March 2013 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 February 2013
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Status Update

Terrorism 

On 1 February, Council members issued a press statement condemning in the strongest terms a terrorist attack against the US embassy in Ankara, Turkey (SC/10906). The attack resulted in one death and several injuries.

DRC 

On 5 February, Council members were briefed in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous on developments on the ground and on MONUSCO. The Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, Susana Malcorra briefed on the Secretary-General’s diplomatic efforts to obtain a political framework agreement. On 22 February, the Council was briefed (S/PV.6925) by Roger Meece, the Special Representative and head of mission, on the Secretary-General’s 15 February MONUSCO report (S/2013/96). On 24 February, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the signing of the framework agreement in Addis Ababa that same day by the Secretary-General and the chairpersons of the AU Commission, the Southern African Development Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (SC/10924).  In the statement, Council members also supported the swift designation of a UN Special Envoy to support implementation of the framework agreement.  Council members also expressed concern about the worsening security and humanitarian situation in the eastern DRC, reiterating their demand that the M23 cease attempts to create a parallel administration and that the M23, FDLR and all other armed groups cease violence and destabilising activities. 

DPRK (North Korea) 

In a 12 February press statement, Council members strongly condemned the DPRK’s nuclear test that day as a grave violation of resolutions 1718, 1874 and 2087 (SC/10912). They recalled that resolution 2087 expressed the Council’s determination to take “significant action” in the event of a further nuclear test by the DPRK and said they would begin work immediately on an appropriate response in a resolution. During consultations on 21 February, Council members received the regular quarterly briefing by the 1718 Sanctions Committee chair, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), on the work of the Committee over the previous three months. The briefing was Ambassador Lucas’ first since assuming the chairmanship of the Committee on 1 January. 

Protection of Civilians

On 12 February, the Council held its semi-annual open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/PV.6917 and Resumption 1). The meeting was chaired by Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan of the Republic of Korea and featured briefings by the Secretary-General, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the International Committee for the Red Cross Director for International Law and Cooperation, Philip Spoerri. More than 70 member states also spoke.  The Council adopted a presidential statement reconfirming its commitment to the protection of civilians, focusing in particular on the need to fight impunity for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, the humanitarian impact of conflict and implementation of peacekeeping protection mandates (S/PRST/2013/2). The statement expressed the Council’s particular concern about attacks against medical personnel and facilities and schools, teachers and other protected school personnel as well as violence against journalists and other media professionals. It requested the Secretary-General to submit his next report on the protection of civilians by 15 November and for reports to be submitted every 18 months thereafter. It also asked that the next report include an assessment of concrete measures taken by peacekeeping missions to implement their mandate to protect civilians and the impact of those measures.

Burundi

On 13 February, the Council adopted resolution 2090, extending the mandate of BNUB until 15 February 2014 (S/PV.6918). The Council requested the Secretary-General to provide a briefing by the end of July 2013 and a report by 17 January 2014 on the implementation of BNUB’s mandate.

Cooperation between the UN and Regional and Subregional Organisations

On 13 February, Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU, briefed the Council (S/PV.6919). She discussed a range of issues of recent significance: the EU’s engagement in Somalia and anti-piracy efforts, the EU’s financial and logistical support to the African-led International Support Mission in Mali, nuclear non-proliferation efforts in the context of the E3+3 negotiations with Iran and the EU’s opposition to recent tests by the DPRK, EU facilitation of dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, and the evolving situation in Syria and the Middle East. Ashton also stressed “the EU’s strong and long-standing commitment” to “effective multilateralism with the United Nations at its core” and specifically affirmed the regional organisation’s support for the Security Council in fulfilling its mandate.

Sudan/Darfur

On 14 February, the Council adopted resolution 2091 extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee until 17 February 2014 (S/PV.6920). Earlier in the month, the chair of Committee, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina), circulated to the Council the 5 February report of the Panel of Experts assisting the Committee (S/2013/79). The report outlined several violations by Sudan of resolution 1591.  It also indicated that during 2012 the Justice and Equality Movement, a rebel group in Darfur, had operated a large base around Bentiu in South Sudan’s Unity State. 

Climate Change 

On 15 February, Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant (UK) and Ambassador Masood Khan (Pakistan) co-chaired an Arria formula meeting on the “Security Dimensions of Climate Change”. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made remarks at the opening of the meeting. A panel of speakers included: the Honorable Mr. Tony deBrum, Minister in Assistance to the President of the Marshall Islands; Professor Hans Schellnhuber, Head of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research; Ms. Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice-President for Sustainable Development; and Mr. Gyan Acharya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing states. During the meeting, a video message from President Anote Tong of Kiribati and Foreign Minister Bob Carr of Australia on the security implications of climate change was shown. In addition to interventions by Security Council members and other member states, Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network-International, spoke on behalf of civil society.    

Israel/Palestine

On 26 February, the Council received a briefing from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the situation in the Middle East (S/PV.6926). Feltman said there was heightened risk across multiple fronts in the region. On Israel/Palestine, he said there were no hopes of negotiations on the horizon and characterised 2013 as the year which could preserve or extinguish hopes for the two-state solution. Regarding Syria, he said the destructive military spiral threatens to pull Lebanon into its vortex. Feltman also said efforts by the Security Council and its members could make a difference while there is still time to do so. Closed consultations followed the briefing where it seems Morocco suggested elements to the press expressing concern about the circumstances surrounding the detention and death on 23 February of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian man in Israeli custody.  No agreement was reached.

Syria

Council members were briefed on 27 February in closed consultations by Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, on the humanitarian situation in Syria. In addition, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and Zainab Hawa Bangura, the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, also briefed. As of 24 February, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had registered more than 740,000 Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, while elsewhere the UN has estimated that up to 70,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict. A draft press statement proposed by Russia on 21 February regarding a series of bombings in Damascus that killed at least 50 people failed to achieve consensus following objections from the US that the statement should also make reference to attacks on civilians conducted by the government of Syria. Similarly, Council members were also unable to agree to a draft press statement proposed by France on 1 February on the humanitarian situation, in particular a call for cross-border humanitarian access to areas under the opposition’s control. Russia, while supportive of OCHA’s efforts, appeared to have a problem with the Council making a public statement on the cross-border issue.

Working Methods/Wrap-Up Session 

On 28 February, the Council held a “wrap-up session” of the Republic of Korea’s February presidency under the agenda item “Implementation of Note S/2010/507 (Wrap-up Session)”. Non-Council members were invited to attend the private meeting.