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15 January 2001
DEVELOPMENTS THROUGHOUT AFRICA, RENEWED VIOLENCE IN
Adopts Resolution on HIV/AIDS, Responds to Brahimi Report,
NEW YORK, 12 January (UN Headquarters) -- Developments in Africa and renewed violence in the Middle East were among the major issues dealt with by the Security Council in 2000, as it pursued its mandate of securing, establishing and maintaining global peace and security. Also dominant on the Council’s agenda this year, as in 1999, was the situation of Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and East Timor.
The Council in the past year continued to demonstrate its willingness to hold open debates on a variety of subjects, including women and peacekeeping and children in armed conflict. Also of note was the Council’s unprecedented adoption of a resolution on a health issue –- HIV/AIDS –- and its action related to the Brahimi Report on United Nations peace operations.
The African continent demanded considerable attention from the Council during the year. January was referred to as the "month of Africa", with special interest paid during the month to Africa-related issues. Issues addressed in terms of threats to international peace and security included HIV/AIDS, arms, illicit trafficking in diamonds, intra- and inter-State conflicts, refugees and internally displaced persons.
Much of the Council's deliberations on Africa were focused on two countries –- Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It also devoted a number of meetings to the border conflict in Ethiopia and Eritrea, establishing the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) on 31 July.
The Council met three times to discuss the situation in the Middle East, from 3 to 5 October, after violence erupted following a visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 28 September by Ariel Sharon, leader of Israel's Likud Party. More than 40 speakers addressed the Council.
Following the debate, on 7 October the Council adopted resolution 1322 (2000) by 14 votes in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (United States). By the text, it deplored the provocation carried out at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and subsequent violence there and throughout the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, which had resulted in more than 80 Palestinian deaths.
The year 2000 also saw the solidification of the presence of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), under the leadership of
Bernard Kouchner, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. Despite continued ethnic violence and problems related to the return of refugees, the change in Government in Belgrade and the successful holding of municipal elections in Kosovo were among many positive developments.
In East Timor, despite setbacks during 2000, including continued militia-led violence, the deaths of United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian workers and severe flooding that caused considerable death and displacement in refugee camps, Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Transitional Administrator, was able to report to the Council on 28 November that the security situation was stable and that the Territory was well advanced on the transition to independence.
On 24 and 25 October, the Council held a two-day open meeting to consider the issue of women and peace and security. During the discussion, an overwhelming number of speakers stressed the need to include women in every aspect of peace-building initiatives, specifically calling for their involvement in decision-making processes.
Speaking at a 26 July debate on the subject of children and armed conflict, Olara Otunnu, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the issue, said the international community must do a lot more to provide education to war-affected children and to meet the special needs of the girl child and adolescents in the midst and aftermath of conflict. Over the past two years, a number of concrete commitments had been made concerning the protection of children. The challenge now was to ensure adherence.
On 17 July, the Council adopted resolution 1308 (2000), the first of its kind, urging Member States to consider voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and counselling for troops to be deployed in peacekeeping operations. It also expressed concern at the potentially damaging impact of HIV/AIDS on the health of international peacekeeping personnel, including support personnel.
Welcoming the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, the "Brahimi Report", and the report of the Secretary-General on its implementation, the Security Council –- through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1327 (2000) -- resolved on 13 November to give peacekeeping operations clear, credible and achievable mandates. The Panel, chaired by Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, issued its report on 21 August, and the Council established a working group to review the report’s recommendations on 3 October.
Also during the year, the Council held open meetings on the situations in Angola, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Israel/Lebanon, Israel/Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Afghanistan, Western Sahara, Georgia, Tajikistan, Haiti, Cyprus, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Meetings were also held on: the International Criminal Tribunals; conflict prevention; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants; exit strategies for peacekeeping operations; humanitarian aspects of issues before the Council; violence against humanitarian personnel; protection of civilians in conflict; terrorism; and United Nations sanctions.
During 2000, the Council also heard a final briefing by the outgoing United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, and held a high-level meeting in the context of the Millennium Summit.
Following are summaries of Council activity in 2000.
On 18 January, the Council held an open briefing on the situation in Angola, Africa's longest running civil war.
The Government of Angola and the opposition force, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), have been engaged in an intermittent, devastating civil war since the country’s independence in 1975. Over the years, the United Nations has been actively involved in efforts to find a solution, including through the establishment of four successive peacekeeping missions. However, despite all efforts to restore peace, the situation deteriorated again in May 1998 when UNITA refused to proceed with the implementation of the peace agreements, which had been signed in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1994. In January 1999, the Secretary-General concluded that the Angolan peace process had collapsed. The Angolan Government had informed the Organization that it did not intend to support extension of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Angola (MONUA) beyond 26 February 1999.
During the 18 January briefing, most speakers blamed the protracted conflict in the country on the activities of UNITA. Georges Chicoti, Vice-Minister of External Relations of Angola, asked if a double standard and a dangerous precedent were being set "by allowing that organization's leader, Jonas Savimbi, to continue to kill people for so many years without indicting him for his crimes". He added that, despite several resolutions that applied sanctions on Mr. Savimbi and his followers, many countries and institutions continued to break them, allowing UNITA to acquire new, sophisticated weapons.
Canada’s representative, then Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 864 (1993) concerning the situation in Angola, said that his visit to the country the week before had demonstrated that sanctions were impeding UNITA’s ability to transport fuel and arms throughout the country and were reducing the number of parties ready to offer it support. While it was premature to suggest that the war was at an end in Angola, it was beginning to approach it.
The Council was also informed by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, who introduced the Secretary-General's report on developments in Angola since October 1999, that the new United Nations Office in that country would continue to assist the Government and civil organizations in the areas of capacity-building, humanitarian assistance and the promotion of human rights.
On 13 April, as it unanimously adopted resolution 1294 (2000), The Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) for a further six months until 15 October. On 18 April, acting under the enforcement provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council unanimously voted to tighten its sanctions against UNITA and undertook to consider additional measures -- use of armed force not included -- to make them more effective.
By the terms of resolution 1295 (2000), introduced by the President and Chairman of the Sanctions Committee, Robert Fowler (Canada), the Council asked the Secretary-General to establish a monitoring mechanism which would be composed of five experts, for a period of six months. Their tasks would be to collect relevant information, investigate relevant leads and verify information provided by all sources concerning violations of the Council’s three previous sanctions resolutions on UNITA.
The Council expressed its intention to review the implementation of its three previous resolutions on UNITA on the basis of information provided by the panel of experts, by States, and by the monitoring mechanism established by the present resolution. Further, it undertook to consider the application of additional measures against UNITA and the development of additional tools to render the existing sanctions more effective.
The resolution covered such areas as the trade in arms, the trade in petroleum and related products, the trade in diamonds, funds and financial measures, and travel and representation. The Council further urged all States, including those close to Angola, to take immediate steps to enforce, strengthen or enact legislation making it a criminal offence under domestic law for their nationals or other individuals operating on their territory to violate the measures imposed by the Council against UNITA.
On 27 July, in an open debate on Angola, Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa, told the Council that the Angolan President, José Eduardo dos Santos, had indicated a willingness to pardon Jonas Savimbi and his followers, which was a welcome development. To give peace a chance would require increased efforts in the political, social and economic spheres, as well as a spirit of reconciliation by all Angolans. Introducing the Secretary-General's report on the UNOA, he said the fact that UNITA bore the primary responsibility for the return to war in Angola must be reaffirmed. The rebel group’s failure to live up to peace agreements was the primary reason for the renewed violence and continuation of the country's civil war. The Council had exposed the weaknesses in implementing sanctions imposed against UNITA and had named the alleged sanctions violators. States must avoid actions that would facilitate the continuation of war.
Also addressing the Council, Albino Malungo, Angola's Minister for Social Assistance, stressed that the Lusaka agreement had never been implemented in its totality, as Mr. Savimbi had rejected its crucial provisions. In 1998, the UNITA leader had once again undertaken force to achieve power. Sadly, he noted, the rearming of UNITA had taken place with the open support of a number of countries and leaders, including Africans. Not all voices had condemned Mr. Savimbi’s actions or taken steps to pressure him into abandoning his war plans.
The Angolan Government had been forced to adopt political and military measures to contain UNITA, an objective that had been achieved, he said. UNITA’s conventional war capacity had been destroyed and no longer constituted an immediate threat to the Government. More than 92 per cent of Angolan territory was now under the control of legal authorities, he went on. Angola urged the international community to continue to apply pressure through sanctions against those who rejected the peace agreement.
The conflict in Sierra Leone dates from March 1991 when fighters of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) launched a war from the east of the country near the border with Liberia to overthrow the government. On 22 October 1999, Council resolution 1270 (1999) established the United Nations Mission for Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) to aid with implementation of the Lomé (Togo) Peace Agreement, which was signed on 7 July 1999 between the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF.
