Debates on children and armed conflict and on peacebuilding would be the highlights of the Malaysian presidency of the Security Council in June, a month that would also see several briefings and mandate renewals.
Addressing a news conference at Headquarters this afternoon, Ramlan Bin Ibrahim, Permanent Representative of Malaysia, said the open debate on children and armed conflict on 18 June was expected to consider the annual report of the Secretary-General, as well as provide a platform to place a renewed emphasis on the issue of abductions in armed conflict. The debate, to be chaired by Malaysia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anifa Aman, would also hear remarks from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and draw the participation of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, representatives of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and civil society.
It was important to address the issue of abductions, as they had become a prevalent feature of armed conflicts, Mr. Ibrahim said. He expected the Secretary-General’s annual report on the subject to be ready in time for the open debate, adding: “The agenda should not be a political issue, as ending violence of children is paramount concern to us all.”
The briefing on peacebuilding on 25 June would be held against the backdrop of ongoing reviews of peacebuilding, peace operations and women and peace and security. The aim was to explore how the United Nations could most effectively support national, regional and international efforts to support and build peace.
Briefings and adoptions were also scheduled on the United Nations missions in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Iraq (UNAMI), Mali (MINUSMA) and the Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
Responding to a question on the usefulness of informal consultations that dominate the month’s programme of work, Mr. Ibrahim said the Council held such meetings when the gravity of the issue required members to make further specific observations. The Council could consider expressing those views in the form of press statements and elements.
On whether sanctions should be imposed on South Sudan, Mr. Ibrahim said, speaking in his national capacity, that members were closely monitoring developments in the country and region before holding discussions on the matter.
On the allegations of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, he said that, again in his national capacity, he believed peacekeepers must be held to the highest standards and subjected to the full implementation of a zero-tolerance policy on the issue.
To a question on the escalating violence in Iraq, he said, in his national capacity, that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS) remained a major threat whose acts of wanton destruction were a reflection of its perverted ideology. He also expressed concern at the continued sectarian attacks by militia groups operating outside State control, which if unchecked, would affect the unity of Iraq.
Asked why he was making so many comments in his national capacity, Mr. Ibrahim said he could speak as Council President only when he had the authority to speak in that capacity on any given subject.
To a question on Iran, he said the Council would consider resolution 1929 (2010) on Iran mindful of the “P5+1” talks with that country which had components relating to sanctions.