posted on WED 17 JUL 2019
Yemen Briefing and Consultations

On Thursday (18 July), Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths (via video-teleconference), Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, and World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley are expected to brief the Security Council on Yemen. Consultations will follow the briefing. General Michael Lollesgaard, the chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), is expected to brief members via VTC in the consultations.

Little progress has been made in advancing implementation of the December 2018 Stockholm Agreement since the Council’s last briefing on Yemen in June. While a fragile ceasefire continues to exist for Hodeidah governorate, fighting has continued on other frontlines, and the Houthi rebel group has maintained a campaign of drone attacks against Saudi Arabia. Since the start of the month, Griffiths has traveled to meet with officials in Moscow, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Washington D.C., and Jizan, Saudi Arabia. The meetings follow the mending of relations between the Special Envoy and the Yemeni government after it reacted angrily to the UN’s overseeing, in May, a “unilateral” Houthi redeployment from Hodeidah, Saleef, and Ras Issa ports. Recent weeks’ developments also include the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to reduce its military presence in Yemen, including in Hodeidah.

Griffiths is likely to report on the joint meeting of the RCC on 14-15 July, its first since February. The RCC—which is comprised of the UN, the Yemeni government and Houthi representatives—oversees the ceasefire and mutual redeployment of forces set out in the Hodeidah agreement, which is part of the Stockholm Agreement. (A prisoner exchange mechanism and statement of understanding on the city of Taiz were the Stockholm Agreement’s other two elements, and have not advanced significantly).

According to the RCC chair’s summary of the meeting, which took place on a ship in the Red Sea, the parties agreed on the concept of operations for the phase 2 redeployments that would demilitarise Hodeidah city. But, as indicated in the statement, proceeding with implementation of any further redeployments depends on the sides agreeing on “local security forces, local authorities and [port] revenues”, politically sensitive issues on which Griffiths has been leading negotiations. One option remains the eventual holding of a “political-level” RCC meeting that brings together Griffiths and the sides’ respective political leadership on the question of local security forces.

Lowcock will provide an update on what is still the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. During his last briefing in June, Lowcock lamented having to repeat each month similar dire figures and warnings about Yemen, where 10 million people face the threat of famine. He is likely to reiterate the need for the parties to respect international humanitarian law, flagging continued civilian casualties and a recent uptick of violence in Hodeidah. Lowcock is also likely to refer to continued access restrictions and obstructions for humanitarian aid, particularly in Houthi-held areas in the north. He may provide an update on discussions with Houthi authorities to deploy a UN technical mission to inspect the SAFER oil tanker. This floating storage and offloading facility off the Ras Issa terminal in the Red Sea holds 1.1 million barrels of oil and has not had maintenance since 2015, causing concerns about the potential for a major environmental disaster.

Funding humanitarian operations also remains a major issue, as donors, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have yet to deliver the bulk of the $1.5 billion that they pledged towards the UN’s 2019 humanitarian response plan. Lowcock could underscore that agencies are having to scale back activities and may need to close a number of programmes if more money is not forthcoming.

Beasley’s briefing follows up on his presentation last month at the Council when he alleged the Houthis’ diversion of food assistance for profit. Shortly after that meeting, the WFP suspended its general food assistance in Sana’a city, affecting 850,000 people, after months of trying to rectify matters. Beasley may provide an update on negotiations with the Houthis to assure the WFP’s independent provision of assistance and to be able to conduct biometric registration of beneficiaries.

Council members are likely to welcome the recent joint RCC meeting and will be interested in hearing the details when Lollesgaard briefs during consultations. Members may call for the parties to resolve outstanding issues, including the issue of local security forces, and to remain committed to the Stockholm Agreement’s implementation. The importance of resuming talks on a comprehensive political solution is also likely to be reiterated.

Among other points of discussion, concerns over the Houthi drone attacks on Saudi Arabia may be expressed, including the risk this creates for escalating the conflict, especially in the context of wider regional tensions. Members may make calls for an overall de-escalation. They are likely to call for the parties to provide unhindered humanitarian access and access for commercial goods. Concerns may also be raised over the death sentences imposed on thirty men on 9 July by the Specialised First Instance Criminal Court in Sana’a. According to a statement issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, these are mostly academics, students and politicians affiliated with the Islah party that have been critical of the Houthis.