The Council first met this year on Sierra Leone on 7 February when Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hédi Annabi, in a briefing, told members that it was important to impress on all parties the need to implement the Lomé Agreement and to fulfil their commitments under that Agreement. Observing that there had been several incidents last month in which the troops of UNAMSIL had been confronted by rebel troops and had not responded satisfactorily, he stressed the need to apply the Mission's rules of engagement strictly.
In his review of the security situation in Sierra Leone, he stated there was still an apparent ambivalence on the part of rebel commanders regarding the implementation of the Lomé Agreement. He noted that in places outside of Freetown and Lungi, which remained relatively stable, there had been an increase in rebel activity. He also drew attention to the delay in humanitarian activities caused by continued harassment of humanitarian workers.
In a meeting following Mr. Annabi's briefing, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1289 (2000), and expanded the military component of UNAMSIL to a maximum of 11,100, which included the 260 military observers already deployed. It also extended UNAMSIL’s mandate for a further six months from 7 February.
The Council further decided to revise UNAMSIL’s mandate to include the following additional tasks: provide security at key locations and government buildings; facilitate the free flow of people, goods and humanitarian assistance along specified thoroughfares; provide security in and at all sites of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programme; coordinate with and assist, in common areas of deployment, the Sierra Leone law enforcement authorities in the discharge of their responsibilities; and guard weapons, ammunition and other military equipment collected from ex-combatants and to assist in their subsequent disposal or destruction.
The Council also took note of recommendations by the Secretary- General on the need for robust new rules of engagement in the light of UNAMSIL’s new tasks and authorized UNAMSIL to take the necessary action to fulfil its additional tasks. That included ensuring the security and freedom of movement of its personnel and providing protection to civilians –- in its areas of deployment -- under imminent threat of physical violence, taking into account the responsibilities of the Government of Sierra Leone.
On 13 March, Mr. Annabi again briefed the Council and told them that the main steps to be taken in Sierra Leone should include the early DDR of all ex-combatants; the extension of State authority countrywide; national reconciliation and democratization; and improvement of the country's capacity to ensure its own security. Such steps would require a sustained commitment by all concerned, as well as significant material and financial resources.
The representative of the United Kingdom, describing his recent visit to Sierra Leone, said the DDR process was being obstructed by the lack of commitment to peace from the main factional leaders, particularly RUF leader Foday Sankoh. Furthermore, the Council should be aware that the deployment of UNAMSIL had not been fully successful. He stressed that the Council should carefully monitor the transition from the Economic Community of West African States' Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG) presence in the country to UNAMSIL and insist on bringing the Mission up to full strength, in quality as well as quantity.
On 4 May, the Council met again on Sierra Leone and issued a presidential statement. The Council condemned in the strongest terms the armed attacks perpetrated by the RUF against the forces of UNAMSIL, and their continued detention of a large number of United Nations and other international personnel. The Council also expressed its outrage at the killing of a number of United Nations peacekeepers of the Kenyan battalion.
On 11 May, in a late-night session, convened at request of the African Group of States, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that UNAMSIL was configured as a peacekeeping force, and not designed or equipped for an enforcement operation. It had been attacked by one of the parties that had pledged cooperation, before it was properly deployed. He demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all United Nations personnel, warning that the leader of the RUF would be held accountable for the Force's actions and for the safety and well-being of all those detained. The United Nations had made a commitment to the people of Sierra Leone, and he pleaded with the Council not to fail them, and Africa.
On 19 May, the Council, unanimously adopting resolution 1299 (2000), once more expanded the military component of UNAMSIL to a maximum of 13,000 military personnel, convinced that the deterioration in security conditions on the ground necessitated the Mission's rapid reinforcement.
On 5 July, the Council, concerned at the role played by the illicit trade in diamonds in fuelling the conflict in Sierra Leone, adopted resolution 1306 (2000) by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with one abstention (Mali), and imposed a prohibition on the import of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone. The ban would be initially reviewed after 18 months.
It exempted imports of rough diamonds whose origin was certified by the Government of Sierra Leone. The diamond industry was also called upon to cooperate with the ban. Following the 18-month review, the Council would decide whether to extend the prohibition for a further period and, if necessary, modify it or adopt further measures. The two-part resolution also asked the Secretary-General to appoint a panel of five experts to monitor implementation of the ban.
On 17 July, in a statement read out by its President, the Council expressed full support for the weekend rescue, ordered by the Secretary-General, of more than 200 peacekeepers by UNAMSIL at Kailahun, in the eastern part of Sierra Leone.
On 4 August, as the Council met again on Sierra Leone, it extended UNAMSIL until 8 September and expressed its intention to strengthen the Mission's mandate, structure and resources, so that the peacekeepers could respond more decisively and robustly to attacks by the RUF. It took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1313 (2000). It asked the Secretary-General to report to it as soon as possible with recommendations for restructuring and strengthening the Mission, and expressed its intention to take a decision on those recommendations expeditiously.
On 14 August, the Council asked the Secretary-General to negotiate an agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone to create an independent special court, consistent with resolution 1315 (2000), which it had just unanimously adopted, jurisdiction of which should include crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. That jurisdiction should also include crimes committed in Sierra Leone under that country's national law.
The Council met several times throughout the remainder of the year in order to extend UNAMSIL’s mandate, which is now in force until 31 March 2001.
During that same period, the Council, in a 3 November presidential statement, condemned the continued cross-border attacks along the border area of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. It stressed that only through a comprehensive regional approach could security and stability be restored. It was, further, convinced that the continuation of a credible military presence of the international community in Sierra Leone was still an indispensable element of the peace process. It also reiterated its firm intention to take action to strengthen UNAMSIL at the appropriate time, taking into account the readiness of troop contributors to provide sufficient forces.
The Council underlined: the importance of the RUF relinquishing control of the diamond-producing areas in Sierra Leone; full freedom of movement for UNAMSIL leading to its deployment countrywide; proper provisions for the disarmament and demobilization of all non-governmental forces; full and secure humanitarian access; and the extension of the Government throughout its territory.
On 21 December, in another presidential statement, the Council condemned, in the strongest terms, the recent incursions into Guinea by rebel groups from Liberia and Sierra Leone that had affected villages and towns along the entire length of Guinea’s border.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo was ruled from 1965 by Mobutu Sésé Séko (who named the country Zaire). His rule did not weaken until the 1990s, when a number of circumstances -- domestic protests, international criticism of his human rights record, and spillover from the neighbouring Rwanda war -- resulted in a coalition of various opposition groups. The Alliance des forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL), supported by several countries and led by the current President, Laurent-Desire Kabila, succeeded in ousting Mobutu in May 1997. Mr. Kabila named himself president, consolidated power around himself and the AFDL, and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In August 1998, in an attempt to stabilize the country and consolidate his control, President Kabila expelled the Rwandan troops remaining in the country after his 1997 victory. That prompted army mutinies in the capital Kinshasa and the Kivu provinces in the east. Although the Kinshasa mutiny was put down, the mutiny in the Kivus continued and mushroomed into a drive to topple the Government. Opposing the Kabila Government were factions of the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD), supported by Rwanda, and Uganda. The Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), another rebel group, emerged later. Defending the Kabila Government were the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe militia. President Kabila is also supported by Angola, Namibia, Chad, Zimbabwe, and the Congolese army.
On 10 July 1999 in Lusaka, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe, signed the Ceasefire Agreement for a cessation of hostilities between all belligerent forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The MLC also signed the Agreement on 1 August. The Lusaka peace accord calls for a ceasefire, an international peacekeeping operation, and the beginning of a "national dialogue" on the future of the country.
To maintain liaison with the parties and carry out other tasks, the Council set up the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) on 30 November 1999, incorporating United Nations personnel authorized in earlier resolutions.
In its first meeting this year on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on 24 January, seven African heads of State addressed the Council in a day-long session.
Nine government ministers; the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and Organization of African Unity (OAU); and the facilitator of the inter-Congolese dialogue envisioned by the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, former President of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire, also made statements to the Council.
Speakers stressed the need for resolute international support for the Lusaka peace process and for speedy establishment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in that country. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that, to make the difference in the Democratic Republic and avoid the wrong turns that had led to tragedies elsewhere, the United Nations must not only be ready to act, but act in a way that was commensurate with the gravity of the situation.
Laurent-Desire Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said the Peace Agreement was not working and peace had not been achieved. The Agreement had failed in its objectives, for it could not restore peace without an immediate and complete ceasefire. Pasteur Bizimungu, President of Rwanda, warned against the tendency to praise the Lusaka Agreement so much that the important matter of implementation was forgotten.
