EMERGENCY MEETING ON THE SITUATION IN THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA - NON-PROLIFERATION
The Security Council held a meeting after the DPRK missile test, another reiterated violation of precedent resolutions.
Assistant Secretary-General Miroslav Jenča:' We're facing another relevant violation of UNSC resolutions. DPRK must respect its international obligations and allow space for the resumption of sincere dialogue.'
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi - The DPRK’s destabilizing activities pose a clear, serious, and growing threat to international security and the global non-proliferation regime. We call on the DPRK to take immediate steps to abandon its provocative, illegal and self-isolating policies, putting a verifiable and irreversible stop to its missile and nuclear programs.
This objective continues to require a concerted multilateral effort to maintain a high level of pressure by the International Community on the North Korean regime. In this context, Italy stands ready to work with all relevant stakeholders in order to devise additional and significant restrictive measures. In this endeavor maintaining the Security Council’s unity of purpose on this matter will be crucial.
ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE A VERIFICATION MISSION IN COLOMBIA
The Security Council authorized the creation of a United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia to oversee the next phase of the 2016 peace agreement that ended half a century of fighting between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP).
Unanimously adopting resolution 2366 (2017), the Council decided that the new Mission would verify implementation of sections 3.2 and 3.4 of the Final Agreement, signed in November 2016, and monitor the FARC-EP’s political, economic and social reincorporation. It would also verify implementation of personal and collective security guarantees, and comprehensive programmes on security and protection.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi - 'Peace is a process, irreversible in this case, thanks to the strong resolve of President Santos and of the FARC, but still presents challenges that must not be overlooked. We especially commend the Government of Colombia for its efforts in delivering security, services, and economic opportunities to the entire population across the Country. We also commend the Government for the steps undertaken to curb illegal activities and organized crime and will continue to offer our bilateral cooperation to this end, and also in the framework of the European Union.'
'The role played by the United Nations in Colombia and by this Council is setting an example of flexibility, effectiveness and respect of the ownership of the parties.'
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Several Security Council members insisted that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo hold free, fair, and inclusive elections by the end of the year and without further delay, as the head of United Nations peacekeeping briefed them on the situation in that country.
Under-Secretary-General, Jean-Pierre Lacroix underlined that the number of people displaced by violence in Kasaï had now reached 1.3 million, also expressing concern that critical institutions had still not been established six months before elections were due to take place at the end of 2017, and that implementation of the political agreement of 31 December 2016 had stalled. The Government also required strong Council support to address challenges amid persistent instability, particularly in the east and west of the country.
Italy said the spill-over effect of violence from the Democratic Republic of the Congo into neighbouring countries must not be taken lightly. All perpetrators of violence must be held accountable for their actions. The focus of all parties must now be on leading the country towards democratic and transparent elections, he said, welcoming efforts to speed up election preparations. Italy would continue to support MONUSCO, he pledged, noting that the Mission played a vital role in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
BRIEFING ON THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN YEMEN
Senior United Nations officials warned of an appalling humanitarian situation in Yemen, amid intensifying conflict, famine and a fully-fledged cholera outbreak, as they briefed the Security Council.
Cholera was spreading rapidly and infecting children, elderly persons and other vulnerable groups, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, warned, pointing out that there were now more than 300,000 suspected cases and over 1,700 deaths resulting from the outbreak.
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen - The situation in the country is “extremely grave”. The intensity of the conflict continued to increase day after day, he said, adding: “I am deeply concerned by the continued targeting of civilians.” Security continued to be undermined by the activity of extremist groups, including Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. Some 14 million people were food insecure and 7 million were at risk of famine.
Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator - Stephen O'Brien said millions of Yemeni women, children and men remained exposed to unfathomable pain and suffering. Seven million lived on the cusp of famine. Nearly 16 million had no access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene. More than 320,000 cholera cases had been reported and at least 1,740 people had died of that disease. The health system had essentially collapsed. With the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan only 33 per cent funded, humanitarian partners were combating cholera with resources intended for food security.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization - “We are witnessing the second wave of an outbreak,” he said, expressing concern that the disease had now reached 21 of the 23 governorates. UNICEF and WHO were working with Yemeni authorities to reach people with treatment, safe water, and adequate sanitation.
José Graziano Da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), speaking via videoconference from Geneva, said Yemen faced the world’s largest food crisis, with 17 million people — two thirds of the population — living in a state of severe food insecurity as of March 2017. That was an increase of 20 per cent from June 2016. Seven million of those people were one step from living in a state of famine if they did not get immediate assistance.
