Cooperation with Regional and Subregional Organisations
On 6 August, the Council held a high-level open debate on cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organisations in maintaining international peace and security (S/PV.7015 and Resumption 1). President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina presided. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also briefed, along with high-level officials representing the AU (Ambassador Tekeda Alemu of Ethiopia); the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba); the League of Arab States (Mr. Ahmed Fathalla, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the UN); and the Union of South American Nations (Eda Rivas Franchini, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru). Representatives of other regional and subregional organisations and non-Council member states also participated in the debate. The Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2013/12) stressing “the utility of continuing to develope effective partnerships between the UN and regional and subregional organizations in order to enable early responses to disputes and emerging crises.”
On 7 August, 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.
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea
On 14 August, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2013/13) regarding piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (S/PV.7016). The principal purpose of the statement was to welcome the summit on maritime safety and security held in Yaoundé, Cameroon on 24-25 June, which was attended by twenty-five countries of West and Central Africa and three subregional organisations.
On 15 August, Council members welcomed the conclusion of the special transitional regime established by the Greentree Agreement concerning the Bakassi Peninsula (SC/11094). Sovereignty over the peninsula was transferred from Nigeria to Cameroon in accordance with the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 10 October 2002, determining the land and maritime boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria.
On 15 August, Council members met in an emergency meeting on the situation in Egypt, a day after alarming violence in the country. On 14 August, police and military forces violently dispersed two sit-ins in support of deposed President Mohammed Morsi. Egypt’s Ministry of Health indicated that at least 600 people were killed in the two dispersals and in other clashes that took place throughout the country. Widespread violence followed the crackdown, and suspected Muslim Brotherhood loyalists attacked dozens of churches and Christian homes and institutions in unprecedented sectarian attacks. The following day Council members were briefed on the situation in consultations by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. Although Council members were unable to agree on a press statement, they authorised Council President Ambassador Marìa Cristina Perceval (Argentina) to make remarks to the press following the consultations. In these agreed remarks Perceval said that “the view of Council members is that it is important to end violence in Egypt and that the parties exercise maximum restraint”. Perceval said Council members agreed there was a need to “stop violence and to advance national reconciliation.”
On 16 August, Council members adopted a press statement taking note of the provisional results of the presidential runoff elections in Mali, which declared Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta the elected President of Mali (SC/11096). Council members commended the Malian people for the peaceful participation in the electoral process as well as the transitional authorities for the successful preparation, organisation and management of the elections. Council members also called for the swift holding of free, fair, transparent, and inclusive legislative elections and reiterated the call for inclusive and credible peace talks open to all communities of the north of Mali in the timeframe set out by the Ouagadougou Agreement of 18 June 2013.
Protection of Civilians
On 19 August, the Council held an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/PV.7019). The meeting was held on the tenth anniversary of the bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of UNAMI that claimed the lives of 22 people and wounded more than 100. The Secretary-General, Director for International Law and Cooperation at the International Committee of the Red Cross Philip Spoerri, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos briefed the Council. Thirty-seven states and the EU took the floor, in addition to Council members.
On 20 August, the Council held a briefing and consultations on the situation in the Middle East (S/PV.7020). Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco provided the briefing, focusing his remarks on recent developments in the peace process between Israel and Palestine and the situations in Syria and Lebanon.
On 21 August, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina), in her capacity as chair of the 1591Sudan Sanctions Committee, provided Council members with the quarterly briefing on the committee’s work in consultations.
Council members met in consultations on 21 August to receive a briefing from Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson on attacks earlier that day on rebel-held areas east of Damascus that reportedly involved the use of chemical weapons and killed hundreds of Syrian civilians, including women and children. Speaking at the stakeout after the meeting, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina), Council President for August, said that “all Council members agree that any use of chemical weapons by any side, under any circumstances, is a violation of international law.” She added that “the members of the Security Council also welcomed the determination of the Secretary-General to ensure a thorough, impartial and prompt investigation.”
On 22 August, Council members received a briefing in the morning and then in the afternoon from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet on ongoing clashes between the M23 and the Congolese army. Both briefings were given under “any other business”. France had circulated a press statement later that day condemning the M23 for attacks against civilians and MONUSCO. At press time, Council members have yet to agree on the press statement.
On 15 August, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack that occurred in South Beirut, which killed at least 10 people and wounded more than 100 (SC/11095). Council members held consultations on UNIFIL on 22 August, receiving a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet. The Council issued a press statement on 23 August condemning terrorist attacks earlier in the day in Tripoli, which killed more than 42 people and injured over 400 (SC/11101). At press time, the Council was scheduled to adopt a resolution on 29 August renewing the mandate of UNIFIL for an additional year.
At press time, the Council was expecting to hold a debate on 28 August to consider the Secretary-General’s semi-annual report on MINUSTAH (S/2013/493). A briefing by Sandra Honoré, the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of mission, was expected. The Council held a private meeting with the countries providing police and military personnel to MINUSTAH on 26 August.
As of press time, the Council is scheduled to hold a quarterly debate on 29 August regarding UNMIK and the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2013/444).
The Council at press time was scheduled to hold a “wrap-up session” for August under the agenda item “Implementation of Note S/2010/507 (Wrap-up Session)”. Non-Council members were invited to attend the private meeting.