Finland hosted already for the tenth time an annual workshop for the Newly Elected Members of the Security Council. The retreat was organized in co-operation with the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies of the University of San Diego, the Security Council Affairs Division of the UN Secretariat and the Security Council Report on 15-16 November.
This annual retreat gives an opportunity for new members of the Security Council to learn about the Council’s working methods, subsidiary bodies and to look at the results of its efforts so that the new members can hit the ground running on January 1st 2013.
Dr Henry Kissenger, who was described by the Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon as a teacher of teachers and the Dean of Deans, was the keynote speaker at the event. Nobel Peace Laureate Kissenger urged diplomats contribute more than a word “peace” on the current situation in the Middle-East: “Concrete action are needed.” He emphasized that humanitarian issues should be separated from political issues.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon requested the Security Council members to have a unity of voice on all issues. “When there is a unity of voice the Council can achieve results.” He reminded the new Security Council members that the Council has extended its work to new topics such as climate change.
This year the 10th Anniversary of the retreat was celebrated and therefore Permanent Representatives of countries that had benefited of the seminar during the past years had been invited in addition to new and current Council Members.
The Chair of the Security Council this month, Permanent Representative of India, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri encouraged Finland to continue organizing this retreat in the coming years. “Finland has contributed a lot to the work of the Council and it doesn’t have only a supporting role.”
Other diplomats also expected this workshop to be carried on: “It is already an institution at the UN, very useful and therefore we hope that all new members would have an opportunity to benefit from this fruitful tradition.”