Status Update since our June Forecast
Children and Armed Conflict
The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 3, 10 and 28 June for negotiations on its conclusions on the Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict in Myanmar (S/2018/956).
UNOCA (Central Africa)
On 4 June, François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and head of UNOCA, briefed the Security Council (S/PV.8538) on the Secretary-General’s semi-annual report on UNOCA (S/2019/430). The briefing was followed by consultations.
On 6 June, Kuwait, the chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG) in 2018-2019 organised its second open debate on working methods (S/PV.8539). James Cockayne of UN University and Karin Landgren, the Executive Director of Security Council Report, briefed. For the first time in an open debate, all ten elected Council members decided to have a joint statement, delivered by Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila (South Africa). In addition to Council members, 28 representatives of member states delivered statements, some of them speaking on behalf of groups of states such as the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency, known as ACT, the Like-minded States on Targeted Sanctions, or a group of 22 former elected members from all regional groups. As stated in its concept note for the open debate, during its remining time as chair of IWG, Kuwait intends to follow up on the topics raised, especially on “specific practical proposals put forward during the debate … in the ongoing pursuit of improving the working methods of the Security Council” (S/2019/450).
Security Council Elections
On 7 June, the UN General Assembly held elections for the five non-permanent seats on the Security Council for the 2020-2021 term. Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Viet Nam were elected in the first round of voting. Estonia was elected in the second round of voting, defeating Romania for the single Eastern European Group seat.
Transnational Organised Crime
On 7 June, Council members held an Arria-formula meeting on “Transnational Organised Crime and Drug Trafficking in the Caribbean Region as a Threat to International Stability”. The Dominican Republic’s Minister of Foreign Relations Miguel Vargas made opening remarks and moderated the session, which included panelists: José Vila del Castillo, Representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for Central America and the Caribbean; Lt. General Rubén Paulino Sem, Minister of Defense of the Dominican Republic; Tonya Ayow, Director of the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security; and Ms. Kurba-Maries Questelles, a youth activist from Trinidad and Tobago.
On 10 June, the Council held the second of three briefings on Kosovo scheduled for this year (S/PV.8541). In his briefing, Zahir Tanin, Special Representative and head of UNMIK, noted that the current situation in Kosovo is fragile and there has been no progress in Belgrade-Pristina dialogue for over a year. Despite the international condemnation, Tanin said that Kosovo still maintains the 100 percent tariffs on imports from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Foreign Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić emphasised the importance of maintaining the UN presence in Kosovo given the risk of a worsening situation. On the other hand, Ambassador of Kosovo to the US Vlora Çitaku said that there is no justification for a continued presence of UNMIK given that Kosovo is an independent state which is no longer in crisis. Several Council members called on the parties to refrain from the further escalation of tensions.
Protection of Civilians
On 11 June, the Security Council unanimously adopted standalone resolution 2474 on persons reported missing during armed conflict (S/PV.8543). The resolution, drafted by Kuwait, called on parties to the conflict to prevent people from going missing and to maintain records of those that have, among other provisions. The same morning, the Council held a briefing on protection of civilians in armed conflict with a focus on missing persons. The briefers were ICRC President Peter Maurer (via video teleconference) and Reena Ghelani, director of OCHA’s Operations and Advocacy Division. Both briefers stressed the impact of the unknown: unknown numbers missing, unknown causes, and an unknown future for those left behind. On 20 June, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2475, co-authored by Poland and the UK, which focused on protection of persons with disabilities in conflict. This resolution, like resolution 2474, was the first standalone resolution on its subject.
UNDOF (Golan Heights)
On 11 June, the Council met with UNDOF troop-contributing countries and were briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix (S/PV.8544). Lacroix briefed Council members in consultations on 17 June. On 26 June, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2477, renewing UNDOF’s mandate until 31 December 2019.
On 11 June, Council members issued a press statement which strongly condemned the recent violence, called for respect for human rights, and encouraged the Secretary-General to continue to support regional and international efforts, in particular, those led by the AU, to facilitate and agree on a national transitional process (SC/13836). On 14 June, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed (S/PV.8549) the Council on UNAMID and the special report of the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the UN Secretary-General on the strategic assessment of UNAMID (S/2019/445). Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour also briefed. The briefing was followed by consultations. On 19 June, the Council received the semi-annual briefing of the ICC Prosecutor related to the court’s work on Darfur (S/PV.8554). On 26 June, Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland), chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, provided the quarterly briefing to Council members on the committee’s work. The Council renewed the mandate of UNAMID on 27 June.
