On 30 November, the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee added two M23 rebel group leaders—Baudoin Ngaruye and Innocent Kaina—to the sanctions list (SC/10842). On 7 December, Council members were briefed in consultations by peacekeeping head Hervé Ladsous on recent developments in North Kivu after the M23 pulled out of Goma on 1 December and on the efforts of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. On 18 December, Council members were briefed again by Ladsous and by the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra, on her recent visit to Kinshasa.
On 1 December, the Security Council issued a press statement welcoming the joint request of Iraq and Kuwait to reactivate the Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Maintenance Project, and calling on Iraq to complete field maintenance work on the project in a timely manner (SC/10843). On 18 December, Council members were briefed in consultations by the current High-Level Coordinator, Gennady Tarasov, on the Secretary General’s most recent report on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2012/931). At press time, no decision had been reached regarding the renewal of the funding for the High-Level Coordinator, which was set to expire on 31 December.
On 4 December, the informal working group on international tribunals met with the presidents and prosecutors of the ICTY and ICTR who also briefed the Council on 5 December (S/PV.6880). On 12 December, the Council adopted resolution 2080 extending the terms of five permanent judges of the ICTR until 31 December 2014. On 17 December, the Council adopted resolution 2081 extending the terms of 13 permanent judges of the ICTY until 31 December 2013 and the terms of eight ad litem judges for different periods of time. The Council also requested the ICTY to produce a consolidated comprehensive plan on the completion strategy to the Council by 15 April 2013, to be considered by the Council before 30 June 2013.
Pakistan, as chair of the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee, briefed Council members in consultations on 6 December on the final report of its Panel of Experts (S/2012/901). On 12 December, the Council adopted resolution 2079 renewing for a year both the sanctions regime on Liberia and the mandate of the Panel. The resolution mandated the Panel to conduct two follow-up assessment missions to Liberia and neighbouring states “to investigate and compile” a midterm and final report on the implementation, and any violations, of the measures on arms, including the various sources of financing, such as from natural resources, for the illicit trade of arms.
On 7 December, the Council was briefed by the chairs of the subsidiary bodies whose countries will be finishing their term on the Council on 31 December, including: Colombia on Iran and Sudan sanctions, Germany on Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions and the working group on children and armed conflict, India on Somalia and Eritrea sanctions, Portugal on Libya and DPRK sanctions, and South Africa on the ad hoc working group on conflict prevention and resolution in Africa (S/PV.6881).
At the initiative of Morocco, the Council held a high-level meeting on the Sahel presided by Foreign Minister Saad-Eddine Al Othmani on 10 December. The Secretary-General and the Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, as well as representatives from several regional organisations made statements (S/PV.6882). On 10 December, the Council adopted a presidential statement expressing serious concern over the insecurity and the significant ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region, “which is further complicated by the presence of armed groups, including separatist movements, terrorist and criminal networks, and their increased activities, as well as the continued proliferation of weapons from within and outside the region that threaten peace, security, and stability” (S/PRST/2012/26).
On 11 December, Council members received a briefing in consultations from Special Representative and head of UNIOGBIS, Joseph Mutaboba, on the most recent report on the restoration of constitutional order in the country (S/2012/887). Morocco, chair of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee, also briefed. On 13 December, Council members issued a press statement expressing “serious concern” over the lack of progress in the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau. The statement noted that stabilisation can only be achieved through genuine dialogue and effective civilian oversight of the military and condemned the armed attacks of 21 October expressing deep concern over the reports of killings and serious human rights violations in the aftermath of those attacks (SC/10857).
DPRK (North Korea)
On 12 December, following the missile launch by the DPRK, Morocco, as President of the Council, read out remarks to the press which had been agreed on by all Council members. (These so-called “elements” to the press are more informal than a press statement.) The remarks condemned the launch as a “clear violation” of resolutions 1718 and 1874 and recalled that in its 16 April presidential statement, the Council had demanded that the DPRK not proceed with further launches and expressed its “determination to take action accordingly in the event of a further DPRK launch” (S/PRST/2012/13). Finally, the statement noted that Council members would “continue consultations on an appropriate response.” At press time, no formal Council action had been taken.
