2 Status Update since our
4 In Hindsight: Horizon
5 Peace and Security in
14 Democratic Republic of the Congo
17 Central African Republic
22 Sudan and South Sudan
30 Bosnia and Herzegovina
34 DPRK (North Korea)
37 Notable Dates
1 May 2013
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Togo will preside over the Security Council in May.
Togo’s President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé will preside over a debate on “Peace and Security in Africa: the challenges of the fight against terrorism in Africa in the context of maintaining international peace and security” with the Secretary-General providing a briefing.
The quarterly debate on Kosovo with a briefing by Farid Zarif, the Special Repre- sentative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Interim Administration Mis- sion in Kosovo (UNMIK), and the semi-annual debate on Bosnia-Herzegovina, with a briefing by the High Representative Valentin Inzko, are also expected.
Briefings are expected on:
• the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe by its
Chairperson-in-Office Leonid Kozhara;
• the work of the counterterrorism subsidiary bodies—the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida
Sanctions Committee; the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee; and the 1540
Committee on weapons of mass destruction—by their respective chairs, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia); Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki (Morocco); and Ambassador Kim Sook (Republic of Korea);
• the Secretary-General’s report on the Lord’s Resistance Army and on the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) by Abou Moussa, the Special Rep- resentative of the Secretary-General and head of UNOCA; and
• on the situation in Libya and the proceedings of the International Criminal
Court (ICC) by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
Briefings, followed by consultations, are likely on:
• the Secretary-General’s report on the integrated strategy for the Sahel by the
Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel Romano Prodi;
• the Secretary-General’s report and developments in the Central African Republic by Margaret Vogt, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA);
• the Secretary-General’s consolidated report on Guinea-Bissau by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Integrated Peace- building Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) José Ramos-Horta; and
• the situation in the Middle East, by Under-Secretary-General for Political
Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. Briefings in consultations are likely on:
• developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by the Secretary- General’s Special Envoy Mary Robinson;
• Sudan and South Sudan issues, twice, most likely by, respectively, the Secre- tary General’s Special Envoy Haile Menkerios and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet;
• the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) by Mulet;
• the implementation of resolution 1559, by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen;
• Sudan sanctions, by the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argen-
• the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambas-
sador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg).
Formal sessions will need to be held to adopt resolutions to:
• establish a new UN assistance mission in Somalia;
• renew the mandate of UNISFA;
• revise the mandate of BINUCA; and
• renew the mandate of UNIOGBIS.
A wrap-up session in a private meeting is planned by Togo at the end of the month.
Throughout the month, Council members will be following closely the developments in Syria, and a meeting on this issue may be scheduled. •
Status Update since our April Forecast
On 4 April, the Council issued a press statement in which it condemned a terrorist attack that occurred in Farah Province in the western part of Afghanistan, which caused numerous deaths and injuries, mainly to civilians (SC/10967).
On 4 April, Council members received a briefing in consultations by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, mainly on the National Dialogue Conference that opened on 18 March. On 12 April, the Council issued a press statement welcoming Yemen’s reorganisation of the military and calling on “all parties to support the President’s decrees and to work to ensure their prompt implementation,” (SC/10969).
On 11 April, the Council held a closed meeting with the troop and police-contributing countries to MINURSO (S/PV.6945). On 22 April, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINURSO, Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber (Germany), and the Secretary General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross (US), briefed Council members in consultations on MINURSO’s activities and recent developments since the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2013/220). In his briefing Ross covered his visits to North Africa from 18 March to 3 April and from 8 to 11 April. On
25 April, Council members adopted resolution 2099 and extended the mandate of MINURSO for another year. A draft resolution prepared by the US, the penholder on Western Sahara, had been discussed earlier by the Group of Friends of Western Sahara (France, Russia, Spain, the UK and the US) and between the US and Morocco in bilateral consultations. The initial draft apparently included language giving MINURSO a mandate to monitor and gather information on human rights violations and included a reference to human rights monitoring in the camps near Tindouf, Algeria, but by the time the draft was distributed to all Council members, this language had been withdrawn.
Prevention of Conflicts in Africa
On 15 April, the Council held a briefing on “Prevention of conflicts in Africa: addressing the root causes” (S/PV.6946). Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Rwanda, presided. A concept note for the briefing had previously been circulated as an annex to a letter to the Council on 2 April (S/2013/204). The Council was briefed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Tekeda Alemu, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN, representing the Chairperson of the AU; and Elliott Ohin, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Togo. The Council adopted a presidential statement at the conclusion of the meeting (S/PRST/2013/4).
