Status Update since our May Forecast
On 9 May, Security Council members received their semi-annual briefing in closed consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (S/2022/345). Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed. On 25 May, Council members issued a press statement welcoming the holding on 15 May of legislative elections in Lebanon and taking note of the findings and recommendations of electoral observer missions (SC/14905). The members of the Security Council also called for the prompt formation of a new inclusive government and the urgent implementation of reforms while encouraging measures to enhance women’s full, equal and meaningful political participation and representation.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Security Council held its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on 11 May (S/PV.9029). High Representative for BiH Christian Schmidt briefed on the latest report of the Office of the High Representative (OHR), which covers the period from 16 October 2021 to 15 April (S/2022/374). Šefik Džaferović, the Bosniak member of the rotating tripartite inter-ethnic Presidency of BiH and the incumbent Chairman of the Presidency and representatives from Croatia and Serbia participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. The discussion focused on the growing divisive rhetoric in BiH and Republika Srpska’s withdrawal from state institutions. Council members were divided over the role of the OHR and the use of unilateral sanctions in contributing to peace and stability in the country.
On 12 May, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2630, extending the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until 15 November without making changes to the force’s mandate or structure. The resolution also extended the mission’s support for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), established in 2011 to conduct monitoring and verification activities along the Sudan/South Sudan border, until 15 November.
On 11 May, the Council convened for an open briefing to discuss ballistic missile tests conducted by the DPRK on 4 May and 7 May (S/PV.9030). Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific Khaled Khiari briefed. Japan and the ROK participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
On 26 May, the Council voted on a draft resolution updating and strengthening the 1718 DPRK sanctions regime. China and Russia vetoed the resolution, and the remaining 13 members voted in favour of it.
On 27 May, the Council held closed consultations to discuss the 90-day report regarding the work of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. Ambassador Mona Juul (Norway) briefed in her capacity as Chair of the Committee.
On 17 May, the Council convened for a briefing on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) (S/PV.9034). The briefers were Special Representative and head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and Hanaa Edwar, co-Founder and Chairperson of the Iraqi Al-Amal Association. Iraq participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
On 26 May, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2631, which extended UNAMI’s mandate until 31 May 2023. Fifteen members voted in favour of the resolution.
On 18 May, the Security Council held its biannual briefing (S/PV.9035) on the Group of Five for the Sahel Joint Force (FC-G5S). The meeting occurred on the heels of Mali’s 15 May announcement that it was withdrawing from the FC-G5S, which Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger formed in 2017 to combat terrorist groups in the Sahel. The Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee briefed, presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report on the FC-G5S (S/2022/382). Executive Secretary of the G5 Sahel Yemdaogo Eric Tiare and civil society representative Solange Bandiaky-Badji, Coordinator and President of the Rights and Resources Initiative, also briefed.
Conflict and food security
On 19 May, the Security Council held a ministerial-level open debate on conflict and food security (S/PV.9036). The debate’s concept note (S/2022/391) highlighted how food insecurity is being exacerbated by the impact of the war in Ukraine. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken chaired the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu, and Sara Menker, founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, provided briefings. The US organised the debate as part of a “week of action” to combat rising global food insecurity.
Annual report to the General Assembly
On 20 May, the Security Council adopted its annual report to the General Assembly covering 1 January-31 December 2021 (S/PV.9037).
Technology and Security
On 23 May, the US convened a briefing on “The use of digital technologies in maintaining international peace and security” as one of the signature events of its Council presidency (S/PV.9039). Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, Global Voices’ Director of the Advox Project Nanjala Nyabola and McGill University Adjunct Professor Dirk Druet briefed. DiCarlo said that incidents of malicious use of digital technologies by state and non-state actors have nearly quadrupled since 2015. Nyabola noted the rise in surveillance technologies and their effects on the freedom of expression online, and Druet emphasised the UN’s role as a purveyor of reliable information.
Protection of Civilians
On 25 May, the Council held its annual open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict (S/PV.9042). The briefers were OCHA’s Director of the Coordination Division Ramesh Rajasingham, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Director-General Robert Mardini, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) David Miliband, and Rachel Boketa, Country Director for Women for Women International in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
On 13 May, Security Council members issued a press statement strongly condemning the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh while calling for accountability and for an immediate, thorough, transparent, fair and impartial investigation (SC/14891). On 26 May, the Security Council held an open briefing followed by closed consultations on: “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.9046). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefed the Council. Daniel Munayer, the Executive Director of the civil society organisation (CSO) Musalaha and Robi Damelin, Spokesperson and Director of International Relations of the CSO Parents Circle–Families Forum, also briefed.
Gulf of Guinea Piracy
On 31 May, the Council adopted resolution 2634 on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea that Ghana and Norway first proposed in January. Resolution 2634 emphasises the need to criminalise and prosecute in the region acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, and to enhance and support national, regional, and international efforts to counter piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea. The resolution requests the Secretary-General’s report on the issue within five months. It was open to co-sponsorship by the wider UN membership.