Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 5 January, Special Representative and head of MONUSCO, Martin Kobler, briefed Council members via video-teleconference under “any other business” on the situation in the DRC. On 8 January, the Council adopted a presidential statement reiterating the need for the DRC, together with MONUSCO, through its intervention brigade, to neutralise the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) by commencing military operations immediately (S/PRST/2015/1). On 22 January, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7367) by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous on the strategic review of MONUSCO (S/2014/957) and by Kobler on MONUSCO’s latest report (S/2014/956). The chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, Dina Kawar (Jordan), briefed the Council on the report of the Group of Experts assisting the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee (S/2015/19). On 29 January, the Council adopted a resolution 2198 renewing the DRC sanctions regime and the mandate of the Group of Experts.
On 6 January, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous presented the most recent MINUSMA report (S/2014/943) and reported that there had only been modest progress in the peace process since October 2014 (S/PV.7355). On 17 January, Council members issued a press statement condemning the coordinated attacks against MINUSMA, where one Chadian peacekeeper was killed and others were injured (SC/11739).
On 7 January, Council members condemned the terrorist attack against the headquarters of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris (SC/11727).
UNOWA (West Africa)
On 8 January, the Council was briefed by the Special Representative and head of UNOWA, Mohammed Ibn Chambas (S/PV.7357) on the latest UNOWA report (S/2014/945). He highlighted the fragile political situations in a number of West African countries in the lead up to presidential and legislative elections in 2015 and 2016. He placed particular emphasis on the risk of pre- and post-electoral violence for Nigeria’s elections in February and the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency.
On 11 January, Security Council members issued a press statement expressing outrage at a terrorist attack carried out a day earlier in Tripoli that Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility for (SC/11731). On 28 January, Council members were briefed in consultations on UNIFIL after a Spanish peacekeeper was killed earlier in the day near the border with Israel. During the incident, UNIFIL had observed six rockets launched towards Israel from the vicinity of Wazzani north of Maysat in the UNIFIL area of operations. Israeli forces returned fire. At press time, it seemed possible that Council members would issue a press statement in response the incident.
On 13 January, the Council was briefed by the head of UNOCI, Special Representative Aïchatou Mindaoudou, on the most recent report of the Secretary-General on Côte d’Ivoire (S/2014/892). Ambassador Cristián Barros (Chile), chair of the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee, also briefed on his 2-7 November 2014 trip to the country (S/PV.7358).
On 13 January, Council members issued a press statement condemning the killing of 11 civilians as a result of the shelling of a passenger bus in Volnovakha (SC/11733) and another press statement on 22 January condemned the killing of 15 civilians as a result of the shelling of a public transport stop in Donetsk (SC/11749). On 21 January, the Council held a meeting on Ukraine—the first in over two months—and was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the recent escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine and violations of the Minsk agreement (S/PV.7365). On 26 January, Feltman briefed the Council again on the further deterioration of the situation in the east and the growing number of civilian causalities in the Ukraine conflict (S/PV.7368).
On 14 January, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliason briefed on the Secretary-General’s report on peacebuilding in the aftermath of conflict (S/2014/694). Also briefing was Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil), the chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (S/PV.7359). The Council adopted a presidential statement drawing attention to the upcoming 2015 review of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture (S/PRST/2015/2).
On 15 January, the Council held its regular quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East (S/PV.7360). Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen briefed the Council, warning that “the increasingly antagonistic and virulent nature of the discourse between the two sides should be cause for serious concern among those seeking to foster an environment conducive to a return to constructive dialogue”. He stressed that the international community must uphold its responsibility to play a role in moving the parties forward towards the two-state solution. On Gaza he noted that the ceasefire agreement between the parties remains perilously fragile, and there are no indications that a return to talks under Egyptian auspices is on the immediate horizon.
On 17 January, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the 14‑15 January round of talks in the Libyan dialogue hosted by UNSMIL in Geneva and strongly urged all relevant Libyan stakeholders to attend the next round of talks. Council members emphasised that the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee is prepared to sanction those who threaten Libya’s peace, stability or security or that obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition (SC/11738). On 27 January, Council members condemned the terrorist attack against the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli which resulted in several deaths and injuries (SC/11754).
