posted on SUN 23 NOV 2014 1:44 PM
Sudan Sanctions Committee Briefing

Tomorrow (24 November), the Security Council will hold a public briefing, followed by consultations, on the work of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee. Ambassador Mar&@236a Cristina Perceval of Argentina, chair of the Committee, is expected to brief.

Monday’s briefing follows on the heels of the 13 November Sudan Sanctions Committee meeting. In a departure from standard practice, the meeting was attended by Sudan and countries in the region such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Libya, and South Sudan. (Traditionally sanctions committee meetings are only attended by members of the committee i.e. the 15 Council members, although there has been a movement in recent months toward broadening participation in sanctions committee meetings to include regional actors, as has been done in recent meetings of the Yemen and Libya Sanctions Committees). It appears that Argentina’s intention was to promote constructive dialogue with countries neighbouring Sudan with the hope that this could generate strategies for better enforcement of the sanctions regime. During the meeting, Chad asserted that it had cooperated with Sudan in establishing joint border mechanisms in an effort to stem the illicit flow of weapons into Darfur. While Sudan affirmed its cooperation with the sanctions regime, one Council member argued that the real problem is that weapons are being shipped into Darfur from other parts of Sudan, rather than directly across the border into Darfur from neighbouring countries. (The most recent final report of the Panel of Experts [S/2014/87] found that Sudan was responsible for violations of the arms embargo.)

On Monday Perceval may emphasise in her briefing that the 13 November Sanctions Committee meeting was an effort to enhance the transparency of the work of the Council’s subsidiary bodies for the wider membership and that it provided a forum for a useful exchange of ideas. She may also share with the Council some of the substance of that meeting. Finally, it is possible that she will outline the reporting schedule of the Panel of Experts, which submitted its third quarterly report earlier this month and is expected to submit its final report by 17 January 2015.

The fact that Perceval will provide her briefing in an open session reflects another recent trend, one toward greater transparency in the work of sanctions committees. In recent months, for example, Lithuania has held public briefings on the work of the sanctions committees that it chairs (on the Central African Republic and Yemen) while Chile briefed the Council on the work of the Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee in a public briefing late last month.

A number of issues may be raised in the consultations that follow the meeting. It is possible that some members may raise concerns about violations of the arms embargo, which have been described in reports of the Panel of Experts in recent years. There may also be differing perspectives expressed on Sudan’s cooperation with the Committee and its Panel of Experts. Some members may take the position that Sudan processed visas for members of the Panel quickly this year, while others may be more critical noting that only one of the members of the Panel received a multi-entry visa.

While the meeting is focused on the Sanctions Committee, general concerns may also be raised about the strained relations between UNAMID and the Sudanese government. On 21 November, Abdallah al-Azraq, a representative of Sudan’s foreign ministry, said in a press briefing that UNAMID should prepare to leave Sudan. The statement follows shortly after Sudan’s 16 November letter to the Council indicating it would not permit UNAMID to return to the North Darfur village of Tabit in order to further investigate allegations that Sudanese security forces raped 200 girls and women in the village on 4 November (S/2014/819). (After being denied access for several days, UNAMID investigators were allowed to enter the village on 9 November; there was a heavy Sudanese military presence in the village when the investigators were interviewing the inhabitants and due to an environment of intimidation they were unable to confirm during their visit whether rape had occurred.)

Monday’s briefing will be Perceval’s final quarterly briefing as the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, as Argentina’s term on the Council ends on 31 December. At press time, it remains unclear who will replace Argentina as chair of the Committee.

