2 Status Update since our
28 March 2013
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5 Prevention of Conflicts in
7 Central African Republic
13 Sudan and South Sudan
18 Western Sahara
20 Côte d’Ivoire
23 Middle East
26 Women, Peace and
31 Notable Dates
Rwanda will preside over the Security Council in April.
Two open debates are planned: on sexual violence in conflict and the quarterly debate on the Middle East. The former will be held under the agenda item Women, Peace and Security and will include a briefing from Zainab Hawa Bangura, the Spe- cial Representative on sexual violence in conflict. Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo will preside. The Middle East open debate will be preceded by a briefing from the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman.
A ministerial level briefing on conflict prevention in Africa and its root causes, by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and possibly also the Chairperson of the AU, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, is planned with Rwanda’s Foreign Min- ister Mushikiwabo presiding.
Other briefings expected in April will focus on:
• the annual report of the Peacebuilding Commission by its current chair, Ambas- sador Ranko Vilović (Croatia) and the chair during the previous PBC session, Ambassador Abulkalam Abdul Momen (Bangladesh); and
• cooperation between the UN and the OSCE, by its Chairperson-in-Office Leonid
Also possible is a briefing by the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mary
Robinson, following her first visit to the region.
Briefings, followed by consultations, are likely on:
• developments in Mali and the Secretary-General’s report on recommendations regarding size, mandate and composition of a new peacekeeping operation, by DPKO;
• developments in Somalia and the findings of the Secretary-General’s technical assessment mission for a new UN special political mission that will replace the current UN presence in Somalia, most likely by Feltman;
• developments in Côte d’Ivoire and the Secretary-General’s special report requested by resolution 2062 on possible adjustments in the structure and strength of UNOCI, most likely by DPKO’s Assistant Secretary-General, Edmond Mulet; and
• the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur
(UNAMID), most likely by DPKO. Briefings in consultations are expected on:
• Sudan-South Sudan issues—in line with resolution 2046 two briefings are expected, respectively by DPKO head Hervé Ladsous and Special Envoy Haile Menkerios;
• the first stage of the National Dialogue Conference in Yemen by Jamal Benomar, the Special Adviser on Yemen;
• developments in the Central African Republic and the latest Secretary-General’s report on BINUCA by Margaret Vogt, the Special Representative and head of mission;
• the Secretary-General’s most recent report on the UN Interim Security Force for
Abyei (UNISFA), by Ladsous;
• Western Sahara by Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, the Special Representative and head of MINURSO and possibly also by the Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross; and
• the work of the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee and the final report of its Group of Experts, by Committee chair, Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala).
Formal sessions will be held to adopt resolutions renewing:
• the Côte d’Ivoire sanctions regime and the mandate of the Group of Experts that assists the 1572 Sanctions Commit-
• the mandate of MINURSO.
In the third week of April, the Council will hold its annual retreat with the Secretary-General. Throughout the month, Council members will be following closely developments in Syria and a meeting on this issue may be scheduled.
Status Update since our March Forecast
On 5 March, the Council received a briefing by the Secretary-General and held consultations on his 27 February special report (S/2013/119) on possible options and their implications for reinforcing the capability of MONUSCO (S/PV.6928). On 22 March, the Council released a press statement (SC/10956) welcoming the surrender of Bosco Ntaganda to the ICC. It also expressed concern that Sylvestre Mudacumura, commander of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, is still at large. At press time, it was expected that the Council would adopt a resolution on 28 March to renew MONUSCO’s mandate—including an intervention brigade to neutralise rebel groups in eastern DRC—until 31 March 2014.
Golan Heights (UNDOF)
Following the detention of 21 UNDOF peacekeepers by armed Syrian opposition fighters, Council members held consulta- tions on 6 March at which they agreed to a press statement condemning the event and demanding the unconditional and immediate release of the peacekeepers (SC/10933). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Lad- sous updated Council members in consultations on the status of negotiations with those holding the peacekeepers on 8
March, and all 21 were released unharmed into Jordan on 9 March. In letters dated 11 March, Austria and the Philippines (the two largest UNDOF troop contributors) separately requested the Security Council to develop a mechanism to “guar- antee” active dialogue between troop-contributing countries (TCCs) and the Council (S/2013/142 and S/2013/152). On
22 March, Council members held consultations with the UNDOF TCCs to address their concerns. On 26 March, Council members met again in regularly scheduled consultations on UNDOF to consider the Secretary-General’s 19 March report on the mission (S/2013/174). On 27 March, the Council adopted an additional press statement on UNDOF expressing grave concern over continued violations of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement and calling on all parties to respect the safety and security of UNDOF personnel (SC/10962).
