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        Asmara High Rise Project 26-30 June, 2004
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Eritrea/Ethiopia border issue on Security Council’s July agenda

UN News, UN- 2 July, 2004.  July would be an intense month for the Security Council, Mihnea Ioan Motoc (Romania), its President for this month, said at a Headquarters press briefing this afternoon.

Briefing correspondent on the Council’s July work programme, he said with regard to his own region that the mandate of the multinational Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina would expire on 11 July and the Council had to consider the European Union’s upcoming take-over of that task from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  Mandate extensions for the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) and the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) would come up at the end of the month.

The Council would also address many issues concerning Africa as the African Union was holding its annual summit meeting from 6 to 8 July, he continued.  During consultations on 7 July, Secretary-General Kofi Annan would brief the Council on his visit to the region, including Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Eritrea and the African Union Summit.  Jan Egeland,Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and Kieran Prendergast, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, would also brief Council members.  In addition, they would hear a more comprehensive briefing on the Council’s recent mission to West Africa, following a preliminary one on 30 June.

Also in consultations, he said, the Council would consider the situations in the Central African Republic, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the mandate of the United Nations Organization Mission there (MONUC) was due to expire at the end of the month.  The mandate of the Group of Experts and the arms embargo imposed on that country were due to expire at the same time.

Highlighting a public meeting scheduled for 20 July on the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations, he said Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nãstase would preside.  It was hoped that representatives of regional and subregional organizations from all the continents would attend.  The format would be a substantive, interactive debate whose outcome could also be useful to the High-Level Panel established by the Secretary-General to look into today’s threats and possible collective responses.  Since Mexico had introduced that topic in 2003, that country’s Foreign Minister was also invited.

He said that a public meeting on 19 July would address threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.  Alexander Konuzin, (Russian Federation), Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, would give a briefing.  The Council was also expected to hear from Javier Ruperez, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate.

Regarding the Middle East, he said that Terje Roed-Larsen, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, would brief the Council on the situation in that region on 13 July.  Elsewhere, Iraq was in the first month after the transfer of sovereignty, and the coming period would be crucial to the country’s future.  Depending on developments, the Council remained open to determining the way in which it could contribute to the expectations of the Iraqi people, in line with resolution 1546 (2004).

He said reports were expected on the follow-up to the “Rule of Law” debate of 24 September 2003, an initiative of the United Kingdom, as well as on Haiti, Burundi and Afghanistan.

Responding to questions on Sudan, Mr. Motoc said a draft resolution on that subject was being circulated, but he had no indications regarding a time frame.  The Sudan would be addressed during the Secretary-General’s briefing on 7 July.

Asked why Sudan was not officially on the Council’s agenda, he replied that a resolution had already been adopted that addressed the possibility of dispatching a mission to that country.  A presidential statement had explained how the Council was treating the issue so far.

Regarding Iraq, he said that Romania, both as a participant in the stabilization force and a contributor to reconstruction efforts, had a great stake in the success of the Interim Government.  The trial of the country’s former ruler indicated that “the rule of law is marching on” and the Interim Government had full authority, as stipulated in resolution 1546 (2004).

He could not comment on reports that Salman Haider would be appointed the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Iraq.

In response to a question about a timetable for the drawing down of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), he said the Council was awaiting a report on that country in order to review the options available.