Status Update since our June Forecast
West Africa and the Sahel
On 2 June, Security Council members held an Arria-formula meeting on “strengthening an integrated approach to peace and security in the Sahel through a gendered lens”, at which the Group of Friends of Women of the Sahel was launched.
UNOCA (Central Africa)
On 7 June, François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s semi-annual report on UNOCA and the situation in the Central African region. Among other issues, he addressed the critical situation in Chad and its relevance to fostering long-lasting peace in the region. He also addressed the situation in Cameroon; the negative effect that various armed groups, including Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province, are having in the region; and the need to promote cooperation with the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
Appointment of the Secretary-General
On 8 June, the Council held a private meeting to discuss its recommendation to the General Assembly on the appointment of the Secretary-General. At the meeting, the Council adopted resolution 2580 by acclamation, recommending Secretary-General António Guterres for a second term from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2026. A communiqué was issued following the meeting.
International Criminal Tribunals
On 8 June, the Council held its semi-annual debate on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) (S/PV.8790). The IRMCT’s president, Judge Carmel Agius, and its prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, briefed during the debate and met with the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals prior to this meeting.
On 10 June, the Security Council held its annual meeting on “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security” (S/PV.8792). At the meeting, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell briefed Council members on strengthening the partnership with the EU to resolve issues on the Council’s agenda. Borrell emphasised the importance of multilateralism and greater collaboration between the UN and the EU in addressing cross-border threats and challenges.
On 14 June, the Council held its quarterly briefing (S/PV.8794), followed by consultations, on Mali. The Council heard briefings from Special Representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) El-Ghassim Wane, and the president of the Coalition des Femmes Leaders Nord, Sud et Centre du Mali (NSC) Fatima Maiga. On 29 June, the Council renewed the mandate of MINUSMA for one year. The resolution requests two Secretary-General’s reports that could set in motion initiatives to increase MINUSMA’s troop ceiling and to establish a UN office to support the G5 Sahel Joint Force (FC-G5S). In the first case, it requests a Secretary-General’s report by 15 July with recommendations on force levels and MINUSMA uniformed personnel, in light of the growing level of insecurity and physical violence against civilians in central Mali. A second Secretary-General’s report is requested by 30 September to include detailed and operational options to support the FC-G5S, including through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms and organisations other than through MINUSMA.
On 14 June, Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland), the chair of the 751 sanctions committee on Somalia, briefed the Council on the activities of the committee from 26 February to 14 June (S/PV.8796). Byrne Nason stated that the committee had listed three members of the Al-Shabaab armed group and noted that it was considering action on six recommendations in the Panel of Experts’ report. Byrne Nason also highlighted several key areas of attention related to the report: the operations of Al-Shabaab and their use of improvised explosive devices; violations of international humanitarian law; ongoing investigations into Al-Shabaab’s finances; the management of weapons and ammunition by the Somali government; and the ban on the export of charcoal from the country. Ambassador Abukar Dahir Osman (Somalia), who participated in the meeting, requested the Council to establish practical and achievable benchmarks for lifting the arms embargo, while criticising air strikes by Kenya in 2019. Kenya, using its right to reply during the meeting, disputed the criticism.
Working Methods Open Debate
On 16 June, the Security Council held its annual debate on working methods (S/PV.8798). The meeting was organised jointly by Estonia, the president of the Council in June, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG). The theme of this year’s open debate was “Agility and innovation: lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic”. Ambassador I. Rhonda King (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), the Chair of the IWG; Loraine Sievers, co-author of “The Procedure of the UN Security Council (4th edition)”; and Karin Landgren, the Executive Director of Security Council Report, briefed the Council. The Chair of the IWG is expected to prepare an analytical summary of the statements made during the open debate, including by the briefers and by member states.
On 15 June, Security Council members held an in-person informal interactive dialogue (IID) on the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and WFP Executive Director David Beasley briefed on the humanitarian situation and the latest developments on the ground. A representative from the Ethiopian government also participated. Among the topics discussed were the need for a scaled-up humanitarian response, the prevailing crisis levels of food insecurity, the need for cessation of hostilities, and the presence of Eritrean troops.
On 17 June, the Security Council convened an open briefing (S/PV.8799), followed by closed consultations, on the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of BINUH Helen La Lime presented the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in Haiti (S/2021/559), which was issued on 11 June. Acting Prime Minister of Haiti Claude Joseph and Chantal Hudicort Ewald, a lawyer from the Port-au-Prince Bar Association and a former member of the 1986-1987 Haitian Constitutional Assembly, also addressed the Council. Council members emphasised the need for holding free, fair, transparent and credible legislative and presidential elections, according to the electoral calendar, and the need to improve the security situation in the country. At the time of writing, Council members were considering a press statement as a follow-up to the meeting.
On 18 June, the Security Council held an in person private meeting on Myanmar. The briefers were Special Envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener and Dato Erywan bin Pehin Yusof, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brunei Darussalam in his capacity as Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Burgener asked the Council for timely support and action, warning that the situation on the ground was alarming with a collapsing health care system and food security in danger. Erywan briefed on his recent visit to Myanmar, as well as the implementation of the five-point consensus reached by ASEAN leaders on 24 April. A communiqué was issued following the meeting. (S/PV.8800)
On 21 June, the Security Council was briefed on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Secretary-General’s most recent 90-day report on South Sudan (S/2021/566) by Special Representative and head of UNMISS Nicholas Haysom (S/PV.8801). Rajab Mohandis, Executive Director and co-founder of the Organisation for Responsive Governance, briefed as a member of civil society. Consultations followed the briefing.
On 22 June, the Security Council held its quarterly meeting on Afghanistan via videoconference. Deborah Lyons, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), briefed on the Secretary-General’s 15 June UNAMA report (S/2021/570). Ghada Fathi Waly, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and Mary Akrami, the Executive Director of the Afghan Women’s Network, also briefed the Council. Lyons noted that the Taliban’s advances in the country are significant and cautioned that the group is seizing areas surrounding provincial capitals in order to position itself to take those centres once foreign forces are fully withdrawn.
Children and Armed Conflict
On Monday (28 June), the Security Council held its annual open debate on children and armed conflict via videoconference. Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid chaired the meeting, and several Council members were represented at ministerial level. Secretary-General António Guterres presented his annual report on children and armed conflict (S/2021/437), which was made public on 21 June. The Council was also briefed by Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF; Forest Whitaker, Advocate for Children Affected by War with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; and Laban Onisimus, an education specialist at Plan International Nigeria.
On 29 June, the Council held a high-level open debate on cybersecurity as a signature event of Estonia’s presidency. This was the first formal Council meeting on this topic. Kaja Kallas, the Prime Minister of Estonia, chaired the meeting. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu briefed the Council.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
On 29 June, the Council held a briefing and consultations on BiH, focused on the appointment of a new High Representative for BiH. Officer-in-Charge of the Europe and Central Asia Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Hervé Lecoq briefed the Council. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH, Bisera Turković, participated in the meeting.
UNDOF (Golan Heights)
On 29 June, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2581, renewing the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) until 31 December.
On 30 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 Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2021/582). The Council’s facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231, Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland), briefed on the work of the Council related to resolution 2231. The head of the EU delegation, Ambassador Olof Skoog, briefed on the work of the JCPOA’s Joint Commission.