December 2014 Monthly Forecast

Posted 26 November 2014
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Status Update

South Sudan
On 4 November, Special Representative Ellen Margrethe Løj briefed Council members in consultations, via video-teleconference from Juba, on the latest report of the Secretary-General on UNMISS (S/2014/821). UNMISS Force Commander Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam also participated via video-teleconference. Løj gave a grim assessment of the security situation, referring specifically to the fighting in the Bentiu area, and the security and humanitarian challenges in the UNMISS camps for internally displaced persons. Council members issued a press statement on 5 November (SC/11631) expressing “alarm and outrage” at the resumption of fighting in Unity and Upper Nile states. In the statement, Council members also “confirmed their intention to commence negotiations, in consultation with relevant partners, including the Intergovernmental Authority for Development and the African Union, on all appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions against those impeding the peace process.” On 25 November, the Council adopted resolution 2187 renewing the mandate of UNMISS for an additional six months. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous also briefed Council members under “another other business” the same day on the mission’s efforts to address the security situation in South Sudan.

On 5 November, the Council was briefed by Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the head BNUB, and Paul Seger (Switzerland) who chairs the PBC Burundi configuration (S/PV.7295). Zacharie Gahutu of Burundi’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also addressed the Council. The briefing was followed by consultations after which the president of the Council, Gary Quinlan (Australia), released elements to the press. He said that Council members are monitoring the situation in Burundi and are looking forward to the establishment of the electoral observer mission after BNUB’s drawdown on 31 December. He added that Council members encourage the government to create conditions for an inclusive electoral process and support the understanding reached with the government on the continued presence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Burundi after BNUB’s drawdown.

On 5 November, the Council adopted a presidential statement noting deep concern over the lack of progress of the voluntary disarmament process of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and calling on the DRC, in coordination with MONUSCO, to undertake immediate military action against those in the FDLR who do not engage in the demobilization process or who continue to carry out human rights abuses (S/PRST/2014/22). On 25 November, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” on recent attacks against civilians in Beni, North Kivu that have reportedly resulted in over 200 casualties since October. Later that day, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attacks and calling on the DRC and MONUSCO to reduce threats against civilians and neutralise armed groups operating in eastern DRC (SC/11675).

International Court of Justice
On 6 November, in simultaneous and independent elections, the General Assembly and the Security Council elected four judges: Mohamed Bennouna (Morocco), James Richard Crawford (Australia), Joan E. Donoghue (US) and Kirill Gevorgian (Russia) to nine-year terms beginning on 6 February 2015 (S/PV.7297 and resumption 1). After seven rounds of voting in the General Assembly and four rounds of voting in the Security Council, the fifth vacancy remained open, as Patrick Lipton Robinson (Jamaica) consistently garnered the absolute majority required in the General Assembly, while the Council selected Susana Ruiz Cerutti (Argentina). The following day, several rounds of simultaneous voting failed to produce agreement to fill the remaining seat (S/PV.7298, 7299, 7300, 7301, 7302, 7303 and 7304). On 11 November, Cerutti withdrew (S/2014/808) and Robinson was elected on 17 November to fill the fifth remaining seat (S/PV.7313).

DPRK (North Korea)
On 10 November, the Chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. Several Council members made references to the human rights situation in the DPRK and said that the Council needed to address it. Prior to the briefing, on 7 November, the Council had received a letter from the DPRK (S/2014/797) that strongly condemned “anti-DPRK propaganda leaflet-scattering operations conducted by so-called non-governmental organisations” claiming that they were “intentionally tolerated and even patronized by South Korean authorities” and urged the UN and other international organisations to take action to prevent further such operations from taking place. The letter was not discussed in the consultations on 10 November. On 18 November, in its annual resolution on the human rights situation in the DPRK, the General Assembly’s Third Committee decided to submit the report of the Human Rights Council mandated DPRK Commission of Inquiry to the Security Council and encouraged the Council to consider relevant recommendations and take appropriate action, including through “consideration of referral of the situation in the DPRK to the ICC” and “effective targeted sanctions against those who appear to be most responsible for acts that the Commission has said may constitute crimes against humanity.” It was adopted by a vote of 111 in favour, 19 against and 55 abstentions (A/C.3/69/L.28/Rev.1). A Cuban amendment that would have replaced the provisions referring to the Security Council with a call for a new cooperative approach in the consideration of the human rights situation in the DPRK was defeated by a vote of 40 in favour, 77 against and 50 abstentions. In a 24 November letter to the Council, the DPRK rejected the resolution and stated that the hostile policy of the US compels the DPRK not to exercise restraint any longer in conducting a new nuclear test (S/2014/849).

Boko Haram
On 10 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning a suicide attack earlier that day at a school in Nigeria that reportedly killed 48 people (SC/11639).

On 10 November, Council members participated in an informal interactive dialogue with Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Ameerah Haq and the Deputy Military Adviser Major General Adrian Foster on the situation in Mali. The discussion focused on the relevance of the current mandate of MINUSMA in the current context of increasing asymmetrical threats.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 11 November, the Council adopted resolution 2183 that renewed the authorisation for the EU-led multinational stabilisation force for a year. Following the adoption, the Council held its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/PV.7308), which included a briefing by High Representative Valentin Inzko on his latest report on the situation in the country (S/2014/777).

On 12 November, the Council adopted resolution 2184 renewing for one year measures to fight piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia. The counter-piracy measures have been renewed on an annual basis since they were initially authorised in resolutions 1846 and 1851.On 24 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning the 22 November attack in Kenya for which Al‑Shabaab has claimed responsibility and paid tribute to the role of Kenya in AMISOM as part of the fight against Al‑Shabaab (SC/11668).

