Strengthening int'l law Poland's priority at UN Security Council - FM

During a Monday meeting with the diplomatic corps, Minister Czaputowicz summed up the previous Polish presidency of the UN Security Council and outlined goals and priorities for the upcoming monthly presidency. Paweł Supernak/PAP

The strengthening of int'l law as the base of relations between states, protection of civilians and support for national minorities are Poland's priorities for its presidency of the UN Security Council, FM Jacek Czaputowicz said after meeting with the diplomatic corps.

Poland became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council on January 1, 2018 and will remain a member until the end of December 2019. Poland has already held the monthly rotating presidency in May, 2018 and will hold it for a second time as of August 1.

During a Monday meeting with the diplomatic corps, Minister Czaputowicz summed up the previous Polish presidency of the UN Security Council and outlined goals and priorities for the upcoming monthly presidency.

Czaputowicz emphasised that Poland's priorities during its first presidency included, among others, promoting compliance of activities with international law, protection of civilians in war zones, especially children, women, people with disabilities and representatives of religious minorities.

The minister recalled that from Poland's perspective, the Security Council adopted the first resolution regarding the situation of people with disabilities in regions affected by military operations. He pointed out that the resolution stressed the need to provide humanitarian and psychological assistance to people with disabilities in the regions affected by war.

Minister Czaputowicz also emphasised the regional dimension of Poland's activities in the security sphere, including involvement in the situation in Ukraine or Georgia.

The foreign minister during a briefing for journalists said Poland's goal at the UN Security Council is "to strengthen international law as the base of relations between states, protection of civilians in conflicts, support for national minorities and protection of human rights."

He announced that Poland plans a debate on August 2 on the situation of children in armed conflicts, a high-level briefing on August 13 on humanitarian law, a debate on August 20 devoted to the security situation in the Middle East and a meeting on the rights of persons belonging to religious minorities to be held on August 22.

Minister Czaputowicz also spoke of the Polish initiative for the Security Council to make August 20 an international day commemorating the victims of acts of religious violence. "We believe that religious freedom is a basic freedom from which we can derive other freedoms," said Czaputowicz.

Poland is a member of the UN Security Council for the sixth time. The first time it sat on the Council was in 1946-1947, and later on in 1960 (a term shared with Turkey), in 1970-71, 1982-83 and 1996-97.