Status Update since our July Forecast
West Africa and the Sahel
On 7 July, the Council held a briefing and consultations on West Africa and the Sahel (S/PV.9086). Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Mahamat Saleh Annadif briefed on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the region (S/2022/521). The Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Rabab Fatima (Bangladesh), and civil society representative Rabia Djibo Magagi, Coordinator of the Association Alliance for Peace and Security, also briefed. Ghana and Ireland, the co-penholders on UNOWAS, proposed a presidential statement in connection with the meeting, which was still under negotiation at the time of wriitng.
On 12 July, the Security Council held a high-level open debate on strategic communications in UN peacekeeping operations (S/PV.9090). Brazilian Foreign Minister Carlos Alberto Franco França chaired the meeting. The briefers were UN Secretary-General António Guterres; Lieutenant General Marcos De Sá Affonso Da Costa, the Force Commander of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); and Dr. Jenna Russo, Director of Research and Head of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations at the International Peace Institute (IPI).
The Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2022/5), proposed by Brazil, which underscores the importance of strategic communications to the implementation of the mandates of UN peacekeeping operations and to the safety and security of peacekeepers. The presidential statement requests the Secretary-General to present a strategic review of strategic communications across UN peacekeeping operations, including at the headquarters level, by no later than 15 April 2023. It also requested the Secretary-General, as part of regular reports on individual peacekeeping operations, to include, as applicable, “information on the actions and impact of strategic communications for mandated activities”.
On 15 July, the Security Council adopted resolution 2645, unanimously extending the mandate of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) for another year, until 15 July 2023. The resolution raises the ceiling of BINUH’s authorised police advisers from 30 to 42 and decides that the mission’s human rights unit will include dedicated capacity to address sexual and gender-based violence. Among other new elements, the resolution calls on member states to prohibit the transfer of small arms and light weapons to non-state actors engaged in or supporting gang violence, criminal activities, or human rights abuses in Haiti. It also demands an immediate cessation of gang violence and criminal activities and expresses the Council’s readiness to take appropriate measures (such as imposing a travel ban or assets freeze), as necessary, against those engaged in such activities and human rights abuses within 90 days from the adoption of the resolution.
On 14 July, the Security Council held an open briefing on Colombia (S/PV.9094). 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/2022/513). The Council was also briefed by Francisco de Roux, the head of Colombia’s Truth Commission, and Jineth Casso Piamba, an indigenous community leader and human rights defender.
On the same day, Council members convened for an Arria-formula meeting titled “A Milestone Year for a Peaceful Future: Transitional Justice in Colombia”. The meeting was initiated by Ireland, in cooperation with Norway and Colombia. The briefers at the meeting were de Roux; Eamon Gilmore, the Special Envoy of the EU for the Peace Process in Colombia; Juana Inés Acosta-López, an academic expert in international law, human rights and transitional justice; and Yanet Mosquera Rivera, a social leader, human rights defender and director of the non-governmental organisation Fundacion Mujer Con Valor.
On 22 July, Council members issued a press statement on Colombia (SC/14978). In it, they welcomed the largely peaceful conduct of elections in the country and the increase in elected women representatives in Congress. Members underscored the importance of ensuring the comprehensive implementation of the 2016 peace agreement and accelerating the implementation of its ethnic and gender provisions. They welcomed the commitment expressed by President-elect Gustavo Petro to deepen the peace agreement’s implementation and seek broader peace with other illegal armed groups. Council members also expressed their support for the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition. In this regard, they welcomed the recent release of the Truth Commission’s final report as “an unprecedented opportunity for Colombians to come to terms with their past and as a stepping stone for long-term reconciliation and lasting peace”.
On 18 July, the Council held consultations on the situation in Cyprus. Special Representative and head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Colin Stewart briefed the Council on the recent developments and key findings from the Secretary-General’s reports on UNFICYP (S/2022/533) and on his mission of good offices in Cyprus (S/2022/534). On 28 July, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2646, renewing the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months until 31 January 2023.
Children and Armed Conflict
On 19 July, the Security Council held its annual open debate on children and armed conflict (S/PV.9096). Brazilian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Fernando Simas Magalhães chaired the meeting. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba presented the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict (S/2022/493). The Council was also briefed by Executive Director of UNICEF Catherine Russell and Patrick Kumi, Founder and Executive Director of the non-governmental organisation “Similar Ground”, a youth-led refugee peacebuilding organisation.
The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
On 26 July, the Security Council held its quarterly open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.9099). Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory Lynn Hastings briefed. She said that although “the specific developments of the conflict fluctuate, the structural reality has not changed”. Hastings provided an update on developments between 27 June and 21 July. This included the 13-16 July visit by US President Joe Biden to the region, violent incidents in the West Bank and in Israel, evictions of Palestinians and demolitions of Palestinian-owned structures, high-level contacts between Israeli and Palestinian officials, and the fragile situation in Gaza. Hastings also provided an update on recent developments in Lebanon and violations to the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria.
On 26 July, the Council convened for an open briefing on the 20 July attack in the Duhok governorate of the Kurdistan region of Iraq (S/PV.9100). The meeting was requested by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after Iraq sent a letter to the Council on 22 July that called for the Council to meet and discuss the attack. Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert briefed. Iraq and Türkiye participated in the briefing under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein represented Iraq during the briefing, which was followed by closed consultations.
Council members issued a press statement on the Duhok attack on 25 July. Among other matters, the statement condemned the attack and urged all member states to cooperate with the Iraqi government’s investigation into the attack.
Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace
On 27 July, the Council held a briefing (S/PV.9101) on the annual report of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), which covers the period 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 (A/76/678–S/2022/89). Ambassador Osama Abdelkhalek (Egypt), who served as PBC chair last year, presented the report. Deputy Permanent Representative and Chargé d’affaires Monwar Hossain of Bangladesh, which is the current chair of the PBC, briefed on the Commission’s work programme for 2022.
UNRCCA (Central Asia)
On 28 July, Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Natalia Gherman briefed Council members regarding the UNRCCA’s activities in closed consultations. Gherman apparently updated Council members on the activities of the UNRCCA, including those pertaining to counter-terrorism; the women, peace and security agenda; transboundary water management; and the UNRCCA’s contact with regional organisations. The situation in Afghanistan, the recent bouts of unrest in Uzbekistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan region of Tajikistan, and the anti-government protests that took place in Kazakhstan in January were also discussed.
Central African Republic
On 29 July, the Council adopted resolution 2648, extending the Central African Republic (CAR) sanctions measures and the mandate of the Panel of Experts supporting the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee for an additional year. The resolution significantly eased the arms embargo on the CAR. Ten members voted in favour of the resolution, while five (China, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, and Russia) abstained. In their explanations of vote, China, Gabon, Kenya and Russia expressed their preference for a full lifting of the embargo (S/PV.9105).