November 2007 Monthly Forecast


Prevention of Armed Conflict

Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to consider a report from the Secretary-General on options for further implementation of resolution 1625. Adopted at a heads of state level summit in 2005, this resolution addressed the Security Council’s role in the prevention of armed conflict, particularly in Africa.  The report may be considered in informal consultations and will be utilised by the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.  It may also contain useful material for members wishing to participate in an open debate on cooperation between the Security Council and regional organisations tentatively scheduled for 6 November. 

(For detailed background on the Council’s previous work on conflict prevention, please see our 24 August Update Report.)

Recent Developments
On 28 August, under the presidency of Congo (also chair of the Working Group), the Council held an open debate on conflict prevention in Africa.  A presidential statement adopted at the end of the debate requested within sixty days a report on options for further implementation of resolution 1625

The open debate on 28 August stimulated two follow-up meetings of the Working Group.  The Group is planning a seminar on a global conflict prevention strategy in Africa.  The seminar is to be held in early December in New York.  Participation from delegations and the UN system and relevant regional organisations, think tanks, NGOs and the private sector is expected. 

A task force including all African members of the Council (and open to participation by other Council members) is preparing for the seminar. Other relevant stakeholders including the Economic and Social Council, the Department for Peacekeeping Operations, the Peacebuilding Support Office, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the African Union and the European Union will also be invited to participate in the task force. The task force’s recommendations will be submitted to the Group for its endorsement.  A briefing on the activities of the Group will be made to the Council before the seminar is held.  Recommendations from the seminar will then be used to inform the drafting of a resolution for consideration by the Council. 

Key Issues
The key issue is whether the Council should take up the Secretary-General’s report in November or wait until after the seminar. 

Options include:

Council Dynamics and Working Group Activities
Council members expect the Secretary-General’s report to assist in further streamlining the complementary roles of the Council and the Secretariat in elaborating international conflict prevention strategies as well as assist the Working Group (comprising all Council members) in planning  the proposed December seminar. 

While Council members seem agreed on the need to press on with implementing resolution 1625, there is lingering concern among some members (e.g. Congo) to ensure that concrete conclusions are drawn from the seminar and feed into a possible resolution in December.  Council members are increasingly aware of the importance of enhancing within the UN a culture of prevention as a viable and far less costly alternative to expensive and complex peacekeeping missions and humanitarian operations and, in particular, overcoming the difficulty of mobilising political will to act on emerging situations before they become a crisis. 

Congo is the lead country on this issue.

UN Documents

 Selected Security Council Resolutions
  • S/RES/1653  (27 January 2006) addressed conflict prevention and resolution in the Great Lakes region.
  • S/RES/1631 (17 October 2005) addressed the issue of cooperation between the UN and regional organisations.
  • S/RES/1625 (14 September 2005) was a heads-of-state and heads-of-government level declaration adopted during the World Summit on the Council’s role in conflict prevention, particularly in Africa.
  • S/RES/1366 (30 August 2001) addressed the issue of DDR in UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding mandates and stated that preventing armed conflict was a major part of the Council’s work.
  • S/RES/1327 (13 November 2000) emphasised the importance of the Secretary-General in conflict prevention and reaffirmed the role of women in conflict prevention and resolution and peacebuilding.
  • S/RES/1318 (7 September 2000) was the adoption of the Millennium Summit declaration on ensuring an effective role for the Council in maintaining peace and security, especially in Africa.
  • S/RES/1170 (28 May 1998) established an ad hoc working group for six months to review recommendations in the Secretary-General’s 13 April 1998 report on conflict, prepare a framework for their implementation and make proposals for concrete action for the Council.
 Reports of the Working Group
  • S/2005/833 (30 December 2005), S/2004/989 (21 December 2004), S/2003/1188 (18 December 2003), S/2002/1352 (12 December 2002), and S/2002/607 (22 May 2002) were reports summarising the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.
  • S/2005/828 (22 December 2005) was the report on a seminar held by the Working Group on cooperation between the United Nations and African regional organisations in the field of peace and security.
 Selected Presidential Statements
  • S/PRST/2007/31 (28 August 2007) requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on the options for further implementation of resolution 1625.
  • S/PRST/2007/22 (25 June 2007) regarded threats to international peace and security.
  • S/PRST/2007/1 (8 January 2007) focused on threats to international peace and security.
  • S/PRST/2002/2 (31 January 2002) made recommendations for achieving conflict prevention and resolution in Africa and noted that the Council would consider establishing a Working Group to monitor these recommendations. 
  • S/PRST/2000/25 (20 July 2000) invited the Secretary-General to submit a report on the prevention of armed conflict.
  • S/PRST/1999/34 (30 November 1999) recognised the importance of building a culture of armed conflict prevention and the need for a contribution from all principal UN organs to achieve this goal.
  • S/PRST/1998/28 (16 September 1998) focused on enhancing Africa’s peacekeeping capacity and highlighted the problem of children in armed conflict.
  • S/PRST/1997/46 (25 September 1997) noted that addressing the challenges of conflict in Africa required a comprehensive approach and called on the Secretary-General to produce a report to address the issue.
 Selected Security Council Debates
  • S/PV.5735 and resumption 1 (28 August 2007) was the discussion on the role of the Security Council in conflict prevention and resolution, in particular in Africa.
  • S/PV.5705 and resumption 1 (25 June 2007) focused on the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • S/PV.5649 and resumption 1 (28 March 2007) discussed the relationship between the UN and regional organisations.
  • S/PV.5156 (30 March 2005) was a wrap-up session of the Council’s work for the month with the discussion focusing on Africa.
  • S.PV.4766 (30 May 2003) was a wrap-up discussion on the Council’s monthly activities that dealt with conflicts in Africa.
  • S/PV.4538 (22 May 2002) dealt with the situation in Africa and the Working Group.
  • S/PV.4334 and resumption 1 (1 January 2001) focused on the role of the Security Council in the prevention of armed conflict and the report of the Secretary-General on the prevention of armed conflict (S/2001/574).
  • S/PV.4174 (20 July 2000) was an open debate on conflict prevention.
  • S/PV.3819 (25 September 1997) was the first ministerial-level debate on the situation in Africa.
 Selected Reports of the Secretary-General
  • A/60/891 (18 July 2006) was a progress report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on the prevention of armed conflict.
  • A/60/L.1 (15 September 2005) was the 2005 World Summit Outcome document.
  • S/2001/574 (7 June 2001) was the Secretary-General’s first comprehensive report on conflict prevention. 
  • S/2000/809 (21 August 2000) was the Brahimi report on peacekeeping.
  • S/1998/318 (13 April 1998) was the Secretary-General’s report on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.
  • S/2007/496 (14 August 2007) was the letter from Congo containing the terms of reference for the open debate on 28 August on conflict prevention and resolution, especially in Africa.
  • DPA/MS/2007/1 (15 June 2007) was a note verbale inviting member states to nominate candidates to serve as standby specialists to enhance the Secretariat’s mediation support capacity.
  • S/2002/1352 (12 December 2002) were recommendations from the Working Group to the Security Council on how to enhance the effectiveness of special representatives and representatives of the Secretary-General in Africa.
  • S/2002/979 (29 August 2002) were recommendations from the Working Group regarding Groups of Friends, coordination between the Security Council and the AU, and peacebuilding in Guinea-Bissau.
  • S/2002/207 (1 March 2002) outlined the terms of reference and mandate for the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa.

Other Relevant Facts

 Chair of the Working Group
  • Pascal Gayama (Congo: July 2006 – Present)
  • Basile Ikouebe   (Congo: January 2006 to June 2007)

Full forecast