On 6 March, the chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia) presented his first
90-day report on the work of the Committee to the Council (S/PV.6930). He said the Committee had held one meeting on
13 February during which it had discussed the interception reported by a member state (widely reported to be Yemen) of a vessel suspected of carrying illicit weapons from Iran to that state, and had encouraged the Panel of Experts to investigate the incident. The Committee had also considered an 11 January incident report from the Panel on the missile launches conducted by Iran in July 2012 which concluded that they represented a violation of resolution 1929. Quinlan said Coun- cil members were still discussing how to respond to this as well as to a Panel compilation of statements made by Iranian officials indicating potential violations of resolution 1747. Quinlan also mentioned that the Committee on 20 December had designated two additional entities as subject to targeted sanctions and had issued two implementation assistance notices, one on conventional arms and related material on 26 December and one on financial and business measures on
On 6 March, the Council was briefed in consultations by Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political
Affairs, on the quarterly report (S/2013/123) on efforts to restore constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau following the 12
April 2012 coup, following which there was no outcome. Council members agreed on the consolidation of reporting cycles for resolutions 2048 (on the restoration of constitutional order) and 2092 (on the mandate of UNIOGBIS), with the next report due by the end of April. This report will include an assessment of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation on the ground, guide the discussions, and will be taken up by the Council in May when it will feed into the negotiations on a new resolution for the renewal of UNIOGBIS’s mandate.
DPRK (North Korea)
In resolution 2094 adopted on 7 March the Council imposed additional sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in response to its 12 February nuclear test while tightening some of the measures already in place (S/ PV.6932). It also designated an additional three individuals as subject to both the travel ban and assets freeze and two entities as subject to the assets freeze and expanded the list of prohibited items, materials, equipment, goods and technol- ogy while clarifying the type of luxury goods subject to sanctions. Furthermore, the resolution extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 Sanctions Committee until 7 April 2014 and increased the number of experts from seven to eight. In a 9 March letter to the Council, the DPRK denounced the resolution and said it would only result in “increasing the capability of Songun Korea a thousand times” (S/2013/141). In a 15 March letter to the Council the DPRK submitted a statement on its 11 March withdrawal from the Korean Armistice Agreement, claiming that, contrary to the position of the Republic of Korea, the agreement could be unilaterally dissolved (S/2013/162).
A Meeting with Members of the EU Political and Security Committee
On 13 March, seventeen ambassadors and the permanent chair of the EU Political and Security Committee (PSC) met with the fifteen members of the Security Council (ten EU ambassadors could not attend due to weather-related flight cancella- tions). The meeting was hosted by Russia, as Council president, at its permanent mission. The topics of discussion included Mali, Somalia, Syria and the Middle East peace process, particularly with respect to enhancing UN-EU coordination in these areas. As it was an informal meeting, there was no official outcome, but the permanent chair of the PSC, Olof Skoog, did extend an invitation for Council members to visit Brussels.
On 13 March, the Council was briefed by Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNIPSIL, on the Secretary-General’s report (S/2013/118). Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski (Canada), chair of the Sierra Leone configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), also briefed the Council following the recent PBC visit to the country (S/PV.6933). On 26 March, resolution 2097 was adopted renewing UNIPSIL’s mandate for twelve months, articulating a specific timeframe for the mission’s drawdown process, which should be completed by 31 March 2014. The resolution notes three key tasks for UNIPSIL to perform for the remainder of its mandate, in coordination with the UN country team and other partners: conflict prevention and mediation support for the upcoming constitutional support pro- cess (in which UNIPSIL is expected to play a role, with the UN country team taking over following UNIPSIL’s drawdown); security sector reform support; and support to the strengthening of human rights institutions. While Council members did not agree on a timeframe for the conclusion of the work of the Sierra Leone PBC configuration beyond the drawdown of UNIPSIL, it seems likely that it will continue through late 2014.
