posted on SUN 14 SEP 2014 2:55 PM
Briefings by the new UN Special Representative for Libya and Sanctions Committee Chair

On Monday morning (15 September), the Security Council is scheduled to receive a briefing from Bernardino León, the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), followed by consultations. The briefing is expected to build on the 5 September report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Libya (S/2014/653). The Council will also receive a briefing by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Eugéne-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), and hold consultations on Libya sanctions.

This meeting comes more than two weeks after the Council’s first formal outcome (resolution 2174 of 27 August) on the deteriorating situation in Libya over the last four months. This resolution was adopted following Tarek Mitri’s final briefing to the Council as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNSMIL. In his statement, Mitri described the unprecedented gravity of the armed confrontations in the preceding days which he called “very alarming”. León, who brings to the post his three years’ experience as the EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean, took over on 1 September. He is expected to brief Council members on his recent visit to Libya and provide his initial assessment on the way forward in Libya. Among other things, he is likely to discuss UNSMIL’s efforts to bring about a ceasefire. Since these efforts started, focusing initially on Tripoli, Misrata-based and Islamist militias have consolidated their control over the capital, where fighting against Zintan-based militias and their allies has subsided. Clashes continue in the outskirts of the capital, in places such as Warshefana. (Even though the UNSMIL staff are currently based in Tunisia, there have been regular missions to Libya since the withdrawal, security conditions permitting.)

Council members are likely to be interested in the current political dynamics in Libya, namely the challenges to the legitimacy of the House of Representatives and the interim government of Abdullah al-Thinni. (On 25 August, the General National Congress, whose mandate had ended, appointed Omar al-Hassi as the new prime minister and swore in a new government on 6 September in a move likely to exacerbate political tensions.) During his visit last week to Libya, León met with members of the House of Representatives. Council members therefore might also be interested in hearing León’s assessment of the sustainability of the House of Representatives which has to operate from the eastern town of Tobruk and has seen decreasing attendance in the last weeks. Since resolution 2174 adopted on 27 August imposed sanctions to be imposed on individuals and entities obstructing or undermining the successful completion of the political transition in Libya, some Council members might be interested in asking León about the potential impact of listing individuals under such provisions.

The risks of the conflict in Libya destabilising the region is also likely to be raised by Council members. Questions in this context may be asked particularly about the actions of terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi and Derna and the presence of terrorist groups in the south. In a 9 September statement, France’s Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian called for action in Libya, which he characterised as a “hub for terrorist groups.”

Following press reports of the direct involvement of neighbouring and regional countries in Libya, Council members may ask León for his thoughts on how to encourage all those with influence on the parties to support an immediate cessation of hostilities and to engage constructively in peaceful and inclusive political dialogue.

Le&3243n is also expected to brief the Council on the violations of international humanitarian law in Libya. A 4 September report by UNSMIL and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documented a series of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Libya, including indiscriminate shelling and attacks on civilian targets. Council members are expected to reiterate the importance of holding accountable those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, including those involved in attacks targeting civilians.

In his briefing to Council members, Gasana is expected to provide an update on the meetings of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee held since his last briefing to the Council in March. Council members may be particularly interested in hearing about the Committee’s discussion of the recommendations of the interim report of the Panel of Experts. In the light of the current security situation, the Panel has recommended that supplies of non-lethal military equipment, and the provision of any technical assistance, training or financial assistance, intended for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government, be approved by the Committee. The Panel has also recommended that the Committee encourage member states whose shipments of arms or related materiel were authorised by the Committee be suspended until further notice.

Finally, Council members are likely to ask León about the timing for the completion of the Secretariat’s strategic review of the mission. The conclusions of this review are expected to provide the Council with options in the near future.

