BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA ASSUMES PRESIDENCY OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL
|Ambassador Ivan Barbalic |
, President of the UN Security Council
for January 2011
(photo: Cia Pak, UN Scan News
for Webpublicapress New York)
NEW YORK (UN - 6. January - Xinhua) The UN Security Council will focus on the pressing issues of Sudan and Haiti in January, the council president announced here Wednesday.
The announcement came as Ivan Barbalic, ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN who holds the rotating Council presidency for January, was briefing the reporters on the program of work of the 15-nation Council for this month.
"For Bosnia and Herzegovina it's a great honor and privilege to be in the Security Council and in the month of January to have this opportunity to preside over the Security Council," Barbalic said. Bosnia and Hezergovina is one of the 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.
The situation in Sudan, which is facing a referendum that could create separate countries in the south and the north, will be an important focus of the Council this month, Barbalic said, adding that on Thursday the Council will hear a briefing from the special representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), Haile Menkerios, as well as former president of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa, who is currently head of the UN's panel on the Sudan referendum.
"Tomorrow we'll have consultations on Sudan, we will be briefed by SRSG Menkerios and President Mkapa via video link," Barbalic said. "The goal of this consultation is to discuss the process that is ahead of us, the process of referendum in Sudan that starts on the 9th and lasts for seven days."
He added that the council will continue to monitor happenings in Sudan closely and will meet again later in the month to review them.
"After the process is over, the referendum, we will have another meeting on Sudan that is scheduled now on the 18th (of January)," he said. "It's going to be a briefing by the same briefers but it is also going to give the opportunity for member states to express support to the process and hopefully by that time we will be able to come out with a strong outcome document that will support the process. We expect to have at that point probably a presidential statement."
The Council will also take up the issue of the unfolding situation in Haiti as the country approaches the Jan. 12 anniversary of a devastating earthquake that left hundreds of thousands dead and destroyed homes, buildings, and infrastructure. A cholera epidemic has made the humanitarian situation even direr.
"On the 20th we will be have a briefing on Haiti, again, discussing the anniversary of the earthquake, looking at this particular item from the humanitarian perspective but also from the political perspective," Barbalic said.
The political situation in Haiti has been difficult, as a presidential election held in November led to accusations of fraud and displays of protest. A runoff election has been scheduled for January.
"As we know the second round of elections were supposed to take place in January but there is some indication that that might not be the case but still its important to look from a political perspective on the situation on the ground in Haiti," said Barbalic.