On 1 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning Al-Shabaab’s attack in Mogadishu (SC/12103). On 9 November, the Council held a ministerial-level briefing on Somalia, presided over by UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond. Special Representative Nicholas Kay presented the Secretary-General’s report on UNSOM (S/2015/702). Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General Susana Malcorra, Permanent Observer of the AU to the UN Tété Antonio and the Somali prime minister also addressed the Council. Preceding the briefing, the Council adopted resolution 2245 regarding the successor to the UN Support Office for AMISOM, the UN Support Office in Somalia. On 10 November, the Council adopted resolution 2246, renewing counter-piracy measures for Somalia after considering the Secretary-General’s report on piracy off the coast of Somalia (S/2015/776).
On 4 November, the Council convened for a private meeting to receive a briefing from the newly appointed President of the ICJ, Judge Ronny Abraham (France). The briefing coincided with the presentation the following day of the annual report of the ICJ to the General Assembly (A/70/4). Abraham discussed the overall activities of the Court, including an overview of pending contentious cases.
On 4 November, Ambassador Rafael Ramírez of Venezuela, the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, provided the quarterly briefing to Council members on the committee’s work. He said that he had received an invitation to visit Sudan from the government, but that a date for such a trip had yet to be determined.
On 5 November, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda briefed the Council and said that large-scale crimes, including those under ICC jurisdiction, are being committed by all parties to the conflict (S/PV.7549). Later that day, the head of UNSMIL, Special Representative Bernardino León, briefed on political developments in Libya (S/PV.7550). He blamed the leaderships of the House of Representatives and the General National Congress for delaying a vote on the outcome of the dialogue process. On 7 November, Council members issued a press statement expressing concern about activities which could damage the integrity and unity of the Libyan state financial institutions and the National Oil Company and highlighted the importance of these institutions continuing to function for the benefit of all Libyans (SC/12108).
On 9 November, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman; High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein (via video teleconference from Geneva); Ambassador Jurg Lauber, the Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the UN and chair of the PBC’s Burundi Configuration (via video teleconference from Bujumbura); the Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng (via video teleconference from Jordan); and AU Ambassador to the UN Téte Antonio (S/PV.7553). On 12 November, the Council adopted resolution 2248, expressing its intention to consider additional measures against all Burundian who contribute to the perpetuation of violence. The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to update the Council within 15 days, including by presenting options on the future presence of the UN in the country. At press time, it seemed that update might be scheduled for 30 November.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 9 November, the Council adopted a presidential statement on the situation in the DRC (S/PRST/2015/20). The statement stressed the importance of neutralising, once and for all, armed groups in the DRC and the Council’s concern that joint operations between the Congolese army and MONUSCO’s Force Intervention Brigade have yet to resume, in particular against the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda. The statement also calls on the DRC to ensure the timely holding of presidential and legislative elections by November 2016. The 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee met with the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui on 20 November.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 10 November, the Council held a debate on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/PV.7555) and adopted resolution 2247, renewing the authorisation of the EU-led multinational stabilisation force for a year. Russia, this year’s penholder, wanted to reduce the resolution’s scope to focus on elements directly related to EUFOR. At the debate, High Representative Valentin Inzko briefed on his latest report to the Council (S/2015/841).
On 11 November, Special Representative Ján Kubiš briefed the Council (S/PV.7556) and presented the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMI (S/2015/819) and on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2015/826). Kubiš discussed the prime minister’s set of reforms that had been barred by the Council of Representatives. These reforms included attempts to abate the influence of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Kubiš said the prime minister has struggled to exercise his authority while his opponents grow bolder.
On 13 November, the Council was briefed on the challenges of policing within a protection of civilians mandate (S/PV.7558). The UK circulated a concept note ahead of the meeting (S/2015/844). Briefers included: the head of DPKO, Hervé Ladsous; Charles Bent, Deputy Police Commissioner of UNMISS in South Sudan; Pascal Champion, Police Commissioner of MONUSCO in the DRC; and Greg Hinds, Police Commissioner of UNMIL in Liberia.
On 13 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning 12 November terrorist attacks in Beirut (SC/12120). On 18 November, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag on the latest UNIFIL report (S/2015/837). The following day, Council members issued another press statement expressing concern over 18 month vacancy of the presidency in Lebanon (SC/12128).