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posted on WED 10 SEP 2014 4:52 PM
Debate on UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti

Tomorrow morning (11 September) the Council is scheduled to hold a debate on Haiti to consider the Secretary-General’s most recent report (S/2014/617) on the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Special Representative of the Secretary-General Sandra Honoré is expected to brief. While no outcome is anticipated at this stage, the upcoming October mandate renewal for MINUSTAH is likely to be one of the key themes in the debate. (The current mandate expires on 15 October.) The debate is also likely… Read more »

posted on MON 8 SEP 2014 5:55 PM
Briefing on Ebola Crisis in Liberia and UN Mission Mandate

Tomorrow (9 September), Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Karin Landgren and Ambassador Mårten Grunditz (Sweden), chair of the Liberia Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) are expected to brief the Security Council. The briefing will be followed by consultations. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and its implications for Liberia’s stability are likely to be the main topics of the briefing and consultations, with a particular focus on UNMIL’s upcoming mandate… Read more »

posted on FRI 5 SEP 2014 5:36 PM
Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict

On Monday (8 September), the Security Council will hold an open debate to discuss the Secretary-General’s latest report on children and armed conflict (S/2014/339). Special Representative of the Secretary-General Leila Zerrougui, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF Yoka Brandt and Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous are expected to brief. The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg—the lead country on this issue—Jean Asselborn, will be attending.It is possible that Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a former child victim of armed conflict… Read more »

posted on WED 3 SEP 2014 5:05 PM
Council’s September Programme of Work

This morning (3 September) Council members adopted their provisional programme of work for September. The month got off to a busy start earlier today with a briefing under Any Other Business on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous. Following the briefing, the Council issued a new press statement that condemned the detention of 45 UNDOF peacekeepers in the Golan Heights and called for their immediate release (the Council issued two statements condemnatory of… Read more »

posted on THU 28 AUG 2014 7:16 PM
Consultations with Benomar on Current Crisis in Yemen

Tomorrow morning (29 August), Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General to Yemen, will brief the Security Council in consultations. The meeting was originally scheduled for 25 August but, in light of the recent political crisis, Benomar requested a postponement in order to stay in the country given the evolving situation. The Council is expected to adopt a presidential statement tomorrow.… Read more »

posted on THU 28 AUG 2014 4:40 PM
Adoption of Resolution on the Protection of Humanitarian Personnel

Tomorrow (29 August), the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution on the protection of humanitarian personnel. The resolution is a follow-up to the 19 August open briefing with Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, ICRC President Peter Maurer and Masood Karokhail, director and co-founder of the Afghan non-governmental organisation, The Liaison Office, to mark World Humanitarian Day. During this meeting, the UK announced that it would propose a new draft resolution on how the Council can better protect humanitarian workers.… Read more »

posted on THU 28 AUG 2014 1:58 PM
Emergency Meeting on Ukraine

The Security Council will hold a public meeting this afternoon at the request of Lithuania, following reports that Russian tanks and military vehicles have crossed into southeastern Ukraine. Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, is expected to brief. A representative from Ukraine is also expected to participate. The Council last met in consultations on Ukraine on 22 August when a Russian humanitarian convoy entered Ukraine without the consent of Ukraine or escort from ICRC. So far there have been 23… Read more »

posted on WED 27 AUG 2014 2:06 PM
Briefing on Humanitarian Access in Syria

Tomorrow morning (28 August), Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang will brief the Security Council on humanitarian access in Syria pursuant to resolutions 2139 and 2165. Her public briefing will be followed by consultations. Council members will be interested in hearing more details about the delivery of aid across borders and conflict lines following the adoption of resolution 2165 on 14 July.… Read more »

posted on TUE 26 AUG 2014 5:36 PM
Adoption of a Resolution Modifying Libya Sanctions Regime

The Security Council is set to adopt a resolution modifying the Libya sanctions regime and strengthening the exemption procedure with respect to the arms embargo currently in place. The draft resolution was circulated on Friday (22 August) by the UK and after two rounds of negotiations appears ready to be put to a vote. This resolution is the first formal outcome from the Council on Libya since 19 March. Despite the escalation of violence, the emergence of new players and… Read more »