On 26 January, the Council, in a presidential statement, expressed its determination to support implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement. It also expressed its determination to act promptly along the lines recommended by the Secretary-General in his report.
On 24 February, the Council, by unanimously adopting resolution 1291 (2000), extended the mandate of MONUC to 31 August and authorized an expansion of up to 5,537 military personnel, including up to 500 observers, or more, provided that the Secretary-General determined that there was a need and that it could be accommodated within the overall force size and structure. The Council also decided that MONUC, under a newly established joint structure with the Joint Military Commission, which was created under the Ceasefire Agreement, might take actions to protect United Nations and co-located Joint Military Commission personnel, facilities, installations and equipment; ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel; and protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence.
On 5 May, the Council, in a presidential statement, demanded the immediate cessation of hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council formally endorsed the statement made by its members on mission in Kinshasa calling for an immediate halt to the fighting. The Council unreservedly condemned the outbreak of military hostilities in Kisangani, which began on 5 May, and which threatened the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. It also expressed concern about reported killing of innocent Congolese civilians.
On 17 May, the Council heard 27 speakers in an open briefing on its 4 to 8 May mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mission also visited Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda.
Presenting the mission’s report, the representative of the United States, who had headed the Council delegation, said every meeting during the visit had seen an endorsement of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. The people sought peace and the withdrawal of outside forces, and they wanted the rebel movements to lay down their arms. They also wanted the Government to engage in a national dialogue, and aspired to live in a State built on democratic institutions. Everything about the mission had been designed to bring the process of that dialogue forward, he said, stressing that there was no military solution to the conflict.
The representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo said the members of the Council mission had been eyewitnesses to the deep desire for peace of his country’s people. Throughout the entire territory, children, fathers and mothers were demanding an end to the unspeakable suffering which had been their daily plight since 2 August 1998. He called on the international community to use all means to put an end to the war once and for all.
Many representatives also stressed that phase II of MONUC must be deployed as soon as possible.
On 2 June, in a presidential statement, the Council requested the Secretary-General to establish, for a period of six months, an expert panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mandate of the panel should include: collection of information on all activities on illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in the country, including those that violated that country's sovereignty; and research on and analysis of the links between such exploitation and the continuation of the conflict.
On 15 June, the Council met again on the situation. The President of the Council said continuing hostilities in the Equateur and Kasai provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, uninterrupted violence in Kivu and heavy fighting between foreign armies in the city of Kisangani were among the key elements of the crisis. He told the meeting, attended by the Secretary-General, as well as the Political Committee formed following the signing of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, that the process of reconciliation among the Congolese parties to the conflict remained blocked, with the Government having renounced the neutral facilitator selected by the parties and the OAU.
He added there was also hostility to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). Furthermore, the resumption of hostilities in Kisangani between Rwanda and Uganda had drastically aggravated the situation and seemed to toll the bell for the Lusaka accord. It was unjustifiable for two foreign armies to be fighting on the soil of a third country. The presence in the country of the Rwandan and Ugandan forces was becoming a major source of insecurity.
The Council, meeting again on 16 June, demanded that Ugandan and Rwandan forces, as well as those of the Congolese opposition and other armed groups, withdraw immediately and completely from the city of Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It took that action as it unanimously adopted resolution 1304 (2000). The Council called on all parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement of 10 July 1999 to respect the demilitarization of Kisangani and the city's environs.
The Council also demanded that Uganda and Rwanda withdraw all their troops from the country's territory without further delay; and that all other foreign military presences and activity in Congolese territory be brought to an end in conformity with the Ceasefire Agreement.
On 23 August, the Council extended the mandate of MONUC until 15 October, unanimously adopted resolution 1316 (2000). It emphasized that the technical extension of the Mission was designed to allow time for further diplomatic activities in support of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and for Council reflection on MONUC's future mandate and possible adjustments to it.
On 13 October, the Council once again extended the mandate of MONUC until 15 December 2000, as it unanimously adopted resolution 1323 (2000). Canada’s representative told the Council that the parties to the conflict, through their unwillingness to commit fully to the peace process, were threatening investments in the peace process by the international community. If they did not desist from such a destructive approach, the Council would need to re-examine whether MONUC, as it was presently conceived, was the appropriate instrument for helping to stabilize the situation.
On 28 November, the Council was briefed on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Carolyn McAskie, Emergency Relief Coordinator a.i., Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. She said that so far all diplomatic and military efforts to end what had been described as "Africa’s first world war" had not produced results. The humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate. United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations had been forced to suspend activities due to insecure conditions. She added that in the three years of civil war, the number of those affected by conflict had soared to 16 million people. Flagrant human rights violations prevailed throughout the country, and civilians were afforded little or no protection and systematically targeted by the parties to the conflict.
On 14 December, the Council once again extended the mandate of MONUC, until 15 June 2001, unanimously adopting resolution 1332 (2000).
The Council endorsed the Secretary-General's proposal to deploy additional military observers to monitor and verify the parties' implementation of the ceasefire and disengagement plans adopted in Maputo and Lusaka. It also expressed its readiness to support the Secretary-General in the deployment of infantry units in support of the military observers in Kisangani and Mbandaka and, subject to his proposals on ways to address the situation in the country's eastern provinces, to other areas, including Goma and Bukavu.
In addition, the Council asked the Secretary-General to submit detailed proposals on the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism which could address the full withdrawal of foreign forces, the disarmament and demobilization of armed groups, the security of the country's borders with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons in safety, the inter-Congolese dialogue and regional economic reconstruction and cooperation. The Council called for the withdrawal of Ugandan and Rwandan, and all other foreign forces, from the country in compliance with resolution 1304 (2000) and the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.
The Council also called on all parties to the conflict to cooperate in taking forward DDR, repatriation/settlement of all armed groups referred to in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.
Ethiopia and Eritrea
Fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea erupted in May 1998, as a result of a border dispute.
The Council first met on the situation in Ethiopia and Eritrea this year on 12 May, unanimously adopting resolution 1297(2000) and demanding that the two countries immediately cease all military actions and refrain from further use of force. The Council also resolved to meet again within 72 hours, to take immediate steps to ensure compliance with the resolution in the event that hostilities continued.
On 17 May, following the elapse of the 72-hour deadline, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1298 (2000), by whose terms it strongly condemned the continued fighting and demanded that both parties immediately cease all military action and refrain from the further use of force.
The Council further demanded that both parties withdraw their forces from military engagement and take no action that would aggravate tensions. It also demanded the earliest possible reconvening, without preconditions, of substantive peace talks, under OAU auspices. It also asked that the current Chairman of the OAU consider dispatching urgently his personal envoy to the region to seek immediate cessation of hostilities and resumption of peace talks.
The Council also decided to prevent the sale or supply of arms and related matériel to Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as technical assistance and training related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms or related matériel. The Council also decided that such measures should be terminated immediately if the Secretary-General reports that a peaceful definitive settlement of the conflict has been concluded.
On 18 June, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, following proximity talks led by Algeria and the OAU. On 31 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1312 (2000) and established the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), consisting of up to 100 military observers and the necessary civilian support staff, in anticipation of a peacekeeping operation subject to future authorization. The Mission will remain in the area until 31 January 2001.
The Mission’s mandate will be to: establish and maintain liaison with the parties; visit the parties’ military headquarters and other units in all areas of operation of the Mission deemed necessary by the Secretary-General; establish and put into operation the mechanism for verifying the cessation of hostilities; prepare for the establishment of the Military Coordination Commission provided for in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement: and assist in planning for a future peacekeeping operation, if necessary. The Council also stressed the importance of the rapid delimitation and demarcation of the common border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, in accordance with the OAU Framework Agreement and the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
On 14 August, the Council was briefed by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Bernard Miyet, on the situation in Ethiopia and Eritrea, who also introduced the latest report of the Secretary-General on the issue.
On 15 September, the Council, by unanimously adopting resolution 1320 (2000), authorized the deployment of up to 4,200 troops, including 220 military observers, for UNMEE. It also mandated the Mission until March 2001. The Mission was mandated, among others, to monitor the cessation of hostilities; assist in the observance of the security commitments agreed by the parties to the conflict; monitor and verify the redeployment of Ethiopian troops; and simultaneously monitor the positions of Eritrean forces that were to be redeployed. Both parties were also called on to continue negotiations and conclude without delay a comprehensive and final peace settlement.
As the Council once more reviewed the situation in Ethiopian and Eritrea on 17 November, the Secretary-General told members that UNMEE held great promise for the countries and peoples involved, for Africa, and for peacekeeping in general. "We must get it right", he stressed.
He said the beginning of any mission was a very sensitive time. The steps taken by the Organization sent signals about "our intentions, our effectiveness and, most of all, our resolve". At the same time, the steps taken by the parties to the conflict also offered indications about their willingness to cooperate, and about the level of trust and political will.
