Terrorism: On 2 May, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2011/9) welcoming the news that Osama bin Laden “will never again be able to perpetrate” acts of terrorism. The statement reaffirmed the importance of all previous Council resolutions on terrorism and reiterated that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, nationality or group.
Lebanon: On 6 May, Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen briefed Council members on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (S/2011/258). The discussion in consultations focused on the ongoing disarmament challenge and related border security issues, the lack of government formation in Lebanon, developments in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and possible spillover effects from the crisis in Syria.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: On 9 May, High Representative Valentin Inzko briefed (S/PV.6529) the Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Inzko said that with political parties employing zero-sum politics, state-level legislative processes were at a standstill and the country is facing the most serious and most direct challenges to the Dayton-Paris Peace Agreement since it was signed over 15 years ago.
Protection of Civilians: On 10 May, the Council held a debate on protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/PV.6531 and Res. 1). The situations in Côte d’Ivoire, Libya and Syria were addressed by many of the more than 40 speakers. Some welcomed the recent report of the Secretary-General’s panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka and called for implementation of its recommendations.
Kosovo: On 12 May, head of UNMIK Lamberto Zannier briefed (S/PV.6534) the Council on the situation in Kosovo. He said that the EU-mediated talks between Kosovo and Serbia were crucial to resolving problems hampering development. He stated that he supported the call by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly for a thorough, impartial and independent investigation into allegations of inhumane treatment of people and illicit trafficking of human organs in Kosovo and said that “UNMIK remains fully available to cooperate with such an investigation”.
Peacebuilding: Civilian Capacity Review: On 12 May, the former head of UN peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, briefed the Council on the independent review of UN civilian capacity for deployment in the immediate aftermath of conflict (S/PV.6533). Guéhenno had chaired the independent senior advisory group that undertook the review (S/2011/85). The head of the UN department of field support, Susana Malcorra, and the Chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, Rwandan Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana, also briefed the Council. Malcorra said she is working on recommendations for the Secretary-General to present to the General Assembly and Security Council in September or October.
Chad: On 13 May Council members were briefed by Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, on the protection of civilians in Chad (S/2011/278). She said that the 31 December 2010 withdrawal of MINURCAT so far does not appear to have adversely affected security in eastern Chad. Amos cited better bilateral relations between Chad and Sudan, the deployment of a Chad-Sudan joint border force and an increase in security personnel in displaced persons camps as contributing factors.
Thailand/Cambodia: On 17 May, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, briefed Council members in consultations on the situation on the Thai/Cambodian border. This followed ten days of armed clashes in late April between the militaries of Thailand and Cambodia along their disputed border, resulting in 18 deaths (including one civilian) and the displacement of tens of thousands. Pascoe updated the Council on the obstacles to the deployment of Indonesian monitors to the disputed area. The deployment had been agreed by the two countries in February, but since blocked by the Thai military.
DPRK: On 17 May, the chair of the Committee on DPRK sanctions briefed Council members in informal consultations.
Haiti: On 17 May the members of the Council issued a press statement (SC/10256) congratulating the people of Haiti on the peaceful conduct of the electoral process and the inauguration of a new government. The statement encouraged all political actors in Haiti to resolve any remaining electoral disputes through transparent and efficient legal means in order to reflect the will of the Haitian people.
Yemen: On 17 May, Council members were briefed by UN envoy Jamal bin Omer during a briefing by the Department of Political Affairs on emerging issues. Bin Omar briefed on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative there. As it had previously in April, Germany proposed elements to the press expressing concern at the political crisis and support for GCC mediation. It seems Russia opposed the initiative again. On 22 May, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh again refused to sign the GCC initiative which would see him leave power within thirty days in exchange for immunity. At press time, media reports indicated gun battles in Sanaa between Saleh and his main rival Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar have left 68 dead since Monday, 23 May.
Burundi: On 17 May, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) briefed the Council (S/PV.6538). She told the Council that the situation in the country remained generally calm, and that new laws have been adopted on the functioning of political parties and also for non-parliamentary opposition parties. She also noted that the government was preparing its second poverty reduction strategy paper which will incorporate elements of the strategic framework laid out by the Peacebuilding Commission. But she also noted with concern continuing instances of extrajudicial killings, corruption and Burundi’s lack of self-sufficiency in food production caused by land erosion.
Middle East: On 19 May, UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry briefed the Security Council at its regular monthly meeting followed by consultations (S.PV/6540). Serry told the Council that there was no credible initiative underway to resolve the impasse in the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. His briefing also covered the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation and the 15 May al-Nakba protests when Palestinian refugees tried to cross into Israel from Lebanon and Syria resulting in 14 deaths.
Myanmar: On 20 May, Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, briefed the Council in a closed meeting on his visit to Myanmar from 11-13 May. He told Council members that the visit had been an opportunity for the UN to engage with the new government shortly after its installation and build on dialogue already established with other key stakeholders. He also told Council members that although small steps had been taken with regard to releasing political prisoners and reducing sentences, the measures fell short of expectations and were insufficient. Council members were also briefed on Nambiar’s meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi, opposition and ethnic nationality groups and civil society.
Security Council Mission to Africa: Members of the Council visited Africa from 20 to 25 May. The first leg of the mission, in Addis Ababa, was mostly spent on the annual consultation with the AU’s Peace and Security Council (PSC), though the Council also met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. As reflected in the communiqué, the meeting with the PSC was largely focused on Libya, Somalia, Côte d’Ivoire and Sudan. The institutional relationship between the two bodies was also discussed.
In Sudan, stops had been planned in Khartoum, Abyei and Juba. But the attack on Abyei by the Sudanese Armed Forces and the subsequent takeover of the area by the government of Sudan disrupted the plan. Abyei became the focus of most of the meetings in Sudan. A strongly worded press statement was issued on 22 May, condemning the attack. In Khartoum, on 22 May, Council members were snubbed twice by top government officials. Sudan’s foreign minister cancelled at a short notice. His deputy Amir Hasan Omar attended instead. A meeting with Vice President Osman Taha was also cancelled at a short notice. In Khartoum, members also met with UNAMID officials and with former South African President Thabo Mbeki who is engaged in a number of mediation efforts concerning Sudan.
In Juba, South Sudan, on 23-24 May, the Council met with senior officials and also visited local areas to observe the impact of UNMIS’s work.
On 24-25 May the delegation visited Nairobi to discuss Somalia and met with leaders of the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions. They presented a strong, unanimous message to the Somali leadership, urging it to reconcile their differences, abstain from unilaterally extending their transitional mandates and warning that the patience of the international community and its willingness to support the TFIs were not infinite.