On 2 October, the Council was briefed under “any other business” by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco on tensions in the Maldives following the delay of the second round of presidential elections.
Between 4-8 October, Council members undertook a visiting mission to the Great Lakes Region and Addis Ababa (S/2013/579). While in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Council members visited Kinshasa and Goma to meet with key interlocutors, including President Joseph Kabila, as well as the leadership of MONUSCO. Council members met President Paul Kagame in Rwanda and President Yoweri Museveni in Uganda to focus on the Ugandan-mediated Kampala talks between the March 23 rebel group and the DRC. The final stop was in Addis Ababa for the annual consultation with the members of the AU Peace and Security Council and the adoption of a joint communiqué (S/2013/611). While in Addis Ababa, Council members also met with the AU chair to discuss issues related to the ICC, in particular the possibility of a request to defer the Kenya case under Article 16 of the Rome Statute. On 21 October, the Security Council was briefed by the lead countries: Morocco on the DRC leg which was co-led with France; the US and UK on the Rwanda and Uganda legs respectively; and Rwanda on the Addis Ababa leg which was co-led with Azerbaijan (S/PV.7045).
On 10 October the Council adopted resolution 2119 extending the mandate of MINUSTAH until 15 October 2014 (S/PV.7040). The resolution authorised a reduction in MINUSTAH’s troop strength from 6,270 to 5,021 while maintaining the size of the police component at 2,601 as recommended by the Secretary-General in his most recent report (S/2013/493). It also urged Haiti to complete all steps required for the holding of elections in accordance with the constitution. In an explanation of vote after the adoption, the UK expressed concern that MINUSTAH was still performing tasks that could be better managed by other parts of the UN system, and questioned in particular the continuation of quick impact projects. It also expressed support for a more accelerated drawdown of the mission, in particular with regard to engineering personnel.
Central African Republic
Following a set of recommendations from the Secretary-General (S/2013/557), on 10 October the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2121 (S/PV.7042) updating the BINUCA mandate in five areas: implementation of the transition process; conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance; stabilisation of the security situation; human rights; and coordination of international actors. The resolution also encourages member states to support the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR and requests a report from the Secretary-General within 30 days outlining specific options in this regard.
On 16 October, The Council was briefed by Albert Gerard Koenders, the Special Representative and head of MINUSMA, followed by consultations (S/PV.7043). Koenders presented the latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Mali (S/2013/582) highlighting the challenges MINUSMA is facing to reach its full operational capacity and how recent terrorist attacks were “an important wake–up call” over security. On 23 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack against MINUSMA in Tessalit (SC/11157).
Security Council Elections
On 17 October, the General Assembly elected five new non-permanent members—Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia—to the Security Council for the 2014-2015 term. On the following day, Saudi Arabiaissued a statement announcing that it would not accept membership of the Security Council until it is reformed. Saudi Arabia alleged that “the manner, the mechanisms of action and double standards” in the Council prevented it from performing its duties and responsibilities towards preserving international peace and security, specifically referring to its handling of Israel-Palestine and Syria and its failure to make the Middle East a zone free of all weapons of mass destruction. At press time, Saudi Arabia had yet to send a formal letter to the President of the General Assembly regarding its decision not to accept the Council seat.
Women, Peace and Security
On 18 October, the Security Council adopted resolution 2122 to address the persistent gaps in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda, as highlighted in the most recent Secretary-General’s report (S/2013/525). Following the adoption, the Council held its open debate on this thematic issue (S/PV.7044) focusing on the theme of women, rule of law and transitional justice in conflict-affected situations (S/2013/587). The Secretary-General, the new head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay briefed as well as Brigitte Balipou, founder of the Association of Women Jurists of the Central African Republic, who briefed on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.
