In May, the Council met three times to discuss Ukraine. On 2 May, Russia called an emergency session on the political situation (S/PV.7167) at which Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed and a representative of Ukraine, Oleksandr Pavlichenko, also addressed the Council. During the meeting Russia proposed a presidential statement condemning the violence and calling on the de-escalation of tensions. Since the Council could not agree on mutually acceptable language, no statement was adopted. On 21 May, the UK requested consultations on the human rights situation in Ukraine with Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović briefing and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco briefing on the latest political developments. Following presidential elections in Ukraine, Feltman briefed the Council on 28 May and the permanent representative of Ukraine also made a statement (S/PV.7185).
On 4 May, Council members issued a press statement condemning a terrorist attack by Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu (SC/11380). Nicholas Kay, Special Representative and head of UNSOM, briefed the Council on 22 May (S/PV.7181) on the latest UNSOM report (S/2014/330), followed by consultations. A presidential statement regarding arms and ammunition management by the Federal Government of Somalia was also adopted on 22 May (S/PRST/2014/9). On 24 May Council members issued a press statement condemning the attack on parliament by Al-Shabaab, which caused numerous deaths and injuries (SC/11412). On 29 May, the Council adopted resolution 2158 renewing the mandate of UNSOM for one year.
Following a 5 May attack by Boko Haram that killed hundreds at a market in Gamboru Ngala, Nigeria, Council members issued a press statement on 9 May that condemned the attack, and also condemned the 14 April abduction of 276 schoolgirls and the 5 May kidnapping of eight girls (SC/11387). The statement further expressed the Council’s intention to consider further measures against Boko Haram. On 22 May, the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee listed Boko Haram, subjecting the organisation to an arms embargo and assets freeze (SC/11410).
On 6 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/2014/296). Key areas of focus included the enormous impact the Syrian crisis is having on the political, security and humanitarian situations in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s military activities in Syria, subsequent sectarian tensions and pronounced cross-border incidents were also discussed. Of particular interest was the probable political stalemate and power vacuum that might ensue if a new president was not elected by 25 May. At press time, France had circulated a draft presidential statement expressing disappointment that the election of a new president had not taken place within the constitutional timeframe.
On 7 May, the Council held an open debate to commemorate the 10th anniversary of resolution 1540 (S/PV.7169) and adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2014/7). The meeting was chaired by Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se of the Republic of Korea (ROK), and featured a briefing by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. In preparation of the debate, a concept note outlining the objectives of the meeting and suggesting key issues to be discussed was circulated (S/2014/313). The presidential statement reaffirmed the main provisions of resolution 1540 and called on states to step up their efforts to implement their obligations and inform the 1540 Committee regularly of their efforts while also emphasising the importance of achieving universal reporting. It furthermore stressed the need for assistance and capacity-building to support implementation and reiterated the importance of close cooperation between the Committee and other Council subsidiary bodies as well as coordination with other international, regional and sub-regional organisations. In addition, the Council recalled its decision (referring to resolution 2118 on the use of chemical weapons in Syria without explicitly mentioning it) that member states shall inform immediately the Council of any violation of resolution 1540, including acquisition by non-state actors of chemical weapons, their means of delivery and related materials in order to take necessary follow-up measures. In addition to Council members, 45 member states participated. On 23 May, in a letter to the Council President, the chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Oh Joon (ROK), transmitted the Committee’s programme of work for the period 1 June 2014 to 31 January 2015 (S/2014/369). On 28 May he briefed the Council on the work of the Committee in a joint meeting with the chairs of the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (S/PV.7184).
Medal for Exceptional Courage
On 8 May, the Council adopted resolution 2154, creating the “Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage” to be awarded to UN military, police and civilian personnel. Captain Diagne, who lost his life while serving with the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda in 1994, was responsible for saving as many as 1,000 Rwandans from death during the genocide.
On 12 May, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7171) by the outgoing Special Representative and head of UNOCA, Abou Moussa, on the Secretary-General’s report on UNOCA and the implementation of the regional strategy on the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) (S/2014/319). 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 2014 (S/PRST/2014/8). The Council also welcomed the appointment of Abdoulaye Bathily (Senegal) as the new Special Representative.
On 14 May, the Council was briefed via video-teleconference by the Special Representative and head of BNUB, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, and by the chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Paul Seger (Switzerland) (S/PV.7174). The Minister for Interior of Burundi, Edouard Nduwimana, also addressed the Council. Council members held consultations with Onanga-Anyanga following the briefing.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Council held its semi-annual debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on 15 May (S/PV.7176). High Representative Valentin Inzko presented his latest report on the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement (S/2014/314). Inzko highlighted the February protests which he described as an expression of citizen frustration over the failure of political leaders to address socio-economic problems and rampant corruption. He said that the demonstrations should also be a “wake-up” call to the international community to change its approach to BiH. Inzko also highlighted the forthcoming October general elections.
On 19 May the Council had a briefing (S/PV.7177) and consultations by video-teleconference from Special Representative José Ramos-Horta on the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the restoration of constitutional order (S/2014/332), as well as his semi-annual report on UNIOGBIS (S/2014/333). That same day, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the successful completion of the second round presidential election held on 18 May (SC/11402). On 29 May, the Council adopted resolution 2157 that renewed UNIOGBIS for a further three months.
DPRK (North Korea)
On 20 May, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee, as is required at least every 90 days by resolution 1718. The US announced that it would shortly circulate for approval a draft Implementation Assistance Notice (IAN) pertaining to the Chong Chon Gang case. (Chong Chon Gang was the DPRK-flagged ship detained by Panama on 15 July 2013 on its way from Cuba with weapons and military equipment hidden in a cargo of sugar in violation of the arms embargo against the DPRK. The IAN would alert member states to the kind of sanctions evasion techniques deployed in this case.) Several Council members emphasised the need for continued focus on the human rights situation in the DPRK based on the 7 February report from the commission of inquiry established by the Human Rights Council. (In a 14 April letter, Australia, France and the US transmitted the report to the Council [S/2014/276].)
On 20 May, Council members issued a press statement that welcomed the provisional results of the parliamentary election and looked forward to the results being finalised (SC/11404).
On 20 May, the Council held a briefing and consultations on the situation in the Middle East (S/PV.7178). Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco focused his remarks on the failure of the nine-month long US-brokered peace talks between Israel and Palestine and said without a credible political horizon the Oslo paradigm is in jeopardy—in reference to the two-state solution. He added that parties could not be rushed back to the table without proper parameters in place.
Meeting Between the Security Council and EU Political and Security Committee (PSC)
On 21 May, Council members held an informal meeting with members of the EU PSC to discuss Central African Republic, Syria and Ukraine.
On 27 May, the Council held a quarterly debate on Kosovo with a briefing by Farid Zarif, the Special Representative and head of UNMIK (S/PV.7183). Zarif presented the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2014/305). Presidents Tomislav Nikolić of Serbia and Atifete Jahjaga of Kosovo also participated.
On 28 May, the Council held the semi-annual briefing of the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees (S/PV.7184). The briefers were Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), chair of the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė (Lithuania), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee and Ambassador Oh Joon (Republic of Korea), chair of the 1540 Committee, concerning the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Arria-Formula Meeting on IDPs
At press time, Australia and Chile were expected to co-host an Arria-formula meeting of Council members on 30 May to discuss the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the role of the Security Council.