Conflict Prevention and Mediation
On 12 June, the Security Council held a briefing on “Conflict prevention and mediation” (S/PV.8546). Kuwait circulated a concept note in preparation for the meeting (S/2019/456). Secretary-General António Guterres and Mary Robinson, the chair of The Elders, a diverse and independent group of global leaders working to promote peace and human rights, briefed, as did Ban Ki-moon, The Elders Deputy Chair. Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah presided.
On 12 June, the Council was briefed on developments in Mali by Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSMA (S/PV.8547). The Malian Foreign Minister, Tiébilé Dramé, participated in the meeting, at which the 31 May report of the Secretary-General was presented (S/2019/454). At press time, the Council was expecting to renew MINUSMA’s mandate before the end of the month.
On 13 June, the Council held a meeting under “any other business” to discuss attacks on commercial ships in the Gulf of Oman. The US, which initiated the meeting, briefed Council members on some of the findings that the US alleges point to Iran’s responsibility for the attacks. On 24 June, at the request of the US, Council members held consultations to discuss the most recent attacks on commercial ships in the Gulf and the downing of an unmanned aerial vehicle, which the US alleges was shot in international airspace. Iran has denied the allegation, claiming that the incident took place in Iranian airspace. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed.
Cooperation with Regional Organisations
On 13 June, the Security Council held a briefing on cooperation between the Council and the League of Arab States (LAS) (S/PV.8548). Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah chaired the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres and LAS Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit briefed. Guterres announced the opening of the UN liaison office to the LAS later in the month. The Council adopted a presidential statement, encouraging the holding of an annual briefing by the Secretary-General of the LAS and the holding of an annual informal meeting between members of the Security Council and the Council of the LAS (S/PRST/2019/5).
On 14 June, Assistant-Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Oscar Fernandez-Taranco briefed the Council on the situation in Burundi (S/PV.8550). AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaїl Chergui (via video teleconference) and Ambassador Jürg Lauber (Switzerland), the chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, also briefed. The meeting was followed by consultations.
On 19 June, the Council held its quarterly meeting on Afghanistan in the format of a debate (S/PV.8555). Briefings were given by the Special Representative and head of UNAMA, Tadamichi Yamamoto, and Sima Samar, a women’s rights activist, chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation.
Central African Republic
On 20 June, Mankeur Ndiaye, the Special Representative and head of MINUSCA, briefed the Council (S/PV.8558) on the latest MINUSCA report (S/2019/498). The European External Action Service Managing Director for Africa Koen Vervaeke, and AU Special Representative and head of the AU Office in the Central African Republic Matias Bertino Matondo, also briefed. The meeting was followed by consultations.
On 20 June, the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee met to discuss “Maritime security issues and terrorist acts committed at sea”, among other issues. Also on 20 June, Council members issued a press statement, condemning a 16 June terrorist attack at Konduga village in north-east Nigeria, which killed at least 30 people (SC/13852).
On 25 June, Special Representative and head of UNMISS David Shearer briefed the Council on UNMISS and the 90-day report of the Secretary-General (S/2019/491). Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour and civil society representative Lydia Minagano (via video teleconference from Juba, South Sudan) also briefed. The briefing was followed by consultations.
On 26 June, the chair of the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium), briefed the Council in consultations.
On 26 June, the Council held its semi-annual briefing on the implementation of resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo presented the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 2231. The Council’s facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231, Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium), briefed on the work of the Council related to resolution 2231, and the Head of the EU delegation, João Pedro Vale de Almeida, briefed on the work of the JCPOA’s Joint Commission. After the meeting, the current five EU members of the Council and one incoming (Estonia) made a joint statement at the media stakeout emphasising the importance of preserving the JCPOA, while expressing regret over the US withdrawal from the agreement. They stressed that the EU’s support for the agreement depends on full implementation of the JCPOA by Iran.