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Threats to International Peace and Security caused by Terrorist Acts
(New York, January 18 2002)
Statement by Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso, Permanent Representative of Colombia.
My delegation expresses its gratitude to Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari for his presence at this meeting and for the information he has given us. We are pleased that his visit was positive and has yielded good results.
Our interest in the briefing relates mainly to the expectations generated by the previous meeting, of 15 November, on the role the United Nations could play, particularly with respect to his next visit to the region, so that the peace process could move forward in accordance with the Lusaka Protocol and the pronouncements of the Council. What is really important to the Council is that the Angola peace process move beyond the deadlock in political and military terms, as the Secretary-General defined it in the last report on the activities of the United Nations Office in Angola (UNOA) in Luanda. It is clear that UNOA can contribute to much broader work only if the political conditions exist in the country to make that possible. We are also pleased that the consultations with the Government of Angola are considering a series of activities, including a disarmament and weapons collection programme, which can be expanded by the United Nations presence in the future.
We have previously expressed the view that it is a good idea to include civil society more in the peace process for at least two reasons: first, to reduce the impact of bellicose rhetoric and the solutions by force that at certain stages dominate the peace process; and secondly, because most of the victims in the confrontation between Government forces and the rebels have been from the civilian population, judging from the numbers of people killed in attacks, internally displaced persons, refugees in neighbouring countries and indirect victims of hunger, disease and exposure.
The information we have received today confirms the sad humanitarian situation that afflicts the Angolan people. The figure of 4 million internally displaced persons living in precarious situations - in camps or in poverty-stricken areas of towns and cities - is a cause for concern.
For that reason, along the same lines as Ambassador Eldon, I wish to ask if Ambassador Gambari could suggest to us ways of involving civil society. On past occasions, holding an Arria-formula meeting was mentioned, as also proposed by the delegation of the United Kingdom.
After having heard the briefing today, we are convinced that the Council must continue with formulas for the positive inclusion of the United Nations in the Angolan peace process. The Council should encourage the international community, particularly countries with a strong presence in Angola and solid political and economic ties with that country, to contribute to the cause of peace.
Finally, we must continue to apply the sanctions against UNITA, with the certainty that the effectiveness of the sanctions regime will substantially improve the possibility of dialogue between the parties.