August 2012 Monthly Forecast

Posted 1 August 2012
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Status Update

Israel/Palestine: High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, briefing Council members in consultations on 2 July, said the settlement of Israeli citizens in the occupied territories is prohibited by international law and that settlement activity is linked to discriminatory policies and practices applying only to Palestinians.  On 25 July, Special Coordinator Robert Serry briefed the Security Council prior to its quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.6816).  Serry reiterated his warning that negative trends regarding the peace process, the Gaza blockade, the solvency of the Palestinian Authority, and Israeli settlement policy consistently undermined the common goal of a negotiated two-state solution.  In remarks to the press after the debate, the Arab Group expressed concern over the diminishing chances for peace, deplored the unwillingness to react to the deteriorating situation and encouraged the Council to visit Palestine to inspect the facts on the ground as “the least the Council can and should do.”

Libya: On 2 July Pillay also briefed Council members in consultations on Libya. On 10 July the Council issued a press statement welcoming Libya’s 7 July elections (SC/10704). On 18 July, Special Representative Ian Martin briefed the Council for the last time in his capacity as the head of UNSMIL saying the elections were an “extraordinary accomplishment” marred by some violent incidents, mostly in the east (S/PV.6807). The Libyan permanent representative also addressed the Council, stating that “according to all observers, the elections were free and fair and met all international standards.” The briefing was followed by consultations.

Tribunals: On 5 July the Council issued a press statement (SC/10700), welcoming the commencement of the functioning of the Arusha branch of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals on 1 July 2012. The Council also recalled the contribution of the ad hoc and mixed tribunals, the ICC, as well as chambers in national tribunals in the fight against impunity, and called on states to cooperate with these judicial bodies.

Burundi: On 5 July, the Council heard a briefing by Karin Landgren, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and outgoing head of BNUB (S/PV.6799). Chairperson of the Burundi PBC configuration, Ambassador Paul Seger (Switzerland), also briefed. The briefing was followed by consultations attended by Landgren and Council members.

DRC: On 10 July, the Council held consultations on the DRC, and heard a briefing by Special Representative and head of MONUSCO, Roger Meece, via video-teleconference on the escalating violence in North Kivu. On 16 July the Council issued a press statement (SC/10709), condemning all outside support to all armed groups in the DRC and demanding that all forms of support to them cease immediately. The Council was briefed by Meece in consultations again on 30 July regarding the situation in the DRC.

UNOWA (West Africa): On 11 July, Said Djinnit, the Special Representative and head of UNOWA, introduced the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2012/510) on West Africa to Council members (S/PV.6804). He noted that the recent coups in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, armed insurrection and continuing instability in parts of Côte d’Ivoire, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, terrorist threats and attacks in the region, and the increase in illicit drug trafficking meant that the security situation presents a new wave of challenges to governance, peace consolidation and conflict prevention. The UNOWA report provides considerable detail on events in Mali and the wider Sahel since the 22 March coup, emphasising the mediation efforts of ECOWAS and the complexity of the situation in the region.

PBC: On 12 July, the Council held an open debate to discuss the fifth annual report of the PBC (S/2012/70), which was published on 30 January (S/PV.6805). The open debate was chaired by María Angela Holguín, the Foreign Minister of Colombia (which held the Council presidency in July).  Among the briefers were the Secretary-General; the current PBC Chair, Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen (Bangladesh); and the former PBC Chair, Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana (Rwanda). Joachim von Amsberg of the World Bank participated in this meeting, as did representatives of 29 member states. On 13 July, in response to a request by the UK, Council members held an interactive dialogue with the chairs of the PBC country-specific configuration.

Yemen: On 17 July, Special Adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar briefed Council members in consultations noting that several political, humanitarian and security challenges continued to hamper the transition process and described interference from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his kinsmen as a key obstacle to stability. Benomar also updated the Council on preparations for the national dialogue conference which is hoped will feed into the constitution-making process enabling general elections by February 2013.

Cyprus: On 19 July, the Council adopted resolution 2058 extending the mandate of UNFICYP until 31 January 2013. The resolution passed with 13 votes in favour and two abstentions (Azerbaijan and Pakistan). Negotiations on the text were contentious, particularly with respect to how a future review of UNFICYP might be referenced in the preambular paragraphs. In its explanation of vote (S/PV.6809), Azerbaijan said the resolution did not place the required emphasis “on a results-oriented process,” and that its proposal to reflect a sense of urgency of the review had not been given “due consideration.” Pakistan said not enough time was given to all Council members to engage in open and transparent negotiations and that the final language was not fully reflective of the Secretary-General’s recommendations.

Iraq: On 19 July, UNAMI head Martin Kobler briefed the Council (S/PV.6811) on the Secretary-General’s report (S/2012/535). Martin noted that seven years after the adoption of the constitution, key institutions had yet to be established and fundamental legislation remained outstanding, including the establishment of the Federation Council, the strengthening of the judicial system, legislation on revenue-sharing and hydrocarbons and the protection of minorities. The permanent representative of Iraq also addressed the Council. The briefing was followed by closed consultations. On 25 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2061 renewing UNAMI for a further year.

Counter Terrorism: On 19 July the Council issued a press statement (SC/10717) condemning the terrorist attack aimed at Israeli tourists in Bulgaria on 18 July, causing several deaths of Israeli and Bulgarian citizens and numerous injuries.

Afghanistan: The Council issued a press statement (SC/10722) on 23 July welcoming the 8 July “Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan” and the conclusions of the conference. 

Sudan/Darfur: On 24 July, the Council held a briefing (S/PV.6813) followed by consultations among members on Darfur. Ibrahim Gambari, the Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur, addressed the Council.  At press time, the Council was scheduled to adopt a resolution on 31 July renewing the mandate of UNAMID for a year.

Côte d’Ivoire: On 26 July, the Council adopted resolution 2062 renewing the mandate of UNOCI until 31 July 2013. The resolution adjusted the military component to 8,837 personnel, in line with the Secretary-General’s recommendation. On 18 July, Special Representative and head of UNOCI Albert Gerard Koenders briefed the Council and said “it is important that the UN continue to play its supportive role to assist the government’s efforts to stabilise the security situation, protect civilians, restore state authority, promote reconciliation, and undertake post conflict development assistance” (S/PV.6808).

Guinea-Bissau: On 26 July, Special Representative and head of UNIOGBIS Joseph Mutaboba introduced the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2012/554) on Guinea-Bissau to Council members (S/PV.6818). Ambassador Maria Luiza Viotti (Brazil), chair of the Guinea-Bissau PBC configuration, also briefed.  Representatives of the ECOWAS and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries made statements. Portugal introduced a draft press statement after the briefing and consultations, but at press time, the statement had not been issued.