Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers an International Russian Radio Question Regarding Russia's Upcoming Chairmanship of the UN Security Council
Question: What could you say in connection with the fact that in August Russia will chair the UN Security Council?
Answer: Russia's chairmanship of the Security Council coincides with the United Nations' concluding preparations for the 59th General Assembly session, a very important event, which imposes additional responsibility on all key UN bodies.
The agenda of the Council is expected to be very tight. One of the key events will be an open UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Kosovo, scheduled for August 5. At the end of July, the Council expects a report by the UN Secretary General on the situation in the region, taking account of estimates and recommendations by the Fact-Finding Mission investigating tragic events in Kosovo in March this year.
An open meeting of the UN Security Council on August 18 will discuss Kofi Annan's report on the situation in Afghanistan. In the context of preparations for presidential and parliamentary elections in Afghanistan, as the security situation is very complex, participation in debates by the leaders of the UN Mission in Afghanistan, Afghan representatives and key nations is extremely topical. The UN Security Council is expected to give a clear signal to the Afghan authorities and the international community in general and encourage further joint efforts aimed at preventing destabilization in the country and creating most favorable conditions for successfully holding the presidential and, later, parliamentary election.
As tensions are running high in Iraq, special attention will be paid to potential steps aimed at promoting the political process in the country with UN playing a weighty role. In this context, the Council will consider extending a mandate of the UN Mission in Iraq, expiring on August 14, and a report by the UN Coordinator on the fate of missing Kuwaitis and return of Kuwaiti assets.
Problems related to the efficiency of the Security Council's anti-terror efforts will be constantly in the focus of our attention. Russia chairs the UN Security Council's Counter Terrorism Committee. In August we will have to move ahead in the implementation of the Council's decisions aimed at perfecting the Committee's organizational and analytical potential. In particular, we will have to consider an organization plan for the CTC's Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate. Debates will be held on the UN Security Council Committee's report on anti-Taliban sanctions with the purpose of surveying the level of observance of the sanctions regime by UN member states.
The UN Security Council will continue to closely deal with issues related to the settlement of conflicts in Africa -- the situation in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somali and other.
We plan holding a substantial discussion at the Council of problems related to a Middle East settlement.
In August, the Council will also consider issues related to the activities of the UN Mission of support in East Timor, a UN peacemaking operation in Haiti, etc.
Russia will do everything possible for the Council, during its chairmanship, to work dynamically, in a businesslike and effective manner, promoting the observance of the UN Security Council's prerogatives under the Charter as the main body responsible for maintaining international peace and security.