On 1 May, at the request of Russia, Council members were briefed in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, and Russia presented a draft press statement on the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Council members issued a UK-drafted press statement on 12 May that incorporated elements from the Russian draft and welcomed the five-day humanitarian pause in the conflict (SC/11888). On 20 May, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, via video teleconference, and Operations Director of OCHA John Ging. Afterwards, Council members issued elements to the press welcoming the Secretary-General’s announcement of consultations among all Yemeni stakeholders in Geneva on 28 May and calling on all Yemeni parties to attend these talks and engage without preconditions. At press time, the talks had been postponed.
On 5 May, the Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in Liberia, Karin Landgren, briefed the Council, presenting the latest UNMIL report (S/2015/275). Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and its country-specific configuration on Liberia, and Liberia’s Minister of Justice Benedict Sannoh also addressed the Council (S/PV.7438).
On 7 May, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” on his latest visit to the DRC. The previous day, Council members had issued a press statement condemning a 5 May attack against peacekeepers in North Kivu (SC/11883).
On 7 May, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” on his latest visit to the CAR. On 15 May, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the holding of the Bangui forum on national reconciliation from 4 to 11 May 2015 (SC/11895). Council members commended the adoption of the Republican Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction, including commitments for a swift presidential and legislative electoral process.
On 8 May, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Said Djinnit briefed Council members in consultations via video teleconference on his mediation efforts between the government and the opposition in Burundi. In elements to the press, Council members expressed concern over the influx of refugees into neighbouring states and called on all sides to refrain from violence. On 14 May, Djinnit briefed Council members in consultations again after an attempted coup against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza. Council members agreed on press elements that condemned attempts to sieze power unlawfully and called for the swift return of the rule of law and the holding of credible elections in the spirit of the Arusha Agreements. The next day, Council members issued a press statement calling for the establishment of a genuine dialogue between all Burundians to create the necessary conditions for credible elections (SC/11896). On 24 May, Council members issued another press statement condemning the killing of opposition leader Zedi Feruzi on 23 May in Bujumbura (SC/11905). On 27 May, Djinnit briefed Council members again in consultations via video teleconference on his latest mediation efforts.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 12 May, the Council held its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/PV.7440). High Representative Valentin Inzko briefed on his office’s latest report (S/2015/300). Inzko stressed the country had an opportunity to break the negative political and economic trends with the EU’s recent initiative to activate Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Stabilization and Association Agreement, a precursor to applying for EU membership.
On 12 May, at the request of the US, Council members held consultations regarding options for accountability and transitional justice in South Sudan. Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares briefed along with Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šiminović. On 14 May, Special Representative Ellen Margrethe Loj presented the most recent UNMISS report (S/2015/296) and Ambassador Carlos Olguín Cigarroa (Chile), representative of the chair of the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee, briefed the Council (S/PV.7444). On 17 May, Council members issued a press statement condemning renewed large-scale violence in Unity state caused by a recent offensive by the government of South Sudan (SC/11897). On 28 May, the Council adopted resolution 2223 renewing the mandate of UNMISS for six months.
On 13 May, the Council held an open debate on small arms and light weapons (S/PV.7442). Lithuania had circulated a concept note on 1 May highlighting the human cost of small arms as a key focus for the debate (S/2015/306). The Secretary-General briefed on his 27 April report on small arms (S/2015/289). He was followed by High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and the president of the Côte d’Ivoire chapter of the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms, Karamoko Diakité, who had been invited to speak about the human cost of illicit small arms. On 22 May, the Council adopted resolution 2220 on small arms in a split vote of nine in favour and six abstentions (S/PV.7447). Resolution 2220 contained new provisions aiming to strengthen UN coordination and action on small arms, promote effective implementation of UN arms embargoes and support the Arms Trade Treaty while at the same time emphasising the negative impact of the proliferation of small arms on the protection of civilians. Five of the six Council members that abstained, Angola (on behalf of the three African members of the Council), Chad, China, Russia and Venezuela, had explanations of vote highlighting the absence of an explicit reference to “non-state actors” in the resolution’s provisions regarding the need to prevent the transfer of small arms to armed groups.
On 14 May, newly appointed Special Representative Ján Kubiš briefed the Council, presenting the most recent UNAMI report (S/2015/305) and the report on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2015/298). Kubiš said that for military gains against ISIS to hold, the government would have to restore civilian authority in areas liberated from ISIS—a reference to the Sunni western provinces which have a strained relationship with the Shi’a-led government in Baghdad. (Three days later Ramadi fell to ISIS as government forces fled. There have been subsequent reports of Iraqi authorities blocking civilians fleeing Ramadi from entering Baghdad.) OCHA head Valerie Amos also briefed on the humanitarian situation, reporting that 8.2 million people required assistance, an increase of three million in five months.
