ADOPTION ON RESOLUTION 2380 (2017) - HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Condemning the continued smuggling of migrants through Libya and off its coast — thereby endangering hundreds of thousands of lives and undermining stability — the Security Council extended until 5 October 2018 its authorization for Member States to intercept vessels suspected of being used for such purposes
Unanimously adopting resolution 2380 (2017), the Council extended the authorization for a third one-year period, the first having been established by resolution 2240 (2015). According to the text, the Council authorized Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations, to inspect vessels reasonably suspected of being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking from Libya, and to seize those confirmed to be engaging in such activities.
BRIEFING ON MALI (MINUSMA)
While recent crises threatening the peace process in Mali had been overcome and new agreements reached, progress must be accelerated as the situation remained perilous for peacekeepers and civilians, the head of United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the West African country told the Security Council.
“Despite the positive developments, we must remember that the agreed deadlines of 2018 are quickly approaching and the challenges are enormous,” said Mahamat Saleh Annnadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Mali and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said via videoconference from Bamako. “All parties must redouble their efforts to re-establish trust between them and, despite the prolonged delays in the implementation of the Agreement [on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali], engage in necessary reforms and provide a peace dividend to the people,” he added.
Finally, Abdoulaye Diop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali, addressed the Council via videoconference, expressing surprise that the Secretary-General’s reports had indicated that hardly any progress had been made in the implementation of the peace agreement. His Government certainly had met with difficulties, but remarkable progress had been made, he maintained. There now was a continuing cessation of hostilities between the signatory groups and the Malian security forces and the 20 September high-level meeting in New York had produced a positive outcome.
ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION 2381 (2017) - COLOMBIA
Welcoming “remarkable achievements” in Colombia following agreements to end long-term civil strife, the Security Council decided this afternoon that the United Nations Verification Mission there would expand its work to include monitoring a ceasefire recently signed by the Government and the group known as Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN).
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2381 (2017), the Council approved the Secretary-General’s recommendations to increase the Mission’s staffing by no more than 70 international observers and utilize existing resources to take on the new responsibilities, authorized until 9 January 2018, without affecting tasks previously mandated under resolution 2366 (2017).
Through the text, the Council determined that the Mission would monitor compliance with the ceasefire at the national, regional and local level, would endeavour to prevent incidents through coordination between the parties and resolution of disagreements, would enable a timely response by the parties to incidents that did occur and would verify and report publicly and to the parties on ceasefire compliance.
BRIEFING ON UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: STRATEGIC FORCE GENERATION
Security Council leadership was critical in ensuring the full implementation of performance, training and conduct requirements for United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Organization’s peacekeeping chief told the Council this afternoon as it discussed strategic force generation.
In a briefing to Council members, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said generating uniformed personnel was a tireless and enormous task. It meant generating and rotating over 300 units with tens of thousands of troops and police from more than 120 countries. The creation of the Strategic Force Generation and Capability Planning Cell had been crucial to improvements. The Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System was a new element in force generation, currently involving 81 Member States serving in 21 units. Sufficient pledges had been received for a Vanguard Brigade of roughly 4,000 troops and police.
Ambassador Lambertini said Italy was doing its part to contribute to peacekeeping operations as a participant and one of the most generous financial contributors. Italy was also active in training and in capacity-building in all kinds of areas. There was a need for well-trained troops and explosive ordnance disposal capacities, among other things. Technology was key in gathering information crucial for the safety of peacekeepers and the protection of civilians. One of the biggest gaps identified was the role and presence of women. Participation of women at all levels was crucial for effectiveness. There should be more emphasis on prevention, mediation and peacebuilding. Italy had joined the fight against sexual exploitation and abuse by contributing to the trust fund for victims, among other things.
PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT - THE SITUATION IN MIDDLE EAST (LIBYA)
The Security Council this morning endorsed a new Action Plan for the resumption of an inclusive Libyan-owned political process under the facilitation and leadership of the United Nations.
The Council stressed that all initiatives in Libya should be consolidated under the leadership of the United Nations as agreed to by Fayez al Sarraj, Prime Minister and President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord. All Member States must support the primacy of the United Nations mediation in Libya, it emphasized.
