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Security Council to discuss linkage between conflicts and under-development

2 February 2011 – Beyond the country-specific issues that are usually before it, such as the Middle East conflict and Sudan, the Security Council will this month devote a high-level session to some of the root causes underlying conflict in the world, such poverty and under-development.

Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil, which holds the monthly presidency of the 15-member body for February, said today that the session would focus on “a theme which is very dear to Brazil, very dear to the developing countries, which is the relationship between security and development.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will brief the high-level debate on 11 February, has frequently stressed the essential linkage between peace and development. Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota will preside, and Ms. Viotti said several delegations have already told her their foreign ministers will attend, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, India and Portugal.

“The idea is not to bring development issues to the Council but to take a more comprehensive approach to the issues of peace and security, having in mind the fact that many conflicts have an underlying cause that is sometimes related to issues of poverty, social inequality, of illegal exploitation of natural resources, the problem of youth unemployment, the lack of opportunities especially for the youth,” she told a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York.

“We would like to take this broader view on peace and security and also explore a little bit the interlinkages,” she said, adding that the Council would focus on how it can best operate with others organs in the system like the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in dealing with conflicts.

At a summit in September at the start of the General Assembly annual debate, presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers from the 15 Member States held the Council’s first meeting in nearly two decades devoted to updating the tools at its disposal for its ever-expanding role of keeping peace, recognizing the linkages between security and development.

In a presidential statement, the Council reaffirmed “that international peace and security now requires a more comprehensive and concerted approach;” underlined the need to address root causes of conflicts, noting that development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing; stressed the importance of preventive diplomacy; and reiterated its commitment to strengthening its partnership with regional organizations.

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