Council members issued press statements condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November (SC/12121), in Mali on 20 November (SC/12133) and in Tunisia on 24 November (SC/12135). On 20 November, the Council adopted resolution 2249 which calls upon member states to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIS and other Al-Qaida affiliates. On 24 November, the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee held an open meeting on the issue of foreign terrorist fighters.
On 17 November, the Council held ministerial-level open debate on security, development and the root causes of conflict presided over by the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening (S/PV.7561). The UK circulated a concept note ahead of the meeting (S/2015/845). Briefers included the Secretary-General who presented his report on conflict prevention (S/2015/730); Chair of the PBC, Permanent Representative Olof Skoog of Sweden; and Ouided Bouchamaoui, a member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet.
On 18 November, Council members discussed the contents of a draft joint letter on the process for the appointment of the Secretary-General under “any other business” during consultations. The letter was circulated by the UK on 16 November and was based on a UK draft with inputs from the Office of the President of the General Assembly. It seems some members like Russia and China questioned the timing of the joint letter, indicating that they did not see the need to start the selection process this early. The UK circulated a revised draft letter on 22 November for further discussion.
On 19 November, the Council held its quarterly debate on Kosovo with a briefing by Special Representative Zahir Tanin (S/PV.7563) who presented the most recent UNMIK report (S/2015/833). At the meeting, Serbia was represented by Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia. Kosovo was represented by its ambassador to the US, Vlora Çitaku, who announced that Kosovo will participate in these debates at the ambassadorial level, signaling the changing nature and format of its relationship with the UN.
On 19 November the Special Advisor on Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar, briefed Council members in consultations under “any other business” at the request of the UK. He briefed on the 8 November elections in which the National League for Democracy, the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, won by a landslide. Nambiar welcomed the peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections, but noted as a serious flaw the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya.
Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov briefed the Council from Jerusalem via video teleconference during the regular monthly meeting on 19 November (S/PV.7562). According to the briefing, over the past month, Palestinians had carried out 35 reported attacks, that left six Israelis dead and 36 injured while in clashes across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, 11 Palestinians had been killed and more than 3,500 injured. In Gaza, he said, the security situation had been relatively calm. While current conditions made a return to negotiations a challenging prospect and required Israel to make substantial policy changes on the ground, the Middle East Quartet remained the principal international entity to support negotiations towards a comprehensive and just resolution of the conflict, he added. Mladenov also requested that the Council provide any additional guidance on new peace architectures.
On 20 November, the Secretary-General briefed the Council on his report “The future of United Nations peace operations: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations” (S/2015/682), which responds to the recommendations put forward in the Panel’s own report (S/2015/446). The UK circulated a concept note proposing a focus on recommendations related to sequenced and tailored mandates and ways to bring the Council’s collective political leverage to bear on behalf of political solutions (S/2015/846). On 25 November, the Council adopted a presidential statement noting a number of areas where the Council could play a key role in strengthening UN peace operations and expressing the Council’s intention to continue to consider the relevant recommendations of the Secretary-General’s report (S/PRST/2015/22). On 27 November, the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations held a meeting on the importance of regional peacekeeping initiatives.
On 25 November, Special Envoy Hiroute Guebre Sellassie briefed the Council (S/PV.7566) on the latest report on the implementation of the UN’s integrated Sahel strategy (S/2015/866). At press time, negotiations of a draft presidential statement were ongoing.
Protection of Civilians
On 25 November, the Council adopted a presidential statement on protection of civilians (S/PRST/2015/23). It recognised the contribution of the updated Aide Memoire and requested the Secretary-General to submit annual reports on protection of civilians.
Small Arms and Poaching in Africa
On 30 November, Angola and Lithuania organised an Arria-formula meeting on the impact of illicit transfers of small arms and light weapons and the illicit trade in wildlife and wildlife products on peace and security in Africa. Briefers included Emmanuel de Merode, director of Virunga National Park in the DRC; Khristopher Carlson, Senior Researcher at Small Arms Survey in Geneva; and Jorge Rios, Coordinator of the Global Wildlife and Forest Crime Programme at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.