December 2017 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 November 2017
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Status Update

Refugees

On 2 November, High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi briefed the Council under the agenda item “briefing by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees”, which allows the High Commissioner to deliver a general briefing that is not limited to any particular situation on the Council’s agenda (S/PV.8083).

UN Policing

On 6 November, the Council was briefed on the role of UN policing in peacekeeping operations (S/PV.8086). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix spoke, as did the police commissioners from MINUSMA in Mali, MINUJUSTH in Haiti, and UNAMID in Darfur. The Council adopted resolution 2382, stressing the important contribution that UN policing can provide in peacekeeping and special political missions throughout the conflict cycle across the entire peace continuum. It further welcomed the role that UN police components can play in facilitating the transitions from peacekeeping to development and peacebuilding, and recognised that the improved performance of UN policing can contribute to the success of peacekeeping mission exit strategies.

Central African Republic

On 6 November, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the CAR and head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga; the Special Representative of the AU to the CAR, Bédializoun Moussa Nébié (via video teleconference); and the Head of International Relations at the Community of Sant’Egidio, Mauro Garofalo, briefed the Council (S/PV.8084). The briefing was followed by consultations in which the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, participated. On 15 November, the Council adopted resolution 2387, renewing the mandate of MINUSCA until 15 November 2018 (S/PV.8102). On 27 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning an attack on MINUSCA the day before, which resulted in one Egyptian peacekeeper killed and three others injured (SC/13092).

Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 7 November, the Council held its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina and unanimously adopted resolution 2384, renewing the authorisation of EUFOR ALTHEA for an additional year (S/PV.8089). Valentin Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, briefed on developments (S/2017/922).

Democratic Republic of the Congo

On 7 November, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2017/23) that “reiterate[d] the need for the Government of the DRC to  fully investigate the killing of the two members of the [Sanctions Committee] Group of Experts and bring the perpetrators to justice” (S/PV.8087). In the statement, the Council further noted the Secretary-General’s decision, which was agreed with the authorities of the DRC, “to deploy a United Nations team to assist the Congolese authorities in their investigations”.  On 28 November, Council members issued a press statement on the electoral process in the DRC in which they noted that presidential, legislative and provincial elections are now scheduled for 23 December 2018, and emphasised the “critical importance of ensuring the elections are not postponed further” (SC/13095).

Somalia and Eritrea

On 7 November, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2383, which renewed counter-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia (S/PV.8088). On 14 November, the Council adopted resolution 2385, on Somalia and Eritrea sanctions with 11 affirmative votes and four abstentions (Bolivia, China, Egypt and Russia) (S/PV.8099).

Libya

On 8 November, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda briefed the Council, expressing concerns at the discovery in the town of Al-Abyar, near Benghazi, of the bodies of 36 people who appear to have been tortured and executed (S/PV.8091). On 16 November, the Council received briefings from the Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Ghassan Salamé, and from the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden) (S/PV.8104). Salamé updated the Council on the implementation of the UN Action Plan for the resumption of an inclusive Libya-owned political process. Before moving to consultations, all 15 Council members made public statements. Council members subsequently issued elements to the press and reiterated their full support to the action plan and for Salamé’s leadership in the process. On 17 November, the Council held a briefing to explore the challenges to peace and security in the Mediterranean region (S/PV.8106). The meeting focused on the root causes of the security problems in the Mediterranean and to consider initiatives to promote regional stability, with many references to the impact of the situation in Libya. On 28 November, the Council held a meeting on slavery and trafficking of sub-Saharan African migrants in Libya, requested by France. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and Director of the International Organization for Migration William Lacy Swing briefed the Council (S/PV.8114).

International Court of Justice

On 9 November, the Council met twice independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly, to fill five vacant judges’ seats at the International Court of Justice for nine-year terms, beginning on 6 February 2018 (S/PV.8092 and Resumption 1 and S/PV.8093). After five rounds of voting, the following four candidates were elected: Ronny Abraham (France), the incumbent President of the Court; Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia), the incumbent Vice-President; Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade (Brazil) and Nawaf Salam (Lebanon). Continuing the election process for the fifth vacant seat on 13 November, in five rounds of voting, Christopher Greenwood (UK) acquired the majority in the Council, while Dalveer Bhandari (India) acquired the majority in the General Assembly (S/PV.8094, S/PV.8095, S/PV.8096, S/PV.8097 and S/PV.8098). Meeting again on 20 November, the Council elected Bhandari after being informed that the UK had withdrawn Greenwood’s nomination (S/PV.8110).

