BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN COTE D' IVOIRE
The Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Côte d’Ivoire delivered her final briefing to the Security Council amid plans to withdraw the United Nations peacekeeping mission in that country later this month after 13 years deployed there.
Italy would continue to support Côte d'Ivoire bilaterally, at the United Nations and through various European Union efforts. International and regional security trends meant that there must be a sufficient commitment to stability by the Government, Ambassador Cardi said, stressing that Côte d'Ivoire could offer invaluable first-hand knowledge about the success of a United Nations mission for years to come.
ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION ON NON-PROLIFERATION (DPRK)
The Security Council decided to extend the number of individuals and entities targeted by sanctions first imposed under resolution 1718 (2006) — an asset freeze and travel ban for those involved in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear-weapon programme.
The Council reaffirmed its decision that Pyongyang must abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities.
"With this resolution, the Council had sent another message of unity and determination against the continued provocations of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which constituted a flagrant violation of international law, and a serious threat to international and regional peace and security". Reaffirming his strong condemnation of all missile activities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as its blatant disregard of its international commitments, Ambassador Cardi said that as Chair of the 1718 Committee, Italy would work tirelessly to ensure the full implementation of all Council resolutions by the entire United Nations membership.
BRIEFING ON MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY: PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY AND TRANSBOUNDARY WATERS
Spotlighting the scarcity of Earth’s most precious resource, the United Nations Secretary-General urged world leaders to invest in water security, amid increasing demand and the burgeoning effects of climate change.
Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that water, peace and security were inextricably linked. Noting that water scarcity remained a growing concern for all nations, he said that demand for freshwater was projected to grow by more than 40 per cent by the middle of the century. The challenges in meeting such demands would only be compounded by the growing impact of climate change.
Drawing attention to Europe’s long-standing experience in the field of water diplomacy, the Under Secretary of State for Environment, Silvia Velo, also underlined Italy’s own engagement in addressing water challenges at both the multilateral and bilateral levels, including through its 2016 adoption of the Rome Statute on Water Scarcity in Agriculture.
DEBATE ON INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA/INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL FOR RWANDA
A worrying denial of war crimes, glorification of convicted perpetrators and a lack of cooperation with some national authorities were among obstacles hampering the full discharge of the mandates of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, senior Tribunal officials told the Security Council.
Judge Carmel Agius - ICTY President: “Any unfinished business will remain a disturbing footnote in an otherwise successful, indeed ground-breaking, attempt to hold persons accountable for the most heinous crimes that can be imagined”
Citing developments in several cases, Judge Theodor Meron - IRMCT President said judges had continued to work remotely and were available for hearings. Not limited to major cases, judicial work encompassed a range of requests, many from national authorities, from contempt allegations to motions seeking a review of judgment.
Serge Brammertz - ICTY/MICT Prosecutor said two new task forces were supporting tracking initiatives and his office was taking a more proactive approach, including pursuing new lines of investigations regarding fugitives.
"The international community has a collective responsibility to keep building on the legacy of the two ad hoc Tribunals, working with the Mechanism, as well as with other international criminal courts and tribunals." Ambassador Cardi said, noting that the Council had contributed to establish the age of accountability and it must continue to uphold those main principles.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN LIBYA
The situation in Libya remained tense, compounded by security, political, economic and humanitarian challenges requiring both regional and international support, the United Nations senior official in the country said.
Briefing the Security Council on the latest developments in the North African State, Martin Kobler, the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), underscored that the transition process had not been fully implemented.
“The people of Libya desire peace. They desire security. They desire a country where their children have a brighter future,” Mr. Kobler said via video-teleconference from Tunis.
BRIEFING ON THREATS TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY CAUSED BY TERRORIST ACTS
Suppressing Terrorism Financing, Foreign Fighter Flows, Online Propaganda Key to Countering ISIL Threat, Speakers Tell Security Council
While Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) was being hobbled by lost territory and shrinking financial resources, collective efforts must be intensified to finally put an end to the terrorist group’s attacks in the region and beyond and to eradicate its deadly propaganda online, speakers told the Security Council.
Member States, the United Nations and international, regional and subregional organizations continued to strengthen existing tools while developing new ones. Member States were making progress in adopting legal frameworks to address financing and foreign fighter threats.
