I would like to thank the President of the Economic and Social Council for the kind invitation to speak today in my capacity as President of the Security Council this month. We welcome opportunities for cooperation and interaction among the principal organs of the UN.
As President of the Security Council this month, I would like to highlight the relevance of today’s discussion to the mandate of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security and the Council’s efforts in that context.
The Security Council has expressed its concern at the role played by the illegal exploitation of natural resources in fueling conflicts, and has used various tools in response. The Council has targeted natural resources-related trade in its sanctions regimes, starting from its earliest use of sanctions. Several panels of experts assisting Security Council Sanctions Committees have included natural resources experts and have been mandated to report on the role of natural resources in fueling conflicts. In certain cases, sanctions regimes have also included natural-resources-specific criteria for listing.
Peace operations have also played a role and, in some cases, have included a natural-resources-specific mandate. The Council has, for example, mandated peacekeeping missions to enable panels of experts to gather information on illicit trade. It has also authorized support to national governments in patrolling resource-producing areas and borders, and re-establishing administration of natural resources.
More generally, the Security Council has recognized that the United Nations can play a role in helping the States concerned, upon their request and with full respect for their sovereignty over natural resources, to prevent illegal access to those resources and to lay the basis for their legal exploitation. This includes through building the capacity of governments in post-conflict situations to manage their resources lawfully, transparently and sustainably.
Turning to the Kimberley Process in particular, the Security Council has recognized the importance of commodity monitoring and certification schemes, such as the Kimberley Process.
It is notable that, in January 2003, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1459 (2003) strongly supporting the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme as a valuable contribution against trafficking in conflict diamonds. The Council stressed that the widest possible participation in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was essential and should be encouraged and facilitated.
In subsequent decisions, the Security Council has supported the efforts of the Kimberley Process. Over the years, the Security Council has welcomed measures and decisions of the Kimberley Process and acted accordingly, including through, for example, the imposition of prohibitions on the import of rough diamonds from certain countries and the lifting of such bans following progress made towards Kimberley Process Certification Scheme implementation. The Security Council has also encouraged governments to actively cooperate with the Kimberley Process and to implement the minimum requirements of its Certification Scheme, and has encouraged cooperation between the Kimberley Process and Council-mandated Panels of Experts.
To conclude, I would like to once again thank the President of the Economic and Social Council for inviting the President of the Security Council to participate in this special meeting, and to share the Security Council’s experience and practice. This is a topic that is central to the work and mandates of both the Security Council and ECOSOC.