On 19 January, the Council held a ministerial-level open debate on inclusive development (S/PV.7361). President Michelle Bachelet of Chile presided. Briefers included Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, the chair of the PBC, and Leymah Gbowee, President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation. A concept paper was circulated prior to the debate highlighting the Council’s previous work on inclusive development and outlining goals for the debate (S/2015/6). A presidential statement was adopted in which the Council underlined “that security and development are closely interlinked and mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace” (S/PRST/2015/3).
On 19 January, the Council adopted its first presidential statement on Boko Haram (S/PRST/2015/4). It condemned recent Boko Haram attacks, highlighting the group’s use of children as suicide bombers on 10 and 11 January and Boko Haram’s attack on the town of Baga, Nigeria from 3 to 7 January. The Council deplored human rights violations by the group and expressed serious concern over the scale of the growing humanitarian crisis. Expressing deep concern that Boko Haram was undermining the peace and stability of the West and Central African region, the Council urged Lake Chad Basin Commission countries and Benin to undertake further planning toward the operationalisation of the Multinational Joint Task Force to combat the group.
Central African Republic
On 20 January, Council members met with Fatimata M’Baye and Philip Alston (two of the three commissioners) who briefed at an Informal Interactive Dialogue on the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic (S/2014/928). The Commission was established in resolution 2127 to investigate violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and abuses of human rights in the CAR. On 22 January, the Council adopted resolution 2196 renewing the CAR sanctions regime (arms embargo, assets freeze and travel ban) until 29 January 2016 and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee until 29 February 2016.
On 20 January, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the arrival of indictee Dominic Ongwen to the ICC. Council members recalled that ICC arrest warrants for other LRA leaders, including Joseph Kony, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity have yet to be executed (SC/11744).
On 21 January, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the final report of the Secretary-General on the UN Office in Burundi (S/2015/36), the mission’s mandate ended on 31 December 2014 (S/PV.7364). The chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission Paul Seger (Switzerland) also briefed the Council. The meeting was followed by consultations.
UNRCCA (Central Asia)
On 21 January, Miroslav Jenča, the Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, briefed Council members in consultations. In a 23 January press statement, Council members highlighted UNRCCA’s role as an early-warning and preventive-diplomacy tool. They also commended UNRCCA for its work relating to border management, counter-terrorism and drug trafficking as well as its role in facilitating the region’s continued engagement on Afghanistan (SC/11751).
On 23 January, Lithuania hosted an Arria formula meeting with heads of human rights components of UN peace operations. The meeting focused on the impact of Council resolutions on how human rights work is carried out in peace operations. After introductory remarks by Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė (Lithuania), three heads of human rights components briefed Council members: Claudio Cardone (UN Support Mission in Libya), Georgette Gagnon (UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) and Guillaume Ngefa (UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali). Giuseppe Calandruccio (UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti) and Scott Campbell (former head of the Joint UN Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) were also available to answer questions and Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović provided concluding remarks.
On 26 January, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim and Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. Buttenheim briefed on the latest Cyprus report of the Secretary-General (S/2015/17) while Eide updated Council members on the status of unification talks. On 29 January, the Council adopted a resolution 2197 extending the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months.
On 28 January, Council members were briefed in consultations under “any other business” on Nepal by Assistant Secretary-General ad interim for Political Affairs, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen. Referring to the current political deadlock over the adoption of a new constitution, Toyberg-Frandzen emphasised the need for broad consultations to build consensus and also stressed the importance of flexibility by Nepalese political leaders in reaching an agreement. The briefing was held at the request of the Secretariat following Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman’s two-day visit to Nepal on 13-14 January.
Security Council Visiting Mission to Haiti
Security Council members visited Haiti between 23 and 25 January. The co-leads of the trip, Ambassador Cristián Barros Melet (Chile) and Ambassador Samantha Power (US), briefed the Council on the visit on 29 January (S/PV.7372).
Protection of Civilians
At press time, the Security Council is scheduled to hold an open debate on the protection of civilians on 30 January with a particular focus on the protection challenges of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings (S/PV.7374). Expected briefers include UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Director of International Law and Policy for the International Committee of the Red Cross Helen Durham, and Ilwad Elman, a Somali women’s rights activist. No Council outcome is anticipated. Chile circulated a concept paper in preparation for the debate in which it emphasises the importance of “measures…to monitor and better analyse the specific needs of women and to enhance the integration of gender perspectives in the work of UN entities and their partners” (S/2015/32).
The Council issued a press statement on 30 January, that condemned the 29 January attack in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, which killed and injured dozens of Egyptian soldiers and civilians.