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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: security council

January 7, 2015

Security Council Press Statement on terrorist attack on French newspaper

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations issued a letter expressing our prayer and condolences to Ambassador Delattre.

The Security Council issued the following press statement regarding today's attack in France:

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack against the headquarters of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, France, on 7 January 2015, causing numerous deaths among journalists, media professionals and associated personnel as well as of two policemen.

The members of the Security Council strongly condemned this intolerable terrorist act targeting journalists and a newspaper.

The members of ...

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July 23, 2013

Ambassador of South Sudan talks with Security Council

by Anna Folz

On July 11, 2013, the Security Council held a meeting with the Ambassador of South Sudan. In this meeting the Ambassador discussed issues that continue to plague his country.  He focused on several on-going concerns: need to combat corruption, lack of civilian protections, and the need for increased peace and security throughout the country. The people of South Sudan know that addressing these issues will take a significant amount of time, but the government is dedicated to implementing programs that will address these concerns. The Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central Republic of Africa have committed ...

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September 13, 2012

UN visit from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria & Lebanon

Yesterday, the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations welcomed our partners from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon to advocate with governments of the United Nations Security Council.  Each representative we met received a package including letters from the Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, stories of what is happening to Christians in Syria, the PC(USA)’s history in the region as well as a copy of the PC(USA)’s policy adopted by the 220th General Assembly (2012).  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance coordinates the PC(USA) response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

In each of ...

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July 13, 2012

UN Secretary-General issues 11th annual report on children in armed conflict

From Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict a network of international nongovernmental organizations that strives to protect children in war zones:

The 11th Annual Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict, issued on Monday 11 June, 2012, provides an overview of the situation of children affected by armed conflict and the measures taken to protect them. It covers the period between January and December 2011, and contains specific recommendations for follow-up UN action. The body of the report contains information on grave violations committed against children, in particular the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, the abduction of children, attacks on schools and hospitals and the denial of humanitarian access to children by parties to conflict.

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March 13, 2012

UN Security Council Gravely Concerned at Cross-Border Violence between Sudan, South Sudan

From a March 6, 2012 press release by the UN Security Council:

Gravely concerned by reports of violent cross-border clashes between Sudan and South Sudan, the Security Council today demanded that all parties, including proxy forces, cease all military operations in the border areas and put an end to the cycle of violence.

Through a wide-ranging statement read out by its President, Mark Lyall Grant (United Kingdom), the Council, concerned about reported “troop movements, support to proxy forces, and aerial bombardments”, strongly urged the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to reach agreement on the status of disputed border areas ...

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February 15, 2012

Security Council issues statement on Sudan

The President of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Kodjo Menan of Togo released the following statement from the Security Council yesterday:

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep and growing alarm with the rising levels of malnutrition and food insecurity in some areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan, which could reach emergency levels if not immediately addressed, and with the lack of access for international humanitarian personnel to conduct an assessment of the situation and deliver urgently needed assistance.

The members of the Security Council called upon the Government of Sudan to allow ...

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August 24, 2011

The United Nations, Israel and Palestine - Palestine at the United Nations, September 2011

Presbyterian Policy

Since 1948 General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations have repeatedly addressed the Middle East and particularly Israel and Palestine. The Presbyterian position has consistently been to affirm the right of Israel to exist as a sovereign state within secure, internationally recognized borders and the right of the Palestinians to self-determination, including the right to the establishment of a neighboring independent, sovereign state toward the end of establishing a just and durable peace. Read actions of Assemblies from 1997 to 2010. The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy provides a summary of ...

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August 24, 2011

The United Nations, Israel and Palestine - Points of Engagement

The United Nations has been working on the question of Palestine and Israel since the first special session of the UN General Assembly on 28 April 1947, which established a body to investigate the issue and return with its recommendations. Over 60 years later, the range of the UN's work on the issues has continued to adapt to meet new challenges and address changing realities on the ground.

Points of Engagement

The UN General Assembly, comprised of all the Member States of the United Nations, has been involved in the quest for a peaceful settlement of the question of ...