"We have entered a period of higher stakes and intensified scrutiny of our actions", he said. "The people of Eritrea and Ethiopia, and many others beyond their borders, are counting on us to help. Together, let us rise to this challenge."
Jozias van Aartsen, President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, speaking in his national capacity, said that to give impetus to the peace process, he had proposed the establishment of a Group of Friends of the Peace Process. To help remedy the deep distrust between the two States, he had proposed five confidence-building measures. Agreement to those measures would give the international community more confidence that the peace process was being taken seriously. The measures would also have a positive effect on the renewal of UNMEE’s mandate, which was dependent on progress in the negotiations, and would begin to dispel mutual distrust.
In a presidential statement on 21 November, the Council emphasized that the deployment of UNMEE should contribute to a positive climate for negotiations and not replace the need for a final and comprehensive settlement. The Council also underlined the important role which confidence-building measures could play in dispelling the remaining distrust between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and encouraged both States to agree on the package of such measures. In particular, it encouraged the parties to agree on the immediate release and voluntary return of interned civilians under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It also encouraged the opening of land and air corridors for UNMEE; an exchange of maps showing mined areas; the prompt release of prisoners of war and their return under the auspices of the ICRC; and a moratorium on expulsions. The Council further underlined the importance of the full compliance of Member States with the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1298 (2000).
On 14 April, the Chairman of the Independent Inquiry into United Nations actions during the 1994 Rwanda genocide, Ingvar Carlsson, presented his report to the Security Council (document S/1999/1257), saying the Council had the power to have prevented at least some of the Rwandan tragedy, and could act to ensure that such a tragedy did not happen again. He described the lack of political will to act in the face of crises as the most dangerous obstacle to United Nations’ work for the maintenance of peace.
The Council's decision to reduce the strength of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) after the genocide started, and despite its knowledge of the atrocities, was the cause of much bitterness in Rwanda, he continued. In future, the Secretariat must tell the Council exactly what was needed, and the Council must ensure that short-term financial constraints did not prevent effective action. The Council must give missions the mandate they needed, mobilize the necessary troops and resources, and accept its responsibility, irrespective of where problems occurred.
The Foreign Minister of Canada, Lloyd Axworthy, told the Council that the best way to honour the victims of the Rwandan tragedy was through a firm commitment never to turn away from civilians victimized by armed conflict again. Such civilians must be protected in both word and deed. The Rwanda tragedy had almost extinguished belief in the United Nations' capacity to fulfil the purposes for which it was founded. No one in the Council Chamber could look back at the genocide and not feel remorse and sadness at the international community's abject failure to help the people of Rwanda.
On 19 January, the Council was briefed on the situation in Burundi by former South African President Nelson Mandela, Facilitator of the peace process in that country. Following Mr. Mandela’s briefing, the Council, unanimously adopting resolution 1286 (2000), reiterated its strong support for the renewed Arusha peace process and called on all parties to the conflict in Burundi to fully cooperate with the new Facilitator -- a successor to the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere -- and to build an internal political partnership in the country.
When he addressed the Council, Mr. Mandela said that the real challenge facing Burundians was that of creating a form of democracy that would provide for an accountable and responsive government and ensure security for the vulnerable. The population of Burundi was being held hostage to violence from all sides in the conflict. As a result, new waves of refugees were fleeing the country, and people were becoming increasingly displaced in their own country.
Prior to Mr. Mandela’s briefing, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that no party could escape its share of responsibility for the escalating violence, or for the lack of progress towards a political solution. He strongly urged all parties to the conflict to cooperate with Mr. Mandela in seeking such a solution.
The Minister for External Affairs and Cooperation of Burundi, Severin Ntahomvukiye, said that there were neither massacres nor a widespread national catastrophe in his country. The Government had taken special measures and had established sites for the protection of people, called regroupment camps. Rejecting statements that those camps were part of a policy of ethnic cleansing, he said that such allegations constituted propaganda and misinformation. All the Government was doing was ensuring security and simply preventing people from being crushed.
On 29 September, the Council was again briefed by Mr. Mandela. He said there could be no justification for continued violent attacks on the civilian population in Burundi when a comprehensive political agreement had been reached and the way opened for all to bring their concerns to the political table. He called on the rebel groups in Burundi to demonstrate the quality of their leadership, announce a ceasefire and halt the slaughter of innocents.
Following President Mandela’s briefing, the Council condemned all attacks on civilian populations in Burundi. In a statement read out by its President, the Council expressed its concern at the continuing level of violence in Burundi, in particular, that perpetrated by rebel groups despite the call to them for direct negotiations with the Burundian Government.
Under-Secretary-General Kieran Prendergast told the Security Council on 29 June that it must "not fall prey to cynicism and despair and give up on Somalia", as he briefed the Council on the political, security and humanitarian situation there. On the contrary, he added, it should give renewed support to the Somali National Peace Conference currently under way in Djibouti.
Following Mr. Prendergast’s briefing, the Council, in a statement read out by its President, strongly condemned attacks by armed groups on innocent civilians and all humanitarian personnel in Somalia. It strongly urged the Somali factions to respect international humanitarian and human rights law, to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of all humanitarian personnel, and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief to all those in need.
Central African Republic
On 10 February, the Council welcomed a decision by the Secretary- General to establish a United Nations Peace-Building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA), for one year, beginning 15 February. In a statement read out by its President, the Council encouraged the authorities of the Central African Republic, which had accepted the proposal, and BONUCA to work closely together.
The Council noted with satisfaction that the principal mission of BONUCA, which will be headed by a representative of the Secretary-General, would be to support the Government’s efforts to consolidate peace and national reconciliation, strengthen democratic institutions, and facilitate the mobilization at the international level of political support and resources for national reconstruction and economic recovery in the country.
On 15 February, the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA), which was established with effect from 15 April 1998 by Security Council resolution 1159 of 27 March 1998, expired. The MINURCA originally replaced an inter-African force, which was founded on 31 January 1997 by the heads of State of Gabon, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali to monitor the implementation of the Bangui Agreements.
On 29 March, the Council took up the situation in Guinea-Bissau, issuing a presidential statement expressing support for the country’s newly elected Government and encouraging the new authorities to develop and implement programmes devised to consolidate peace and national reconciliation. The Council paid tribute to the people of Guinea-Bissau for the success of the transitional process, which had led to the organization of free, fair and transparent elections.
Briefing the Council prior to the issuance of the presidential statement, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast noted the progress being made by the country’s new Government, which was formed on 19 February after January elections, to promote the consolidation of democracy and depoliticize the military. The overall situation was peaceful and the humanitarian situation had noticeably improved, but the economic situation remained worrying, and there were lingering difficulties redefining the relationship between the new Government and the military establishment in the post-electoral period.
The Council again took up the situation on 29 March, with speakers during the day-long meeting emphasizing the need for continued political and financial support for the country at a particularly fragile time in its transition to democracy. The Vice Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau, Faustino Fudut Imbali, described for the Council several positive developments, including the recent election of the President of the Supreme Court, which indicated a true separation of powers now existed in the country. The consequences of the conflict in the country, however, remained catastrophic, with massive destruction of the socio-economic infrastructure and a collapse of essential services – namely, health and education.
Following the meeting, the Council adopted a presidential statement in which it welcomed the return of peace, democracy and constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau and stressed the importance of continued cooperation by all parties towards the consolidation of sustainable peace. Underlining that the primary responsibility for the consolidation of peace lay with all parties and people of Guinea-Bissau, the Council called on the former military junta to subordinate itself fully to civilian institutions and to withdraw from the political process.
Following devastating floods in Mozambique, the Council on 6 March issued a statement to the press extending its deepest sympathy to the people of that country for the tragic loss of lives and extensive material damage. It also expressed strong solidarity with the people and the Government of Mozambique in their resolve to meet the twin challenges of recovery and reconstruction following widespread damage caused by the recent floods, and noted with appreciation the determined efforts of the Government of President Joaquim Chissano in alleviating the suffering of his people.
Despite efforts made this year by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and Morocco's and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro's (POLISARIO Front) commitment to the Settlement Plan, MINURSO's continued presence in the region was deemed necessary. Consequently, the Council met four times to extend its mandate. The current mandate, which was renewed by resolution 1324 (2000) on 30 October, will expire on 28 February of this year.
The last resolution -- 1324 (2000) -- was adopted with the expressed expectation that the parties would attempt to resolve the multiple problems related to implementation of the Settlement Plan, and try to agree upon a mutually acceptable political solution to their dispute. By other terms, the Council asked the Secretary-General to provide an assessment of the situation before the end of the present mandate.
