Recent developments on the situations covered in this Forecast are addressed in the relevant briefs. Interesting developments in the Council on other issues in January included:
Subsidiary Bodies: On 3 January, the Council decided on the chairs and vice-chairs of subsidiary bodies, as well as Council members of the Peacebuilding Commission for 2008 (S/2008/2). (Please see our Update of 4 January).
North Korea: Ambassador Marcello Spatafora of Italy, Chairman of the Sanctions Committee on the Democratic Republic of North Korea, briefed the Council on the Committee’s activities on 3 January. (See S/2007/778 for an overview of the Committee’s 2007 activities.)
Chad/Central African Republic: The Council adopted a press statement on 7 January that “welcomed progress made in the deployment of MINURCAT and encouraged contributors to make available to MINURCAT and EUFOR the personnel and resources required for the implementation of their mandates” (SC/9221). In the statement, the Council expressed concern at recent actions of illegal armed groups in eastern Chad and western Sudan and tensions it has engendered between the two countries. On 25 January, the Secretary-General informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Victor Da Silva Angelo of Portugal as his Special Representative for Chad and Central African Republic (CAR) and head of MINURCAT (S/2008/52).
Côte d’Ivoire: On 15 January, the Council considered (S/PV.5820) the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNOCI (S/2008/1) and adopted resolution 1795, which renewed UNOCI and the French forces which support it until 30 July 2008, “in order to support the organization in Côte d’Ivoire of free, open, fair and transparent elections”. Presidential elections are currently planned before the end of June.
Terrorism: On 15 January, the Council adopted a press statement that condemned the 14 January suicide attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan (SC/9226). In the statement, the Council “reiterated that no terrorist act can reverse the path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan”.
Kosovo: The Council held consultations on UNMIK on 15 January and a debate on 16 January (S/PV.5821). During the debate, Serbian President Boris Tadic called for “resumed negotiations” on the future status of Kosovo, and noted that “respect for…sovereignty and territorial integrity” is guaranteed by the UN Charter and called on the Council “to prevent the promotion and adoption of a unilateral measure on the independence of Kosovo.” After the debate, the Council held a closed meeting with President Tadic, Hashim Thaci of Kosovo and Joachim Rucker, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK (S/PV.5822, which was also issued as a communiqué).
Myanmar: On 17 January, the Council held consultations on Myanmar. The Council adopted a press statement reiterating full support for the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor, Ibrahim Gambari, and “underscored the importance of further progress, noting that an early visit to Myanmar by Mr. Gambari could help facilitate this” (SC/9228).
Iraq: On 21 January, Staffan de Mistura, Special Representative of the Secretary General, briefed the Council on UNAMI following the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2008/19). Mr. de Mistura told the Council that the UN could continue to support Iraq’s recovery by helping the government to assist returning refugees and internally displaced persons, resolve internal border disputes, support economic reconstruction and address health concerns. US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad briefed the Council on the work of the Multinational Force in Iraq, emphasising recent security gains and efforts toward national reconciliation. He suggested in the coming year that the Force would focus on strengthening the capacity of the Iraqi armed forces and ministries (S/PV.5823).
Middle East: The Council held a debate and consultations on the Middle East on 22-25 January. These were held after Saudi Arabia requested an urgent meeting to address recent developments in the occupied territories (S/2008/31). Calling the humanitarian situation in Gaza “extremely fragile,” Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe reiterated the Secretary-General’s emphasis on “the responsibilities of all parties to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law and to not endanger civilians” (S/PV.5824 and resumption 1). At press time, Council members were discussing a draft presidential statement to address the situation in Gaza. On 30 January, the Council is expected to hold its monthly debate on the Middle East.
Georgia: At press time, the Council was expected to hold consultations on UNOMIG on 29 January.
Ethiopia/Eritrea: At time of writing, the Council was expected to extend the mandate of UNMEE on 30 January.