On 2 July, Council members condemned the terrorist attack perpetrated in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, for which ISIL claimed responsibility (SC/12432). On 5 July, Council members deplored the terrorist attacks perpetrated in the cities of Qadif, Jeddah and Medina in Saudi Arabia, for which ISIL claimed responsibility (SC/12435). On 14 July, Council members condemned the terrorist attack which took place in Nice, France (SC/12446).
On 5 July, Council members issued a press statement condemning a 3 July car bombing, claimed by ISIL, that killed hundreds in a largely Shi’a neighbourhood of Baghdad (SC/12434). On 15 July, Special Representative Ján Kubiš briefed the Council (S/PV.7738) and presented the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMI (S/2016/592) and on Iraq/Kuwait missing persons and property (S/2016/590). On 25 July, the Council adopted resolution 2299 renewing UNAMI for a year. On 29 July, Council members issued a press statement calling on Iraq to continue in its efforts to achieve tangible progress with respect to returning all missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals or their remains, noting the limited progress made on this issue over the past 11 years (SC/12467).
On 7 July, the Council adopted resolution 2297, which extended AMISOM’s authorisation until 31 May 2017 with no major changes. On 20 July, the Chair of the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela), briefed in closed consultations on the regular 120-day update on the work of the Committee.
On 7 July, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” on his recent visit to Haiti, aimed at conveying the sense of urgency for a swift conclusion of the electoral cycle there.
On 7 July, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson briefed the Council (S/PV.7732) on the latest MONUSCO report (S/2016/579). On 15 July, Council members issued a press statement stressing the crucial importance of a peaceful and credible electoral cycle, in accordance with the constitution, and expressed their concern at increased restrictions of the political space in the DRC (SC/12449).
On 8 July, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed the Council on the special report on the strategic review of MINUSCA (S/2016/565). The chair of the CAR configuration of the PBC, Omar Hilale (Morocco), also briefed. Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine), in his capacity as chair of the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee updated the Council on the recent activities of the Committee (S/PV.7734). On 23 July, the 2127 Committee met with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura. On 26 July, the Council adopted resolution 2301, renewing the mandate of MINUSCA until 15 November 2017.
On 8 July, Zainab Bangura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, briefed the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee. Bangura apparently reported that sexual violence was a consistent characteristic of the Darfur conflict. She also reported that restrictions on humanitarian access and impunity remained challenges in Darfur.
On 11 July, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefed Council members under “any other business” at the request of New Zealand to discuss the 1 July report of the Quartet on the Middle East (S/2016/595) and a US-drafted presidential statement on the report which was not adopted as consensus could not be reached. On 12 July, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Council at its quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.7736).
West Africa and the Sahel
On 11 July, the head of UNOWAS, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, briefed (S/PV.7735) the Council on the Office’s most recent report (S/2016/566). The briefing focused on the increasing terrorism threat to the region, the Boko Haram conflict in the Lake Chad basin, electoral developments across the region and progress in the merger of the UN Office for West Africa and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel. The following day, Senegal circulated a draft press statement, reflecting the range of issues discussed during the meeting. Some Council members suggested Senegal upgrade the text to a presidential statement. The statement was finally adopted on 28 July after explicit reference to human rights in The Gambia was dropped (S/PRST/2016/11).
On 15 July, at the request of Uruguay and Venezuela, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” on the status of MINURSO following the expulsion of civilian staff by Morocco in mid-March. On 26 July, Council members were briefed again in consultations by Ladsous and the head of MINURSO, Kim Bolduc. The 26 July briefing was pursuant to resolution 2285, which requested the Secretary-General to brief within 90 days on whether MINURSO has returned to full functionality and expressed “its intention, if it has not done so, to consider how best to facilitate this”.
On 18 July, the Council held a briefing on the implementation of resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme (S/PV.7739). Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2016/589). Ambassador Joâo Pedro Vale de Almeida (EU) addressed the Council on behalf of the EU in its role as the coordinator of the Joint Commission, which is responsible for overseeing the agreement’s implementation. Ambassador Román Oyarzun (Spain) briefed in his capacity as the facilitator for Council-related tasks in the resolution.
Security Council Working Methods
On 19 July, marking the tenth anniversary of the adoption of Note S/2006/507, the first comprehensive compendium of Security Council working methods, Japan organised an open debate on this topic in which Council members, 31 member states and one observer participated (S/PV.7740). Japan, as chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, circulated a concept note for the debate earlier in the month (S/2016/585). Japan said that the practical suggestions presented during the debate would feed into Council members’ deliberation within the Informal Working Group on updating Note 507. Many participants at the debate also welcomed the presidential note issued on 15 July concerning transitional arrangements for newly elected Council members (S/2016/619).
Secretary-General Appointment Process
Over the month, Council members met informally with nine of the 12 nominated candidates for the position of ninth UN Secretary-General. (They had met with the other three candidates at the end of June.) On 21 July, Council members held the first straw poll to test the viability of the candidates. The president of the Council for July, Ambassador Koro Bessho (Japan), informed each candidate through his or her country’s permanent representative to the UN of how they had done, as well as the lowest and highest scores without attribution. He also informed the president of the General Assembly that the vote had taken place. Although the votes were not meant to be made public, the full results were reported in the media soon after the end of the straw poll.
On 22 July, the Council adopted resolution 2298 providing for Libya’s category 2 chemical weapons to be transferred and destroyed outside of the country (S/PV.7743). Also on 22 July, head of UNSMIL, Martin Kobler, briefed Council members in consultations on developments in the political process and the challenges to the effectiveness of the Presidency Council. The Secretary-General’s report on the threat posed to Libya and neighbouring countries by foreign terrorist fighters recruited by or joining ISIL and Al-Qaida was also discussed (S/2016/627). After the meeting, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the 16‑17 July meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue and the Presidency Council on how to progress the implementation of the Libyan Political Agreement and sought to address the provision of basic services, resumption of oil production and implementation of the security arrangements (SC/12456).
On 23 July, Council members issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack that occurred earlier that day in Kabul, resulting in the death of at least 80 people killed and more than 230 wounded, for which local affiliates of ISIL have claimed responsibility (SC/12457).
On 25 July, Council members were briefed in consultations by Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar and Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. Spehar briefed on the latest UNFICYP report (S/2016/598) while Eide reported on the ongoing unification talks and presented the report of the Secretary-General’s good offices mission (S/2016/599). On 26 July, the Council adopted resolution 2300, extending UNFICYP’s mandate for six months.
Boko Haram Affected-Areas
On 27 July, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and OCHA head Stephen O’Brien briefed the Council, at the request of the UK, on the humanitarian, political and security situation in the Lake Chad basin as a result of the Boko Haram conflict (S/PV.7748).
On 28 July, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida presided over a ministerial-level open debate on peacebuilding in Africa (S/PV.7750). The debate focused on institution-building as outlined in a concept note circulated earlier in the month (S/2016/586). The Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/12).
At press time, the Council was expected to vote on 29 July on a resolution that would establish a UN police component in Burundi for an initial period of one year to monitor the security and human rights situation in the country.