1 June, 09:20

Russia takes over UN Security Council chairmanship

Russia takes over UN Security Council chairmanship

Russia is taking over the UN Security Council chairmanship from South Korea on June 1 and will hand it over to Rwanda on July 1. Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told Russian journalists at the United Nations headquarters that the Security Council’s schedule would be busy and intense. The June agenda will include a meeting on Afghanistan; a series of meetings on Africa-related subjects, such as the situations in Mali, Cote-d’Ivoire and the Sahara-Sahel district; as well as relations between Sudan and Southern Sudan.

"A lot of attention will be paid to the Middle East. We are going to discuss the Middle East settlement, the situation in Yemen and Libya, chemical demilitarization in Syria and the humanitarian situation in that country," Churkin stressed, TASS reports.

Despite the fact that the United Nations Security Council has not planned any separate talks on Ukraine, Churkin did not rule out that they might be held.

"Every Security Council member has the right to call a Security Council meeting on any situation, which can pose a threat to international peace and security. We are ready for any surprises here," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Open debates on new trends in the UN peacekeeping activities are scheduled for June 11. More and more peacekeeping operations receive mandates to use force. Peacekeepers also get new technologies, such as unarmed drones, at their disposal.

The United Nations Security Council is expected to prolong three UN peacekeeping missions - in Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and the Golan Heights, and expand the powers of a group of experts of the Security Council Committee for Sanctions against Iran. Churkin said that the Council would also adopt a resolution on adapting the Security Council’s sanctions regime to Al-Quaeda and the Taliban movement.

Western countries are planning to stage a vote on a draft resolution on humanitarian situation in Syria at the United Nations Security Council in the next few weeks. In May, Russia and China blocked a resolution that demanded the handover of the "Syrian dossier" to the International Criminal Court.

Vitaly Churkin said that during its chairmanship Russia would maintain constructive cooperation with other UN Security Council members and search for compromise solutions of any issues.

“These are the principles we are going to use in our work in the capacity of the UN Security Council chairman in June,” the Russian diplomat stressed.

The United Nations Security Council consists of 15 members, five of which are permanent - Great Britain, China, Russia, France and the United States. Every permanent member has the right of veto. Half of non-permanent members are renewed annually. Under the UN Charter, the UN Security Council is responsible for maintaining peace and international security, and all UN members are supposed to obey its decisions.

UN Security Council members take turns in chairing the body in alphabetical order according to the English alphabet. The Security Council chairmanship lasts for a calendar month.

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