On 2 February, Council members issued a press statement condemning the 30 January Boko Haram attacks (SC/12233).
On 4 February, Council members held consultations on the work of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee. Ambassador Rafael Ramírez (Venezuela), chair of the Committee, briefed on the Panel of Experts’ final report, which at press time was not yet public. On 10 February, the Council adopted resolution 2265, renewing the mandate of the Panel until 12 March 2017 (S/PV.7619).
On 4 February, Council members were briefed under “any other business” by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brooke Zerihoun on Guinea-Bissau’s political crisis. On 17 February, the Council was briefed by Special Representative Miguel Trovoada (S/PV.7624), who presented the Secretary-General’s six-month report on Guinea-Bissau (S/2016/141). The chair of the Guinea-Bissau configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Antonio Patriota (Brazil), also briefed. Council members issued press elements expressing concern over the tensions within the PAIGC and national institutions and calling on political leaders to resume dialogue. Council members decided to include a visit to Guinea-Bissau as part of a broader Council visiting mission early in March. On 26 February, the Council adopted a resolution renewing the mandate of UNIOGBIS for one year (S/RES/2267).
UNRCCA (Central Asia)
On 4 February, Special Representative and head of UNRCCA, Petko Draganov, briefed Council members in consultations. Following recent Council practice, Russia proposed a press statement but Council members failed to reach agreement. This was also the case the last time they were briefed by Draganov on 8 September 2015, due to divisions over whether to add new language relating to UNRCCA’s cooperation with regional organisations.
There were three briefings under “any other business” in February, all at the request of Venezuela. DPA briefed on illegal settlements and the demolition of Palestinian houses on 5 February and on Israeli settlements in the occupied territories and international protection to Palestinian people there on 16 February. OCHA head Stephen O’Brien briefed on the humanitarian situation and the situation of Palestinian children on 25 February. Following the 5 February briefing, Venezuela circulated a draft press statement on the issues discussed. However, consensus could not be reached and the statement was not issued. On 18 February, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Council during the regular monthly meeting on the Middle East, which was followed by consultations (S/PV.7627).
On 9 February, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on UN counter-terrorism efforts against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (S/PV.7618). The briefing was based on a 29 January Secretary-General’s report on the threat posed by ISIL to international peace and security and the range of UN efforts in support of member states in countering the threat (S/2016/92).
Central African Republic
On 9 February, the Council adopted resolution 2264 to increase the number of corrections officers in MINUSCA from 40 to 108.
On 10 February, Council members were briefed by Special Adviser Jamal Benomar in consultations on the situation in Burundi. In late February, Council members negotiated a draft presidential statement that expressed the Council’s intention to strengthen the UN’s presence in Burundi. However at press time, agreement had not been reached and it was unclear if the statement would be adopted.
On 10 February, at the request of Venezuela, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed Council members under “any other business” on the proposed visit of the Secretary-General to the region.
On 11 February, the Security Council held a debate titled “Working Methods of Security Council Subsidiary Organs” (S/PV.7620). It was organised on the initiative of Venezuela, who had circulated a concept note for the debate (S/2016/102). Deputy Permanent Representative of Chile, Carlos Olguín Cigarroa, and Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden briefed. Cigarroa briefed on behalf of Ambassador Cristián Barros who chaired the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire and 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committees, as well as the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals during Chile’s 2014-15 term as an elected Council member. Sweden was one of the five main sponsors of the High-Level Review of UN Sanctions launched in May 2014, which resulted in the publication of a compendium that was submitted to the Council in June 2015 (S/2015/432). In addition to Council members, representatives of the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Iran, Libya and Sudan spoke as countries affected by sanctions. As a follow-up to the debate, a note by the president of the Council issued on 22 February (S/2016/170) outlined a set of measures aimed at improving the transparency of the Council’s subsidiary organs, improving the selection process and the preparation of chairs and improving the interaction and coordination among subsidiary organs and between the Council and the subsidiary organs.
On 12 February, Council members issued a press statement condemning a terrorist attack against MINUSMA that killed seven peacekeepers from Guinea (SC/12240).
