“THE AFRICAN DIMENSION IN THE WORK OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL"
would like to thank all delegations that have taken part in this wrap-up session
on the work of the Security Council for the month of March 2005.
My delegation believes that exercises of this nature, which seek to
enhance interaction and promote constructive debate between Members and
non-Members of the Council, should be encouraged and embraced as a regular
the one hand, the Council highly benefits from this exchange of views. On the
other, the wide membership is exposed to a variety of opinions, concepts and
stances that influence and shape the decisions of the Security Council.
It is therefore an exercise of exchange of views, transparency and
reason why the delegation of Brazil has chosen this subject, ‘The African
Dimension in the work of the Security Council’, is quite clear.
African issues currently add up to more than 60% of the agenda of the
Council. While until 1997 most UN operations were deployed in Europe and the
Middle East, we have been witnessing since 1998 a steady increase of
peace-making, peacekeeping and peace-building efforts in Africa.
work of the Council during the month of March, highly concentrated on African
issues, is not an exception to this trend.
In no other matter, can the work of the Council as a whole be better
assessed or evaluated.
second place, we chose this subject for our historical and cultural ties with
the nations of the African continent, which make us particularly sensitive to
their aspirations and concerns about living in peace, prosperity and security.
Brazil has the second largest population of African descendants in the
world and the largest outside Africa.
told – both
consultations and formal meetings – the Council held some 25 sessions on
African issues during the month of March – twenty-five meetings in 24 working
days. These figures give us an idea of the time, attention and resources the
Council devotes to Africa and reflect the fundamental interest of the United
Nations, as a universal Organization, in tackling conflict situations in that
this strong trend may also be interpreted as the plain result of the Council not
being effective enough in early identification of crises and in conflict
has been argued that the Council has to evolve from a logic of resolution to one
of prevention of conflicts.
mixed picture offered by the results of the Security Council engagement in
Africa should lead us to further reflection. Side by side, there are some
success stories and there are textbook cases of re-emergence of conflict. While
the Council can benefit from past experience, it must accept that the
international order is in a state of flux.
As a principal organ of the United Nations, the Council must also be
ready for a permanent process of evolution. We must never cease to question and
to improve our methods of work, our political perceptions, our cost-benefit
analyses, and our structure.
The Council must look forward to major improvements in all these and in
many other fronts.
delivered today covered a wide-range of important issues. To mention just a few:
a number of delegations have pointed out to the importance of strengthening
interaction with the African Union and subregional organizations, based on more
intensive cooperation and coordination as regards conflict prevention and
delegations have underlined root causes of African conflicts, and the need that
peace and security efforts be combined with long-term development strategies.
Many references to institutional dialogue among the principal bodies of the
United Nations, in particular the Security Council and the ECOSOC, were raised.
delegations have acknowledged also the need for other concerted efforts that
include fair trade and development assistance, as well as the greater
involvement of international financial institutions, programs and agencies to
that end. Delegations also referred to the recent Secretary-General’s
recommendations contained in the “In Larger Freedom” report, especially with
regard to the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission. Some delegations made
concrete proposal in this regard.
other aspects were also covered in this rich debate, including the idea that
exercises such as this wrap-up meeting on the African dimension in the work of
the Council should be undertaken in a regular basis. It is the intention of my
delegation to provide, at a later stage, a summary of the ideas discussed, which
will be circulated to all Member States of the United Nations.
wish now to make some comments related specifically to the Brazilian national
views on these matters.
addressing deep-rooted social and economic causes of conflict in Africa, either
as a way to prevent their outbreak or their resurgence seems to be
a vanguard task to be tackled by the United Nations as a whole.
We welcome the greater involvement of the ECOSOC in this task, in
particular by means of the creation of Ad Hoc Working Groups such as those
established for Burundi and Guinea Bissau, and the reactivated Group on Haiti.
we believe that these joint efforts – placing the Security Council and ECOSOC
on the same board – still lack the formal institutional frameworks or adequate
channels in order to maximize the quality of their responses.
delegation has consistently advocated, throughout the years, the adoption of
rules and procedures to put Article 65 of the Charter fully into force, in order
to explore its many potential benefits.
