66th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 51st Session - Part 2

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26-Nov-1996 00:29:19
General Assembly told of concern that lack of resources makes Security Council seek outside help in crisis situations at 66th plenary meeting of the 51st session.

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As Debate on Report Continues, Nigeria Says Impasse in Choice Of Secretary-General Shows Weakness in Council's Decision-Making.

Concern over the tendency of the Security Council to rely on options outside the United Nations to respond to certain crisis situations was expressed this afternoon, as the Assembly concluded its discussion of the Council's annual report. The representative of Canada referred to the Council's reliance on external options, stating that that was largely because the United Nations, and the Department of Peace-keeping Operations in particular, still did not have the resources or capabilities necessary for it to be the instrument of choice when the Council decided to address a particular crisis.

The representative of Nigeria said that if there was any remaining doubt about the need for reform of the Security Council decision-making processes, the current exercise on the appointment of a Secretary-General must have erased them. The collective decision of an entire continent, he said, was being overridden by the posture of one powerful State.

The creation of a post of Rapporteur of the Security Council to inform the General Assembly regularly of the Council's activities was proposed by the representative of Mexico. He also said that it was time for the materialization of the special reports from the Council to the Assembly, as indicated in Articles 15 and 24 of the United Nations Charter.

The representative of Egypt also stated that the time had come to define such cases when the Council should present special reports to the Assembly. It should happen, he said, when the Council was unable to discharge its responsibilities due to a lack of unanimity, and when the Council decided to establish a new peace-keeping operation or terminate an existing one.

The representative of Iran said that Council's reporting obligations were to ensure that Member States not on the Council could be fully informed of the Council's activities. Although the majority of Member States had emphasized the need for comprehensive and substantive reports from the Council to the Assembly, the Council had not reacted positively. The Council could not claim that it was functioning on behalf of the general membership, while it ignored the legitimate and Charter-based requests of the Member States.

Statements were also made by the representatives of Botswana, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Slovenia, Tunisia, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.

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