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        Security Council
27 September 1999



We have the honour to transmit herewith the text of the statement issued after the meeting you had with our Ministers for Foreign Affairs on 23 September 1999, as well as the statement on combating terrorism (see annexes). We should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annexes circulated as a document of the Security Council.

(Signed) QIN Huasun
Permanent Representative of China
to the United Nations
(Signed) Alain DEJAMMET
Permanent Representative of France
to the United Nations
(Signed) Sergey V. LAVROV
Permanent Representative of the Russian
Federation to the United Nations
(Signed) Jeremy GREENSTOCK
Permanent Representative of the
United Kingdom to the United Nations
(Signed) Richard C. HOLBROOKE
Permanent Representative of the
United States to the United Nations

Annex I

Statement issued on 23 September 1999 by the ministers
for foreign affairs of the five permanent members of
the Security Council following a meeting with the Secretary-General

1. On 23 September 1999, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the five permanent members, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, China; Mr. Hubert Vedrine, Minister for Foreign Affairs, France; Mr. Igor Ivanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Russian Federation; Mr. Robin Cook, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Ms. Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State, United States of America, met with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi A. Annan.

2. The Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for the United Nations and for comprehensive United Nations reform. They welcomed the Secretary-General's Track One and Track Two reform packages and relevant resolutions of the General Assembly. They expressed appreciation for the work undertaken by the Economic and Social Council on enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of its functional and regional commissions and other subsidiary bodies. During the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly, they will strive to complete the implementation of measures already approved and to pursue further Track Two measures that remain under consideration. The Ministers affirmed their determination to resolve the serious financial problems confronting the United Nations. In this regard, they stressed that all Member States should pay their contributions in full and on time.

3. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for reforming the Security Council, with a view to broadening its representation and preserving and enhancing its efficiency and effectiveness. They also emphasized that any attempt to restrict or curtail their veto rights would not be conducive to the reform process.

4. The Ministers stressed the primary responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security. They expressed the view that it is in the interests of all Member States to safeguard the leading role of the United Nations in international affairs and the authority of the Security Council. They also reaffirmed that the Organization must further improve its ability to act quickly and effectively to address threats to international peace and security. They indicated their determination to continue to help develop the capacities of the United Nations in preventing and resolving conflicts, including through the conduct of peacekeeping operations. They stressed the need to ensure a smooth transition between peacekeeping operations and post-conflict peace-building actions and a close coordination of all United Nations bodies and agencies in that regard. They emphasized the need for the Security Council to take into account humanitarian implications when taking decisions on sanctions. They underlined the importance of full implementation by all Member States of sanctions agreed by the Security Council. The Ministers welcomed the growing cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations in maintaining international peace and security. They believed that activities of regional organizations in this regard should be carried out in accordance with the purposes and principles and relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. They expressed concern at increasing incidents of violence and interference with United Nations personnel and personnel of international humanitarian organizations. The Ministers called on Member States to safeguard the safety and security of all personnel of the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations and to facilitate their freedom of access in the implementation of their missions. They called for strict respect for the principles of international humanitarian law and expressed concern at the obstacles put in the way of the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

5. The Ministers stressed that the improvement of the international situation based on full respect for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations will facilitate disarmament and non-proliferation efforts.

6. The Ministers reiterated the need for universal adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and called upon all States which have not yet done so to accede to the Treaty at an early date. They reaffirmed their commitments to nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament under Article VI of the Treaty and expressed their willingness to contribute to the successful outcome of the 2000 Review Conference of the Treaty. They urged all parties to the Treaty concerned to bring into force the comprehensive safeguards agreements required under the Treaty, as well as additional protocols based on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) model protocol, and called upon other States which are prepared to accept measures provided for in the model protocol to conclude additional protocols with IAEA. They expressed their intention to promote a further constructive review of the Treaty during the 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. They understood the aspiration of the large number of non-nuclear-weapon States for security assurances. They recalled their respective security assurance commitments and that security assurances have been provided to all non-nuclear-weapon States parties to the Treaty, as set forth in Security Council resolution 984 (1995). Moreover, security assurances have been provided to a large majority of such States which are parties to existing nuclear-weapon-free zones established on the basis of agreement reached by the countries of the region concerned, through the relevant protocols attached to such treaties. In this context, they reaffirmed their commitment to the decisions of the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Ministers believed that the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty is a milestone in the process of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and supported its early entry into force in accordance with the treaty provisions. In this connection, they hoped that the conference on facilitating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, which will be convened in Vienna in October 1999, in accordance with article XIV of the Treaty, would contribute to accelerating the ratification process in order to facilitate the early entry into force of the treaty. The Ministers expressed their concern and disappointment over the failure of the Conference on Disarmament to carry out substantive work in 1999, and called upon its member States to reach consensus on a work programme as soon as possible in its next session.

