Briefing by the Outgoing Chairs of the Security Council Subsidiary Bodies
Expected Council Action
It has become a tradition that every December the outgoing chairs of subsidiary bodies have provided a briefing on their experience. Representatives of countries completing their two-year terms on the Council at the end of 2019, and their respective chairmanships, are:
- Ambassador Kacou Houadja Léon Adom (Côte d’Ivoire)—the 2127 Central African Republic (CAR) Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations.
- Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba (Equatorial Guinea)—the 1636 Lebanon Sanctions Committee and the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee.
- Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi (Kuwait)—the 1533 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Sanctions Committee and the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.
- Deputy Permanent Representative Luis Ugarelli (Peru)—the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee; the 1566 Working Group on Counter-Terrorism; the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals; and the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee.
- Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland)—the 1518 Iraq Sanctions Committee; the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee; and the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee.
Established during the Colombian presidency of the Council in December 2002, the practice of briefings by the outgoing chairs of the subsidiary bodies is considered an important element in efforts to provide greater transparency to the work of the sanctions committees and working groups. It is also an opportunity for departing chairs to share lessons learned from the experience with their successors. Since not all subsidiary bodies produce an annual report, this annual briefing has also served over the years as a means of creating a publicly-accessible institutional memory of a body’s activities.
Key Recent Developments
At this briefing, each chair will be able to review developments within the relevant committee or working group during their two-year term, assess their experience, suggest recommendations for improvements, and provide advice to their respective successors.
Ambassador Kacou Houadja Léon Adom (Côte d’Ivoire) will speak on the developments in the 2127 Central African Republic (CAR) Sanctions Committee. It is likely he will discuss the process that culminated in the Council’s amending the arms embargo through the 12 September adoption of resolution 2488. Additionally, he chaired the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations. Much of the Working Group’s focus has been on improving triangular cooperation among the Council, the Secretariat, and troop- and police-contributing countries (TCCs/PCCs). On 23 August, the Working Group held a meeting on the implementation of the commitments ahead of the one-year anniversary of the September 2018 Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations.
Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba (Equatorial Guinea) will speak on the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee. He is likely to highlight the two visits to Guinea-Bissau he made in June 2018 and October 2019. The first visit was to assess the political situation and the Security Council travel ban against ten individuals for their involvement in the April 2012 coup. The second visit focused on encouraging free and fair elections. With both visits, the chair was able to meet with high-level officials, including the president. Given his desire when he took the chairmanship to begin lifting sanctions on Guinea-Bissau, he may bring this up as something for the next chair to consider in 2020, especially if this month’s elections in Guinea-Bissau go smoothly. His other chairmanship is of the 1636 Lebanon Sanctions Committee, which is dormant.
Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi (Kuwait) is expected to spend the bulk of his time describing the experience of chairing the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG). This has included being the co-coordinator of the process of appointment of chairs of subsidiary bodies in 2018 and 2019, an experience he may wish to reflect upon. He is also likely to describe the experience of negotiating several presidential notes on working methods during his tenure as IWG chair. Regarding the chairing of the 1533 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Sanctions Committee, he is likely to discuss his visit to the region in 2019 as well as the ongoing efforts to investigate the 2017 deaths of two members of the 1533 Sanctions Committee’s group of experts.
Deputy Permanent Representative Luis Ugarelli (Peru) will chair the committees previously chaired by former Peruvian Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (who in October was named his country’s foreign minister). He is likely to highlight the adoption of two important counter-terrorism resolutions in 2019 when discussing the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee: resolution 2462, that reiterated commitments on criminalising terrorism and the financing of terrorism, and resolution 2482 on the linkages between international terrorism and transnational organised crime. Regarding the chairmanship of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee, its first-ever trip to the region, visiting Amman, Riyadh, Muscat and Tehran from 30 March to 5 April, is likely to be part of the briefing. The Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, under Peru’s chairmanship, routinely met with members of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals ahead of their semi-annual briefings to the Council. The 1566 Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, which Peru also chaired, has remained dormant.
Finally, Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland) will brief on her chairmanship of three committees. First, she is likely to highlight her reinvigoration of the 1518 Iraq Sanctions Committee, which in 2019 held its first meeting since 2005. According to its annual report, 20 entities were delisted in 2018 via written procedure and an additional 73 have been delisted in 2019 so far. For her chairmanship of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee and the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee, Wronecka may highlight the various collaborative exchanges held this year. At her initiative, both these committees met with other subsidiary bodies to discuss issues of common concern. For example, on 21 June 2019, the Committee held joint informal consultations with the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 concerning Libya and the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee to discuss the presence of Darfuri armed groups in Libya and South Sudan. Her chairmanship is also notable for her trips in the region. In 2019 alone, Wronecka visited South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Sudan, including Khartoum and Darfur.
New selection procedures of subsidiary body chairmanships for elected members have been in place since 2016. This year the process was chaired by China and Kuwait. The list passed silence on 11 October. The list, still considered provisional, will become formal in January and will be published in document S/2020/2.
- Estonia—the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee and the 1518 Iraq Sanctions Committee;
- Niger—the 1566 Working Group on Counter-Terrorism; the 2127 Central African Republic (CAR) Sanctions Committee; the 1533 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Sanctions Committee;
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions and the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee;
- Tunisia—the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee; the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations; the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee;
- Viet Nam—the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee; the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals; the 1636 Lebanon Sanctions Committee.
The past three years have seen significant change in the process of appointing chairs of the Council subsidiary bodies. In 2016, when for the first time the elections to the Security Council were held in June, the Council agreed on an earlier and more consultative method of appointing the chairs. After a relatively smooth process in 2016 and 2017, last year there were disagreements on how the process should proceed. On 13 November 2018, a joint letter addressed to the president of the Security Council submitted by the ten elected members and the five incoming delegations proposed, among other things, making better use within the Council of its members’ expertise by designating the chairs of the sanctions committees as co-penholders on the relevant files. The final chairmanships list was put under silence on 20 November 2018, missing the intended 1 October deadline by over a month and a half.
In 2019, the process returned to being fairly harmonious. The incoming five members discussed their “wish lists” for chairmanships amongst themselves before submitting a list as a group to China and Kuwait.
UN DOCUMENTS ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|17 December 2018S/PV.8428||The outgoing chairs of Council subsidiary bodies briefed the Council about their experience, describing the different challenges encountered in the work of each body, sharing lessons learned and providing advice to their successors.|
|Notes by the President of the Security Council|
|30 August 2017S/2017/507||This was the Note of the Security Council containing the compendium of its working methods.|
|15 July 2016S/2016/619||This was a presidential note concerning transitional arrangements for newly elected Council members.|
|Security Council Letters|
|13 November 2018S/2018/1024||This was a letter to the president of the Council from the elected ten and incoming five members.|