Status Update since our June Forecast
On 6 June, the Council held the semi-annual debate on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) at which its president, Judge Theodor Meron, and prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, briefed (S/PV.8278) on the IRMCT’s progress report (S/2018/347) and their respective assessments (S/2018/471). On 27 June, the Council adopted resolution 2422 extending Brammertz’s term until 30 June 2020 (S/PV.8295). The resolution welcomed the IRMCT’s progress report and the report of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (S/2018/206). It also requested the IRMCT to further enhance efficiency and effective and transparent management in five areas as set out in the resolution.
On 6 June, the Council adopted (S/PV.8276) a presidential statement on the situation in Ukraine (S/PRST/2018/12). This is the first formal Council outcome since 17 February 2015, when it adopted resolution 2202 endorsing the Minsk agreements. The statement expressed concern over the worsening security situation in eastern Ukraine and condemned continuous violations of the ceasefire, including the use of heavy weapons. It expressed support for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission; called on all parties to facilitate its work; and emphasised the need for full compliance with resolution 2202. The Council also reaffirmed its full support for resolution 2166 on the downing of flight MH17.
Youth, Peace and Security
On 6 June, following the 23 April open debate on Youth, Peace and Security (S/PV.8241) the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2419, reaffirming the important role that youth and youth-led civil society can play in peacebuilding and sustaining peace (S/PV.8277). The Secretary-General is requested to submit a report on the implementation of resolution 2419 as well as the previous resolution 2250 no later than May 2020.
On 8 June, the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee held informal consultations to discuss the sanctions regime. The chair of the Committee Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba (Equatorial Guinea) briefed on a mission to Guinea-Bissau and Guinea he was planning to undertake from 25 to 29 June.
On 11 June, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council (S/PV.8283) on the special report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Secretary-General on the strategic review of UNAMID (S/2018/530). With the security situation in Darfur remaining largely stable, the further proposed drawdown of UNAMID should be coupled with increased peacebuilding efforts focused on addressing the root causes of conflict, as set out in the special report, Lacroix said. On 13 June, Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland) briefed the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee in her capacity as chair on her April visit to Sudan. The following day she provided the chair’s 90-day briefing to the Council (S/PV.8287). At press time, the Council was expected to adopt a resolution on 29 June providing for a technical rollover of UNAMID’s mandate until 13 July, to allow more time to consider possible changes to the mandate.
The Council met on 11 June due to concerns over an impending Coalition attack on the Hodeidah. UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths briefed via VTC on efforts to negotiate a deal to forestall an offensive, while Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock briefed on the potential humanitarian consequences. Members issued a one-paragraph set of press elements, which “reiterated that only a negotiated political settlement can bring the war to an end”. On 14 June, after the start of the offensive, Griffiths briefed again in consultations via VTC. OCHA’s Ursula Mueller also briefed. Members issued press elements, expressing deep concern about the humanitarian situation and reiterated that Hodeidah and Saleef ports should remain open and called for the implementation of all Council resolutions, including resolution 2216. They urged all sides to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law. On 18 June, Giffiths and Lowcock briefed in consultations as part of the Special Envoy’s regularly scheduled update. Speaking from Sana’a, Griffths provided an update on his ongoing efforts to broker a deal to have Houthi rebels turn over Hodeidah port to UN control, indicating his belief that an agreement between the sides was possible. He also presented a framework to resume political negotiations, outlining the principles it would be based on. Council members issued press elements, noting that the Special Envoy’s efforts on Hodeidah remained ongoing and that they asked to be kept updated in real time. They further welcomed his briefing on his proposals to restart the political process.
UNOCA (Central Africa)
On 13 June, an Arria-formula meeting on maritime crime as a threat to international peace and security was convened by Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, the Netherlands, and the US, jointly with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The co-organisers made introductory statements, followed by presentations by four panelists: Sagala Ratnayake, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and Minister of Youth Affairs and Southern Development in Sri Lanka; Enrico Credendino, Commander of the EU Naval Force Mediterranean Operation Sophia; Hajara Yusuf, Public Prosecutor in the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice; and Alan Cole, head of the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme. Council members, followed by some non-Security Council member states, made interventions following the opening presentations.
On 14 June, the Council was briefed on the situation in Mali by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix (S/PV.8288). Mali’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Tiéman Hubert Coulibaly, participated in the meeting. The discussion was based on a 6 June Secretary-General’s report (S/2018/541), which was on recent developments in the country, the upcoming presidential elections, and the renewal of the mandate of MINUSMA. On 28 June the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2423 renewing the mandate for one year (S/PV.8298).
