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Germany heads up UN Security Council

Germany took over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for a month, a "period full of events".

Updated: Jul 02, 2011, 11:39 AM IST

United Nations: Germany took over the
rotating presidency of the UN Security Council for a month, a
"period full of events," according to Berlin`s UN Ambassador
Peter Wittig.

"There is a broad range of crises and conflicts underway
in the world that will require our diplomatic talents. I`m
sure Germany can help ensure the Security Council will provide
global security," Wittig said.

Germany, which abstained from a Council vote on
authorizing NATO military operations in Libya, wants to play a
post-conflict role.
"We want to prevent a void in Libya, but it is it much
too early to speak of specific missions or work distribution,"
Wittig said.

As for a possible resolution condemning the government`s
violent repression of the opposition in Syria, the ambassador
confirmed there was not enough support for such a measure at
the Council.

Germany, France, Britain and Portugal are working to
convince the skeptics. The prospect of passing a resolution
"has not been abandoned, but much will depend on how the
situation evolves on the ground," said Wittig.

Russia and China have threatened they will use their veto
power to block any measure targeting Syria, while several
other Council members, including Brazil and South Africa, have
reservations.
Wittig noted that a Palestinian demand for the UN to
recognize their statehood could come through during the German
presidency.

But "I don`t think it`s very likely, because the
Palestinians know the Americans will use their veto," he
added. "It would be a `catch-22`."

Germany, which is replacing Gabon at the head of the
Council, is planning to press for adoption of a resolution to
protect children in armed conflicts that foresees sanctions
for attacks on schools and hospitals, according to the envoy.

Bureau Report