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SECURITY COUNCIL CONFRONTS AMBITIOUS AGENDA IN 2006 The Council convened 224 formal meetings, adopting 87 resolutions and issuing 59 presidential statements.

The veto was used twice by the United States concerning the Middle East on the question of Palestine. Also, in a special meeting on 22 December, the Council paid tribute to Secretary General Kofi Annan who stepped down at the end of the year after a decade at the helm of the world body.Throughout the year, the Council wrestled with a wide range of political processes, perhaps none more intractable than the Middle East, as war engulfed Lebanon and the painful stalemate persisted over the question of Palestine. The 15 member world body was crucial in ending the fighting between Lebanon and Israel and it responded firmly to the nuclear proliferation questions posed by Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. It worked tirelessly to bring peace to Darfur, boosted African Union efforts to quell the crisis in Cte d'Ivoire, and supported the first free elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 40years.The second half of the year again saw part of the Middle East descend into crisis and confrontation. The 34 day war between Israel and Lebanon prompted by the kidnapping on 12 July of two Israeli soldiers by Hizbollah fighters across the Blue Line and their indiscriminate bomb attacks into Israel destabilized the already tense border area and threatened to engulf the entire region. Following a decision by the Lebanese Government on 7 August to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdrew behind the Blue Line, the Council acted in concert on 11 August to request the assistance of additional forces from the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and to call for a full cessation of hostilities and permanent ceasefire.The political climate remained tense in Lebanon and the wider region, and Lebanon faced monumental challenges. Still, in the immediate aftermath of the war, there was some optimism that the settlement of the conflict could push the parties in the region towards reviving the stalled Middle East peace process, particularly on the question of Palestine.During a high level meeting of the on 21 September, in the margins of the General Assembly's debate, suggestions were made, including by the Arab League, that the Council could initiate negotiations between the parties, relaunch the peace process, reinvigorate the Road Map and even devise a new mechanism for implementing it. In the remaining months of the year, however, renewed violence in Gaza and internal rivalry among Palestinian factions dimmed hopes for such a renewal.Tensions were near the breaking point in the region, Secretary General Annan told the Council on 12 December, with extremism and populism leaving less political space for moderates. Welcome moves towards democracy, such as elections, had simultaneously posed a quandary in bringing to power parties, individuals and movements that opposed the basis of current peacemaking approaches. The opportunity for negotiating a two State solution would last for only so long. "Should we fail to seize it, the people who most directly bear the brunt of this calamity will be consigned to new depths of suffering and grief. Other conflicts and problems will become that much harder to resolve, and extremists the world over would enjoy a boost to their recruiting efforts," he said, urging the Council to develop a new understanding of the uncertainty engulfing the Middle East and shoulder its full responsibility to resolve it and stabilize the region.The Middle East had shaped the Organization like no other, he added. The Arab Israeli conflict was not just one regional conflict among many; no other conflict carried such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge, even for people far away. While the quest for peace in the Middle East had registered some important achievements over the years, a final settlement had defied the best efforts of several generations of world leaders, and he told the Council that he too would leave office without an end to the how much do pandora charms cost prolonged agony, with the situation more complex, more fragile and more dangerous than it had been for a very long time.In Africa, the Council's commitment, indeed its ambition, to prevent armed conflict, underpinned its efforts again in 2006 as its members strove to reduce political tensions and violence across a continent indelibly scarred by violent conflict. Well over half the United Nations "Blue Helmets" were operating in eight African countries, with the potential for a greatly expanded United Nations presence in the Sudan should the hybrid United Nations African Union force recently approved by the Sudanese Government be realized in 2007. Nowhere perhaps was the realization of the shared responsibility to protect more elusive than in Darfur. Earlier in 2006, Mr. Annan had said that that situation was a potent reminder that the could build peace and stability only where there was sustained local political support.Absent that support throughout the year, more and more misery befell the population of that war ravaged region, and there were worrying reports that the violence had spilled over into neighbouring Chad and the Central African Republic.In a briefing in mid December, the lead Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court told the Council that the "Court of last resort" was completing its investigation of individuals who allegedly pandora charms in stores bore the greatest responsibility for the worst crimes in Darfur. The evidence had provided "reasonable ground to believe" that the individuals had committed crimes against humanity, such as murder, wilful killings, rape and torture. His office could not investigate the hundreds of alleged such crimes in Darfur, so it had focused on the most serious, hoping to send a signal that such crimes could not be committed with impunity. The strength of that signal, however, depended on the cooperation of both the and the Sudanese Government, he had stressed. Somalia plunged into a dangerous escalation of hostilities in the last days of the year involving foreign forces and the use of heavy weapons and aircraft, compounding its already protracted crisis. That prompted a high level Council briefing on unfolding developments just four days after the 15 member body had called on the parties the Transitional Federal Government and the Union of Islamic Courts to draw back from conflict and recommit to dialogue. During consultations that followed, the Council explored ways to halt the hostilities, avert a greater crisis in Somalia and the wider region, and