On 14 March, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2095, extending UNSMIL’s mandate by 12 months and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee for 13 months (S/PV.6934). The resolution lifts the requirement that the Sanctions Committee approve the use of non-lethal military equipment and assistance for humanitarian or protective use. It also removes the need for notification to the Committee of non-lethal military equip- ment being supplied to the government for security or disarmament assistance. The resolution also urges the government to improve the monitoring of arms supplied to Libya including through the issuance of end-user certificates. The meeting included briefings by the Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Tarek Mitri, Ambassador Eugène Richard Gasana
(Rwanda), the chair of the Libya Sanctions Committee and Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan.
On 19 March, the Council held a debate on the situation in Afghanistan during which it discussed the Secretary-General’s most recent report on UNAMA (S/2013/133) and adopted resolution 2096 extending the mandate of UNAMA until 19
March 2014 (S/PV.6935 and Resumption 1). Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Council.
On 20 March, the Council held its semi-annual debate on Haiti during which the Secretary-General’s Acting Special Rep- resentative, Nigel Fisher, presented the Secretary-General’s 8 March report (S/2013/139) on MINUSTAH and provided an update on recent developments (S/PV.6936). Fisher described the situation in Haiti as challenging both at the political and socioeconomic levels. He emphasised in particular that it was crucial for elections to take place in 2013 and said the president of Haiti had committed to establishing a temporary electoral council (a prerequisite for elections to move for- ward) before Easter. Fisher also presented the conditions-based consolidation plan for MINUSTAH, which was annexed to the Secretary-General’s report.
On 21 March, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNAMI, Martin Kobler, briefed the Council on the most recent report (S/2013/154) of the Secretary-General on UNAMI (S/PV.6937). Kobler highlighted progress towards the normalisation of Iraq’s relations with Kuwait, spillover from the Syrian conflict in Iraqi territory, significant political demonstrations that have gripped Iraq since late December, acts of terrorism that killed approximately 1,300 people between November 2012 and February 2013, and ongoing efforts to relocate the more than 3,000 Iranian exiles currently living in Camp Hurriya. Ambassador T. Hamid Al Bayati (Iraq) also spoke.
On 21 March, Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNMISS, briefed the Council on the recent report (S/2013/140) of the Secretary-General on UNMISS (S/PV.6938). During her briefing, which was followed by consultations, Johnson said that “South Sudan’s transition towards a stable, viable state continued at an uneven pace”.
Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK, briefed the Council on 22 March regard- ing the Secretary-General’s report of 4 February (S/2013/72) and recent developments (S/PV.6939). Prime Minister Ivica Dačić of Serbia and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo also addressed the Council in the debate. Zarif reported that since he last briefed the Council on 27 November 2012 (S/PV.6872), there had been positive developments related to the high-level political dialogue facilitated by the EU in Brussels, with the most recent meeting having taken place on 20 March. Nonetheless, significant challenges remain, particularly within the mixed communities of the north where security incidents have inflamed ethnic tensions. Dačić suggested that “the situation on the ground has not been substantially improved”, particularly with regard to the human rights of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo. Thaçi stated the principal obstacle to further prog- ress in political talks has been Serbia’s proposal for territorial integrity and separate institutions for Serbs in Kosovo, which he claimed would be detrimental to an efficient, stable and centralised state. Council members expressed strong support for EU mediation, but also noted with concern the potential for a fragile security situation to undermine political progress.
On 25 March, the Council was briefed by Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNMIL, on the situation in Liberia (S/PV.6941). Ambassador Staffan Tillander (Sweden), chair of the Liberia configuration of the PBC, also briefed the Council following the recent PBC visit to the country. No outcome followed the briefing and consultations. Landgren’s briefing was largely guided by the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2013/124), with discus- sions around UNMIL’s continuing reconfiguration, progress towards achieving the transition benchmarks, and the devel- opment of a transition plan with the Government of Liberia during and beyond UNMIL’s drawdown. Tillander focused on key findings of the PBC mission related to progress on security sector reform, rule of law and national reconciliation.
An expected briefing by Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, failed to materialize in March. No new briefing by Downer has been scheduled.
Prevention of Conflicts in Africa
Expected Council Action
In April, the Council is expected to receive a briefing on “Prevention of Conflicts in Africa: Addressing the Root Causes” from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and possibly the Chairperson of the AU, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.
