On 4 September, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the DPRK’s 2 September nuclear test. On 11 September, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2375 expanding sanctions to additional sectors of the North Korean economy in response to the nuclear test. The resolution prohibits the import of textiles produced in North Korea, bans gas exports, and sets a limit on the exports of petroleum products and crude oil to that country. It also includes new tools to stop high seas smuggling of prohibited goods. Furthermore, it strengthens prohibitions on employing North Korean workers abroad and demands the closing of joint ventures with North Korea, with certain exceptions to be determined by the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. In addition, the resolution freezes the assets and imposes a travel ban on one individual and three entities. Following the launch by the DPRK on 14 September of a ballistic missile which flew over Japan, the Council held consultations on 15 September. In the press statement, members of the Security Council strongly condemned the recent launches, condemned further the DPRK for its outrageous actions, and demanded that it immediately cease all such actions and comply with all UN resolutions. It expressed grave concern that by conducting such a launch over Japan, as well as its recent actions and public statements, the DPRK was deliberately undermining regional peace and stability and these actions are not just a threat to the region, but to all UN member states.
Visiting Mission to Addis Ababa
On 5 September, Council members left for a three-day visiting mission to Addis Ababa for the 11th joint consultative meeting between members of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC). Ahead of the joint consultative meeting, the Council delegation had an informal briefing in Addis Ababa by Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the AU Haile Menkerios, Special Representative for South Sudan David Shearer, Special Representative for Somalia Michael Keating and Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom. On 7 September, the members of the Security Council and the PSC held informal consultations, which focused on the partnership between the AU and the UN, funding for AU peace and security activities, and post-conflict peacebuilding. The 11th joint consultative meeting took place on 8 September and covered Somalia, South Sudan and the Lake Chad Basin. The Council delegation also met with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, and with senior officials from the UN Office to the AU and the AU Commission. On 12 September, Ambassador Tekeda Alemu briefed the Council on the visiting mission to the AU.
On 12 September, the Council was briefed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the AU and head of the UN Office to the AU Haile Menkerios on a 30 August report of the Secretary-General on strengthening the partnership between the AU and the UN on peace and security.
Lake Chad Basin
On 13 September, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s 7 September report on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin region. Fatima Shehu Imam, the Director of the Civil Society Organisations in Borno State, also addressed the Council, speaking via video teleconference. On 21 September, a high-level event was held on the humanitarian situation in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region as part of General Assembly high-level week.
On 13 September, the Council received a briefing on Somalia from Special Representative and head of UNSOM, Michael Keating, on the Secretary-General’s 5 September report on Somalia and from Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson for Somalia and head of AMISOM, Francisco Caetano José Madeira. Both Keating and Madeira briefed via video teleconference.
On 13 September, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement that, inter alia, called on the leadership of Guinea-Bissau to implement the 14 October 2016 Conakry Agreement. One day earlier, 12 September, the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee met to consider the Secretary-General’s 23 August report on progress made with regard to stabilisation and restoration in Guinea-Bissau. Committee members received briefings from Special Representative and head of UNIOGBIS Modibo Touré and Kelvin Ong from Security Council Affairs Division.
Council members were briefed on 13 September by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman under “any other business” on the deteriorating situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Following the meeting, press elements were issued in which Council members expressed concern at reports of excessive violence by security forces following the 25 August attacks by Rohingya armed groups on police border posts and called for “immediate steps to end the violence in Rakhine, de-escalate the situation, re-establish law and order, ensure the protection of civilians, restore normal socioeconomic conditions and resolve the refugee problem.” They also called for the government to facilitate humanitarian assistance and to fulfil commitments to provide aid to all displaced people. On 26 September, Council members were briefed again by Feltman under “any other business”. On 28 September, the Council was briefed by the Secretary-General in a public meeting.
On 14 September, the Council adopted resolution 2377 approving the Secretary-General’s recommendations regarding the size, operational aspects, and mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, contained in his 30 August report .
On 20 September, the Security Council held a high-level open debate entitled “Reform of UN peacekeeping: implementation and follow-up”, chaired by Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia. Secretary-General António Guterres and Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, briefed the Council, along with José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Chair of the 2014-2015 High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations. The open debate was based on a concept note circulated by Ethiopia. The Council adopted resolution 2378 during the debate.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
On 21 September, the Council held a ministerial-level briefing on the threat posed by the proliferation of WMDs and their delivery systems. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu briefed. All Council members spoke and most expressed concerns regarding escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and a spread of WMDs. In addition, Nakamitsu and other speakers at the briefing addressed Iran’s nuclear issue, resolution 1540, and other initiatives aimed at curbing the proliferation of nuclear arms.
On 21 September, Council members issued a press statement expressing concern regarding destabilising effects of the referendum on independence organised by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the following week. Council members urged both the federal Government and the KRG to resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the Iraqi Constitution and through dialogue. On 21 September, the Council adopted resolution 2379 on accountability for crimes committed by ISIL in Iraq. The resolution established an investigative team tasked with collecting, storing and preserving evidence of ISIL crimes in Iraq which could later be used in criminal proceedings in Iraqi national-level courts.
On 25 September, the Council held its quarterly debate on Afghanistan (S/PV.8055) which focused on the most recent UNAMA report (S/2017/783). Special Representative Tadamichi Yamamoto briefed the Council on the report and most recent developments. In his briefing Yamamoto noted that there is a renewed interest in Afghanistan in political engagements for peace. However, he also stressed that the security situation as well as the impact of violence on the civilian population remain the major concerns for the mission.
On 27 September, the Council was briefed on “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts: aviation security” by Fang Liu, the Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and by Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), who chairs the Counter-Terrorism Committee (S/PV.8057). On 28 September, Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, the head of the newly-created UN Office of Counter-Terrorism; Aboulatta and David Scharia, Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate Deputy Head of the Assessment and Technical Assistance Office briefed the Council (S/PV.8059). On 11 September, the Council issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack that took place earlier that day, near Al Arish in Sinai, Egypt, where at least 18 policemen were killed and three were injured.