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Conseil de sécurité – évaluation du travail sous la présidence du Grande-Bretagne, exposé par le Secrétaire générale devant le Conseil inclus – lettre du Grande-Bretagne (extraits)

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        Security Council
31 July 2002

Original: English

Letter dated 31 July 2002 from the Permanent Representative of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the
United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council

I enclose the assessment of the United Kingdom Presidency of the Security Council for July 2002 (see annex). This has been prepared on my own authority, but I have consulted other members of the Council before submitting it. I should be grateful if you would circulate it as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Jeremy Greenstock


Annex to the letter dated 31 July 2002 from the Permanent Representative
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the
United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council

Assessment of the work of the Security Council

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (July 2002)



Middle East

During July, the President of the Council held two meetings with the Arab troika, as well as the Permanent Observer of Palestine. On 17 July, the Secretary-General briefed Council members on the meeting of the “quartet” (United Nations, Russian Federation, United States of America and European Union), at which he had represented the United Nations, and that group’s subsequent meeting with three Arab representatives. On 18 July, the Council agreed on a statement by its President (S/PRST/2002/20), which supported the quartet’s joint statement. Late on 23 July, the President of the Council received a request for an urgent meeting of the Council. The Council held a debate on the situation during the evening of 24 July, at which many non-members took the opportunity to make their views known. During the week of 22 July, Council members discussed the situation on several occasions. The Arab Group, through the Syrian Arab Republic as its representative on the Council, circulated a draft resolution for consideration. There being no immediate agreement on the text, no action was taken on the draft.


United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon

The Secretary-General issued a report on the situation in southern Lebanon which recommended an extension of the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) until 31 January 2003. The Security Council held a meeting with troop-contributing countries and members discussed the report in informal consultations. The Council adopted resolution 1428 (2002), in which it endorsed the Secretary-General’s report and extended the mandate of UNIFIL, as recommended, and requested the Secretariat to continue with its plans to reconfigure the Force by the end of 2002.


Enclosure *

Statement to the Press by the President of the Security Council, July 2002


Introduction to the Security Council programme for July, 2 July 2002

The objective of this briefing is to fill you in on the Security Council’s programme for the month of July and to take questions on that programme. You will understand that I am not authorised by the Council, in any specific sense, to talk about the substance of these meetings.

The UK Presidency month has no particular, or grand, theme to it. We just wish to conduct the business of the Security Council in as effective a manner as possible. It is going to be a crowded month, not only because there are a great number of things to be done anyway, but because the international scene is full of issues which need quite deep discussion and are raising strong emotions so we can expect the Security Council, in one way or another, to be part of those. Let’s have a look at the Programme of Work in front of you (version timed 10.30 on 2 July).

There are several Peacekeeping Mandate renewals this month, more so than the average. Four renewals and the office in Angola which needs to be re-shaped. The mandate renewals are the UN mission on Prevlaka, UNMOP which expires on the 15 July, and the operations in Lebanon, Georgia and Western Sahara, UNIFIL, UNAMIG and MINURSO needing renewal by the end of the month. Many of these are complex in their own right and will need quite a lot of Council discussion.


The Middle East features once but may, of course, come up more than once during the month. We scheduled informal consultations on the Middle East Peace Process to coincide with the availability, we hope, of the Secretary-General. He will decide whether there is anything he wishes to say in an open meeting at that point.


* The enclosure is being circulated in the language of submission only.


Informal consultations on the Middle East Peace Process, 17 July 2002

In informal consultations this afternoon we heard a briefing from the Secretary-General about the Middle East Peace Process the Quartet meeting, and the meeting of the Quartet with the Representatives of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, yesterday. The Council had a discussion about that and the Council is in the middle of considering how it will respond to the Quartet Statement. We will resume that tomorrow. Thank you.

Q: Mr Ambassador any reaction to the bombing of Israel about an hour and half ago?

- I let the Council know that that news flash had come in, and there was immediate regret expressed around the table that violence was continuing.

Q: What was the response to the draft Presidential Statement on the Quartet Statement?

- That was received very positively and we hope for a decision early tomorrow.



Consultations on UNIFIL; Western Sahara; Ethiopia-Eritrea and Somalia, 22 July 2002

To brief members of the press on this mornings informal consultations we had three items on the agenda: UNIFIL; Western Sahara; Ethiopia – Eritrea and Somalia.


- Let me make some points agreed in the Council. We had a briefing this morning from Jean Marie Guehenno, the Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. In the context of the need for renewal of the UNIFIL mandate, the Secretary-General has reported. The mandate expires on 31 July and we need to take decisions before then. The French delegation introduced a draft resolution which had a first discussion around the Council table with support in general for the Secretary-General’s recommendations. But the draft will be discussed by experts if necessary and will come back to the Council, so that we know what particular points other Members of the Council may have on that. Meanwhile, Members of the Council insisted that all the violations of the cease-fire should stop - there had been too many in recent weeks - that UNIFIL should be allowed to do its job on the ground without impediment. There are still problems of access for UNIFIL and that point was strongly stressed this morning. But there was otherwise warm commendation from the Council for what UNIFIL is doing on the ground and for the work of Special Representative of the Secretary-General Steffan De Mistura.



Informal consultations on Western Sahara, UNIFIL and Sudan, 24 July 2002

Let me just take this opportunity to give you an account of this mornings informal consultations. We dealt with three issues mainly: Western Sahara; the draft Resolution on UNIFIL, which is making progress. (There was no discussion and, it will come back to the Council probably on Friday, with, I hope, an agreed draft for the continuation of UNIFIL’s mandate) Thirdly, we agreed that there should be a statement to the press on the subject of the negotiations on Sudan and I have the following elements to give you on that.


