May 2012 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 April 2012
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Status Update

Mali: On 4 April, the Council issued a presidential statement on the situation in Mali (S/PRST/2012/9), where junior army officers fighting a spreading Tuareg rebellion in the north announced that they had seized control of the country in March (S/PV.6745). The statement called for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule, and demanded the safe release of all detainees, as well as an end to all hostilities in the north. It also condemned continued attacks, looting and seizure of territory by rebels in the north, particularly expressing alarm over the presence of Al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists in the north of the country and in the wider Sahel region.

Iraq: On 10 April, Martin Kobler, head of UNAMI, briefed (S/PV.6747) the Council on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2012/185). The briefing was followed by closed consultations. (This was the second time the Council was briefed by Kobler, who assumed his duties in Baghdad on 8 October 2011.) The Secretary-General’s report included the surge of violent attacks across the country following the issuance of an arrest warrant by the Higher Judicial Council against Vice President Tariq Al-Hashemi on 19 December 2011. Kobler also updated the Council on the Camp Ashraf situation and the developments regarding the ongoing violence in Syria and its subsequent impact on Iraq due to a potential influx of Syrian refugees, as well as the return of a large number of the estimated one million Iraqi refugees currently in Syria. Ambassador Hamid Al Bayati (Iraq), during the same briefing, called the convening of the twenty-third Arab summit in Baghdad on 29 March a milestone.

Myanmar: On 11 April, Council members, during consultations, were updated on the recent developments in Myanmar by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar. (Nambiar had recently visited Myanmar from 12-17 February, his third since the inauguration of President Thein Sein on 30 March 2011.) Nambiar highlighted peace and national reconciliation with ethnic groups and the need for the government to deliver on socioeconomic needs. On 23 April, Ban Ki-moon, during his speech to the media at the UN stakeout, called the recent elections as landmark while acknowledging that the situation remained fragile. He also confirmed his forthcoming visit to Myanmar by the end of the week.

Sierra Leone: On 11 April, Council President, Ambassador Susan Rice (US), read out a presidential statement on Sierra Leone (S/PRST/2012/11) in which the Council welcomed a clarification made by the Sierra Leone government on a multi-million dollar purchase of arms. Michael von der Schulenburg, who was withdrawn from Sierra Leone on 6 February as the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative for UNIPSIL, had raised issue with the arms purchase in a briefing to the Council on 22 March (S/PV.6739). The statement underlined the importance of free, fair and transparent elections on 17 November. It also underscored the importance for the national authorities to respond “proportionately” to threats to the security of its citizens, and called on the government to ensure that its security forces remained committed to upholding applicable international law.

Western Sahara: On 12 April, the Council held a closed meeting (S/PV.6750) with the troop and police-contributing countries to MINURSO. On 17 April, Council members received a briefing in consultations on MINURSO. The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross, and the head of MINURSO, Hany Abdel-Aziz, briefed on developments and on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2012/197). The final report took into account challenges to the MINURSO mandate, as requested by the Council in resolution 1979 , and acknowledged that the mission had failed to fulfill its key purpose: “to organize and supervise a referendum on Western Sahara self-determination.” (The final version of the released report contained no fewer than seven edited paragraphs and it replaced three previously released advance reports.) On 24 April, Council members adopted resolution 2044 and extended the mandate of MINURSO for another year. A draft resolution had earlier been discussed by the Group of Friends of Western Sahara (France, Russia, US, UK and Spain) and eventually distributed amongst Council members.

Terrorism: On 17 April, the Council issued a press statement (SC/10611) condemning coordinated terrorist attacks in Afghanistan on 15 and 16 April, while “reiterating that no terrorist act can reverse the path towards Afghan-led peace, democracy and reconstruction in Afghanistan.”

