On March 1, 2013 Russia assumed the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council. Our work in the UN Security Council will be founded in the principles of guaranteeing equality, mutual respect and non-interference in states’ domestic affairs, and we will focus on the need to settle conflicts peacefully, promote cooperation in strict adherence with the UN Security Council Charter, and strengthen the legal foundation of international relations.
March is set to be a busy time for the Security Council, as we can see from its extensive agenda and the large number of documents waiting to be adopted.
The Russian presidency’s main theme will be the settlement in Afghanistan. This country is entering a crucial stage of its development – one that will require renewed efforts from the Afghan people themselves, in addition to a consolidation of the assistance offered by the international community, with the UN playing a central coordinating role.
On March 19, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will chair an open UN Security Council session on the situation in Afghanistan. Foreign Ministers from UN Security Council member-states and Afghanistan have been invited to attend. We expect that the UN Secretary General, Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, important partners and donors, active participants in international efforts to stabilize the country will all contribute to the discussion. The UN Security Council resolution to extend the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) mandate is also set to be adopted.
Russian presidency will also focus on issues relating to the Middle East and the Quartet’s further efforts to help reach a comprehensive settlement in the region.
We will also focus attention on the Kosovo settlement.
UN Security Council members will consider the implementation of the Resolution 1701 on Lebanon; discuss the developments in the Golan Heights within the context of the UN Disengagement Observer Force’s activities in the region, and the current state of affairs in Iraq and Yemen.
The situation in Libya and the Libyan sanctions regime will also be up for discussion. We are planning to further extend the mandate for the UN Support Mission in Libya.
The UN Security Council will continue to work on relations between Sudan and South Sudan, discussing the situation in South Sudan as well as the activities of the UN peacekeeping mission deployed there.
The mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone is set to be extended, and both progress in post-conflict settlement and stabilization in Liberia and the implementation of the UN Security Council decisions for Guinea-Bissau will both be discussed.
Work carried out by the UN Security Council Committees on Iran sanctions, on Somalia and Eritrea will also be on the agenda.
The UN Security Council members will discuss scenarios for further assistance in resolving the crisis in Mali, taking into account the UN Secretary General’s report.
Russia will do its utmost to ensure that the UN Security Council continues to be well-coordinated and effective in its operations.
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