STATEMENT TO PRESS BY PRESIDENT
NEW YORK, 21 August (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of a statement made to the press today by Security Council President Alfonso Valdivieso (Colombia):
Members of the Security Council had a briefing by Carolyn McAskie on the humanitarian situation in Somalia;
Members of the Council discussed the humanitarian situation in the overall context of the conflict in Somalia;
They noted the improvement in the humanitarian and security situation, but stressed that a substantive and definite improvement in the humanitarian situation cannot be sustained without significant progress in the settlement of the conflict and of political reconciliation;
Members of the Council call upon the Somali parties to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and facilitate free and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance;
They urged the parties to ensure the safety and security of aid workers;
They called on the donor community to extend general assistance by responding to the Inter-Agency coordinator and appeal. They stressed the importance of support to the United Nations agencies and national and international non-governmental organizations in addressing the humanitarian needs of Somali people and to facilitate the peace process.
Members of the Council express support for the work of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) as well as non-governmental organizations on preventing female genital mutilation.
Members of the Security Council look forward to the comprehensive report of the Secretary-General on the Somali situation due in September.
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