I thank you for being the seventh Council president to organize a wrap-up session this year, the third under the format of a public briefing. As Rwanda has been always saying, the holding of these meetings provide a unique and regular opportunity for the Security Council to assess its work and critically examine its progress and effectiveness. And this format of public briefings enhances transparency vis-à-vis the UN membership and the larger public.
Rwanda further appreciates the way you, Madam President, presided over this Council during the second and last presidency of Argentina in its current term. We particularly appreciate the fact that during this month of October, you continued the “Power Formula”, introduced by the US Permanent Representative in September to encourage more interaction between Council members and the briefers, during closed consultations. We extend our appreciation to your Deputy Permanent Representative/Political Coordinator, the engineer who made a well-oiled Argentina’s machinery function during this month.
I take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Gary Quinlan of Australia for assuming his last presidency of the Council for a busy month of November. I have no doubt that in November; the interactive formula initiated in September will be pursued, as Ambassador Quinlan has never been a man of written scripts anyway. As Argentina, Australia, as well as the other Outgoing Five, namely Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda are slowly moving towards the end of their term, which I believe was successful; we reiterate our congratulations to our successors; Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela for their election earlier this month and wish them success for the two years to come.
Except for being an election’s month, October was also the month for the adoption of the annual report of the Security Council for which Rwanda, as the Council President for the month of July 2014, was in charge of the drafting process. We thank again our fellow Council members, as well as the Secretariat, for their invaluable contributions and support. As we stated while introducing the report last week, Rwanda believes that a more analytical report, with an assessment of the Council’s effectiveness during the reporting period, followed by a debate on the occasion of its adoption, would benefit the work of this Council in the future.
It’s in this context that Rwanda appreciated the discussion held by UN member states during the open debate on working methods last Thursday. We all agree that pending a comprehensive reform of the Security Council, there is a need to continue improving accountability, transparency and effectiveness of this UN organ, entrusted with the responsibility of maintenance of international peace and security. As we stated in the open debate, we believe that the improvement of working methods will require the extension of the mandate of the Ombudsperson to the 1267 Sanctions Committee on Al Qaida and Associated Individuals and Entities to all Sanctions Committee, as well as the enhancement of dialogue and interaction between Council members and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in order to regularly consider all outstanding issues related to ICC referrals and deferrals, in accordance with the Rome Statute.
Another Court with which the Council should strengthen its relations is the International Court of Justice (ICJ); and the private meeting we held yesterday with its President was an opportunity to appreciate the important role played by the Court in the pacific settlement of disputes among states.
The annual briefing you organized this month with Force Commanders of UN peacekeeping missions was critical for this Council to better understand the challenges they face on the ground. And we particularly appreciate the fact that the upcoming Australian presidency will organize, in November, a similar meeting with the Heads of UN Police components. During the meeting with Force Commanders, we were briefed on the delicate situation in various missions, such as the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), which is no longer operating in a peacekeeping environment, as it is facing terrorist organisations, against which it was not mandated, equipped or trained to fight.
The situation of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) is quite different. The mission, which is one of the largest UN peacekeeping missions, was reinforced last year, with a Force Intervention Brigade mandated to neutralize armed groups in eastern DRC, including the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR). Nonetheless, despite a clear mandate and a consequential budget, it is unfortunate that MONUSCO is, fifteen years after its establishment, yet to live up to the Council and Congolese’s expectations.
Therefore, while the Security Council should ensure, when adopting resolutions, that mandates provided to the peacekeeping missions reflect the security context on the ground, it is also critical that this Council ensure that the activities of those missions are result-oriented, so that they can be held accountable.
The situation in the Middle East was prominent on the programme of work of October, as it was in the months before. With the gridlock on the Middle East peace process, the ongoing fighting in Syria, the rise of a barbaric terrorist organization named Islamic State or Daesh, or the increasing security chaos in Yemen, the Security Council seems unarmed and unable to have a significant impact on the situation in the region. Nonetheless, it would be very convenient to always put the blame on this Council. This UN organ is not a separate and independent entity. It was created by us, UN Member states. It IS us! Therefore, as long as members of this Council, particularly the permanent ones, as well as the other world and regional powers will not use their influence, in New York and in the field, to support efforts of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security – and we all know that they can -, this organ will always be used as a scapegoat for international inaction.
To conclude, Madam President, as you have successfully completed 22 months and two presidencies in the Council, I wish, without waiting the 31st of December, to congratulate Argentina for its successful term in the Security Council. I wish to particularly pay tribute to you, Madam President, for your unique style, talent and commitment for the improvement of working methods of this Council, for the promotion and protection of women in conflict and post-conflict situations, and for your intransigence for justice and accountability.
I thank you.