Chronology of Events

revised on 13 August 2012


December 2008

On 15 December, the Council held a high-level closed formal meeting to consider the situation in Zimbabwe. The Secretary-General briefed on developments in the country and reportedly described the situation as a failure of the leadership in Zimbabwe to address the political, economic, human rights and humanitarian crises.

July 2008

On 11 July, the Council failed to adopt a draft sanctions resolution against certain individuals responsible for the political violence in Zimbabwe. (China, Viet Nam, Libya and South Africa voted against the draft text, with Indonesia abstaining.) On 3 July, the US had circulated a draft resolution in private consultations imposing sanctions, including an arms embargo, an assets freeze and a travel ban. On 8 July, the Council was briefed in an open meeting by the Deputy Secretary-General on developments since the second round of presidential elections on 27 June. On 8-9 July, G-8 leaders meeting in Japan issued a statement on Zimbabwe expressing their resolve to take “financial and other measures against those individuals responsible for violence” in the country. Meanwhile, on 1 July, the AU adopted a resolution expressing concern about the violence in the country and stressing the need to avoid further deterioration of the situation to prevent a spillover of the conflict into the broader region. 

June 2008

On 27 June incumbent President Robert Mugabe stood as the only candidate and was subsequently declared the winner. (On 2 May the Electoral Commission had revealed that neither of the two leading contenders managed an outright win, but on 22 June the opposition candidtate had withdrawn citing the absence of conditions for credible elections.) Following a request by Belgium, the Council held an open meeting on 23 June where it was briefed by the Under Secretary- General for political affairs on the situation in the country. The Council adopted a presidential statement  in which it condemned the campaign of violence against the opposition, called on Zimbabwe’s government to stop the violence, political intimidation and restrictions on the right of assembly, release detained political leaders and cooperate with all efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution. Finally, it noted that the results of the 29 March elections should be respected. On 19 June, the US Secretary of State had convened a closed meeting of diplomats and humanitarian groups and urged the Council to take stronger action against the violence in Zimbabwe. From 12 to 18 June, the Security Council held consultations on the situation of presidential elections. 

April 2008

On 24 April, the Secretary-General held talks with Tsvangirai in Accra, Ghana over the protracted post-election crisis in Zimbabwe and expressed concern about the post-electoral situation and the prevalence violence and polarization. On 16 April, at the High-Level debate in the Council on the Peace and Security in Africa, eight members of the Council (Belgium, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Italy, Panama, UK and US) expressed concern about the situation in Zimbabwe and called for free and fair elections and the release of the results of the presidential elections. A few days before, on 12 April, an extraordinary summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was convened in Lusaka, Zambia, to discuss the political situation in Zimbabwe.

March 2008

On 29 March, elections (presidential, house of assembly, senate and local councils) were held in Zimbabwe. The security situation in Zimbabwe deteriorated seriously following these elections in which the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party emerged as having the widest public support.

December 2005

A mission of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs traveled to Zimbabwe from 3-7 December.

July 2005

On 27 July, the Council convened in a private meeting on Zimbabwe under Rule 48 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure. The briefing of the special envoy, who answered questions put to her, was followed by a statement by the representative of Zimbabwe. On 26 July, Australia, Canada and New Zealand had addressed a letter to the President of the Council emphasising the special envoy’s finding of “the failure of the Government of Zimbabwe to protect its people,” stressing “the linkage between humanitarian and human rights crises and peace and security,” and calling for the Security Council “to be seized of the situation as a matter of urgency and to engage actively with the Government of Zimbabwe to bring an end to this situation.” The Special Envoy on Human Settlement Issues in Zimbabwe visited Zimbabwe from 26 June to 8 July.

June 2005

On 20 June the Secretary-General, acting on an agreement with the President of Zimbabwe, appointed Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, the Executive Director of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), as a special envoy to investigate the extent and impact of the evictions and the capacity of the government and the humanitarian community to respond to them.