From 3 to 5 May the Council carried out a visiting mission to Colombia in order to demonstrate its commitment to the peace process in the country. In a presidential statement adopted on 11 May (S/PRST/2017/6), the Council acknowledged the significant challenges involved in the implementation of the peace agreement and welcomed the progress made by the parties and their commitment to achieving peace. On 16 May, the UK and Uruguay briefed the Council as co-leads of the visiting mission (S/PV.7941).
On 9 May, Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, briefed the Council on cooperation between the EU and the UN (S/PV.7935). Among the issues discussed were the Middle East peace process and the situation in Syria, Libya, and the Central African Republic. Mogherini also updated the Council on EU-UN cooperation in various peacekeeping operations in Africa, on the Iranian nuclear issue, and on counter-terrorism.
On 11 May, Council members received a briefing in consultations from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on Guinea-Bissau focusing on the ongoing political crisis. In a press statement following the meeting, Council members called on relevant stakeholders to strictly respect and comply with the Conakry agreement and the ECOWAS road map and expressed their readiness to take necessary measures to respond to a further worsening of the situation in Guinea-Bissau (SC/12818).
On 11 May, Council members met in consultations to discuss the 28 April semi-annual report (S/2017/374) on the implementation of resolution 1559, which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory.
The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict
The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 12 and 19 May to negotiate the conclusions on children and armed conflict in Sudan (S/2017/191).
Sudan and South Sudan
On 15 May the Council adopted resolution 2352, extending UNISFA’s mandate until 15 November 2017. Adoption had initially been scheduled for 10 May, but was delayed following a lack of consensus on a US proposal to suspend UNISFA’s role in supporting the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) and to reduce the mission’s troop ceiling from 5,329 to 4,170. As a compromise, resolution 2352 reduced UNISFA’s authorised troop ceiling to 4,791. It also urged Sudan and South Sudan to resume direct negotiations in order to agree on a final settlement of the Abyei question, and decided that the extension of support to the JBVMM would be the last unless both parties demonstrated “clear commitment and steadfast guarantees” of implementation.
DPRK (North Korea)
In a 15 May press statement, Council members condemned the missile launches conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 28 April and 13 May (SC/12821). On 16 May, they received a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča during consultations. That same day, the DPRK sent a letter to the Secretary-General (S/2017/429) referring to the 13 May launch as a legitimate exercise of the right to self-defence and “categorically and totally” rejected the press statement. In a 22 May press statement, Council members condemned the DPRK’s 21 May missile launch and called on the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee “to redouble its efforts to improve global implementation of all measures, including by implementing the relevant feasible recommendations of the Panel of Experts as soon as possible” (SC/12831). On 23 May, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed Council members during consultations on the missile launch. In that same meeting, the chair of the Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), presented his 90-day report on the work of the Committee. The Committee held informal consultations on 10 May to discuss the recommendations contained in the latest report from its Panel of Experts (S/2017/150). It also continued the series of regional outreach meetings initiated in March as a follow-up to paragraph 44 of resolution 2321, adopted in response to the 9 September 2016 nuclear test, which requested the Committee “to hold special meetings on important thematic and regional topics and member states’ capacity challenges”. The Committee met with the African Group on 1 May, the Western European and Others Group on 12 May, and the Asia-Pacific Group on 26 May. It had previously met with the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries and the Eastern European Group.
Women, Peace and Security
On 15 May, the Council held an open debate on sexual violence in conflict (S/PV.7938). The debate was chaired by José Luis Cancela, Vice Foreign Minister of Uruguay. The following speakers briefed the Security Council: Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; Under-Secretary-General Adama Dieng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, who is currently officer-in-charge of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict; and Mina Jaf, Founder and Executive Director of Women’s Refugee Route, on behalf of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. The objective of the debate, as referred to in a concept note circulated by Uruguay (S/2017/402), was to raise awareness on the issue of sexual violence in conflict as a tactic of war and terrorism, focusing particularly on patterns and trends identified in the annual report of the Secretary-General on conflict-related sexual violence (S/2017/249).
On 16 May, Zahir Tanin, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNMIK, briefed the Council (S/PV.7940) on the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2017/387) and recent developments. Tanin told Council members that there had been a loss of trust between the two sides as well as an increase in nationalist rhetoric. Serbia’s minister of justice, Nela Kuburović, and Kosovo’s ambassador to the US, Vlora Çitaku, also spoke.
On 17 May, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča briefed Council members on the situation in Venezuela under “any other business”. The briefing had been requested by the US and focused on efforts by regional organisations to address the political crisis in the country.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
In a debate on 18 May (S/PV.7943), the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Valentin Inzko, briefed the Council on his latest six-month report on the implementation of the peace agreement (S/2017/379), expressing concern about the lack of progress in addressing the need for real reforms.
On 22 May, the Special Representative and head of UNAMI, Ján Kubiš, briefed the Council on the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2017/371) and provided an update on the government’s efforts to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (S/PV.7945).
On 23 May, the Council held a briefing on UN peacekeeping (S/PV.7947) with the force commanders of MINUSCA (CAR), UNDOF (Golan Heights), MONUSCO (DRC), and UNMIL (Liberia). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix also addressed the Council.
Protection of Civilians
On 25 May, the Council held a ministerial-level open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/PV.7951). The meeting focused on the protection of civilians agenda, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s recent report (S/2017/414), as well as on the implementation of resolution 2286, specifically on the protection of health care in armed conflict, which the Secretary-General is now required to brief on annually. Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Rodolfo Nin Novoa presided. Briefers included Secretary-General António Guterres; Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Christine Beerli; and Deputy Executive Director for Advocacy of Human Rights Watch Bruno Stagno Ugarte.
On 26 May, the Council held its regular monthly briefing on the situation in the Middle East, focusing on Israel/Palestine, with the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov (S/PV.7953). The meeting was followed by consultations.
On 30 May, the Special Envoy for the Secretary-General on Yemen, Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and the head of OCHA, Stephen O’Brien, briefed the Council (S/PV.7954). A Yemeni civil society representative, Radhya al-Mutawakel from the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, also briefed. This was followed by closed consultations.