December 2010 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 December 2010
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Status Update

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:

Counterterrorism: On 3 November the Al-Qaida and Taliban (1267) Sanctions Committee approved the addition of two Individuals associated with the Taliban to its consolidated list of individuals and entities subject to its sanctions regime.

Conflict Prevention: Horizon Scanning: On 4 November Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the Council in consultations during a “horizon scanning session”. Pascoe briefed the Council on emerging security issues in a number of countries, both on and off the Council’s agenda. Council members subsequently engaged in discussions focusing on the issues of concern and raised issues arising in other international security threatening theatres for deliberation.

Lebanon: On 5 November Council members were briefed in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Patricia O’Brien on the 27 October attack against three staff members of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in Beirut. In remarks to the press the UK ambassador, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, in his capacity as the president of the Council in November, said that O’Brien recalled the Secretary-General’s 28 October statement condemning the attack. Grant also said that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri had reaffirmed to the Secretary-General Lebanon’s commitment to the Tribunal. Ambassador Nawaf Salam of Lebanon reiterated his country’s commitment to the rule of law and the safeguarding of its national unity and announced that Lebanon had initiated an investigation into the incident. On 18 November Council members were briefed in consultations by Michael Williams, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon, on the Secretary-General’s latest 1701 report (S/2010/565). Williams told the Council that Israel had agreed in principle to withdraw from northern Ghajar and redeploy south of the Blue Line which would be an important step towards the full implementation of resolution 1701. Williams also highlighted for the Council recent political tensions in Lebanon and its possible effects on 1701’s implementation.

Guinea-Bissau: On 5 November Joseph Mutaboba, head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office (UNIOGBIS), briefed the Council on developments in the country and of the work of the UN Office (S/PV.6416). On 23 November the Council extended the mandate of UNIOGBIS until 31 December 2011 (S/RES/1949). It urged members of the armed forces in Guinea-Bissau to: respect constitutional order, civilian rule and oversight, as well as the rule of law and human rights; to refrain from any interference in political issues; to guarantee the security of the national institutions, as well as the population in general; and to fully participate in the reform of the defense and security sector. The Council called on the government to conclude the investigations into the political assassinations of March and June 2009. (S/PV.6428)

Somalia: In a meeting on 9 November (S/PV.6417) Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on piracy off the coast of Somalia (S/2010/556). The executive director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, gave a briefing on this agency’s counter-piracy programme to assist countries in the region. On 23 November, the Council adopted resolution 1950, renewing for another 12 months the anti-piracy provisions of resolution 1897 and reaffirming its interest “in the continued consideration of all seven options for prosecuting suspected pirates” presented by the Secretary-General in a July report (S/2010/394). There was no other Council action in response to the AU request for increased UN support for AMISOM presented to the Council on 21 October.

On 29 November, the chair of the Eritrea/Somalia Sanctions Committee, Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, briefed Council members in informal consultations on the work of the Committee. (On 22 November, the Committee was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos on the latest report of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia on the humanitarian access situation in the country, S/2010/580.) In a press statement after the meeting, the Council confirmed that the humanitarian exemption established by resolution 1916 in regards to the assets freeze provision of the Somalia sanctions regime remained necessary (SC/10097).

In informal consultations on 30 November, Council members discussed UN support for the AU Mission in Somalia. They were briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, and by Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Susana Malcorra.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: On 11 November, the Council was briefed (S/PV.6421) by High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko. While praising Bosnia and Herzegovina for the recent completion of general elections, he continued to urge the country to put an end to internal disagreements and divisive rhetoric. On 18 November, the Council adopted resolution 1948, reauthorising the EU force for another year (S/PV.6426).

Kosovo: On 12 November the head of UNMIK, Lamberto Zannier, briefed the Council on the latest developments in Kosovo (S/PV.6422). Zannier reported that since the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on Kosovo, the Kosovo authorities have been with UNMIK on the facilitation of regional cooperation and the administration of northern Mitrovica. He highlighted the need for further dialogue, as called for by the General Assembly, and UNMIK’s cooperation with the EU to this end. Following the briefing, Council members reaffirmed the need for dialogue, yet differed on whether Kosovo’s status should be discussed therein. No action was taken by the Council.