ADOPTION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT STRONGLY CONDEMNING VIOLENCE BY ARMED GROUPS IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Security Council strongly condemned violence by armed groups in the Central African Republic and called upon all their leaders immediately to cease hostilities so that all parties could agree on a new road map to sustainable peace.
The Council called upon all partners, in particular the African Union and neighbouring States, urgently to agree upon and support implementation of such a road map with a view to reaching a sustainable cessation of hostilities over the entire national territory. Expressing concern at the ongoing clashes between armed groups and the targeting of civilians belonging to specific communities, as well as United Nations peacekeepers, the Council reiterated that some of those actions may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Underlining the importance of fighting impunity, the Council called for operationalizing the Special Criminal Court and for restoring the judicial, criminal justice and penitentiary systems throughout the country. According to the statement, the Council remained deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation, whereby nearly half of the estimated 4.6 million Central Africans were in need of aid, and reiterated its demand that all parties allow and facilitate immediate and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN WEST AFRICA AND THE SAHEL
Despite laudable progress towards democratic consolidation, the security situation in West Africa and the Sahel remained a concern, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative told the Security Council, stressing that terrorism and violent extremism were hampering efforts to improve infrastructure and create jobs.
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), said that despite laudable progress towards democratic consolidation, the security situation in the region remained a concern. Terrorism, violent extremism and the humanitarian crisis were hampering efforts by Member States to deliver development, improve infrastructure, create jobs and strengthen human security, he said, noting that, alongside climate change, the youth bulge, unemployment, and unchecked urbanization, they constituted “veritable push factors” underpinning the surge in irregular migration and human trafficking.
ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION TO EXTEND UNAMI'S MANDATE
The Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) until 31 July 2018, also calling upon that country’s Government to continue providing security and logistical support to the Organization’s presence on the ground.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2367 (2017), the Council also decided that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UNAMI would, at the request of the Government of Iraq, continue to pursue their mandate as outlined in resolution 2299 (2016). In so doing, the Council took into account a letter from Iraq’s Foreign Minister to the Secretary-General (document S/2017/518), reaffirming the Mission’s important role, particularly given that Iraqi security forces were about to “rid Iraq of the terrorist gangs of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and to wipe them out once and for all”
OPEN BRIEFING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTION 2231 (2015) - NON-PROLIFERATION/ IRAN
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi briefed the Member States as Facilitator for the implementation of Resolution 2231 (2015) - Non-Proliferation/Iran.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi - The open briefing took place on the two-year anniversary of the JCPOA, between Iran and the E3/EU+3 which was endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 2231 (2015). This landmark agreement provides a comprehensive roadmap for building confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities. It sets up a step-by-step approach based on reciprocal commitments with agreed limitations on Iran’s nuclear programme and the comprehensive lifting of sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as a robust verification mechanism unprecedented in scale and scope.
This was the second open briefing on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) since Implementation Day (16 January 2016) and the first during Ambassador Cardi's tenure as Facilitator. Transparency and outreach remained a priority.
Since Implementation Day, eighteen proposals were submitted by four different States from three different regional groups. Twelve of these had already been approved, three were withdrawn and three were pending. Out of the twelve proposals approved, one was nuclear-related and eleven were for the supply of dual-use items, mainly machine tools. The majority of these items were intended for the automotive industry but also for the packaging, construction, oil, or pharmaceutical industries.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN IRAQ
Fresh from victory in retaking the northern city of Mosul from terrorists, Iraq had to address the long-standing grievances, needs and aspirations of its people, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General told the Security Council, paving the way towards national settlement and reconciliation.
Ján Kubiš - Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNAMI - Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2017/596), he emphasized the need for demining, stabilization and reconstruction to enable the return of internally displaced persons. The enforcement of law and order, rule of law, justice and accountability, as well as reforms, good governance and development were also critical. “Da’esh’s ultimate defeat can only be secured through inclusive solutions,” he said, welcoming the guidance of the Al-Marja’iyya, who in their victory sermons, pressed those in power to view citizens as equals, regardless of religion, sect, ethnicity or nationality.
DEBATE ON THE SITUATION IN HAITI - MINUSTAH
With the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) making way for a new peacekeeping operation focusing on justice support, the onus lied on Haitians themselves to shape their future going forward, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the country said.
Sandra Honoré, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), said that, less than three months before its closure and transition to the Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), the country had remained on the path to stabilization and democratic consolidation.