We are also eager to discuss proposals – in the context of the reform
of the Organization – on the establishment of a Peace-building Commission that
would help bring together the objectives of peace and security, on one hand, and
sustained development, on the other.
working in the Council for 15 months now and accompanying it from this chair for
one month, I dare say that this august Chamber needs a new perspective. A new
dimension should be added to our approach and that is, of course, that of
sustainability. The Council is responsible for peace and security – not for a
year, not for two years, not for the short while when there’s a peacekeeping
operation deployed to distant countries and provinces. No – the Council is
consistently responsible for a peace that can be sustained in time.
action is needed and is crucial to provide security and ensure that fragile
peace processes can flourish. However, in parallel to that, we need concrete
action to lead people out of the vicious circle of hopelessness and immediate
gains, providing for a sustainable peace.
alternatives, the international community – meaning all of us - has
to help provide. We have to cooperate for stable and democratic
institutions to be built, and primary humanitarian needs to be attended to. We
have to alleviate
poverty and provide education through direct assistance, and ensure
development and employment through fair trade. It is only when the peace
dividends are palpable for the people in countries in conflict that the
probability of recurrence of conflict will subside.
decision-making process within the Security Council
would be substantially improved by making
use of first-hand information regarding
conflicts in Africa. For instance, only two days ago, the Council was
briefed by the African Union mediators on the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire, who
provided us with
a vivid testimony of the challenges before the
Council, as it seeks
the goals of promoting peace and security in that country.
members of the Council benefit from high-quality information provided by the
Secretariat, which is very useful, as well as from individual Members of the
Council; yet the views of those directly linked to conflicts under review, their
particular assessment of constraints and possibilities for the action of the
United Nations must be duly taken into consideration. Nor
should the increased cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional
organizations, such as the African Union, ECOWAS, and SADC, in the case of
Africa should be at all disregarded.
that context of amassing tools for decision-making, the delegation of Brazil is
also highly supportive of regular Security Council missions to countries in
of the Security Council provide a unique opportunity for Council members to
engage in the realities of the conflicts it is seized with. The Council has been
carrying out regular missions to Africa and we believe that this practice should
be maintained and even incremented.
resorting to alternative means of dialogue with non-governmental institutions,
whether international NGOs or local representatives of civil society, should be
closer cooperation between peacekeeping operations and political missions
deployed in the same region, as well as coordination among UN offices and
agencies in different countries is yet another recent and very positive
development of peacekeeping that must be further supported and advanced. The
various UN presences in West Africa and in the Great Lakes region are
demonstrating how much gain can be obtained through their coordinated efforts
and joint activities.
fact to be stressed is that peace processes currently undertaken in Africa rely
on growing regional and sub-regional African diplomatic efforts, as military
components, thus proving strong and increasingly effective commitment of African
states to intra-Africa solutions. We should not, nevertheless, expect the region
to provide all the resources it needs to keep and build peace.
The larger international community must do its share.
this regard, we also believe that African interests and general views would have
their consideration greatly reinforced if the Council were to count on the
permanent membership of African countries.
Brazil supports the proposal that two new permanent seats be conferred to
the African Regional Group and welcomes prospects to that effect.
on the highly important issue of combating impunity, my delegation believes that
primary responsibility for bringing perpetrators to justice belongs to local
courts and tribunals.
in some cases local institutions do not have the capacity to investigate and
prosecute and in other cases the fight against impunity may be hampered by
reluctant authorities. In these cases, we believe that the Council should look
up to the International Criminal Court – for its international status,
permanent structure and mandate.
two investigation processes started already, and another in consideration, the
ICC is proving to be an effective tool of deterrence and as such will greatly
contribute to international security. Ultimately, the full credibility of the
Court is directly proportional to its universality. We therefore encourage
States who have not done so to accede to the Rome Statute.
closing, I would like to thank all delegations that participated in this debate.
Their insightful comments and suggestions and their constructive contributions
have greatly added on to the liveliness of this debate. I
certainly hope that the many rich and articulated ideas contained in these
statements will give food for thought for all of us Members of this
United Nations finds itself on the verge of a major reform – it should draw on
the opinion of the majority of its members to make itself more capable of
dealing with the ever-changing challenges and threats in the international
now resume my functions as President of the Security Council.