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I have the honour to transmit herewith the report on the work of the Security Council during the presidency of the Republic of Azerbaijan in May 2012 (see annex). This report has been prepared under my supervision in consultation with the other members of the Security Council.
I should be grateful if the present letter and its annex could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.
Annex to the letter dated 12 September 2012 from the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council Assessment of the work of the Security Council during the presidency of Azerbaijan (May 2012)
During the month of May 2012, the Security Council held 14 public meetings and 16 closed consultations. The Council adopted three resolutions and one presidential statement and issued seven statements to the press.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 29 May, the Council received a briefing at an open meeting from the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Robert Serry, followed by closed consultations. The Special Coordinator reported that the past month had been characterized by several challenging events but that each had been overcome for now and we were possibly moving in a more positive direction. He said the parties had exchanged letters in which they outlined their respective requirements for direct talks to continue. The Palestinians delivered a letter on 17 April and the Israelis responded on 12 May. The exchange was kept confidential and led to quiet direct engagement, which should be welcomed and encouraged. In parallel, however, a series of developments threatened to inflame tensions. He warned that if the parties did not grasp the current opportunity for a lasting peace, we could be moving down a path towards a one-State reality. He expressed hope that the parties would find a way forward to substantive talks in the coming months. He noted that during the reporting period settlement activity had continued and reiterated that those actions were contrary to international law and Israel’s commitments under the road map, and should stop.
Turning to Gaza, he stressed that reconstruction and economic growth in the Gaza Strip remained fundamental objectives of the United Nations. He noted that the total value of approved United Nations works in the Gaza Strip involving potential dual-use materials that required Israel’s approval currently exceeded $365 million, with $96 million-worth of projects still under Israeli review, adding that such projects now enabled United Nations agencies to play a major role in international efforts for priority recovery and reconstruction in Gaza.