Promoting a counter-narrative to terrorism is crucial, Ambassador Inigo Lambertini added, highlighting the important role of technical assistance and training programmes in affected countries. Combating trafficking of human beings — a major source of terrorism financing — is of paramount importance. Sound security and cooperation are essential in addressing and countering the phenomenon that had sent thousands to Italy’s shores. Stabilization of liberated areas in Iraq together with reforms of essential public sectors is critical.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN SUDAN & SOUTH SUDAN (INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT)
The pervading toxic culture of impunity must be tackled in order for justice to prevail in Darfur, the International Criminal Court’s Prosecutor told the Security Council as it remained split on how the matter was being handled.
Ambassador Inigo Lambertini: "Cooperation with the Court is essential. It is an obligation under resolution 1593 (2005), it is an obligation under the ICC Statute. Moreover, cooperation is a measure of commitment to the fight against impunity that can also be extended voluntarily, even when an obligation stricto sensu does not exist."
ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION 2357 ON THE SITUATION IN LIBYA
The Security Council reauthorized Member States — acting nationally or through regional organizations — to inspect vessels on the high seas off Libya’s coast believed to be in violation of the arms embargo imposed on that country.
Vincenzo Amendola, Under-Secretary of State for International and Foreign Affairs of Italy, said the Council had sent a strong message of unity in its adoption of the resolution regarding the fight against terrorism and arms trafficking, scourges that were contributing to instability in Libya. Italy supported the political process in Libya with a view to bolstering national reconciliation. Efforts to ensure security in the Mediterranean region were essential, he said, expressing support for the work of Operation SOPHIA related to arms and fuel smuggling.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Violence in the Central African Republic — including attacks on minority groups and peacekeepers — harkened back to the darkest days of that country’s past, but the United Nations peacekeeping mission there must nevertheless stay the course so as to consolidate progress towards peace, its chief told the Security Council.
Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), said harsh criticism of the Mission within the country reflected frustration over the Government’s lack of capacity, as well as persistent — largely self-inflicted — insecurity characterized by each side expecting MINUSCA to fight their perceived enemies.
“We are now deeply inside a critical phase of mandate implementation and MINUSCA must stay the course to consolidate progress towards peace, even as we must recognize the magnitude of the adversity we face today,” he said. All peace efforts must be energized.
Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of Sant’Egidio, said the Central African Republic was a priority country for his organization. In 2014, Sant’Edigio had worked to promote dialogue among religious communities, including awareness-raising to assist the political process.
Vincenzo Amendola, Under-Secretary of State for International and Foreign Affairs of Italy, expressed deep concern about the fragile — and worsening — security environment, which revealed that the political process was not advancing and was insufficient to stop the fighting. He called on authorities and all armed groups to bolster efforts to address the conflict’s root causes. The international community must help the Government, he said, welcoming the Secretary-General’s plan and the work of his Special Representative, and expressing hope that pledges made at the recent Brussels conference would be honoured.
BRIEFING ON MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY: COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO MINE ACTION AND EXPLOSIVE HAZARD THREAT MITIGATION
Mine action must extend beyond only removing those remnants of war to become a part of an effective toolkit for helping communities and countries recover and pursue sustainable peace, speakers told the Security Council during a briefing on a comprehensive approach to mine action and explosive hazard threat mitigation.
Alexander Zuev, Assistant Secretary-General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said that mine action was an integrated component of peacekeeping and special political missions. Such activities were critical to safety, security and mobility of mission personnel and to the effective and efficient implementation of mission mandates, especially for protecting civilian populations.
Vincenzo Amendola, Under-Secretary of State for International and Foreign Affairs of Italy, called landmines and explosive remnants a matter of great concern, with ongoing events generating new contaminations and non-State armed groups using new kinds of explosive devices. While the number of victims was growing, funding for mine action was going down, he said. Commending the work of UNMAS, he said Italy would maintain its commitment to mine action in all its aspects, and strongly encouraged all States to adhere to the Ottawa Convention and other mine action-related instruments.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) to stability in Central Africa’s should not be underestimated, particularly now with Ugandan and South Sudanese troops, as well as United States special forces having disengaged from the African Union Regional Task Force, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the subregion warned in the Security Council.
