Iran: On 4 March the chair of the 1737 Committee on Iran sanctions, Ambassador Yukio Takasu of Japan, informed the Council that from 11 December 2009 to 4 March, the Committee had received a response from one of the two states requested to provide additional information on previous reported violations of the sanctions regime. The Committee approved an additional notice urging states to be especially alert for additional violations. (S/PV.6280 and SC/9873)
Guinea-Bissau: On 5 March the Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau, Joseph Mutaboba, introduced the Secretary-General’s report (S/2010/106) on Guinea-Bissau (S/PV.6281). The Council subsequently issued a press statement (SC/9875) welcoming the progress being made in peace consolidation in the country and reaffirming the critical importance of security sector reforms in the country.
Middle East: Speaking to the press on 5 March the president of the Security Council expressed Council “concern at the current tense situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem”. He also said “they urged all sides to show restraint and avoid provocative acts; they stressed that peaceful dialogue was the only way forward and looked forward to an early resumption of negotiations.” On 24 March the Secretary-General briefed the Council on the 19 March meeting of the Quartet in Moscow, his own visit to the region and his intention to attend the Arab League Summit in Libya in late March (S/PV.6292). The Quartet welcomed proximity talks towards resuming direct negotiations leading to a negotiated settlement within two years; reaffirmed that unilateral action would not be recognised by the international community; underscored that Jerusalem is a permanent status issue and the Quartet’s intent to monitor developments and consider additional steps as may be required; and expressed concern regarding Gaza.
Liberia : On 10 March the Council was briefed in private consultations by the Head of the UN Mission in Liberia, Ellen Margrethe Løj, on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the country (S/2010/88).
Somalia: On 10 March the Somalia Monitoring Group briefed the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee on its report (S/2010/91). Subsequently, Council members met in closed consultations on 16 March to hear a briefing by the Committee’s chairman, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller. Heller said in a statement to the press following the consultations that there was general consensus among Council members in support of the idea to establish an independent investigation of the Monitoring Group’s allegations regarding diversion of World Food Programme (WFP) aid to insurgents. On 19 March the Council adopted resolution 1916 extending the mandate of the Monitoring Group for another 12 months with the addition of three new members. It also decided that the assets freeze provisions of resolution 1844 would not apply to funds “necessary to ensure the timely delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance in Somalia” and requested the UN humanitarian aid coordinator for Somalia to report to the Council every 120 days. On 24 March the Sanctions Committee met with representatives of WFP and the Somali government. At press time the Committee was scheduled to meet again on 30 March to continue discussions on the Monitoring Group’s report.
ICJ: On 18 March, following the announcement that Shi Jiuyong (China) would resign as a judge of the International Court of Justice on 28 May, the Council decided in resolution 1914 that the election to fill his vacancy will take place on 29 June 2010. (S/PV.6284 and SC/9883)
ICTY: In response to a request (S/2010/133) from the President of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia the Council on 18 March adopted resolution 1915 authorising the Tribunal to temporarily exceed the maximum number of ad litem judges allowed by its statute. (S/PV.6286 and SC/9884)
Sierra Leone: On 22 March Michael von der Schulenburg, Executive Representative of the Secretary-General to Sierra Leone, briefed the Council (S/PV.6291) on the fourth report of the Secretary-General on Sierra Leone (S/2010/135).
Afghanistan: The Council met (S/PV.6290) on 22 March and renewed the mandate for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for one year to 23 March 2011 (S/RES/1917). The mandate was expanded to provide technical assistance for the parliamentary elections expected in September. The resolution also stated that UNAMA and its special representative would continue to lead international civilian efforts in Afghanistan. This includes promoting, as co-chair of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, more coherent support by the international community; strengthening cooperation with the International Security Assistance Force and the NATO civilian representative; providing political outreach, as well as good offices to support at the request of the Afghan government for the implementation of Afghan-led reconciliation and reintegration programmes; and playing a central coordinating role in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Resolution 1917 also requested that UNAMA assist the Afghan government to assume Afghan leadership of the country, including by supporting the Kabul conference to be held later this year. On 18 March the Council held an open debate (S/PV.6287) on Afghanistan where it was briefed by Under-Secretary General Alain Le Roy.
Myanmar: On 24 March the Council received a briefing from the Secretary-General’s Chief of Staff, Vijay Nambiar, on recent developments in Myanmar. Among the areas covered were the rejection of the appeal by Aung San Suu Kyi against her sentence, the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Myanmar, Tomas Ojea Quintana, and the publication of the five new electoral laws. On 26 March the Secretary-General met with the Group of Friends on Myanmar.
Burundi: On 25 March the Secretary-General appointed Charles Petrie as the new Head of the UN Integrated Office in Burundi. Petrie will also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator, Resident Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator.
Terrorism: On 29 March the Council issued a press statement condeming the twin subway bombings in Moscow that killed dozens of people and was read out by Ambassador Emanuel Issoze-Ngondet of Gabon, reaffirming “that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”.