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        Security Council
26 September 1996


We have the honour to transmit herewith the text of the statement issued after the meeting which you had with our Ministers for Foreign Affairs on 26 September 1996. We should be grateful if you would have it circulated as a Security Council document.

(Signed) QIN Huasun (Signed) Alain DEJAMMET
Permanent Representative of Permanent Representative of
China to the United Nations France to the United Nations

(Signed) Sergei V. LAVROV (Signed) John WESTON
Permanent Representative of Permanent Representative of
the Russian Federation to the United Kingdom of Great
the United Nations Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations

(Signed) Madeleine K. ALBRIGHT
Permanent Representative of
the United States of America
to the United Nations

96-25693 (E) 27099
[Original: English, Chinese,
French and Russian]
Statement issued on 26 September 1996 by the Ministers for Foreign
Affairs of the five permanent members of the Security Council
following a meeting with the Secretary-General

1. On 26 September 1996, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the five permanent members met the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali. H.E. Mr. Qian Qichen, Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs, represented the People's Republic of China; H.E. Mr. Hervé de Charette, Minister of Foreign Affairs, France; H.E. Mr. Yevgueni Primakov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Russian Federation; H.E. Mr. Malcolm Rifkind, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and H.E. Mr. Warren Christopher, Secretary of State, the United States of America.

2. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the United Nations as it enters its second half-century, an Organization whose Charter lays down the fundamental principles for an international order based on peace and security, sustainable development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Ministers also took the opportunity to welcome the contribution made by the Secretary-General to enhancing the work of the United Nations and promoting the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.

3. They expressed their appreciation for the efforts made by the United Nations to maintain international peace and security and stressed the primary responsibility of the Security Council in this respect. They agreed on the importance of further improving the Organization's ability to respond effectively to threats to international peace and security and of Member States shouldering in full the responsibilities incumbent on them under the Charter. The Ministers also recognized the need for effective and properly coordinated measures of post-conflict peace-building which should complement efforts at peacemaking and peacekeeping. They also welcomed the growing role of regional organizations and arrangements in maintaining stability and security and affirmed the importance they attached to reinforcing cooperation between the United Nations and such organizations as foreseen in Chapter VIII of the Charter.

4. The Ministers stressed the need to make progress towards revitalizing, strengthening and reforming the United Nations system and undertook to strive to ensure a timely and effective outcome to the efforts of the high-level working groups established by the General Assembly. They stressed once again in this context the high political importance that they attach to the need to find a solution to the financial problems afflicting the United Nations with a view to ensuring a sound and fair, and therefore stable, financial basis for the Organization, thereby enabling the United Nations to fulfil its mandates. They emphasized the importance of full and punctual payment of Member States' financial contributions.

5. The Ministers expressed their determination to fight terrorism. They welcomed the growing commitment within the international community to condemn terrorism wherever and by whomever committed, regardless of its motives; to make no concessions to terrorists; to ensure that terrorists are brought to justice; and to implement means, consistent with fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, to fight terrorism effectively. They undertook to work with all States, in full observance of the principles and standards of international law and human rights, in order to achieve the goal of eliminating terrorism, as affirmed in the Declaration adopted by the General Assembly in December 1994, and to pursue measures, including new international instruments, to that end.

6. The Ministers welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which is now open for signature. They stressed that this Treaty is a major achievement and a significant contribution to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. They also stressed the importance they attached to the entry into force of the Convention on Chemical Weapons (CWC) and to the early conclusion of the Work of the Ad Hoc Group of States parties to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention tasked with drawing up a regime to strengthen confidence in compliance with that Convention.

7. The Ministers remained concerned at the persistence of conflicts, most of them fought within rather than between States, in many parts of Africa. They supported the efforts of the United Nations, alongside the Organization of African Unity and subregional organizations, to promote peace and stability and stressed the importance they attach to assistance to African countries to help them to enhance their own capabilities for peacekeeping and conflict prevention.

8. The Ministers welcomed the recent, more positive developments in Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Angola. They expressed their support for the work of the International Tribunal for Rwanda and encouraged the Government of Rwanda to continue to pursue the process of national reconciliation. They welcomed the recent elections in Sierra Leone and underlined the need to bring the negotiations on national reconciliation to a successful conclusion as soon as possible. The Ministers strongly believed that progress in Angola must be maintained and strengthened through the implementation of the Lusaka Protocol in full and without delay. They emphasized the peace process has reached a crucial moment and expect the parties, especially UNITA, to make the necessary contributions to its success. The Ministers stressed the need for the parties to the Liberian conflict to resolve their differences peacefully and to abide by the commitments entered into at Abuja. Humanitarian aid has to be allowed to flow freely. They paid tribute to the efforts undertaken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as those of the United Nations, to bring peace to Liberia and appealed to the international community to provide further support for this regional initiative. The Ministers expressed their grave concern at the continued violence and at the political crisis in Burundi. They stressed the need for the leaders of the regime and of all factions inside and outside Burundi to stop the violence, to ensure security for all the people of Burundi, to restore constitutional order and to start negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive political settlement. They stressed the importance of allowing humanitarian assistance to needy groups. They emphasized their support for the regional mediation efforts including those of former President Nyerere and the OAU. They underlined the importance of convening at an appropriate time a Regional Conference of the Great Lakes Region under the auspices of the United Nations and the OAU.

9. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the efforts of the Security Council, the Secretary-General and the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States to bring to an end the conflicts in the countries of the former Soviet Union. They expressed their appreciation for the cooperative working relationship between the United Nations and the Russian Federation in seeking to bring about a comprehensive settlement of the conflicts in both Abkhazia, Georgia and Tajikistan, for the close cooperation between the United Nations missions (UNOMIG and UNMOT) and the CIS peacekeeping forces and for the contribution made by the Russian Federation to the CIS forces. The Ministers expressed their concern at the serious deterioration of the situation in Tajikistan and the growing tension along the Tajik-Afghan border. They recalled the commitments made by the Government of Tajikistan and by the leadership of the United Tajik Opposition to resolve the conflict and to achieve national reconciliation through peaceful means.

10. The Ministers expressed their concern at the recent escalation of fighting in Afghanistan. They affirmed their support for revitalized United Nations efforts to find a solution to the conflict there, welcomed the appointment of the new Head of the United Nations Special Mission and urged all parties to cooperate with the Special Mission.

11. The Ministers reaffirmed that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable and urged both sides to make a determined effort to achieve a comprehensive political settlement. They expressed their concern at the recent tension between the two communities and called on both sides to exercise restraint. They stressed their support for the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Cyprus and the importance of concerted efforts to work with the Secretary-General towards a comprehensive settlement. In this context, they also noted the decision of the European Union concerning the opening of accession negotiations with Cyprus.

12. The Ministers expressed their support for the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the work of the United Nations Secretary-General to implement Security Council resolution 986. They reaffirmed that Iraq must comply fully and unconditionally with all its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions.

13. The Ministers expressed their deep concern about the tragic events in Jerusalem and the areas of Nablus, Ramallah and Gaza, called for the immediate cessation of all actions that result in the aggravation of the situation and for the reversal of such actions; they urged all parties to exercise restraint, to resume the peace process without delay and to fulfil their obligations, including the agreements already reached.

14. The Ministers welcomed the successful holding of elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 14 September. They called on the new Presidency and other elected officials to work closely together without delay to establish the new common institutions and to promote reconciliation and tolerance. The Ministers confirmed their support for the continued implementation of the Peace Agreement and for the establishment of a democratic and pluralistic State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, composed of two entities. The prime responsibility for implementing the Peace Agreement lies with the different communities and their leaders. Without compliance and active participation in rebuilding a civil society, they cannot expect the international community and major donor countries to shoulder the main burden of the implementation and reconstruction effort. They also recalled the obligation of States and entities under the Peace Agreement to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, including the immediate execution of all arrest warrants and the transfer to the Tribunal of all persons indicted.

15. The Ministers welcomed the progress made by UNTAES in implementing the Basic Agreement on Eastern Slavonia and expressed their willingness to consider extending the duration of its mandate in order to ensure the successful completion of UNTAES' task. They called upon the Government of Croatia to cooperate fully with UNTAES so as to ensure the early achievement of the objectives of the Basic Agreement.

16. The Ministers underlined that sustainable development is indispensable to the achievement and maintenance of peace, security and prosperity among, within and between nations. They noted the crucial role played by the United Nations in assisting developing countries, as well as countries making the transition to a market economy, in their efforts to achieve broad-based and sustained economic growth in the context of sustainable development, organizing international cooperation in favour of sustainable development, and in fostering consensus around development objectives and purposes. The Ministers noted that many developing countries were experiencing robust growth, assisted by their expanding involvement in international trade and capital inflows. But they noted at the same time the growing divide between those countries and others, mainly low-income countries, which are currently not benefiting from these opportunities and are falling further behind. Developing countries, developed countries and multilateral institutions need to work together to ensure all developing countries, whatever their stage of development, are able to share and participate in the increased prosperity which globalization of the world economy is bringing. In this context, the Ministers noted the continuing work on an Agenda for Development. They underlined the importance of concentrating on the effective and integrated implementation of the decisions and recommendations of the recent series of global conferences. They looked forward to the special session of the General Assembly in 1997 which would review progress since the Rio Earth Summit, reaffirm the importance of sustainable development and identify priorities for the years ahead.

17. The Ministers thanked the Secretary-General for this exchange of views and believed that the continuation of close consultations between the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council and the Secretary-General is very useful.


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