François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). He emphasized that the Central African Republic’s national security services, which could fill the gap left by the disengaging forces in the long run, still needed training and structural reform. There was need to remain collectively focused on efforts to ensure the LRA’s total eradication, he said. UNOCA would remain engaged, including by reviewing the United Nations regional strategy for addressing the LRA threat and ensuring coordination among various relevant stakeholders.
ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION TO EXTEND UNSOM'S MANDATE
The Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until March 2018, as previously set out in resolution 2158 (2014).
By the terms of resolution 2358 (2017), adopted unanimously, the Council underscored the importance of UNSOM’s support for Somalia’s political process and encouraged enhanced interaction between the Mission and civil society at the national and regional levels.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN DARFUR
With the level of armed hostilities significantly lower than in previous years, the focus of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) should be readjusted as the mission reduced the number of peacekeepers deployed in that region of western Sudan, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations told the Security Council.
El-Ghassim Wane, Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, said the nature of the conflict that had prompted the Council to create the mission a decade ago had changed markedly following a military campaign by the Government of Sudan that had reduced the rebellion in Darfur to a small presence of Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid fighters in western Jebel Marra.
BRIEFING ON COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UN AND REGIONAL & SUB-REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
The United Nations must move away from ad hoc arrangements towards a more institutionalized approach for the joint planning, mandating, financing and supporting of African Union peace-support operations, speakers told the Security Council as it took up proposals in that regard.
Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef De Cabinet Of The Secretary-General: Effective cooperation on peace-support operations required not only an engagement between the Secretariat and the Commission of the African Union, but also between the Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council in mandating and reporting. A common approach among Member States was also needed to address financial support for African Union operations. The General Assembly would play an oversight role in situations where United Nations assessed contributions were authorized.
Donald Kabernuka, African Union High Representative for the Peace Fund, underlined three consistent issues in the consideration of current challenges: a collective response must address the complex nature of current crises; regional organizations brought a comparative advantage; and a need for predictable and sustainable financing mechanisms.
The recently signed United Nations-African Union framework agreement and other similar actions should mark the start of an increasingly productive relationship, paving the way for African solutions to African problems. Fully in favour of exploring the use of assessed contributions, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi said such efforts must hinge on high accountability standards. Cooperation had already been tested, including with the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The recent creation of the Group of 5 Sahel — or G5 Sahel — counter-terrorism force could become a model for future missions.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN SYRIA - CHEMICAL WEAPONS
Although some progress had been made in the ongoing investigations of chemical weapon use in Syria, Security Council members must avoid politicizing the issue, the United Nations disarmament chief urged the 15-nation body as she briefed them on the matter.
Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs: “We have collectively worked to create regimes for disarmament and non-proliferation in order that our security will be enhanced. If we collectively permit the erosion of those regimes, so too will our security be avoided.”
Providing updates on the fact-finding mission in Syria, she said investigations were continuing into the allegations of chemical weapon use in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN MALI
Despite progress towards peace in Mali, terrorist attacks remained a major obstacle, the head of the United Nations peacekeeping operation in that country told the Security Council, as the State’s Foreign Minister called for the Council’s authority to deploy a regional counter-terrorism force so as to keep the nation on the road to reconciliation.
Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), reported significant progress on implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation over the past months, but agreed that terrorists and extremists were gaining ground as existing tensions threatened to derail achievements.
Mr. Annadif described Mali’s central region as a continuing source of concern, encouraging the Council to focus on such pressing security challenges, and to send a strong message that civilian killings must end, when considering the renewal of MINUSMA’s mandate.
ARRIA MEETING ON THE RISK OF FAMINE IN CONFLICT-AFFECTED AREAS
Italy co-organized UNSC meeting on the risk of famine in conflict-affected areas, focusing on Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria.
Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General: the famine crisis is totally linked to conflicts and generating refugees for which we are responsible. Around 6.3 Billion dollars are needed to respond to this critical situation.
Ambassador Inigo Lambertini: Italy has been since the outset of famine crisis one of the most proactive countries to provide support, and to carry out advocacy efforts.
Building long term resilience to future shocks is fundamental. If agricultural and food systems are weak, under stress and underdeveloped in ordinary times, they will be much less likely to resist to disasters, extreme climate events, conflicts and violence.