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posted on FRI 21 NOV 2014 2:44 PM
Semi-Annual briefing on the Work of the 1540 Committee

On Monday afternoon (24 November), the Council is scheduled to hear the semi-annual briefing by the chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Oh Joon (Republic of Korea). This would normally have been done as part of a joint briefing with the chairs of the Council’s two other counter-terrorism-related committees, namely the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, but since they participated in the Council’s 19 November counter-terrorism open debate, only Oh will be speaking on Monday.… Read more »

posted on FRI 21 NOV 2014 2:11 PM
Council Debate on Ebola

This afternoon (21 November), the Security Council will hold a debate on Ebola chaired by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) Anthony Banbury, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Ebola David Nabarro and the Head of the French Red Cross in Guinea, Thomas Mauget will brief (Banbury and Mauget will brief via video tele-conference). Representatives of affected countries, Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone, may also address… Read more »

posted on WED 19 NOV 2014 6:01 PM
Resolution on UN Policing, Inaugural Briefing by Police Commissioners and Interactive Dialogue on Review of Peace Operations

Tomorrow morning (20 November), at the initiative of Australia, the Security Council will receive a briefing by the heads of police components of three UN peace missions and vote on the first standalone resolution on UN policing. In the afternoon, Council members will hold an informal interactive dialogue with the chair of the recently appointed High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, José Ramos-Horta.… Read more »

posted on WED 19 NOV 2014 6:35 AM
Open Debate and Presidential Statement on Counter-Terrorism

This morning (19 November), the Security Council is scheduled to hold a high-level open debate focused on international cooperation in combating terrorism, including addressing the interrelated threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters, violent extremism, Al-Qaida, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop will preside. The briefers will be Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania), the chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC); and Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), the chair of the Al-Qaida… Read more »

posted on MON 17 NOV 2014 3:21 PM
Briefing and Consultations on Guinea-Bissau

Tomorrow afternoon (18 November), the Security Council will be briefed on Guinea-Bissau by Miguel Trovoada, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). (This will be Trovoada’s first briefing since assuming his position on 26 August.) The chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) and of the PBC Guinea-Bissau country-specific configuration, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil), will also address the Council, as will Guinea-Bissau’s Prime Minister, Domingos Simões Pereira.… Read more »

posted on MON 17 NOV 2014 1:39 PM
Iraq: Briefings by Human Rights, Humanitarian and UN Mission Heads

Tomorrow morning (18 November), the Council will hold its regular quarterly briefing and consultations on Iraq. Since the surprise takeover of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in June, the Council’s revived engagement on Iraq has been almost exclusively ISIS-related. The Council has reinforced its counter-terrorism framework and deliberations tomorrow will include a discussion of the efforts by Iraqi forces and the US-led coalition to counter the threat of ISIS. However, with the security response to… Read more »

posted on WED 12 NOV 2014 3:04 PM
Finnish Workshop for Incoming Council Members

The 12th annual workshop for incoming members of the Security Council will be held for two days (13-14 November), commencing tomorrow afternoon in Long Island, New York. The workshop is organised by the government of Finland in cooperation with the Security Council Affairs Division of the UN Department of Political Affairs and Professor Edward C. Luck. Gareth Evans, who currently serves as Chancellor of the Australian National University, is slated to be the keynote speaker at the opening dinner.… Read more »

posted on WED 12 NOV 2014 12:36 PM
Briefing on Ukraine by the Department of Political Affairs and OSCE

This afternoon (12 November), at the request of the US, the Council will have a public meeting on the situation in Ukraine. Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen is expected to brief. The Chief Monitor of the Special OSCE Monitoring Mission, Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan (Turkey), and the chair of the Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini (Switzerland) will address the Security Council by video tele-conference. (The Trilateral Contact Group is made up of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE.)… Read more »

posted on TUE 11 NOV 2014 12:40 PM
Briefing and Consultations Ahead of Liberia Mission’s Mandate Renewal

Tomorrow (12 November), Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and Ambassador Marten Grunditz (Sweden), chair of the Liberia configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, will brief the Security Council on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). The briefing was requested in resolution 2176 of 15 September in order to update the Council as it considers the reauthorisation and potential modification of UNMIL’s mandate, which is currently due to expire on 31 December. (Because of uncertainty created by the Ebola outbreak, resolution… Read more »