Status Update since our February Forecast
On 2 February, the Security Council held an open briefing (S/PV.9253) followed by closed consultations on Iraq. Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNAMI Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert briefed on recent developments in the country and the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMI (S/2023/58) and the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-party nationals and missing Kuwaiti property (S/2023/51). Iraq participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
On 7 February, Council members held a meeting on Mali under “any other business”. Members discussed the treatment of Malian civil society representative Aminata Cheick Dicko since she briefed the Council on 27 January, and the related decision by Malian authorities on 5 February to expel Guillaume Ngefa-Atondoko Andali, the Director of the Human Rights Division of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Mali. Albania, Ecuador, France, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, the UK, and the US requested the meeting. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights and head of the UN Human Rights Office in New York Ilze Brands Kehris also attended.
Children and Armed Conflict
On 13 February, the Security Council held a briefing on children and armed conflict that focused on prevention of grave violations against children (S/PV.9258). The meeting was one of the signature events of Malta’s Council presidency. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children Najat Maalla M’jid briefed. The Council was also briefed by Divina Maloum, a peacebuilder from Cameroon who works on prevention, children’s rights, and gender-related issues.
On 14 February, the Security Council convened a ministerial-level open debate on sea-level rise and its implications for international peace and security, one of the signature events of the Maltese Council presidency (S/PV.9260). Malta’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg chaired the meeting. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, President of the UN General Assembly Csaba Körösi, and Coral Pasisi, Director of Climate Change of the Pacific Community and President of Tofia Niue, briefed. Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu also briefed in his capacity as co-chair of the International Law Commission Study Group on Sea-level Rise.
Middle East, including the Palestinian Question
On 20 February, the Security Council adopted a presidential statement expressing “deep concern and dismay” with Israel’s recent announcements regarding expansion of settlement activity and reiterating that continued Israeli settlement activity is imperilling the viability of the two-State solution (S/PRST/2023/1). This was the first presidential statement on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” adopted by the Council in over eight years and the first formal Council outcome since resolution 2334, which was adopted in December 2016.
After the adoption, the Security Council convened for an open briefing on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” (S/PV.9263). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland and Deputy Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Leni Stenseth briefed.
Central African Republic
On 21 February, the Security Council held a briefing and consultations on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) (S/PV. 9265). Special Representative for the CAR and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) Valentine Rugwabiza briefed the Council on the latest developments in the country based on the Secretary-General’s most recent report (S/2023/108) published on 16 February. The Chair of the CAR Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Ambassador Omar Hilale (Morocco), also briefed the Council.
On 22 February, the Security Council held a briefing and consultations on the situation in Somalia (S/PV.9267). Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Anita Kiki Gbeho briefed on the latest political, security, and humanitarian developments in the country based on the Secretary-General’s most recent report (S/2023/109) published on 16 February. Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia and head of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Mohamed El-Amine Souef, UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Iskandar Bahous, and a civil society representative also briefed the Council. The meeting had a particular focus on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), and briefers and Council members highlighted various aspects of the WPS agenda during the meeting.
On 23 February, the Security Council held its annual meeting on EU-UN cooperation under the agenda item “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security” (S/PV.9268). At the meeting, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell briefed Council members on strengthening the EU-UN partnership.
On 27 February, the Security Council held an open briefing (S/PV.9270) followed by closed consultations on Libya. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Abdoulaye Bathily briefed the Council on recent developments in the country. Libya participated under rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.