On 16 April, the Council was briefed (S/PV.6947) by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet on the Secretary-General’s special UNOCI report (S/2013/197). In the subsequent consultations, Council members also dis- cussed the final report of the Group of Experts assisting the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee (S/2013/228). On
25 April, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2101, renewing for a period of 12 months the sanctions regime on Côte d’Ivoire and the mandate of the Group of Experts (S/PV.6953). The resolution rolls over most of the measures in resolution 2045, namely an arms embargo, a ban on diamond exports and targeted sanctions on a number of individu- als. It also includes a change in the notification system by which member states delivering non-lethal law enforcement equipment to the Côte d’Ivoire security forces may notify the Committee of any shipment to ensure the Committee keeps track of the material delivered.
On 16 April, Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Myanmar, briefed Council members in consulta- tions. It was Nambiar’s first briefing to the Council since 20 June 2012. He had visited Myanmar several times since then and updated Council members on the situation on the ground in Myanmar.
Women, Peace and Security
On 17 April, Louise Mushikiwabo, the Foreign Minister of Rwanda, presided over the Security Council’s open debate on Women, Peace and Security to consider the Secretary-General’s annual report on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149) following a briefing by the Secretary-General and Zainab Bangura, his Special Representative on the issue (S/PV.6948). In addition, Saran Keïta Diakité—the President of the Women, Peace and Security Network of the ECOWAS region, Mali— spoke on behalf of the New York-based NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. There was no outcome fol- lowing the debate, however, Bangura said that she hoped the Security Council would show resolve in June 2013 and adopt a new resolution on sexual violence in conflict focused on accountability and prevention.
On 18 April, the Council received briefings on the humanitarian situation in Syria from Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura, and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui (S/PV.6949). Amos described the situation in Syria as a “humanitarian catastrophe”. Guterres asserted that the refugee crisis had become an “existential threat” to some of Syria’s neighbors. Bangura detailed instances of sexual violence alleged against both the opposition and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, adding that her message to the perpetrators of such abuses is that “justice may be delayed, but it will not be denied”. Finally, Zerrougui drew the Council’s attention to the fact that more than three million children inside Syria had been affected by the conflict, and more than 600,000 children had been counted among the refugees in the subregion. Representatives of Syria, Lebanon and Turkey also made statements. Closed consultations followed the briefings, after which the Council President read elements to the press at the media stakeout in which Council members strongly con- demned incidents of sexual violence and violence against children; urged all parties to protect civilians and respect inter- national humanitarian law; and “underlined the need to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance … including where appropriate across borders in accordance with guiding principles of humanitarian assistance.” On 19 April, UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi briefed Council members in consultations on his own efforts to facilitate a political solution to the Syrian conflict. Speaking to the press following the briefing, Brahimi denied rumors that his resignation was imminent and reiterated his position that the situation in Syria required action by the Council. The Syrian conflict also dominated statements made during the quarterly open debate on the Middle East, held on 24 April (S/PV.6950 and Resumption 1). At press time, it was anticipated that Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, Ambassador of Jordan, would address the Council in a private meeting on 30 April to seek the Council’s determination that the influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan represents a threat to international peace and security (S/2013/247).
On 24 April the Council held a quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.6950 and Resumption 1). In his briefing to the Council, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman highlighted the destabilising effects of the conflict
in Syria. He identified the need for “quick, concerted action” on Syria and added that “Action must also be taken on the Israeli-Palestinian issue… There is now an opening to develop a meaningful initiative to achieve the negotiated two-State solution.” Following Feltman’s briefing, Palestine, Israel, the Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States and 41 other nations made statements.
On 25 April, the Council was briefed by Ambassadors Abulkalam Abdul Momen (Bangladesh) and Ranko Vilović (Croatia), the former and current chairs of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), on the sixth annual report of the PBC (S/2013/63), covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2012 (S/PV.6954). There was no outcome to the meeting.
