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I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
The Council was seized with 11 reports, including the report on the comprehensive review of the situation in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro), the report of the International Independent Investigation Commission established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1595 (2005), the second semi-annual report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), and the report of the Secretary-General on women and peace and security.
The Council adopted seven resolutions: on the situation in Somalia; the cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security; the situation in Côte d’Ivoire (2); the situation in Western Sahara; the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and the situation in the Middle East.
The Security Council issued nine presidential statements: on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts (2); the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the situation in Eritrea and Ethiopia; the situation in the Sudan; the situation in Côte d’Ivoire; the situation in Haiti; the situation in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro); and on women and peace and s The Security Council issued nine presidential statements: on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts (2); the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the situation in Eritrea and Ethiopia; the situation in the Sudan; the situation in Côte d’Ivoire; the situation in Haiti; the situation in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro); and on women and peace and security. The President also made three statements to the press on behalf of the Council.
In addition, the President of the Council exchanged a number of letters with the Secretary-General, including with regard to the Security Council mission to Central Africa.
The President of the Council issued two notes: on the chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa; and on the chairmanship of the Working Group of the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict.
On 4 October, the President briefed the press on the programme of work of the Council for the month. The President participated in the seventh annual meeting of the heads of the principal organs of the United Nations. He also met the President of the General Assembly to exchange views on the work of the two bodies.
Through its website ( www.un.int/romania), the presidency provided information on the activities of the Council.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 20 October, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefed the Security Council on the latest developments regarding the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. In his briefing, he stressed the need for energetic coordination, cooperation and engagement by Israelis, Palestinians and the international community in order to translate the disengagement from Gaza into a sustained and negotiated peace. The number of violent incidents that had occurred during the reporting period showed once again the potential for deteriorating security to derail the political process. While the disengagement had not yet revived the peace process, the current context was a basis and opportunity to do so through the completion of the agenda laid out by the Quartet and by renewed and broader dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian Governments.
On 24 October 2005, in an open briefing, the head of the International Independent Investigation Commission established pursuant to resolution 1595 (2005), Detlev Mehlis, introduced to the Security Council the report of the Commission (S/2005/662), which is assisting the Lebanese authorities in their investigation of the bombing on 14 February 2005 that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others. He noted that, on the basis of the evidence collected, the Commission had identified certain main lines of investigation and had established certain leads. He emphasized that, given the complexity of the case, the investigation could not be considered complete and that more time should be allotted to further pursue the Commission’s findings and follow up emerging leads. Commissioner Mehlis invited the authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic to carry out their own investigation into the killing in an open and transparent manner. Following the introduction of the report, the representatives of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic made statements.
The representative of Lebanon stated that the Lebanese people were united in condemning the crime and were backing the Council’s efforts to reveal all aspects of it and help to bring the murderers to justice, whoever and wherever they were. He pledged Lebanon’s continued cooperation with the Commission and called upon all concerned parties to do the same.
The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic said that finding the perpetrators of the attack that had killed Rafik Hariri was extremely important to his country, since that crime had targeted not only Lebanon but also Syrian accomplishments in the region, namely the pacification of Lebanon. Countering the notion that the report had substantially implicated Syrian involvement, he said the report had been clearly influenced by the political climate prevailing in Lebanon after the assassination. He rejected the report’s charges that the Syrian Arab Republic had not sufficiently cooperated with the investigation and detailed his Government’s efforts to work with the Commission.
The open briefing was followed by consultations of the whole. Proceeding on the basis of the report of the Commission, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America introduced a draft resolution. Council members discussed the draft resolution in subsequent consultations, which were held on 26 and 28 October.
On 31 October, at a meeting convened at the ministerial level under the presidency of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Romania, Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1636 (2005). In the resolution, the Council called for the Syrian Arab Republic to cooperate fully and unconditionally with the Commission and insisted that it not interfere in the affairs of Lebanon. The Council also decided that all individuals suspected by the Commission or the Government of Lebanon of involvement in planning, sponsoring, organizing or perpetrating the murder be subject to travel restrictions and freezing of financial assets. The Council defined the crime as a terrorist act and stipulated that the involvement of any State in that crime would constitute a serious violation of that country’s obligations to prevent and refrain from supporting terrorism in accordance with previous resolutions. The Council requested the Commission to report to it by 15 December on the investigation’s progress, including on the cooperation of the Syrian Arab Republic, so that the Council could consider further action.
Council members (11 of whom were represented at the level of Foreign Ministers) made explanations of vote. The representatives of Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic also made statements.