Status Update since our October Forecast
On 4 October, the Council convened for a briefing on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) (S/PV.9145). Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert briefed. Iraq participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. The briefing was followed by closed consultations.
Peace and Security in Africa: Financing of Armed Groups and Terrorists through Illicit Trafficking of Natural Resources
On 6 October, the Council convened for a debate on “Strengthening the fight against the financing of armed groups and terrorists through the illicit trafficking of natural resources” under the agenda item “Peace and security in Africa” (S/PV.9147). The debate was one of the signature events of Gabon’s presidency and was chaired by Gabonese Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Moussa–Adamo. The briefers were: AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security Bankole Adeoye; Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Fathi Waly; and Paul Simon Handy, Regional Director for East Africa and Representative of the Institute for Security Studies to the African Union. The Central African Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Morocco, and Senegal participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
Following the 30 September coup d’état in Burkina Faso, Council members issued a press statement on 7 October that expressed serious concern about the unconstitutional change of government (SC/15057). They further expressed their support for regional and continental mediation efforts.
On 11 October, the Security Council held its annual debate on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations (S/PV.9149), focusing on the partnership with the African Union (AU). Gabon’s Foreign Minister Michael Moussa-Adamo chaired the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres and AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat briefed the Council. Egypt, Germany, Japan, Morocco, Namibia, Senegal, and South Africa also participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure. During the meeting, Council members considered the annual report of the Secretary-General on strengthening the partnership between the UN and the AU on issues of peace and security in Africa, including the work of the UN Office to the AU (S/2022/643). Gabon circulated a draft presidential statement as a possible outcome of the meeting. At the time of writing, negotiation of the draft text continued.
Climate and Security
On 12 October, the Security Council held a debate on “Climate and security in Africa” under the “Threats to international peace and security” agenda item (S/PV.9150). Gabon circulated a concept note in advance of the meeting (S/2022/737). The briefers were: Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO) Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee; Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale, Permanent Secretary of the National Climate Council of Gabon and former Chair of the Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change; and Patrick Youssef, ICRC Regional Director for Africa. Colombia, Egypt, Germany (on behalf of the Group of Friends on Climate and Security), Italy, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Poland, South Africa, and Ukraine participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
On 12 October, the Security Council held an open briefing (S/PV.9151), followed by closed consultations, 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/2022/715). The Council was also briefed by Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith (Bangladesh) in his capacity as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, and by Elizabeth Moreno Barco, Legal Representative of the Community General Council of San Juan, an organisation that defends the rights of Afro-Colombian communities.
On 14 October, Council members issued a press statement on Colombia (SC/15063). In it, they welcomed the commitment expressed by Colombian President Gustavo Petro Urrego to deepen the 2016 peace agreement’s implementation and seek broader peace with other illegal armed groups. Members expressed concern regarding the pervasive effects of violence on communities, social leaders and former combatants, with a disproportionate impact on women and on indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. They also reiterated the need to accelerate the implementation of the ethnic and gender provisions of the 2016 agreement.
On 27 October, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2655, renewing the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia for another year until 31 October 2023. The resolution requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council within 45 days from the resolution’s adoption recommendations on the possible expansion of the mission’s mandate, in response to a 17 October letter from Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Álvaro Leyva Durán. In the letter, Leyva Durán requested the Council to expand the mission’s mandate to include monitoring the implementation of the 2016 peace agreement’s chapter on comprehensive rural reform and the agreement’s ethnic chapter.
On 17 October, Council members held closed consultations to consider the Secretary-General’s annual report on Western Sahara (S/2022/733). The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy to Western Sahara Staffan de Mistura and the Special Representative and head of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), Alexander Ivanko, briefed. On 27 October, the Council adopted resolution 2655, renewing the mandate of MINURSO until 31 October 2023. The resolution was adopted with 13 votes in favour, while Kenya and Russia abstained.
On 17 October, Council members held consultations on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed.
On 17 October, the Security Council held an open briefing (S/PV.9153), followed by closed consultations, on Haiti. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti and head of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) Helen La Lime briefed on recent developments and the Secretary-General’s latest regular report on BINUH (S/2022/761). Mexico and the US, the co-penholders on Haiti, requested to move up the regular Council meeting on Haiti, originally scheduled for 21 October, in light of the severity of the conditions on the ground.
On 21 October, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2653, which established a sanctions regime on Haiti, including targeted assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo measures.
At the 17 October Council meeting, the US announced that it will work with Mexico on a resolution that will authorise a “non-UN international security assistance mission”, which will operate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and will be led by a “partner country with the deep, necessary experience required for such an effort to be effective”. This is in response to a 7 October request by the Haitian government and an 8 October Secretary-General’s report (S/2022/747) suggesting that the Council welcome the establishment of a specialised international force. At the time of writing, the penholders have yet to circulate a draft text on the matter.