7. The Ministers expressed their concern about the nuclear and missile arms race in South Asia, and called upon India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and to refrain from taking any action that might further escalate the tensions in the region. They urged both countries to resume bilateral dialogue in the spirit of the Lahore Declaration and to resolve their differences through peaceful means. They also called upon them to implement comprehensively and without delay all the provisions of Security Council resolution 1172 (1998), in particular, signing and ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and acceding to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

8. The Ministers called for continued efforts to strengthen the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and to preserve its integrity and validity, so that it remains a cornerstone in maintaining global strategic stability and world peace and in promoting further strategic nuclear arms reduction. They stressed the need for universal and comprehensive adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, urged its States Parties to fulfil all their legal obligations and called upon those States which have not yet acceded to the Convention to do so at an early date. They stressed the importance of strengthening the effectiveness of the Biological Weapons Convention in a comprehensive manner, and called upon the Ad Hoc Group of States Parties to accelerate its negotiations in keeping with its mandate to complete its work before the Fifth Review Conference in 2001. The Ministers welcomed the fact that both the Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons and the amended Protocol on Mines, Booby Traps and Other Devices to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons had entered into force in 1998, stressed the need for universal and comprehensive adherence to those protocols, and reaffirmed their support for the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee in the Conference on Disarmament to negotiate a ban on the transfer of anti-personnel landmines.

9. The Ministers noted with concern the continuing increase in illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and their excessive and destabilizing accumulation and circulation, in regions of conflict. They pledged their support for enhanced international cooperation to deal with the problem. They supported the proposal for an international conference on the illicit arms trade in all its aspects to be held no later than 2001 and looked forward to the forthcoming report of the group of governmental experts on small arms to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session. They reaffirmed their support for completion of the Firearms Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime by 2000.

10. The Ministers reaffirmed their determination to combat terrorism in all its forms, irrespective of motive, wherever and by whomever committed. They emphasized the necessity to intensify the fight against terrorism at the national level and to strengthen effective international cooperation in the field. In this regard, the Ministers stressed the need to oppose concessions to terrorist demands and to deny hostage-takers any benefits from their acts. The Ministers expressed their commitment to ensuring that terrorists are brought to justice. The Ministers called upon all States to take steps to ensure that their territory is not used as a safe haven for terrorists. They agreed that those giving safe-haven to terrorists are accountable for the violent actions of those terrorists. They applauded continuing diplomatic efforts to promote universal accession and adherence to the eleven international anti-terrorist conventions. They welcomed the ongoing efforts to adopt effective and legitimate means and measures, including new international instruments, in order to counter the terrorist threat. They expressed the hope that the negotiation on draft conventions on the suppression of nuclear terrorism and on the suppression of terrorist financing could be concluded before the end of 1999. The Ministers adopted a separate statement on combating terrorism.

11. The Ministers expressed deep concern at the persistence of conflict, both within and between States, in many parts of Africa. The Ministers reaffirmed that international peace and development are interrelated. In that context, they underlined the necessity for the United Nations system to give high priority to the needs and concerns of Africa. They welcomed the efforts of the United Nations, in partnership with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and subregional organizations and arrangements, to promote peace and stability, including adoption of confidence-building measures, and to settle conflicts by peaceful and political means. They also stressed the importance they attach to assistance to African countries in their efforts to enhance their capacities for peacekeeping and conflict prevention.

