Under the presidency of Denmark in June 2006, the Security Council addressed a wide range of issues, including the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cyprus, Iraq, Liberia and Lebanon. Security Council missions visited the Sudan and Chad as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
During the month of June, the Council held 25 official meetings and conducted informal consultations on 10 occasions. It adopted 12 resolutions and 4 presidential statements. The President also made two statements to the press on behalf of the Council.
On 2 June, the President briefed the press on the work programme of the Council after its adoption. 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.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 21 June, at an open meeting, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, gave the Council a briefing on the situation in the Middle East. He described heightened tension and increasing violence, both among Palestinians and in the conflict with Israel. Sixty-four Palestinians and one Israeli had been killed during the reporting period. The violence had taken a particularly severe toll on Palestinian civilians in Gaza. In spite of the continuing violence, there had been a few positive steps taken to de-escalate what remained a very volatile situation overall. Regarding Lebanon, there had been an outbreak of violence across the Blue Line on 28 May. However, in the period following, the Blue Line had remained calm. In informal consultations following the briefing, the members of the Council regretted the large death toll and the parties were reminded of their obligations under international humanitarian law.
On 30 June, the Council held a public meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Council heard a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, who recalled the recent events, beginning with the Palestinian militant attack that had led to the abduction of a member of the Israel Defense Forces and the subsequent Israeli military incursions into Gaza. She urged all parties to exercise restraint and act with wisdom, and in conformity with international law. Corporal Gilad Shalit should be released and the Palestinian Authority should act to stop indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israel. Meanwhile, Palestinian civilians should not pay the price for those actions, and Israel should cease the destruction of civilian infrastructure, ensure the protection of civilians and allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
During the discussion that followed, in which nearly 40 speakers participated, representatives called for the immediate and unconditional release of Gilad Shalit and urged Israel to exercise the utmost restraint in the current crisis. The detention of elected members of the Palestinian Government and legislature was of particular concern to several delegations, as was the protection of civilians, both Palestinian and Israeli. They called for a resumption of the peace process, warning that further escalation could jeopardize the stability of the entire region.