Status Update since our March Forecast
On 2 March, Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Deborah Lyons briefed the Council on the situation in Afghanistan and the work of UNAMA (S/PV.8984). Mariam Safi, the Executive Director of the Organisation for Policy Research and Development Studies, also briefed. Iran and Pakistan participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. The meeting was followed by closed consultations. On 17 March, the Council adopted resolution 2626, which extended UNAMA’s mandate until 17 March 2023. Fourteen members voted in favour of the resolution, with Russia abstaining. On 25 March, Lyons briefed Council members under “any other business” on the Taliban’s decision to prevent girls from attending secondary school.
Climate Finance for Sustaining Peace and Security
On 9 March, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) convened a ministerial-level Arria-formula meeting on climate finance (that is, the local, national or transnational financing of initiatives aimed at addressing climate change and its effects) as a means to build and sustain peace in conflict, post-conflict and crisis situations. The UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chaired the meeting. The briefers were: Yannick Glemarec, the Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund; Alok Sharma, the President of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference; Nafisah Abubakar, the Head of the Secretariat of Rural Women Energy Security (RUWES) Initiative in Nigeria; Paul Chet Greene, the Foreign Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, who chairs the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS); and John Kerry, the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
On 7 March, Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Nicholas Haysom briefed the Council on the 90-day report of the Secretary-General (S/2022/156). Major General (Retired) Charles Tai Gituai, Interim Chairperson of the reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and Riya Williams Yuyada, a civil society representative, also briefed (S/PV.8987). On 15 March, the Council adopted resolution 2625, extending the mandate of UNMISS for one year, with 13 votes in favour. China and Russia abstained.
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
On 14 March, Security Council members held a briefing on the activities of the OSCE (S/PV.8992). Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office (CiO), and Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed. Ukraine participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. At the meeting, several Council members expressed support for the OSCE’s activities in Ukraine. Rau said that strong UN-OSCE cooperation is “even more needed today, when the basic principles of the [UN] Charter and international law are being flagrantly violated in the very heart of Europe”. Russia accused Rau of overstepping his mandate, suggesting that the CiO’s role is to “solve disagreement between [OSCE] participating states” rather than to “take biased steps that further inflate confrontation”. Responding to Russia’s accusation that the OSCE lacks impartiality, Rau argued that “impartiality ends where blatant violations of international and humanitarian law start”.
On 14 March, Council members convened for a briefing on the activities of the 1540 Committee (S/PV.8993). Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico) briefed the Council in his capacity as chair of the 1540 Committee. At the briefing, he noted that the Committee continued to conduct the comprehensive review of resolution 1540 in accordance with resolution 1977. The comprehensive review was launched in 2021, after being postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also confirmed that additional details regarding the open consultations of the comprehensive review “will be communicated soon since expectations and interest have remained high”.
On 17 March, Council members held a briefing in consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (S/2022/214) and on recent developments in Lebanon. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed. Wronecka’s briefing focused on the preparations for the parliamentary elections in Lebanon scheduled for 15 May, the continuing socioeconomic crisis, and the need for reforms. She also encouraged Council members to continue extending their support to the Lebanese Armed Forces and security institutions. Lacroix covered developments related to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and its area of operations.
Cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States
On 23 March, the Council convened for a briefing on cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States (LAS) (S/PV.9001). Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Khalifa Shaheen Almarar chaired the meeting. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, LAS Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and civil society representative Razan Farhan Alaqil briefed. Yemen, which serves as chair of the Arab Group, participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. Following the briefing, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2022/1) welcoming the strong cooperation between the UN and the LAS and reiterating the Council’s intention to consider further steps to promote closer cooperation and strategic coordination between the two organisations.
On 7 March, Council members discussed a missile test conducted by the DPRK on 5 March under “any other business”. Assistant Secretary-General Mohamed Khaled Khiari briefed. On 25 March, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2627, which extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee until 30 April 2023. On the same day, the Council also held an open meeting, followed by closed consultations, to discuss the intercontinental ballistic missile test conducted by the DPRK on 24 March (S/PV.9004). Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo provided the briefing.
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict, Post-conflict and Humanitarian Settings
On 25 March, Mexico convened an Arria-formula meeting on ensuring access to mental health and psychosocial support in conflict, post-conflict and humanitarian settings. The briefers were Dévora Kestel, Director of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department at the World Health Organization (WHO); Micaela Serafini, Health Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Norman Sartorius, President of the Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes; and Pastora Mira García, a human rights defender from Colombia.
On 28 March, the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), provided the quarterly briefing on the Committee’s work (S/PV.9005). On the same day, Special Representative for Sudan and head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) Volker Perthes briefed the Council (S/PV.9006) on the 90-day report of the Secretary-General (S/2022/172).
Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 29 March, the Security Council held a briefing and consultation on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Bintou briefed the Council on the latest political, security and humanitarian situation in DRC and the activities of MONUSCO. She also provided updates on the implementation of MONUSCO’s transition plan and the preparations being made toward the mission’s withdrawal from Tanganyika province in June. Léa Babite Inyobondaye, a DRC civil society representative advocating for women and youth rights, was unable to brief the Council because of technical difficulties but her statement was circulated to members.
On 24 March, at the request of the A3 (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya), Council members met under “any other business” to discuss the Al-Shabaab attack of that same day on the Mogadishu international airport. Following the meeting, Council members issued a press statement (SC/14840) condemning this attack and the 23 March Al-Shabaab attack in Beletweyne. On 31 March, the Council adopted a resolution authorising the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS)—the successor mission to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)—to commence its operations in Somalia
Golan Heights (UNDOF)
On 30 March, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (Golan Heights).