On 2 July, Council members condemned the terrorist attack against a MINUSMA convoy in the region of Timbuktu, which killed six Burkinabe peacekeepers (SC/11959).
On 2 July, Council members were briefed in consultations under “any other business”, at the request of France, on the situation in Burundi following the controversial parliamentary and municipal elections. On 9 July, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein briefed the Council (S/PV.7482), followed by consultations. Following the presidential elections of 21 July, Council members were briefed by Zerihoun and the Deputy Head of the UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB), Issaka Souna, in consultations on 28 July. A report by MENUB had previously been circulated to the Council earlier in the month (S/2015/510).
UNOWA (West Africa)
On 7 July, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the head of UNOWA, briefed the Council (S/PV.7480) on developments in West Africa and the latest Secretary-General’s report on the activities of UNOWA (S/2015/472). The briefing was followed by consultations. A draft press statement was prepared by Nigeria, but Council members were unable to agree on the statement due to proposals by Chad to include references to the Multinational Joint Force being created to combat Boko Haram. It was never issued.
On 8 July, Council members were briefed in consultations on UNISFA activities by the head of the mission, Haile Tilahun Gebremariam, and on Sudan and South Sudan issues by Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios (via video teleconference from Addis Ababa). The discussion on UNISFA addressed the Secretary-General’s report (S/2015/439) on the situation in Abyei and the recent work of the mission. On 14 July, the Council adopted resolution 2230, renewing the mandate of UNISFA for an additional five months until 15 December (S/PV.7483).
On 8 July, the Council held a briefing by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide (S/PV.7481). The Council voted on a draft resolution (S/2015/508) to commemorate the anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide, but it was vetoed by Russia with Angola, China, Nigeria and Venezuela abstaining. The briefing and vote had been scheduled for 7 July but was postponed by a day in an effort to avert a veto.
On 10 July, Council members adopted a press statement in which they “welcomed the direct talks held on 7 July in Muree, Pakistan, between the government of Afghanistan and Taliban representatives, as a step towards peace and reconciliation” (SC/11967).
On 14 July, the Council was briefed by Special Representative and head of MONUSCO Martin Kobler on the latest MONUSCO report (S/2015/486). The Council was also briefed by Ambassador Dina Kawar (Jordan), chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, following her visit to the country (S/PV.7484). The meeting was followed by consultations.
On 15 July, the Council received a briefing (S/PV.7485) from Bernardino León, the Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, and from Ambassador Ramlan Ibrahim (Malaysia), the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee.on León focused on the 11 July initialing of the peace agreement by some parties to the conflict in the Moroccan city of Skhirat. On 16 July, Council members welcomed the initialing of the agreement and called on all parties to engage with the Libyan Political Dialogue and unite in support of the agreement (SC/11973). Earlier in the month, on 1 July, Council members had welcomed the meeting of the participants in the Libyan political dialogue in Morocco in late June (SC/11957).
Somalia and Eritrea
On 16 July, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed the Council regarding the Secretary-General’s 2 July letter transmitting the 30 June joint AU-UN report regarding benchmarks for AMISOM and security strategy (S/PV.7487). Ambassador Awale Ali Kullane (Somalia) also participated. The briefing was followed by consultations with Mulet and Ambassador Rafael Ramírez (Venezuela), chair of the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee. On 27 July, Council members issued a press statement condemning Al-Shabaab’s attack on the Jazeera Hotel in Mogadishu (SC/11981). On 28 July, the Council adopted resolution 2232 extending the mandate of UNSOM until 30 March 2016 and reauthorising AMISOM through 30 May 2016.
On 20 July, at the request of Russia, Council members held consultations on the flight MH17 investigation and follow-up on resolution 2166. During the consultations, Russia presented a draft resolution calling for a greater role for the Secretary-General as well as International Civil Aviation Organization in the investigation of the crash. This was a draft competing with what Malaysia had already raised on 2 July, under “any other business”, for the Council to establish a tribunal for prosecution of those responsible the downing of flight MH17. On 29 July, the Council held a vote on the draft resolution (S/2015/562) presented by Malaysia. Russia vetoed the draft resolution, preventing the creation of the tribunal. Angola, China and Venezuela abstained.