Italy underlined that the remarkable achievements of the Haitian National Police, made with MINUSTAH’s help, must be built upon. Many challenges remained, including the fight against cholera, welcoming the General Assembly’s resolution on that issue. Italy was convinced that the transition to MINUJUSTH was a due response to the evolution of Haiti’s needs, emphasizing the need to ensure continuity and to progressively transfer MINUSTAH competencies to the country team, and eventually, the State authorities. Haiti would be a test of the Council’s ability to handle a transition.
OPEN DEBATE ON ENHANCING AFRICAN CAPACITIES IN PEACE AND SECURITY
The United Nations and the African Union had a shared interest in strengthening mechanisms to defuse conflicts before they escalated and to manage them effectively when they occurred, Secretary-General António Guterres told the Security Council in an open debate on enhancing African capacities in peace and security.
António Guterres - Secretary-General of the United Nations, declared: “I firmly believe the international community needs to change the narrative about the African continent,” and establish a higher platform of cooperation that recognized its enormous potential and promise. In the area of peace and security, the African Union and the United Nations had a shared interest in strengthening mechanisms to defuse conflicts before they escalated, and to manage them when they occurred. Enhancing African capacities was essential both for the collective response to such challenges and for the continent’s self-reliance.
Smaїl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union, describing his organization as “an indispensable partner in promoting peace and security in africa”, said that over the last decade, it had mandated or authorized the deployment of more than 100,000 uniformed and civilian personnel, sometimes in high-risk environment. That had come at a huge cost in human lives, he said, emphasizing that in the last decade, the number of casualties among african troops in peace support operations exceeded the combined casualties in united nations peacekeeping missions in the last 70 years.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi - Expressing support for enhanced strategic cooperation with the African Union, he said different financial support options set out in the Secretary-General’s report could be chosen on a case-by-case basis. Italy was also open to the use of assessed contributions to finance African Union peace operations so long as high accountability standards, among other factors, were met. Emphasizing that the United Nations could not and should not tackle evolving threats alone, but rather with regional organizations and others, he said that in the long term, the only solution was to tackle root causes of instability.
ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION ON THREATS TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY
The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution reinforcing its resolve to adapt to evolving terrorist threats, encouraging Governments to update their methods for cutting off funds to terrorist groups, preventing their travel, banning them from acquiring arms and ensuring that sanctions were fully implemented.
Italy - The sustained military pressure on Da’esh as well as the depletion of its financial resources have diminished but not taken away the group’s ability to fund its supporters outside the conflict zone and enable attacks on civilians. ISIL can still rely on diversified sources of financing and has drawn income from inter alia antiquities smuggling, the exploitation of mineral resources, and human trafficking.
Since Resolution 2253/2015, the global nature of the threat posed by terrorism has changed and the international community has been confronted with new challenges, including: the rising flow of returning FTFs, the misuse of the Internet and social media by terrorists as well as the exploitation of human trafficking networks. The new Resolution acknowledges and tackles this evolving scenario which requires a coordinated response by the international community.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN SOUTH SUDAN
Briefing the Security Council on the situation in South Sudan, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, El Ghassim Wane, said the success of an Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) proposal to revitalize the 2015 peace agreement in the country would hinge on the degree to which the Government and opposition embraced it and committed to its implementation. The peace process in that country faced numerous challenges that had to be overcome as a matter of priority in order to make the most of the opportunity created by the deployment of the regional protection force in Juba and to put South Sudan back on a track to peace and stability.
Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, speaking via video link from Juba, said his team’s “One Voice” initiative, which demanded that South Sudanese leaders end hostilities and restore the ceasefire, was as relevant today as on the day it was written. At the same time, he said he had engaged in a constant round of consultations with critical stakeholders, including the South Sudan’s President and First Vice-President, reiterating a message of peace, humanitarian relief and political inclusivity.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi - The situation on the ground continues to be dramatic. Half of the South Sudanese population needs food aid. The SOFA continues to be violated by the South Sudanese authorities, including cases of arrest and arbitrary detention of UNMISS personnel. Despite the commitments to allow unhindered humanitarian access, we see an increase in attacks on humanitarian workers.
The human rights situation is worsening. The 250 children trapped between the clashing parties, the increased arrests of journalists, just to make two examples. Despite the Government’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire, the fighting continues.
