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Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for June

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

2 June 2011

HIV/AIDS and transnational organized crime would be among the major topics for discussion by the Security Council later this month, as the body also remained seized of situations including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Libya and others, according to the Permanent Representative of Gabon, which holds the Council presidency for June.

“ Gabon will continue the Council’s efforts to deal with cross-cutting issues in international peace and security,” Nelson Messone said at a Headquarters press conference, noting that a large share of this year’s mandate extensions would also fall during the month.

He said the Council planned a debate on the impact of HIV and AIDS on global security for 7 June, the eve of the General Assembly’s high-level meeting on the epidemic. President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon was expected to preside and other high officials attending the Assembly meeting were invited to participate. A draft resolution proposed as the outcome of the debate would be the second on the topic following the July 2000 text that recognized a strong interrelationship between HIV/AIDS and instability. An additional cross-cutting issue would be considered on 24 June, when an official of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) would brief Council members on drug trafficking and organized crime, he added.

With its mandate expiring at the end of the month, the future of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) would be a major focus, he said. The priority in that regard was heeding the country’s wishes and determining the requirements for further peace consolidation. Consultations with troop-contributing countries would be held on 3 June. In addition, open briefing and consultations on the sanctions regime imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo were scheduled for 9 June, he said, adding that renewal of MONUSCO’s mandate was expected on 28 June.

The President went on to emphasize that Sudan would receive the Council’s close attention, given the short time remaining before South Sudan’s expected declaration of independence next month. There would be a briefing on the Council’s visit to Sudan on 6 June, another on the situation in the country on 20 June, and consultations on the related sanctions committee the same day. Additionally, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, would brief members on procedures undertaken in respect of Sudan on 8 June.

Mr. Messone said the most important event during the third week of the Gabonese presidency would be a 15 June briefing on the meeting in Addis Ababa between the Council delegation recently on mission in Africa and the African Union Peace and Security Council. That meeting had been a follow-up to the efforts of the regional body’s High-level Panel on Libya, which included South Africa, Uganda, Mali, Mauritania and Congo. Public debate would be followed by consultations and interactive discussions between the Panel and Council members, he said, adding that the objective was to continue constructive dialogue towards finding a credible way out of the Libyan crisis through a lasting ceasefire. The regular monthly briefing on Libya, required by recent resolutions, was scheduled for 27 June, he pointed out.

The President said there would be a briefing on support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on 16 June, and another one on 21 June, concerning legal issues in the context of the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on piracy off the Somali coast, following the report of his Special Adviser, Jack Lang.

Among other issues, Mr. Messone highlighted consultations on Iraq-Kuwait questions, to be held on 22 June, the monthly Middle East briefing on 23 June and a briefing on Guinea-Bissau, on 28 June. Mandate renewals were also expected — for the expert panels assisting the sanctions committees on Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — on 9 and 10 June, respectively.

Asked whether there was optimism on the prospects for a ceasefire in Libya, the President said he would know more following the visit by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, this weekend. All Council members had continued working to bring about a ceasefire, he affirmed, noting that contacts had been forged, and there were commitments on both sides that still needed to be confirmed. “It is important to continue that work,” he stressed.

He emphasized that whether or not Mr. Khatib would be physically present during the 15 June meeting, the important factor was constructive interaction between the High-level Panel and the Council. There was, however, a consensus that the Special Envoy should coordinate international efforts. There had not yet been a request for a meeting to review implementation of resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011), he noted.

Responding to other questions, he said he had no information on a new report by Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, in response to the arrest of Ratko Mladić. In addition, no Council member had raised the issue of article 16 exceptions to the Rome Statute, founding treaty of the International Criminal Court, which had been considered by the African Union. Regarding the Middle East conflict, he said bringing the parties back to negotiations was the most important issue.

He went on to state that experts were working to draft a resolution on Syria and a presidential statement on Sudan. When and if those texts emerged, meetings could then be scheduled to consider them.

On whether troops on temporary deployment to the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) would return to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) when the re-deployment period ended on 30 June, Mr. Messone said Côte d’Ivoire was still in “a very precarious stage”, and UNOCI would have to continue to help. During the month, the Council must consider how to make the mission most effective in that regard, he added.

In response to a question about Somalia, he said there was still “strong interest” in the Council to help the Transitional Federal Government improve security and provide services in order to stabilize the situation. Cooperation between the Government and Parliament was necessary for progress, he emphasized.

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For information media • not an official record

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