Status Update since our April Forecast
Rule of Law/Protection of Civilians
On 1 April, in a meeting chaired by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Peter Maurer, and Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School Naz Modirzadeh briefed the Council on the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law, with a focus on International humanitarian law (S/PV.8499). An Arria-formula meeting on protecting humanitarian and medical personnel, chaired by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, was held earlier that day.
On 2 April, the Council held a high-level meeting in support of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) chaired by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and with participation from International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu (S/PV.8500). In a press statement following the meeting, Council members reaffirmed their commitment to advance the goals of the NPT (SC/13762).
Small Arms and Light Weapons
On 8 April, Germany, France, the Dominican Republic and Equatorial Guinea organised an Arria–formula meeting on the Western Balkans Roadmap as a model for effective small arms and light weapons (SALW) control at the regional level. Speakers included High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu; Bojana Balon, head of UNDP/South Eastern and Eastern Europe Clearinghouse for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons; Ambassador Pennelope Beckles (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago); and Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed, Permanent Observer of the AU to the UN. Discussion also touched on other SALW initiatives, including “Silencing the Guns” in Africa and SALW strategies in the Caribbean.
On 9 April, High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi briefed the Council (S/PV.8504).
Central African Republic
On 9 April, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2019/3), establishing benchmarks for suspending or progressively lifting arms embargo measures on the government of the CAR (S/PV.8503).
On 10 April, Council members met in consultations to discuss MINURSO and the second roundtable of the parties in Geneva that occurred in March. Council members were briefed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Colin Stewart and Personal Envoy Horst Köhler. On 24 April, Council members began negotiations to renew MINURSO’s mandate. The Council voted on the renewal of MINURSO’s mandate on 30 April.
On 10 April, the Council met at the request of the US to discuss the humanitarian situation in Venezuela (S/PV.8506). Secretary-General António Guterres made introductory remarks and the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock. The Council was also briefed by Eduardo Stein, the Joint Special Representative of the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration for Venezuelan refugees and migrants, and Dr. Kathleen Page, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. US Vice President Mike Pence participated in the meeting.
On 12 April, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita briefed Council members under “any other business” at the request of Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, the UK and the US, following the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir on 11 April by the Sudanese military. Also on 12 April, the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee met during informal consultations to receive a briefing from the Panel of Experts on the Panel’s workplan, in accordance with the Panel’s mandate as extended by resolution 2455 until 12 March 2020. On 17 April, the Security Council was briefed on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report (S/2019/305) on UNAMID by Joint Special Representative and head of UNAMID Jeremiah Mamabolo (via video teleconference from Khartoum). He told the Council the planned withdrawal of UNAMID by 30 June 2020 is on track, but the political situation in Sudan has changed drastically and could affect implementation of the mission’s mandate going forward. Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller also briefed. The briefing was followed by consultations.
On 12 April, the Council was briefed by Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2019/265). Rosa Emilia Salamanca, the Executive Director of the civil society organisation Corporación de Investigación y Acción Social y Económica, briefed the Council as well. Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo participated in the meeting (S/PV.8511). On 16 April, Council members adopted a press statement reiterating their call for full respect for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace’s independence and autonomy (SC/13782).
Explosive Ordnance Threat Mitigation
On 12 April, Belgium and Poland, in coordination with German, organised an Arria-formula meeting on: “Explosive ordnance threat mitigation: For the implementation of a coherent and comprehensive response”.
On 15 April, Council members issued a press statement condemning the announcement by the Taliban of a spring offensive, underscoring that calls for more fighting will not contribute to making a sustainable peace, and calling on all conflict parties to seize the opportunity to begin an inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations that result in a political settlement (SC/13781).
On 17 April, there was a closed Arria-formula meeting on human rights in peace operations. Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, Kuwait, and Peru sponsored the meeting. The briefers were the heads of human rights components of three UN peace operations: Danielle Bell of UNAMI (Iraq); Guillaume Ngefa of MINUSMA (Mali); and Abdoul Aziz Thioye of MONUSCO (DRC).
Children and Armed Conflict
The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 18 April to discuss its conclusions on the Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict in Syria. (S/2018/969).
On 22 April, Council members condemned the attack perpetrated on 20 April against a convoy of MINUSMA between Douentza and Boni (region of Mopti), which resulted in one peacekeeper from Egypt killed and four others injured.
Women, Peace and Security
On 23 April, the Council held a high-level open debate on sexual violence in conflict (S/PV.8514). During the debate, resolution 2467 was adopted. Heiko Maas, the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, chaired the meeting. Briefers included: Secretary-General António Guterres; Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten; 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Denis Mukwege Mukengere and Nadia Murad; Amal Clooney, human rights barrister; and Inas Miloud, co-founder and Director of the Tamazight Women’s Movement in Libya.
On 25 April, the Council was briefed on the situation in Ukraine (S/PV.8516). Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission Ertuğrul Apakan, and Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Martin Sajdik provided the briefings. (Apakan and Sajdik participated via video-teleconference.)
The Council held its quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, on 29 April. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed. She spoke on many issues, including the plight of women in Gaza. Additionally, Gidon Bromberg and Nada Majdalani, the Israeli and Palestinian co-Directors of the NGO EcoPeace Middle East, briefed on the difficult environmental situation in Gaza, especially concerning water. Many UN members also participated, including Israel and the Observer State of Palestine. Often repeated topics included the situation around the Golan Heights, the worsening financial crisis for the Palestinians, and the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians.