Status Update since our July Forecast
On 2 July, Council members issued a press statement condemning, “in the strongest terms the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack that took place in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on 1 July” (SC/13408). On 23 July, the Council adopted a presidential statement on the electoral process in Afghanistan (S/PRST/2018/15), following the conclusion of the voter registration process on 18 July for this year’s parliamentary and district council elections and for the 2019 presidential elections (S/PV.8315).
Children and Armed Conflict
On 9 July, the Council held a high-level open debate on children and armed conflict with the theme “Protecting Children Today Prevents Conflict Tomorrow”, chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (S/PV.8305). Prior to the debate Sweden circulated a concept note framing the debate around three main topics and posing several questions to the participants (S/2018/625). Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba presented the latest annual report by the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (S/2018/465). The executive director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore, and Yenny Londoño, a civil society representative from Colombia, addressed the Council as well. At the outset of the debate, the Council adopted unanimously resolution 2427. The resolution, which was co-sponsored by 95 member states, provides a framework for mainstreaming protection, rights, well-being and empowerment of children throughout the conflict cycle, as well as in sustaining peace efforts. The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 5 July for the introduction of the report on children and armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2018/502). UNICEF presented the global horizontal note on the fourth quarter of 2017. In addition, Gamba briefed on her recent visit to Myanmar. The Working Group also met on 24 July to negotiate its conclusions on the DRC.
Women, Peace and Security in the Sahel
On 10 July, under the agenda item “Peace and security in Africa”, the Council held a briefing on ‘Women, Peace and Security in the Sahel region”, chaired by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (S/PV.8306). UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security Bineta Diop briefed. Wallström had joined the Chad and Niger legs of a joint UN-AU trip that focused on peace, security and development issues, with women’s participation at their centre, led by Mohammed and Diop. During the meeting, Mohammed and Diop shared information and impressions with regard to women’s leadership in the prevention of conflicts and their inclusion in processes addressing environmental, humanitarian and development challenges. All Council members participated in the discussion that followed the briefing.
Eritrea and Ethiopia
On 10 July, Council members issued a press statement commending the signing of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship on 9 July by the President of Eritrea, Isaias Afwerki, and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy Ahmed and welcoming “the commitment by both parties to resume diplomatic ties and open a new chapter of cooperation and partnership” (SC/13416).
Climate and Security
On 11 July, the Security Council held a debate on climate-related security risks (S/PV.8307). The debate, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Margot Wallström, was held under the agenda item “Maintenance of international peace and security” with a focus on “Understanding and addressing climate-related security risks”. Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; the Minister of Water Resources of Iraq, Hassan Janabi; and Hindou Ibrahim of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, gave briefings.
On 12 July, Council members released a press statement that condemned the recent violence in Haiti which resulted in several deaths (SC/13419). They called on all parties to exercise restraint and stressed the importance of respecting the rule of law and democratic order.
On 12 July, Council members issued a press statement condemning, in the strongest terms, the terrorist attack in Mastung, Pakistan on 13 July, which resulted in more than 128 people killed and 200 people injured (SC/13424).
Central African Republic
On 13 July, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2018/14) expressing its concern over the continuing violence perpetrated by armed groups in the CAR and reaffirming its support to the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR (S/PV.8309). The 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee met on 13 July to discuss the midterm report of the Panel of Experts assisting the Committee (S/2018/729).
On 13 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2429, extending until 30 June 2019 the mandate of UNAMID (S/PV.8311). The resolution decided to reduce, over the course of the mandate renewal period, the troop ceiling to 4,050 personnel and authorised the deployment of the necessary police force, not exceeding 2,500 personnel. It requested the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Commission to conduct a strategic review of UNAMID by 1 May 2019.
On 16 July, the Council was briefed by Special Representative and head of UNSMIL Ghassan Salamé via video teleconference and by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden), followed by consultations (S/PV.8312). On 19 July, Council members issued a press statement which addressed issues including the attacks led by Ibrahim Jadhran against the oil infrastructure in June 2018, the resumption of work by Libya’s National Oil Corporation, and the unification of Libya’s economic and financial institutions (SC/13429).
On 16 July, there was a joint meeting of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and the Ad-hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa on the institutional reform of the AU and its contribution to enhancing Africa’s capacity in the area of peace and security. On 18 July, the Council was briefed on the Secretary-General’s annual report on ways to strengthen the partnership between the UN and AU on issues of peace and security in Africa, including on the work of the UN Office to the AU (S/2018/678). The briefers were Special Representative to the AU and head of UNOAU Sahle-Work Zewde and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaïl Chergui (S/PV.8314). On 19 July, members of the UN Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council held in New York their 12th annual joint consultative meeting and discussed a range of matters, including the situations in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The informal consultations preceding the meeting focused on thematic issues concerning the partnership between the two bodies, as well as how their cooperation can be strengthened. A joint communiqué was issued following the meeting on 19 July (SC/13430).
West Africa and the Sahel
On 17 July, Special Representative and head of UNOWAS Mohammed Ibn Chambas briefed the Council on developments in the region and the activities of the UN regional office (S/PV.8313), as outlined in the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2018/649). Chambas covered how the spillover of the Malian crisis is increasingly affecting Burkina Faso and Niger. He also talked about the continued threat posed by terrorist groups in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. He flagged violence between farmers and herders as increasingly representing a “major security threat in the region”, while noting that UNOWAS was monitoring the situation in countries with forthcoming elections, such as Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal, as well as the ongoing political crisis in Togo. Following closed consultations, members issued press elements, which included expressing concern over the increase in conflicts between farmers and herders. At the end of July, members had just begun negotiations on a follow-up presidential statement on West Africa and the Sahel, which Côte d’Ivoire and Sweden had prepared.
On 17 July, Special Representative and head of UNFICYP Elizabeth Spehar briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s reports on UNFICYP and on progress towards a political settlement in the country (S/2018/676 and S/2018/610). During the meeting the Council members reiterated their support for the mission and good offices. On 26 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2430 which extends the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months (S/PV.8317). The resolution noted the lack of progress towards a settlement during the past year and called on the two Cypriot leaders to actively engage and commit to a settlement process under UN auspices, use the UN consultations to restart negotiations, and avoid any actions that might damage the chances of success. The resolution did not alter the mandate and configuration of the mission.
On 20 July, Special Representative and head of UNSOM Michael Keating briefed the 751/1907 Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee. On 23 July, Ambassador Tekeda Alemu (Ethipoia) updated Council members on the recent developments in the relationship between Ethiopia and Somalia under “any other business”. On 30 July, the Council adopted resolution 2431, renewing the mandate of AMISOM. The chair of the 751/1907 Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), briefed the Council on 30 July, followed by consultations (S/PV.8321).
On 23 July, Acting UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Pernille Dahler Kardel and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed Council members in consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2018/703). Kardel informed Council members about the latest political developments in Lebanon, while Lacroix covered the developments related to UNIFIL and its area of operations.
Middle East (Israel/Palestine)
On 24 July, the Council held its quarterly open debate under the agenda item “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.8316). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefed via video teleconference. He emphasised the need to de-escalate tensions over Gaza to avoid the outbreak of another Gaza War.
On 26 July, the Security Council received a briefing from Jean Arnault, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, followed by consultations (S/PV.8319). Arnault presented the 20 July report of the Secretary-General, which takes stock of what has been achieved so far, but also points out some of the main challenges for the future (S/2018/723). Vice President of Colombia Óscar Naranjo also spoke at the meeting. In a 27 July press statement, Council members reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to work with Colombia as it implements the peace agreement in order to secure a lasting peace in the months and years ahead (SC/13438).