Central African Republic
On 3 August, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack against a MINUSCA convoy in Bangui (SC/11995). On 9 August, Council members issued another press statement expressing sorrow at the death of five peacekeepers when one killed himself and four others (SC/12004). On 5 August, the Council was briefed on the latest MINUSCA report (S/2015/576) by the then Special Representative and head of MINUSCA, Babacar Gaye, and by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Morocco, Abderrazzak Laassel, in the stead of Ambassador Omar Hilale, the chair of the CAR configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (S/PV.7500). The briefing was followed by consultations with Gaye. On 13 August, the Secretary-General briefed Council members on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse committed by MINUSCA peacekeepers in the CAR. On 18 August, Council members issued a press statement, expressing their outrage at these allegations and welcoming the commitment of the Secretary-General to strictly enforce his zero-tolerance policy (SC/12010). They also took note of the Secretary-General’s decision to ask for the resignation of Gaye, and of the appointment of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga (Gabon) in his place as acting head of MINUSCA. The 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee met on 3 August with the regional countries to discuss the arms embargo (SC/11999). On 21 August it met with the regional countries again regarding the arms embargo and then with its Panel of Experts to discuss the Panel’s recent midterm report (SC/12024). The Committee added three individuals and one entity to its sanctions list on 20 August (SC/12018). Finally, the chair of the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania), began a five-day visit to the CAR on 24 August.
On 4 August, Council members issued a press statement condemning the killing of General Adolphe Nshimirimana in Bujumbura on 2 August and the violent attack on human rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa on 3 August (SC/11996). Council members also expressed concern over the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Burundi and called on all political actors to resume an inclusive dialogue without delay. On 10 August, Council members were briefed in consultations on the situation in Burundi by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayè-Brook Zerihoun and Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Ŝimonović. On 28 August, at the request of France, the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun briefed Council members on the political and security situation in Burundi under “any other business”, an update was also provided on the process to appoint a UN mediator.
On 6 August, Council members condemned the terrorist attack claimed by ISIS at a mosque at the headquarters of the Special Emergency Security Forces in the Asir region of Saudi Arabia (SC/12000).
On 12 August, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Envoy Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, via video teleconference. Council members issued “press elements” following the meeting urging the parties to resolve their differences through dialogue since a military solution is not attainable and to cooperate with the Special Envoy. On 19 August, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien following his 9-13 August visit to Yemen and Djibouti (S/PV.7507). The briefing was followed by consultations. The 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee met on 17 and 25 August. On 17 August, the Committee was briefed by the Panel of Experts on its midterm report. On 25 August, the Committee was briefed by the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Yemen Crisis, Amer Daoudi, on the establishment of a verification and inspection mechanism that the UN has been negotiating between Yemen and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition to increase the flow of commercial goods, such as food and fuel, to Yemen (SC/12026).
On 13 August, Council members met with UNIFIL troop-contributing countries (S/PV.7503). On 14 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet briefed Council members on the work of UNIFIL, 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 2014. On 21 August, the Council adopted resolution 2236, extending the mandate of UNIFIL for one year.
On 13 August, the Council had a briefing on the global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola David Nabarro briefed (S/PV.7502). Also briefing the Council were Deputy Permanent Representative Per Thöresson (Sweden) on behalf of Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden) the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission; AU Ambassador to the UN Téte Antonio; and Mosoka Fallah, Director of the Community-Based Initiative. As outlined in the concept note, circulated ahead of the meeting by Nigeria, one of the key purposes of the meeting was to consider the role of regional and sub-regional organisations in fighting epidemics and to discuss how the international community can more strategically respond to future Ebola outbreaks or other pandemics (S/2015/600).
At the initiative of Nigeria, the Council president for August, the Council held an open debate on 18 August on regional organisations and contemporary challenges of global security (S/PV.7505 and Resumption 1). A concept note had been circulated on 5 August in preparation for the open debate (S/2015/599).
On 19 August, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Council in the regular monthly meeting on the Middle East (S/PV.7506). Feltman said the risk of escalation in Israel and Palestine is palpable and that a comprehensive approach on the ground, in the region and with the international community is needed to restore confidence, before returning to realistic negotiations. On the Israeli side, that should reflect significant policy shifts to enable Palestine’s sovereignty, economy and security to grow while on the Palestinian side, unity is critical, he said. On recent events, he briefed that violence continued, including incidents that resulted in Palestinian casualties as well as attacks on Israelis and Israeli security forces. Israel’s practice of demolishing homes and structures also continued.
Security Sector Reform
On 20 August, the Council held a briefing on Security Sector Reform (SSR) at the initiative of Nigeria. The briefers were Dmitry Titov, the Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions in DPKO; Director of UNDP’s Crisis Response Unit Izumi Nakamitsu; and Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura (S/PV.7508). Following the circulation of a concept note ahead of the briefing (S/2015/614), Council members focused largely on the implementation of resolution 2151 of 28 April 2014.
On 21 August, the Council held a quarterly debate on Kosovo. Special Representative Farid Zarif briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s Kosovo report (S/2015/579) and recent developments (S/PV.7510). Zarif emphasised the importance of continued dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina as well as the recently approved constitutional changes paving a way for the establishment of the special court for war crimes. After four years as head of UNMIK, Zarif said he would be relinquishing the post shortly after the debate.
On 24 August, Chile and the US organised an Arria-formula meeting on ISIS’s targeting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, as part of ISIS’s ongoing track record of deliberately targeting minorities and vulnerable populations in Iraq and Syria. Angola and Chad did not attend but the majority of Council members heard first-hand accounts from affected individuals from both Iraq and Syria and were briefed by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Jessica Stern, Executive Director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. On 25 August, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura briefed Council members in consultations on her 16-29 April visit to the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey) where sexual violence is being committed strategically, in a widespread and systematic manner, and with a high-degree of sophistication by most parties to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria—both state and non-state actors. On 28 August, Council members issued a press statement that condemned the use of sexual violence committed, including as a method or tactic of warfare, in Syria and Iraq.
On 26 August, Ambassador Rafael Ramirez (Venezuela), chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, briefed Council members in consultations. The quarterly briefing covered the work of the Committee since the last briefing by Ramirez on 28 May, including the 1591 Committee’s most recent meeting on 20 August where it discussed the Panel of Experts’ mid-term report.
DPRK (North Korea)
On 26 August, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. Also during August, the Council received letters from the Republic of Korea (ROK), dated 18 August (S/2015/642), and the DPRK, dated 21 August (S/2015/658) related to the landmines that injured two ROK soldiers on 4 August and the escalation of tensions between the two countries. On 19 August, the DPRK also addressed a letter to the Council repeating its request for the Council to place the issue of US-ROK joint military exercises on the Council’s agenda (S/2015/650).
On 27 August, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed Council members under “any other business” on his one day visit to Burkina Faso. On 25 August, Feltman visited the country, together with UNOWA head Mohammed Ibn Chambas, ahead of the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 11 October.
On 28 August, at the request of the UK, Special Adviser Vijay Nambiar briefed Council members on Myanmar under “any other business” with Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović present to answer questions if they arose. An update was provided on progress towards signing a national ceasefire agreement, as well as the situation with regard to minority groups in Rakhine State, and preparations for elections later this year.