12. The Ministers took note of the results of the thirty-fifth OAU Summit and encouraged OAU to continue its efforts to find solutions to the conflicts and other challenges affecting the African continent. They urged the international community, including relevant international financial and development institutions, to increase assistance to African Governments.

13. The Ministers expressed deep concern at the deteriorating political and security situation in Angola, which is primarily due to the refusal by the União Nacional Para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) to comply with its obligations under the Lusaka Protocol and relevant Security Council resolutions. They emphasized the need to tighten the enforcement of sanctions against UNITA and, in that regard, welcomed the establishment of two expert panels under Security Council resolution 1237 (1999).

14. The Ministers remained concerned by the situation in Burundi and welcomed the suspension of economic sanctions by regional countries. The Ministers condemned attacks by the rebels on Bujumbura and other localities of Burundi and called upon them to end all acts of violence against civilians and to abide by international humanitarian law. They called upon all parties to continue to ensure progress in the internal dialogue and the all-party Arusha talks towards the conclusion of a peace agreement.

15. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the work done by the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA) in maintaining peace in the Central African Republic. They called upon the Government of the Central African Republic to fulfil its obligations under the relevant Security Council resolutions. They took note of the result of the presidential election on 19 September 1999, and called upon the Government to speed up implementation of necessary reforms.

16. The Ministers reaffirmed the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and expressed concern over the fragile situation in the country. The Ministers welcomed the Lusaka Peace Agreement, signed on 10 July 1999 by the relevant Governments, for an end to the conflict, and expressed their appreciation for the regional and international mediation efforts. They urged the parties to implement fully their commitments. The Ministers appealed to the international community to provide assistance to the peace process, which could, inter alia, take the form of a United Nations peacekeeping operation. In the mean time, they welcomed the decision of the Security Council to deploy military liaison officers.

17. The Ministers were deeply concerned at the continuation of the border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. They reiterated their support for the mediation by OAU, and welcomed the acceptance by both sides of the Framework Agreement and Implementation Modalities. They urged both parties to continue to exercise restraint and to cooperate fully with the OAU mediation in a flexible and practical manner in order to resolve the conflict by peaceful means.

18. The Ministers welcomed the signing of the Lomé Peace Agreement by the Government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). They commended the efforts made by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its Military Observer Group (ECOMOG), and by all the parties concerned in promoting the peaceful settlement of the conflict. They emphasized the urgency and importance of the implementation of the Agreement and called upon both the Government and RUF to ensure that the provisions of the Agreement are fully implemented. They commended the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL) for its contribution in the peace process, welcomed its provisional expansion authorized by the Security Council in resolution 1260 (1999), and looked forward to the Secretary-General's recommendation on the mandate and structure of the enhanced United Nations peacekeeping presence in Sierra Leone.

19. The Ministers remained deeply concerned by the situation in Somalia and expressed their support for the continuing efforts by the international community towards a comprehensive and lasting settlement. They noted the report of the Secretary-General on Somalia of August 1999 (S/1999/ ) and the recommendations therein, and expressed the hope that new impetus could be brought to the peace efforts. They called upon the Somalis to avoid any further actions that could contribute to instability.

20. The Ministers expressed their support for efforts by the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) to achieve a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Sudan.

21. The Ministers expressed their continued support for the activities of the Security Council, the Secretary-General and interested Member States to promote a comprehensive settlement of the conflicts in both Abkhazia, Georgia, and Tajikistan. They welcomed diplomatic efforts and the peacekeeping contributions of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), led by the Russian Federation, and encouraged the further close cooperation between those peacekeeping forces and the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) in helping to promote stability and a comprehensive settlement of conflicts. The Ministers also welcomed the efforts of the co-Chairs of the Minsk Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to promote a resolution of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.

22. The Ministers welcomed the significant progress in the peace process in Tajikistan due to the renewed efforts of the President and the opposition side. The Ministers encouraged the parties to continue their efforts to ensure the full implementation of the General Agreement and the successful holding of elections. The Ministers called upon the international community to provide assistance to the Tajik peace process, including humanitarian assistance to the Tajik population.