Earlier this week, the Council renewed the mandate of UNMHA for six months. Members are thus likely to welcome the contributions of the mission. According to a UN review, UNMHA has served as a credible and effective conflict prevention tool and an impartial arbiter of conditions on the ground.


posted on WED 17 JUL 2019
Briefing on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Strengthening Partnerships for Nationally-Owned Transitions

Tomorrow afternoon (18 July), the Security Council will have a briefing on “Strengthening partnerships for successful nationally-owned transitions”, under the agenda item Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace. Peru’s Foreign Minister Néstor Popolizio is expected to chair the session. Briefings are expected... Read more »

posted on TUE 16 JUL 2019
Youth, Peace and Security Briefing

Tomorrow afternoon (17 July), the Security Council is scheduled to hold a briefing on the implementation of the youth, peace and security agenda under the agenda item “maintenance of international peace and security.” The briefers are Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN... Read more »

posted on MON 15 JUL 2019
Briefing on Ukraine

Tomorrow morning (16 July), the Security Council is expected to hold a briefing on Ukraine, at the request of Russia.  The anticipated briefers are Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo and OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto... Read more »

posted on SUN 14 JUL 2019
Dispatches from the Field: Visit to the Cauca Department

On Saturday (13 July), the Security Council delegation travelled to Cauca, Colombia’s department with the highest number of killings of former combatants and social leaders.  The municipality of Caldono in the Cauca Department hosts one of the 24 Territorial Areas for... Read more »

posted on SAT 13 JUL 2019
Dispatches from the Field: Meetings in Bogotá

Friday (12 July) was packed with back-to-back meetings with interlocutors involved, in different ways, in the implementation of the peace agreement signed in 2016 between the government of Colombia and the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia–People’s Army (FARC-EP). The... Read more »

posted on FRI 12 JUL 2019
Iraq: Briefing on ISIL/Da’esh Accountability (UNITAD)

On Monday (15 July), the Security Council is scheduled to hear a briefing by Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, the Special Adviser and head of the UN Investigative Team for Accountability of Da’esh (UNITAD). This will be Khan’s second briefing to... Read more »

posted on FRI 12 JUL 2019
Yemen: Council to Renew Mandate of UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement

On Monday (15 July), the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution to extend for six months the mandate of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA). Reaching agreement on the mandate renewal appeared straightforward. On 5... Read more »

posted on THU 11 JUL 2019
Security Council Visiting Mission to Colombia

Members of the Security Council left this afternoon (11 July) for a visiting mission to Colombia. The 11-14 July mission is co-led by Peru, the July president, and the U.K., Council penholder on Colombia. The overarching purpose of the visit... Read more »

posted on TUE 9 JUL 2019
Peacekeeping: Debate on Triangular Cooperation

Tomorrow (10 July), the Security Council is expected to hold a debate on improving triangular cooperation between the Council, the Secretariat, and troop- and police-contributing countries (TCCs/PCCs). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix; the Force Commander of the UN Multidimensional... Read more »

posted on MON 8 JUL 2019
Open Debate on the Linkages between International Terrorism and Organised Crime

Tomorrow (9 July) the Security Council will hold an open debate on the linkages between international terrorism and organised crime. The anticipated briefers are Under-Secretary-General Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Assistant Secretary-General... Read more »

posted on FRI 5 JUL 2019
Informal Interactive Dialogue on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

On Monday (8 July), Peru is planning to convene an informal interactive dialogue (an informal private meeting of Council members) on the challenges and opportunities of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The meeting is expected to focus in... Read more »

posted on MON 1 JUL 2019
Myanmar: Briefing by the Special Envoy

Tomorrow (2 July), Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener will brief Council members on Myanmar during “any other business”.  Council members last heard from Burgener on 28 February, following her visits to Bangladesh and Myanmar (S/PV.8477). At an informal meeting of the... Read more »

posted on MON 1 JUL 2019
Security Council Programme of Work for July

Peru is the president of the Security Council in July. As one of its priorities for the month, Peru is organising a briefing under the agenda item “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace” focused on strengthening partnerships for nationally-owned transitions. Peru’s Foreign Minister Néstor... Read more »

posted on SUN 30 JUN 2019
Dispatches from the Field: Meetings in Iraq

On Saturday (29 June), Security Council members flew from Kuwait City to Baghdad for a series of meetings, concluding their visiting mission to Kuwait and Iraq. The Council met with the following: Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi, at the Government... Read more »