On 4 August, under “any other business”, Council members were briefed by Deputy Special Representative György Busztin via video-teleconference on the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Iraq due to the offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Council members issued a press statement the next day deploring ISIS attacks, condemning the persecution of minorities, recalling that such widespread and systematic attacks could constitute a crime against humanity and calling for accountability and an inclusive political process (SC/11509). On 7 August, Council members were briefed again by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun in emergency consultations on the ongoing ISIS offensive that had begun to threaten the peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Nineveh province, where a large number of minorities live. Council members issued a press statement later that day, strongly reiterating its messages from 5 August (SC/11515). On 13 August, Council members issued another press statement welcoming the nomination of Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi and urged the swift formation of the Iraqi government (SC/11519). Finally, on 15 August the Council adopted resolution 2170 listing six individuals affiliated with ISIS (operating in Iraq and Syria) and al-Nusra (operating in Syria) under the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida sanctions regime in an attempt to cut off funding to these groups (SC/11521).
On 4 August the Security Council issued a press statement which condemned the attacks by violent extremist groups against the Lebanese forces in the area of Arsal beginning on 2 August 2014; appealed to all Lebanese parties to preserve national unity in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability, consistent with their commitment in the Baabda Declaration; and stressed that effective implementation of resolution 1701 remains crucial to ensuring stability in Lebanon (SC/11507). On 14 August Council members met with UNIFIL troop-contributing countries (S/PV.7241). On 20 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed Council members on the work of UNIFIL, the situation in Arsal and the threats Lebanon is facing due to the war in neighbouring Syria and the need for Lebanon to fill the office of the president, which has been vacant since 25 May. On 26 August, the Council adopted resolution 2172, extending the mandate of UNIFIL for one year, until 31 August 2015.
On 5 August the Security Council held a public meeting on the situation in Ukraine with a briefing by John Ging, Director of the Coordination and Response at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (S/PV.7234). On 8 August, Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, briefed the Council (via video-teleconference) on the human rights situation and the latest UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission Report (S/PV.7239). On 18 August, Ukraine was discussed under “any other business”; Russia requested an update regarding the implementation of resolution 2166 on the downing of Malaysia Airline flight 17. On 22 August, following the entrance of the Russian humanitarian convoy to Ukraine, Council members held consultations at the request of Lithuania. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco briefed at both the 18 and 22 August meetings.
DPRK (North Korea)
On 5 August, Council members were briefed in consultations by the chair of the 1718 DPRK Committee, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia) on the quarterly update on the North Korean sanctions. On 20 August, under “any other business”, Council members discussed the 18 August DPRK request for the Council to hold an urgent meeting on the US-Republic of Korea joint military exercises (S/2014/604). (The DPRK’s letter was a follow-up to the same request it made on 21 July [S/2014/512].) Council members were not in favour of holding such a meeting.
The Council held a briefing followed by consultations on South Sudan on 6 August (S/PV.7235). Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed on the recent UNMISS report (S/2014/537) and events that have transpired in the country since the report’s publication on 25 July. Ambassador Joseph Moum Malok, the Deputy Permanent Representative of South Sudan, addressed the Council after Mulet. Also on 6 August, the Council issued a press statement condemning attacks that led to the deaths of at least six humanitarian workers in Upper Nile state (SC/11512). The Council adopted a presidential statement on 8 August in which it expressed concern at the political, security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan and expressed “its readiness to consider, in consultation with relevant partners, including IGAD and the African Union, all appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against those who take action that undermines the peace, stability, and security of South Sudan” (S/PRST/2014/16). On 27 August, Council members issued a press statement condemning the downing of an UNMISS helicopter near Bentiu in Unity State (SC/11538).
On 6 August, the Council was briefed by the Special Representative and head of BNUB, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga (S/PV.7236) on the latest BNUB report (S/2014/550). Onanga-Anyanga expressed his continuing concern about deep political divisions in the country, the lack of political dialogue on major national issues and restrictive laws on freedom of expression. He added that preparations were underway to withdraw BNUB by 31 December.
