January 2007 Monthly Forecast

Posted 22 December 2006
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Status Update

Recent developments on the situations covered in our December Forecast are covered in the relevant briefs in this issue.  However, other interesting Council developments in December included:

  • Iran: A resolution imposing sanctions on Iran was poised for adoption as this issue went to press. The resolution establishes a Sanctions Committee and imposes an embargo on trade in “proliferation-sensitive” items.  Targeted asset freezes are included but not a travel ban.
  • Uganda: The Secretary-General appointed Joaquim Chissano, the former president of Mozambique, as his Special Envoy for LRA-affected areas (S/2006/930).
  • Middle East: The Council issued a press statement on 6 December welcoming the Gaza ceasefire and calling for an end to all aspects of terrorism and violence (SC/8889). On 12 December, the Secretary-General participated in a Council debate on the Israeli/Palestinian peace process(S/2006/956). A presidential statement reaffirmed the Council’s commitment to a two-state solution (S/PRST/2006/51). 
  • Great Lakes Region: On 20 December, the Council held a debate on the Great Lakes and was briefed by Special Representative Ibrahima Fall and the Executive Secretary of the Great Lakes conference, Liberata Mulamula of Tanzania. The Council issued a presidential statement welcoming the summit’s decision to establish a regional secretariat in Burundi and cooperate on the region’s security, stability and development.  The Council also renewed Fall’s mandate for a final period of three months (S/PRST/2006/57).
  • Protection of Journalists: Council action on the protection of journalists in armed conflict was close to adoption as this issue went to press. Initiated by France and Greece, the initiative does not create new obligations but refers to previously agreed language on the protection of civilians in armed conflict as in resolutions 1674 (on protection of civilians) and 1502 (on protection of humanitarian personnel), with a special emphasis on journalists.
  • International Criminal Tribunals: On 15 December the Council was briefed by the ICTY and ICTR on their respective completion strategies (S/2006/898 and S/2006/951). Representatives of both tribunals stressed the importance of avoiding impunity of indictees (SC/8906).
  • Kosovo: UNMIK Head of Mission and Special Representative for Kosovo, Joachim Rücker, briefed the Council on 13 December.  He emphasised the Secretary-General’s view (S/2006/906) that maintaining momentum on the status process is essential (SC/8900).  It is expected that the Council will focus on Kosovo in March. Rücker said any further delay could fuel instability.
  • Sanctions: In resolution 1732 on 21 December the Council received the report of its Working Group on Sanctions and terminated the Group’s mandate.
  • CTED: The comprehensive review of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate was discussed in the Council on 20 December (S/2006/989).  The Council reiterated its commitment to combat all forms of terrorism and stressed the importance of  enhanced cooperation among the 1267, CTC and 1540 Committees, all of which deal with counter-terrorism issues and the need to avoid duplication, especially in their requests to member states (S/PRST/2006/56). 
  • Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: The Council issued a press statement after the open debate on 4 December emphasising the Council’s commitment to translating the terms of resolution 1674 into concrete action (SC/8885).
  • Afghanistan: On 7 December Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan briefed the Council on the Council visiting mission to Afghanistan.  The mission’s report (S/2006/935) highlighted the fragility of the country’s institutions and the challenges posed by the insurgency and the illicit narcotics trade. The report underlined the importance of moving forward with implementation of the Afghanistan Compact (SC/8891).   
  • Iraq: On 11 December the Council was briefed by the Special Representative for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, and the US, representing the MNF. The Council issued a press statement welcoming an international conference on Iraq (SC/8895).   On Kuwaiti missing persons/property the Secretary-General’s report (S/2006/948) was recognised by the Council in a press statement  (SC/8899). Finally, the Council also considered the UNMOVIC report (S/2006/912) on 5 December with no discernable change in approach. The Secretary-General reminded the Council of the need to review the UNMOVIC mandate (S/2006/987).
  • Liberia: Resolution 1731 renewed the Liberian diamond sanctions for six months (with a promise of review after four months) and the travel sanctions and arms embargo for a year.
  • Golan Heights: The UNDOF mandate was extended to 30 June 2007 by resolution 1729.  The Secretary-General’s UNDOF report stated that continuing tension in the region required a comprehensive approach covering all aspects of the Middle East problem (S/2006/938). A presidential statement followed supporting the Secretary-General’s view (S/PRST/2006/54). 
  • Cyprus: UNFICYP’s mandate was extended to 15 June 2007 by resolution 1728.  The Secretary-General reported that the Special Envoy for Cyprus has continued to try and build trust between the two communities and mentioned the possibility of appointing a mediator to the country in the near future (S/2006/931).
  • Sierra Leone: On 22 December, the Council adopted resolution 1734 extending UNIOSIL’s mandate for twelve months, as recommended by the Secretary-General in his latest report (S/2006/922).
  • Burundi: On 21 December, the Council held consultations on Burundi prior to ONUB’s mandate expiry at the end of the month.  A new UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) will continue peace consolidation activities and will coordinate the UN’s activity in the country.
  • Guinea Bissau: The UNOGBIS mandate was renewed for one year in an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the Security Council until 31 December 2007 (S/2006/974 and 975). The Secretary-General’s report recommended shoring up the country’s fragile reconstruction and promoting dialogue and reconciliation to avoid any potential for backsliding into violence (S/2006/946).
  • Annual Report: The Security Council adopted its annual report to the General Assembly (A/61/2) on 6 December (S/2006/942). 

Full forecast

 

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