Press Conference by Security Council President on October Work Programme

2 October 2009
Press Conference
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press Conference by Security Council President on October Work Programme

During the month of October, the Security Council would hold two open debates in which non-Council Member States could participate, respectively, on “women, peace and security” and on the situation in the Middle East, Council President Le Luong Minh, the Permanent Representative of Viet Nam, said today.

Briefing correspondents on the Council’s work programme, Ambassador Le, who’s country holds the 15-member body’s rotating presidency for the month, said the debate on “women, peace and security” would take place on Monday, 5 October, and would focus on the necessity of empowering women to participate in all stages of peace processes, including in negotiations on peace accords and in post-conflict decision-making.

Such participation by women was necessary, he said, because without it, sustainable peace was not possible.  Viet Nam’s Minister for Foreign Affairs would preside and the Council was expected to adopt a resolution.  He reminded reporters that, during Viet Nam’s Council Presidency in July 2008, it had organized an open debate on “children and armed conflict”.

Answering a correspondent’s question, he said the resolution to be adopted on Monday would be broader in scope than resolutions 1820 (2008) and 1888 (2009) adopted Wednesday, which concerned protecting women from sexual violence in conflict situations.  Dealing with the needs and empowerment of women in all stages of the peace process, the new resolution would add more weight to efforts of the international community regarding women and peace and security.

The open debate on the Middle East would take place on 20 October, he said.  Over the past several months, there had been many important developments and, as such, there seemed to be more eagerness to move the peace process forward.  Member States would have an opportunity to comment on recent developments and contribute ideas to the solution of the conflict.  The United Nations Secretary-General would attend, he added.

It would be up to Member States whether they wanted to discuss the issue of reported undue pressure on the Human Rights Council to postpone consideration of its report on the events that took place in Gaza at the beginning of the year, he responded to a question on that matter.

Turning to Africa, he said the Council would, on 26 October, hold a debate on “peace and security in Africa”, to consider the Secretary-General’s report on peacekeeping support to the African Union, as well as the African Union’s attendant report on the matter.  On 13 October, the Council planned to adopt a resolution on extending the mandate of the expert panel on Sudan sanctions.

Continuing, he said that on 22 October, there would be a meeting on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT).  In addition, the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) would be discussed on 16 October, and on 29 October, the Council would decide on the extension of sanctions against Côte d’Ivoire.  Somalia would be discussed on 8 October, with a focus on strengthening the African Union mission there, known as AMISOM, and on the Djibouti peace process.

As for Asia, he said the issue of Iraq and Kuwait would be discussed in consultations on 22 October, when the Council was expected to review all its resolutions on Iraq.  The Council would also consider the report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004) concerning Lebanon, and take up the extension of the authorization for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF).  On 23 October, the Council would debate the plan to transfer the responsibilities of the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor to Timor-Leste’s national police force.

Further to the Council’s agenda, the 15-member body would consider the extension of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) on 13 October, and the situation in Kosovo on 15 October.  Issues that might come up during October included Darfur, peace consolidation in West Africa ( Guinea, Djibouti-Eritrea), non-proliferation and the Annual Report of the Security Council.

Responding to several questions, he noted that a substantive debate on Afghanistan, including the controversy regarding the elections, was not foreseen this month as the Council had considered that issue in September.

Asked whether, during discussions on the programme of work, Member States had requested the Council to consider such issues as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, the “responsibility to protect” and Honduras, he answered that the Council worked in the spirit of consensus and compromise.  As there had been different views on whether the Council should discuss those subjects, they had not been mentioned in the programme of work.

* *** *

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.