encourage the Somali parties to return to the political reconciliation efforts that had stalled in their third round in Khartoum in October, owing to growing gaps in the preconditions of the two sides.The Council also faced nuclear proliferation threats in 2006, which demonstrated the relevance of the 2004 report of the Secretary General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. That report had urged the United Nations to defuse the mounting tension between the goals of achieving amore effective non proliferation regime and the right of all signatories of the Treaty on the Non Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to develop civilian nuclear industries. It warned that "the erosion of the non proliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation". As if evidence of that erosion, the Council was forced to confront a nuclear weapons test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Iran's refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment activities.The Democratic People's Republic of Korea announced on 9 October napier jewelry that it had conducted its test. On 14 October, the Council imposed sanctions complete pandora bracelets on that country and called for it to return immediately to multilateral talks on the issue. It barred automatic military enforcements of its demands, under the Charter's Article 41 of Chapter VII, but it prevented a range of goods from entering and leaving the country and imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on persons related to the nuclear weapon programme. Earlier, on 15 July, the Council had condemned the country's test firing of a series of missiles, demanding that it suspend all ballistic missile related activity and reinstate its moratorium on missile launches.On Iran, concerned by the proliferation risks presented by its nuclear programme and by its continuing failure to meet the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors and resolution 1696 demanding suspension of all uranium enrichment related and reprocessing activities, the Council decided on 23 December to block the import or export of sensitive nuclear material and equipment and freeze the financial assets of persons or entities supporting Iran's proliferation sensitive nuclear activities or development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. In a swift response, Iran's representative told the Council that the "unlawful demand" for a suspension, to which his country had complied for two years, was not aimed at a solution, but at compelling Iran to abandon its rights to peaceful nuclear technology.In Iraq, the Council was informed in a Secretary General report that by the end of the year, it stood on the brink of civil war and chaos. In a briefing in mid December, the Secretary General's Special Representative for that country, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, said that an all out civil war, and even a regional conflict, had become much more real. Many parts of the country were ravaged daily by sectarian violence and civil strife, insurgent and terrorist attacks. Mounting militia activities had further destabilized Iraq, and high levels of civilian casualties and displacement were breeding insecurity and deep pessimism. If the deteriorating security situation was not reversed, Iraq's political prospects would be progressively undermined, Mr. Qazi warned.To avoid a national catastrophe, Secretary General Annan had some suggestions for the Iraqi Government on 7 December: develop a fully inclusive political process that focused on bringing all disenfranchised communities into the political mainstream; establish a monopoly over the use of force through the instruments of security and law enforcement within the framework of the rule of law, by addressing terrorist, insurgent, sectarian and criminal violence and dealing with the problem of militias inside Iraq's communities, as well as removing militia elements from all ministries and the Iraqi security forces; and cultivate a regional environment supportive of Iraq's transition. In that regard, the Government had a special responsibility to normalize its relations with its neighbours, which in turn, required that its neighbours work towards fostering greater stability and security in Iraq. The growing Taliban led insurgency and widespread insecurity in the south and east of the country, as well as an upsurge in illegal drug production and trafficking, and pervasive corruption in the governing systems, combined with the very fragile State institutions, had fuelled the disillusionment of the Afghan people and begun to erode their confidence in the country's fledging institutions. After decades of conflict, Afghanistan had finally begun its reconciliation and reconstruction, but, as a Council mission to the country in November reported upon its return, progress would not be linear or swift."Terrorism attacks the values that lie at the heart of the Charter [it] flourishes in environments of despair, humiliation, poverty, political oppression, extremism and human rights abuse; it also flourishes in the context of regional conflict and foreign occupation," reported the Secretary General's High level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change in December 2004. Secretary General Annan noted in 2006 that United Nations counter terrorism activities had expanded dramatically to address that growing challenge. Milestone resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1540 (2004) and 1624 (2005) and the expert groups that support the three counter terrorism subsidiary bodies had made States more responsible for taking steps to prevent terrorist financing, travel and access to weapons of mass destruction, as well as incitement to terrorism.

This year, the reiterated its unequivocal condemnation of Al Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban for ongoing and multiple criminal terrorist acts, and it tightened its listing and de listing procedures to enhance the identification of terrorists. It also urged States to redouble their efforts to freeze terrorists' funds, prevent their entry into or transit through their territories and ban the supply to them of weapons or ammunition.To address the possible acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by non State actors, the Council decided to extend for two years the mandate of its "1540 Committee", set up by a Council in 2004 in recognition of the urgent need for all States to take additional effective measures to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons and their means of delivery, and determined to facilitate an effective response to global non proliferation threats.

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