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        Security Council
21 June 2004

Original: English

Letter dated 18 June 2004 from the Permanent Representative
of Germany to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the honour to enclose the assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Germany in April 2004 (see annex). This assessment has been prepared under my own responsibility following consultations with other members of the Council.

I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) Dr. Gunter Pleuger
Annex to the letter dated 18 June 2004 from the Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the Presidency of Germany (April 2004)


1. The work of the Security Council during the month of April 2004 was characterized in particular by discussions about the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the question of Cyprus, Iraq and the Middle East. The Security Council also discussed the serious humanitarian crises in the Sudan (Darfur) and in northern Uganda. A Council debate on the role of business in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace-building highlighted the important role the private sector can play in mitigating the consequences of conflict, and the possible contribution of private business to re-establishing peace and security. The results of the Berlin Conference on Afghanistan were welcomed by the Security Council which reaffirmed its support for the long-term commitment by the international community in Afghanistan. The Security Council adopted a resolution on children in armed conflict with a view to further increase the protection of the rights of children associated with armed conflict.

2. The Council held 18 informal consultations and one private meeting, nine open briefings and public meetings as well as two open debates (on the Middle East and weapons of mass destruction). It adopted five resolutions (oil-for-food inquiry, children in armed conflict, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Western Sahara, Haiti) and five presidential statements (Afghanistan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Iraq/Kuwait, Kosovo, Côte d’Ivoire). The mandate of the United Nations Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was renewed for six months.


Middle East (including the question of Palestine)

20. The Council held an open debate on 19 April regarding the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The meeting followed the targeted killing of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi on 17 April by Israel. In the meeting, delegations in general expressed their serious concern about the recent developments on the ground.

21. On 23 April, the Council held its monthly open briefing on the situation in the Middle East. The Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Terje Roed-Larsen, shared with the Council his assessment of the latest political developments, concentrating primarily on the Government of Israel’s announced Gaza withdrawal initiative. He said that he believed that the Gaza withdrawal, if carried out in the right way, could usher in a new era of peace-making in the Middle East. For this to happen, two main elements were necessary. First, the withdrawal should constitute an end of the occupation of the Gaza Strip, not merely a military redeployment. Second, the withdrawal would have to be accompanied by the implementation of other Palestinian and Israeli obligations under the road map. He appealed to the parties to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the withdrawal initiative, and to the international community to assist the parties therein. In informal consultations following the briefing, members of the Council agreed in general with the assessment of the situation given by the Special Coordinator.

22. Following prior informal consultations, a draft resolution demanding inter alia the cessation of extrajudicial killings was tabled as document S/2004/322 on 23 April. No action was taken.



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