Côte d’Ivoire: On 18 April, Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), the chair of the 1572 Committee, briefed Council members during consultations about the Committee’s activities and on the final report of the Panel of Experts monitoring the sanctions on Côte d’Ivoire. Rosenthal hailed progress made in peace consolidation by the government of President Alassane Ouattara, but pointed out remaining challenges, including violations of the arms embargo and continued diamond smuggling. On 26 April, the Council adopted resolution 2045 renewing the Côte d’Ivoire sanctions regime for 12 months. The resolution, which also renewed the mandate of the Panel of Experts, rolled over most of the measures in resolution 1980 . (Resolution 1980, adopted on 28 April 2011, renewed for a year an arms embargo, a ban on the diamond exports and targeted sanctions on a number of individuals.)

Guinea Bissau: On 19 April, the Council discussed Guinea Bissau (S/PV.6754) after soldiers seized power on 12 April. On 21 April, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/15) taking note of a decision by the AU to hold consultations with the Economic Community of West African States, the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries and other partners for “possible additional means necessary for the stabilization of the country, in consultation with the legitimate government of Guinea-Bissau.” The statement requested the Secretary-General to keep it informed on developments in Guinea-Bissau and to submit a report concerning the reestablishment of the constitutional order by 30 April.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Security: On 19 April, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/14) following a meeting entitled “Maintenance of international peace and security: Nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and security,” during which the Secretary-General briefed the Council (S/PV.6753). In its presidential statement, the Council said it remained “gravely concerned about the threat of terrorism, and the risk that non-state actors may acquire, develop, traffic in or use weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.” The Council encouraged all member states to increase nuclear security through national action and in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The US convened the meeting as a follow-up to the summit-level meeting of the Council in September 2009 on the issue. It also followed soon after the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul at the end of March.

Israel/Palestine: On 23 April, the Security Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe on the peace process before its quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.6757 and res. 1).   Pascoe highlighted the 11 April Quartet meeting in Washington, DC and the 17 April letter from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlining the Palestinian position for the resumption of direct negotiations.

Women, Peace and Security: On 24 April, the Security Council was briefed on women, peace and security by Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women and Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (S/PV.6759). Bachelet briefed on women’s engagement in conflict resolution, transitional justice in post-conflict situations including trends that impact women in the wake of post-conflict elections. She also reiterated several suggestions on how the Council could better incorporate women’s participation in its work in a cross-cutting way. Ladsous focused his comments on women’s political participation and protection from a peacekeeping perspective and touched on country-specific examples including Timor-Leste, Haiti, DRC, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

Sudan/Darfur: The Council issued a press statement on 24 April (SC/10623) condemning the 20 April attack in West Darfur which injured 4 UNAMID peacekeepers, one of whom subsequently died. On 26 April, the Council received a briefing (S/PV.6762) from Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peackeeping Operations, on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2012/231) on the situation in Darfur, followed by consultations.   During the briefing, Ladsous said that “prospects for the resumption of negotiations between the (Sudanese) government and non-signatory movements (to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur) do not look good at present.”

Timor-Leste: On 25 April, Council President, Ambassador Susan Rice (US), issued a press statement (SC/10626) welcoming the presidential elections in Timor-Leste. (The second round of the elections took place on 16 April, following the first round on 17 March.) Council members congratulated the people of Timor-Leste in the statement on the “peaceful, smooth and orderly manner in which the elections were held,” and looked forward to the holding of parliamentary elections in the country on 7 July.

Illicit Flows: On 25 April, the Council held an open debate on “Threats to international peace and security: Securing borders against illicit flows” (S/PV.6760). The Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/16), expressing concern that illicit cross-border trafficking and movement contributes to challenges and threats on its agenda. It also requested the Secretary-General to submit in six months a report providing a comprehensive survey and assessment of the UN’s work in assisting states in countering illicit cross-border trafficking and movement.

ICJ: On 27 April, the Security Council and the General Assembly held elections for the vacant position on the International Court of Justice. Dalveer Bhandari (India) was elected over Florentino P. Feliciano (Philippines) with a majority vote of 13 votes to 2 in the Council and 122 votes to 58 in the General Assembly.

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