AIDS in Africa
The Security Council met on 10 January in an open debate on the impact of AIDS on peace and security in Africa. The debate marked the first time that the Council has discussed a health issue as a threat to peace and security. The meeting, which lasted for more than seven hours, was addressed by more than 40 speakers.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the impact of AIDS in Africa was no less destructive than that of warfare itself. By overwhelming the continent’s health services, by creating millions of orphans, and by decimating health workers and teachers, AIDS was causing socio-economic crises which, in turn, threatened political stability.
Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States, speaking in his capacity as President of the Council, said the historic meeting not only recognized the real and present danger to world security posed by the AIDS pandemic –- it also began a month-long focus by the Council on the special challenges confronting the African continent. "By the power of example, this meeting demands of us that we see security through a new and wider prism, and, forever after, think about it according to a new, more expansive definition", he said.
James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, said that AIDS was not just a health or development issue, but one affecting the peace and security of people in the continent of Africa, as well as people throughout the world. While life expectancy in Africa had increased by 24 years under African leadership over the last four decades, the development gains seen in the continent were threatened by the AIDS epidemic.
Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), proposed the following actions: support for Africa’s frontline efforts to combat the disease; promotion of inter-country cooperation; and mobilization of more resources. Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), said that the tide was turning against AIDS in countries where strong political leadership, openness about the issues, and broad, cross-cutting responses came together.
A number of speakers also drew attention to the conspiracy of silence about AIDS and called for the disease to be openly confronted. The speaker for Zambia said African political leaders must recognize the disease for what it was, "a threat to our very survival as viable nations".
Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa
On 13 January, the Council was briefed by Sadako Ogata, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on the question of refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa. She said there was no established mechanism for assistance to or protection of internally displaced persons. Donor governments were very reluctant to allocate resources for programmes in fragile, insecure areas. For example, her Office’s activities in Angola had had to be drastically curtailed because of insecurity and lack of funds.
Following Mrs. Ogata’s briefing, the Council, in a statement read out by its President, noted with concern the shortfall in funding for programmes for refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa. It called on the international community to provide such programmes with the necessary financial resources, taking into account the substantial needs in the continent.
‘Month of Africa’
During January -- the "month of Africa" -- the Council held separate meetings on a number of issues related to Africa. On 31 January, the Council met to take stock of what had been achieved during the month. Richard Holbrooke, the representative of the United States, who held the Council presidency for January, said one of the goals of "the month of Africa" was to highlight pertinent issues and refute the position that Africa did not matter -- that its problems were secondary to those in other parts of the world.
He said it was necessary to widen the paradigm of security to include such fundamental problems as those of AIDS and refugees among the issues threatening international peace. He also addressed the revitalization of the role of the United States in the United Nations, stating that his country was beginning the century with a renewed belief in the Organization.
Addressing the Council during the meeting, the President of Zambia, Frederick J.T. Chiluba, said that among the major achievements of the month were the recommitment by the parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their pledge to guarantee the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel. He appealed to the Council to meet the parties halfway, by speeding the deployment of the recommended military personnel and the subsequent peacekeeping mission.
The solutions to Africa's problems could only be found in the continent itself, not in the Council Chamber, Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said. The international community's commitment was worth nothing unless it matched deeds to words, and unless it was strong and sustained. No amount of international support could help Africa unless its leaders showed statesmanship and real political will.
Asia and Pacific
The Council met four times in 2000 to take up the situation in Iraq. On 24 March, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that the humanitarian situation in Iraq posed a serious moral dilemma for the United Nations, which was in danger of losing the argument about who was responsible for the situation: President Saddam Hussein or the United Nations. Even if the humanitarian assistance programme known as the "oil-for-food" programme was implemented perfectly, its efforts might still prove insufficient to satisfy the population’s needs.
The Russian Federation's representative said a serious improvement in the humanitarian and socio-economic situation was impossible under the sanctions regime. The solution was to suspend sanctions in conjunction with a resumption of disarmament monitoring.
The United States representative insisted that sanctions were essential as long as there were unanswered questions about Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. Its weapons-of-mass-destruction capability would have to be monitored for some time to come. But the oil-for-food programme would never supplant the responsibilities of the Government of Iraq to provide for the needs of its people.
Less than a week later, on 31 March, the Council, unanimously adopted resolution 1293(2000), which increased the amount of money that Iraq could use to purchase oil spare parts and equipment to $600 million under the "oil-for-food".
Later, the Council twice extended the oil-for-food programme's mandate for 180-day periods, acting most recently on 5 December, when it unanimously adopted resolution 1330 (2000). In this last resolution, the Secretary-General was asked to provide a comprehensive report on the resolution's implementation 90 days after its entry into force, which should include observations on whether Iraq has ensured the equitable distribution of medicine, health supplies, foodstuffs, and materials and supplies for essential civilian needs.
The Council also directed the Iraq Sanctions Committee to approve lists of basic electricity and housing supplies consistent with the priority given to the most vulnerable groups in Iraq, and that supplies of those items need not be submitted for approval to that Committee.
On 19 December, the Security Council adopted resolution 1333 (2000), which demanded that Afghanistan's Taliban authorities act swiftly to close all camps where terrorists are trained in the territory under their control and called for confirmation of such closures by the United Nations. The text was adopted by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (China and Malaysia). It also demanded the Taliban cease providing sanctuary and training for terrorists, and that the Taliban turn over alleged terrorist, Usama bin Laden, to appropriate authorities. By other terms, the Council enacted a series of embargoes on provision of goods and assistance to territory under Taliban control.
Earlier in the year, on 7 April, the Council was briefed on the situation in Afghanistan by John Renninger, Officer-in-Charge of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Department of Political Affairs. Mr. Renninger told the Council that it was not possible to be optimistic about an early ceasefire between the warring factions in Afghanistan.
Following that briefing, in a presidential statement, the Council expressed concern at the continued Afghan conflict, which it called a serious and growing threat to regional and international peace and security. It strongly condemned the Taliban for launching new offensives and expressed concern at reported preparations for renewed large-scale fighting. The Council also condemned the continuing grave human rights violations of women and girls in the country.
The Council's involvement with Tajikistan this year was capped the end of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT). On the expiration of its mandate on 15 May, the mission concluded. The Council met twice prior to the mandate's expiration, both times issuing presidential statements welcoming the success achieved in the country's peace process.
On 21 November, following a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hédi Annabi, the Council welcomed decisive progress in the implementation of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan achieved due to sequential and persistent efforts of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the leadership of the Commission on National Reconciliation.
On 12 May, the Council acknowledged the significant achievement of the Tajik parties, which had managed to overcome many obstacles and put their country on the path to peace, national reconciliation and democracy. The Council emphasized that the continued support of the international community in the post-conflict phase would be crucial in allowing Tajikistan to sustain and build on the achievements of the peace process, and in helping it to lay a durable foundation for a better life for its people.
On 16 November, the Council issued a presidential statement expressing its strong support for a peace agreement concluded on 15 October for the cessation of the hostilities between two groups -- the Malaita Eagle Force and the Isatabu Freedom Movement -- in the Solomon Islands.
The Council also expressed support for the restoration of peace and ethnic harmony in the Solomon Islands, and encouraged all parties to cooperate in promoting reconciliation, so that the objectives of the Townsville Peace Agreement could be met.
Papua New Guinea
Following a closed briefing by Assistant-Secretary-General Danilo Türk on political developments regarding Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, the Council issued a statement to the press on 29 March welcoming the signing of the Loloata Understanding by the Papua New Guinea Government and Bougainvillean leaders. According to the statement, the Council supported a role for the United Nations in ongoing peace talks, as acknowledged in the Understanding, and reiterated its commitment to support fully the Bougainville peace process.
Despite setbacks during 2000, including continued militia-led violence, Sergio Vieira de Mello, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Transitional Administrator for East Timor, was able to report to the Council on 28 November that the security situation was stable and that the territory was well advanced on the transition to independence.
Speaking at the last of the Council's nine open briefings this year on the territory, he said the availability of resources was a key constraint. The extent of East Timor’s destruction meant that reconstruction would remain an urgent need well beyond independence.
He expressed concern about the continued existence and impunity of violent militia, but said there had been progress in the repatriation of refugees and reconciliation. However, a United Nations peacekeeping presence would be required in some form until 2003.
Responding to various developments in the territory over the course of the year, the Council issued two presidential statements and adopted one resolution.
On 3 August, in a presidential statement, it called on Indonesia to restore law and order in refugee camps in West Timor and to provide free access for humanitarian personnel to those camps. It also called on Indonesia to separate the former military personnel, police and civil servants from the refugees, and to arrest extremists attempting to sabotage the resettlement of refugees.
