The 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee met on 1 September to consider implementation of resolution 2231 on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed by Iran, the P5 and Germany on 14 July. On 14 September the Council received two reports from the IAEA: the regular quarterly report on implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of Council resolutions in Iran (S/2015/705) and a special report on the implications for the IAEA of resolution 2231 (S/2015/706). On 15 September, the Sanctions Committee chair, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed the Council on the work of the Committee (S/PV.7522). He emphasised that sanctions would remain fully in effect until the Council received the report from the IAEA confirming that Iran had taken all the actions required under the JCPOA and that the Committee was fully committed to the implementation of all relevant resolutions.
On 2 September, the Council adopted resolution 2237, which renewed the arms embargo on non-state actors for nine months but terminated the asset freeze and travel ban (S/PV.7517). Resolution 2237 also renewed the mandate of the Panel of Experts for ten months, but reduced the Panel from two members to one member. On 10 September, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed the Council on the most recent UNMIL report (S/2015/620). Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden), chair of the Liberia country-specific configuration in the Peacebuilding Commission, and Benedict Sannoh, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Liberia, also addressed the Council (S/PV.7519). On 17 September, the Council adopted resolution 2239 renewing the mandate of UNMIL until 30 September 2016 and continuing the drawdown of UNMIL, to 1,240 military personnel and 606 police personnel by 30 June.
On 4 September, Council members received a briefing in consultations from Special Representative and head of UNMISS Ellen Margrethe Løj on the situation in South Sudan following the signing in August of the “Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.” In elements to the press following the meeting, Council members “expressed deep concern at the recent reports of fighting and called upon the parties to adhere to the permanent cease-fire immediately and unconditionally.” A US proposal, jointly sponsored by France and the UK, to impose targeted sanctions on Paul Malong Awan, chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and Johnson Olonyi, an SPLA in Opposition general, was put on hold by Angola, China, Russia and Venezuela prior to the 15 September expiry of a no-objection period. At press time, Council members were negotiating a US draft resolution to enhance the mandate of UNMISS by authorising it to support the implementation of the August peace agreement.
UNRCCA (Central Asia)
On 8 September Special Representative and head of UNRCCA Petko Draganov briefed Council members in consultations. It was his first briefing since taking office in March. Breaking with recent Council practice, there was no press statement following the meeting. It appeared that some Council members had objected to the initial text proposed by the penholder Russia. At the time of writing it was unclear whether Russia was still planning to try to get agreement on a statement.
Women, Peace and Security
On 9 September, representatives of UN Women and the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate briefed member states at an open meeting of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee about how gender has started to be integrated into the UN’s policy and programming on counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism. Civil society participants spoke on recent women-led initiatives to counter terrorism and violent extremism in areas that have been impacted by Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
On 10 September, the Council adopted resolution 2238 renewing the mandate of the UNSMIL until 15 March 2016. On 16 September, the UK presented under “any other business” a draft resolution authorising member states to interdict vessels involved in human trafficking and migrant smuggling in the high seas off the coast of Libya. Given the failure to ensure the support of some Council members, at press time the draft resolution had not been put to a vote. On 21 September, the 1970 Sanctions Committee discussed the interim report which was presented by the coordinator of the Panel of Experts.
Central African Republic
On 10 September, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” on his recent visit to the CAR. Later that day, the chair of the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania), briefed the Committee on her 24-29 August visit to the CAR. On 28 September, Council members issued a press statement reiterating their support for the Transitional Authorities and called for an immediate end to the recent upsurge in violence in Bangui (SC/12061).
On 11 September, the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee held informal consultations to discuss the interim update report of the Group of Experts.
Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa
On 14 September, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa held a panel discussion on preventive diplomacy, including the role of the AU and its cooperation with the UN. The panelists, who participated via video teleconference from Addis Ababa, were Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the AU, and Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU.
On 16 September, Council members issued a press statement condemning the detention by the Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) of transition President Michel Kafando, Prime Minister Isaac Zida and other ministers earlier that day (SC/10248). On 17 September, following the RSP’s announcement that it had taken over power, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed Council members in consultations under “any other business”. Members issued a press statement later that day condemning RSP elements’ forceful seizure of power, and expressed strong support for UN, ECOWAS and AU mediation efforts (SC/10251). On 24 September, Council members welcomed the reinstatement of Kafando and the transitional authorities, calling for the resumption of the transition process without delay (SC/12057).
On 17 September, the Council held a debate (S/PV.7526) on the quarterly UNAMA report (S/2015/684). Special Representative and head of UNAMA Nicholas Haysom and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime briefed the Council. Haysom emphasised the heavy toll the conflict continues to take on civilians and noted that foreign assistance beyond 2017 will rely on the government meeting agreed upon performance indicators, including those related to countering corruption. Fedotov argued that illegal drugs in Afghanistan “are supporting instability, insurgency, corruption and organized crime, while weakening state institutions and Afghanistan’s overall ability to promote peace and good governance.”
Sudan/South Sudan and UNISFA
On 17 September, Council members were briefed in consultations on Sudan/South Sudan and on UNISFA. Haile Menkerios, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, briefed on Sudan/South Sudan issues, while Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous reported on the Secretary-General’s UNISFA report (S/2015/700).
UNDOF (Golan Heights)
On 17 September, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest UNDOF report (S/2015/699).
On 21 September, Council members issued a press statement, taking note of the appointment of Carlos Correia as Prime Minister as an important step for ending Guinea-Bissau’s political crisis (SC/12054).
On 30 September, the Council held a ministerial-level open debate on the settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and countering the terrorist threat in the region (S/PV.7527). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presided over the meeting. On 1 September, Russia had circulated a concept note as a basis for the discussion (S/2015/678).