On 12 November, the Council held a public meeting on the situation in Ukraine following reports of renewed violence in the east and concerns about violations of the Minsk Agreement (S/PV.7311). The Council was briefed by Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs; Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine; and Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.

On 12 November, Special Coordinator Derek Plumbly and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2014/784). Following the meeting, Council president for November, Gary Quinlan (Australia), read out agreed elements to the press expressing concern with the prolonged vacancy in the office of the president of Lebanon, underlined the importance of parliament acting to ensure that presidential elections take place and strongly encouraged Lebanese leaders to show urgency and flexibility on the issue. They also stressed the importance of all Lebanese parties acting to preserve national unity, consistent with the commitments made in the Baabda Declaration to respect the policy of disassociation from the conflict in Syria.

On 17 November, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen briefed the Council at the regular monthly meeting on the Middle East (S/PV.7312). Toyberg-Frandzen briefed on the tensions surrounding access to the holy sites in Jerusalem and recent violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He also reported on an increase in demolition of Palestinian buildings, continuing Israeli settlement expansion and reconstruction efforts in Gaza. On 19 November, the Council issued a press statement, proposed by the US, on “the despicable terrorist attack in a synagogue in Jerusalem” that occurred a day earlier in which four innocent civilians worshipping and a police officer were killed (SC/11660). In the statement, Council members strongly condemned all such acts of violence, expressed concern about increased tensions, which have affected both the Israeli and Palestinian people, and urged all sides to take immediate steps to restore calm. They also encouraged Israeli and Palestinian leaders and citizens to work together to lower tension, reject violence, avoid all provocations and seek a path toward peace.

On 18 November, the Council held its regular quarterly briefing and consultations on Iraq (S/PV.7314). Special Representative Nickolay Mladenov presented the most recent UNAMI report (S/2014/774) and the report on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2014/776). He focused his comments on the newly formed Shi’a-led government and Baghdad’s relationship with Iraq’s Sunni and Kurdish population. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein briefed on the human rights dimension of the conflict in Iraq. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos briefed on the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

Miguel Trovoada, the Special Representative and head of UNIOGBIS, briefed the Council on 18 November and presented the most Secretary-General’s assessment of the mission (S/2014/805). Statements were also made by the chair of the PBC, the chair of the PBC Guinea-Bissau configuration, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil) and Prime Minister Domingos Simões Pereira of Guinea-Bissau (S/PV.7315). On 25 November, the Council adopted resolution 2186 renewing the mandate of UNIOGBIS for three months.

On 19 November, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop presided over a high-level open debate on counter-terrorism (S/PV.7316). The Council was briefed by the Secretary-General, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania) in her capacity as chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee and Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia) in his capacity as chair of the Al-Qaida 1267/1989 Sanctions Committee. Prior to the open debate, Australia had circulated a concept note to guide discussion (S/2014/787). A 3 November report of the 1267/1989 Monitoring Team on the sources of ISIS and Al-Nusrah Front’s recruits, funds and arms was also discussed at the meeting (S/2014/815) as was another report by the Counter Terrorism Committee regarding the capacity of member states to implement resolution 2178 on foreign terrorist fighters (S/2014/807). A presidential statement was adopted that focused on international cooperation in combating terrorism and addressed the interrelated threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters, violent extremism, Al-Qaida, and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (S/PRST/2014/23).

On 20 November, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop presided over a meeting where Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and three police commissioners briefed on challenges faced by police components when implementing Council mandates on the ground (S/PV.7317). The briefing was an initiative of Australia which distributed a concept note to guide the meeting (S/2014/788). Greg Hinds of the UN Mission in Liberia discussed challenges related to building the institutional capacity of the host state, Fred Yiga of the UN Mission in South Sudan tackled the importance of having the appropriate guidance, training, skills and equipment to effectively implement a mandate and Luis Miguel Carrilho of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic addressed the role of police components in the protection of civilians and aspects of the women, peace and security agenda in the policing context. At the meeting, resolution 2185 was unanimously adopted, the first standalone resolution on UN policing. Later that day, Council members held an informal interactive dialogue with the chair of the recently appointed High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, José Ramos-Horta.

The Council held a debate on Ebola on 21 November (S/PV.7318) and was briefed by Special Representative and head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response Anthony Banbury, the Special Envoy for Ebola David Nabarro as well as the head of the French Red Cross in Guinea, Thomas Mauget. Statements were also made by representatives of Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone. The Council adopted a presidential statement that reiterated grave concern over the epidemic, recognised progress in scaling-up international assistance and called for further strengthening of response efforts (S/PRST/2014/24).

Non-Proliferation (1540 Committee)
On 24 November the Chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Oh Joon (Republic of Korea) presented his semi-annual briefing to the Council (S/PV.7319). The briefing would normally have been given in a joint meeting with the chairs of the Council’s two other counter-terrorism-related committees, namely the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee. However, since the chairs of these two Committees addressed the Council during the 19 November counter-terrorism open debate, it was decided to hold a separate briefing on the work of the 1540 Committee.

On 25 November, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and Interpol Secretary-General Jürgen Stock briefed the Council regarding sanctions (S/PV.7323). Australia had circulated a concept note in advance of the meeting (S/2014/793). At press time, a draft resolution to improve the effectiveness of UN sanctions implementation was under negotiation. Due to differences among Council members—in particular, the establishment of a policy and coordination unit in the Secretariat and issues related to sanctions imposed by regional and international organisations—it was unclear when agreement might be reached and when a vote might be scheduled.