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This assessment of the work of the Security Council during the Libyan presidency in the month of March 2009 was prepared under the supervision and responsibility of Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Permanent Representative of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the United Nations. The Libyan presidency of the Council, assumed for the second time and coinciding with Libyan chairmanship of the African Union, focused on effective maintenance of international peace and security through a strategic relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations, particularly the African Union.
The monthly programme of work was adopted in the first consultations of the whole, held on 3 March. The President briefed the press on the programme upon its distribution to Council members. The programme was made available on the United Nations website, and regularly published in the United Nations Journal.
Under this programme, and while taking into account developments and the views of its members, the Council dealt with issues in Africa (Guinea-Bissau, Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad, the Central African Republic and the subregion, Liberia and Somalia), in the Middle East and Asia (Lebanon, Afghanistan, the situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian question, and Sri Lanka), and in Europe (Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina). In addition to its regular activities, the Council dealt with general issues including peace and security in Africa and non-proliferation, travelled on mission to Haiti, and participated in a retreat with the Secretary-General.
The Council dealt with the above-mentioned issues in more than 9 consultations of the whole, 12 meetings, and one informal interactive discussion. This culminated in the adoption of two resolutions, the issuance of two presidential statements, and three statements to the press delivered by the President.
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
On 25 March, the Council held its 6100th meeting to consider the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
The Council heard a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe. He began the briefing by stating: “Two months after unilateral ceasefires were declared in Gaza, we face a worrying situation of impasse and uncertainty. Despite international engagement and support, very little concrete progress has been made on key issues outlined in Security Council resolution 1860 (2009)”. In conclusion he stressed: “It is important that the Quartet and the international community act with unity of purpose to help stabilize Gaza and reinvigorate the peace process. We need to have both Israeli and Palestinian Governments that are clearly committed to the two-State solution. We need a continuation of negotiations, the implementation of commitments on the ground and a strategy for de-escalating tensions and addressing the urgent humanitarian needs in Gaza”.
Turning to Lebanon, he said that the killing on 23 March by a roadside bomb of the Deputy Representative in Lebanon of the Palestine Liberation Organization, had interrupted the prevailing relative calm in the country.
Following the briefing, the Council heard statements by the Permanent Observer of Palestine and the Permanent Representative of Israel.
Statements were made by Council members, the President, in his national capacity, and the representatives of Egypt and Lebanon.
Upon the resumption of the meeting, the Council heard statements by the representatives of Cuba (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), the Syrian Arab Republic, the Czech Republic (on behalf of the European Union), Brazil, Morocco, Qatar and Bangladesh. The Council then heard statements by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Paul Badji, and the representatives of Indonesia, Ecuador, Malaysia, Algeria, Mauritania, South Africa, Norway, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nicaragua, Jordan, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Mali, Pakistan and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.