Expressing concern over the deteriorating security, economic and humanitarian situation in Libya, the threat of terrorism, trafficking in persons and illicit goods, it called for the unification of security forces under civilian governance. At the same time, it welcomed Libyan-led efforts to fight Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) and other individuals and groups in Libya on the United Nations ISIL/Da’esh and Al-Qaida Sanctions List. It also underlined the need for all parties to comply with international humanitarian and human rights law and called for bolstered humanitarian assistance.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN YEMEN
With parties to the conflict in Yemen pursuing a futile and cruel military conflict of benefit only to a few of the powerful, millions of citizens were enduring the worst suffering in the nation’s history, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for that country told the Security Council.
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, briefing alongside John Ging, Director of the Coordination and Response Division in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the sharp increase in civilian casualties showed the warring parties’ continued disregard for their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, including their obligation to stop recruiting child soldiers and to end sexual and gender-based violence.
“The bloodshed and destruction of Yemen has to end,” he said. “There are no excuses. There are no justifications.” He noted that an air strike against a residential suburb in Sana’a, the nation’s capital, on 25 August had reportedly claimed the lives of 14 civilians and injured 16 others; shelling from Houthi-controlled zones of residential areas in Taiz city on 15 and 18 September had killed and injured tens of civilians
Mr. Ging, briefing on Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, said that as the conflict entered its third year, the impact on civilians was devastating, with air strikes, shelling and ground fighting continuing in urban areas, causing death and destruction of vital infrastructure. Some 15 million people lacked access to adequate clean water, sanitation and hygiene or health services and seven million faced the threat of famine. The largest single-year cholera outbreak on record had sickened over 800,000 in 90 per cent of communities, according to estimates. Two million remained displaced, many in scavenged shelters. “This remains a man-made crisis, generating intolerable suffering for the Yemeni people,” he said.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (MONUSCO)
The top United Nations official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo urged international and regional stakeholders to help the country avert worsening instability by advancing progress on elections and other stalled components of the recent political agreement.
“It is only by working together in synergy that the obstacles facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be overcome,” said Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report on the Mission’s work (document S/2017/824) and his special report on the strategic review of MONUSCO (document S/2017/826), he said the review had been requested with a view to providing options for reducing the Mission’s military and civilian personnel, as well as recommendations for an exit strategy following implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement on the electoral process, the holding of elections by the end of 2017, and significant progress in reducing the threat posed by armed groups.
BRIEFING ON THE MISSION IN HAITI (MINUSTAH)
The United Nations peacekeeping operation in Haiti would close on 15 October and be replaced the following day by a smaller successor mission to help the Government consolidate stability, implement institutional reforms and enhance the rule of law, human rights and governance, the United Nations top official in the country told the Security Council this morning.
Sandra Honore', Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), said that, when the Mission was established, a climate of lawlessness and impunity plagued the country. State authority was weak and the three branches of power were either not functioning or non-existent. Today, 13 and a half years later, Haiti had a different outlook despite many challenges. There was greater security and stability. Armed gangs no longer held the population hostage. A 14,000‑strong capable police force existed. All three branches of power were in place, with directly elected officials, denoting progress in the implementation of the Constitution.
Ambassador Lambertini, aligning himself with the statement to be delivered by the European Union, said that the transition in Haiti was window of opportunity for Haitians to conduct the reforms necessary for a prosperous future, including a stable rule of law and fair access to development. Inclusive dialogue was essential for those purposes as was the equal participation of women. Priority and resources must be devoted for further development of the security sector to consolidate national capacities for maintaining peace and preventing conflict. He looked forward to the total transfer of all powers to Haitian authorities, and the maximum use of good offices by MINUJUSTH. He also hoped for a speedy operationalization of the new Mission and noted Italy’s support to Haiti in a variety of areas, including the fight against cholera.
BRIEFING ON MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY - FOUR FAMINES
Sounding the alarm on famine exacerbated by conflict, Secretary-General António Guterres urged the international community to step up efforts to end violence, ensure humanitarian assistance and foster long-term development in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and other areas of instability-rooted starvation.
Speaking in the Security Council this afternoon, he declared: “Until these conflicts are resolved and development takes root, communities and entire regions will continue to be ravaged by hunger and suffering.” He cited studies showing that the decline of world hunger was threatened by the proliferation of strife, with 60 per cent of the 815 million hungry people living in conflict areas.