On 25 April Council members received a briefing on Guinea under “any other business” from Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on the 25 April demonstrations in Conakry and the 23 April joint declaration of non-violence signed between the main Guinean stakeholders. On 29 April, the Council issued a press statement expressing concern over the volatile situation in the country, welcoming the joint declaration and calling upon all parties to cooperate with Special Representative Said Djinnit with a view towards national dialogue and free, fair, transparent and inclusive legislative elec- tions in Guinea (SC/10992)
On 30 April, the Council held a “wrap-up session” of Rwanda’s April presidency under the agenda item “Implementation of
Note S/2010/507 (Wrap-up Session)”. Non-Council members were invited to attend the private meeting.
In Hindsight: Horizon-Scanning Briefings
From November 2010 through March 2012, with a break in December 2010 during the US presidency of the Council), “hori- zon-scanning” briefings by the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) were a regular feature of the programme of work of the Security Council. The UK initiated these briefings to provide the Council with information that might allow for better preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention. Additionally it was hoped that this format would allow for an unscripted exchange of ideas.
After a strong start, the cycle was once again broken by the US presidency in April 2012. During the next three months Azerbaijan, China and Colombia also chose not to have these briefings. France and Germany temporarily revived the prac- tice in August and September 2012, but there have been no horizon-scanning briefings since. It seems that Rwanda, before its presidency in April of this year, showed some interest in reviving this practice but could not find sufficient support for it.
The change in attitude was due to several factors. B. Lynn Pascoe, the former head of DPA who conducted 14 of the
16 briefings, tended to inform Council members of the topics only a couple of days before the meeting. Many Council members wanted more time to prepare. At the start these sessions were more interactive than the average Council con- sultations, but they became more formal over time, with Council members reading statements.
During 2012 some members began to question the usefulness of the briefings and whether they needed to be held every month. Although never spelt out, it seems that these members may have been uncomfort- able with the lack of control the Council had over the issues covered. In April 2012, the US circulated a non- paper on guidelines for the briefings, which included suggestions on the purpose, topics, members’ par- ticipation and frequency. However, some members disagreed with the text, effectively killing the idea.
Analysis of Issues Covered in Horizon-Scanning Briefings
The horizon-scanning briefings ranged from covering just one issue to more than nine. A number of issues that have since needed sustained attention by the Council—such as Gulf of Guinea piracy, Tuareg activity in northern Mali and the instability in Guinea-Bissau following the death of President Malam Bacai Sanhá—were first raised at these briefings.
These sessions were also a useful forum to discuss emerging crises such as Libya, Syria and Yemen. Although these issues featured in other Council meetings, all three were regularly on the horizon-scanning briefings, allowing the
Council to be updated on fast-changing situations. These briefings also allowed for issues not discussed so regularly, such as Iraq, to be covered.
More controversial for some members was having the situation in countries such as Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives or Mexico discussed during the briefings. In these cases the briefings served as a way of alerting Council members to situa- tions that had the potential for instability. However, some members were not comfortable with this, feeling it could give the appearance that these issues were on the Council’s agenda. Focusing on elections in particular regions, such as Africa and Latin America, also generated negative reactions. And raising situations such as Israel/Palestine and Myanmar made some members unhappy. Some members may also have found it difficult to justify discussing Camp Ashraf (now Camp New Iraq) for three consecutive months in 2012.
The rationale for including issues such as the financial implications of political missions, political field missions and problems with appointing sanctions experts may also have been questioned. It is less clear how these issues fit in with the concept of conflict prevention.
Trips made by the head of DPA were also often covered. Pascoe briefed Council members on his visits to Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon and Tunisia, and following AU meetings, often in relation to ongoing situations in the Middle East or Africa.
Reactions to these briefings had clearly changed by mid-2012. With a few exceptions, Council members reacted well to the briefings at the start. But more critical views began to be expressed by mid-2012. Among the complaints was that while in theory a good idea, in practice the briefings had been disappointing. There were calls for more analysis rather than informa- tion already in the public domain. Objections were raised about some of the issues covered, with certain members attempting to influence the agenda. In 2013 the positions of those against these briefings appear to have hardened, making it difficult to get consensus on having them at all. Few members seem willing to put the matter to a procedural vote at this point.
The horizon-scanning briefings are very much in line with Article 99 of the UN Charter, which provides that the “Secretary- General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security.” Resolution 1625, adopted on 14 September 2005 following a summit-level meeting on conflict prevention, encouraged the Secretary-General to provide information to the Council on developments in regions at risk of armed conflict. The 2008 and 2011 Secretary-General’s reports on preventive diplomacy cite Article 99 as the basis for his preventive mandate.
