On 2 March, the head of UNSMIL Martin Kobler briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2016/182) and recent political developments (S/PV.7640). The chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Ramlan Ibrahim (Malaysia), briefed as well. On 3 March, the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee met to discuss the final report of its Panel of Experts (S/2016/209). On 14 March, Council members issued a press statement calling for the Presidency Council to take steps to rapidly start working from the capital, Tripoli (SC/12280). On 15 March, the Council adopted resolution 2273, renewing UNSMIL until 15 June. On 31 March, the Council adopted resolution 2278 renewing the sanctions regime for a year.
Arria-Formula Meeting on Human-Rights
On 2 March, New Zealand and Uruguay co-hosted a closed Arria-formula meeting on human rights in peace operations with the heads of human rights components of five UN peace operations: MONUSCO in the DRC; UNAMID in Darfur; UNAMI in Iraq; MINUSMA in Mali; and MINUSCA in the CAR.
On 2 March, the Council adopted resolution 2270 condemning in the strongest terms the nuclear test conducted by the DPRK on 6 January and its ballistic missile launch of 7 February, and demanded that it comply immediately with its international obligations. On 18 March, Council members held consultations on the DPRK and issued a press statement condemning the ballistic missile launches of 10 and 18 March (SC/12293). On 24 March, the Council adopted resolution 2276 extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, and deciding that the Panel’s mandate should apply with respect to measures imposed in resolution 2270. The renewal of the Panel’s mandate was originally scheduled for 17 March but was delayed by China, which wanted the US’s assistance on the removal of four of the ships listed in resolution 2270 as subject to the asset freeze. On 21 March, the 1718 Committee de-listed the four ships following assurances from China that the ships would no longer use crew from the DPRK (SC/12296).
Council Visiting Mission
Council members undertook a visiting mission to West Africa in early March to Mali, Guinea-Bissau and UNOWAS in Dakar (S/2016/215). Council members visited Mali from 4 to 6 March, urging acceleration of the implementation of the 20 June 2015 peace agreement. Council members arrived in Guinea-Bissau on 7 March, where they urged political leaders to resolve its prolonged political crisis through dialogue and based on the country’s laws and constitution. On 8 March, Council members visited UNOWAS and were briefed on the office’s conflict prevention efforts and its monitoring of elections across the subregion; the increasing threat of terrorism to West Africa; the Boko Haram conflict; and the merger of the UN Office for West Africa and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel. On 16 March, the Council held a briefing on the visiting mission (S/PV.7647).
On 8 March, Council members condemned the terrorist attack in Tunisia (SC/12273). On 14 March, the Department of Political Affairs briefed Council members under “any other business” on the terrorist attacks in Côte d’Ivoire and Turkey, issuing a press statement on the Côte d’Ivoire attack (SC/12279). On 22 March, Council members condemned the terrorist attacks in Brussels for which ISIL claimed responsibility (SC/12297). On 28 March, Council members condemned the terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan for which Tehrik-e-Taliban claimed responsibility (SC/12306). Regarding the work of the Council’s subsidiary bodies, on 23 March, the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee held an informal meeting on Iraq’s technical assistance needs. On 29 March, the 1267/1989/2153 Al-Qaida/ISIL Sanctions Committee was scheduled to be briefed by its Monitoring Team on the global implementation of resolution 2178 on foreign terrorist fighters and resolution 2199 on countering ISIL’s illicit financing networks.
On 10 March, the Secretary-General briefed the Security Council on his annual report (A/70/729) to the General Assembly on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (S/PV.7642). The next day, the Council adopted resolution 2272 addressing sexual exploitation and abuse in peace operations (S/PV.7643). The adoption was slightly delayed as Egypt, in a rare procedural move, requested a separate vote on its amendment (S/2016/239) to the draft resolution. Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela supported the amendment, Senegal abstained and the remaining nine Council members voted against. Egypt’s amendment did not receive nine positive votes and was not accepted. The Council then voted on the un-amended draft resolution that was adopted with 14 votes in favour, and one abstention by Egypt. On 31 March, under “any other business”, the Department of Field Support briefed Council members on new allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in the CAR.
On 14 March, Council members met in consultations to discuss Iran’s ballistic missile launches on 8 and 9 March. It was the first formal discussion among Council members concerning Iran since the provisions under resolution 2231 went into effect on 16 January, terminating the Iran sanctions regime.