Ambassador Inigo Lambertini said the situation had not improved. Even though the famine had been contained in some areas, the overall number of those at risk had increased. The world must act to prevent such crises. It was clear that the famine was man-made and conflict-driven, he said, underscoring the connection between conflict and food security. Food insecurity fuelled conflict and forced displacement. It was critical to step up efforts focused on agricultural and food assistance to tackle the issues in a holistic manner. Early warning mechanisms were essential for breaking the cycle of violence, he said, commending the Secretary-General for his early warning, which was instrumental in providing a timely response. The growing commitment of the Security Council on humanitarian issues was a move in the right direction. A holistic approach was critical when dealing with peace and security issues. “We discuss a lot about crises, this is one where we can make a difference,” he said.
PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON MINUSTAH (HAITI)
In presidential statement S/PRST/2017/20, read by François Delattre (France), its President for October, the Council recognized the contribution MINUSTAH had made in restoring security and stability throughout its 13‑year tenure and expressed appreciation of the efforts of the United Nations Country Team.
Recalling that the primary responsibility for ensuring stability lay with the Government of Haiti, the Council reaffirmed the need for political dialogue to help defuse tensions between competing groups. Also reaffirming the need for addressing ongoing socioeconomic grievances, the Council emphasized the importance of prioritizing strengthening the rule of law, judicial reform, respect for human rights, including the empowerment of women and their full participation in decision-making, and further developing the capacity of the Haitian National Police.
Further to the presidential statement, the Council underscored the importance of continued support to Haiti and welcomed the work of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) to consolidate progress made as the country transitioned to a non-peacekeeping United Nations presence. It emphasized the importance of MINUJUSTH developing a clearly benchmarked projected two‑year exit strategy to a non‑peacekeeping United Nations presence to continue supporting the efforts of the Government of Haiti in sustaining peace and peacebuilding.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN (UNMISS)
With regional forces being deployed in South Sudan to strengthen civilian protection, that country’s leaders still bore direct responsibility to end the bloodshed through efforts to reinvigorate the political process, the United Nations peacekeeping chief stressed to the Security Council.
“I would like to urge Council members to use their leverage on all parties and encourage them to engage in this process meaningfully”, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, said as he briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s 30‑day report on the deployment of the Regional Protection Force, the work of the Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the general situation in the country.
The Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) had been trying to reinvigorate the political process through a Revitalization Forum, he said, but its efforts had met with a lukewarm response from the Government. President Salva Kiir had reportedly supported the initiative but requested a series of clarifications. IGAD had also met with opposition figures, including Riek Machar in South Africa, all of whom declared cautious support to the process. He called on the Security Council to send a strong message to the Government and opposition leaders to cooperate with the initiative.
OPEN DEBATE ON THE SITUATION IN MIDDLE EAST (PALESTINE)
Despite the overall negative trajectory that had characterized the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict for far too long, there were reasons for cautious optimism, the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs told the Security Council as the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, was addressed in an all‑day debate that heard from more than forty speakers.
Miroslav Jenča said that the end to the more than 10‑year‑long Palestinian divide and Gaza’s return to the full control of the legitimate Palestinian Authority was an important development. On 12 October, with Egyptian mediation, Fatah and Hamas had signed an agreement by which the Palestinian Authority would take control of the Gaza crossings on 1 November and should assume its full responsibilities in Gaza by 1 December.
Drawing attention to the severity of the humanitarian crisis and continuing human rights abuses in the Gaza Strip, he reported that, for the sixth consecutive month, the enclave’s 2 million people had only received electricity for a mere four to six hours a day. The outages disrupted the health‑care, water supply and sanitation systems, he said, describing Gaza as an unfolding environmental disaster with no regard for borders.
Ambassador Lambertini called for further progress on inter‑Palestinian reconciliation, while emphasizing that recognition of Israel’s right to exist should be part of any permanent agreement between the two Palestinian sides. Regarding the overall peace process, he said any peace plan must conform with the two‑State solution, reiterating concerns that the expansion of settlements undermined that prospect. Moreover, Palestinian leaders must condemn all acts of violence, he stressed. Welcoming the defeat of ISIL, he called for reconciliation across all segments of society
ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION 2235 (2015) - RENEWAL OF THE MANDATE OF JOINT INVESTIGATIVE MECHANISM ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE IN SYRIA
11 Favour Action, 2 Oppose, 2 Abstain, as Bolivia Adds to Russian Federation’s Negative Vote in Rejecting Draft Resolution
Following a negative vote cast by the Russian Federation, the Security Council failed to renew the mandate of the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), formed to determine the perpetrators of chemical-weapons attacks in Syria.
