Haiti: On 3 October, the Council held a debate (S/PV.6842) on the Secretary-General’s most recent MINUSTAH report (S/2012/678). During the debate, the Council was briefed by Mariano Fernández, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Head of MINUSTAH. On 12 October, the Council adopted resolution 2070, renewing the mandate of MINUSTAH until 15 October 2013.
Mali: On 12 October, the Council unanimously passed resolution 2071 expressing its readiness to respond positively to a request from Mali regarding an intervention force to assist the Malian armed forces to reclaim the northern half of the country pending a report by the Secretary-General on the military planning for such an intervention—due in late November. The resolution also expressed the Council’s readiness to impose targeted sanctions against Malian rebel groups “who do not cut off all ties to terrorist organisations, including Al-Qaida in the Maghreb and affiliated groups.” The resolution requested the Secretary General to provide military planners to work with ECOWAS and devise a plan for the deployment of troops from ECOWAS, which on 18 September had been asked by Malian authorities to send in troops to help them retake the north. After the resolution was adopted, the representatives of Mali and Côte d’Ivoire, as chair of ECOWAS, made statements thanking the Council for its support (S/PV.6846).
Israel/Palestine: On 15 October, the Council held its quarterly open debate on the Middle East. In his remarks, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman asserted “the window of opportunity for taking constructive action to preserve the two-state solution may now be becoming more limited.” More than 45 other parties (including the representatives of Palestine, Israel, Lebanon and Syria) made statements during the debate (S/PV.6847).
Rule of Law: On 17 October, the Council held an open debate on “the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security” (S/PV.6849 and Resumption 1). The focus of the open debate was the relationship of the Council with the ICC since it commenced operation in 2002. Fifty states and the EU participated in the debate. Speaking in the Council were the Secretary-General; the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song; and Phakiso Mochochoko, from the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC.
Security Council Elections: On 18 October, the General Assembly elected five new members to serve on the Council for a two-year term starting on 1 January 2013. In the first round of voting, Rwanda was elected with 148 votes, as was Australia (140 votes) and Argentina (182). Those three candidates received the required two-thirds of votes cast from UN members “present and voting.” In the second round, Luxembourg (with 131 votes) was elected ahead of Finland. The Republic of Korea (149 votes) beat Cambodia in the second round after both members had acquired more votes than Bhutan in the first round but had not achieved a two-thirds majority.
Syria: On 24 October, the Security Council issued a press statement in support of an Eid al-Adha ceasefire proposed by UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi following his briefing in consultations via video-conference from Cairo (SC/10800). On 16 October, Portugal held a closed-Arria formula meeting so that Council members could informally meet with Paulo Pinheiro, the chair of the Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on Syria. Earlier in the month, the Council issued two other press statements on Syria. On 4 October, following nearly 24 hours of negotiations, the Council condemned the shelling of the Turkish town of Akcakale by Syrian forces (SC/10783). On 5 October the Council condemned terrorist attacks in Aleppo that killed dozens and injured more than 100 civilians (SC/10784).
Sudan/Darfur: On 24 October, the Council received a briefing (S/PV.6851) from Edmond Mulet, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, and held consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest UNAMID report (S/2012/771). The Council also issued two press statements on Darfur in October. On 3 October, the Council condemned the ambush on a UNAMID patrol in El Geneini by unidentified individuals that led to the deaths of four Nigerian peacekeepers and the wounding of eight others (SC/10781). On 17 October, the Council condemned the attack by unidentified individuals on a UNAMID patrol in North Darfur that resulted in the death of a South African peacekeeper and the wounding of three others (SC/10795).
Côte d’Ivoire: On 25 October, the Council was briefed in consultations by Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), chair of the 1572 Sanctions Committee, on the midterm report (S/2012/766) of the Group of Experts that assists the Committee. The report highlighted worrying recent security developments in Côte d’Ivoire, including the existence of a command centre infrastructure set up by the pro-Gbagbo rebels in Accra, Ghana as well as training camps in eastern Liberia. The report also cites military actions that have been conducted since early 2012 in Côte d’Ivoire from Ghana and the transfer of funds from Ghana to Liberia, which is identified as a recruitment platform and rear operating base. Earlier in the month, on 16 October, the Council received a letter from the Secretary-General (S/2012/772) noting that in light of the “deterioration in the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire as well as evolving threats”, it was recommended that the Council defer the reduction of UNOCI’s military strength—which had been authorised on 26 July in resolution 2062—until after an assessment to be conducted early in 2013. The letter referred to “attacks targeting national security forces in and around Abidjan and along the borders with Ghana and Liberia, resulting in the killing of Ivorian security personnel and assailants.”
Women, Peace and Security: On 29 October, the Council was set to hold its annual open debate on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on women, peace and security (S/2012/732). Guatemala, as president of the Council in October, had chosen to focus the debate on women’s civil society organisations and their contribution to the prevention and resolution of armed conflict and peacebuilding (S/2012/774). However, the debate was cancelled since UN headquarters was closed in the final days of October due to Hurricane Sandy. At press time, it seemed the Council would meet briefly on 31 October to adopt a presidential statement highlighting the impact of women’s civil society organisations, recognising the need in the Council’s own work for more systemic attention to the women, peace and security agenda and welcoming the Secretary-General’s call for enhanced women’s participation, at all levels, in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It did not seem likely that the debate would be rescheduled.