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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
18 November 2008


General Assembly
GA/10786

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

Sixty-third General Assembly
Plenary
53rd & 54th Meetings (AM & PM)

‘OUT OF DATE AND OUT OF TOUCH’, SECURITY COUNCIL REQUIRES URGENT REFORM,

ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT SAYS, URGING DELEGATIONS TO MOVE SWIFTLY TO END IMPASSE

35 Speakers Weigh In on Making Security Council More Representative;
Assembly also Approves Arrangements for Doha Development Financing Conference


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Background

The General Assembly met today for its annual joint debate on the question of the equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters.  It also plans to consider the report of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) on the follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference.

For its debate, the Assembly has before it the Report of the Security Council (document A/63/2), which covers the 1 August 2007 to 31 July 2008 period, and details activities relating to all questions considered by the Council under its responsibility of international peace and security; questions considered by the Council under that same responsibility; and other matters considered by the Council.  In addition, that report contains an update on the work of the Military Staff Committee, matters brought to the Council’s attention but not discussed at Council meetings, and work of the Council subsidiary bodies.

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Statements

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HOANG CHI TRUNG ( Viet Nam) noted the 219 meetings and 177 consultations the Council had held in the one year period ending in July, as well as the 17 operating missions on the ground, plus those being deployed to strengthen local peacebuilding efforts.  The Council’s peacemaking efforts, including in preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention, had yielded encouraging tangible outcomes, even as conflicts and deadly violence had continued in Iraq, Afghanistan, the occupied Palestinian territories, the Balkans and the Caucasus.  There had been encouraging signs that the Council was becoming more transparent in the growing number of open meetings being held and in the more intensive participation by non-members in the Council’s work.

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ABDULLAH HUSSAIN HAROON ( Pakistan) ...

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The Council’s poor record in handling inter-State conflicts had eroded its credibility, and major issues remained unresolved due to non-implementation of its resolutions, including those on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, and the Palestinian issue.  ...

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HABIB MANSOUR ( Tunisia) addressed both the report of the Security Council and the equitable distribution of membership on the Council.  Regarding the annual report, he observed that it offered the sole opportunity to Assembly Member States to evaluate the Council’s work and to address needed improvement to the Council’s methods.  That particular report was factual and offered concise description of the Council’s work during the past year.  However, it did not offer an analytical approach, as requested by the General Assembly.  In addition, the Assembly also requested that the Security Council submit thematic reports on issues of concern, but to date, no reports had been submitted.

He did note that the Council had held a number of important thematic debates and, in that regard, he urged the strengthening of relationships between the respective presidents of the United Nations’ agencies and organs, and the Council members.  Continuing, he commended the numerous field visits of Council members to various areas of conflict, as well as the Council’s resolute actions to address the large number of areas of conflict around the world, and in particular Africa.  However, efforts still fell short in regards to the Middle East and the Palestinian issue.  That lack of progress reflected poorly on the authority and effectiveness of the Council.

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SEYED MOHAMMAD REZA SAJJADI ( Iran) noted that impartiality, transparency, accountability and fairness were key requirements on which the Security Council needed to fulfil the responsibilities of its mandate, and that, in order to do so, it needed to clarify its relationship to the General Assembly, as well as other organs within the United Nations system.  The past year had offered no significant improvement on the part of the Council, in the reporting practices or its annual report, which only referred to cases in which the Council took action, while failing to mention its inaction in certain cases, one being the Israeli regime’s crimes against the Palestinian people that continued to pose a regional and international threat to peace and security.

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For information media • not an official record

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