April 2011 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 March 2011
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AFRICA

Somalia

Expected Council Action
In April the Council is expected to adopt a resolution on piracy off the coast of Somalia. Council members have been unable to agree on the establishment of specialised courts to try suspected pirates but seem likely to ask for an urgent report from the Secretary-General on practical implementation issues with a view to taking decisions in June or July.

Key Recent Developments
On 10 March, as part of an initiative by the Chinese presidency to give higher priority to the situation in Somalia, the Council held an open debate with 38 speakers and briefings by the Secretary-General, the Somali prime minister and the AU. The Council adopted a presidential statement which stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy on Somalia and called for further action in the areas of political process, including on post-transitional arrangements; security and support for AMISOM; humanitarian assistance; protection of civilians; socioeconomic development; counter-terrorism; and counter-piracy efforts.

On 11 March, OCHA briefed the Sanctions Committee as requested by resolution 1916. The Chair of the Committee, Indian Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, briefed in consultations on 15 March. On 17 March, the Council adopted resolution 1972 extending for 16 months the exemption to the assets-freeze provision of the Somalia sanctions regime under resolution 1916 for payments “necessary to ensure the timely delivery of urgently needed humanitarian assistance in Somalia”. The resolution also extended the periodic reporting requirement for the Humanitarian Coordinator from every 120 days to every eight months.

The Piracy Issue
Negotiations on the piracy issue following the report and recommendations from the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Legal Issues related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, Jack Lang, have taken longer than many had expected. Russia initiated the process with its P5 colleagues by circulating possible elements for the resolution at the end of February. The process was kept within the P5 for several weeks. Russia and France wished to proceed quickly to establish specialised piracy courts. But the UK and the US argued that more information was necessary to make such a decision. It seems the negotiations were also slowed by a US request for more time because of an internal American Somalia policy review.

Negotiations finally moved to the full Council in late March based on a shortened version of the draft resolution originally proposed by Russia. Elected members appeared generally supportive, although African members are pushing to include more language addressing the root causes of piracy and calling for capacity-building and economic development on land.

UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1972 (17 March 2011) extended for 16 months the exemption to the assets-freeze provision of the Somalia sanctions regime.
  • S/RES/1964 (22 December 2010) renewed the authorisation of AMISOM until 30 September 2011 and raised its troop level to 12,000.
  • S/RES/1950 (23 November 2010) renewed for a period of 12 months the anti-piracy measures of previous Council resolutions.
  • S/RES/1916 (19 March 2010) extended the mandate of the Monitoring Group and established the humanitarian exemption.
  • S/RES/1844 (20 November 2008) imposed targeted sanctions.

Selected Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2011/6 (10 March 2011) stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy for Somalia.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

Selected Meeting Record

Other

  • S/2011/125 (11 March 2011) contains the latest 120-day report of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia in accordance with resolution 1916.
  • S/2011/114 (3 March 2011) was a concept note from China for the 10 March open debate.
  • S/2011/30 (24 January 2011) was from the Secretary-General transmitting Jack Lang’s report on piracy.

Full Forecast