to temporarily halt the import of construction material into Gaza. The Under-Secretary-General emphasized that the financial situation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East had become more serious and encouraged all donors to step up their contribution. On Lebanon, he highlighted the condemnation of the Secretary-General of the terrorist attack that had apparently targeted the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran on 19 November.
During the following closed consultations, members of the Council expressed support for the negotiations and the leadership shown by President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu. Many Council members expressed serious concern and condemned the recent large-scale settlement plan announced by Israel. Many members also stressed the need to improve the living conditions of the people in the Gaza Strip and to respect the legitimate security interests of the parties.
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