Following the brutal murder on 6 September of three United Nations humanitarian staff by a militia-led mob in West Timor, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1319 (2000). The resolution insisted Indonesia immediately disarm and disband the militia, restore law and order in West Timor, and ensure the safety and security of refugees and humanitarian workers. Following the resolution's adoption, the Council President announced that a Council mission would be dispatched to Indonesia and East Timor to discuss implementation of the resolution.
In a statement read out by its President on 6 December, a week after Mr. Vieira de Mello's final briefing of the year, the Council called for a timetable and mechanisms for a constitution and elections for East Timor.
It also stressed that urgent action was needed to resolve the problem of the refugees in West Timor. While acknowledging efforts by the Indonesian Government so far, the Council called for further steps, including decisive action to disarm and disband militias and end their activities, action to allow international relief agencies to return to West Timor, and a credible internationally observed registration of refugees. The Council also underlined the need to bring to justice those responsible for the violent attacks in East and West Timor against United Nations personnel.
On 31 January, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) until 31 July by unanimously adopting resolution 1288 (2000). It also condemned acts of violence against the Force and urged the parties to put an end to them.
A related presidential statement has the Council expressed concern over continuing violence in southern Lebanon and regret the loss of civilian and UNIFIL lives, urging all parties to exercise restraint.
On 20 April, a presidential statement welcomed Israel's notification of its intention to withdraw from Lebanon in full accordance with Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). It said that cooperation by all concerned would be needed to avoid a deterioration of the situation and welcomed the Secretary-General's decision to send his Special Envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, to the region.
[Resolution 425 (1978) called on Israel to cease its military action against Lebanon and withdraw its forces. The resolution also sets out the role UNIFIL will play -- to confirm the Israeli withdrawal, restore international peace and security, and assist the Lebanese Government to establish effective authority in the area. Resolution 426 (1978) actually establishes UNIFIL.]
On 23 May, in another presidential statement the Council endorsed the Secretary-General's report, in which he stated his intention to take all necessary measures to enable UNIFIL to confirm that a complete Israeli withdrawal had taken place in compliance with resolution 425 and to take steps to deal with all possible eventualities. The Council also called on all concerned to exercise the utmost restraint and to cooperate with UNIFIL.
On 18 June, in yet another presidential statement, the Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s conclusion that, as of 16 June, Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon. However, it expressed serious concern over border violations since 16 June, and called on the parties to respect the United Nations-identified line. It noted that the United Nations could not assume the Lebanese Government's law and order functions, and called on Lebanon to deploy its armed forces into the territory vacated by Israel as soon as possible, with UNIFIL assistance. It also stressed that the redeployment of UNIFIL should be coordinated with the Lebanese Government.
On 27 July, the Council extended the mandate of UNIFIL for a further six months, until 31 January 2001, by unanimously adopting resolution 1310 (2000). The resolution called on the Lebanese Government to ensure its effective authority in the south, and to proceed with significant deployment of its armed forces as soon as possible.
The mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was extended twice in 2000, on 31 May, by resolution 1300 (2000), until 30 November, and on 27 November, by resolution 1328 (2000), until 31 May 2001.
In a residential statement related to the first extension, the Council noted that, despite quiet in the Israeli-Syrian sector, the situation continued to be potentially dangerous, and would remain so until a comprehensive Middle East settlement was achieved.
Situation in Middle East
From 3 to 5 October, after an outbreak of violence that followed a visit by Israel's Likud Party leader, Ariel Sharon, to Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 28 September, the Council met three times to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine. It heard from over 40 speakers.
During the debate, many speakers suggested that the Council must act to act to ensure it fulfilled it responsibilities, in particular to the Palestinian people, and to ensure that its previous resolutions were acted upon. Speakers were highly critical of the level of force used by the Israeli Government in response to Palestinian protests.
Israel's representative told the Council said it was regrettable that at such a sensitive time in the Middle East peace process, the Palestinians had once again decided to resort to violence for political gain.
The Permanent Observer for Palestine said that what had happened could only be understood as Israel trying to break the will of Palestinians, and the Council must end Israel's brutal campaign and its violations of international law.
Following that open debate, the Council met on 7 October and adopted resolution 1322 (2000) by 14 votes in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (United States). The resolution deplored the provocation of 28 September, and the subsequent violence which had resulted in more than 80 Palestinian deaths. It condemned all acts of violence, especially excessive use of force against Palestinians. It also stressed the importance of a mechanism for an objective inquiry into events since 28 September, to prevent their repetition.
On 22 November, during an emergency Council meeting on the Middle East, the Observer for Palestine called for specific measures to end Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, while Israel's representative said that Palestinian leaders continued to call for an escalation of the current conflict.
The Non-Aligned Movement called on the Council to seriously consider immediate deployment of a protection force in the region. The United States said any outside observer force would require the agreement of the parties to the conflict. The Council should not impose something that was opposed by one side.
On 18 December, the Council met to consider a draft resolution to establish a United Nations force of military and police observers in the occupied Palestinian territories, but the draft did not receive the necessary nine-vote majority (8 in favour to none against, with 7 abstentions).
A number of speakers said that while an observer force might, at some stage, be useful, it was not timely given current peace negotiations. Others argued that the Council should not wait for bilateral peace efforts to run their course and that establishing an observer force could substantially contribute to stability.
The Permanent Observer for Palestine said the Council had once again assured Palestinians they could not rely on the Council for justice.
The Council continued to closely monitor the situation in Kosovo in 2000, meeting nine times to examine the situation there. On 11 May, at the Council's first open meeting of the year on Kosovo, the head of the recently returned Council mission to the province said the international community had invested heavily in Kosovo and that the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) could not afford to fail. Normalcy was beginning to return to Kosovo, the security situation remained a major challenge to UNMIK and KFOR -- the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led international force.
Briefing the Council on 9 June, the Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of UNMIK, Bernard Kouchner, told the Security Council that UNMIK would need years to complete its job, and help build a society based on tolerance and democracy. After ethnic cleansing, sanctions and bombing, there had been nothing left of Kosovo. The situation was still precarious for non-Albanian people and additional steps must be taken to protect minorities. Protection of returning refugees was still a major objective.
On 13 July, the Council was briefed by the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hédi Annabi, who described continuing violence against ethnic minorities, a persistent boycott of registration for municipal elections, and lack of full participation in local administrative structures.
When he again briefed the Council, on 24 August, Mr. Annabi said that following the completion of registration for municipal elections, the focus was shifting to the elections, due on 28 October. Of concern in the pre-election period was the rise in politically associated violence. The Mission was, therefore, readjusting police priorities to face that challenge.
The representative of the Russian Federation said the international presence in Kosovo had been unable to end armed provocation, and that pushing ahead with municipal elections was unwise. He said that the Secretary-General's Special Representative would be held responsible for the consequences of those elections, which were preparing the ground for Kosovo’s separation from Yugoslavia.
The Council was briefed again by Mr. Kouchner on 27 September. At a 16 November Council briefing, he said the municipal elections of 28 October had been recognized as a technical success and a victory for Kosovo’s burgeoning democracy. However, the situation in the province had not radically changed with the coming of democracy in Belgrade [Mr. Kouchner was referring to the elections which saw Vojislav Kostunica elected as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia]. Kosovo remained a society in crisis. Kosovo Albanians welcomed the new regime in Belgrade, but still desired independence.
Responding to the briefing, the representative of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia told the Council that he was ready and willing to work towards achieving substantial autonomy for Kosovo, but any other solution would have consequences for the region as a whole.
Events prompted the Council to issue a presidential statement on 22 November calling for an immediate and full investigation to bring to justice the perpetrators of two attacks that had taken place in Kosovo and south Serbia. The Council strongly condemned the attacks.
The year's last open briefing on Kosovo was delivered on 19 December by Mr. Annabi. He said the municipal elections, with more than 80 per cent participation, was a most important event in the province. Political attacks had returned to the levels of mid-summer, although KFOR and UNMIK continued to address these. He warned that thousands of families were at risk of over-exposure during the winter if coal and firewood were not made available.
Following Mr. Annabi's briefing, the Yugoslav Foreign Minister said his Government had drawn the Council’s attention to the serious situation in southern Serbia, caused by ethnic Albanian extremists, and had expected a response.
Many speakers praised the work of Mr. Kouchner, who was scheduled to relinquish his duties in the early part of 2001. However, the Russian Federation representative said that his replacement, Hans Haekkerup, should learn a lesson from the sad past of his predecessor. He added that the change in leadership offered an opportunity to better shape the Mission's future.
In a separate meeting held immediately following the open briefing, the Council made a presidential statement strongly condemning violent action by ethnic Albanian extremist groups in southern Serbia and called for an immediate cessation of violence in the area. It called for the immediate withdrawal from the area of all non-residents engaged in extremist activities.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Council met nine times on Bosnia and Herzegovina this year, including seven open briefings. On 21 June 2000, it extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) for 12 months, until 21 June 2001.
