On 6 October, Council members discussed developments in Burkina Faso under “any other business”. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the head of UNOWA, briefed via video teleconference from Dakar.
On 7 October, the Secretary-General’s exiting head of MONUSCO, Martin Kobler, briefed the Council on the latest MONUSCO report (S/2015/741), for the last time before leaving his post (S/PV.7529). The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, briefed on the latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement (S/2015/735). On 28 October, the Chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Dina Kawar (Jordan), briefed Council members in consultations on the midterm report of the Group of Experts (S/2015/797). Separately, the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations met on 19 October to discuss MONUSCO.
Central African Republic
On 7 October, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” on the deteriorating security and political situation in the CAR. On the same day, Council members condemned an attack on a MINUSCA convoy which resulted in the death of one Burundian peacekeeper the day before (SC/12070). On 20 October, the Council adopted a presidential statement expressing its deep concern about the recent upsurge of violence and instability and reiterating the importance of holding the constitutional referendum and first rounds of presidential and legislative elections by the end of 2015 (S/PRST/2015/17).
On 8 October, the Council held its semi-annual debate on Haiti (S/PV.7530), with Special Representative and head of MINUSTAH, Sandra Honoré, briefing. Honoré said she was encouraged by the ongoing preparations for the remaining two rounds of elections and the actions taken by the Provisional Electoral Council to address shortcomings. She also highlighted the achievements of the Haitian National Police and its important role in maintaining security during the elections, while stressing the need for continued support to strengthen its capacity. On 14 October, the Council adopted resolution 2243, extending the mandate of MINUSTAH for one year while maintaining its authorised troop strength at 2,370 military personnel and 2,601 police, as recommended by the Secretary-General in his 31 August report (S/2015/667). It also expressed its intention to consider the possible withdrawal of MINUSTAH and transition to a future UN presence no sooner than 15 October 2016 and requested the Secretary-General conduct a strategic assessment mission that would present recommendations to the Council on the future presence, within 90 days after the expected inauguration in February 2016 of a new Haitian president.
Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in the Mediterranean
On 9 October, the Council adopted resolution 2241, adjusting the mandate of UNMISS to support implementation of the “Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan” (S/PV.7532). The vote was 13 in favour with two abstentions from Russia and Venezuela.
1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee
On 12 October, the 1988 Committee held informal consultations focused on the impact of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in Afghanistan and Taliban financing through the trade in narcotics.
Council members issued a press statement on 12 October condemning the 10 and 11 October terrorist attacks by Boko Haram in Baga Sola, Chad and Kangaleri, Cameroon (SC/12075).
Women, Peace and Security
On 13 October, the Security Council adopted resolution 2242 with 73 co-sponsors, the most of any previous women, peace and security resolution. The resolution addressed women’s roles in countering violent extremism and terrorism, improving the Council’s own working methods in relation to women, peace and security and taking up gender recommendations made by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Global Study. The annual open debate was held on 13 and 14 October and served as the Security Council’s High-Level Review on the implementation of resolution 1325. Spain circulated a concept note asking member states to focus their interventions on how the international community can better deliver on women, peace and security commitments (S/2015/749). It was the most subscribed open debate in the Council’s history with 113 speakers (S/PV.7533 and Resumption 1). The Secretary-General and the head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, briefed on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the issue, which included recommendations from the Global Study on implementation of resolution 1325 (S/2015/716). Two civil society representatives also participated: Yanar Mohammed, who is president of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, and Julienne Lusenge, who heads Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral—a coalition of 40 women’s organisations in the eastern DRC.
Security Council Elections
On 15 October, the General Assembly elected five non-permanent members to serve on the Security Council for the 2016-2017 term: Uruguay (Group of Latin American and Caribbean States); Ukraine (Eastern European Group); Japan (the Group of Asia and the Pacific Small Island Developing States); and Senegal and Egypt (African Group).
On 16 October, at Jordan’s request, the Council was briefed by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun on the escalation of tensions and violence in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, including the killing of Israelis and Palestinians (S/PV.7536). The occupation and diminishing prospects for achieving Palestinian statehood had transformed simmering Palestinian anger into outright rage, Zerihoun said, compounded by dire economic circumstances and expanding settlement activities. On 21 October, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed Council members in consultations via video teleconference from Amman in an emergency meeting on the situation and his visit to the region, which included meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. On 22 October, Spain’s foreign minister José Manuel García-Margallo presided over the ministerial-level quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.7540 and Resumption 1). Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson briefed saying that 47 Palestinians and seven Israelis had been killed, and more than 5,000 Palestinians and 70 Israelis injured since the beginning of October. The crisis would not have erupted, he said, if Palestinians had hope of a viable state of their own. The de-escalation of violence together with urgent and real progress towards a negotiated two-state solution are crucial, he said.