The Council rejected the draft resolution following a vote of 11 in favour to 2 against (Bolivia, Russian Federation), with 2 abstaining (China, Kazakhstan). Had it been adopted, it would have extended the Mechanism’s mandate — established by resolution 2235 (2015) and set to expire on 17 November — for a further one year.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi said he had voted in favour of the draft to ensure that accountability for violations of international law remained an important part of the Council’s work. The Mechanism was an important instrument in that regard, he said, expressing hope that internal division could be overcome and that the Mechanism’s mandate would still be extended. Ending impunity and holding perpetrators of horrendous crimes accountable should unite the Council, not divide it, he stressed.
BRIEFING ON SECURITY COUNCIL MISSION IN SAHEL REGION
Last week’s Security Council field mission saw evidence of great determination among regional actors in the Sahel to overcome security challenges through deployment of the internationally‑endorsed regional force, its leaders said in the Council Chamber this afternoon.
It was critical that such determination be accompanied by concrete progress in the Malian peace process and firm international support, François Delattre, President of the Council, stated as he led off a briefing on the 19 to 22 October field visit to Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso to assess the operationalization of the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (Sahel G‑5).
The mission, which also consulted with the Malian parties on accelerating implementation of their 2015 peace agreement, was co‑led by France along with Ethiopia and Italy, whose respective representatives, Tekeda Alemu and Sebastiano Cardi, also briefed this afternoon.
Mr. Delattre said that the African Union Peace and Security Council had also been invited to participate in the mission but was unable to send a representative. The organization welcomed the invitation, however, and expressed intentions to participate in future such visits.
Mr. Alemu said that the mission was an eye opener, showing how grave the challenges actually were in the Sahel and how much international support was needed before a tipping point was reached. He argued that a holistic approach was needed that integrated approaches to climate change and development matters with means of confronting the insecurity caused by crime, insurgency and terrorism. Given the efforts being made in the region itself to face those challenges, failure to come up with an appropriate positive response to their needs was unacceptable, he stated.
Mr. Cardi said that officials of both the Government and the joint force were assured that the force was seen by the Council as a necessity for the region to be able to deal effectively with its security. The joint force leadership said that its motto, “Security and Development”, was a recognition that all security initiatives must go hand in hand with development efforts. Coordinated international support should follow the framework developed by the regional actors, the force leadership said. That message was amplified by other interlocutors, who all highlighted the magnitude of the challenges faced in the region. He hoped that the Sahel G‑5 could succeed in its ambitious goals.
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION BETWEEN SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN
Briefing the Security Council on the situation between Sudan and South Sudan, a senior peacekeeping official recommended that it extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) for another six months.
Alexander Zuev, Assistant Secretary‑General for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, told the Council there were four patterns to dispute over the Abyei Area: the conflict between the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya ethnic groups over grazing land and water; criminality in and around the Amiet Common Market; violence associated with petty crime; and the presence of armed groups. Whereas UNISFA operations continued to enhance peace and stability in the Abyei Area, intercommunal tensions persisted in the absence of progress on the implementation of the 20 June 2011 Agreement between the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, he said.
In a separate briefing, Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary‑General’s Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, who said the internal conflicts in those countries, coupled with mistrust between them, continued to impede the full implementation of agreements and the normalization of bilateral relations. He added that he had stressed to the parties that agreements on security arrangements and border issues could not be implemented without regular meetings of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism.
OPEN DEBATE ON WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY
Normative frameworks had been established and global awareness of the urgency of ending sexual atrocities and empowering women in conflict situations was growing, but progress on the ground must be accelerated, speakers told the Security Council in an all-day debate.
“The chorus of voices that are appalled by the persistent political marginalization of women in decision-making is speaking louder; the number of people who are determined to find new solutions to the human suffering caused by conflict is growing,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), said in a briefing, ahead of over 85 speakers in the Council’s annual examination of progress and gaps in implementing resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. “But, that is just the beginning,” she declared, calling for redoubled efforts to empower and protect women throughout the United Nations system.
Ms. Viotti, introducing the Secretary-General’s latest report on the subject (document S/2017/861), affirmed that women’s underrepresentation in the security sector increased their exposure to harm and undermined their potential in conflict prevention. When the Council had visited the Lake Chad Basin, local leaders had emphasized the weak position of women as a root cause for the current crisis.