On 6 August, Council members discussed a draft resolution on Gaza, put in blue by Jordan, under “any other business”. The draft was discussed several times over the course of the month but has not been put to a vote. Since the Jordanian draft went into blue, two other proposed drafts have been discussed—one drafted by France, the UK and Germany, and another drafted by the US. On 18 August Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry briefed the Council, warning that “the slide towards a state of permanent conflict and hopelessness must be halted at once,” and that the restive situation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, together with the Gaza crisis serve as a bleak warning of what the future may bring if the current negative trend towards a one-state reality is not reversed (S/PV.7243). The briefing was followed by consultations. On 20 August Council members discussed the Gaza conflict again under “any other business” following the 19 August collapse of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. Afterwards, elements to the press were read in which members of the Council expressed grave concern at the return to hostilities, called upon the parties to prevent the situation from escalating and to reach an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and offered full support to the Egyptian initiative.
On 7 August, in a debate (S/PV.7237) chaired by Mark Simmonds, the UK Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Council was briefed by Special Representative and the head of MONUSCO Martin Kobler on the latest MONUSCO report (S/2014/450). The outgoing Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, and Angola’s Minister of Defence João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, in his capacity as representative of the Chair of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, also addressed the Council. On 20 August, Ambassador Dina Kawar (Jordan), the chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, briefed Council members in consultations on the activities of the Committee and the Group of Experts’ midterm report (S/2014/428). On 26 August, Council members issued a press statement reaffirming their support for the swift neutralisation of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda as a top priority in bringing stability to the DRC and the Great Lakes region (SC/11533).
On 7 August, the Council held a briefing, followed by consultations, on Darfur (S/PV.7238). Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur and head of UNAMID, briefed the Council on the latest UNAMID report (S/2014/515). Ambassador Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman Elnor (Sudan) addressed the Council after Chambas. On 27 August, the Council adopted resolution 2173 renewing the mandate of UNAMID for 10 months. The same day, Council members received a briefing in consultations on the work of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee from its chair, Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval (Argentina).
Between 8-13 August, Council members undertook a visiting mission to Europe and Africa (S/2014/579). On 19 August, Australia, Chile, the US and the UK briefed the Council on the legs of the visiting mission that they co-led to Belgium, The Hague, South Sudan and Somalia, respectively (S/PV.7245).
On 18 August, Council members condemned a suicide attack in Ber which killed two Burkinabe MINUSMA peacekeepers and injured seven (SC/11523).
Protection of Civilians
On 19 August, the Council held a briefing on the protection of humanitarian workers in recognition of World Humanitarian Day (S/PV.7244). Briefers included UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer, and Mashood Karokhail, the Director of The Liason Office. The UK circulated a concept note in advance of the briefing (S/2014/571). At press time, the Council was negotiating a draft resolution as a follow-up to the briefing.
On 21 August, the Council held an open debate on conflict prevention with Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay briefing (S/PV.7247). More than 50 member states participated in the open debate, which lasted more than five hours. The Council unanimously adopted resolution 2171, which requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Council on actions taken to “promote and strengthen conflict prevention tools within the United Nations system” by 31 August 2015. The UK circulated a concept note in advance of the open debate (S/2014/572).
Council members were briefed in consultations on 26 August by Under-Secretary-General of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau (S/2014/603). In light of the successful electoral process and installation of the new government this was the final Secretary-General’s report pursuant to resolution 2048 (S/2014/600 and S/2014/601). The Council agreed that further relevant updates would be included in the semi-annual UNIOGBIS report.
On 27 August, the Council adopted a presidential statement on the Sahel (S/PRST/2014/17). The adoption occurred more than two months after the Council’s 19 June briefing by Special Envoy to the Sahel Hiroute Guebre Sellassie (S/PV.7203). The statement encouraged greater cooperation among stakeholders to implement the UN’s Sahel strategy and with the Office of the Special Envoy. It further changed the reporting cycle on the implementation of the UN’s Sahel strategy, requesting the next report by 30 November 2015.
On 29 August, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Adviser Jamal Benomar. Benomar’s briefing focused on the crisis gripping Yemen since 18 August when mass protests started in Sana’a and other cities following the call for demonstrations by Abdulmalek al-Houthi, leather of the Houthi (a Shi’a rebel group). He demanded the reinstatement of fuel subsidies and the dissolution of the government. The situation threatened to derail the ongoing political transition process. At press time, Council members were negotiating a draft presidential statement on the situation.