Status Update since our September Forecast
Programme of Work
On 4 September, the Council discussed the “unofficial calendar of events” for September in the open chamber after members were unable to reach agreement on the provisional programme of work for the month, given disagreement over whether to include Nicaragua on the programme (S/PV.8339). Following the meeting on Nicaragua on 5 September, the Council adopted the provisional programme of work.
On 5 September, the Council held a briefing on the situation in Nicaragua (S/PV.8340). Gonzalo Koncke, the Chief of Staff of the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, and Felix Maradiaga, a civil society representative, briefed the Council.
On 6 September, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita briefed the Council (S/PV.8342) on the most recent Secretary-General’s report on MINUJUSTH (S/2018/795). Keita described the progress towards 11 benchmarks for the transition to a non-peacekeeping UN presence in the country. Council members also noted that the violent July protests in Haiti demonstrated the volatility of the socio-economic situation.
Nerve Gas Attack
On 6 September, the Council held an emergency session on the investigation of the Salisbury nerve agent attack (S/PV.8343). UK Ambassador Karen Pierce presented the latest information on the investigation. She also said that the UK had brought charges against two Russian nationals for the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter and for the possession of the nerve agent Novichok. Russia denied the allegations that it was involved in the incident in Salisbury and blamed the UK for refusing any cooperation with Russia in the investigation.
Corruption and Conflict
On 10 September, the Council held a briefing on corruption and conflict under the agenda item “Maintenance of International Peace and Security” (S/PV.8346). UN Secretary-General António Guterres and John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project and Co-Founder of The Sentry, briefed.
On 10 September, Council members held an open Arria-formula meeting proposed by the US and entitled “Venezuela as a Case Study of Corruption, Peace, and Security”. Mercedes de Freitas, the Executive Director of the Venezuela chapter of Transparency International, and Marshall Billingslea, the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the US Department of the Treasury, briefed Council members.
On 11 September, Council members issued a press statement condemning the 5 September terrorist attack in Kabul claimed by ISIL and the 11 September attack in Nangarhar (SC/13498). On 17 September, the Council held the quarterly debate on UNAMA (S/PV.8354). Briefings were provided by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNAMA, Tadamichi Yamamoto, and Ramiz Bakhtiar, the newly-elected Youth Representative of Afghanistan to the UN for 2018.
On 11 September, the Somali national security advisor briefed the 751/1907 Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee on weapons management in Somalia. On 13 September, Special Representative and head of UNSOM Michael Keating briefed (S/PV.8352) the Council on the latest UNSOM report (S/2018/800). Head of AMISOM Francisco Madeira and Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka also briefed. On 20 September, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the Agreement on Peace, Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation signed by Eritrea and Ethiopia on 16 September (SC/13516). They also welcomed the meeting between the presidents of Djibouti and Eritrea on 17 September in Jeddah.
On 12 September, the Council held a debate on peacekeeping reform (S/PV.8349). The Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Sarah Blakemore, Chief Executive of the NGO Keeping Children Safe. On 21 September, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2436 on peacekeeping performance (S/PV.8360).
DPRK (North Korea)
On 17 September, the Council held an open briefing on the implementation of sanctions on the DPRK (S/PV.8353). The US requested the meeting to address issues related to the midterm report of the Panel of Experts. Under‑Secretary‑General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed on recent efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula. During the meeting, the US accused Russia of pressuring the panel to modify its report, which described sanctions violations by some Russian actors, and called on the panel to publish its original report. Russia dismissed the allegations and said that the US interfered in the panel’s work by preventing the circulation of the latest version of the report to the wider UN membership. On 27 September, the Council held a ministerial-level meeting on efforts to denuclearise the DPRK. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefed on the ongoing diplomatic engagement and stressed the importance of maintaining pressure on the DPRK until it takes concrete steps towards denuclearisation.
On 18 September, the Council was briefed (S/PV.8356) by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report (S/2018/831). Lacroix reported that the international community must send a strong message to the parties in conflict that with the new peace agreement signed, there is no longer any justification for continued clashes. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais also briefed. A civil society representative based in South Sudan briefed via video teleconference.
Protection of Civilians
On 21 September, the Council adopted a presidential statement on the protection of civilians (S/PRST/2018/18) in which it “recognises the contribution of the updated Aide Memoire”, which is attached as an annex to the statement (S/PV.8339). The presidential statement further requests that the next report of the Secretary-General on the protection of civilians be submitted by 15 May 2019, and that this report summarise achievements and challenges to the UN’s protection of civilians work during the past 20 years, as 2019 will mark the 20th anniversary of protection of civilians becoming a Council agenda item.
On 24 September, Council members issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack that took place in southwest Iran on 22 September during a military parade, which resulted in the death of 24 people, including children, and the injury of 60 others (SC/13523).
On 26 September, the Council held a summit-level meeting on countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, chaired by US President Donald Trump (S/PV.8362). Council members discussed a wide range of non-proliferation issues during the meeting. The Iran nuclear agreement and efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula dominated the discussions.