On 2 March, Council members released a press statement condemning the terrorist attack in Kunming, China which caused numerous deaths and injuries (SC/11304).
DPRK (North Korea)
On 5 March, the Council adopted resolution 2141 extending until 5 April 2015 the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. On 6 March, the Panel’s final report under resolution 1874 was circulated (S/2014/147). On 15 March, the Council received a letter from the DPRK “in connection with the fact that the United States of America’s hostile policy towards the DPRK has reached such a grave stage that it cannot be overlooked any longer”. During informal consultations on 27 March, Council members discussed a possible response to the 26 March launch by the DPRK of two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles into the East Sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan and received a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. Following the consultations, the Council president, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), said in agreed “elements to the press” that Council members condemned the missile launches as a violation of resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2095 and had agreed to consult on an appropriate response.
On 5 March, the Council adopted resolution 2142 extending the partial lifting of the arms embargo on Somalia until 25 October 2014. Resolution 2142 reauthorises measures (first authorised in resolution 2093 and then reiterated in resolution 2111) allowing the delivery of small arms and ammunition and the provision of assistance and training to the security forces of the Federal Government of Somalia. On 11 March, the Council was briefed via video-teleconference by Nicholas Kay, Special Representative and head of UNSOM and the Secretary-General’s report (S/2014/140). Ambassador Elmi Ahmed Duale (Somalia) also addressed the Council (S/PV.7132). Following the briefing, Council members held consultations with Kay and Ambassador Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), chair of the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee, regarding UNSOM and sanctions respectively. On 19 March, the Council issued a press statement condemning an attack by Al-Shabaab in Bula Burde, which caused numerous deaths and injuries to civilians as well as troops from the Somali National Army and the AU Mission in Somalia (SC/11331).
Children and Armed Conflict
On 7 March the Council held an open debate on children and armed conflict (S/PV.7129) and adopted a resolution 2143. Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn presided, with briefings by Secretary-General Ban Ki moon, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui, Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, as well as Alhaji Babah Sawaneh, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone. The concept note for the debate outlined the challenges faced in fully implementing the children and armed conflict agenda, including a lack of capacity and resources and the use of schools for military purposes (S/2014/144). In addition to Council members, 44 member states spoke. The resolution urges parties to armed conflict to respect the civilian character of schools and to protect schools from attacks and use, the mainstreaming of child protection in security sector reforms, child protection training for peacekeepers and military personnel, as well as the role of regional organisations and the need to incorporate child protection provisions in peace agreements. It also welcomes the campaign “Children, Not Soldiers” initiated by the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and UNICEF.
On 10 March, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7130) by Special Representative Tarek Mitri on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2014/131) and by Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, on the final report of the Panel of Experts (S/2014/106). On 14 March, the Security Council adopted resolution 2144 extending the mandate of UNSMIL until 13 March 2015 and the mandate of the Panel assisting the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee until 13 April 2015. On 19 March the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2146 imposing measures on vessels designated by the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee to be transporting crude oil illicitly exported from Libya.
On 14 March, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7137) by the Special Representative and head of MONUSCO, Martin Kobler, on the latest MONUSCO report (S/2014/157). The Council was also briefed by Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson (via video-teleconference) on her recent report on the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (S/2014/153). On 28 March, the Council adopted resolution 2147 renewing the mandate of MONUSCO – including its intervention brigade – until 31 March 2015.
On 14 March, the Council held a meeting on MINUSTAH with troop- and police -contributing countries featuring a briefing by Deputy Special Representative for Haiti Carl Alexandre. Also present were the outgoing force commander for the mission, Lieutenant General Edson Leal Pujol, whose assignment ended on 15 March, and MINUSTAH police commissioner Luis Miguel Carrilho. The new force commander for MINUSTAH is Lieutenant General José Luiz Jaborandy Jr. On 24 March, Special Representative Sandra Honoré briefed the Council (S/PV.7147) on the Secretary-General’s latest report on MINUSTAH (S/2014/162). In her briefing, Honoré welcomed recent progress in the preparation for the holding of elections in Haiti, in particular the 14 March “El Rancho” accord on key outstanding issues, while emphasising that it was of critical importance that the provisions of the accord be implemented in a timely manner by Haiti. She also highlighted progress in the security situation and building the capacity of the Haitian National Police and noted that the economic situation was improving. With regard to the options for the future UN presence in Haiti presented in the Secretary-General’s report, Honoré said the UN would conduct a UN-wide strategic assessment and consult widely with relevant stakeholders to provide the Council with an “updated, in-depth evaluation”.
