posted on WED 11 DEC 2019
Peace and Security in Africa: Adoption of a Presidential Statement

Tomorrow (12 December), the Security Council is scheduled to adopt a presidential statement on youth, peace and security.

The adoption follows a 2 October debate under the agenda item “Peace and Security in Africa” (S/PV.8629). Entitled “Mobilising the Youth towards Silencing the Guns by 2020”, it was convened by South Africa as the Council president in October. “Silencing the Guns” aims at ending all conflict in Africa by 2020 and is the flagship project of the AU’s Agenda 2063, which is a 50-year strategic framework for the sustainable and inclusive development of Africa. It was the focus of an open debate under the Council presidency of Equatorial Guinea on 27 February at which the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2457. The resolution underlines the need for effective implementation of relevant arms control and disarmament instruments and regimes, encourages AU member states to strengthen the regulation of natural resource management, and references the use of the Secretary-General’s good offices, when appropriate, in the context of integrating AU-UN efforts towards preventive diplomacy.

The draft presidential statement to be adopted tomorrow recognises that “today’s generation of youth form the majority of the population affected by armed conflict” as well as “the important and constructive role youth can play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts”. In the draft statement, the Council proposes measures and “encourages Member States, further to the steps that are already being undertaken towards mobilising the Youth towards Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020”, to implement them. Those include measures related to the “full and meaningful participation [of youth] in peace processes”, the promotion of inclusive development to support youth in preventing conflict and enabling durable peace, the integration of youth in efforts to promote a culture of peace, and the promotion of “the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of young survivors of armed conflict, including those with disabilities, and survivors of sexual violence in conflict”.

The negotiations on the presidential statement were difficult. (Presidential statements require unanimity for adoption). Some members apparently questioned the added value of a Council product on the issue when the draft was first circulated the week following the debate. Numerous drafts were shared with Council members by South Africa up until the end of October and various silence procedures were broken. It seems that due in large part to the continued lobbying activity of one member, the Council re-engaged on the statement in the past few weeks.

The most contentious issues in the negotiations included the scope of the presidential statement; language related to climate change; accountability; human rights; the women, peace and security agenda; countering violent extremism; reporting by the Secretary-General and the participation of youth briefers at the Council.

It appears that China argued for limiting the scope of the presidential statement, suggesting language that would have limited it to conflict-affected states. Other members seemed to have opposed that, arguing that the scope of the presidential statement should be wider. At another point, one member suggested adding language that would have limited the list of encouraged actions to be taken by member states to “where and as appropriate”, which was opposed by a number of countries. The final draft does not contain such qualifiers.

At an early stage of the negotiations, Belgium seemed to have proposed language related to climate change, which was backed by a number of countries. In the course of the negotiations, the US broke silence on this issue, echoed by China and Russia. At a later stage, silence was broken again, this time for the lack of a reference to climate change. The paragraph read “The Security Council emphasises the need for adequate risk assessment and risk management strategies, by the affected Member States and the United Nations, of ecological changes, natural disasters, drought, desertification, land degradation, food insecurity, energy access, climate change, among other factors, on the security of Africa”. The draft to be adopted does not reference climate change.

A paragraph taken from resolution 2419 on youth, peace and security on ending impunity for international crimes was added at the suggestion of one member. This was supported by a number of members but initially opposed by the US. It seems that this was agreeable to the US in the end and the draft for adoption retains the reference.

Language related to human rights, including the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, was challenged by China and Russia but supported by a number of countries. As a compromise, the final draft encourages UN member states “to comply with states’ obligation to respect, promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals, including youth”.

Some members also opposed language from resolution 2419 related to reporting by the Secretary-General on youth-related issues, which was retained, however.

