On 1 December, Council members welcomed the ratification by the Colombian Congress of the new Final Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–People’s Army and congratulated all those who worked constructively in the consultations over recent weeks to produce a new Agreement (SC/12606). Also in December, through an exchange of letters with the Secretary-General, the Council noted that the UN Mission in Colombia is proceeding to implement the full range of its mandated tasks as set out in resolutions 2261 and 2307, following the signing, ratification and entry into force of the final peace agreement (S/2016/1063 and S/2016/1070).
On 2 December, the Council met on the situation in Liberia (S/PV.7824) and was briefed by Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations; Mr. Per Thöresson (Sweden), Vice-Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission; and civil society representative Victoria Wollie of the Women in Peacebuilding Network in Liberia. Ladsous presented the Secretary-General’s report of the assessment mission to Liberia which outlined options for the future of UNMIL (S/2016/968). Liberian Ambassador Lewis Garseedah Brown II asked the Council to extend the mandate of UNMIL for another year. At press time, the Council was expected to renew the mission’s mandate before it expired on 31 December.
Women and Peace and Security
On 5 December, Uruguay chaired an Arria-formula meeting on synergies between Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Yannick Glemarec, UN Women’s Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programmes; Pramila Patten, Chair of the CEDAW Task Force on General Recommendation 30; and Maria Victoria Cabrera-Balleza, International Coordinator for the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders, briefed.
On 6 December, Special Representative Martin Kobler briefed the Council (S/PV.7827) on the latest Libya report (S/2016/1011). The chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Ramlan Ibrahim (Malaysia), briefed the Council as well. After the meeting, Council members issued a press statement expressing deep concern over the challenging political and security context in Libya and reaffirming their full support for the Libyan Political Agreement and calling on all parties to accelerate its implementation (SC/12613). On 13 December, the Council adopted resolution 2323 renewing UNSMIL’s mandate until 15 September 2017.
At the request of Ukraine, Council members met under “any other business” on 6 December to address the situation in Georgia. Ukraine wanted to raise the issue of the 23 November agreement between Russia and Georgia’s region of Abkhazia on the establishment of a joint military force. Ukraine also proposed to issue a press statement reiterating the support for the territorial integrity of Georgia. The statement was not adopted due to an objection by Russia.
UNOCA (Central Africa)
On 7 December, Acting Special Representative and head of UNOCA, François Louncény Fall, briefed the Council (S/PV.7828) on the Secretary-General’s report on UNOCA and the implementation of the UN regional strategy to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (S/2016/996).
International Criminal Tribunals
On 8 December, the Council held a debate on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in which the presidents and prosecutors of these bodies briefed (S/PV.7829). The meeting focused on the assessment reports of the Residual Mechanism and the ICTY (S/2016/975 and S/2016/976). On 19 December, the Council adopted resolution 2329, the final extension of the ICTY judges’ and the prosecutor’s terms until 30 November 2017 (S/PV.7842).
DPRK (North Korea)
On 9 December, the Council held a meeting on the human rights situation in the DPRK, with briefings by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour (S/PV.7830). The meeting was convened in response to a joint request from France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain, Ukraine, the UK, the US and Uruguay conveyed in a 1 December letter to the Council president (S/2016/1034). At the beginning of the meeting there was a procedural vote to adopt the agenda at the request of China, which said that the Security Council was not “a forum for discussing human rights issues, still less for the politicisation of such issues.” The agenda was subsequently adopted by a vote of five against (Angola, China, Egypt, Russia and Venezuela), one abstention (Senegal) and nine in favour. On 2 December, the DPRK sent a letter to the Council (S/2016/1023) rejecting the sanctions resolution adopted on 30 November 2016 (S/RES/2321).
