Briefing by the Outgoing Chairs of the Security Council’s Subsidiary Bodies
Expected Council Action
As is customary in December, the outgoing chairs of subsidiary bodies are expected to provide a briefing on their experiences. The five representatives of the countries completing their two-year terms on the Council at the end of 2021 and their respective chairmanships are:
- Ambassador Sven Jürgenson (Estonia)—the 1518 Iraq Sanctions Committee and the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee;
- Ambassador Abdou Abarry (Niger)—the 2127 Central African Republic (CAR) Sanctions Committee, the 1533 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Sanctions Committee and the 1566 Working Group on Counter-Terrorism;
- Ambassador Tarek Ladeb (Tunisia)—the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations;
- Ambassador I. Rhonda King (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)—the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee and the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions; and
- Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy (Vietnam)—the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee, the Informal Working Work on International Tribunals, and the 1636 Lebanon Sanctions Committee.
The practice of briefings by the outgoing chairs of subsidiary bodies was established during the Colombian presidency of the Council in December 2002. It is considered an important element of efforts to promote transparency in the work of the sanctions committees and working groups. Since not all subsidiary bodies produce an annual report, this December 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. Because of the restrictions related to COVID-19, many meetings took place under the “informal informal” format via videoconference during the chairs’ tenures in 2020-2021.
Ambassador Jürgenson may note that the Committee urged signatories of the Juba peace agreement to stop recruiting fighters, and Darfuri non-signatory groups to engage in peace talks with the government in February. Jürgenson may also discuss the removal of individuals and entities from the 1518 Iraq Sanctions Committee over the past two years.
Ambassador Abarry may address some of the important discussions in the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee regarding natural resource exploitation and sexual violence in conflict during his tenure. In November, he visited the DRC and discussed the implementation of the sanctions regime with the Congolese authorities. Abarry may discuss the joint informal consultations that the DRC Sanctions Committee and the CAR Sanctions Committee held in August 2021 with Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as amendments to the DRC and CAR sanctions lists during his tenure as chair of these committees. The 1566 Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, which Niger also chaired, has remained dormant in 2020-2021.
Ambassador Ladeb may discuss the progress that has been made in counter-terrorism in the 20 years since the adoption of resolution 1373. In this regard, the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, which he chairs, held a meeting on 4 November to commemorate the 20th anniversary and issued an outcome document that noted the strides made in implementing resolution 1373, including, among other things, “a significant increase in the number of States becoming party to the international counter-terrorism instruments, the criminalization of terrorist offences…and the introduction of robust measures to combat terrorist financing and measures to enhance cooperation at the political, technical and operational levels”. On 18 November, the CTC held a joint meeting with the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee that focused on countering terrorist financing.
During Tunisia’s chairmanship, the Guinea-Bissau 2048 Sanctions Committee met once, in October 2020, to consider the annual report of the Secretary-General on progress made with regard to the stabilisation and restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau. Since the closure of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) at the end of last year, the Committee has not met.
Ladeb may also speak about discussions in the Working Group on Peacekeeing Opoerations on UN peace operation transitions and policing.
Ambassador King (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) will reflect on the work of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee. Resolution 2511, which renewed the Yemen sanctions regime in February 2020, highlighted that sexual violence in armed conflict, or the recruitment or use of children in armed conflict in violation of international law, could represent a “sanctionable act of engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen”, thus falling under the Yemen Sanctions Committee’s existing designation criteria.
In 2021, the first new entries to the Yemen sanctions list occurred since April 2015. Resolution 2564 in February designated Houthi official Sultan Saleh Aida Aida Zabin for his role in a policy of intimidation and the use of systematic arrest, detention, torture, sexual violence, and rape of politically active women. On 9 November, the Sanctions Committee designated three additional Houthi military figures: the new designations became controversial when Russia failed to raise its objections within the allotted time period and sought, unsuccessfully, that the decision be rescinded.
King is also likely to speak about her experiences chairing the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG). King may describe how the Council adapted its working methods under the extraordinary circumstances posed by COVID-19. Furthermore, she may note the agreement reached recently on four additional presidential notes (on multilingualism, monthly working methods commitments of Council presidencies, the role of political coordinators, and training opportunities for incoming elected members).
Ambassador Dang has chaired the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee during the past two years. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba briefed the Committee in October 2020 and October 2021. The Committee also held a closed videoconference meeting with Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten on 26 February. Dang and members of the 2206 Committee visited South Sudan in November, which Dang may discuss in his statement.
As chair of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, Dang might describe the Working Group’s meeting with the president and prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), ahead of their respective semi-annual briefings to the Council in June and December. On 25 June 2020, the Council adopted resolution 2529, which was drafted by Viet Nam and extended the term of Serge Brammertz as Prosecutor of the IRMCT until 30 June 2022.
Dang’s other chairmanship was of the 1636 Lebanon Sanctions Committee, which is dormant.
After the elections to the Security Council were moved from October to June in 2016, there have been significant changes in the process of appointing chairs of the Council’s subsidiary bodies. In July 2016, Council members agreed on a presidential note concerning the preparation of newly elected members during the transitional period between the election and the beginning of their term, including the selection and preparation of chairs of subsidiary bodies. The note established a more consultative process for the chairs’ appointment, co-led by a permanent member and by the chair of the IWG, and stipulated that the appointments should be completed by 1 October. That deadline has so far never been met. At the time of writing, the new appointments for 2022 had not been finalised.
Elected members chair all sanctions committees and other formal subsidiary bodies of the Council. While many elected members find the chairing of subsidiary bodies rewarding, some of them believe that the permanent members should share in this responsibility.
UN DOCUMENTS ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|18 December 2020S/2020/1258||This was a record of the annual briefing by the outgoing chairs of the Security Council subsidiary bodies.|
|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.|