On 6 May, Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region briefed the Council on her first visit to the region (S/PV.6960). Council members then held consultations with Robinson. On 8 May, Council members issued a press statement condemning a 7 May attack that resulted in the death of a Pakistani peacekeeper in South Kivu (SC/11001). On 29 May, the Secretary-General briefed Council members in consultations on the first meeting of the regional oversight mechanism of the DRC peace and security framework agreement, which took place on 26 May in Addis Ababa.
Leonid Kozhara, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ukraine and Chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), briefed the Council on 7 May (S/PV.6961). He emphasised the OSCE’s on-going efforts to resolve the Transnistrian dispute in Moldova, humanitarian and security issues in Georgia, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict involving Armenia and Azerbaijan. Kozhara noted the significance of conventional arms control and confidence-building measures while highlighting several memorandums of understanding between the OSCE and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs. He also mentioned that 2015 would mark the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act (which is seen as having established the initial foundation for the creation of the OSCE) and drew Council attention to the current “Helsinki+40” process for clarifying the OSCE’s future role and goals.
On 8 May, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (S/2013/234). The destabilising effects of the spillover from the conflict in Syria on the political and security situation in Lebanon, and the region, was a key area of discussion. Sectarian tensions in Tripoli, the influx of Syrian refugees and Israeli aerial attacks on Syria, reportedly from Lebanese air space, have all challenged Lebanon’s stated policy of disassociation from the conflict in Syria. It seems there was also a pessimistic assessment that Lebanese parliamentary elections slated for June would take place given the impasse on an election law.
On 8 May, a note verbale from Kenya dated 2 May and requesting termination of proceedings against its nationals before the International Criminal Court was discussed under “any other business”. On 13 May, Kenya sent a follow-up letter to the President of the Council, requesting an informal interactive dialogue with Council members on the issue, which was discussed under “any other business” on 16 May. The dialogue was held with Kenyan representatives on 23 May where Council members showed no inclination to intervene in the proceedings.
On 9 May, the Council was briefed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNIOGBIS, José Ramos-Horta, regarding the 6 May report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/262) and other recent developments in the country (S/PV.6963). Representatives of Guinea-Bissau, the Peacebuilding Commission, the Economic Community of West African States and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries also addressed the Council. On 22 May, the Council adopted resolution 2103, which extended the mandate of UNIOGBIS for a year. In revising the mandate and structure of UNIOGBIS, resolution 2103 closely follows the recommendations of the Secretary-General in his report of 6 May. Among other areas, UNIOGBIS has been tasked with assisting with the holding of free, fair and transparent elections by the end of 2013. Resolution 2103 also includes substantial content on measures to combat drug trafficking, such as requesting the Secretary-General to ensure a sufficient anti-drug component within UNIOGBIS and encouraging international actors to support the future operation of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Guinea-Bissau.
On 10 May, the Council held its semi-annual briefing by the chairs of its counterterrorism-related committees. The briefers were Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), who chairs the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki (Morocco), who chairs the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), and Ambassador Kim Sook (Republic of Korea), who chairs the 1540 Committee, concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (S/PV.6964). On 13 May, Council members issued a press statement condemning in the strongest terms the deadly attacks that occurred in Reyhanli, Turkey, which resulted in the deaths of at least 46 people and dozens of injuries (SC/11006). On 24 May, Council members also issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attacks in Agadez and Arlit, Niger, on 23 May, for which the Mouvement pour l’Unification et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest has claimed responsibility. The attack resulted in numerous deaths and injuries (SC/11014).
Peace and Security in Africa
On 13 May, the Council held a debate on “The challenges of the fight against terrorism in Africa in the context of maintaining international peace and security” (S/PV.6965). President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé of Togo presided over the meeting and the Secretary-General and Abdullahi Shehu, Director General of the Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa briefed. The debate was an initiative of Togo as President of the Council for May.Togo had circulated a concept note on 30 April in preparation for the debate (S/2013/264). A presidential statement was adopted at the conclusion of the meeting highlighting the connection between terrorism and transnational organised crime in Africa and the need for a comprehensive approach beyond the military dimension to counter it (S/PRST/2013/5).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 14 May, High Representative Valentin Inzko briefed the Council at its debate on the latest report on implementation of the peace agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/2013/263) and other recent developments (S/PV.6966). He stressed that the country is at a critical juncture, where progress is still attainable but there is also a strong risk of failing to escape a “zero-sum approach” to politics. Critically, national leaders failed to reach an agreement regarding implementation of a European Court of Human Rights ruling affirming the right of minorities outside the three constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina to stand for political office. This remains a principle obstacle toward further progress on integration with the EU. In addition to Council members, representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and the EU also participated in the discussion.
On 15 May, the Council was briefed (S/PV.6967) by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of BINUCA, Margaret Vogt, on the latest BINUCA report (S/2013/261). Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye of the Central African Republic also addressed the Council. The meeting was followed by consultations.
North Korea (DPRK)
On 16 May, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. The Panel of Experts assisting the Committee submitted its final report under resolution 2050 on 13 May. At press time, the report was scheduled to be discussed in the Committee on 31 May.
On 22 May, Special Coordinator Robert Serry briefed the Council at its regular monthly meeting on the Middle East followed by informal consultations (S/PV.6969). Serry reported on US efforts to reengage Israel and Palestine in direct talks and on the 29 April visit of Arab leaders to Washington, D.C. to reaffirm the importance of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Serry also expressed concern about rising tensions around the sensitive issue of Jerusalem due to Israeli restrictions on access by Palestinians to holy sites. On 15 May, representatives of Palestine, Jordan and the Arab League met the President of the Council, Togo, requesting that the Council pronounce itself as actively engaged in efforts to revive the peace process. The request was brought to Council members’ attention under “any other business” during 16 May consultations. However, there was no outcome following the 22 May briefing.
On 29 May, the Council was briefed on the Secretary-General’s report on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and on UNOCA (S/2013/297) by Abou Moussa, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNOCA (S/PV.6971). The Council adopted a presidential statement condemning the actions of the LRA and requesting that the Secretary-General keep it informed through a single report on UNOCA and the LRA by 15 November 2013 (S/PRST/2013/6).
At press time, Council members were expected to be briefed in consultations on 30 May by Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, in advance of a dinner he planned to host that would include the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroğlu.
On 30 May, the Council held a “wrap-up session” for May under the agenda item “Implementation of Note S/2010/507 (Wrap-up Session)”. Non-Council members were invited to attend the private meeting.