Status Update since our October Forecast
On 3 October, the chairs of the counter-terrorism-related committees, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorenty Solíz (Bolivia), chair of the 1540 Committee; Ambassador Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), chair of the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee; and Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra Velásquez (Peru), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) briefed the Council on the work of their respective committees (S/PV.8364). On 8 October, the CTC, in cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, held a public session on the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism, and arms trafficking and terrorism. The 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee held its quarterly briefing by the monitoring team assisting it on 17 October, where it was also briefed by the head of the Iraq Investigative Team, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 3 October, Council members were briefed in consultations by the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the Ebola crisis in the DRC. The Council visited the DRC between 5-7 October. A briefing by the co-leads of visiting mission (Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea and France) was held on 11 October (S/PV.8369). Also on that day, Special Representative and head of MONUSCO Leila Zerrougui briefed on the latest MONUSCO report (S/2018/882), and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit briefed on the latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Region (S/2018/886), followed by consultations (S/PV.8370). At press time, the Council was negotiating a resolution on Ebola in the DRC.
on 3 October, Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland), chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, provided the quarterly briefing to Council members on the committee’s work (S/PV.8366). She highlighted aspects of the interim report of the Panel of Experts presented to the committee on 17 August. On 22 October, Joint Special Representative and head of UNAMID Jeremiah Mamabolo briefed (S/PV.8377) the Council on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report (S/2018/912). He said that with the Council’s adoption of resolution 2429 in July, UNAMID has begun its reconfiguration and drawdown, while monitoring the reconfiguration’s impact on security and the protection of civilians. He also emphasised the importance of meeting the benchmarks for the mission’s exit set out in the Secretary-General’s report.
Children and Armed Conflict
On 10 October, the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met for the introduction of the report on Children and Armed Conflict in South Sudan (S/2018/865).
On 11 October, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINURSO Colin Stewart briefed Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2018/889). During the meeting, members expressed support for the UN-led efforts to renew a political process and the planned roundtable to be held in December in Geneva with the parties and neighbouring countries. A Council meeting with troop-contributing countries to MINURSO had been held two days earlier, on 9 October. On 29 October, the Security Council extended the mandate of MINURSO for a further six months.
On 11 October, the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee issued a press release that condemned attacks on commercial vessels described in the 9 July case-study of the Yemen Panel of Experts as perpetrated by the Houthis (SC/13536). On 23 October, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen focusing on the rising threat of famine that has the potential to affect up to 14 million people, according to the latest UN estimates (S/PV.8379). Ahead of the meeting, on 20 October, OCHA had sent Council members a white paper on the worsening food crisis. During the briefing Lowcock warned of imminent danger of “a famine engulfing Yemen”. He called for Council support in five areas, including a cessation of hostilities in and around all infrastructure and facilities that the aid operation and commercial importers rely upon and for a larger and faster injection of foreign exchange into the economy.
Natural Resources and Conflict
On 16 October, the Security Council held a briefing on the role of natural resources as a root cause of conflict (S/PV.8372). Bolivia, which initiated the meeting, circulated a concept note in advance (S/2018/901). Secretary-General António Guterres briefed. While noting that the “exploitation of natural resources, or competition over them, can and does lead to violent conflict”, he also emphasised that “shared natural resources have traditionally also been a catalyst for cooperation among States, communities and people.”
UNDOF (Golan Heights)
On 16 October, Council members were briefed in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on the latest 90-day report by the Secretary-General on UNDOF (S/2018/867).
On 18 October, ahead of the parliamentary and district council elections scheduled for 20 October, Security Council members issued a press statement condemning recent attacks and underscoring the importance of a secure environment for the elections (SC/13545). On 23 October, after the elections took place, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the holding of the elections while noting the difficult security environment and that voting in Kandahar, which was postponed, needs to take place (SC/13551).
Middle East (Israel/Palestine)
On 18 October, the Security Council held its quarterly open debate on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) (S/PV.8375 and Resumption 1). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, and Hagai El-Ad, an Israeli human rights activist who serves as the Executive Director of B’Tselem, briefed the Council. Mladenov, who briefed via video teleconference, expressed significant concerns about the current situation, which he said is “sliding into a one-State reality of perpetual occupation and violence that does not serve peace.”