BRIEFING ON PEACEBUILDING & SUSTAINING PEACE
Building upon the progress it had made in 2016, the Peacebuilding Commission reviewed its working methods to enhance efficiency and flexibility, the Security Council heard in its regular briefing on the intergovernmental advisory body’s work.
Cho Tae-Yul (Republic of Korea), Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, recalled that the body had made noteworthy advancements in the implementation of the resolutions on the review of the peacebuilding architecture. In 2017, it would seek to build upon those achievements.
In that regard, he said, the Commission had been making an effort to use its convening role to mobilize deeper commitment and partnership between the United Nations, the countries of the Sahel and other international and regional partners, with a view to advance the implementation of the United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST - PALESTINIAN QUESTION
On the fiftieth anniversary of the Six-Day War, achieving a negotiated two-State outcome was the only way to lay the foundations for an enduring peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Security Council heard, as it held its regular briefing on the situation in the Middle East.
“Now is not the time to give up on this goal.” Nickolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, told the 15-member Council via video teleconference from Jerusalem, adding that it was pertinent to create the conditions for a return to negotiations to resolve all final status issues on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, mutual agreements and international law.
Lakhdar Brahimi, Member of The Elders - He said it was a sad reality that, 50 years on, little of consequence had been done to bring about a viable Palestinian State. Referring to an article by Nathan Thrall in The New York Times on 2 June, he said near-total Council paralysis was — alongside United States backing, Palestinian weakness and Israeli indifference — a pillar of the ongoing Israeli occupation. Since 1967, the Palestinian people had endured grave acts of oppression, violence and collective punishment; they desperately needed protection from the international community, notably through the fourth Geneva Convention.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi noted how there was no room for fatalism or resignation, but rather the 50-year anniversary of the 1967 war should bring forth a sense of resolve in supporting a Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Peace could only be obtained through direct negotiations between the parties, although the support of other actors was of particular importance, including the role of the Middle East Quartet. The path to peace required the direct involvement of the relevant Arab partners, and in that context, he welcomed the recent announcement of the Arab League on the relaunching of serious negotiations.
Solid partners and their willingness to make bold decisions were vitally importance, while the humanitarian imperative must also be taken into account.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN BURUNDI
Confidence-Building Steps Critical for Establishing Credible Political Dialogue in Burundi amid Security, Humanitarian Challenges.
Regional actors and international partners must press for confidence-building measures that would be conducive for holding an inclusive and credible political dialogue in Burundi, Assistant Secretary-General Tayé-Brook Zerihoun told the Security Council as it considered the situation in that country.
Jürg Lauber (Switzerland), Chair of the Burundi Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission - Speaking via video link from Geneva, said the East African Community summit in Dar es Salaam was a key event that had demonstrated the importance of regional engagement, with Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda and Chair of the Community, reiterating his personal commitment to the Community-led mediation and calling for resumed socioeconomic cooperation with Burundi.
ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION 2359 (2017) ON DEPLOYMENT OF JOINT FORCE TO COMBAT TERRORISM THREAT, TRANSNATIONAL CRIME IN SAHEL
The Security Council welcomed the deployment of the Group of Five Sahel joint force (Force conjointe du G5 Sahel - FC-G5S) that would address the threat of terrorism, as well as the serious challenges posed by transnational organized crime in the region. Unanimously adopting resolution 2359 (2017), the Council welcomed the joint force’s strategic concept of operations, saying it intended to review the deployment in four months’ time.
DEBATE ON THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN (UNAMA)
Warning that the situation in Afghanistan was unusually tense and that a recent tide of violent terrorist attacks had brought underlying political tensions to the surface, the United Nations top official in the country urged all parties to exercise calm and the Government to take steps to improve public trust in its security sector in particular.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative of the Secretary - General for Afghanistan, noted that, in the months since his last briefing in March 2016, the situation in the country had been unusually tense. Deteriorating security had brought underlying political tensions to the surface, although the National Unity Government had demonstrated a willingness to take steps towards peace. “Without enhanced efforts by the National Unity Government to increase political inclusiveness, strengthen accountability, and improve the Government’s credibility, particularly in the security sector, we are likely to face more crises in an increasingly fragile environment,” he warned, adding that recent events were a reminder of the need for caution, calm and unity.