Past Secretaries-General have brought issues to the attention of the Council in other ways. Secretary-General Dag Ham- marskjöld in 1959 brought the matter of a letter from Laos before the Council but specifically stated that he was not acting under Article 99 and Rule 3 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure. Instead, he said he wanted to raise the issue because he felt it was personally necessary, but he was leaving the Council the option of deciding whether or not to place the issue on its agenda (S/PV.847). In the 1990s, there were daily high-level comprehensive situation briefings provided by the Secretariat to Council members during informal consultations.
Suggestions for other ways to apprise the Council of emerging issues have included the “Any Other Business” part of Coun- cil consultations, and the once-a-month Secretary-General’s lunches and Council wrap-up sessions. While these are useful forums to raise issues, none of them currently serve the Council as early-warning mechanisms. With scant conflict prevention
mechanisms in place, ensuring that horizon-scanning sessions are truly informative and interactive might be worth the effort.
Peace and Security in Africa
Expected Council Action
In May, the Council is expected to be briefed in consultations by the Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Sahel, Romano Prodi, on the Secretary-General’s report on the Sahel. The much delayed and anticipated UN integrated strategy for the Sahel requested by the Council in resolution 2056 of 5 July 2012, is annexed to the report.
The Council also expects to hold a debate on “Peace and Security in Africa: the challenges of the fight against terrorism in Africa in the context of maintaining international peace and security” with a briefing from the Secretary-General. The debate will probably highlight the situation on the Sahel, and Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé will preside. The chairs of African subregional organisations are also likely to attend. A presidential statement is the anticipated outcome.
Key Recent Developments
In resolution 2056 the Council asked the Secretary-General to develop and implement, in consultation with regional organ- isations, a UN integrated strategy for the Sahel region encompassing security, governance, development, human rights and humanitarian issues. On 9 October 2012, Prodi was appointed as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Sahel, respon- sible mainly for the development of this strategy.
In a 10 December presidential statement, the Council reiterated the urgent need for an integrated UN strategy for the Sahel and for enhanced cooperation and coordination between states of the Sahel and the Maghreb in collaboration with relevant UN entities and regional and international partners, in order to combat Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (S/PRST/2012/26). The statement said this coordinated effort was necessary to prevent further progress by AQIM elements and affiliated groups in the Sahel and Maghreb regions and beyond, as well as to tackle arms proliferation and transnational organised crime, including illicit activities such as drug trafficking.
As stated in both resolution 2056 and the presidential statement, the security dimension has been key in signalling the need for a comprehensive strategy that blurs the traditional regional boundaries between West Africa and the Maghreb.
The Sahel region has recently been the focus of increased attention by the Council and its subsidiary organs, in particular the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. The four individuals listed so far in 2013 by the Committee all operate in the Sahel. The two last entities listed are Mouvement pour l’Unification et le Jihad en Afrique de l’Ouest (MUJAO) and Ansar Eddine (5 December 2012 and 19 March 2013 respectively). A special meeting of the Committee was held in March on the situation in Mali. From 13-15 March, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) held a conference in Rabat, Morocco, on border-control cooperation in the Sahel and the Maghreb. The 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) decided to hold in the fall a special meeting open to the wider UN membership on the topic “enhancing cooperation and technical assistance to states in the Sahel region to strengthen their capacity in the global fight against terrorism”.
Under the auspices of the AU, there have been initiatives to encourage synergies in counterterrorism in the region. A ministerial-level meeting held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 17 March was aimed at operationalising the African Peace and Security Architecture in the Sahelo-Saharan region. On 18 April a meeting of the heads of the intelligence services in the region was held in Bamako, Mali.
The Council has issued several press statements in 2013 condemning in the strongest terms terrorist attacks in the region, including In Aménas, Algeria, (SC/10887) and on the French embassy in Tripoli, Libya (SC/10984). It also expressed its grave concern regarding the seizure of the city of Konna, Mali, by terrorist and extremist groups in January (SC/10878).
Togo, as President of the Council in May, would like the discussion to be focused on the specifics of the terrorist phenom- enon in the Sahel and the Maghreb. The debate may provide a space to discuss such issues as insufficient regional cooperation, lack of resources from affected states and linkages between organised criminal networks and terrorist groups.