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Though over two decades have passed since the end of the Cold War, armed conflicts, insurgencies and violent uprisings persist at the national, regional, and sub-regional levels. Intra-state conflicts have proven particularly inhumane and tragic. The international community has witnessed large-scale ethnic cleansing, the dislocation of vast segments of populations, the devastation of civil institutions and socio-economic infrastructure, and all too often, the victimization of the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.
The United Nations, pursuant to its responsibilities under its Charter, has made every effort to reinforce its role in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and post-conflict peace building. The Republic of Korea has also actively participated in the efforts of the United Nations in making the world a better and safer place, while simultaneously coping with new challenges of the 21st Century.
Membership of the Republic of Korea to the Security Council in 1996-1997 provided a renewed motivation to take on a more proactive role in the promotion of international peace and security. During its membership, the Republic of Korea focused on upgrading the Council's transparency, protecting humanitarian assistance to refugees and others, as well as enhancing the Council's capacity for resolving regional conflicts. While serving as President of the Security Council, the Republic of Korea initiated an open debate on protecting humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations, adopted four resolutions (1107-1110), and issued eight presidential statements (S/PRST/1997/25-32).
The Republic of Korea was elected again as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2013-2014 term at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly on October 18, 2012. Serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the Republic of Korea is making every effort to contribute in meaningful ways to the maintenance of international peace and security.
The ROK, which assumed the presidency just a month after beginning its term on January 1, 2013, led the Council effectively by addressing a variety of issues, including Weapons of Mass Destruction threats as well as regional issues, such as the situation in the Middle East.
The ROK also held an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict on February 12 and initiated adoption of a Presidential Statement, which reaffirmed the Council’s strong opposition to impunity for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights.
The ROK is expected to reassume the presidency of the Security Council in 2014 and work to contribute further to the implementation of the Security Council’s primary responsibility, which is to maintain international peace and security.