Question of Palestine home
26 December 2013
Letter dated 24 December 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
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 October 2013 (see annex). The 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.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Annex to the letter dated 24 December 2013 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
1. During the month of October 2013, the Security Council held 15 public meetings, 1 private meeting and 12 closed consultations. The Council adopted four resolutions and two presidential statements and issued six statements to the press.
III. Middle East
The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
53. On 22 October, the Security Council held an open debate under the agenda item “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. In his briefing to the Council, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs said that the meeting was taking place at a moment of active diplomacy and discussions on both immediate crises and long-standing sources of tensions in the region, including the Syrian conflict, the Middle East peace process and questions regarding nuclear proliferation. Speaking of the latest developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said that on 27 September, for the first time in 17 months, the Quartet principals had met in New York. They were joined by the Israeli and Palestinian chief negotiators for a joint briefing on the progress of the negotiations, who reiterated their personal and official commitment to reaching a comprehensive permanent status agreement, and asked for the support of the Quartet and the international community. Both stressed that their shared objective was to end the conflict, based on a vision of two States for two peoples. On 25 September, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for the Coordination of the International Assistance to Palestinians had met at the ministerial level and expressed its full support for the ongoing peace negotiations. He deplored the recent security incidents and clashes that had taken place despite the welcome intensification of negotiations and reiterated the unequivocal call by the United Nations for all sides to refrain from violence and incitement, reinforce calm and reverse negative trends in order to preserve the tentative opening in the political process. He said that the settlement activity carried out by Israel was an obstacle to peace and against international law. He also expressed concern at the construction of tunnels from Gaza into Israel, which violate the November 2012 ceasefire understanding. He highlighted serious financial difficulties faced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), and underlined that the $48 million deficit in its budget for education, health and poverty mitigation work threatened the provision of essential services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the State of Palestine.