On 15 March, the Council held its quarterly debate on Afghanistan (S/PV.7645) which focused on the most recent report of the Secretary-General on UNAMA (S/2016/218). Special Representative and head of UNAMA Nicholas Haysom briefed. The Council adopted resolution 2274, renewing the mandate of UNAMA for one year.
Council members were briefed on 16 March by Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag on the implementation of resolution 1701 and the most recent Secretary-General’s UNIFIL report (S/2016/189). Assistant Secretary-General for the Rule of Law in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations Dimitry Titov also briefed. The following day they issued a press statement, reaffirming deep concern over the 21-month vacancy in the presidency of Lebanon and the current political stalemate (SC/12287).
On 17 March, the Council was briefed (S/PV.7649) by Special Representative and head of UNMIL Farid Zarif on the most recent Secretary-General’s UNMIL report (S/2016/169). The head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, also briefed along with Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden), Chair of the Liberia configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission. The main focus of the discussion was the upcoming transfer of security responsibilities from UNMIL to the government of Liberia.
On 17 March, Special Representative Sandra Honoré briefed the Security Council (S/PV.7651) and presented the Secretary-General’s most recent MINUSTAH report (S/2016/225). Her briefing took place amidst continuing uncertainty about the timeline for the completion of the long delayed elections, following the failure to elect a new president before the end of Michel Martelly’s term on 7 February. The next day Council members issued a press statement that expressed concern regarding the continued suspension of electoral rounds in Haiti and called for the completion of the electoral cycle without further delay (SC/12290).
On 18 March, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Ambassador Jürg Lauber (Switzerland), chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, briefed the Council on the situation in Burundi (S/PV.7652). The Burundian Minister for External Relations and International Cooperation, Alain Nyamitwe, and Ambassador Tuvako Manongi (Tanzania) also addressed the Council.
Human Rights in Crimea
On 18 March, Ukraine organised an Arria-formula meeting on the human rights situation in Crimea. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Affairs of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev, head of the Board of the Human Rights Information Centre Tetiana Pechonchyk and head of the Crimea Human Rights Group Olga Skrypnyk briefed. Mark Lagon, the President of Freedom House, moderated the discussion that followed.
Great Lakes Region
On 21 March, the Council held an open debate on conflict prevention in the Great Lakes Region. Angola circulated a concept note ahead of the debate (S/2016/223). The Secretary-General, Special Envoy Said Djinnit, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui and World Bank representative Vijay Pillai briefed the Council (S/PV.7653). On 31 March, the Council adopted a presidential statement on conflict prevention in the region (S/PRST/2016/2).
Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 23 March, Special Representative Maman Sidikou briefed the Council (S/PV.7654) on the most recent MONUSCO report (S/2016/233) and the report on the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC (S/2016/232). DRC’s Foreign Minister Raymond N’tungamulongo also participated. The Council adopted resolution 2277 on 30 March, renewing the mandate of MONUSCO for a year. The 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee was briefed by Sidikou and Sebastian Fasanello, Chief of MONUSCO’s Joint Mission Analysis Centre, on 1 March on MONUSCO’s arms embargo-monitoring mandate. Paul Heslop, Chief of the UN Mine Action Service Programme Planning & Management Section, briefed on issues of weapons management in the DRC.
The Council adopted resolution 2275 on 24 March, extending the mandate of UNSOM. The resolution emphasises the importance of UNSOM’s support to the political process, particularly support to the government for the completion of the state formation and constitutional review processes, as well as for preparation of the electoral process.
On 29 March, Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins (Angola) and Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain) co-chaired an Arria-formula meeting on interlinkages between food security and peace. The briefers were: Jose Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization; Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, a former World Bank economist and now a professor at The New School; and Sarah F. Cliffe, Director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation.
Women, Peace, and Security
On 28 March, at the initiative of Angola, the Security Council held an open debate on the role of women in conflict prevention and resolution in Africa (S/PV.7658). Angola circulated a concept note in preparation for the open debate (S/2016/219). Maria Filomena Delgado, Angola’s Minister for Family and the Promotion of Women, presided. The Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, briefed along with Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun and Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya in his capacity as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission. Paleki Ayang, Executive Director of the South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network, addressed the Council as a civil society representative.
On 30 March, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest UNDOF report (S/2016/242).