Arab Group request for a debate on Middle East

Another subject that came up today was the request by the Arab Group for a debate on the situation in the Middle East which the Council has now scheduled for 19.00 this evening. The timetable is very full over the next few days and there was keenness to get on with what is a debate on a very topical issue and not to waste further time.

Other Business


Q: Ambassador, what would are your plans for discussion on the resolution being circulated by the Arabs?

- I have to see the text of the resolution, they are coming to see me at 15.00 this afternoon. Thank you very much.


Informal consultations on Western Sahara, 26 July 2002


Other Matters

We checked on the progress of drafting of resolutions on UNIFIL in Lebanon and UNOMIG in Georgia: both drafts are making good progress and will be taken, if agreed, on Monday. Those are also mandate renewals for the end of the month.


Q: Ambassador, There was a draft resolution on the Middle East prior to the debate the other night, has that been taken any further? Or are you are you expecting that to be taken any further?

- That was not discussed this morning.

Q: Ambassador, any proposal from the Arab Group?

- That’s up to them, I have not been approached by the Arab Group since Wednesday the 24 of July.



Consultations on the Middle East, 26 July 2002

Middle East

We had further formal consultations this afternoon, as you predicted to me at 1230. There is now a draft on the table. You have seen it. It was tabled by the Syrian Arab delegation this afternoon and there was a first round of discussion on that draft. Most of the Members of the Council who spoke wished to have time to consult their capitals on the draft. One delegation made it clear that they would have considerable difficulties with the draft. It is further the feeling amongst those Members of the Council who spoke that it would be right to move forward if at all possible, with full consensus on this issue. It is an important issue in front of the Council. With those sentiments expressed, I adjourned the meeting and said that people should be in a position on Monday morning to express considered views from their Governments on this draft. We will see where we stand at that point. There was no other business other than the Middle East discussed this afternoon.

Q: Ambassador, in your capacity as UK Representative what do you see unreasonable in the draft?

- I don’t have instructions on this draft. I too am consulting my capital.

Q: Ambassador, do you think there is anything that can be added to rafts of resolutions you have regards to the Middle East at this moment to move the situation?

- I wouldn’t say that the Council had nothing to offer on this issue at all. So I would not give a negative to that. But we have to calculate very carefully how we add to the prospects for the parties to this dispute getting out of the difficulties they find themselves in. That is the most important aspect of this as I see it as President of the Council. I think the whole Council is keen to support the prospects for a return to negotiations. The Quartet and other emissaries did important work on this last week and I think the Council is very keen to maximise the opportunities for that bearing fruit. Unfortunately there was a nasty incident of violence in Gaza between then and now and that has to be dealt with. And the Council may, early next week, have something to offer on that.

Q: Ambassador, the report that the American Ambassador laid out some conditions for resolutions of this, what is your view of that?

- Neither as President nor as UK will I comment on the views of the United States on this. You will need to ask the US Ambassador.

Q: But what is your view of a Member laying out conditions?

- It is entirely his prerogative to do that and I think he did it perfectly fairly. But what those views are, they were in a confidential discussion, and how he takes them forward is entirely a matter for the US delegation. I think that the UK would always want a resolution to have elements of balance that take the whole situation forward in a fair way on the basis of previous resolutions.

Q: Ambassador, even with the reference to the cessation of all form of terror this is unreasonable to the Council?

- I am not saying that element is unreasonable, no.


Consultations on Georgia; Western Sahara; the Middle East, 29 July 2002

Let me just report on this morning’s informal consultations. We had informal consultations to complete the draft on Georgia, on UNOMIG, which we just adopted. We also discussed two issues, which we still needed to settle: one is Western Sahara, the other is the Middle East situation.

Middle East

On the Middle East situation, we had a further discussion to see whether there was any progress on the draft, which the Arab Group put down on Friday afternoon. That draft did not make any further progress this morning. There will be further corridor consultations on that. And groups interested in that outside the Council are looking at the current situation. If necessary we will take it up tomorrow afternoon in informal consultations.

Other Matters

Tomorrow morning there will be a formal meeting to hear a briefing on Kosovo, from the Special Representative Mr Michael Steiner. We will then follow that with informal consultations, continuing into the afternoon at 1530 on the Middle East, if necessary, and on Western Sahara. There are indications that the current draft on Western Sahara will need further discussion. But I believe we can make further progress on that draft with discussion. That leaves Wednesday on the programme to complete our business on UNIFIL in Lebanon, which needs to be settled before the end of the month, and to take action on Western Sahara, which is also necessary before the end of the month, or on the Middle East.

Q: Ambassador, would you be following up with any personal consultations on the Middle East?

- Nothing further today, tomorrow afternoon is the next opportunity for that.



Consultations on Western Sahara, UNIFIL, DRC/Rwanda, Middle East, 30 July 2002

Good afternoon Ladies and Gentleman, just to report to you on informal consultations this afternoon.



Second, we agreed that we would move forward and adopt the text on UNIFIL this afternoon, - the force in Lebanon which is due for renewal for a further six months from tomorrow. That text will also be taken in a few minutes time and I hope it will be adopted unanimously in the Council.


Middle East

Finally we had a brief discussion of the Middle East. The text of the Arab Group remains on the table. We were not able this afternoon to reach consensus on that text. Discussions continue in informal consultations and that text remains on the table. So that was the one subject this afternoon that we did not reach any conclusion on.


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