Syria + 5 more

Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for January

The Central African Republic would figure prominently on the Security Council’s agenda in January, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein (Jordan), that body’s President for January, said at a Headquarters press conference today.

He said a briefing and consultations on the future of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) were planned, and a resolution extending its mandate was expected to be adopted later in the month. The mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was also expected to be extended, as was that of the Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of Congo and its associated Group of Experts.

Prince Zeid said informal consultations on Syria’s chemical weapons were planned for 8 January. The Council would hold consultations on Sudan and South Sudan, as well as on the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), the following day. A general debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, would be held on 20 January, with Jordan’s Foreign Minister presiding, he added, noting that the Secretary-General was also expected to deliver a briefing.

The Council President went on to say that briefings were also scheduled throughout the month on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) on 13 January, United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) on 16 January, African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on 23 January, United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) on 27 January, and the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) on 28 January. Informal consultations on the Regional Centre for Preventative Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA) would be held on 21 January, with consultations scheduled on Yemen the following day.

He said the month would close out with an open debate entitled “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: War, its lessons, and the search for a permanent peace”. The discussion would tackle post-conflict reconciliation, particularly in ethnic conflicts, or wars resulting from extreme nationalism. The role of the United Nations in seeking permanent peace would be a key discussion point during that debate.

Asked what he hoped to accomplish during his country’s two-year term on the Council, he said the first objective would be to defend the interests of the Arab Group as well as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Hopefully Jordan’s position on the Council would lead to a strengthening of United Nations peacekeeping activities, while deepening the Council’s dialogue with the Peacebuilding Commission.

Questioned about the conflict in Syria, he said: “First, we strongly condemn the killing of civilians wherever they may be and the perpetrators of such crimes must be brought before justice.” He continued: “No less than 20 million Syrians require assistance. They need to be saved from the consequences of this horrible war and they need to be listened to.”

Responding to question on Syria, he said the impact of the refugee crisis was also of critical concern to his own and other neighbouring countries. Jordan had invited members of the Security Council to visit a refugee camp last April, but had not received a response, he said, adding that when the opportunity presented itself, he would again raise the issue.

Describing the planned thematic discussion on the search for a permanent peace, he said: “The UN has proven itself capable, over time, of stopping the killing, stopping the fighting — not always, but they know generally how to put together a ceasefire package.” The Organization also knew, generally, the sequence of steps to end a conflict. “What the UN doesn’t really know how to do very well is how to end a conflict permanently, and that is the theme of the discussion that we are proposing.”

For information media • not an official record