On 4 May, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the formation of the transitional government of national unity (SC/12350). The statement further underscored the importance of the transitional government in implementing the August 2015 peace agreement. At press time, members were negotiating a resolution to renew the mandate of the 2206 South Sudan sanctions regime.
On 4 May, the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the Committee. There was also a discussion about the press statement proposed by the US on 29 April in response to the DPRK’s failed missile launches on 27 and 28 April, which has so far been blocked by Russia. It seems Russia reiterated its opposition to the press statement. On 25 May, the Committee agreed on a template intended to help member states on a voluntary basis to prepare the national implementation reports requested by the Council in resolution 2270 by 30 May. The template will be circulated to all member states and will also be posted on the Committee’s website.
On 4 May, the Council was briefed by the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees: Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand), chair of the 1267/1989/2253 Al-Qaida/ISIL Sanctions Committee; Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee; and Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain), chair of the 1540 Committee, which focuses on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (S/PV.7686). On 11 May, the Council held an open debate focusing on countering the narratives and ideologies of terrorism (S/PV.7690). The meeting was an initiative of Egypt, which circulated a concept note ahead of the debate (S/2016/416). Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Secretary-General of Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy Mohi El-Din Afifi, and Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft Steven A. Crown briefed. At the meeting—which was chaired by Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry—the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/6).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
On 5 May, the Council held its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (S/PV.7688). High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko presented his office’s latest report (S/2016/395).
On 6 May, Egypt, together with Angola, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela, held an Arria-formula meeting on the protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which was open to all member states. On 25 May, Special Coordinator Niklolay Mladenov briefed the Council during the regular monthly meeting on the Middle East, which was followed by consultations (S/PV.7697).
On 6 May, Special Representative Ján Kubiš presented the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMI (S/2016/396) and on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2016/372) to the Council (S/PV.7689). He reported on Iraq’s deepening political crisis and challenges to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s reform efforts; the financial crisis resulting from corruption, plunging oil prices and the high cost of fighting ISIL; and the deteriorating humanitarian situation with needs expected to increase in 2016 in the context of counter-ISIL operations. Separately, on 12 May, Council members issued a press statement condemning the ISIL terrorist attacks in Baghdad (SC/12361).
The Council adopted resolution 2287 on 12 May, renewing the mandate of UNISFA until 15 November (S/PV.7691). Council members were briefed in consultations the same day via video teleconference by Haile Menkerios, Special Representative to the AU, on Sudan/South Sudan issues.
On 12 May, at the request of the US, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members in consultations on the electoral crisis in Haiti. In a press statement issued the following day, Council members expressed “their deep disappointment” that Haitian leaders had failed to meet the election deadlines agreed on 5 February and called on them to ensure “the prompt return to constitutional order” (SC/12364). The statement also welcomed Ladsous’s planned field visit to Haiti (expected in June) to convey Council members’ sense of urgency and to assess the role of MINUSTAH and options for its future reconfiguration.
On 13 May, Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen briefed Council members on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559 on the disarmament of militias and the extension of government control over Lebanese territory (S/2016/366). On 24 May, which marked two years of a vacancy in the presidency, members of the Council issued a press statement that underscored their deepest concern over the vacancy and expressed their intention to continue following related developments with a particular sense of urgency (SC/12371).
On 13 May, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/7) welcoming Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s initiative to convene a high-level Regional Security Summit to evaluate the regional response to Boko Haram (S/PV.7692). It stated that Boko Haram continues to undermine peace and security in West and Central Africa and expressed alarm at its linkages with ISIL. The statement further highlighted the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region created by the conflict.
On 13 May, Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine), chair of the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee, briefed Council members in consultations on the committee’s activities and the final report of the Panel of Experts (S/2016/348). On 25 May, the Council adopted resolution 2288 that terminated the Liberia sanctions regime, including remaining arms measures, the mandate of the Panel of Experts and the 1521 Sanctions Committee.