On 15 May, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the resumption of the settlement talks (SC/11894).
On 19 May, in his first monthly briefing to the Council as Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov warned that given the vicious tide of terror and extremism in the region, it was even more critical for Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a two-state solution and end actions that imperil an agreement (S/PV.7446). He called on the new Israeli government to take credible steps, including a freeze of settlement activity, and reiterated the necessity of continued security cooperation. He also reported on growing tensions in the West Bank, and the slow pace of reconstruction in Gaza.
On 19 May, Special Representative and head of UNSOM Nicholas Kay and Special Representative of the AU for Somalia and head of AMISOM Maman Sidikou briefed the Council via video teleconference from Addis Ababa (S/PV.7445). Kay presented the most recent UNSOM report (S/2015/331). On 26 May, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2221, renewing the mandate of UNSOM until 7 August. The brief mandate renewal—for a period of just over ten weeks—will enable Council members to consider an upcoming joint AU-UN report on AMISOM, particularly the provisions related to UNSOM’s mandate.
Meeting Between the Security Council and EU Political and Security Committee
On 20 May, Council members held an informal meeting with members of the EU PSC to discuss EU-UN peacekeeping cooperation, Libya and Ukraine.
Women, Peace and Security
On 21 May, Security Council members held a closed Arria-formula meeting, organised by Spain, focusing on key women, peace and security recommendations to the Security Council from Radhika Coomaraswamy, lead author of the Global Study on the implementation of resolution 1325; Ameerah Haq, Vice-Chair of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations; and Ambassador Gert Rosenthal, head of the Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture. In other developments, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura briefed members of the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee on 8 May (SC/11891). This briefing was a follow-up to resolution 2206 which requested the Special Representative to share information with the Committee.
On 22 May Council members condemned the terrorist attack claimed by ISIS at a mosque in Qatif, Saudi Arabia (SC/11903). On 29 May, the Council adopted a presidential statement on identifying priority actions to stem the flow foreign terrorist fighters (S/PRST/2015/11) at a meeting presided by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius (S/PV.7453). The 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Monitoring Team recently submitted a report to the Council on this issue (S/2015/358) and Lithuania circulated a concept note to help members prepare for the meeting (S/2015/324). Expected to brief on UN counter-terrorism efforts were Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and the chairs of the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand), and the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė (Lithuania). Murmokaité covered the work of the CTC on this issue, including reports on the implementation of resolution 2178 (S/2015/338), challenges in prosecutions related to foreign terrorist fighters (S/2015/123) and on the use of advanced passenger information by member states (S/2015/377). Secretary-General of INTERPOL Jürgen Stock also briefed.
On 26 May, the Council held a quarterly debate on Kosovo with a briefing by Special Representative Farid Zarif (S/PV.7448) who presented the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2015/303). The prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo participated in the debate.
Protection of Civilians
On 27 May, the Council held an open debate on the protection of journalists and adopted resolution 2222 (S/PV.7450). According to a concept note circulated by Lithuania on 1 May (S/2015/307) the aim of the debate was to review implementation of resolution 1738, the only previous Council resolution on the protection of journalists, and discuss lessons learned. The meeting was chaired by Lithuania’s foreign minister Linas Linkevičius and featured briefings by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders Christophe Deloire, and Mariane Pearl, the widow of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in early 2002. Resolution 2222 focused on the need to combat impunity for attacks against journalists, enhance reporting on violence against journalists and improve international coordination to strengthen the protection of journalists.
DPRK (North Korea)
On 6 May, in response to a request from Mexico the Committee sent a letter confirming that the vessel Mu Du Bong is under sanctions. Mu Du Bong is being held in the Mexican port of Tuxpan after it ran aground in the Gulf of Mexico last July. According to the Panel of Experts assisting the Committee, the ship is owned by Ocean Maritime Management Company which was designated by the Committee on 28 July 2014. On 21 May, the Council received a letter from the DPRK (S/2015/365) transmitting a statement on its 9 May underwater ballistic missile launches from a submarine along with another statement condemning what US Secretary of State John Kerry had said on 18 May during a visit to the Republic of Korea. On 28 May, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain) briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. The Committee had only held one meeting, on 20 April, since his last briefing on 26 February.
On 28 May, under “any other business”, High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein briefed Council members via video teleconference on the human rights situation in Myanmar, in particular on the Rohingya and the related migration crisis in Southeast Asia.