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PRESS BRIEFING BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT

Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York

3 May 2005

Briefing correspondents on the Security Council’s programme of work for May, this month’ Council President, Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, announced that tomorrow, 4 May, the Council was expected to adopt a resolution on a four-week rollover of the mandate for the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).

She said that rollover was necessary as UNOCI’s mandate would expire tomorrow and the Council needed time to prepare a comprehensive resolution on adjustments in UNOCI’s mandate following the “Pretoria Peace Agreement”. Tomorrow, the Council would also present a presidential statement regarding last Friday’s debate on Lebanon. Also tomorrow, the Special Envoy of the President of Georgia for conflict resolution in Abkhazia would address the Council in a private meeting, which would be followed by consultations.

On Monday, 9 May, the Council would have consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said. The following day, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs would give one of his regular briefings on the humanitarian situation in Africa in a closed meeting. On 11 May, the Council would hold a meeting, open to non-Council Member States, on Haiti to discuss the Council mission to that country last month.

On 12 May, the Council would be briefed in open meeting on the situation in the Sudan, followed by consultations, including on the deployment of the United Nations force in the south of the Sudan, on the situation in Darfur and on cooperation with the African Union. The Council would hold a public meeting on Timor-Leste on Monday, 16 May, during which the latest and last report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) would be discussed. By a resolution last month, the United Nations effort in Timor-Leste was being changed from a peacekeeping operation into a political mission.

On 18 May, the Council would have its regular monthly briefing on the situation in the Middle East, followed by consultations. She expected that Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast would, among other things, address the outcome of the meeting of the Quartet in Moscow. The Council would also hold consultations on 23 and 25 May on the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB), as the mandates for both missions would run out by the end of the month.

She said that an open debate on peacebuilding was scheduled on 26 May. That debate would not focus on the institutional set-up for dealing with peacebuilding in the United Nations -- a matter being discussed in the General Assembly in the context of the Secretary-General’s report on reform “In larger freedom” -- but on the substance of peacebuilding in post-conflict situations. She expected the Secretary-General to open that debate, which would be open to non-members, as well.

On 27 May, finally, the Council would be briefed in a public meeting by Secretary-General’s Special Representative Søren Jessen-Petersen on the developments in Kosovo since his last briefing, three months ago. Focus was expected to be on standards implementation.

Answering a correspondent’s question as to why the Council was pushing ahead with a statement on Lebanon while the Secretary-General had said last week that further action should wait for the verification mission, Ms. Løj said that when the verification mission would return, the Council would be briefed. The “meat” of the presidential statement was to mark the Syrian military withdrawal from Lebanon, she said. The statement would reflect the discussion that had taken place on Friday, but the exact wording of the statement was still being negotiated.

Asked about the open meeting on the Sudan on 12 May, Ms. Løj answered that neither Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, nor Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno would be in the country at the time, so the briefing would be given by the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hedi Annabi.

In answer to another question, she said the expansion of the Security Council was not being discussed in the Council, but in the Assembly. As Council President, she could not comment on it. As for her opinion in her national capacity, she referred to statements made by Denmark in the Assembly.

Elaborating on the public debate on peacebuilding scheduled for 26 May, she said she hoped the discussion would be on the various components of peacebuilding needed in a post-conflict situation and on some of the required parameters for a successful peacebuilding effort. Such an effort included local ownership of the process, strategies dealing with immediate problems facing a country in a post-conflict situation, and the necessary cooperation with various United Nations entities, national donors and international actors, such as the World Bank. The rule-of-law was also an important part of the effort. The discussion would be on the substance, rather than on the organization within the United Nations, which was being discussed in the Assembly.

One of the reasons her country had put a lot of emphasis on the issue was the fact that many conflict areas (some 50 to 60 per cent of them) relapsed into conflict after a five year period, she said.

The Council would not focus on counter-terrorism this month, she said, as at the end of last month, the Council Committees established by resolutions 1267 (1999) regarding the Taliban and Al-Qaida, 1373 (2001) regarding counter-terrorism, and 1540 (2004) regarding the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, had submitted their quarterly reports to the Council, which had been discussed during a joint meeting.

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