Open Debate on the Role of the Security Council in the Pacific Settlement of Disputes
(New York, May 13, 2003)
Statement by Ambassador Luis Guillermo Giraldo, Permanent Representative of Colombia
Let me begin by congratulating you for assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of May, and express my best wishes in your work. I also welcome your initiative to organize this event.
As stated by the President in the document distributed on the topic, the United Nation's Charter offers vast possibilities of action to prevent disputes from arising between parties, to prevent disputes from escalating into conflicts, and to contain and resolve the conflicts when they occur. These possibilities, included in Chapter VI of the Charter, are complemented by the faculties given to the General Assembly in Articles 11 and 12 and to the Secretary General in Article 99, as well as with three resolutions of the General Assembly, mentioned by the President in his document.
Colombia, that has based its' international policy on the respect and promotion of the principles and purposes consecrated in the United Nation's Charter, grants particular importance to the pacific prevention of disputes based on the principles of sovereign equality of States, non intervention and good faith, and the spirit of cooperation. In order to achieve a prompt and fair agreement of the controversies, we prefer direct negotiations as an efficient and flexible mean, but we recognize that the States have the right to choose freely from other legitimate ways that they consider appropriate.
The Charter of the United Nation's as well as the Manila Declaration of 1982 on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, referred only to the pacific settlement of international disputes, in other words, between States, and the prevention of international conflicts. Nowadays, the world and the United Nations are concerned with the internal conflicts in many States. In this regard, it has also been acknowledged that it is the affected State's fundamental responsibility to prevent and eliminate controversies, situations and conflicts, and that any activity done by the United Nation's bodies has to be in accordance to the State's requests. Due to the fact that there are also in many of these conflicts, circumstances of international and transnational sort, the principle of international cooperation for the solution of these kinds of conflicts at the regional and global level, acquires a particular importance.
Colombia calls the attention of this Council and of the international community on the external factors that affect many of the internal armed conflicts that exist worldwide. An aspect that demands the commitment and the cooperation of all the States and international institutions, starting with the United Nation's. The role of diamonds in the financing of armed conflict in Africa has been well recognized. Many important mechanisms have been created to control the international trade of diamonds and therefore, prevent their produce from nourishing the conflict.
In the same way, it is necessary to recognize the role of illicit drug trade, a criminal offense, activity and transnational situation, and criminal connected offenses, in the funding of internal armed conflicts. An ill-fated bond between drug trafficking and illegal armed groups that finance themselves through these activities has been created. The weapons and explosives by which these groups spread death are negotiated and acquired externally. They are paid using the banking accounts that exist internationally, nourished by the Narco-traffick. The chemical precursors, indispensable to elaborate the illicit drugs, keep on arriving to the countries in conflict without any mayor control.
All of these external elements not only fuel the internal armed conflicts, but also increase the violation of human rights, crucial topic for the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as for many Member States.
In Resolution 44/21, the General Assembly "Encourages Member States to consult and co-operate within the framework of the United Nations, the Security Council, the General Assembly and their appropriate subsidiary bodies in order to find multifaceted approaches to implement and strengthen the principles and the system of international peace, security and international co-operation laid down in the Charter." This case of external factors that fuel internal conflicts deserves an approach of this nature. An approach that demands the action of the States and of the international and regional organizations.
This approach has to be based upon the principle of shared responsibility, now that the treatment of the global illicit drug problem has been accepted. In sane logic, if an internal conflict is financed by Narco-traffick, the consumers of illicit drugs would share the responsibility of that conflict and of the violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law that occur in it. That is why the international community is late in initiating an effective cooperation in this issue. A cooperation in the framework of the United Nations that sets a course and that induces the international community in it's effort to support the people and the States that work to preserve the high principles of this Organization, and that struggle daily for the protection of the dignity of human beings.