the UN history, Ukraine had been a member of the Security Council
only twice: in 1948-49, and in 1984-85. However Ukraine’s membership
in the Security Council during the 2000-2001 was drastically different
from the two previous experiences since only during the latest term
did Ukraine act as an independent nation.
The two years of Security Council membership, as well as the active
preparatory process that preceded it, proved to be a productive and
intensive stage for the Ukrainian foreign policy service. We believe
that one of its most important results was the fact that Ukrainian
diplomacy had gained new valuable experience of being directly involved
in resolving the most challenging issues of international peace and
In his message to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan of February
26, 2001, the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kuchma, underscored that
our country considered its membership in the Security Council “as
an expression of great trust in it by the international community.
Ukraine is determined to fully live up to that trust, which explains
the special responsibility with which our country approaches the fulfilment
of its duties of a non-permanentmember of that body.”
Two events stand out as clear landmarks during that period: the Security
Council Summit convened on President Kuchma’s initiative in September
2000, and the November 2001 ministerial-level meeting of the Council
on the fight against terrorism, which had been initially proposed
by the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Anatoliy Zlenko.
During its membership, the Ukrainian delegation focused its efforts
at enhancing the Council’s role in resolving the so-called “frozen”
conflicts on the territory of the former Soviet Union (the situation
in Abkhazia, Georgia), and took an active part in the consideration
of questions related to the Balkans, the Middle East and other issues.
Meanwhile, in the context of Ukraine’s strategic foreign policy tasks
related to European integration, the 2000-2001 period had clearly
demonstrated a tendency toward further nearing of Ukraine’s position
to the stance of other European countries on an overwhelming number
of foreign policy issues, in part those on the agenda of the Security
Council. Ukraine’s membership in the Security Council opened new opportunities
for an expanded participation of our country’s contingents and personnel
in UN peacekeeping operations.
During that period, the number of Ukrainian representatives had grown
25-fold (1,551 persons as of January 1, 2002) covering nine UN missions
(Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Ethiopia-Eritrea, Kosovo, Lebanon, Prevlaka, East Timor, Sierra Leone).
By that indicator, at the end of its membership in the Security Council,
Ukraine ranked eighth among UN Member States and first among European
Ukraine’s Presidency of the Security Council in March 2001 proved
to be a period of special political significance and organizational
intensity for the Ukrainian delegation. In carrying out its duties
as Council President, Ukraine focused its efforts on ensuring an effective
and fruitful functioning of the body, consolidating its members’ positions
during consideration of items on the Council’s agenda and facilitating
the approval of decisions and initiatives steeped in the fundamental
principles of the UN Charter. Significantly, Ukrainian presidency
was one of the most intensive periods in the body’s work over the
past two years. In fact, March proved to be the most productive month
of the two-year term, accounting for the greatest number of meetings
held. During that period, the Council held 23 open meetings and 40
informal consultations, which had resulted in the adoption of 5 resolutions,
6 presidential statements and 21 press statements by the Council President.
On the whole, we are confident that Ukraine’s presidency of the Security
Council and its membership in that organ demonstrated our nation’s
impartial and balanced position on many key problems of international
peace and security and its ability to make practical contribution
to their resolution.
To the full text of the article by Ambassador Valeriy Kuchinsky.