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August 24, 2011

The United Nations, Israel and Palestine - A Brief History

The United Nations has been working on the question of Palestine and Israel since the first special session of the General Assembly on 28 April 1947, which established a body to investigate the issue and return with its recommendations. Over 60 years later, the range of the UN's work on the issues has continued to adapt to meet new challenges and address changing realities on the ground.

A brief history

Following the end of World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine was placed under the administration of Great Britain through the Mandates System of the ...

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August 17, 2011

Situation in Southern Kordofan

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Southern Kordofan, August 16, 2011

The United States welcomes the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the increasingly dire situation in Southern Kordofan.  We are deeply disturbed by the reports of extrajudicial killings, attacks on civilians, mass graves, arbitrary detentions, abductions, house to house searches, forced displacements, and other clear violations of humanitarian law.  We strongly support Commissioner Pillay’s recommendations, including immediate, unhindered access for humanitarian assistance and ...

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August 1, 2011

Palestine and the United Nations

Indications are that the Palestinians plan to apply for membership in the United Nations for the State of Palestine.

The UN Security Council held its regular quarterly open debate on the Middle East on July 26, 2011. This discussion included a focus on the Israel and Palestine.

Security Council Report is an independent not-for-profit organisation that works to provide consistent, balanced, high-quality information about the activities of the United Nations Security Council and its subordinate bodies to a wide group of stakeholders and the general public. They issued a report that contains information about the July 26 Security Council meeting ...

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July 27, 2011

Official summary of UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East and Palestine

Below is the official summary from the United Nations Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine held yesterday.


6590th meeting of the Security Council

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The agenda was adopted without objection.

The President, with the consent of the Council, invited the representatives of Bangladesh, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at their request, to participate in ...

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July 26, 2011

UN Security Council holds open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

The United Nations Security Council held an open debate on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine today.  Below are links to background information and statements made in the Council:

Security Council Report: Israel-Palestine

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry



Press Question and Answer- Palestine

United States

Links to additional statements will be posted when they become available.

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July 13, 2011

History in the making


SC Gathering

Photo: Ryan Smith

There are few times in one’s life where you can really say that you have witnessed history.  I believe today to be one such occasion for me.  

On Saturday, July 9, the world watched as South Sudan became fully independent from Sudan.  This occurred just six months after the historic referendum where over 98 percent of the population in South Sudan voted for independence.  The opportunity for the referendum was granted to the people by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, just years earlier.

Today, sitting in the chamber of the Security Council, I couldn’t help but ...

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July 13, 2011

US statement on children in armed conflict

Below are remarks from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice on the open debate on children in armed conflict held yesterday in the United Nations Security Council:

Thank you, Mr. President. We’re grateful to you, Mr. Minister, as well as to Ambassador Wittig and the German Mission for hosting this important debate and for your leadership as Chair of the Security Council Working Group. We also very much appreciate the important statements by the Secretary General, Special Representative Coomaraswamy and UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake.

Mr. President, abuses against children in armed conflicts do not just tear at our hearts ...

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June 23, 2011

Secretary General elected to new term


Ban Ki-MoonUN Photo/Mark Garten

On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to give Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and second five year term.  The Secretary General is chosen in a two-step process. 


Article 97 of the UN Charter states that, “The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”  Therefore, a Secretary General needs both the recommendation from the 15 member Security Council as well as a majority vote in the 192 member General Assembly.

This year, current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was the only candidate under consideration, almost ensuring him ...

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June 20, 2011

Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Sudan, June 20, 201

Below is a release from the United States Mission to the United Nations, a statement by Ambassador Rice to the Security Council on the ongoing situation in Sudan.  



June 20, 2011



Mr. President, we welcome the news that the parties have just signed an agreement on temporary administrative and security arrangements for Abyei and the withdrawal of Sudanese Armed Forces. We are encouraged by this news. We greatly appreciate the intensive efforts of former President Thabo Mbeki and the African Union High-level Implementation Panel over the past two weeks to assist the parties ...

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June 17, 2011

Update report on Sudan

Security Council Report has published an Update Report on Sudan.

