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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/56/PV.25
15 October 2001

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
25th plenary meeting
Monday, 15 October 2001, 10 a.m.
New York


President:Mr. Han Seung-soo ......................................................(Republic of Korea)

In the absence of the President, Mr. Sharma (Nepal), Vice-President, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.

Agenda item 7

Notification by the Secretary-General under Article 12, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations

Note by the Secretary-General (A/56/366)

The Acting President : As members are aware, in accordance with the provisions of 12, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations, and with the consent of the Security Council, the Secretary-General is mandated to notify the General Assembly of matters relative to the maintenance of international peace and security that are being dealt with by the Security Council and of matters with which the Council has ceased to deal.

In this connection, the General Assembly has before it a note by the Secretary-General issued as document A/56/366.

May I take it that the Assembly takes note of that document?

It was so decided.

Agenda item 11

Report of the Security Council (A/56/2)

[...]

Mr. Niehaus (Costa Rica) ( spoke in Spanish ):

[...]

As we consider the report for the period 2000-2001, we must acknowledge that the work of the Council has yielded some very positive results, particularly in Timor and Kosovo. Not all of its efforts have been as successful, however. Did the Council take adequate steps to respond to the situation in Afghanistan? Today, the answer seems clear: it did not. Did the Security Council prohibit the transfer of arms to rebel or extremist groups? Regrettably, it did not. Did the Council take effective action to revitalize the peace process in the Middle East? Unfortunately, it did not. Did it take appropriate steps to respond to the crisis in the Great Lakes region? Very little was done. Did it devote sufficient resources to the conflicts in West Africa? It does not appear to have done so. Was it able to find a solution to the situation regarding Iraq? Unfortunately, it was not. Did it adopt clear-cut measures to prevent future conflicts? It adopted just a few.

[...]

Mr. Baali (Algeria) ( spoke in French ):

[...]

Nevertheless, we regret that the Council, which has emphasized at every opportunity the need to protect civilian populations in areas of conflict, has been unable to rise above its differences on the question of international observers being deployed in the Palestinian territories to protect the Palestinian civilian population, which has been abandoned to the arbitrary and brutal actions of Israeli security forces.

[...]

Mr. Hosseinian (Islamic Republic of Iran):

[...]

More broadly speaking, the way the Security Council has dealt over the past several decades with the situations in some volatile areas, especially in the Middle East, is a manifestation of the inadequacy and inappropriateness of its working methods. Many times in the past, the Security Council has been called upon to shoulder its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security by putting an end to the inhuman and aggressive acts of the Israeli regime. But regrettably the exercise or the threat of the exercise of the veto has frequently paralyzed the Council and has prevented it from discharging its constitutional responsibility on that crucial issue.

During the reporting period, despite the attention paid by the Security Council to the ongoing crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories, and despite several public meetings organized under the presidencies of some Council members, it is regrettable that the continued aggressive policy of the Israelis and the lack of any action by the Council did not allow any easing of the suffering of the Palestinians. Regrettably, the Council failed to fulfil its responsibility with regard to the threat posed by Israel to peace and security in the volatile Middle East region. We should recall that the exercise of the veto was the main reason for that failure. The resort to the veto last March proved to be a disservice to the volatile situation in the area. Undoubtedly, the presence of a United Nations observer force on the ground could have forestalled more violence and more bloodshed and could have saved so many precious lives.

[...]

Mr. Hasmy (Malaysia):

[...]

We have many times in the past stated that without the necessary reform the Council will remain an anachronistic institution that reflects the outdated realities and power equations of the immediate post-Second World War period. The continued existence of the veto has rendered the Council’s decision-making process less than democratic and has contributed to much of the impasse in, and paralysis of, the Council. The problem of the veto was at the core of the Council’s inaction with respect to the massacres in Bosnia, the genocide in Rwanda and the “ethnic cleansing” in Kosovo. It was, and continues to be, the main reason for the inability of the Council to contribute constructively to solving the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was the threat and use of the veto that prevented the Council from taking action to address the current grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.

[...]

Mr. Kumalo (South Africa):

[...]

The Middle East remains an important issue for the Security Council and the ongoing conflict in that area impacts directly on international peace and security. We urge the Security Council to respond urgently to the need to resolve that conflict. The Council must be persuaded to reconsider the efforts made by the elected members and by some permanent members to mandate the deployment of a credible international observer mechanism to oversee the implementation of the Mitchell report by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

[...]

The meeting rose at 1 p.m.


This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.


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