Language on briefings by young people to the Council was also contested. In the final draft, the Council “expresses its intention, where appropriate, to invite young persons, including their representative organisations, to brief the Council”, but limiting this to “thematic issues”.

posted on WED 11 DEC 2019
Yemen Consultations

Tomorrow (12 December), Security Council members are expected to hear a briefing in consultations from Special Envoy Martin Griffiths (via VTC).  Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and General Abhijit Guha, the head of the UN Mission to support the... Read more »

posted on WED 11 DEC 2019
Non-Proliferation (DPRK) Briefing

This afternoon (11 December), the Security Council will hold an open briefing on non-proliferation focused on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The US, also the president of the Council this month, requested the meeting citing recent ballistic missile... Read more »

posted on SUN 8 DEC 2019
Arria-formula Meeting on the “Protection of the Environment during Armed Conflict”

On Monday (9 December), there will be an open Arria-formula meeting on the “Protection of the Environment during Armed Conflict” from 3-6 pm in the Trusteeship Council Chamber at UN headquarters, hosted by Estonia, Germany, Kuwait and Peru. Panelists are... Read more »

posted on THU 5 DEC 2019
Democratic Republic of the Congo Discussion under “Any Other Business”

Tomorrow (6 December), Security Council members are expected to hold a meeting under “any other business” at the request of the UN Secretariat to discuss the recent insecurity in eastern DRC. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is expected to... Read more »

posted on TUE 3 DEC 2019
Somalia Anti-Piracy Resolution

Tomorrow (4 December), the Security Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution renewing the authorisation for Somalia anti-piracy measures, which expire on 6 December. As penholder, the US drafted the resolution, which renews the measures with no major changes. The... Read more »

posted on MON 2 DEC 2019
Security Council Programme of Work for December

The US has the presidency in December. The programme of work focuses largely on regular briefings and mandate renewals and is compressed due to a desire to conclude business by 20 December. Several mandate renewals are anticipated this month on... Read more »

posted on TUE 26 NOV 2019
Informal Interactive Dialogue on UNOWAS Strategic Review

On 27 November, Security Council members will hold an informal interactive dialogue to discuss the independent strategic review of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). The briefers are Abdoulaye Bathily, who led the review and is... Read more »

posted on MON 25 NOV 2019
Arria-Formula Meeting on Reintegration of Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups

Tomorrow (26 November), Security Council members will hold an Arria-formula meeting on how to better support children once they have been separated from armed forces and armed groups. In this regard, the meeting will focus on how bridging the “humanitarian-development-peace”... Read more »

posted on MON 25 NOV 2019
ISIL/Da’esh Accountability: Briefing and Consultations on UNITAD

Tomorrow (26 November), 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), followed by consultations. This will be Khan’s third... Read more »

posted on THU 21 NOV 2019
Syria Political Briefing

Tomorrow (22 November), Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen will brief on the political track in Syria. Sabah al-Hallak, a Syrian women’s rights activist, is also expected to brief. Members are expected to make statements following the briefings. Consultations are currently... Read more »

posted on THU 21 NOV 2019
Cyprus Consultations

This afternoon (21 November) the Security Council will hold consultations on Cyprus. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo is scheduled to brief on the latest developments and the Secretary-General’s most recent report on his good offices, published on... Read more »

posted on TUE 19 NOV 2019
Briefing on the Group of Five for the Sahel Joint Force

On 20 November, the Security Council will hold a briefing on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S), which Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger (G5 Sahel) established in 2017 to combat terrorist and criminal... Read more »

posted on MON 18 NOV 2019
Reconciliation Open Debate

On Tuesday (19 November), the Security Council is expected to hold an open debate on: “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: the role of reconciliation in the maintenance of international peace and security”. Lord Ahmad, the UK Minister of State for the... Read more »

posted on THU 14 NOV 2019
Somalia Sanctions Renewal

Tomorrow (15 November), the Security Council is set to adopt a resolution on the Somalia sanctions regime, renewing for one year the partial lifting of the arms embargo on Somali security forces, the authorisation for maritime interdiction to enforce the... Read more »