She described plans of the Secretary-General to achieve gender parity in the United Nations, noting that only 3 per cent of peacekeepers were women. Reform of the peace and security architecture would emphasize gender expertise, along with monitoring mechanisms targeting women marginalization. Council and other Member States would also be encouraged to share best practices.
BRIEFING ON PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFRICA (SAHEL REGION)
Innovative actions would be needed to support the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (Sahel G-5) countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania and Niger) as well as development efforts, United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres told the Security Council this morning, stressing that the situation in that region was a challenge for all.
Antonio Guterres, Secretary‑General of the United Nations, said the situation in the Sahel was a challenge for all. Under‑development and climate change had contributed to the humanitarian and security crises in the region. Weak institutions, exclusion and marginalization of certain groups were exploited by extremists and terrorists. Porous borders facilitated human trafficking, as well as arms and drugs smuggling and other criminal activities. The recent deadly attacks against gendarmes from Niger and United States troops, and the continuous attacks against security forces of Mali, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) “Blue Helmets” and the soldiers of Operation Barkhane underlined the security threats. Some 5 million people were displaced and 24 million needed humanitarian aid. Millions of children in the Sahel region did not have access to health care and did not go to school.
Abdoulaye Diop, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Mali, thanked the Security Council and the entire United Nations for its engagement in the security and development of the Sahel region. Welcoming the analysis and recommendations in the Secretary‑General’s report, he said that the meeting was taking place at an appropriate time because the region was still suffering greatly from terrorism and other forms of international organized crime. Such menace to security was being faced by the Sahel countries but it was also a challenge that must be shared with the world due to its causes, its manifestations and its impact on international security. It required a collective response.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, addressing the Council via video conference, said this meeting demonstrated the growing attention of the international community for the situation unfolding in the Sahel region. The G-5 Sahel countries had clearly demonstrated their determination to tackle the challenges confronting them and the international community was duty‑bound to support them and in doing so would also be acting in its own interest as the threat in the region did not recognize borders. The efforts of the United Nations could give the regional actions essential legitimacy and could combine the efforts of the G-5 Sahel and MINUSMA.
Angel Losada Fernandez, Special Representative for the Sahel of the European Union, said that the security of the Sahel was critical for the entire globe, but it would not be able to hold unless the Malian peace agreement was implemented by all the parties. He paid tribute to all those who had been working for peace there, including those who had given their lives. Welcoming, in addition, progress in deploying the Sahel G‑5 joint force, he encouraged further efforts, particularly in explaining its purpose to the local population. Listing the multiple challenges faced in the Sahel, he welcomed the efforts of the heads of State in the region, noting the immediate response of the European Union for support, some of which had already been pledged. European aid had always, in addition, recognized the security‑development nexus, he said and all requests for support were being examined. He emphasized the need to ensure the respect for human rights in all security operations.
Ambassador Cardi said the security threats of terrorism and illegal trafficking had a devastating impact on an already fragile political situation and were a threat to the entire world, noting the devastating face of that situation on the shores of his country. Welcoming the establishment of the joint force with the support of the Council, he said much was needed to completely operationalize it. The Council should address the options provided by the Secretary-General and give the moral responsibility to give sizable support to the joint force, and ensure that in all operations human rights were upheld. He emphasized the added value of multilateral support, which, he said, was the only way to establish a framework of support that could also take stock of bilateral contributions at the same time. He stressed that efforts of the Sahel G‑5 countries in the security sector must go hand in hand with development in the region.
BRIEFING ON THE MIDDLE EAST (SYRIA)
Despite progress in the de‑escalation of fighting in certain parts of Syria, civilian suffering, as well as impediments to aid delivery, continued, the United Nations top humanitarian official told the Security Council this afternoon, stressing it was crucial to ensure that cross-border delivery of aid was maintained.
“Cross-border assistance provided for in Security Council resolution 2165 (2014) has been a lifeline,” said Mark Lowcock, Under‑Secretary‑General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as he updated the 15‑member Council by teleconference from Amman, Jordan, in the latest of the monthly briefings on humanitarian access in Syria required under resolution 2139 (2014).
Since United Nations cross-border operations began in July 2014, Mr. Lowcock said, millions of people had been reached by more than 16,400 trucks carrying aid to northern and southern parts of Syria. “It would be impossible for us to reach those people in a sustained manner from within Syria,” he added.