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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

14 September 2005

U.N. Security Council Backs Stronger Role in Conflict Prevention

Adopts Resolution 1625 with emphasis on African conflicts

The U.N. Security Council September 14 announced its adoption of Resolution 1625, a declaration on strengthening the effectiveness of the Security Council's role in conflict prevention, particularly in Africa.

The Security Council decided to improve its evaluations of conflict situations in the world, particularly in Africa, and to assist regional mediation initiatives, reinforce regional rapid-response capacity, and contribute to stopping arms trafficking.

The council also said it was determined to reinforce stable institutions to ensure peace and sustainable development and, in particular, to help African countries build independent and trustworthy national judicial institutions.  It encouraged all African states to join the African Union's Nonaggression and Common Defense Pact, signed in Abuja, Nigeria, during the Fourth African Union Summit in January, and also subregional pacts related to peace, democracy and good governance.

For information on U.S. activities at the United Nations, see The United Nations at 60.

Following is the text of the Security Council declaration:

(begin text)

United Nations Security Council
13 September 2005
Original: English

Resolution 1625

The Security Council,

Decides to adopt the attached declaration on strengthening the effectiveness of the Security Council's role in conflict prevention particularly in Africa.


The Security Council,

Meeting on 14 September 2005 at the level of Heads of State and Government to discuss how to strengthen the effectiveness of the Security Council's role in the prevention of armed conflict, particularly in Africa;

Reaffirming its commitment to the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations;

Bearing in mind its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security;

Deeply concerned by the high human cost and material losses caused by armed conflicts and recognizing that peace, security and development are mutually reinforcing, including in the prevention of armed conflict;

Reaffirming the importance of adhering to the principles of refraining, in international relations, from the threat or the use of force in any manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and of peaceful settlement of international disputes;

Reaffirming the need to adopt a broad strategy of conflict prevention, which addresses the root causes of armed conflict and political and social crises in a comprehensive manner, including by promoting sustainable development, poverty eradication, national reconciliation, good governance, democracy, gender equality, the rule of law and respect for and protection of human rights;

Recognizing the need to strengthen the important role of the United Nations in the prevention of violent conflicts, and to develop effective partnerships between the Council and regional organizations, in particular, the African Union and its subregional organizations, in order to enable early responses to disputes and emerging crises;

Recalling the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the Protocol relating to the establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, and the African Union Non-Aggression and Common Defence Pact adopted in Abuja on 31 January 2005, as well as the African Union position on unconstitutional changes of governments, as stated in the 1999 Algiers Declaration and the 2000 Lome Declaration;

Recognizing the important supporting roles played by civil society men and women in conflict prevention, and the need to take into account all possible contributions from civil society;

1. Expresses its determination to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations in preventing armed conflicts and to monitor closely situations of potential armed conflict;

2. Affirms its determination to strengthen the United Nations conflict prevention capacities by:

(a) assessing regularly the developments in regions at risk of armed conflict and encouraging the Secretary-General to provide information to the Council on such developments pursuant to Article 99 of the Charter;

(b) promoting the follow-up of preventive-diplomacy initiatives of the Secretary-General;

(c) supporting regional mediation initiatives in close regional and subregional organizations concerned;

(d) supporting regional and subregional capacities for early warning to help them in working out appropriate mechanisms to enable prompt action in reaction to early warning indicators;

(e) requesting as necessary and appropriate information and assistance from the Economic and Social Council in accordance with Article 65 of the United Nations Charter;

(f) taking measures to contribute to combating illicit trade of arms in all its aspects and the use of mercenaries;

(g) helping to enhance durable institutions conducive to peace, stability and sustainable development;

(h) supporting efforts of African States to build independent and reliable national judicial institutions;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to:

(a) provide to the Council regular reports and analysis of developments in regions of potential armed conflicts particularly in Africa, and as appropriate a presentation of ongoing preventive diplomacy initiatives;

(b) assist countries at risk of armed conflict in performing strategic conflict risk assessments, in implementing the measures agreed by the concerned countries, in enhancing national dispute management capacities, and in addressing the root causes of armed conflict;

(c) promote coordination with regional conflict management machinery in Africa which would provide the Security Council with additional reliable and timely information to facilitate rapid decision-making;

4. Stresses the importance of establishing effective comprehensive strategies of conflict prevention, focused on averting negative developments in the security, economic, social and humanitarian sectors and in the field of governance and human rights in countries which are facing crises, with special attention to:

(a) developing quick win activities to prevent conflicts arising from competition for economic resources and to monitoring tension arising from economic and social issues;

(b) encouraging United Nations regional offices to facilitate the implementation of strategies aimed at curbing illicit cross-border activities;

(c) strengthening the capacities of civil society groups, including women's groups, working to promote a culture of peace and to mobilize donors to support these efforts;

(d) developing policy measures to foster good governance and the protection of human rights in order to strengthen weakened or collapsed governance mechanisms and to end the culture of impunity;

(e) promoting the fairness and transparency of electoral processes;

5. Stresses the critical importance of a regional approach to conflict prevention, particularly to Programmes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, as well as the effective and sustainable reintegration of combatants;

6. Reaffirms its determination to take action against illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources and high-value commodities in areas where it contributes to the outbreak, escalation or continuation of armed conflict;

7. Calls for the strengthening of cooperation and communication between the United Nations and regional or subregional organizations or arrangements, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter, particularly with respect to mediation initiatives;

8. Encourages all African States to adhere to the African Union Non-Aggression and Common Defence Pact adopted in Abuja on 31 January 2005, and to sign where appropriate subregional pacts on peace, security, democracy, good governance and development, and calls on the United Nations system and the international community to support the implementation of the Pacts;

9. Encourages also African countries to continue to work closely with the United Nations Secretariat and United Nations regional offices in the implementation of measures aimed at securing peace, security, stability, democracy and sustainable development consistent with the objectives of the New Partnership for Africa's Development;

10. Urges the international community including the United Nations system and International Financial Institutions to support African countries in their efforts to achieve the above objectives and in this respect welcomes the decisions taken by the G-8 Summit held in Gleneagles, 6-8 July 2005, for combating poverty in Africa;

11. Urges all African States and the international community to fully cooperate in developing the capacities of African regional and subregional organizations to deploy both civilian and military assets quickly when needed, including the development of the African Union's African Standby Force; welcomes bilateral and multilateral programmes developed to this end, and expresses its support for the Secretary-General's proposal to establish a ten-year capacity building programme for the African Union;

12. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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