Status Update since our April Forecast
DRC/Great Lakes Region
Council members issued a press statement on 5 April that condemned the attack on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC in Ituri that led to the death of one peacekeeper (SC/14855).
On 27 April, the Security Council held a briefing on the Great Lakes region (S/PV.9023). Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia briefed on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of the 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSC Framework) for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region, which covers the period from 16 September 2021 to 15 March (S/2022/276). Executive Secretary of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) João Samuel Caholo and Dino Mahtani, an independent expert on the Great Lakes region, also briefed.
On 28 April, Council members adopted a press statement which welcomed the intensification of regional diplomacy in the Great Lakes region and recognised the progress in the implementation of the PSC Framework (SC/14872). In the statement, members also expressed concern over the military activities of armed groups in eastern DRC and in the region and took note of the outcome of the second regional heads of state conclave on the DRC held in Nairobi on 21 April. At the summit, regional leaders agreed to adopt a two-track approach: a political track to facilitate consultations between the DRC and armed groups, and a military track—through the establishment of a regional force—to fight armed groups that refuse political dialogue.
On 6 April, Russia organised an Arria-formula meeting titled “Threats to international peace and security emanating from military biological activities in regions across the globe”. The Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia, Dmitry Polyanskiy, chaired the meeting. General Igor Kirillov, the Commander in Chief of Radiologic, Chemical and Biological Defense of the Russian Armed Forces; Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva; and Russian TV journalist and TV host Arkadiy Mamontov briefed the members.
On 7 April, the Security Council held a briefing on Mali (S/PV.9012), followed by closed consultations. The head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), El-Ghassim Wane, briefed, presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report on Mali (S/2022/278). Bouaré Bintou Founé Samaké, the President of Women in Law and Development in Africa in Mali, also briefed. Council members were unable to agree on a press statement proposed by France the following day that apparently would have requested an independent investigation into the alleged killing of hundreds of civilians and suspected jihadists in the central Mali village of Mourah at the end of March.
On 11 April, the Security Council held a briefing on equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in conflict-affected areas or in humanitarian crisis situations (S/PV.9014). The Council heard briefings from Ted Chaiban, the Global Lead Coordinator for COVID-19 Vaccine Country-Readiness and Delivery; Dr. Esperanza Martinez, the ICRC’s Crisis Operations Manager; and Emmanuel Ojwang, the Health and Nutrition Coordinator of CARE South Sudan. Council members considered a UK-proposed draft press statement in connection with the meeting. However, it seems that the text was not agreed due to differences about how to reference World Trade Organization discussions around waiving intellectual property protections.
On 12 April, the Security Council held an open briefing (S/PV.9015) on Colombia. Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu briefed on recent developments and the Secretary-General’s latest 90-day report on the mission (S/2022/267). President Iván Duque of Colombia represented his country at the meeting.
Conflict-related Sexual Violence
On 13 April, the Security Council held its annual open debate on conflict-related sexual violence, titled “Accountability as Prevention: Ending Cycles of Sexual Violence in Conflict” (S/PV.9016). The meeting was chaired by Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, UK Minister of State for South Asia, North Africa, the UN and the Commonwealth, and the UK Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict. The briefers were: Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten; 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and UN Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad, co-founder of the civil society organisation Huquqyat Mariana Karkoutly; and Hilina Berhanu, who is the first Ethiopian civil society representative to brief the Council since the start of the conflict in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia under “Any Other Business”
On 14 April, Security Council members discussed the situation in Ethiopia under “any other business”. The meeting was requested by the A3 members of the Council (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya). Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths briefed on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia.
The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
On 19 April, Security Council members convened for closed consultations on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”. China, France, Ireland, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) requested the meeting, following the recent tensions at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount site in Jerusalem’s Old City. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefed.
On 25 April, the Security Council held its quarterly open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.9021). Wennesland briefed. Among other issues, he said that the situation in Jerusalem remains “relatively calm” and called on political, religious and community leaders to work towards reducing tensions, upholding the status quo at the holy sites, and ensuring that their sanctity is respected by all. Wennesland said that the recent tensions have highlighted that “efforts to manage the conflict are not a substitute for real progress towards resolving it”.
On 20 April, Council members issued a press statement that condemned a terrorist attack against the Abdul Rahim-e Shahid High School and Mumtaz Education Centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul, Afghanistan, the day before (SC/14866). Several people died and dozens were wounded in the attack.
On 20 April, the Council held its first briefing this year on the situation in Kosovo (S/PV.9019). Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Caroline Ziadeh briefed on the latest Secretary-General’s report (S/2022/313). Nikola Selaković, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, and Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of Kosovo, also addressed the Council. The discussion focused on reviving the EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, improving relations between Belgrade and Pristina, and addressing tensions arising from recent attacks against police in northern Kosovo.
On 20 April, Council members held consultations to discuss the situation in Western Sahara. Personal Envoy Staffan de Mistura, who had taken office in November 2021, briefed, covering his recent visit to the region and interactions with counterparts from Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, the Polisario Front, and the Sahrawi people. Special Representative for Western Sahara and head of MINURSO Alexander Ivanko also addressed the Council, covering recent operations of the mission and security developments on the ground.