23. The Ministers took note of some positive developments in the settlement of the conflict in Abkhazia, Georgia and underlined the necessity for all parties to demonstrate political will and to implement concrete measures in good faith in order to achieve substantive progress on key issues. The Ministers considered unacceptable and illegitimate the holding of self-styled elections by the Abkhaz side.

24. The Ministers expressed their serious concern at the renewed fighting in Afghanistan. They called upon the warring Afghan parties to cease hostilities immediately and to resume political negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations, in line with their commitments expressed at the meeting of the 6 plus 2 Group in Tashkent in July. They urged the Taliban to cease providing safe haven to international terrorist groups based in territory they control. They pledged their continued support for the central and impartial role of the United Nations in achieving a peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict. They expressed their concern at reports of outside interference in the affairs of Afghanistan and called for an end to all external supply of arms and ammunition and the involvement of foreign military personnel. They called on the neighbouring States to use their influence with Afghan factions to support the United Nations peace efforts.

25. The Ministers are concerned about the suffering the fighting is causing to the civilian population and about the deteriorating humanitarian conditions of the increasing number of internally displaced persons. They stressed the importance of cooperation by the Afghan parties with the United Nations and other international humanitarian organizations, in particular, the necessity of guaranteeing their personnel safety and unhindered access in carrying out their mandate. The Ministers called upon all parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and to demonstrate full respect for the human rights of all civilians in Afghanistan, in particular women and girls.

26. The Ministers welcomed the successful conduct of the popular consultation of the East Timorese people of 30 August 1999. They commended the role of the United Nations and expressed their appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for its cooperation in the process. The Ministers were appalled by the violence against and large-scale displacement of the East Timorese people and condemned such acts of terror. They expressed their support for the deployment of a multinational force at the invitation of the Government of Indonesia in accordance with Security Council resolution 1264 (1999) and looked forward to all parties cooperating to fulfil its mandate. The Ministers emphasized the urgent need for coordinated humanitarian assistance and called upon all parties to cooperate so as to ensure the safe return of refugees and displaced persons who desire to return and the effective delivery of humanitarian aid. They thanked the countries participating in the multinational force and looked forward to a swift stabilization of the situation and the full implementation of the Agreement of 5 May 1999.

27. The Ministers reaffirmed that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable and that the Cyprus problem has gone unresolved for too long. They reminded the parties involved of the need, in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, to achieve a comprehensive political settlement. They recalled their request to the Secretary-General, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, to invite the leaders of the two sides to negotiations in the autumn of 1999. They reiterated their call upon the two leaders to give their full support to comprehensive negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General, and to commit themselves to the following principles:

The Ministers recalled their request to the two sides, including military authorities on both sides, to work constructively with the Secretary-General and his Special Representative and others in support of the efforts of the United Nations to create a positive climate on the island that will pave the way for negotiations in the autumn of 1999.

28. The Ministers hailed the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum between Israel and the Palestinians as an important step forward in the Middle East peace process. The Ministers expressed their belief that the new agreement opens the way for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace within a reasonable time-frame in the entire region. They condemned vigorously all acts of terrorism and violence in the region. They called upon all parties to implement in full their commitments under existing agreements and to refrain from actions that pre-empt the negotiations and worsen both the political and the economic situation in the Palestinian territories, and to abide scrupulously by their obligations under international law. They also hoped that the negotiations between Israel, the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon could resume soon on a mutually agreed basis and in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. They urged all interested parties to avoid an escalation of violence and tension in South Lebanon and to continue to cooperate within the monitoring group.

29. The Ministers met on 23 September 1999 to discuss the Iraq issue, with a view to ensuring the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Ministers affirmed their wish to see a way forward, drawing on work already done in the Security Council and progress made by their senior officials, and underlined the need for the adoption of a new, comprehensive resolution, based upon the disarmament and humanitarian objectives of the Council. The Ministers requested their representatives to continue consultations to resolve the remaining differences, with the aim of reaching agreement on a new resolution to be adopted by the Council as soon a possible.

30. The Ministers welcomed the significant progress achieved in settling the issue of Pan Am 103 and UTA 772 and the cooperative approaches demonstrated by all parties concerned.