Venezuela

On 13 November, Council members took part in an Arria-formula meeting on the situation in Venezuela. The meeting was organised by the US in partnership with Italy. Briefers included Luis Almagro, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States; Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Joseph Donnelly of Caritas Internationalis; and Julio Henriquez of the Venezuelan human rights NGO Foro Penal. 

Kosovo

On 14 November, Zahir Tanin, the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General and head of UNMIK, briefed the Council on the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2017/911) and most recent developments (S/PV.8100). In his briefing, Tanin spoke about the 19 October municipal elections in Kosovo, the current state of the implementation of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. In his statement, the Russian ambassador emphasised that Kosovo still requires the attention of the Council while noting that the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina has ceased to function. Several Council members cited improved political and security situation in Kosovo. The US, reiterated its position that UNMIK has fulfilled its mandate and that it is now time to close the mission. 

Sudan and South Sudan

On 15 November, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2386, extending until 15 April 2018 the mandate of UNISFA. It also stated that the Council would  consider  renewing  UNISFA’s  mandate  to  support  the territory’s Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM) only if both parties adhere to the specific measures agreed to in 2017 no  later  than  15  March  2018 (S/PV.8101). The Council also decided to maintain UNISFA’s authorised troop ceiling at 4,791, after which it would decrease to 4,235 unless the Council decided to extend the mission’s support for the JBVMM.

Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict

The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict held a formal meeting on 15 November to adopt its conclusions on the first report of the Secretary‑General on children and armed conflict in Nigeria (S/2017/304), covering the period from January 2013 to December 2016. The Working Group made a field visit to Sudan from 26-29 November to discuss protection of children and to follow-up on the Working Group’s conclusions, which were adopted on 31 July (S/AC.51/2017/3).

Burundi

On 20 November, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Burundi Michel Kafando and the chair of the Peacebuilding Commission Burundi Configuration, Ambassador Jürg Lauber (Switzerland), briefed the Council on the situation in Burundi (S/PV.8109). The briefing was followed by consultations.

Israel/Palestine

On 20 November, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefed the Council in the regular monthly meeting under the agenda item “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.8108). The briefing was followed by consultations.

Human Trafficking

On 21 November, the Council held an open debate on trafficking in persons in conflict situations and was briefed by Executive Director of UNODC Yuri Fedotov; the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially in women and children, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro; and the AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui (S/PV.8111). Secretary-General António Guterres presented the first annual report on trafficking in persons (S/2017/939), and the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2388, expressing its intention to give greater consideration to how peacekeeping and political missions could help host states combatting human trafficking. It also requested that the Secretary-General ensure the inclusion of trafficking in assessments of country situations and in the training of mission personnel, which would help in identifying, confirming, responding and reporting on situations of trafficking.

Western Sahara

On 22 November, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINURSO Kim Bolduc and Personal Envoy of the Secretary General Horst Köhler briefed Council members in consultations on the situation in Western Sahara.

Iraq

On 22 November, Ján Kubiš, Special Representative and head of UNAMI briefed the Council on the most recent developments regarding the fight against ISIL and ongoing tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and central government in Baghdad (S/PV.8112). In his briefing, Kubiš commended the government of Iraq and coalition forces on their victories against ISIL while also calling on return of the internally displaced population, stabilisation, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the country. Furthermore, he called on the KRG and Iraqi central government to deescalate tensions and resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue and with the respect for the Constitution of Iraq.       

Terrorism

On 28 November, Under-Secretary-General and head of the Office of Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov, the Executive Director of the Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), Michele Coninsx, and the Chair of the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), briefed the Council on the issue of foreign terrorist fighters (S/PV.8116). At press time, Voronkov, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, and President of the International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, Meng Hongwei,  were scheduled to brief the Council on the “destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage by terrorist groups and in situations of armed conflict” on 30 November. On 24 November, Council members issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack that took place that day, targeting people attending prayers at a mosque in Sinai, Egypt, during which at least 235 people were killed and over 109 were injured (SC/13086).

Lebanon

On 29 November, Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed members in consultations on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2017/964). Philippe Lazzarini, Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon and Officer in Charge of UNSCOL also briefed the Council.