On 18 October, the Council held a briefing, followed by closed consultations, to consider the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on Mali (S/2022/731). Special Representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) El-Ghassim Wane briefed (S/PV.9154). On 17 October, Council members issued a press statement (SC/15065) condemning an explosive device attack near Tessalit that killed three UN peacekeepers and wounded three others.
On 18 October, the Council held its second regular briefing this year on the situation in Kosovo (S/PV.9155). Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Caroline Ziadeh briefed on the Secretary-General’s latest UNMIK report (S/2022/739) and recent developments. 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 mainly focused on the need for continued dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, facilitated by the EU, as well as tensions in northern Kosovo and along the Kosovo-Serbia border over the issue of license plates.
Women, Peace and Security
On 20 October, the Security Council held its annual open debate on women, peace and security (S/PV.9158). The title for this year’s open debate was: “Strengthening women’s resilience and leadership as a path to peace in regions plagued by armed groups”. The briefers were: UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed; UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous; Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security of the Chairperson of the AU Commission Bineta Diop; and Editor-in-Chief of Zan Times Zahra Nader.
On 21 October, the Security Council convened a private meeting on the situation in Ethiopia under the “Peace and Security in Africa” agenda item (S/PV.9160). The meeting was requested by the A3 members of the Council (Gabon, Ghana and Kenya). OCHA Director of Operations and Advocacy Ghada Eltahir Mudawi and AU High Representative for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo briefed. Ethiopia participated in the meeting. Following the private meeting, Council members held consultations to discuss the possibility of issuing press elements proposed by the A3. However, it appears that China and Russia opposed this proposal, and an outcome was not issued following the meeting.
On 24 October, Security Council members held a closed Arria-formula meeting titled “Engaging Afghanistan”. The meeting was organised by Norway, the penholder on the file, and took place at Norway’s permanent mission to the UN in New York. The briefers were: Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Roza Otunbayeva; Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov; Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (Political) Markus Potzel; and Afghan women’s rights activist Fatima Gailani. Participation was limited to current and incoming Council members. The meeting was not recorded, and no summary was prepared.
Great Lakes Region
On 26 October, the Security Council held its semi-annual briefing and consultations on the Great Lakes region (S/PV.9165). Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia briefed on developments in the region based 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 (S/2022/735). Some regional countries—Burundi, South Africa and Rwanda—also participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
Maintenance of International Peace and Security
On 26 October, the Council convened for an open briefing under the agenda item “Maintenance of international peace and security” (S/PV.9167). The meeting was requested by Russia in response to letters sent to the Council by France, Germany, the UK, and the US arguing that Iran’s reported transfer of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Russia contravenes resolution 2231 of 20 July 2015, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme. In requesting the meeting, Russia apparently cited alleged “risks to the integrity of the UN Charter, to the Organisation and the ability of the Security Council to perform its main function posed by the attempts of certain member states to influence the UN Secretariat in the discharge of its responsibilities in violation of Article 100 of the UN Charter”. Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel Miguel de Serpa Soares briefed. Iran and Ukraine participated in the meeting under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
Council members also discussed the issue of alleged arms transfers from Iran to Russia under “any other business” on 19 October at the request of France, the UK and the US. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the meeting.
The Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
On 28 October, the Security Council held its quarterly open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.9174). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefed.
On 27 October, Council members held a meeting on Sudan under “any other business” to discuss the violence in West Kordofan and Blue Nile. Special Representative and head of UNITAMS Volker Perthes briefed. At the time of writing, a press statement was a possible outcome.
On 31 October, the Security Council convened for a briefing on the 23 May 2021 forced landing, by Belarus, of Ryanair flight 4978, under the “Threats to international peace and security” agenda item. Albania, France, the UK, and the US called for the meeting after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly adopted a resolution on 7 October condemning Belarus’ actions. President of the ICAO Council Salvatore Sciacchitano briefed the Council on the findings of an ICAO investigation into the incident. At the meeting, Council members expressed sharply divided positions. The European Council members and the US condemned Belarus for violating international aviation law. They noted that the 23 May 2021 incident, which involved the arrest of a dissident journalist and his partner, is symptomatic of the Belarusian government’s repression of fundamental human rights, including the freedom of expression. Some members, such as Albania and Ireland, also referenced Belarus’ support for Russia in its war against Ukraine. Russia, for its part, cast doubts regarding the ICAO’s impartiality and argued that the Council members who convened the meeting did so for political reasons. China also questioned the appropriateness of the meeting and said that such issues should be addressed without geopolitical considerations.