Magazine article UN Chronicle , Vol. 22
Security Council members stress United Nations is "a positive force for human advancement'
Acknowledging that the "high hopes' placed in the United Nations by the international community had not been fully met, Security Council members at a special high-level session to commemorate the Organization's fortieth anniversary described the world body as "a positive force for peace and human advancement'.
They declared they would undertake to fulfil their individual and collective responsibility for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace "with renewed dedication and determination'.
In a statement issued on 26 September after the four-hour meeting, Security Council members reported that agreement had been reached on the urgent need to enhance the Council's effectiveness in discharging its principal role of maintaining international peace and security. Members also resolved to continue to examine the possibilities for further improving the functioning of the Council "in carrying out its work in accordance with the Charter'.
Members stated they had paid special attention to the various suggestions regarding the Council made by Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar since he took office in 1982, and encouraged him to "play an active role within the scope of his functions under the Charter'.
In his statement to the special session, the Secretary-General proposed establishing a fact-finding procedure "to keep the world under continuing survey to detect nascent causes of tension', and which could be "easily and quickly implemented where instances of potential conflict were detected'. Ways in which peace-keeping forces might be used to discourage the outbreak of "armed exchange' should also be considered, he indicated.
The joint statement on behalf of Council members was made by Council President Sir Geoffrey Howe, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom. The Council agenda was entitled "United Nations for a better world and the responsibility of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security.'
Council statement: In their statement, Council members also reaffirmed their obligations under the Charter and their continued commitment to its purposes and principles. They stated that a wide-ranging review of the international situation had been conducted, and expressed deep concern at the existence of various threats to peace, including the nuclear threat. While it had not always proved possible for the Organization to eradicate those threats, they stressed the continuing relevance of the world body.
A "collegial approach' within the Council was desirable to "facilitate considered and concerted action' by the Council as the main instrument for international peace, they stated.
Council members also agreed to employ "appropriate measures' available under the Charter when considering "international disputes, threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and acts of aggression'. They recognized the valuable contribution made on many occasions by United Nations peace-keeping forces, and called again upon the entire United Nations membership to abide by their obligations under the Charter to accept and carry out Council decisions. They welcomed the continuing growth of the Organization's membership to a point where the objective of universality of membership, which they endorsed, had almost been achieved.
Secretary-General: Mr. Perez de Cuellar, describing the Council as a "just, effective and determined guardian of the peace' which humanity could respect and rely on, said that that body, however, was not fully achieving its goals. Nevertheless, its purpose and responsibilities could not be met "by any other body'.
Political divisions within the international community had been allowed adversely to affect the Council's capacity to fulfil, in the common interest, the function of directing collective action for maintaining peace. …