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I should be grateful if you would arrange for this letter and its annex to be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
During the month of July, the Security Council held 14 official meetings and conducted informal consultations on 13 occasions. It adopted 7 resolutions and 10 presidential statements. The President also made four statements to the press on behalf of the Council. Furthermore, the President participated in and delivered a statement on behalf of the Council to the sixth high-level meeting of the Secretary-General with Heads of regional and other intergovernmental organizations, held in New York on 25 and 26 July 2005.
On 5 July, after its adoption, the President briefed the press on the programme of work of the Security Council. The President also held meetings with the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Economic and Social Council, briefing them on the work of the Security Council.
Through its website ( www.greeceun.org), the presidency provided regular updates on the programme of work as well as on the activities of the Council.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 21 July, the Security Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, in response to a request by Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab Group (S/2005/469), for an immediate meeting of the Council to consider recent developments in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Alvaro de Soto, briefed the Council on the latest developments in the region.
In his briefing, the Special Coordinator said that Israel’s disengagement from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank was a moment pregnant with hope but also fraught with peril. He added that the planned Israeli withdrawal, albeit partial and on terms largely set by the occupier, represented a positive, precedent-setting step that the international community could not but support. Israel’s forthcoming disengagement also offered an opportunity to re-energize the road map, which was still considered the best way to achieve a permanent peace and an end to the occupation that had begun in 1967.
In the ensuing debate, the Council members stressed the need to refrain from returning to a cycle of violence, and emphasized that the only way to achieve a permanent peace was a viable two-State solution achieved through the full implementation of the road map. Speakers also underlined the importance of ensuring that the Israeli withdrawal was complete and that it not prejudge final status negotiations.
Also participating in the debate were the representatives of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine, Israel, Kuwait, Egypt, Yemen, South Africa, Tunisia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Malaysia, India, Lebanon, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Norway, the Sudan, Cuba, Pakistan, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Morocco.
Representatives of the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference also made statements, as did the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
On 26 July, in informal consultations, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations presented the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The members of the Council examined the situation in the area of operations of UNIFIL and expressed their concern over violations across the Blue Line that had resulted in deaths and injuries on both sides, and urged the parties to put an end to those violations and to refrain from any act or provocation that could further escalate tensions.
On 25 July, the members of the Council held a meeting with troop-contributing countries for UNIFIL.
On 29 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1614 (2005), by which it extended the mandate of UNIFIL for six more months, until 31 January 2006.