December 2019 Monthly Forecast

Status Update since our November Forecast


On 4 November, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement expressing full support for the communiqués issued by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the AU following President José Mário Vaz’s dismissal of the government of Prime Minister Aristides Gomes on 28 October, less than one month before the presidential election. The presidential statement further called on “President Vaz and the government led by Prime Minister Gomes in charge of conducting the electoral process to resolve their differences in the spirit of respect and cooperation” and affirmed the “urgent need to hold the presidential elections on 24 November 2019 as agreed”.

On 11 November, Council members were briefed in consultations on the evolving situation by Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) Rosine Sori-Coulibaly. In press elements afterwards, Council members welcomed ECOWAS’ recent decision to strengthen its mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) and to send a mission of heads of state and government to Bissau on 16 November 2019. Members recalled that the Council would consider taking appropriate measures against those who undermine stability in Guinea-Bissau.

Women, Peace and Security

On 4 November, the Council resumed and concluded its annual open debate on women, peace and security, under the theme “Towards the successful implementation of the women, peace and security agenda: moving from commitments to accomplishments in preparation for the commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000)”. The debate, which started on 29 October, had had to be suspended due to UN austerity measures.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 5 November, the Council held its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina.  High Representative Valentin Inzko briefed on the latest report of the Office of the High Representative. Selma Korjenić, Head of Programme-Bosnia and Herzegovina for the non-governmental organisation TRIAL International also briefed, via video teleconference. The Council unanimously adopted resolution 2496 renewing the authorisation of the EU-led multinational stabilisation force (EUFOR ALTHEA) for another year.


On 6 November, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda delivered her semi-annual briefing to the Council on recent developments concerning cases in Libya. On 18  November, Council members met for a briefing, followed by consultations, on the work of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and Libya sanctions. The briefers were Special Representative and head of UNSMIL Ghassan Salamé (via video teleconference) and the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Jürgen Schulz, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany. Rida Al Tubuly, director and co-founder of Together We Build It, briefed Council members as a representative of Libyan civil society.

The Finnish Workshop

On 7 and 8 November, the 15 current Council members and the incoming five (Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia, and Vietnam) participated in the 17th annual “Hitting the Ground Running” workshop organised by Finland, held at the Greentree Foundation, a conference centre near New York City. Former head of UN Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guéhenno was the keynote speaker during the opening dinner.

Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations

On 11 November, the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, which is chaired by Côte d’Ivoire, held a meeting focused on “transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding presence through the example of UNAMID”.

Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG)

On 12 November, the IWG held a meeting to discuss, among other things, a chair’s paper on the Council’s transparency and efficiency.

Arria-formula Meeting on the Challenges of Radicalisation in Prisons

On 12 November, Council members held an open Arria-formula meeting focused on how to address the risk of terrorist radicalisation in prison and promote the rehabilitation of prisoners and their reintegration into society. The meeting was co-hosted by Belgium and Indonesia, with the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and co-sponsored by the chairs of the Group of Friends of Preventing Violent Extremism (Jordan and Norway).  Opening remarks were delivered by Ambassador Mark Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium); Sri Puguh Budi Utami, Indonesia’s Deputy Minister for Corrections in the Ministry of Law and Human Rights; and Simone Monasebian, Director of UNODC. Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia) moderated the session, which included briefings by the following panellists: David Scharia, Director, Chief of Branch of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED); Thomas Renard, Senior Research Fellow at the Egmont Institute in Belgium; and Agnès Coutou, ICRC Protection Adviser. After the panellists’ presentations, Norway made a statement on behalf of the Group of Friends of Preventing Violent Extremism, followed by Council members and other member states.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

On 13 November, the Chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen (Germany), provided the Council with the 90-day briefing about the committee’s work, in consultations. At the media stakeout that followed, France, Germany and the UK made a joint statement in which they expressed concern over the recent ballistic missile launches by the DPRK and emphasised that these actions by the DPRK constitute a violation of Security Council resolutions. Furthermore, they called on the DPRK to engage in meaningful talks with the US and take steps towards verifiable denuclearisation.


On 14 November, the Council adopted resolution 2497 renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until 15 May 2020. The resolution maintains the authorised troop ceiling at 3,550 and the police ceiling at 640.  The resolution also extends the mission’s support for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), established in 2011 to conduct monitoring and verification activities along the Sudan-South Sudan border, until 15 May 2020.

Children and Armed Conflict

On 15 November, the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met for a video teleconference with the country task force for monitoring and reporting in the Philippines.

On 26 November, Belgium, Peru, Poland and the UK co-hosted an Arria-formula meeting on reintegration. The meeting focused on how to better support children once they are separated from armed forces and armed groups and how to bridge the humanitarian-development-peace nexus for more sustainable reintegration. Another area that was highlighted was incorporating children’s views into reintegration strategies.

Open debate on the role of reconciliation in the maintenance of international peace and security

On 19 November the Council held an open debate to discuss reconciliation (S/PV.8668). Secretary-General António Guterres; Alpaslan Özerdem, Dean of the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University; and Ilwad Elman, Director of Programs and Development, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, briefed. Lord Ahmad, the UK Minister of State for the Commonwealth, the United Nations and South Asia, presided. Member states discussed their own experiences with reconciliation mechanisms, such as truth and reconciliation commissions. There was also an emphasis on the need to adapt to increasingly complex situations and ensure inclusivity at every stage. The Secretary-General stated: “successful reconciliation is both an aim and a process”.


On 20 November, the Council held a briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process briefed. Tania Hary, Executive Director of the Gisha Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, also briefed. Members then held consultations. Just prior to the meeting, Karen Pierce, Permanent Representative of the UK, made a statement to journalists on behalf of the EU members of the Security Council (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the UK) in which she reiterated their common position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories, stressing that all settlement activity is illegal under international law.

The Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S)

On 20 November, the Council held a briefing on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S), a force which Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger (G5 Sahel) established in 2017 to combat terrorist and criminal groups (S/PV.8670). Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita presented the Secretary-General’s 11 November report on the FC-G5S. Also briefing were: Alpha Barry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Burkina Faso, on behalf of the G5 Sahel presidency; Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed of the AU Permanent Observer mission to the UN; Koen Vervaeke (via VTC), Managing Director for Africa in the European External Action Service; and, via video teleconference, civil society representative, Assitan Diallo, President of the Association des Femmes Africaines pour la Recherche et le Développement (AFARD). Members then held consultations, requested by the A3. The A3 and G5 Sahel countries delivered joint remarks to the press after the meeting, noting with concern delays in the implementation of donor countries’ commitments to the force. On 21 November, Council members issued a press statement, encouraging the G5 Sahel States to ensure that the FC-G5S “continues to scale up its level of operation over time in order to demonstrate increased tangible operational results”.


On 21 November, the Council held consultations on the situation in Cyprus. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed Council members on the recent developments and latest Secretary-General’s report on his good offices. During the meeting, Council members expressed their support for the political process and the upcoming (on 25 November) trilateral meeting between the Secretary-General and Cypriot leaders.


On 25 November, the Council held consultations on the implementation of resolution 1701. Ján Kubiš, Special Coordinator for Lebanon and Mohamed Khaled Khiari, Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia, Pacific briefed Council members on the latest developments in Lebanon and most recent Secretary-General’s report.

Subscribe to receive SCR publications