On 3 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack that took place in Saint Petersburg, Russia that day, during which at least ten people were killed and dozens injured (SC/12774). In a 9 April press statement, Council members condemned the terrorist attacks against two Orthodox churches in Tanta and Alexandria in Egypt in which at least 41 people were killed and over 100 injured (SC/12787). On 10 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack in Stockholm, Sweden that killed at least four people and injured over a dozen others (SC/12788). On 8 April, the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee removed an individual, reportedly deceased since 2006, from its sanctions list (SC/12786). It held informal consultations on 11 April. The 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee held a formal meeting on 27 April.
On 4 April, the Council organised a meeting with the troop- and police-contributing countries of MINUSTAH and on 11 April held a debate (S/PV.7920) with a briefing by Special Representative and head of MINUSTAH, Sandra Honoré, who presented the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2017/223). On 13 April, in resolution 2350, the Council decided to extend MINUSTAH’s mandate for a final six-month period until 15 October and authorised the establishment of a smaller successor peacekeeping mission, referred to as the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), composed of up to seven formed police units and 295 police officers, but no military component, and with a mandate to assist the government of Haiti in strengthening rule of law institutions, further support and develop the Haitian National Police, and engage in human rights monitoring, as recommended by the Secretary-General. After the adoption of the resolution, a number of Council members spoke in explanations of vote (S/PV.7924).
On 4 April, the Joint Special Representative for Darfur and head of UNAMID, Jeremiah Mamabolo, briefed the Council (S/PV.7912) on the quarterly report of the Secretary-General (S/2017/250). Mamabolo described Darfur as being “a very different place from what the region was in 2003”, but noted that banditry and criminality continued to be widespread, and that the improving situation in Darfur had not yet resulted in significant advances in efforts to reach a long-term political resolution. On 26 April, the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine), provided the quarterly briefing to Council members in consultations.
Central African Republic
On 4 April, the Council adopted a presidential statement on the CAR strongly condemning violence perpetrated by armed groups (S/PRST/2017/5). The statement also acknowledged the African Initiative for a Peace and Reconciliation Agreement between the government and all armed groups in the CAR.
On 6 April, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council on the situation in Mali (S/PV.7917). Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop of Mali also spoke at the meeting. Lacroix discussed challenges to the implementation of the 2015 Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation outlined in the Secretary-General’s 30 March report (S/2017/271).
On 6 April, at the initiative of the US, Secretary-General António Guterres briefed the Council on peacekeeping operations (S/PV.7918). He highlighted the need for clear, realistic and up to date mandates from the Council, with identified priorities, adequate sequencing, and flexibility to evolve over time. In a concept note circulated ahead of the meeting, the US stressed the important role that political foundations play in the success of peacekeeping missions (S/2017/287).
Great Lakes Region
On 12 April, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, briefed the Council (S/PV.7923) on the latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement (S/2017/208).
On 18 April, the US organised a meeting under the agenda item “Maintenance of international peace and security” focusing on “human rights and prevention of armed conflict” with a briefing by the Secretary-General. All 15 Council members took the floor during a discussion that lasted for over two hours (S/PV.7926). The meeting marked the first time that the Council discussed human rights thematically. The US had initially wanted to hold the discussion under a new agenda item titled “human rights and international peace and security”. Adding this new thematic item encountered opposition from some Council members, however, and to avoid a procedural vote (where there would be no veto and nine “yes” vote would have been sufficient for the decision to stand), the US chose to use an existing broad agenda item with a subtitle indicating the meeting’s human rights focus. On the day of the meeting, Venezuela, on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM), transmitted to the Council president a NAM communiqué, expressing concern over the Council’s encroachment on the purview of other UN bodies (S/2017/335). The Secretary-General focused his remarks on the importance of preventing conflict rather than responding to crises and highlighted in this context the value of human rights information and action.
On 19 April, the Council held a meeting with troop- and police-contributing countries to MINURSO. On 25 April, Special Representative and head of MINURSO Kim Bolduc and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun briefed Council members in consultations on the latest report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Western Sahara (S/2017/307). On 21 April, the Group of Friends of Western Sahara met to negotiate the resolution renewing MINURSO’s mandate, which was circulated to all Council members on 24 April. At press time, on 28 April, the Council was set to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of MINURSO for one year.
On 20 April, the Security Council held its regular quarterly open debate under the agenda item “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.” Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefed (S/PV.7929). Ahead of the meeting, on 10 April, the US circulated a concept note with potential topics that could be highlighted in lieu of focusing the debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (S/2017/305).
On 25 April, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), in his capacity as facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 regarding Iran, briefed Council members under “any other business” during consultations. Cardi reported on the outcome of a so-called 2231 format meeting among Council experts held in March on the 29 January ballistic missile test conducted by Iran. The meeting in March was a follow-up to the discussion held during consultations on 31 January at the request of the US, when Council members were briefed by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča on the missile launch. It appears that Council members remain divided on the question of whether such missile launches are inconsistent with resolution 2231.