On 4 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning the multiple terrorist attacks against MINUSMA, during which two peacekeepers from Chad were killed and others injured (SC/12542). On 6 October, the Council was briefed on the absence of concrete progress in implementing the peace agreement and the deteriorating security environment in Mali by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous (S/PV.7784). Ladsous also briefed on the latest MINUSMA report (S/2016/819). Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, stressed how MINUSMA is missing key capabilities needed to operate safely and effectively in the current environment.
In a 4 October press statement, Council members strongly condemned an attack by Houthi forces on a UAE vessel operating near Bab al-Mandeb strait on 1 October (SC/12541). It further noted that members take threats to shipping around the passage extremely seriously. The US subsequently informed members of missile strikes it conducted on radar facilities following Houthi cruise missile launches at US Navy warships on 9 and 12 October around Bab al-Mandeb (S/2016/869). Following the 8 October attacks on a funeral in Sana’a, which according to initial UN figures killed over 140 people, the UK circulated a draft press statement that would have strongly condemned the attack. Russia broke a silence procedure on the text, believing the statement was not strong enough. The UK subsequently informed members on 13 October that it would prepare a new resolution that would include a call for a cessation of hostilities but at press time it had not been circulated. On 31 October, Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed briefed the Council on his recent efforts to reach a cessation of hostilities in Yemen (S/PV.7797). In the Yemen 2140 Sanctions Committee, the Panel of Experts submitted preliminary analysis on 17 October that the 8 October attacks on the funeral in Sana’a were the result of at least two aircraft bombs, and that evidence suggested that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition violated its obligations under international humanitarian law.
On 4 October, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed the Council (S/PV.7781) on the most recent UNAMID report (S/2016/812). Ladsous noted that fighting continued in the Jebel Marra region between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Army–Abdul Wahid rebel group. In reference to the late September allegations by Amnesty International that government forces had used chemical weapons in the Jebel Marra area, Ladsous said that without further information or evidence being made available, it is not possible at this stage for the OPCW to draw any conclusions. In the consultations following the briefing, there was reportedly widespread agreement that there needed to be additional investigation of Amnesty International’s findings. At press time, the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee was planning to hold a meeting with the recently appointed Panel of Experts on 28 October.
Maintenance of International Peace and Security
On 6 October, the Council adopted resolution 2312 with the abstention of Venezuela. This resolution renewed the provisions of resolution 2240 aimed at disrupting human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants on the high seas off the coast of Libya (S/PV.7783). Prior to the adoption, the Council had received the Secretary-General’s report on implementation of resolution 2240 (S/2016/766).
Central African Republic
On 10 October, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed the Council (S/PV.7787) on the MINUSCA report (S/2016/824). The Chair of the Central African Republic configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Abderrazzak Laassel (Morocco), also briefed.
On 11 October, the Council held a debate on Haiti with a briefing via VTC by the head of MINUSTAH, Special Representative Sandra Honoré (S/PV.7789), who presented the most recent Haiti report (S/2016/753). The impact of Hurricane Matthew, which struck Haiti on 4 October, and the postponement of the elections originally scheduled for 9 October were among the main issues discussed. On 13 October, the Council adopted resolution 2313 renewing the mandate of MINUSTAH for six months while maintaining its authorised troop strength at 2,370 military personnel.
On 13 October, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s third report (S/2016/830) on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (S/PV.7791).
On 14 October, elected member Malaysia, along with Angola, Egypt, Senegal and Venezuela, hosted an Arria-formula meeting entitled “Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution”. On 19 October, Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov and OCHA head Stephen O’Brien briefed the Council at its regular quarterly open debate on the Middle East, with a focus on Israel/Palestine (S/PV.7792).
On 18 October, Council members met in consultations with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in Colombia, Jean Arnault, and the mission’s chief observer General Javier Perez Aquino. The meeting was the first Council discussion on Colombia following the 2 October referendum, in which a narrow majority of 50.2 percent of voters rejected the 24 August peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP.
On 18 October, Special Representative and head of MINURSO Kim Bolduc and Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General Christopher Ross briefed Council members in consultations. The meeting focused particularly on the situation in Al Guergarat, in the southern part of the territory within the buffer strip controlled by Frente Polisario, where Morocco is attempting to build a road connecting its position at the berm with the Mauritanian border.
The Committee met on 19 October to discuss the draft report on the comprehensive review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540. The final report, which has to be agreed by consensus, is due for submission to the Council by 31 October. At press time it was unclear, however, if agreement would be reached by that time.
On 20 October, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Guinea-Bissau briefed Council members in consultations on developments in the inclusive dialogue held in Guinea from 11 to 14 October to resolve the longstanding political crisis. After the briefing, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the initiative and the Conakry agreement that resulted from these talks (SC/12560). Among other points, members encouraged Guinea-Bissau’s president to proceed to the nomination of the consensual prime minister as soon as possible.
The 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee met on 24 October with the head of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to discuss counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan, and on 27 October with the Mission of Afghanistan to the UN to discuss reconciliation efforts in the country.
Women, Peace and Security
On 25 October, the Secretary-General and the head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, briefed the Council at the annual open debate on women, peace and security (S/PV.7793) where member states considered the Secretary-General’s latest report on the issue (S/2016/822). Rita Lopidia, who heads the Eve Organization for Women’s Development in South Sudan, participated as a civil society briefer. Russia circulated a concept note ahead of the debate asking member states to focus their interventions on implementation of the recommendations from last year’s Global Study on resolution 1325 (S/2016/871). No outcome was adopted.
International Court of Justice
On 26 October, the Council convened for a private meeting to receive a briefing from the President of the ICJ, Judge Ronny Abraham (France) (S/PV.7794). Abraham discussed the annual report of the ICJ (A/71/4) and the overall activities of the Court, including an overview of pending contentious cases.
UN Cooperation with Regional Organisations
On 28 October, the Council held a debate on cooperation between UN and regional and sub-regional organisations in maintaining international peace and security focusing on cooperation with: the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Prior to the debate, Russia circulated the concept note outlining the main objectives for the debate (S/2016/867). In addition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, briefers included: Rashid Alimov, the Secretary General of the SCO; Nikolai Bordyuzha, the Secretary General of the CSTO; and Sergey Ivanov, Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of CIS.