Recent developments on the situations covered in this Forecast are addressed in the relevant briefs. Interesting developments on other issues in the Council during November included:
International Criminal Tribunals: On 3December the presidents and prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR) briefed on implementation of the Tribunals’ completion strategies (S/PV.6228). The Tribunals’ reports were circulated to Council members in November (S/2009/587 and S/2009/589). On 16 December the Council, responding to requests from the Tribunals, adopted resolutions 1900 and 1901 authorising expanding capacity of ad litem judges to temporarily exceed the maximum allowed by the statutes and allowing two ad litem judges. The Council underlined its intention to extend by 30 June 2010 the terms of office of all trial judges until 31 December 2012 or until completion of their cases if sooner.
Drug Trafficking: On 8 December the Council held an open debate on drug trafficking as a threat to international security (S/PV.6233 and resumption 1). The Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso, Alain Yoda, presided and the Secretary-General participated. The executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, also spoke. All regional groups’ representatives participated along with the AU, the EU, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Economic Community of West African States. The Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2009/32) recognising that drug trafficking and related transnational organised crime activities are a serious threat to international peace and security. Council members stressed the importance of strengthening transregional and international cooperation to counter the problem. They asked the Secretary-General to mainstream the issue of drug trafficking as a factor in conflict prevention strategies, conflict analysis, integrated missions’ assessment and planning and peacebuilding support. The Council also asked the Secretary-General to provide more information on drug trafficking where it raises risks to international peace and security.
Cyprus: In informal consultations on 9 December Council members heard briefings by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Deputy Special Adviser and Head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Tayé-Brook Zerihoun. The Secretary-General had issued separate reports on UNFICYP (S/2009/609) and on his good offices mission for Cyprus (S/2009/610). On 14 December the Council renewed UNFICYP’s mandate for a further six months until 15 June 2010 (S/RES/1898). Turkey voted against the resolution (all others were in favour) and gave an explanation of vote (S/PV.6239) stating that it could not support a resolution implying a single government of the whole island.
Iran: On 10 December 2009 the chair of the 1737 Committee on Iran sanctions, Ambassador Yukio Takasu of Japan, briefed the Council (S/PV.6235) on reports of sanctions violations involving arms shipments from Iran aboard the Hansa India in October 2009 and aboard the Francop in November 2009. Takasu expressed the Committee’s grave concern over “an apparent pattern of sanctions violations” on the part of Iran.
Burundi: On 10 December the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General for Burundi and head of the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), Youssef Mahmoud, briefed the Council (S/PV.6236) on the latest report of the Secretary-General on situation in the country (S/2009/611).On 17 December the Council adopted resolution 1902 extending the mandate of BINUB until 31 December 2010. It called for international support for next year’s national elections in Burundi while expressing concern about continuing human rights violations, restrictions on civil liberties and political violence (S/PV.6245).
Counter-Terrorism Committee: On 14 December 2009 outgoing chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), Ambassador Ranko Vilovic of Croatia, briefed the Council (S/PV.6238). He stressed that the ongoing cooperation of member states is essential to CTC’s stocktaking process, which has proved to be complex and lengthy. Council members held informal consultations on CTC’s updated global survey of implementation on the same day.
Central African Republic (CAR): On 15 December the Council was briefed by the Special Representative and head of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in CAR (BONUCA), Sahle-Work Zewde, on the activities of the mission and the latest report of the Secretary-General on situation in the country (S/2009/627).On 21 December the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2009/35) welcoming the establishment of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in CAR (BINUCA) on 1 January 2010. It also requested the Secretary-General to make recommendations regarding benchmarks for BINUCA.
Ad-Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa: On 15 December the Council extended the work of the Ad-Hoc Working Group for Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa until 31 December 2010 (S/2009/650).
Golan Heights: On 16 Decemberthe Council renewed the UNDOF mandate until 30 June 2010 in resolution 1899 following consideration of the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2009/597). According to its practice on this issue, the Council also adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2009/34) noting the Secretary-General’s observations that the situation in the Middle East would remain tense until a comprehensive settlement on all aspects of the Middle East can be reached. (S/PV.6241)
Middle East: On 17 December the Council was briefed by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry (S/PV.6248) followed by consultations. Serry told the Council that if progress towards resuming negotiations isn’t achieved then both the Palestinian Authority and the two-state solution are at risk.
1267 Committee: On 17 December 2009, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1904 which renewed the mandate of the 1267 Committee (Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions) Monitoring Team for 18 months. Members of Al-Qaida and the Taliban identified on the consolidated list will continue to be subject to asset freezes, travel bans and weapons bans (S/PV.6247). The resolution also includes significant changes designed to improve due process, including creation of an Office of the Ombudsperson. The Ombudsperson will serve as a point of contact for individuals and entities requesting that they be delisted, and will compile information on individual delisting requests from various sources including Committee members and the individual or entity involved. Also, Committee members are called on to provide reasons when they object to delisting requests. The revised procedure is intended to ensure that pending delisting requests are addressed by the Committee within six months,member states provide listed individuals with a narrative summary of their listing and a description of effects of their listing, and improved procedures for considering delisting requests including the possibility of submitting requests to the Ombudsperson.
Liberia: On 17 December the Council adopted resolution 1903 renewing targeted sanctions for 12 months and readjusted the arms embargo to allow the Liberian government, as well as the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), to receive certain military materiels for the same time period. The Council also extended until 20 December 2010 the mandate of the Panel of Experts monitoring the implementation of the sanctions. (S/PV.6246)
Guinea: On 18 December the Secretary-General submitted to the Council the report of the International Commission of Inquiry investigating the 28 September government forces crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Guinea. On 21 December Council members were briefed by the UN Department of Political Affairs on key elements contained in the report. Council members subsequently decided to await the translation of the report (from the original French version) before formally considering it.
Iraq: On 21 December 2009 the Council adopted resolution 1905 extending the arrangements and related immunities for the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) until 31 December 2010. The Council called on the government of Iraq to put in place an action plan and timeline by 1 April to ensure the transition to a post-DFI mechanism by 31 December 2010. (S/PV.6249)
DRC: On 23 December, the Council adopted resolution 1906 extending the mandate of the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) but only for 5 months until 31 May 2010. It reprioritised MONUC’s focus onto protection of civilians and addressed in detail violations of international law, including from sexual violence, accountability, impunity, reform of the security sector and misuse of national resources. The Council issued a press release (SC/9832) expressing concern over attacks on civilians and mentioned that MONUC will withdraw from supporting DRC units found to have breached human rights, humanitarian or refugee law. The Council also requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of the situation in the DRC and MONUC’s progress towards achieving its mandate so that discussions could begin on drawdown but in such a way as to avoid the risk of relapse into instability. (S/PV.6253)