posted on WED 19 JUN 2013 4:34 PMQuarterly Afghanistan Debate
Tomorrow morning the Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly debate on Afghanistan. Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is expected to brief. No Council outcome is anticipated at the debate.
Several issues are likely to be addressed during the debate. A continuing concern among several Council members is the challenging security environment and the toll that the conflict is taking on civilians, including women and children. For example, at the last UNAMA debate on 19 March, Guatemala noted the significant rise in attacks on women and girls, while Luxembourg pointed to attacks on schools and the use of child suicide bombers by extremists as violations of the rights of children. Since the last debate, the security situation has deteriorated further, with the Secretary-General noting in his recent report (S/2013/350) that he is “gravely concerned by an increase of 25 per cent in civilian casualties in the present quarter.” It therefore seems likely that the devastating impact of the conflict on civilians, primarily the result of the actions of anti-government forces, will be mentioned by some Council members.
A related issue that will likely be raised in the debate is the reconciliation process with the Taliban. The Secretary-General noted in his report that “good offices and political outreach in support of Afghan-led reconciliation and regional processes” are among UNAMA’s “core tasks,” although he said that the “peace process saw few concrete results” in the reporting period. There may be references in the debate to the opening of a Taliban office earlier this week in Doha which is expected to allow them to pursue talks on the country’s future. Media reports have suggested that talks in Doha between the Taliban and US officials could begin as early as tomorrow, but the Afghan government has expressed its opposition to these talks, believing that the negotiations must be “Afghan-led” and taking issue with the naming the office “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”. (This is the official title of the 1996-2001 Taliban-led government that no UN member state currently recognises.) As a sign of its displeasure with these talks, the Afghan government also cancelled scheduled bilateral talks with the US on the role of the US troops in Afghanistan after 2014.
Another area of interest to several Council members is the preparations for the presidential and provincial elections, currently scheduled for 5 April 2014. While some progress has been made in the preparations, concerns may be expressed by some members at the delays in enacting critical electoral legislation, including the Electoral Law, which will provide a framework for the conduct of the elections; and the Law on the Structure and Duties of the Independent Election Commission and the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission.
Counter-narcotics efforts will also likely be discussed in the debate, especially considering the results of the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2012, a joint report of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime and the Afghan Ministry of Counternarcotics, which indicated that there was an 18 percent increase in opium production in Afghanistan in 2012 compared to 2011. Some members —notably France, Pakistan and Russia —have highlighted the need to bolster efforts to combat drug production and trafficking related to Afghanistan.
posted on TUE 18 JUN 2013 5:56 PMOpen Debate on Conflict Prevention and Natural Resources
Tomorrow morning, 19 June, the Council will hold an open debate on “Conflict Prevention and Natural Resources”. The scheduled briefers are Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, UNDP Associate Administrator Rebecca Grynspan, World Bank Managing Director Caroline Anstey, and Kofi Annan as Chair of the Africa Progress Panel. Anstey may draw upon insights from the World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development as well as World Bank work in areas such as transparency, accountability and natural resource governance. Annan, who will… Read more »
posted on MON 17 JUN 2013 4:56 PMBriefing and Consultations on Libya Mission and Sanctions
Tomorrow morning (18 June), the Security Council is scheduled to receive a briefing by Tarek Mitri, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), followed by consultations. The Council will also receive the periodic briefing by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Eugéne-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), and hold consultations on Libya sanctions. No Council action is planned at this stage.… Read more »
posted on SUN 16 JUN 2013 2:55 PMChildren and Armed Conflict Debate
This morning (17 June), the Security Council will have a debate on children and armed conflict to discuss the Secretary-General’s latest report on children and armed conflict (S/2013/245). The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Leila Zerrougui, the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Joka Bradt and Under-Secretary General for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous are expected to speak. In addition Associate Vice-President, Greg Ramm, from Save the Children, Guillermo Rishchynski (Canada), chair of the Group of Friends on Children… Read more »
posted on THU 13 JUN 2013 2:13 PMQuartely Debate on Kosovo
Tomorrow (14 June) the Security Council will be briefed by Farid Zarif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/254) and other recent developments. Prime Minister Ivica Dačić of Serbia and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi of Kosovo will participate, and Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkić of Serbia will also attend. The quarterly debate, which had originally been scheduled for 21 May, was postponed at the… Read more »
posted on TUE 11 JUN 2013 4:41 PMDebate on Tribunals
Tomorrow (12 June), the Security Council will hold its semi-annual debate on the ad hoc international criminal tribunals. The presidents (Judges Theodor Meron and Vagn Joensen) and prosecutors (Hassan Bubacar Jallow and Serge Brammertz) of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) are expected to brief the Council. No outcome is expected.… Read more »
posted on THU 6 JUN 2013 4:27 PMConsultations on the UN Observer Forces
Council members are expecting a briefing in consultations from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) tomorrow (7 June) on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) following today’s clashes between the Syrian government and armed opposition near the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria and Austria’s announcement that it would withdraw its troops from UNDOF. UNDOF currently has three troop-contributing countries (TCCs) —Austria, India and the Philippines—, with Austria contributing a little over one-third of the troops. (Its withdrawal will leave… Read more »
posted on TUE 4 JUN 2013 6:21 PMJune Programme of Work for the Council
June is expected to be a busy month for the Council under the UK presidency with two, possibly three open debates, three debates and two adoptions besides a number of regular briefings and consultations. The centerpiece of the UK presidency of the Council is expected to be the open debate on women, peace and security focusing on sexual violence. A likely outcome is a resolution reflecting many of the Secretary-General’s recommendations from his 14 March report on sexual violence in… Read more »
posted on TUE 4 JUN 2013 5:57 PMICC Briefing on Darfur and Consultations on Sudan/South Sudan
Tomorrow morning (5 June) the Security Council will receive the semi-annual briefing of the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the work of the ICC on Darfur. In the afternoon, it will hold the first of its twice-monthly meetings on Sudan/South Sudan issues, with Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios briefing in consultations. (Menkerios was recently also appointed the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the AU and Head of the UN Office to the… Read more »
posted on MON 3 JUN 2013 5:34 PMDPA Horizon Scanning Briefing
Following adoption of the June programme of work tomorrow morning (4 June), Council members are scheduled to be briefed by Oscar Fernández-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, in what appears to be an effort by the UK, the President of the Security Council for June, to revive the DPA “horizon-scanning” briefings that it initiated in November 2010 and which were held throughout 2011 but have since become less frequent. Tomorrow’s “horizon-scanning” session will be the first such briefing since September… Read more »