The briefing will be held at the ministerial level, with Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo presiding.
The chairs of African subregional organisations will also likely attend. A presidential statement is the anticipated outcome.
Key Recent Developments
The Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa continues to meet a few times a year and reports to the Council annually, most recently on 31 December 2012 (S/2012/965). Meanwhile, annual consultations between Council members and the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) are perhaps the most prominent step toward developing an effective partnership between the UN and the AU (S/2012/444). (For more information on UN-AU relations in this context, see SCR’s Special Research Report of 10 May 2011, Working Together for Peace and Security in Africa.) In 2012, 61.2 percent of the country or region-specific meetings held by the Council concerned Africa. A similar trend seems to have prevailed thus far during 2013, with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia and Sudan/South Sudan as prominent examples of conflicts requiring the sustained attention of the Council. Recent developments in the Central African Republic, where events on the ground appear to have outpaced international responses, further illustrate the practical difficulties of conflict prevention. Fortunately, one country that some observers thought might be another
case of failed conflict prevention efforts—Kenya—remains stable thus far after the 4 March general elections.
The Council has held a number of meetings regarding conflict prevention in recent years mostly spearheaded by elected members during their monthly presidency of the Council. Brazil scheduled an open debate on 11 February 2011 on the interdependence between conflict and development, which has significant implications for structural prevention. Previ- ously, Nigeria organised an open debate on 16 July 2010 on preventive diplomacy in Africa. Lebanon scheduled a briefing on 22 September 2011 regarding the Secretary-General’s report on the use of preventive diplomacy (S/2011/552).
Rwanda, as Council president for April, would like the emphasis to be on structural prevention addressing the under- lying political, social and economic causes of conflict. This entails focusing on the intersection between development and security. Preventive diplomacy, the subject of a PSC open session on 22 March, may also come up. The briefing will appar- ently discuss partnerships among the UN, AU and subregional organisations. AU initiatives and institutions such as the PSC, Continental Early Warning System, the African Peer Review Mechanism and the Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Policy, may also be covered
In practical terms, a central concern of the briefing will be how to improve existing mechanisms for conflict prevention partnerships between the UN and the AU and African subregional organisations.
There are also two other fundamental issues:
• whether structural prevention, which is ultimately about the development of nation states, goes beyond the mandate
of the Security Council; and
• how to overcome concerns that preventive diplomacy, which requires Council engagement with states that are not yet
in armed conflict, infringes state sovereignty.
One option would be to resolve to change the practice of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution
in Africa. The Working Group could meet on a more regular basis and provide a venue for Council members to discuss emerging and current conflict situations and how the Council might respond as well as receive informal briefings from the Secretariat on issues of concern in Africa.
Another option would be for the Council to deepen its substantive engagement with the AU and subregional organisa- tions. Annual meetings of Council members and the PSC (which alternate between New York and Addis Ababa) and the meeting between Council members and the Economic Community of West African States in Côte d’Ivoire on 21 May 2012 have established a precedent that could be built upon.
A final option, which Rwanda unsuccessfully floated for the April programme of work, would be to resurrect and per- fect the “horizon scanning” briefings by the Department of Political Affairs, which at times in the past called the attention of the Council to situations of concern.
Council and Wider Dynamics
Past Council meetings on conflict prevention, whether a briefing or an open debate, have rarely translated into policymak- ing innovation by the Council or improved implementation in the field. Agreeing on an outcome that pushes the boundaries of existing debate and goes beyond reiterating previous content has so far proven to be a recurring challenge.
With respect to preventive diplomacy, translating support for the concept in the abstract among Council members into timely action in practice remains a challenge. Countries that are not yet in a situation of armed conflict, but may be at risk, commonly assert state sovereignty, which reinforces caution in how the Council sets its agenda.
In terms of structural prevention, some members consider this to be outside the mandate of the Council. However, the World Bank has become increasingly active in this area, suggesting that rigid institutional boundaries between “security” and “development” may be shifting elsewhere.
One potential obstacle to an improved conflict-prevention partnership between the Council and the PSC is that the former carefully protects its status as the principal actor mandated to maintain international peace and security. This can have the unintended consequence of framing Council interaction with their regional counterparts in a way that is not conducive to more effective collaboration.