On 17 March, the Council adopted resolution 2145 renewing UNAMA for a year. Jan Kubis, the Special Representative to Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, briefed on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2014/163) and Ambassador Zahir Tanin (Afghanistan) participated (S/PV.7139). During the debate, Council members focused on the upcoming national elections, the security transition and the UN and international community’s future role in supporting Afghanistan post-2014. A suicide bombing the next day, which killed at least 16 people, was condemned by the Council in a press statement (SC/11324). On 21 March, the Council also condemned the attack by gunmen on the Serena Hotel in Kabul, which killed nine people, including four foreigners (SC/11334).
On 19 March, the Council had a briefing on peacebuilding (S/PV.7143). The meeting was organised pursuant to a Council request from its 20 December 2012 presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/29) on peacebuilding that the Secretariat brief the Council on progress in UN peacebuilding efforts prior to the submission of a final report by December 2014. Deputy-Secretary General Jan Eliasson, the chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil), and head of the United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark, briefed the Council.
On 20 March, the chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), briefed the Council on the work of the Committee (S/PV.7146). Quinlan said the Committee held two informal meetings and one “informal informal” meeting during the reporting period. Referring to the on-going talks between Iran and the P5+1, he reiterated that all measures imposed by the Council remained in effect and said the work of the Committee and its Panel of Experts would continue unchanged in 2014. He noted that Iran had still not responded to the two letters it received from the Committee in 2013 regarding sanctions violations and called on it to do so. In reviewing the activities of the Committee, Quinlan provided an update on the outcome of its consideration of the recommendations contained in the Panel’s 2013 final report (S/2013/331). Also on 20 March, the Council received a report from the Director-General of the IAEA on the status of Iran’s nuclear programme in relation to the 24 November Joint Plan of Action agreed with the P5+1.
On 20 March, the Council had a briefing (S/PV.7145) and consultations on Liberia. For the public briefing, Karin Landgren, the Special Representative to Liberia presented the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2014/123) and Ambassador Staffan Tillander (Sweden), the PBC Liberia configuration chair, addressed the Council. Council members then heard from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet, who had recently participated in a strategic review that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations conducted in February of the UN Mission in Liberia and the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire.
On 25 March, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmund Mulet on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2014/130). Discussion focused on the relative calm in UNIFIL’s area of operations despite two major security incidents and the added value of the tripartite mechanism in deescalating tensions between Israel and Lebanon. Discussion also focused on the tremendous impact the Syrian crisis is having on Lebanon including a marked increase of Syrian fire across Lebanon’s border. Finally, there was discussion of the new government formed on 20 March and the upcoming presidential elections slated for 25 May.
The Council held its final meeting on Sierra Leone on 26 March and adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2014/6) welcoming the conclusion of UNIPSIL and commending Sierra Leone for its achievements in consolidating peace 12 years after the conclusion of its civil war (S/PV.7148). The mission’s mandate formally concluded on 31 March. Executive Representative of the Secretary-General to Sierra Leone, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, briefed on the Secretary-General’s final report (S/2014/192). Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski (Canada), chair of the PBC Sierra Leone configuration, also addressed members about the new lighter plan for PBC engagement.
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet presented the Secretary-General’s most recent UNDOF report (S/2014/199) to Council members in consultations.
On 26 March, at the initiative of the US, Council members were briefed in consultations by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun on the situation in Burundi.
On 27 March, Special Representative Nickolay Mladenov briefed (S/PV.7149) the Council to present the Secretary-General’s UNAMI report (S/2014/190) and the Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property report (S/2014/191). He reported that the Syrian conflict added a regional dimension to sectarian tensions in Iraq and is affording terrorist networks the occasion to forge links across the border and expand their support base. He added that the three months of fighting in Iraq’s Anbar province posed a serious challenge to Iraq’s security. Finally, he said that the 30 April polls are likely to be the country’s most contested election to date.