On 20 July, the Council adopted resolution 2231, endorsing the recently concluded Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, agreed to on 14 July among the P5, Iran, Germany and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (S/PV.7488). The resolution includes a trigger for the deal to come into effect within 90 days of its adoption and a process for lifting sanctions, while establishing a strong monitoring system of Iran’s nuclear programme.
On 20 July, Security Council members Jordan and Malaysia convened an Arria-formula meeting on Gaza intended to draw attention to the fact that since the 51-day Israeli offensive “Operation Protective Edge” against Gaza one year ago, little or no recovery or reconstruction has taken place, and that the situation of civilians in Gaza is unsustainable. The speakers were Vance Culbert (in person) and Wafaa Karfana (via a pre-recorded video message) of the Norwegian Refugee Council, an organisation that works on community protection in Gaza; Tania Hary from Gisha, an Israeli organisation focused on protecting the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents; Sara Roy from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University; and Ardi Imseis (via pre-recorded video message) who spoke as an independent expert on accountability issues and was formerly a legal officer for UNRWA—the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. On 23 July, New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully presided over the Council’s quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.7490). Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov reported that the current situation on the ground was not sustainable and the two-state solution remained under threat, including from settlement construction, security incidents, occupation-related violence and lack of Palestinian unity, he said. In the absence of a political process, the rise of violent extremist and terrorism in the region presented further danger. Mladenov also stressed the need to end unilateral activities in the West Bank, including settlement construction, so-called legalisation of outposts, demolitions and evictions. On 31 July, Council members condemned the terrorist attack in the village of Duma near Nablus, which killed a Palestinian child and injured his family members (SC/11994).
On 22 July, Council members were briefed by Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim on the latest Secretary-General’s UNFICYP report (S/2015/517) and by Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide on the status of unification talks. On 29 July, the Council adopted resolution 2234, extending the mission’s mandate for another six months.
Secretary-General Selection Process
On 22 July, at the initiative of New Zealand, Council members held a discussion on the selection process for a new Secretary-General under “any other business.” This issue has in recent months been the focus of discussions in the General Assembly within the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalisation of the Work of the General Assembly. The Accountability, Coherence and Transparency group, made up of 27 UN member states, has also taken up this issue. On 1 June, it sent a letter to the president of the Council, as well as to the president of the General Assembly and the Secretary-General, with the group’s proposals for the selection and appointment of the next Secretary-General. While there was no formal product to the meeting on 22 July, a number of members called for a more transparent selection process. Ban Ki-moon’s term ends on 31 December 2016.
On 22 July, Special Representative Ján Kubiš briefed the Council (S/PV.7489) and presented the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMI (S/2015/530) and on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2015/518). On 29 July, the Council adopted resolution 2233 renewing UNAMI for a year and requesting the Secretary-General to report back to the Council in 90 days with a full set of recommendations emanating from the Secretariat’s strategic assessment mission that was carried out in April.
On 28 July, the Council adopted a presidential statement commending Lake Chad Basin Commission members and Benin for their efforts to operationalise the MNJTF (S/PRST/2015/14). The statement called upon the international community and donors to support the MNJTF, welcomed AU plans to organise a donors’ conference in support of the force and requested member states to contribute generously to an AU Trust Fund. In this regard, the presidential statement invited the Secretary-General to support the planned donors’ conference and requested him to advocate strongly with the international community and donors in support of these efforts.
Security Challenges for Small Island Developing States
At press time, the Council was expected to hold an open debate on 30 July on the peace and security challenges facing small island developing states (S/PV.7499). New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, was expected to preside and a concept note was circulated to member states in preparation for the debate (S/2015/543). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the prime ministers of Samoa and Jamaica and the finance minister of the Seychelles were expected to brief.