At the final briefing of the year on Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 12 December, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of UNMIBH, Jacques Paul Klein, outlined three reasons for seizing what he called an historic opportunity to bring to a close a tragic decade in the Balkan region. These were the democratic changes in Croatia and Yugoslavia, the commitment by the European Union to South-East European integration, and that progress had been achieved, albeit slowly, in building infrastructure of for the State to function.
The real disappointment, he added, was that, after five years, a sizeable proportion of the population continued to support those who had led them into the war, but who could not lead them into Europe.
Following his briefing, the representative of the Russian Federation said that the Special Representative's approach set a good example for other special representatives. However, he said it was time to review the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in light of developments in the region.
A United States legislator, Joseph Biden, also addressed that meeting, stating that the lesson of UNMIBH was the value of clear, credible and achievable mandates.
The year saw the continued failure to achieve a comprehensive political settlement regarding the political status of Abkhazia within the State of Georgia. In that light, the Council twice extended the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), most recently until 31 January of this year.
In a statement read by its President on 14 November, the Council called on the parties, particularly the Abkhaz side, to undertake immediate efforts to move beyond the impasse and urged them to spare no efforts to achieve substantive progress without further delay. The Council also called on the parties to agree on and to take concrete steps towards implementing effective measures to guarantee the security of those refugees and internally displaced persons who exercised their unconditional right to return to their homes.
Noting that the Government of Cyprus had agreed that in view of the prevailing conditions on the island the continued presence of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was necessary, the Council twice -- on 14 June and 13 December -- extended the Force's mandate for further six-month periods. The current mandate will expire on 15 June 2001. Efforts continue under the Secretary-General's auspices to support talks aimed at a final solution to the problems in that country.
On 13 July, five years after the fall of Srebrenica, the Council paid tribute to the victims of that massacre. It noted that in one week, in a United Nations-designated safe area, thousands of innocent civilians were murdered, and thousands were forcibly relocated. The Council recalled its resolve to ensure that justice was carried out fully through the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, so that such crimes were not repeated in the future.
At a subsequent meeting, on 26 October, Wolfgang Petritsch, High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement on Bosnia and Herzegovina, informed Council members of his intention to make available a plot of land in Srebrenica to bury the victims of the massacre, and to erect a memorial to them.
Briefings on Balkans
The Council heard two briefings this year on the situation in the Balkans as a whole, on 28 February and 23 June. Both briefings -- delivered by Carl Bildt, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Balkans -- were held prior to the presidential elections in Serbia that led to Mr. Kostunica's election and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's admission as a Member of the United Nations.
At the second of the briefings, Mr. Bildt said that paving the way for integration of the Balkans into Europe would be a vital means of achieving long-term stability there. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's future was the most pressing regional issue, as there could be no regional stability without stability in that country. The continued refusal of key people there to accept indictments of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was dangerous, primarily for the Federal Republic, but also for the region as a whole.
In an unprecedented address to the Council at that meeting, Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the European Union Council and High Representative for the Union Common Foreign and Security Policy, said that, although there was no guarantee that there would be no future crisis in the Balkans, it would undoubtedly be overcome.
United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka
The Council met twice in 2000 to extend the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Prevlaka (UNMOP), most recently on 13 July when it authorized the Mission to continue monitoring the demilitarization of the peninsula for a further six months, until 15 January 2001, by resolution 1307 (2000). By other terms of that resolution, the Council called on the parties to end violations of the United Nations designated zone, and to take steps to reduce tension and improve safety and security in the area. They were also to ensure both the safety of observers and their full and unrestricted freedom of movement.
On 15 March, the Council issued a presidential statement on the subject of Haiti. That text commended the United Nations representative and missions in Haiti for assisting the Government in supporting the professionalization of the Haitian National Police, consolidating Haiti's system of justice and other national institutions, and promoting human rights.
The Council also expressed gratitude to the countries that had contributed to the success of the missions in Haiti. It stressed that timely, free and fair elections were crucial to democracy and all aspects of Haiti's development, and recognized that significant international assistance was indispensable for the sustainable development of that country.
Open Briefings, Debates, Miscellaneous
Women and Peacekeeping
On 24 and 25 October, the Council held a two-day open meeting to consider the issue of women, peace and security. During the discussion, an overwhelming number of speakers stressed the need to include women in every aspect of peace-building initiatives, specifically calling for their involvement in decision-making processes.
While some emphasized that involvement should be at local, national, regional and international levels, others underscored the importance of appointing more women as special representatives and envoys of the Organization. The Secretary-General was called on to address that particular imbalance.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the Security Council, in its statement on the United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace on 8 March, had declared that maintaining and promoting peace and security required women’s equal participation in decision-making. "I am here today to ask you to do everything in your power to translate that statement into action", he said.
The Council returned to the subject on 31 October, this time, through unanimously adopting resolution 1325 (2000), which called on all actors involved in negotiating and implementing peace agreements to adopt a gender perspective that took into account the special needs of women and girls during repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction.
Such a gender perspective would include measures that supported women's peace initiatives and indigenous processes for conflict resolution. They should involve women in all the implementation mechanisms of peace agreements, and ensure the human rights of women and girls, particularly those related to constitutions, electoral systems, police and judiciaries.
Children and Armed Conflict
Speaking at a 26 July debate on the subject of children and armed conflict, Olara Otunnu, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for the issue, said the international community must do a lot more to provide education to war-affected children and to meet the special needs of the girls in the midst of, and aftermath of, conflict. Over the past two years, a number of concrete commitments had been made concerning the protection of children, he said. The challenge now was to ensure adherence.
The Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Carol Bellamy, told the Council that many of the values, principles and concrete commitments enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child remained unfulfilled, as did those of Security Council resolution 1261 (1999).
Fulfilling those obligations involved advocating child rights daily, with government officials, insurgents, commanders, civil society representatives, and children and youth themselves, she said. It also meant Council members must actively turn words into deeds. Those who violated children’s rights or colluded in such violations must be made to feel the repugnance of civilized people everywhere.
Following that meeting, on 11 August the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1314 (2000) on children and armed conflict. The resolution expressed grave concern at the links between the illicit trade in natural resources and armed conflict, as well as links between illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons and armed conflict, which could prolong armed conflict and intensify its impact on children.
By other terms, the resolution underlined the importance of giving consideration to the special needs and vulnerabilities of girls affected by armed conflict. The Council urged that their human rights, protection and welfare be incorporated in the development of policies and programmes, including those for prevention, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
On 17 July, the Security Council adopted its first-ever resolution on a health issue -- on HIV/AIDS. Resolution 1308 (2000) urged Member States to consider voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and counselling for troops to be deployed in peacekeeping operations. It also expressed concern at the potentially damaging impact of HIV/AIDS on the health of international peacekeeping personnel, including support personnel.
The resolution asked the Secretary-General to take steps to provide training for peacekeeping personnel on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and to continue development of pre-deployment orientation and ongoing training on those questions.
The Council resolution recognized efforts by Member States that have acknowledged the problem of HIV/AIDS and have developed national programmes. It encouraged others that had not already done so to develop, in cooperation with the international community and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), effective long-term strategies for HIV/AIDS education, prevention, voluntary and confidential testing and counselling.
Welcoming the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations -- the "Brahimi Report" -- and the report of the Secretary-General on its implementation, the Security Council, by unanimously adopting resolution 1327 (2000) on 13 November, resolved to give peacekeeping operations clear, credible and achievable mandates.
The wide-ranging, seven-part resolution recognized the critical importance of peacekeeping operations having, where necessary, a credible deterrent capability. Further, it urged prospective parties to peace agreements to cooperate fully with the United Nations from an early stage in negotiations.
The Council asked the Secretariat to continue to provide it with comprehensive political briefings on relevant issues, and also asked for regular military briefings. Those briefings should report on key military factors, such as the chain of command and force structure of a mission, as well as the cohesion of the force, its training and equipment and its risk assessment and rules of engagement. Comprehensive humanitarian briefings were also sought on States in which peacekeeping operations were ongoing.
The Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, established by the Secretary-General in March 2000 and chaired by Lakhdar Brahimi of Algeria, had issued its report on 21 August, and the Council had subsequently established a working group to review the report’s recommendations on 3 October.
The recommendations of the Panel included: the extensive restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations; a new information and strategic analysis unit to service all United Nations departments concerned with peace and security; an integrated task force at Headquarters to plan and support each peacekeeping mission from its inception; and more systematic use of information technology.