On 14 June, the Council voted unanimously to renew the mandate of UNAMI through resolution 2421 until 31 May 2019 (S/PV.8285). Set to expire on 31 July, UNAMI’s mandate was renewed for ten months in order to align it with the UN’s budget cycle. For the first time since UNAMI’s role was expanded in 2007, its mandate was changed and the text streamlined by cutting the preambulatory portion from several pages to just three paragraphs. UNAMI’s role in advancing an inclusive political dialogue and reconciliation was prioritized. Language was added on UNAMI’s role in advising, supporting and assisting Iraq in facilitating regional dialogue and cooperation on issues of environment and water; promoting accountability; supporting the work of the investigative team; assisting Iraq and the UN Country Team in strengthening child protection; approaching gender as a cross-cutting issue; and advising and assisting Iraq in ensuring the participation, involvement and representation of women at all levels. The resolution encourages all relevant UN actors to implement the recommendations of the independent external assessment of UNAMI, and requests that the Secretary-General report on the relevant actions taken in his quarterly reports.
UNDOF (Golan Heights)
On 14 June, Council members met in consultations with troop-contributing countries to UNDOF. On 19 June, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed Council members in consultations on the latest report of the Secretary-General and the activities of UNDOF (S/2018/550). At press time, Council members were expected to adopt a resolution renewing UNDOF’s mandate on 29 June.
Central African Republic
On 11 June, Council members issued a press statement, condemning a 10 June attack against a MINUSCA patrol in Bambari, resulting in one Burundian peacekeeper killed and another injured (SC/13378). On 21 June, Special Representative for the CAR and head MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, briefed the Council (S/PV.8291) on the latest MINUSCA report (S/2018/611). Special Representative of the AU to the CAR Bédializoun Moussa Nébié, and Brigadier General Hermínio Teodoro Maio, force commander of the EU Military Training Mission in the CAR also briefed, both by video teleconference. An informal interactive dialogue with Onanga-Anyanga and Nébié followed. The CAR Sanctions Committee held an informal meeting on 22 June, where representatives of the National Commission to Combat the Illicit Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in Côte d’Ivoire, the UN Mine Action Service, and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research briefed on weapons and ammunition management.
Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions
On 21 June, the IWG held a formal meeting to continue to discuss a non-paper with proposals for further improvements to working methods, prepared by its chair, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi (Kuwait). The IWG also started discussions on a Russian proposal regarding changes in the penholder system. Both documents will be discussed further during the next meeting, planned for late July. During the 21 June meeting, Hasmik Egian, the Director of the Security Council Affairs Division, updated members on the work being done to revamp the Council’s website.
International Court of Justice
On 22 June, the Council met independently from but concurrently with the General Assembly to fill a vacancy following the resignation of Judge Hisashi Owada (Japan) as a member of the Court, effective on 7 June 2018 (S/PV.8292). The Council and the General Assembly elected the sole candidate Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), for a term beginning that day, until 5 February 2021.
On 26 June, the Council held its quarterly debate on UNAMA. Special Representative of the Secretary-General Tadamichi Yamamoto, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Yury Fedotov; and Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov briefed (S/PV.8294). The Council issued press statements in relation to terrorist attacks (SC/13386) and the temporary ceasefire announced by the Afghan government and the three-day partial ceasefire announced by the Taliban (SC/13376 and SC/13385).
On 26 June, the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations held a meeting on strategic force generation.
On 27 June, the Council held a semi-annual briefing on the implementation of resolution 2231 which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme (S/PV.8297). Briefers included Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo; Council’s 2231 facilitator, Ambassador Karel van Oosterom (the Netherlands); and the head of the EU delegation, Ambassador Joâo Pedro Vale de Almeida. DiCarlo presented the latest Secretary-General’s report on implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2018/602). The report indicated that Iran has continued to comply with the JCPOA, but also that the US’s withdrawal from the agreement represents a setback. With an exception of the US, other signatories to the agreement have reiterated that they would continue to comply with it. Almeida in his briefing noted that preserving the JCPA is a key priority for the EU and the international community as a whole. He also briefed on the recent report of the Procurement Working Group (S/2018/601). Van Oosterom briefed on the fifth six-month report of the Facilitator on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (S/2018/624). At the meeting, the US restated its claims that Iran has violated the spirit of the agreement because of its involvement in the conflicts in the Middle East.
UNRCCA (Central Asia)
On 28 June, Special Representative and head of UNRCCA Natalia Gherman briefed Council members in consultations about the activities of the UNRCCA. At press time, Russia was expected to propose a press statement following the consultations.
Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace
At press time, the Council was expected to hold a briefing on peacebuilding and sustaining peace on 29 June, with Ambassadors Ion Jinga (Romania) and Cho Tae-yul (Republic of Korea), the current and former chair, respectively, of the PBC, presenting its annual report (S/2018/83). Immediately following the briefing, the Council was to convene an informal interactive dialogue on the PBC’s advisory role to the Council.
At press time, the Council was expecting a briefing on 29 June by Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions Alexander Zuev on the report of the Secretary-General (S/2018/623) regarding the implementation of resolution 2365 on mine action.