March 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 February 2011
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Status Update

DRC: On 7 February, Special Representative for the DRC Roger Meece briefed the Council on the situation in the country (S/PV.6476). In a press statement issued following the briefing (SC/10167), the members of the Council expressed concern over lack of progress in security and judicial sector reform and the high levels of insecurity in eastern DRC. Members also condemned the recent sexual violence in North and South Kivu by elements within the Congolese army. They called for the swift prosecution of all perpetrators of human rights abuses and called upon the Congolese authorities to advise the Secretary-General on measures taken.

Interdependence between Security and Development:On February 11, at the initiative of Brazil, the Council held an open debate (S/PV.6479and resumption 1) on the interdependence between security and development. Representatives of 46 non-Council member states participated in the debate, two of which were at the ministerial level. The debate was also attended by six foreign ministers of Council members and the Secretary-General. Following the debate, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2011/4), emphasizing that security and development are closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing for the achievement of sustainable peace. The Council further reiterated that a comprehensive and coherent approach, addressing the roots of each conflict and incorporating political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities is crucial for a country’s sustainable recovery from conflict.

Thailand/Cambodia: On 14 February, the Council held a private meeting under the agenda item “Letter dated 6 February 2011 from the Permanent Representative of Cambodia to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2011/58)” (S/PV.6480). The Council heard a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe and the chair of ASEAN, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Marty Natalegawa. The Council also heard statements from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia, Hor Namhong, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand, Kasit Piromya. The Council issued a press statement (SC/10174) expressing grave concern about the recent armed clashes between Cambodia and Thailand. Members called on the two sides to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation. They further urged the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire, and to implement it fully and resolve the situation peacefully and through effective dialogue; expressed support for ASEAN’s efforts and encouraged the parties to continue to cooperate with the organisation in this regard. At the ASEAN meeting on 22 February Thailand and Cambodia agreed to allow unarmed Indonesian observers to monitor a ceasefire. Indonesia is sending around forty military and civilian observers to be positioned on both sides of the border.

Peacekeeping: On 17 February, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peackeeping Alain Le Roy and Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Susana Malcorra on the issue of national consent in host countries that have peacekeeping missions. Brazil as Council president had earlier circulated a concept note on this issue. Council members had discussed a range of issues related to managing consent in peacekeeping operations including the idea of qualified consent and the legal implications of a contract with host governments.

Guinea-Bissau: On 15 February, the Secretary-General issued the latest report of the Secretary-General on activities of UNIOGBIS. On 25 February the Council was briefed by the head of UNIOGBIS, Joseph Mutaboba, on developments in the country.

OSCE: On 15 February, the Chair of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius A┼żubalis, briefed the Council (S/PV.6481). Among the priorities identified by A┼żubalis was seeking tangible progress in addressing protracted conflicts, increasing media freedom and education on tolerance and intensifying the OSCE’s work in supporting UN-led stabilisation efforts in Afghanistan. He also noted intent to cooperate with the UN in promoting a universal legal framework on terrorism and pledged to enhance the OSCE’s response to organised crime.

Kosovo: On 16 February, Special Representative and head of UNMIK, Lamberto Zannier, briefed (S/PV. 6483) the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on Kosovo (S/2011/43). He stated that political instability and uncertainty had characterised the last three month reporting period and that no long-term stability and development of Kosovo depended on a successful process of reconciliation among the communities. He also called for the immediate investigation of allegations made against members of the Kosovo Liberation Army of organised crime, including trafficking in illegal organs and noted that the EULEX was ready to undertake the probe. Zannier also criticised the conduct of recent elections.

Protection of Civilians: On 18 February, at the initiative of Brazil, Council members met in informal consultations to discuss the three protection issues on the Council’s agenda: protection of civilians; women, peace and security; and children and armed conflict. There were briefings by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Atul Khare, Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict Radhika Coomaraswamy and Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallström. The goal of the consultations was to help ensure a coherent Council approach and mutually supportive Secretariat actions on all three protection issues.

Libya: On 22 February, the Security Council issued a statement (SC/10180) on the situation in Libya in response to government violence against peaceful demonstrators. Members condemned the use of force against civilians, called on Libya to meet its responsibility to protect its population and stressed the importance of accountability. The Council held a closed meeting under the agenda item “Peace and security in Africa” with 75 member states, including the Libyan permanent representative, also in attendance (S/PV.6486), followed by informal consultations. The Arab League on 22 February and the AU on 23 February also issued statements condemning the use of force against civilians. On 25 February the Council was briefed by the Secretary-General followed by informal consultations where members were expected to discuss a range of Chapter VII deterrent measures against the Libyan regime. (For more information please see our Update Report on Libya of 25 February 2011).

Timor-Leste: On 22 February, the head of UNMIT, Ameerah Haq, briefed an open debate of the Council (S/PV.6485). The prime minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, addressed the Council. Representatives of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and the EU also participated in the debate.On 24 February the Council extended the mandate of UNMIT for a further 12 months (S/RES/1969).

DPRK: On 23 February, the chair of the 1718 Committee on DPRK sanctions briefed Council members in informal consultations.

Middle East: On 24 February, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry briefed the Council and called for credible and effective international intervention in the peace process. On 18 February, a draft resolution (S/2011/24) condemning Israeli settlement activity was vetoed by the US (the first use of the veto by the Obama administration and the first US veto since 2006). The other 14 members of the Council voted in favour (S/PV.6484). The US said that while it agreed with Council members about the illegitimacy of settlement activity it was unwise to resolve core issues of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Council. In the days leading up to the vote, the US proposed a three pronged package to the Palestinians in lieu of the resolution: a presidential statement broadly along the lines of the draft resolution, taking up the 8 February Russian proposal for a visiting mission to the region and stronger language on 1967 borders coming out of the next ministerial-level Quartet meeting (at that time expected in mid March). The incentives were not sufficient for the Palestinians to withdraw the draft resolution originally tabled on 18 January with 122 co-sponsors. At the time of the vote a month later the draft had a very different and much smaller set of 79 co-sponsors (18 countries, mainly European joined the list, while some 61 others, mainly from NAM, dropped out). Some states formally withdrew sponsorship. However, it seems that much of the reduced number was due to the fact that the US raised a procedural objection to the co-sponsorship list claiming that many states had not followed the correct procedure in attaching their names to the draft.

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