International Criminal Tribunals
The Council met four times during the year to take up issues related to the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. On 2 June, the Council was briefed by Carla Del Ponte, the Prosecutor for both Tribunals. On 20 June, the President of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Claude Jorda, addressed the Council. The Council again took up the Tribunals on 21 November, when, in addition to hearing from Ms. Del Ponte and Judge Jorda, it was also addressed by Navanethem Pillay, President of the Rwanda Tribunal.
On 30 November, it adopted resolution 1329 (2000), by which it established a pool of ad litem judges for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and enlarged the membership of the Appeals Chambers for both Tribunals. That resolution also decided that two additional judges should be elected for the Rwanda Tribunal, and that, once elected, those judges should serve until the terms of office of existing judges expired.
Conflict prevention must be made the cornerstone of collective security in the twenty-first century, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Security Council on 20 July, as the Council debated the prevention of armed conflicts.
That would not be achieved by grand gestures or by short-term thinking, but required a change of deeply ingrained attitudes, the Secretary-General explained. Leaders must recognize the need for preventive action, sometimes even before signs of crisis were evident. They would also have to acknowledge that the international community could play a constructive role in internal situation, which could strengthen sovereignty rather than weaken it. States would, in turn, have to give the institutions that existed for prevention the backing they so urgently needed.
During the day-long debate, at which 30 statements were heard, speakers urged a new culture of prevention and of peace. Attention must be paid, they stressed, to healthy and balanced economic and social development.
Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-combatants
On 23 March, the Council heard 31 speakers in an open debate on the maintenance of peace and security and post-conflict peace-building. During the meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the Council that the process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) was at the heart of peacekeeping efforts, not only in bringing stability to conflict areas, but in addressing their root causes. He urged the Council to view that process as one part of the multi-faceted approach necessary for the success of peacekeeping in the twenty-first century.
In a presidential statement issued at the debate's conclusion, the Council stressed that the success of the DDR processes required, as a precondition, the political commitment of the parties involved. The Council underscored the importance of disarming, demobilizing and reintegrating child soldiers, as well as taking into account the problems faced by war-affected children in mission areas. It welcomed the Secretary-General's initiative to include, within all peacekeeping operations, personnel with appropriate training in international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law.
'Exit Strategies' for Peacekeeping Operations
The Council met on 15 November to consider the issue of the ending of peacekeeping missions and the transitions that must follow, with 34 speakers addressing the theme "No Exit without Strategy". A large number of speakers during the discussion stressed the importance of ensuring a smooth transition from the conflict phase to the post-conflict peace-building phase.
Then Council President, Peter van Walsum (Netherlands), said that there could never be an absolute guarantee that a peace operation, once begun, could be pursued until the conditions were fulfilled for an orderly transition to post-conflict peace-building. The Council must study how, when a peace melted away, the United Nations could limit damage caused by termination of its peace operation.
Italy’s representative said that, too often, an exit strategy had amounted to little more than an escape route. A functional connection between conflict-prevention and possible action if a crisis occurred must be built.
Thailand's representative asked whether it was necessary for the Organization to intervene in every conflict situation. Regional organizations could deal with some conflicts, and the United Nations could also propose or approve "coalitions of the willing" for others.
Humanitarian Aspects of Issues before Council
According to a Council presidential statement of 9 March, inadequate financial support could undermine efforts to address human suffering. The Council, therefore, called for adequate funding for humanitarian activities, and noted the importance of the early dispersal of funds from international financial institutions.
While reaffirming its commitment to the principles of political independence, sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States, the Council also stressed the importance of providing assistance to all those in need, with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups affected by armed conflict.
The Council's statement followed a day-long debate on the subject. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, one of 29 speakers, told the Council that far too many peace agreements collapsed before they were implemented, and far too many States lapsed back into conflict, in part because there were not enough resources to foster post-conflict recovery and stability. The Council must find ways to avoid that tragic and wasteful pattern of events.
The representative of India said Security Council involvement in humanitarian intervention was a recipe for chaos and lawlessness. It had no role under humanitarian or human rights treaty law, and its intervention may be illegal under the current international legal environment. Humanitarian assistance should be neutral, and offered only when requested by States.
The United States' representative raised the issue of uneven and inadequate protection afforded to internally displaced persons. Assistance must be delivered to those who were homeless and in need, regardless of whether or not international borders had been crossed. The United Nations should also consider ways to ensure the security and neutrality of refugee camps, he added.
Violence against Humanitarian Personnel
On 9 February, 31 speakers, including Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette, and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Catherine Bertini, addressed the Council on the subject of violence against United Nations and associated personnel and humanitarian workers. In a presidential statement that followed the debate, the Council urged States to act promptly and effectively in bringing to justice all those responsible for such violence. The statement also condemned the violence to which United Nations personnel and humanitarian workers had been subjected.
Protection of Civilians in Conflict
On 19 April, the Council met to discuss protection of civilians in conflict. Following a debate in which many speakers, the Secretary-General among them, stressed the urgent need to address the issue, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1296 (2000). The resolution noted that deliberate attacks on civilian populations and other protected persons, as well as with widespread violations of international humanitarian law and of human rights in conflict situations, might constitute threats to international peace and security. By other terms of the resolution, the Council affirmed its willingness to consider the establishment, in appropriate circumstances, of preventive missions.
States must realize that cooperation was indispensable if they were to succeed in countering terrorism, Hans Corell, the United Nations Legal Counsel, told the Security Council on 6 December, as he briefed it on international efforts to deal with terrorism.
Following Mr. Corell's statement, several speakers stressed the importance of elaborating a broad-based comprehensive convention on the suppression of international terrorism. Others supported the emergence of regional agreements to deal with the problem of terrorism in their area.
At the meeting's conclusion, a Council presidential statement condemned all acts of terrorism, irrespective of motive. It welcomed the efforts of the General Assembly and others in combating international terrorism. It also called upon States to fully and expeditiously implement the provisions of its resolution 1269 (1999). That text unequivocally condemned all acts of terrorism and called upon all States to cooperate in preventing and suppressing such acts.
United Nations Sanctions
In a special debate on United Nations sanctions regimes, held on 17 April, many speakers called for their refinement and improvements in their effectiveness. Representatives welcomed Council members' decision to establish guidelines for a working group to improve the effectiveness of United Nations sanctions. They urged that sanctions regimes be clearly defined and focused, and carefully tailored to the particular situation in which they were to be applied. Some also urged the streamlining of procedures for approving humanitarian exemptions, and a study of the negative collateral effects of sanctions on third States before they were applied.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast, briefing the Council earlier on the subject, suggested Council resolutions establishing sanctions could specify criteria for their lifting or suspending.
Millennium Summit Meeting
On 7 September, as part of the United Nations Millennium Summit, the Security Council met in a high-level session, at the level of heads of State and government. The Council leaders adopted a declaration which reaffirmed their determination to give equal priority to the maintenance of international peace and security in every region of the world. The declaration committed them to ensuring an effective role for the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa. At the meeting’s conclusion, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1318 (2000), to which the declaration was attached. Heads of State or government of the United States, Argentina, China, France, Namibia, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Canada, Jamaica, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Mali addressed the Council, as did Malaysia's Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Final Briefing by Outgoing High Commissioner for Refugees
In her final briefing to the Security Council, on 10 November, Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, stressed that in most parts of the world where her agency and its partners had to operate, mechanisms to address security problems were either slow-moving, unwieldy and not adapted to the new types of conflicts, or did not exist.
The staff of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were deployed unarmed to dangerous and isolated duty stations, where they were increasingly targeted, attacked and brutally killed. The gap in time between the beginning of humanitarian activities and the start of peace operations continued to widen. And while population movements had become the cause and conduit of grave insecurity and instability, little was done to address the problem.
Mrs. Ogata ended nearly 10 years as High Commissioner on 31 December. Ruud Lubbers, former Dutch Prime Minister, succeeded Mrs. Ogata.
Election to International Court of Justice
Meeting independently but concurrently with the General Assembly, the Security Council, on 2 March, elected Thomas Buergenthal (United States) as a member of the International Court of Justice, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Stephen Schwebel (United States). Mr. Buergenthal will serve for the remainder of his predecessor’s term - until 5 February 2006.
The Security Council this year recommended to the General Assembly that two States - Tuvalu, on 17 February, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, on 31 October -- be admitted as Members of the United Nations. Both candidacies were subsequently approved for membership by the General Assembly, which makes the final decision in such cases.
Adoption of Fifty-fifth Annual Report
On 31 August, the Council adopted its fifty-fifth annual report to the General Assembly, which covered the period 16 June 1999 to 15 June 2000.
During the year under review, the Council held 144 formal meetings, adopted 57 resolutions and issued 38 statements through its Presidents. In addition, Council members held 194 consultations of the whole, totalling some 394 hours. The Council considered over 85 reports of the Secretary-General and reviewed and processed more than 1,165 documents and communications from States and regional and other intergovernmental organizations.
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