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Sir Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom): ...
On thematic debates, I think we are in danger of overdoing it. We need to take forward the themes that we have in a way that produces results. Mainstreaming these issues needs to be done through the interaction of the Security Council with the Secretariat and the Secretary-General. Where we have taken forward a theme, it is an invitation to the Secretariat and the agencies of the United Nations to mainstream in their own work what we have said and to bring them back to us with questions raised against a specific issue. That is the importance of thematic debate.
This can be extended to the General Assembly, as well. Let me give you a very small example. Violence against civilians has been abhorred by both the Security Council and the General Assembly. Yet where in the current draft text on a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine is there any mention of our abhorrence of violence against civilians in general? It is not there. So, I think we need the Security Council to make sure that the themes that we advance are then mainstreamed into the specific issues where we have a voice.
If we take all those things forward — and the many others that will be raised this morning — I think we will increase the momentum behind an increasingly operational Security Council, and that that will be good for us as a Council and good for interaction with Member States.
Mr. Jerandi (Tunisia) (spoke in French): ...
Turning to the items on the Council’s agenda, we deem relevant the practice of holding regular briefing sessions, particularly on situations that could be called “hot”, as is currently the case of Afghanistan. We wonder why this practice has not been applied to the situation prevailing in the occupied Palestinian territories. As I hardly need recall, it is the longest conflict in recent times, yet it receives the least attention from the Security Council. Initiatives are being taken here and there to try to resolve the conflict, and the tension in the region is high. But that should not prevent Council members from being informed about or discussing such steps as are being taken, or from considering the facts on the ground, which are very often distorted by certain media. I agree with the comment that members of the Council receive most of their information about certain initiatives through the media. My delegation believes that the media certainly play an important role, but that is not enough to enable the Council duly to discharge its mandate.
The meeting rose at 1.45 p.m.