On 12 December, the Under-Secretaries-General for Peacekeeping and Field Support, Hervé Ladsous and Ameerah Haq, briefed the Council on inter-mission cooperation between UN peacekeeping operations (S/PV.6886). Ladsous focused on cooperation involving the temporary transfer or sharing of personnel or equipment among two or more missions. He proposed to explore the possibility of discussing the setting up of a light, flexible framework that would allow the Secretariat, the Council and troop-contributing countries to plan for inter-mission cooperation on a contingency basis. Haq emphasised the need to establish an institutional framework that would allow such inter-mission cooperation to succeed.
On 13 December, the Council held a regularly scheduled public briefing (S/PV.6888) by the outgoing chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Néstor Osorio (Colombia). The chair noted that the Coordinator of the Panel of Experts, which assists the Committee, had briefed the Committee on its midterm report of 9 November. He also noted that during two recent Committee meetings some delegations had expressed concerns about possible non-compliance with Council resolutions, which may have led to transfers of prohibited material from Iran to regional states. On 20 December, the Committee added two further companies—Yas Air and SAD Import Export Company—to the sanctions regime, for their role in transporting and supplying prohibited arms from Iran to Syria, in violation of Council resolutions. The designation of both entities was recommended by the Panel of Experts in its 2012 final report (S/2012/395).
Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions
The Council unanimously adopted two resolutions related to the Taliban (1988) and Al-Qaida Sanctions (1267/1989) regimes during a meeting on 17 December. In resolution 2082, the Council modified the Taliban sanctions regime, allowing for a number of exemptions to make it easier for listed individuals to travel in order to participate in meetings in support of peace and reconciliation. In resolution 2083, the Council renewed the mandate of the Ombudsperson for 30 months. Both resolutions also renewed the mandate of the Monitoring Team, which assists both the Al-Qaida and the Taliban Sanctions Committees, for 30 months.
On 17 December, Council members received a briefing in consultations from OCHA head Valerie Amos on the humanitarian situation in Syria following her 15 December visit to Damascus reporting that Syria was on the edge of irreversible damage. On 19 December, during the regular monthly briefing on the Middle East, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman noted that the violence in Syria had escalated dangerously and stressed that if nothing is done “the destruction of Syria will be the likely outcome” (S/PV.6894).
On 18 December, the Council received a briefing (S/PV.6891) from the Special Representative and head of UNOCA, Abou Moussa, on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on UNOCA and Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) affected areas (S/2012/923). On 19 December, the Council adopted a presidential statement requesting Moussa to keep the Council informed via a single report on UNOCA and the LRA to be submitted before 15 May 2013 (S/PRST/2012/28).
On 19 December, the Council adopted a presidential statement on Timor-Leste noting the “remarkable achievements” made since independence in 2002 and the successful presidential and parliamentary elections in 2012 (S/PRST/2012/27). The statement came as UNMIT prepared to conclude its mandate in the country on 31 December 2012. As is customary, Timor-Leste will formally remain on the Council’s agenda, although there will be no further debates in the Council or regular reporting.
On 19 December, the Council adopted resolution 2084 renewing UNDOF for six months, requested reporting every 90 days (previously it had been every six months) and strengthened language regarding the security of UN personnel. Prior to the adoption, peacekeeping head Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members on 17 December in consultations on the most recent UNDOF report (S/2012/897).
On 20 December, the Council held an open debate on peacebuilding (S/PV.6897). The Secretary-General presented his report on the issue (S/2012/746) and Bangladesh, as chair of the PBC, also briefed. A presidential statement was adopted emphasising the importance of inclusivity in national peacebuilding processes (S/PRST/2012/29).
On 21 December, the Council issued a press statement deploring the shooting down of a UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) helicopter by the the Sudan People’s Liberation Army earlier that day (SC/10873).