Briefing by the Outgoing Chairs of the Security Council’s Subsidiary Bodies
Expected Council Action
As is customary in December, the outgoing chairs of subsidiary bodies are expected to provide a briefing on their experiences. The representatives of the five members completing their two-year terms on the Council at the end of 2022 and their respective chairmanships are:
- Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj (India)—the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, and the 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee;
- Ambassador Fergal Mythen (Ireland)—the 751 Al-Shabaab Sanctions Committee and Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 concerning Iran;
- Ambassador Martin Kimani (Kenya)—the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa;
- Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico)—the 1540 Non-Proliferation Committee and the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee;
- Ambassador Mona Juul (Norway)—the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict; and
- Ambassador Trine Heimerback (Norway)—the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.
The practice of briefings by the outgoing chairs of subsidiary bodies was established during the Colombian presidency of the Council in December 2002. It is considered an important aspect of promoting transparency in the work of the sanctions committees and working groups. Since not all subsidiary bodies produce an annual report, this December briefing has also served over the years as a means of creating a publicly accessible institutional memory of these bodies’ activities.
Key Recent Developments
At this briefing, each chair will be able to review developments within their committee or working group during their two-year term, assess their experience, suggest recommendations for improvements, and provide advice to their respective successors.
Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj (India) will speak about the three subsidiary bodies India has chaired. Kamboj has chaired these committees since August, following the departure of her predecessor, Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti. ies. In her briefing on the Libya Sanctions Committee, Kamboj may highlight that this year’s final report of the Panel of Experts supporting the committee found that the arms embargo continued to be violated with impunity and that the assets freeze was not uniformly implemented. Kamboj may further recall that on 13 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2644, renewing the measures related to the illicit export of petroleum from Libya until 30 October 2023 and the mandate of the Panel of Experts until 15 November 2023.
In speaking about the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), Kamboj may highlight the adoption of the “Delhi Declaration”, the outcome document of the special meeting of the CTC held in India on 28-29 October. Regarding the Afghanistan Sanctions Committee, Kamboj may discuss how the Taliban’s seizure of power in August 2021 has affected the committee’s work.
As part of his briefing, Ambassador Fergal Mythen (Ireland) will cover the work of the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee. He has chaired the committee since August, following the departure of his predecessor Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason. He may note that resolution 2662 of 17 November, which renewed the Somalia sanctions regime for another year, renamed the committee as the “Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning Al-Shabaab”. In relation to Ireland’s role as the facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231, Mythen could choose to highlight elements of the work conducted by Ireland while negotiations to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have been ongoing.
Ambassador Martin Kimani (Kenya) may highlight the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa in facilitating the annual consultative meeting between the Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council. He may also mention the meeting convened by the working group in April on “addressing national conflict situations featuring terrorist groups and illegal armed groups with a transnational character”.
As the chair of the Mali 2374 Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez (Mexico) may speak about the committee’s efforts to improve the implementation of the sanctions regime by Mali and the region. He could highlight Mali’s appointment of a focal point to communicate with the sanctions committee. At the time of writing, the committee was planning to hold its first meeting with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to promote the sanctions regime’s implementation, which de la Fuente Ramírez may mention. In addition, he may take the opportunity to underscore the need for Mali and the region to cooperate with the Panel of Experts that supports the committee’s work.
Regarding the 1540 Committee, Ambassador de la Fuente Ramírez is likely to highlight the committee’s comprehensive review of resolution 1540 that it has conducted over the last two years. At the time of writing, Council members were still negotiating the mandate renewal of the 1540 Committee.
Ambassador Mona Juul (Norway) may observe that the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict has adopted four sets of conclusions (on South Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, and Colombia) since Norway assumed the chairmanship of the working group in January 2021. Conclusions on eight other country situations were being negotiated at the time of writing. Juul may also recall that in 2021, Norway and former Council member Niger co-authored resolution 2601 on the protection of education in conflict. The resolution—which was adopted unanimously and co-sponsored by 99 member states—is the first Council product focusing on the link between education and peace and security in a holistic manner. On the 1718 Committee, Juul may refer to the Panel of Experts’ latest midterm report, including its description of continued violations of the sanctions imposed by the Council.
In updating members on the work of the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, Heimerback is expected to describe the activities undertaken by the committee in light of the evolving threat posed by ISIL, Al-Qaeda and their affiliates.
After the annual Security Council elections were moved forward from October to June, in 2016, there have been significant changes in how chairs are appointed to the Council’s subsidiary bodies. In July 2016, Council members agreed on a presidential note concerning the preparation of newly elected members during the transitional period between the election and the beginning of their term, including the selection and preparation of chairs of subsidiary bodies. The note established a more consultative process for the chairs’ appointment, co-led by a permanent member and by the chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG), and stipulated that the appointments should be completed by 1 October. That deadline has so far not been met.
At the time of writing, the chairs of the subsidiary bodies for 2023 had not been decided. The incoming members began discussing the vacant positions after the elections in June and quickly agreed on a list of preferences for the subsidiary body vacancies. They showed flexibility when there was pushback from the permanent members to the initial list, producing a revised list that took into consideration the views of the permanent members. However, it seems that the process has stalled because permanent members are opposed to a footnote that indicates that one of the incoming members would chair a working group in 2024, when the current chair leaves. Similar footnotes first appeared two years ago. In 2021, there were two footnotes, one on India taking on the CTC chair during its second year on the Council, and the other on Mexico assuming the position of vice-chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict during its second year. There was also a footnote to the 2022 presidential note, stating that the UAE would chair the CTC “until the end of 2023 after India leaves the chair” (that is, for calendar year 2023). These agreements have resulted in one-year terms and have effectively taken positions off the table for the next batch of incoming members.
Elected members chair all sanctions committees and other formal and informal subsidiary bodies of the Council. While many elected members find the chairing of subsidiary bodies rewarding, there has from time to time been a suggestion to have permanent members share the responsibility of chairing subsidiary bodies.
UN DOCUMENTS ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES
|Security Council Meeting Record
|13 December 2021S/PV.8928
|This was a briefing by the outgoing chairs of the Security Council subsidiary bodies.
|Note by the President of the Security Council
|30 August 2017S/2017/507
|This was the Note of the Security Council containing the compendium of its working methods.