By Fred Eckhard
Spokesman for the Secretary-General
UN Headquarters, New York
The Security Council began its work today with a briefing on Somalia by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Kieran Prendergast. He discussed recent peace efforts on Somalia, including the initiative of the Government of Djibouti, as well as on the humanitarian situation there.
After that briefing, the Council went into informal consultations on Guinea-Bissau, on which they were briefed by Samuel Nana-Sinkam, Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Peace-Building Support Office in Guinea-Bissau. The Peace-Building Support Office helped organize two rounds of elections in Guinea-Bissau, culminating in a run-off vote on 16 January. The results of the voting led to the inauguration last week of newly-elected President Kumba Yala, marking the restoration of multi-party democracy in the country.
Tuesday, the Council made further progress in narrowing differences over a draft resolution on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Council members are scheduled to meet this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in informal consultations to discuss the proposed expansion of the UN Mission there to more than 5,500 military personnel. A vote on the resolution is not expected until Thursday at the earliest, and a background briefing by a senior Secretariat official is planned for the day of the vote.