Status Update since our September Forecast
On 7 September, the Security Council held a briefing on the maintenance of international peace and security with The Elders, a non-governmental organisation of independent global leaders founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela that strives to promote peace and human rights (S/PV.8850). The briefers were Mary Robinson—Chair of The Elders, former President of Ireland, and a past UN High Commissioner for Human Rights—and Lakhdar Brahimi, an Elder Emeritus and former Foreign Minister of Algeria.
UN Peace Operations Transitions
On 8 September, the Security Council held a ministerial-level open debate on UN transitions under the agenda item “UN peacekeeping operations”. Secretary-General António Guterres, former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Secretary General of the Community Development Association in Sudan Safaa El-Agib Adam briefed the Council (S/PV.8851). On 9 September, the Council adopted resolution 2594, which “requests the Secretary-General to provide a report on the status of transitions across relevant UN peace operations, including those that have transitioned within the previous 24 months, before 30 June 2022”.
On 9 September, the Security Council held its quarterly meeting on Afghanistan (S/PV.8853). Deborah Lyons, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), briefed on recent developments and the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNAMA (S/2021/759). During the meeting, the Council was also briefed by Wazhma Frogh, the founder of the Women and Peace Studies Organisation, and Malala Yousafzai, the co-founder and chair of the Malala Fund. On 17 September, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2596, which extended UNAMA’s mandate until 17 March 2022 and requested the Secretary-General to submit a written report by 31 January 2022 on strategic and operational recommendations for the mission’s mandate in light of recent political, security and social developments. The resolution also asked the Secretary-General to brief the Council on the situation in Afghanistan and UNAMA’s work every other month until 17 March 2022.
On 10 September, the Council received a briefing by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Libya and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ján Kubiš on the situation in Libya. The chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti (India), presented the periodic report on the committee’s activities. Representing civil society, Asma Khalifa, co-founder of Tamazight Women’s Movement and of the Khalifa Ihler Institute, briefed on the need to strengthen public space and to protect civil society actors. On 15 September, the Council was scheduled to renew the mandate of UNSMIL for another year. However, on the day of the adoption, Russia voiced the need for further discussion on the draft resolution in blue. The Council then adopted resolution 2595, extending until 30 September UNSMIL’s mandate as set out in resolution 2542 of 14 September 2020 and paragraph 16 of resolution 2570 of 16 April. It appears that the UK, the penholder on Libya, then engaged in bilateral consultations with Russia and placed several drafts in blue which could not find the needed consensus in time for the 29 September vote, causing the adoption to be postponed to 30 September. During the evening hours of 29 September, Russia put its own draft in blue. Early on 30 September, the vote was postponed to the afternoon, and the five permanent members engaged in negotiations resulting in a new draft in blue of a technical rollover of UNMIL’s mandate until 31 January. This draft was adopted unanimously as resolution 2599.
On 29 September, the Council also unanimously adopted resolution 2598, renewing the authorisation for member states to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya that they have reasonable grounds to suspect are being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking.
On 17 September, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2597, which renewed the mandate of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) until 17 September 2022.
Climate Change and Security
On 23 September, the Security Council held a high-level open debate on the “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Climate and Security” (S/PV.8864). Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Micheál Martin chaired the meeting. The briefers were UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Ilwad Elman, Chief Operating Officer of the Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, which is based in Mogadishu, Somalia.
On 27 September, the Council held a high-level briefing under the agenda item “Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”, marking the 25th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) (S/PV.8865). The meeting was chaired by Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s Minister of State for European Affairs. The briefers were UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) Robert Floyd, and CTBTO Youth Group Member Magdalene Wanyaga. Representatives of Italy and South Africa, co-chairs of this year’s Article XIV Conference, participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.