On 13 May, Council members issued “elements to the press” following President Jose Mario Vaz’s decision to dismiss the government of Carlos Correia. Council members called for leaders to resume dialogue to bring political stability; urged international interlocutors to continue their efforts to resolve the ongoing political impasse; and reaffirmed the importance of the continued non-interference of the defence and security forces in the political situation. There was a further expression of their commitment to monitor the ongoing situation and readiness to take all necessary measures to overcome the current situation.
On 16 May, Special Representative Zahir Tanin presented the most recent UNMIK report (S/2016/407) to the Council (S/PV.7693). Tanin conveyed that while UNMIK no longer administered the territory, it remained an important bridge between the Security Council and the people of Kosovo and the wider region. He also said that the recent inauguration of the new president of Kosovo and the general elections in Serbia provide an opportunity to move beyond a time marked by infighting.
Council Visiting Mission
From 17-22 May Council members undertook a visiting mission to Somalia, Kenya and Egypt after agreeing on the terms of reference for the mission (S/2016/456). On 19 May, Council members had meetings in Mogadishu with officials from the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, the UN Support Office for Somalia, the AU Mission in Somalia, Somalia’s president and other political leaders and civil society. The following day, they had discussions in Nairobi with Kenya’s president and other Kenyan officials, focusing on AMISOM and the refugee situation in Kenya in light of the government’s recent announcement that it would close down all refugee camps. They also met with UN entities involved in the humanitarian response in Somalia. Council members spent the last day of the mission on 21 May in Cairo, where they had a “consultative meeting” with the League of Arab States, the first ever of its kind, focusing on the Israel/Palestine peace process, Somalia, Libya and issues related to refugees, immigrants and internally displaced persons, and also saw the foreign minister of Egypt. On 25 May, the Council held a briefing on the visiting mission (S/PV.7696).
On 18 May, Council members held an informal interactive dialogue with heads of military components of UN peace operations. The topics discussed included information and intelligence (Maj Gen Lollesgaard, MINUSMA), protection of civilians (Lt Gen Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam, UNMISS), use of technology (Lt Gen Derick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi, MONUSCO) and sexual exploitation and abuse (Lt Gen Balla Keïta, MINUSCA).
On 23 May, Council members issued a press statement that welcomed the electoral process set out in the decree issued by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on 22 May 2016, which they noted should enable necessary technical preparation and implementation without further delay (SC/12369). On 27 May, the Council adopted resolution 2289 authorising a short technical rollover of AMISOM until 8 July. This short rollover will allow Council members time to assess the results of their 17-22 May Somalia-focused visiting mission to the Horn of Africa and the possible implications for the AMISOM mandate.
UN-AU Cooperation on Peace and Security
On 23 May, members of the Security Council and members of the AU Peace and Security Council held their tenth joint annual consultative meeting in New York. The formal section of the meeting focused on Somalia and Burundi, while an informal discussion took a strategic look at their partnership, as well as the impact on their cooperation resulting from the three 2015 UN peace and security review processes. At press time, a joint communiqué was still being negotiated. On 24 May, the Council held an open debate on “UN-AU cooperation: Chapter VIII application and the future of the African Peace and Security Architecture” (S/PV.7694). AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui, newly-appointed Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission Ambassador Macharia Kamau (Kenya), Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, and the head of the UN Office to the AU, Haile Menkerios, briefed the Council. Egypt circulated a concept note (S/2016/428) ahead of the open debate at which a presidential statement was adopted (S/PRST/2016/8).
Secretary-General Selection Process
On 25 May, Council members met under “any other business” regarding the next steps for the Security Council in the Secretary-General selection process. They discussed a number of issues, including whether to meet with candidates nominated for the position and the timing of the start of the straw polls.
On 26 May, the Council held a briefing on challenges in the Sahel, which focused on the impact of climate change and desertification to peace and security in this region. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, the head of UNOWAS briefed via video teleconference. Other briefers included Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertifcation; Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of CTED; and Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Coordinator of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad.
On 27 May, Council members held their annual informal meeting with members of the EU Political and Security Committee to discuss issues of mutual interest related to counter-terrorism, Libya and Syria.