Italy underscored the crucial importance of cooperation among regional stakeholders, noting that terrorism and violent extremism threatened them, as well. The need for a credible and broad-based reconciliation in Afghanistan underscored the fact that there was no military solution to the conflict, Ambassador Inigo Lambertini said. Focusing on an inclusive consensus was key, he said, emphasizing the need to ensure women’s participation in the process.
ADOPTION OF THE RESOLUTION ON THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
The Security Council extended its arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban on the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1 July 2018, expanding those sanctions to cover individuals and entities engaging in or providing support for acts that included planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) peacekeepers or United Nations personnel, including members of the Group of Experts.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi expressed concern over the shrinking democratic space and the current instability in the country.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN SOUTH SUDAN
The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, citing a lack of real progress towards ending hostilities and resuming dialogue in South Sudan, recommended no changes to the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as set out in resolution 2327 (2016). Briefing the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the situation in that country (document S/2017/505), Jean-Pierre Lacroix said the mandate — including the role of a Regional Protection Force to augment security in Juba — remained relevant and suited to purpose.
Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations - “We cannot recommend any adjustments to UNMISS’ current mandate,” he said, citing the persistence of significant military operations on the ground, the lack of dialogue between the parties and the absence of authentic inclusivity within the Government.
MEETING ARRIA - FORMULA ON THE HORN OF AFRICA
"Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi - I am particularly pleased that Ethiopia and Italy have organized this Arria-formula meeting for three reasons. First and foremost, this is the first time that the two co-chairs of IGAD and the IGAD Partners Forum have promoted an event in the Security Council that focuses also on IGAD initiatives. This is the sign of a solid partnership, shared by both parties. Secondly, because we will speak about preventing and countering violent extremism in a strategic area of the world, the Horn of Africa, an area that has been in the cross-fires of the fight against extremism for years, and to which Italy dedicates special attention. Finally, because this meeting is open to the region and to partners of the region, consistent with our deep conviction that we need to do more than pay lip service to “ownership.” We need to observe the principle both during the discussion and in the implementation of policies."
UN MISSION IN HAITI
June, 22th - 24th
Ambassador Inigo Lambertini participated at a three-days UNSC Mission in Haiti, aiming at checking first hand the situation in the country and of the UN mission on the field.
The delegation also sought to review how to implement MINUSTAH's transition to the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), and identify the necessary requirements for the successful implementation of the follow-up mission's mandate.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN SYRIA
The international community must build on several significant new developments in the Syria negotiation process, including a round of technical meetings attended by representatives of three opposition groups, the senior United Nations official in that country said.
Briefing the Security Council via videoconference from Geneva, Staffan de Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, described recent developments as a “mixed picture”. In addition to the first round of technical consultative meetings announced during his last briefing, serious efforts had continued in the area of de-escalation ahead of the next round of peace talks, expected to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, in July.
“We are at a time of testing whether the political will exists” to move beyond preparatory talks, he said, recalling that the new technical expert meetings were intended to develop options on constitutional and legal issues in order to help the formal negotiations progress more expeditiously. Drawing a parallel with a similar experience in Afghanistan, where preparatory work had been put into action ahead of a formal conference, he said the Government of Syria and three separate opposition invitees had all agreed to participate.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN LIBERIA
While Liberia had made remarkable strides since signing the Accra Peace Agreement in 2003, current challenges posed a risk of reversing that positive trend, the head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) told the Security Council.
Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General - Liberia’s future as a stable democracy, hinged on successful elections and a smooth transition of power, he stressed. The Liberia Peacebuilding Plan, which the Secretary-General had sent to the Council in April, had identified key actions to take before March 2018, when UNMIL’s substantive mandate ended. It also was the basis for the United Nations system integrated transition plan, which was currently being finalized in consultation with the Government and civil society actors.
OPEN DEBATE ON NON-PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
UNSCRs 1540 (2004) and 2325 (2016) constitute central pillars of the international non-proliferation architecture as well as key instruments to avoid that the most dangerous materials in the world fall into the wrong hands. The report of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism has proven and confirmed the use of chemical weapons by both State and non-State actors, Ambassador Inigo Lambertini said.