On 21 October, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7046) by Special Representative Martin Kobler on the Secretary-General’s most recent MONUSCO report (S/2013/581), and by Special Envoy Mary Robinson on the report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSC Framework) (S/2013/569). The briefing was followed by consultations where Council members continued discussion of what key signatories of the PSC Framework—such as the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda—were doing to implement their commitments; the status of the Uganda-mediated Kampala talks between the March 23 rebel group and the DRC; and the impact of MONUSCO’s intervention brigade on the eastern DRC. (These issues were also the focus of the Council visiting mission to the DRC on 4-5 October.) At press time, fighting had resumed near Goma in eastern DRC, following the suspension of the Kampala talks. Council members were briefed on the situation by peacekeeping head Hervé Ladsous under “any other business” on 25 October and again by Kobler in consultations on 28 October. On 28 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning the M23 attacks against MONUSCO that resulted in the death of a peacekeeper and also addressed shells that had landed in Rwandan territory (SC/11163).
On 22 October, the Council was briefed by Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, prior to its quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.7047). Feltman urged taking advantage of the opening presented by resumed talks between Israel and Palestine to achieve the two-state solution. He also addressed developments in Lebanon, Syria and the Golan Heights.
On 23 October, Council members received a briefing in consultations under “any other business” from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on developments since the 28 September legislative elections in Guinea. The following day, Council members issued a press statement commending Guinea for the electoral process and urging all political stakeholders to pursue legal recourse for the resolution of any electoral disputes. Council members also expressed their strong support for the continued facilitation efforts led by Special Representative for West Africa Said Djinnit (SC/11159).
On 24 October, Council members were briefed in consultations by Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), chair of the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee, on the midterm report of the Group of Experts (S/2013/605). The report observed progress related to exemption requests and notification procedures on the arms embargo. It also reported concern over the flow of weapons and ammunition in Côte d’Ivoire and the increased military power of the former Forces Nouvelles. It noted that diamonds continued to be smuggled and reported that the Group was investigating the reforms underway in Côte d’Ivoire related to natural resources and their impact with regards to arms embargo violations. The Group of Experts had presented its report and recommendations to the 1572 Sanctions Committee on 11 October.
Cooperation with Regional and Subregional Organisations
On 28 October, the Council held a briefing (S/PV.7050) on cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organisations in maintaining international peace and security, focusing on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). OIC Secretary-General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu briefed the Council, along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The meeting was chaired by the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, and interventions focused on the issues raised in the concept note circulated by Azerbaijan earlier in the month (S/2013/588). The Council adopted a presidential statement acknowledging the “continuing dialogue between the UN and the OIC in the fields of peacemaking, preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and peacebuilding” (S/PRST/2013/16).
On 28 October, the Council convened for a private meeting to receive a briefing from the President of the ICJ, Peter Tomka (Slovakia). The briefing, which has been held annually since the practice was first established in 2000, coincided with the presentation of the annual report of the ICJ to the General Assembly (A/68/4), which took place on 31 October. (The last briefing took place on 25 October 2011, as the 2012 briefing was cancelled due to the closure of the UN as a result of Hurricane Sandy.) Tomka discussed the overall activities of the Court, including an overview of pending contentious cases, its role in the peaceful settlement of disputes and maintenance of international peace and security, and its relationship with the Council.
On 29 October, the Security Council held its annual debate on working methods (S/PV.7051). Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina), the chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, opened the debate. Azerbaijan circulated a concept note earlier in the month to help guide discussion (S/2013/613).
Annual Report of the Security Council
At press time, the annual report of the Security Council was to be adopted on 30 October. Following practice in recent years, the US will address the Council as it drafted the report’s introduction. (The Council member who holds the presidency of the Security Council in July of any given year drafts the introduction.)
At press time, Council members were expected to be briefed on 30 October in consultations by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross, as well as the Special Representative and head of MINURSO, Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber. During the briefing, Ross is expected to share the findings that emerged from his recent visit to North Africa.
At press time, Council members were expected to meet with an AU Contact Group in an interactive dialogue on 31 October to discuss a request to defer the Kenya case, currently before the ICC, under Article 16 of the Rome Statute (S/2013/624).