On 4 December, Council members met in consultations for a “horizon-scanning” briefing by Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco on the Department of Political Affairs’ role in preventive diplomacy and the peaceful settlement of conflicts through special political missions, mediation/good offices and electoral assistance.
On 4 December, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attacks in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province on 26 November and Faryab Province on 27 November (SC/11199). On 17 December, the Council held a debate on the quarterly UNAMA report (S/2013/721) with Special Representative and head of UNAMA Ján Kubiš briefing (S/PV.7085). Kubiš emphasised the importance of credible presidential and provincial elections, scheduled for 5 April 2014.
International Criminal Tribunals
On 5 December, the Council held a debate (S/PV.7073) on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR) and their respective annual reports (S/2013/463 and S/2013/460). The meeting also focused on the ICTR’s completion strategy (S/2013/663), the ICTY’s assessment report (S/2013/678) and the report from the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (S/2013/679). On 18 December, the Council adopted resolution 2130 extending ICTY judges’ terms until 31 December 2014. Russia abstained on the vote.
Security Council Elections
On 6 December, the General Assembly elected Jordan as a Security Council member for the 2014-2015 term, to fill the seat vacated by Saudi Arabia on 18 October.
On 9 December, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7075) by Special Representative Tarek Mitri on UNSMIL and by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Eugéne-Richard Gasana (Rwanda). Mitri defined the security situation in Libya as precarious and clarified issues related to the guard unit authorised by the Council to be deployed in Libya. On 16 December, the Council adopted a presidential statement expressing its grave concern over the worsening security situation and political divisions (S/PRST/2013/21).
On 9 December, the Council had briefings on the 2013 work of Council subsidiary bodies from outgoing chairs: Ambassadors Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan) on the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee; Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala) on the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee and the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals; Mohammed Loulichki (Morocco) on the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee and the 1566 Working Group on counter-terrorism measures; and Masood Khan (Pakistan) on the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Peacekeeping (S/PV.7076).
On 9 December, the Council adopted a presidential statement calling for timely and credible national elections, rescheduled for 16 March 2014, and warned potential spoilers with the possibility of sanctions. It also welcomed an ECOWAS plan to reinforce the ECOWAS mission in Guinea-Bissau (S/PRST/2013/19). Togo proposed the presidential statement following the Council’s 26 November briefing and consultations with the UN’s Special Representative to Guinea-Bissau Jose Ramos-Horta.
On 10 December, Special Representative Nicholas Kay briefed the Council (S/PV.7078) on the most recent UNSOM report (S/2013/709). In addition to discussing immediate security issues in Somalia, Kay emphasised some of the long-term challenges facing the country, including the need for national reconciliation, creating a system of federal states, revising the constitution and holding national elections. Council members held consultations with Kay following the briefing.
On 10 December, the Council adopted resolution 2128, modifying the Liberian sanctions regime. This included changes to the notification requirements on arms transfers and military assistance to the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee, as well as directing the Committee to review remaining designated individuals and entities over the next three months and delist those that no longer meet the listing criteria. The resolution also reduced the Panel of Experts from three to two members, and no longer mandates the Panel to monitor Liberia’s natural resources. Earlier in the month, on 5 December, Council members held consultations on the Panel’s final report (S/2013/683).
On 12 December, the chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), presented his 90-day report on the work of the Committee to the Council (S/PV.7082). He welcomed the 24 November interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1 and expressed hope that the agreement would encourage Iran to engage with the Committee, in particular by responding to the letters requesting Iran’s views on the findings of the Panel of Experts assisting the Committee with regard to the Great Prophet exercise conducted by Iran in July 2012 and the interception reported by Yemen in February this year. Quinlan emphasised that all of the sanctions imposed by the Council remained in effect and that the Committee would continue its work to monitor their implementation.
Protection of Journalists
On 13 December, Council members held an Arria formula meeting on the protection of journalists co-chaired by Ambassador Gérard Araud (France) and Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala). The meeting featured presentations by six speakers: Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the ICC; David Rohde, investigative journalist for Reuters; Christophe Deloire, Director General of Reporters Without Borders; Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression; and Anne-Marie Capomaccio, Head of the Office of Radio France Internationale in Washington. In addition to Council members, other UN member states and civil society groups participated in the meeting.
On 16 December, Council members issued a press statement condemning the 15 December shooting of an Israeli soldier by a Lebanese soldier near the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon (SC/11217).
On 17 December, the Council was briefed by Special Representative Said Djinnit on the latest UNOWA report (S/2013/732), followed by consultations (S/PV.7087). At press time it was expected that the Council would renew UNOWA’s mandate, which expires on 31 December, for a further three years.
On 17 December, the Council adopted resolution 2129 renewing the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate for four years.
On 18 December, the Council adopted resolution 2131 renewing UNDOF for six months after considering the Secretary-General’s latest report on the observer mission during 16 December consultations (S/2013/716).
Drug Trafficking in West Africa and the Sahel
On 18 December, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2013/22) following a briefing on drug trafficking in West Africa and the Sahel (S/PV.7090). The Council was briefed by the Secretary-General, Special Representative Said Djinnit and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Yuri Fedotov. The presidential statement highlighted the impact of drug trafficking in undermining governance in West African countries, as well as the involvement of terrorist groups to finance their activities. This meeting was held at the initiative of France who circulated a concept note on the issue (S/2013/728).