Silencing Guns in Africa
On 19 October, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, South Africa and the AU co-organised an open Arria-formula meeting entitled “Silencing the Guns in Africa: How Can the UN-AU Partnership Contribute to a Continent Free of Conflict”. Permanent Observer of the AU to the UN, Fatima Kyari Mohammed, and Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Africa, Bience Gawanas, briefed during the meeting.
On 19 October, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council on a 25 September report of the Secretary-General on Mali (S/2018/866) and the work of MINUSMA (S/PV.8376). Following the meeting, Council members issued a press statement commending the 15 October signing of a pact for peace between the government of Mali and the UN (SC/13547). On 27 October, Council members issued a press statement condemning the attacks that same day against a convoy of MINUSMA near the town of Konna, which resulted in two peacekeepers from Burkina Faso killed and several from Burkina Faso and Togo injured (SC/13557).
Women, Peace and Security
On 22 October, Côte d’Ivoire, France, the Netherlands and Peru co-hosted an Arria-formula meeting entitled “Moving from a Culture of Impunity to a Culture of Deterrence: The Use of Sanctions in Addressing Sexual Violence in Conflict.” Briefers were Rita Lopidia, Executive Director and Co-founder of the EVE Organization for Women Development in South Sudan, and head of the South Sudan Women Coalition for Peace; the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten; Rebecca Brubaker, Senior Policy Adviser at the Centre for Policy Research at United Nations University; Ruben de Koning, coordinator of the Panel of Experts assisting the 2374 Mali sanctions committee; and Hans-Jakob Schindler, former coordinator of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team assisting both the sanctions committee concerning ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida, as well as the 1988 Sanctions Committee concerning the Taliban and associated individuals. On 25 October, the Security Council held its annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security entitled “Promoting the Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and Sustaining Peace through Women’s Political and Economic Empowerment”. Secretary-General António Guterres made a statement and briefings were given by Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Randa Siniora Atallah, Director of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling (a non-profit organisation based in Jerusalem supporting female survivors of gender-based violence and advocating for gender equality and non-discrimination of women in Palestine).
International Court of Justice
On 24 October, the Council received the annual briefing by President of the International Court of Justice Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf in a private meeting (S/PV.8380).
Water, Peace and Security
On 26 October, an Arria-formula meeting was held on water, peace and security. The meeting was organised by the Netherlands, in collaboration with Belgium, Bolivia, Côte d’Ivoire, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, and Italy. Panelists were Danilo Türk, chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace; UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča; and Manish Bapna, the Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the World Resources Institute on behalf of the Water, Peace and Security Initiative.
On 24 October, Marzuki Darusman, the chair of the Independent International Fact‑Finding Mission on Myanmar briefed the Council (S/PV.8381 and Resumption 1) on the Mission’s 27 August report (A/HRC/39/64). Nine members–Côte d’Ivoire, France, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, the US and the UK—had requested the meeting on 16 October through a letter to the Secretary-General. In response, Bolivia, China, Equatorial Guinea and Russia wrote to the Secretary-General on 18 October expressing their objection to such a briefing (S/2018/938). Ahead of the meeting there was a procedural vote on whether or not to hold the meeting, with nine members voting in favour, three against and four abstaining.
Sexual Violence in Conflict
On 26 October, Poland, in partnership with Bolivia, France, Germany and South Africa, organised an Arria-formula meeting on the plight and rights of children born of wartime sexual violence. The briefers included Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF Omar Abdi. There were also briefings by Ambassador Masud Bin Momen (Bangladesh) and Ambassador Mohammed Hussein Bahr Aluloom (Iraq). The civil society briefers were Evelyn Amony, co-founder and chairperson of the Women’s Advocacy Network in Uganda; Charo Mina-Rojas, Human Rights and International Working Group of Proceso de Comunidades Negras; and Betty Sunday Ben Kute, Coordinator of the Women’s Monthly Forum in South Sudan (by video teleconference).
On 30 October, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s report on his good offices in Cyprus (S/2018/919). DiCarlo updated Council members on the outcome of the consultations that the UN consultant Jane Holl Lute conducted with the Cypriot leaders and the representatives of the guarantor powers Greece, Turkey and the UK. Although there has not been any tangible progress in unification talks for over a year, DiCarlo noted that the Secretary-General still believes that prospects for a comprehensive settlement remain alive. Council members expressed their support for the Secretary-General’s good offices and called on both Cypriot leaders to increase their efforts in finding a solution.