On 20 October the Security Council held its sixth open debate on working methods (S/PV.7539 and Resumption 1). Spain circulated a concept paper focusing on how the Council can improve its efficiency and transparency in its relationship with non-Council members, including the General Assembly and ECOSOC, as well as with the Secretariat (S/2015/793). The president of the General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Ambassador Sven Jürgenson (Estonia), vice-president of ECOSOC, briefed. Besides Council members, 42 member states participated. A number of joint statements were delivered by both Council members and groups of member states. Among the key issues that emerged were the importance of working methods, the implementation of presidential notes on working methods, the use of the veto, the importance of transparency, cooperation with regional organisation and the appointment of the Secretary-General. At the end, Spain said it would provide a summary of recommendations that were made during the debate. On 30 October, the Council adopted its first-ever presidential statement on its own working methods (S/PRST/2015/19).
Annual Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly
On 20 October, the Council adopted the introduction to its annual report, drafted this year by New Zealand. Addressing the Council prior to the adoption, Ambassador Gerard Van Bohemen (New Zealand) pointed out that, at the request of Council members, the drafters strove to provide an accessible summary of the Council’s activities and the introduction was half the length of the introductions in recent years. He also noted that discussions have continued in the Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions on the approach to the report in the future, and that New Zealand supported these efforts (S/PV.7538).
On 21 October, at the request of the US, Council members discussed Iran’s 11 October launch of a new long-range ballistic missile under “any other business”. The US and other like-minded members said the launch was a clear violation of resolution 1929 that should be looked into by the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee and its Panel of Experts. Other Council members emphasised the importance of not undermining the 14 July Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US). That same day the US along with France, Germany and the UK sent a letter to the Committee about the missile launch, explaining why it was a violation of resolution 1929 and asking the Committee to take action.
On 21 October, at the request of France, Council members were briefed in consultations on the situation in Burundi, by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. On 28 October, the Council adopted a presidential statement taking note of the recent 17 October AU communique on Burundi (PSC/PR/COMM.(DLI)), expressing its concern about the growing insecurity in Burundi and continuing violence, condemning human rights abuses and calling for dialogue between all stakeholders (S/PRST/2015/18).
On 21 October, Spain and the US co-hosted an Arria-formula meeting on victims of terrorism and their role in countering violent extremism. Council members heard from Javier Lesaca, visiting fellow at George Washington University; Maria del Mar Blanco, a victim of the Basque terrorist organisation ETA; Pari Ibrahim, a victim of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham; and Saudatu Mahdi, a representative from the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign. The meeting also included a short video presented by Leon Shahabian, President of Layalina Productions Inc., a Washington, DC based non-profit media organisation that seeks to bridge the gap between the US and the Arab world. On 27 October, Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand) briefed the Council as chair of the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee (S/PV.7544). The briefing focused on two recent reports of the Monitoring Team of the Committee: one on the financing of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and Al-Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria, and another on the terrorism threat in Libya.
On 23 October, the Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and the chair of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania), briefed the Council (S/PV.7542). Ould Cheikh Ahmed reported on the recent decisions by the sides to engage in direct talks. Murmokaité reviewed the work of the 2140 Sanctions Committee since her last briefing in December 2014. Following the meeting, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the Special Envoy’s announcement of the upcoming talks and reaffirming their call for the parties to attend the talks without preconditions (SC/12096). On 28 October, Council members discussed humanitarian relief efforts in Yemen in an Arria-formula meeting organised by Jordan. OCHA head Stephen O’Brien and Abdullah Al-Rabiah, the chairman of the Saudi-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and adviser to the Royal Court briefed. Earlier in the month, on 9 October, the 2140 Sanctions Committee met to discuss the findings of the Panel of Experts on financial sanctions and international humanitarian law issues, which were circulated in a letter to Committee members ahead of the meeting. The Committee issued a press release on 19 October on the meeting (SC/12085).