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Argentina takes reins of UN Security Council

Haiti, arms trade are priorities as Argentina takes reins of UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council will this month focus on the situations in Haiti, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Sudan and – possibly – Iran, the Ambassador of Argentina and incoming president of the 15-member body’s said today.

“Haiti is a very important issue for Argentina, for Latin America and for the international community,” Ambassador Cesar Mayoral told correspondents at a Headquarters press conference, reminding them that last time it had the presidency his country had organized a public meeting on the same subject.

“We’re waiting to have a confirmation that President Préval can come because right now he is the President-elect and not in charge,” he added, saying the meeting was currently scheduled for 27 March.

Mr. Mayoral said another of his priorities was the holding of an open debate on small arms smuggling on the 20th, with the aim of adopting a resolution on the control of the scourge.

He also highlighted public meetings scheduled for the 30th on the Middle East and the 14th on Afghanistan. Three possible meetings were on the calendar for the Sudan: on the 8th, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations would brief on events unfolding in the field; consultations would take place on the 13th; and on the 21st, there would be an open briefing.

In regard to Iran, Mr. Mayoral said “the door was open” to a briefing by Mohamed ElBaradei, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran, who has been asked to report to the Council on the issue.

He said that the Iran situation could be discussed in consultations during the week of the 6th following the IAEA meeting on 6 March, which was expected to discuss a report on Iran.

Finally, he said the Council would welcome the participation of Africa’s first elected female Head of State, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in an open briefing on the country on the 17th of the month.

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