ADOPTION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON PEACE CONSOLIDATION IN AFRICA
The Security Council welcomed recent positive political developments in some West African countries, but expressed concern over the threat of terrorism in the region — including attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) — as well as a worsening humanitarian situation.
Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2017/10, the Council — taking note of the Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) — welcomed in particular a peaceful transition of power in Gambia, as well as notable progress in Côte d’Ivoire to consolidate lasting peace and stability following the closure of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) on 30 June 2017.
ADOPTION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON THE SITUATION IN LIBERIA
The Security Council commended the commitment of the people and Government of Liberia to peace and to developing democratic processes, welcoming the new peacebuilding plan and noting the importance of upcoming presidential and legislative elections.
Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2017/11, the Council took note of actions to be carried out during phase I of the peacebuilding plan from April 2017 to March 2018 in support of the Government of Liberia’s commitment to develop, before the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), durable national capacities critical to sustain peace. It encouraged all stakeholders to enhance efforts to fulfil their commitments and provide the support for the plan’s successful implementation.
OPEN DEBATE ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION
Swift, decisive action was required to revive negotiations and end the crisis in Jerusalem and beyond before rising tensions dragged both Israel and Palestine into a vortex of violence and a religious conflict, the Special Coordinator of the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, told the Security Council. “Let us make no mistake that while events in Jerusalem may be taking place over a couple of hundred square meters, they affect hundreds of millions of people around the world,” he said in outlining developments that followed the killing of two Israeli police officers on 14 July.
Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said that, despite peace efforts and a new-found agreement among countries to stand united against terrorism and radicalism, societies continued to fracture along ethnic or religious lines, with non-State actors maintaining control over large territories as events in Jerusalem resonated across the region. “The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not only about land and peace,” he said.
Ambassador Inigo Lambertini - 'Let me reiterate our full adherence to Italy's long established position on the Middle East peace process, including with regard to the 1967 lines and to East Jerusalem as set out in the relevant conclusions of the Council of the European Union, and our unwavering support to all efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and Palestine. We believe that a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine needs to be based on the two-State solution, as the only achievable objective of direct negotiations between the two Parties.'
ADOPTION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON THE SITUATION CONCERNING THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
The Security Council stressed the urgent need for swift implementation of the 31 December 2016 political agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so that the Government could organize peaceful, credible, inclusive and timely elections by December 2017 — as agreed in that accord — leading to a peaceful transfer of power.
Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2017/12, the Council reiterated its call for full implementation of the confidence-building measures agreed in chapter V of the 31 December 2016 agreement, some of which were yet to be implemented. It expressed concern that unless political actors demonstrated renewed good faith and the political will needed to deliver on the promises they had made to their people on New Year’s Eve, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the wider region would face a greater risk of insecurity and instability.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN BURUNDI
Burundi’s socioeconomic Situation continued to deteriorate due to the ongoing political situation in the East African country, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy said as he briefed the Security Council on developments there.
Michel Kafando, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Burundi, said that on arrival in Bujumbura, the capital, on 27 June, he had been met by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and by President Pierre Nkurunziza, with whom he had held a private meeting. He said that he had also met with other political players, representatives of civil society and religious leaders, as well as members of the diplomatic corps and the United Nations system.
Jurg Lauber, Chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, reported that his fifth visit to the country, from 10 to 13 July, had focused primarily on socioeconomic cooperation. The security situation in Bujumbura had seemed calm, although some cases of violence had been reported during his stay, he said, adding that he had heard reports about the prevalence of a climate of fear and repression.
ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION TO EXTEND UNFICYP MANDATE
The Security Council renewed the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for six months, while asking the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of the mission.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2369 (2017), the Council extended UNFICYP’s mandate until 31 January 2018. Noting that the most recent Conference on Cyprus had not resulted in a settlement, it called on the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leadership to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency, in consultations with the mission on the demarcation of a buffer zone and on the 1989 aide-mémoire, with a view to reaching early agreement on outstanding issues.
BRIEFING ON THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SYRIA
Despite declining violence in some parts of Syria in recent months, the country’s humanitarian and protection situation remained extremely difficult for civilians, Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller told the Security Council.
Ursula Müller, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefed the Council via video conference from Amman, Jordan, reporting that, earlier in the day, she had visited the Azraq refugee camp, where around 35,000 refugees lived, many of whom had been there for several years. Most were women and children, she added. Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report, she said that despite reduced violence in some areas since the 4 May memorandum on de-escalation, the humanitarian and protection situation remained extremely difficult for civilians in many parts of the country, she said.