Council members have been individually assessing events in Sudan—the military takeover of Abyei and the deteriorating situation in Southern Kordofan—almost on a day-to-day basis, but Council members have not formally met on Sudan since 3 June and most of the scheduled informal discussions have been repeatedly postponed.  The Council next meets on Monday 20 June, where it is expected they will receive a briefing on the outcome of the Addis Ababa talks.  It is possible that Council members will then negotiate a mandate and authorise a force to ...

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June 7, 2011

High-Level Talks on HIV/AIDS at the UN

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice gave a statement about HIV/AIDS to the Security Council this afternoon.  She said, "Two decades of often heroic international efforts to extend the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS have significantly alleviated the health effects of the disease, but most people living with HIV still lack access to treatment. For every person who starts treatment, two more become infected."

Ambassador Rice's statement to the Security Council came as the High-Level Talks on HIV/AIDS are occurring at the United Nations. 

The 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level ...

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June 3, 2011

UN Security Council Presidential Statement on Sudan

New York, NY June 3, 2011

The Security Council expresses grave concern about the ongoing violence and rapidly deteriorating situation in Abyei since the Council addressed the issue in its May 22 Press Statement, in which the Council condemned the attack by Southern forces against a United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) convoy escorting Sudanese Armed Forces elements of Joint Integrated Units on May 19 in Abyei, and also condemned the escalatory military operations being undertaken by the Sudanese Armed Forces, which have taken control of the area in and around Abyei town.

The Security Council strongly condemns the Government ...

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May 26, 2011

Update report on Syria

Security Council Report has published an Update Report on Syria. They note: On 25 May France, Germany, Portugal and the UK circulated to Security Council members a draft resolution condemning the government crackdown in Syria. At press time it was...

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May 13, 2011

Pray with the people of Sudan as South Sudan prepares for independence

Prayers are always in order for the people of Sudan. Prayers are particularly in order as July 9 – the date when South Sudan becomes an independent nation draws near. Our sisters and brothers in Sudan and around the world...

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March 18, 2011

Libya, Madagascar, Colombia, Japan

The UN Security Council has acted on Libya: Security Council authorizes ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians in Libya Madagascar remains plagued by political uncertainty: Madagascar still mired in crisis 2 years after coup Violence continues to displace people in...

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March 11, 2011

From the UN News Centre - 10 March 2011

Here are some of the top stories on the United Nations News Centre on 10 March 2011: Somalia: Security Council calls on world to step up supplies for African peace force UN rights chief denounces violence against journalists by Libyan...

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February 14, 2011

Sudan updates

Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Briefing on Sudan , February 9, 2011 UN hails South's vote on independence but cautions on tasks ahead North and South Sudan make...

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January 15, 2011

Côte d'Ivoire update

Security Council Report has published an Update Report on Côte d'Ivoire The Council is expected to adopt a resolution in the coming days to approve troop reinforcement for the peacekeeping mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) to enable the mission to...

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December 8, 2010

Security Council on Côte d’Ivoire

Security Council Report has published an Update Report on Côte d'Ivoire. The Security Council has been holding extended informal consultations on the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. The head of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire, Choi Young-jin, briefed the...

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December 5, 2010

Two presidents in Côte d'Ivoire?

Hold the people of Côte d'Ivoire in prayer as their country faces a time of deep uncertainty. Presidential elections were recently held in Côte d'Ivoire. A political standoff has followed. Alassane Ouattara was originally certified as the winner of the...

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November 26, 2009

Protecting civilians in South Sudan

Presbyterians recently initiated, signed and sent an interfaith letter calling for the deployment of United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) peacekeeping forces to protect civilians in South Sudan. The letter went to Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,...

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September 26, 2009

A World Free from Nuclear Weapons

On September 24, the U.N. Security Council, in a meeting chaired by by President Obama, took a huge step towards realizing the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons. The most powerful countries in the U.N. reaffirmed their commitment...

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March 31, 2009

April 2009 Security Council Report

Security Council Report has issued its Monthly Forecast Report (PDF) for April 2009 that previews issues likely to be considered in the UN Security Council during the month. These include: Sudan - The mandate for the United Nations Mission in...

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February 17, 2009

UN Security Council on Democratic Republic of the Congo

The United Nations Security Council has issued an update report on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.The Security Council will hear a report tomorrow (February 17) although it is unclear whether the councilwill act. The United Nations...

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