On 12 December, the Council adopted resolution 2322 on international judicial cooperation on counter-terrorism at a briefing chaired by Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catalá (S/PV.7831). Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, Dorcas Agik Oduor, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in Kenya, and Robert Strang, Executive Secretary of the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law in Malta briefed. To help prepare for the meeting Spain circulated a concept note to frame the discussion (S/2016/1030). Council members condemned several terrorist attacks in December: attacks in Egypt against a Coptic church on 11 December and in Giza on 9 December (SC/12617); in Turkey there was a 10 December attack in Istanbul (SC/12618) and the 19 December assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey (SC/12643); and the 20 December Berlin attack (SC/12649). There were also several counter-terrorism meetings in the Council’s subsidiary bodies. From 30 November to 1 December, the Counter-Terrorism Committee held a special meeting on “Preventing the exploitation of information and communication technologies for terrorist purposes, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms”. From 12 to13 December, the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, and the Financial Action Task Force held a special joint meeting on “Depriving terrorist groups from accessing, raising, and moving funds: practices and lessons learned”.
Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict
The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 14 December to adopt its conclusions on the Secretary-General’s report on Children and Armed Conflict in the Central African Republic.
On 13 December, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous briefed Council members under “any other business” at the request of Uruguay and Venezuela. Ladsous updated Council members on the situation on the ground in Al Guergarat and on MINURSO’s return to full functionality.
Tribute to the Secretary-General
On 14 December, the Council adopted resolution 2324 paying tribute to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (S/PV.7836). Following the vote, the president of the Security Council made a statement in which he conveyed the Council’s gratitude for the support provided by the Secretary-General to the Council and cited the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on Climate Change as notable successes. In his statement, the Secretary-General highlighted examples of innovative thinking from the Council over the years and concluded that the Council was strongest when united.
Non-Proliferation (1540 Committee)
On 15 December, the Council held an open debate titled “Preventing Catastrophe: A Global Agenda for Stopping the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction to Non-State Actors”, marking the conclusion of the second comprehensive review of the status of implementation of resolution 1540, which seeks to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors (S/PV.7837). The Council adopted resolution 2325 endorsing the review and noting the findings and recommendations contained in the report of the review, which was agreed by the 1540 Committee on 9 December (S/2016/1038). Ahead of the debate, Spain circulated a concept note outlining key objectives, main findings of the review and suggested topics for discussion (S/2016/1013). The meeting was chaired by Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alfonso María Dastis with briefings by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson; Kim Won-soo, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Brian Finley, President of the Stimson Center; and James Min, DHL Express Vice President of International Trade Affairs and Compliance. More than 60 countries, including Council members, and 12 organisations spoke.
On 19 December, the Council held the annual briefing for subsidiary body chairs from outgoing elected Security Council members, which this year were Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela (S/PV.7845).
UNDOF (Golan Heights)
On 19 December, the Council adopted resolution 2330 renewing UNDOF for six months after considering the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2016/1037) on the observer mission during 13 December consultations.
On 19 December, Council members issued a press statement on the announcement earlier that day of the formation of a national unity government in Lebanon and congratulated Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his Cabinet (SC/12645). The members of the Council stressed the importance of the holding of parliamentary elections by May 2017, in accordance with the Constitution, in order to sustain Lebanon’s democratic tradition.
On 19 December, the Council held its quarterly debate on Afghanistan (S/PV.7844), during which it considered the Secretary-General’s report on UNAMA (S/2016/1049). Special Representative Tadamichi Yamamo, briefed along with the chair of the 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand), and Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
On 20 December the Council held a ministerial-level open debate on trafficking in persons in conflict situations, chaired by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey (S/PV.7847). The meeting was organised by Spain which had circulated a concept note in preparation for the debate (S/2016/1031). At the debate, the Council adopted resolution 2331, its first ever resolution on human trafficking, which condemned the phenomenon and stressed how human trafficking can exacerbate conflict and foster insecurity. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented his report on trafficking in persons (S/2016/949) with Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura also briefing. Two Iraqi women of the Yazidi faith also participated: Nadia Murad, who was trafficked by ISIL and is now a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, and Ameena Saeed Hasan, a human rights activist who works to free people captured by ISIL.
On 30 December 2016, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2335, which authorised the Secretary-General to continue to maintain the escrow account authorised by resolution 1958 (2010), and to retain the funds contained in there until 30 June 2017 (S/PV.7854).