Western Sahara: On 16 November, the Council was briefed in consultations by the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara Christopher Ross and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on the situation in Western Sahara. After the meeting, in remarks to the press, the Council deplored the violence in early November, when Moroccan forces reportedly led a pre-dawn raid to break up the Sahrawi camp housing more than 12,000 people outside the Western Sahara city of Laayoune. The Council expressed condolences over the deaths and injuries—with media reports claiming between 11 to 20 people killed and more than 700 injured—and reaffirmed support for Ross and MINURSO, urging all parties to demonstrate further political will.

Guinea: On 18 November the head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Said Djinnit, briefed Council members in consultations on the latest developments in Guinea. In its remarks to the press after the meeting, the Council president indicated that members had welcomed the high voter turnout for run-off in Guinea’s presidential elections on 7 November, deplored the violence that erupted following the announcement of the results of the run-off elections and took note of the provisional results of the run-off elections announced by the electoral commission. It appealed to all parties to use legal recourse to resolve their differences and respect the final decision to be announced by the country’s Supreme Court.

Myanmar: On 18 November Council members were briefed during consultations byVijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet and the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Myanmar on recent developments in Myanmar, including the elections and release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Protection of Civilians: On 22 November, the Council held an open debate on protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/PV.6427) to discuss the Secretary-General’s latest report on this issue (S/2010/579). The debate had more than fifty speakers and featured briefings by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, as well as the Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Yves Daccord.

In a presidential statement adopted at the end of the debate (S/PRST/2010/25), the Council endorsed an updated version of the aide-memoire first adopted in 2002 to facilitate consideration of protection issues in country-specific situations, mainly in terms of agreed Council language on protection issues, which reflects developments since the last revision in January 2009. It welcomed progress made in ensuring effective implementation of protection mandates in peacekeeping operations, emphasised the importance of protection indicators in benchmarks to monitor implementation of such mandates and reiterated its request to the Secretary-General for more detailed and systematic reporting on protection of civilians in country-specific situations. The Council also refined the legal obligations for states related to operations of private military and security companies during armed conflict. Finally, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit his next report on the protection of civilians by May 2012.

Timor-Leste: On 22 November the Council’s visit to Timor-Leste scheduled for the end of November was postponed when the Japanese permanent representative, who was leading the visit, indicated that he was needed in New York for other business.

Children and Armed Conflict: A Security Council Working Group delegation led by Mexico, the Chair of the Working Group, and made up of Council members from Austria, France, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US visited Nepal from 22 to 26 November (SC/10090). The delegation met with government ministers, UN officials, UCPN (Maoist) senior leaders, civil society representatives and children, and obtained commitments from the Government of Nepal and UCPN (Maoists) on moving forward with the rehabilitation and reintegration of conflict affected children.

Middle East: On 23 November Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe briefed the Council (S/PV.6430). Pascoe said that a return to Israeli-Palestinian talks was crucial and that the UN supports holding a Quartet meeting towards that end. Pascoe called on Israel to halt all illegal settlement construction and to fulfil its Roadmap obligations. He reiterated the 21 September Quartet statement that unilateral actions will not be recognised by the international community (SG/2162). At press time, it was unclear whether a US plan in which Israel would institute a ninety-day partial settlement moratorium in exchange for a package of US incentives would be accepted by the Israeli cabinet. On Gaza, Pascoe said Israel’s adjustment to the Gaza blockade in June was welcome but had not yet been fully translated into practice.

Peacekeeping: On 24 November Council members were briefed during consultations by Alain Le Roy, the Under-Secretary-General for peacekeeping and Susana Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support. Among the areas discussed were how to write better mandates, the need for balance between mandates and resources and peacebuilding tasks in mandates.

DRC: On 29 November, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1952, renewing the DRC sanctions regime and requesting the Secretary-General to extend the mandate of the group of experts monitoring those sanctions, both till 30 November 2011 (S/PV.6432). The resolution supports the recommendations contained in the group’s final report on due diligence guidelines for importers, processing industries and consumers of Congolese mineral products (S/2010/596). The guidelines aim to mitigate the risk of exacerbating the conflict in the DRC by the direct or indirect support of illegal armed groups, violators of sanctions and networks and perpetrators of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses, including among the national armed forces.

DPRK: On 29 November the chair of the 1718 Committee on DPRK sanctions briefed Council members.

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