Open Debate on the UN Charter
On 15 February, the Council held a ministerial-level open debate on the topic of respect for the principles and purposes of the UN Charter (S/PV.7621). Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez Gómez of Venezuela presided, while Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed. In preparation for the debate, Venezuela circulated a concept note to help guide the discussion (S/2016/103). While no Council decision came out of the debate, Venezuela intends to produce a summary of the discussion.
On 16 February, OCHA head Stephen O’Brien briefed the Council on the humanitarian situation in Yemen (S/PV.7622). Following consultations, Council members issued press elements urging all parties to fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law, and to facilitate the delivery of commercial goods, humanitarian assistance and fuel for civilian purposes to all parts of Yemen. The following day, Special Envoy Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed briefed the Council reporting that he had not received sufficient assurances that a new cessation of hostilities would be respected (S/PV.7625). Ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa (Japan) also briefed as chair of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee on the recent consideration of the final report of the Committee’s Panel of Experts (S/2016/73). Council members issued a press statement that expressed serious concern over Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, and urged all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take urgent steps towards resuming a ceasefire (SC/12250). On 24 February, the Council adopted resolution 2266, renewing the Yemen sanctions measures until 26 February 2017 and the mandate of the Panel of Experts until 27 March 2017.
On 16 February, Special Representative Ján Kubiš briefed the Council (S/PV.7623) and presented the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMI (S/2016/77) and on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2016/87).
On 18 February, Special Envoy Haile Menkerios briefed Council members via video teleconference on the implementation of resolution 2046 on Sudan/South Sudan issues. On 25 February, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien briefed Council members on the humanitarian situation in Sudan and South Sudan under “any other business.” Following the meeting, press elements were issued in which Council members expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in both countries.
On 19 February, the Council held a briefing, followed by consultations, on the situation in South Sudan and on UNMISS, as well as on the work of the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee (S/PV.7628). The meeting included a discussion of the most recent UNMISS report (S/2016/138) and the final report of the Committee’s Panel of Experts (S/2016/70). Regarding the situation in South Sudan and UNMISS, briefings by video teleconference were made by Deputy Special Representative Moustapha Soumaré; Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee Festus Mogae; and Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic. Ambassador Fodé Seck (Senegal), the Chair of the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee, briefed on the Sanctions Committee’s work. Also on 19 February, Council members issued a press statement condemning the violence in the Malakal protection of civilians site that resulted in the deaths of 18 people (SC/12252).
On 23 February, the Council held an open debate on the 2015 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture (S/PV.7629). Briefings were provided by the Peacebuilding Commission current chair, Ambassador Macharia Kamau (Kenya), and by last year’s chair, Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden). Gert Rosenthal, the Chair of the Advisory Group of Experts on the 2015 Review of the Peacebuilding Architecture, also briefed. In total, representatives of 48 member states and regional organisations delivered statements. Remarks focused on the findings of the 29 June 2015 report of the Advisory Group of Experts (S/2015/490).
On 25 February, at the request of the UK, Special Adviser Vijay Nambiar briefed Council members under “any other business”. A representative from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was present to answer questions. Nambiar focused on the political transition, the peace process and the human rights situation. Earlier in the month, on 4 February, the UK sent a letter to the Council president requesting the retention of the situation in Myanmar on the list of items of which the Council is seized (S/2016/113).
International Criminal Tribunals
On 25 February, Council members were briefed under “any other business” on the Secretary-General’s nominations for the president and prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals by Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, after Russia expressed its opposition to the nominations. On 29 February, the Council adopted resolution 2269 appointing Serge Brammertz as the prosecutor of the Mechanism with effect from 1 March until 30 June 2018.
On 29 February, the Council was briefed by German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Steinmeier presented the main priorities of the OSCE in 2016 and addressed the crisis in Ukraine (S/PV.7635).
On 29 February, Special Representative Zahir Tanin briefed (S/PV.7637) the Council on Kosovo and the most recent UNMIK report (S/2016/99). At the meeting, Serbia was represented by Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, while Kosovo was represented by its ambassador to the US, Vlora Çitaku.