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Security Council shows increasing burden of work

Latest report on Security Council shows increasing burden of work - President

The latest annual report on the United Nations Security Council shows that an already heavy workload continues to grow, as the 15-member body focuses on regional tensions and the fight against terrorism, the President for October, Ambassador John Negroponte of the United States, said today.

Introducing the report to the 191-member General Assembly, Ambassador Negroponte said, "The report, which covers the period from August 1, 2002, to July31, 2003, indicates that the Council's seemingly ever-increasing workload continues to grow.

"There were many areas of focus, including Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan, which are covered in detail in the report. Africa was also considered a high priority throughout the year, with the Council responding to worsening conflicts in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, while also working to encourage continuing progress in bringing peace and stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi."

Council missions went to Central and West Africa and examined issues affecting the continent, such as the threat of small arms and mercenary fighters and the role of UN mechanisms in promoting peace, he said.

The report said Afghanistan would host a Council mission later this year.

The 15-member Council also held debates on such subjects as women, peace and security, children in armed conflict, and the peaceful settlement of disputes, Ambassador Negroponte said.

"The fight against terrorism also continued to be a major focus of the Council's work, with the Counter-terrorism Committee working extensively to fulfil its mandate," he said.

The report said the Committee was deepening its contacts with international, regional and sub-regional organizations to improve the flow of information and to liaise with them on assistance needed for the fight against terrorism.

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