On 3 January, Council members issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack in northern Sar-e-Pul Province and Balkh Province on 31 December 2018, targeted at the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, resulting in at least 27 security forces killed and 20 injured (SC/13655). On 30 January, the 1988 Taliban Sanctions Committee held joint informal consultations with the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, receiving a briefing on their Monitoring Teams’ December 2018 visit to Afghanistan. The meeting was followed by informal consultations of the 1988 Committee also focusing on the visit.
On 3 January, Special Representative and head of UNSOM Nicholas Haysom briefed the Council (S/PV.8440) on the latest Secretary-General’s report on Somalia (S/2018/1149). Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia and head of the AU Mission in Somalia, also briefed. On 5 January, Council members issued a press statement expressing their regret at Somalia’s decision to declare Haysom persona non grata (SC/13657). On 16 January, Council members issued a press statement condemning a terrorist attack in Nairobi the previous day and paid tribute to Kenya’s role in the fight against terrorism, particularly its role in AMISOM, fighting against Al-Shabaab (SC/13666).
UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel
On 10 January, the Council was briefed (S/PV.8442) by Special Representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas on the Secretary-General’s latest report on developments in West Africa and the Sahel and the activities of UNOWAS (S/2018/1175).
Children and Armed Conflict
The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 14 January to introduce the report on children and armed conflict in Syria (S/2018/969) and on 28 January for a first reading of its Syria conclusions.
On 16 January, the Council was briefed on the situation in Mali by Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali, Kamissa Camara, participated in the meeting (S/PV.8445). The basis for the discussion was the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2018/1174). After the meeting, Council members issued a press statement expressing “a significant sense of impatience with parties over the persistent delays in the full implementation of key provisions of the agreement” (SC/13667). On 20 January, Council members condemned an attack against the MINUSMA camp in Aguelhok, which resulted in 10 peacekeepers from Chad killed and several others injured, in spite of the robust response from MINUSMA (SC/13672). On 25 January, Council members condemned the attack perpetrated earlier that day against a MINUSMA convoy near Douentza (region of Mopti), which resulted in two peacekeepers from Sri Lanka killed and several others injured (SC/13678).
On 18 January, the Council was briefed by the Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Ghassan Salamé, on the situation in Libya. Jürgen Schulz, Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany, briefed in his capacity as chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee on the activities of the committee (S/PV.8448).
On 22 January, the Security Council held its quarterly open debate on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) (S/PV.8449). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefed the Council via video teleconference. Mladenov urged continued attention to “dangerous dynamics” on the ground, especially highlighting the impact of Israeli settlements. He also stressed the importance of intra-Palestinian reconciliation efforts.
On 18 January Council members condemned a terrorist attack at the General Police Academy in Bogotá the day before (SC/13671). On 23 January, the Council received a briefing from Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia (S/PV.8450). The meeting was chaired by Miguel Vargas, the Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic, and included the participation of the Foreign Minister of Colombia, Carlos Holmes Trujillo. The discussion focused on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2018/1159). On 24 January, Council members issued a press statement reiterating their full and unanimous support for the peace process in Colombia and sharing the assessment set out in the report of the Secretary-General (SC/13676).
On 23 January, Special Representative and head of UNFICYP briefed Council members in consultations on the latest developments and most recent Secretary-General’s report on Cyprus (S/2019/37). On 30 January, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2453 which extended the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months.
UNRCCA (Central Asia)
On 24 January, Special Representative and head of UNRCCA Natalia Gherman briefed Council members in consultations about areas of focus and concern of the UNRCCA, including counter-terrorism, organised crime, transboundary water management, and youth engagement in the five Central Asian states.
Women, Peace and Security
On 24 January, Germany, Peru and the UK co-hosted an Arria-formula meeting entitled “What’s next for Women, Peace and Security in the Middle East and North Africa: The Potential of National Action Plans” (S/2019/39). Focused on the examples of Iraq and Lebanon, briefings were given by Suzan Aref from Iraq, human rights activist and founder and Director of the Erbil-based “Women Empowerment Organisation”; Lea Baroudi from Lebanon, Director and co-founder of “MARCH”, an organisation dedicated to promoting gender equality and civil rights in Lebanon; Nada Makki, from the Office of the Lebanese Minister of State for Women’s Affairs; and Åsa Regnér, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.
Climate and Security
On 25 January, the Security Council held an open debate focused on addressing the impact of climate-related disasters on international peace and security (S/PV.8451). A concept note (S/2019/1) was prepared by the Dominican Republic, whose foreign minister, Miguel Vargas, chaired the meeting. Over 70 Council and other member states participated. Briefers included: Rosemary Di Carlo, Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs; Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator (via telephone); Pavel Kabat, Chief Scientist of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and Lindsay Getschel, Research Assistant at the Stimson Center’s Environmental Security Program.
On Saturday, 26 January, the Security Council held a meeting on the situation in Venezuela during which it was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo (S/PV.8452). The briefing was requested by the US, and several member states participated at foreign minister-level, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the foreign minister of Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza.
On 28 January the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions held a meeting to discuss its work plan for 2019. Draft presidential notes on various aspects of implementation of the comprehensive compendium of Council working methods, “Note 507” (S/2017/507) were circulated by the chair.