September 12th, 2007 02:56 EST
Interview of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko on the Upcoming UN General Assembly
Question: Politically the events scheduled for September always stand by themselves in the work of the Security Council. A session of the UN General Assembly traditionally begins at this time. It will be held this year under the presidency of France. What questions are going to be discussed in the UNSC in September? Which of the Council’s upcoming events would you call the core ones?
Alexander Yakovenko: In September the Security Council will discuss a number of questions which have been given heightened attention for quite a long time now. I mean the conflicts in Africa, the situation in the Middle East and some other issues.
Among the core events will be the high-level Security Council meeting on peace and security in Africa scheduled for September 25 at the initiative of President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. Heads of state and government and foreign ministers from UN member states will take part in it. A Russian delegation will also participate in this meeting.
In September the Council will thoroughly examine conditions in Liberia, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Sudan’s Darfur province and in Somalia. This reflects the concern of many states over the developments in the crisis areas of Africa.
Question: Will the situation around the nuclear programs of Iran be discussed in September?
Alexander Yakovenko: The Council will indeed have to examine the progress achieved in the implementation of resolution 1737 on Iran as well, which envisages imposition of certain sanctions against the country. In our opinion, the world community should encourage Iran’s dialogue with the IAEA, seeking to clarify the questions still outstanding about the nuclear program of Teheran.
Question: Are there plans to discuss Middle East themes?
Alexander Yakovenko: They will doubtless feature prominently in the Council’s work. Russia has always advocated that Council decisions should facilitate a comprehensive regional settlement. Dedicated to achieving this goal will be a meeting of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators at the heads of foreign affairs agencies level and with the participation of the UN Secretary General, slated for the third ten-day period of September.
East Timor and Haiti also feature on the September agenda. But one cannot rule out that world events may bring corrections to it and the Council will have to take up other issues as well.
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