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SC Month To Focus On Africa, Iraq, UN Peacekeeping

New York, May 4 2004 7:00PM

The United Nations Security Council is set for a "busy" May, highlighted by two special debates on UN peacekeeping, and continued focus on the situations in a host of African nations - including Sudan - while giving "considerable attention" to Iraq, the President of the 15-member body said today.

Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan briefed reporters on the Council's programme of work for the month, highlighting upcoming discussions on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, Liberia, Somalia and Côte d'Ivoire.

Although Sudan was not currently on the Council's agenda, it will hear a briefing Friday on the strife-riven Darfur region by James T. Morris, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), who led a humanitarian mission to western Sudan and eastern Chad last week, Ambassador Akram said. The Council also expects a report on the human rights situation there.

Also Friday, the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, as the Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), will brief the Council in an open meeting.

Meanwhile, in addition to Timor-Leste and the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Cyprus was likely to come up during this month's business, the Ambassador added, noting that the Council was expecting the Secretary-General's report and a briefing by his Special Adviser Alvaro de Soto.

Regarding Iraq, Ambassador Akram said Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi was expected to report to the Council upon his return from that country. In the meantime, he expected discussions in several formats on a new resolution on Iraq before the Council's meeting on 18 May, though he did not know whether the new text would be adopted then.

He said a special event on the theme of UN peacekeeping operations had been scheduled for 17 May. The debate would be presided over by Pakistan's Foreign Minister and highlight the recent surge in demand for such operations. The meeting would focus on the increasing complexity of operations, evaluate progress made since the "Brahimi report" on peacekeeping reform and address upcoming challenges. He hoped the Secretary-General would open the meeting, which would be followed by a Presidential Statement.

A supplemental thematic discussion on complex crises and the UN response was scheduled for 28 May. The idea was to see how a comprehensive and integrated response to complex crises could be generated by the UN family so that the security, political, economic and humanitarian requirements could be adequately met. Participation the Presidents of the General Assembly and ECOSOC was anticipated.

Finally, he said Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile, Chairman of the committee dealing with sanctions against the Taliban and Al Qaida, would brief the Council on 25 May on his panel's report.

2004-05-04 00:00:00.000

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