31. The Ministers welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the Peace Agreement and the establishment of a united democratic, prosperous and multi-ethnic Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nevertheless, they considered that much more remained to be done to make peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina self-sustaining and that this will require a continued broad commitment of all authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to make further progress in fulfilling their obligations under the Peace Agreement. The Ministers reiterated the importance of full respect for the rights of refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes in safety. They emphasized the obligations of all parties to the Peace Agreement to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Ministers commended the United Nations contribution through its mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the International Police Task Force, to joint efforts to consolidate the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

32. The Ministers emphasized the utmost importance of full and timely implementation of all provisions of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999). They expressed their concern at the still volatile situation in Kosovo, in particular the violence against ethnic minorities, and stressed the urgent need to restore law and order there. They expressed their support for the international civil and security presence in Kosovo, the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the KFOR, and called upon all concerned to cooperate fully with them. They encouraged close cooperation among the United Nations, the European Union, OSCE and other international organizations in the stabilization and reconstruction of Kosovo.

33. The Ministers emphasized the importance of maintaining an active United Nations engagement in Haiti to follow up the work of the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti and the International Civilian Mission in Haiti, including through a comprehensive development programme.

34. The Ministers called for concerted efforts to tackle the causes of movements of refugees and displaced persons, and expressed their support for the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The Ministers welcomed the efforts of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to enhance inter-agency coordination in humanitarian crises and expressed support for the work of the Emergency Relief Coordinator. They expressed concern at the lack of adequate resources, unbalanced distributions, and low response for addressing humanitarian emergencies, and regretted the persistent trend of low and uneven funding of the Consolidated Appeals. The Ministers expressed concern at the attacks on humanitarian workers and called for a comprehensive approach to the security of humanitarian personnel.

35. The Ministers reaffirmed the determination of Governments at the highest political level to overcome the world drug problem by an integrated and balanced application of national, regional and international strategies to reduce the illicit demand for, production of and trafficking in drugs. The Ministers commended the goals contained in the Political Declaration of the twentieth special session of the General Assembly to establish 2003 as a target date for new or enhanced drug demand reduction strategies and to achieve significant and measurable results in the fields of demand reduction and the elimination of illicit drugs by the year 2008.

36. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to combat transnational organized crime and welcomed the efforts to elaborate a convention against transnational organized crime.

37. The Ministers noted the lessons learned from the global financial crisis, and welcomed the broad strategies adopted by the international community in dealing with the crisis and stabilizing the world economy. They stressed the need to strengthen further the international financial system, taking full account of the concerns of countries most severely affected by the crisis. They also stressed the importance of sound domestic policies, private capital flows and appropriate functioning of markets, as well as a favourable and open international economic environment, to overcome this crisis and reverse the marginalization of some developing countries, in particular the least developed ones. They underlined the need for concerted action by the international community and, in this connection, urged all countries to adopt policy measures that are conducive to the stabilization of the situation and the revitalization of economic development. The Ministers welcomed the increased dialogue and cooperation between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions in solving problems brought about by globalization. They also agreed on the need to strengthen the capacity for prevention and to improve early warning of emerging economic and financial crises. The Ministers reaffirmed that economic development, social development and environmental protection are interdependent and mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development. In this regard, they expressed the view that the United Nations is in a position to play an even more important role in coordinating development assistance to developing countries, in particular the least developed ones, as well as to countries in transition, to promote their integration into the world economy.

38. The Ministers thanked the Secretary-General for the traditional exchange of views and expressed their belief that the continued close consultations between the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council and the Secretary-General are very useful.

Annex II

Statement on combating international terrorism issued on
23 September 1999 by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of
the five permanent members of the Security Council

The growth in acts of international terrorism endangers the lives and well-being of ordinary people worldwide and threatens the peace and security of all States. We consider it vital to strengthen, under the auspices of the United Nations, international cooperation to fight terrorism in all its forms. Such cooperation must be firmly based on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and norms of international law, including respect for human rights. In the context of such cooperation, all States should take all appropriate steps to:


*Reissued for technical reasons.

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