4 April 2011The recent political developments in the Middle East and North Africa, especially the situation in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, have topped discussions between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During the telephone call yesterday, Mr. Ban reiterated his concern about the continued instability in Bahrain and Yemen, and underlined his call for maximum restraint and the importance of protecting civilians and the need to respect human rights.The Secretary-General emphasized that peaceful dialogue on genuine political, economic and social reform is the only way towards sustainable peace and stability, according to a statement released his spokesperson.Bahrain and Yemen have been jolted by persistent demonstrations by citizens calling for political reform. The protests have often resulted in violence, with dozens of people having lost their lives when security forces in both countries used excessive force against the demonstrators.On Libya, the Secretary-General reiterated his call for an immediate ceasefire and for unrestricted humanitarian access to all areas of the North African country, where citizens opposed to the leadership of Muammar al-Qadhafi have taken up arms in a bid to oust him.The Secretary-General also explained to Mr. Ahmadinejad the role that his Special Envoy for Libya, Abdul Elah al-Khatib, is playing, including his close coordination with the international community, particularly the League of Arab States and the African Union.
The Council President for the month of July, Ambassador Wang Yingfan of China, said in a press statement that Council members underlined the importance of “full implementation” of the arms embargo on Somalia imposed through an earlier resolution.”Council members reiterate [their] call on neighbouring States to refrain from any action that will be detrimental to the peace process, including political dialogue and national reconciliation,” the statement said. It also expressed the Council’s support for the position of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on Somalia and reaffirmed that the country’s sovereignty and territorial should be directly respected.Council members “strongly urged” the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) countries, especially those neighbouring Somalia, as well as other interested States, to coordinate their efforts in supporting the peace process, Ambassador Wang said.His statement followed closed-door consultations of the Council during which it was briefed by an official from the UN Department of Political Affairs on the political and humanitarian situation in Somalia. According to Ambassador Wang, Council members noted with concern the situation there and urged the international community to help the vulnerable population, including by making contributions to a UN fund.
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