Status Update since our February Forecast
Debate on “General issues relating to sanctions”
On 7 February, the Russian Federation convened a debate on “General issues relating to sanctions: preventing their humanitarian and unintended consequences” as one of the signature events of its Council presidency (S/PV.8962). The meeting was held under the topic “General issues relating to sanctions”, which allows the Council to consider a range of UN sanctions-related matters. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths briefed. Non-Council members Iraq, Mali, South Sudan, and Venezuela (which spoke on behalf of the Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter) participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
On 8 February, Security Council members held closed consultations on Burkina Faso, following the 24 January coup d’état. The meeting was held under the agenda item “Peace consolidation in West Africa”. Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Mahamat Saleh Annadif briefed on the latest developments. On 9 February, Council members issued a press statement (SC/14790), initiated by the A3 (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya), that expressed serious concern about the unconstitutional change of government, took note of the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the AU to suspend Burkina Faso from their respective institutions and activities until constitutional order is restored, and expressed support for regional mediation efforts.
On 9 February, the Council held a briefing (S/PV.8963) on the Secretary-General’s 14th biannual strategic-level report on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism and head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov and Acting Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Weixiong Chen briefed.
Collective Security Treaty Organization
On 16 February, the Council held a debate on cooperation between the UN and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) (S/PV.8967). UN Secretary-General António Guterres and CSTO Secretary-General Stanislav Zas briefed. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov chaired the meeting. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
Several Ukraine-related activities took place in the Council in February. On 17 February, the Security Council held a briefing on the situation in Ukraine (S/PV.8968). Russia organised the meeting to mark the seventh anniversary of the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements”, also known as the Minsk II agreement, adopted on 12 February 2015, and to discuss its implementation. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, Special Representative of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office in Ukraine and in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) Mikko Kinnunen, OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) Chief Monitor Halit Çevik, and Ukrainian civil society activist Tetiana Montian briefed. Germany and Ukraine participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
On 21 February, the Council convened for an open meeting to discuss the recent escalation of tensions in and around Ukraine, including Moscow’s 21 February decision to recognise the independence of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine (S/PV.8970). The meeting was requested by Ukraine, with support from several Council members, including Albania, France, Ireland, Norway, the UK, and the US. The meeting was held under the agenda item “Letter dated 28 February 2014 from the Permanent Representative of the Ukraine to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2014/136)”. DiCarlo briefed.
On 23 February, the Security Council held another open meeting, at Ukraine’s request, to discuss the deteriorating security situation in the Donbas and the request made by the separatist leaders of the breakaway regions in Donetsk and Lugansk for military assistance from Russia (S/PV.8974). Secretary-General António Guterres and DiCarlo briefed the Council. Guterres delivered a direct appeal to President Putin to stop his troops from attacking Ukraine. While the Council met, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered televised remarks announcing that a military operation had commenced in Ukraine, and several Ukrainian cities were shelled.
On 25 February, the Council voted on a draft resolution on Ukraine (S/2022/155). Russia vetoed the draft, which received 11 votes in favour, one against (Russia) and three abstentions (China, India and the UAE).
On 27 February, the Council adopted a resolution calling for an “emergency special session” (ESS) of the General Assembly to consider and recommend collective action on the situation in Ukraine. This was followed by a Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine on 28 February.
On 18 January, the Security Council convened for a briefing, followed by consultations, to discuss the situation in Haiti (S/PV.8969). Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) Helen La Lime briefed the Council, stressing the need for structural reforms to tackle gang violence, address impunity and corruption, strengthen the justice system, and transform the economy. At the end of the meeting, Council members issued press elements, urging all stakeholders to engage constructively to address the root causes of Haiti’s instability and expressing concern about the humanitarian situation in the country.
Central African Republic
On 22 February, the Security Council met for a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Central African Republic (CAR) (S/PV.8971). Special Representative for CAR and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) Mankeur Ndiaye, whose term ends on 28 February, briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on MINUSCA (S/2022/119). Other briefers included the Executive Secretary of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), João Samuel Caholo, and Special Representative of the AU Commission and Head of the AU Office in the Central African Republic Matias Bertino Matondo. The CAR’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sylvie Baïpo-Temon, participated in the meeting and reiterated her government’s request to lift UN sanctions on the CAR, which have been in place since 2013.
On 22 February, the Security Council convened for a briefing on the UN Compensation Commission (UNCC) (S/PV.8972). Ambassador Michael Gaffey (Ireland), the president of the UNCC Governing Council and Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva, briefed on the Governing Council’s final report on the UNCC and the conclusion of its work. Iraq and Kuwait participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Security Council’s provisional rules of procedure. Prior to the briefing, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2621 which, among other things, terminated the mandate of the UNCC and directed it to conclude the outstanding matters necessary for its closure by the end of 2022.
On 24 February, the Council convened for a briefing (S/PV.8975) on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Special Representative and head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert briefed on recent developments in Iraq and on the Secretary-General’s latest reports on UNAMI (S/2022/103) and the issue of missing Kuwaiti property and missing third party and Kuwaiti nationals (S/2022/100). The briefing was followed by closed consultations.
Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
On 23 February, the Security Council held an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on: “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.8973). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefed the Council on recent violent incidents in the West Bank. He also provided an update on settlement activity and demolitions across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as on the reconstruction of Gaza. In their statements, several Council members addressed the recent tensions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Israel and the Observer State of Palestine participated in the open briefing.