Status Update since our August Forecast
Peace and Security in Africa: Capacity-building for sustaining peace
On 8 August, China convened an open debate on “Peace and security in Africa: Capacity-building for sustaining peace”. The briefers were Bankole Adeoye, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the AU Commission; Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith of Bangladesh, the chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC); and Under-Secretary-General Cristina Duarte, the Special Advisor on Africa to the UN Secretary-General (S/PV.9106, S/PV.9106 [Resumption 1]). A presidential statement was adopted on 31 August (S/PRST/2022/6) focusing on themes raised in the debate.
The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
On 8 August, the Security Council convened for an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.9107). The United Arab Emirates (UAE), together with China, France, Ireland, and Norway, requested the emergency meeting to discuss the 5-7 August hostilities in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefed. Representatives of Israel and the Observer State of Palestine participated in the open briefing.
On 25 August, the Council held a briefing and consultations on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.9116). Wennesland, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini and President of the US/Middle East Project Daniel Levy briefed the Council.
On 9 August, the Council held a briefing (S/PV.9108) on the Secretary-General’s 15th biannual strategic-level report on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). The briefers were: Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism and head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov, Acting Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Weixiong Chen, and Martin Ewi, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies.
On 31 August, Council members convened for an Arria-formula meeting titled “Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Transnational Activities of Terrorist Groups”. The meeting was initiated by Kenya and the UAE. The briefers at the meeting were Christian Emmanuel Mouaya Pouyi, Acting Head of the Training and Equipment Unit at the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism; James Rogers, Associate Professor in War Studies at the Danish Institute for Advanced Study; and Rose Gichure, a survivor of a terrorist attack.
Arria-formula Meeting on Penholdership
On 11 August, Russia convened an Arria-formula meeting on penholdership. Aside from Council members, there was also participation from the wider UN membership. The Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, delivered opening remarks. During the meeting, Council members referred to the relevant provision of Note S/2017/507, which stipulates that any Council member may be a penholder, and highlighted recent co-penholdership arrangements as good practices. Several Council members supported a discussion on this issue within the framework of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions.
On 17 August, Council members held closed consultations on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Khaled Khiari briefed.
On 31 August, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2650, which extended the mandate of UNIFIL for another year until 31 August 2023.
On 15 August, Security Council members discussed the situation in Georgia under “any other business”. The meeting, which marked the 14th anniversary of the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia, was requested by Albania, France, Ireland, Norway, the UK, and the US. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed. Following the meeting, the members that had requested it, and incoming Council members Japan and Malta, delivered a joint statement at the press stakeout reaffirming their support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and condemning Russia’s military presence in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Promote Common Security through Dialogue and Cooperation
On 22 August, the Security Council convened for a briefing on “Maintenance of international peace and security: Promote common security through dialogue and cooperation” (S/PV.9112). The briefers were UN Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) Gustavo Zlauvinen. At the meeting, Council members discussed the importance of nuclear disarmament to reduce strategic risks, particularly in light of the escalating tensions among major nuclear powers. Several members also highlighted the need for Security Council reform.
On 30 August, the Security Council adopted resolution 2649 renewing the Mali asset freeze and travel ban sanctions until 31 August 2023 and extending the mandate of the Mali Panel of Experts until 30 September 2023.
DPRK (North Korea)
On 30 August, the Council held closed consultations to discuss the 90-day report regarding the work of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. Deputy Permanent Representative Trine Heimerback of Norway, which chairs the committee, briefed.