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Status Update

Burundi

On 2 August, the Council adopted (S/PV.8016) a presidential statement, expressing concern over the political situation and ongoing violence in Burundi and strongly urging the government and all parties to immediately cease and reject such violence (S/PRST/2017/13). The Council further reiterated its full support to the Secretary-General and his Special Envoy in their efforts to engage the government of Burundi on the modalities of the implementation of resolution 2303.

DPRK

On 5 August, the Council adopted resolution 2371 condemning the 3 and 28 July ballistic missile launches (S/PV.8019). The resolution significantly strengthened the sanctions on the DPRK. It imposed a full ban on the export of coal, iron and iron ore from the DPRK, whereas previously these items could be exported for livelihood purposes, with a cap on the amount of coal that could be exported. It also prohibited the export of lead, lead ore and seafood from the DPRK. It freezed the number of work authorisations for DPRK laborers working abroad at current levels, unless the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee approves on a case-by-case basis additional authorisations to allow for purposes such as the delivery of humanitarian assistance or denuclearisation. It decided that states shall prohibit the formation of joint ventures or cooperative commercial entities on their territory or by their nationals with DPRK individuals or entities. In addition, the resolution designated several additional individuals for a travel ban and assets freeze, and additional entities for an assets freeze. It further requested INTERPOL to issue “special notices” regarding designated individuals and directed the sanctions committee to work with INTERPOL toward that end. The resolution was adopted unanimously. On 29 August, Council members held consultations following the DPRK’s firing earlier that day of a missile over the territory of Japan. Later that afternoon, the Council met (S/PV.8034) in a formal session to adopt a presidential statement condemning the launch (S/PRST/2017/16) and urging the DPRK to comply with previous Council resolutions and presidential statements.

Famine

On 9 August, the Council adopted (S/PV.8020) a presidential statement expressing its grave concern about the threat of famine presently facing more than 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, and north-east Nigeria (S/PRST/2017/14). The statement was negotiated following the Council’s 16 June Arria-formula meeting on the risk of famine in these four conflict-affected countries. The statement requested the Secretary-General to provide an oral briefing during the month of October on country-specific impediments to an effective response to the risk of famine in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and north-east Nigeria, and to make specific recommendations on how to address these impediments.

Sudan/South Sudan

On 9 August, Council members were briefed in consultations by the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations El Ghassim Wane on the first of two reports requested in resolution 2352 on progress in implementing the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (S/2017/649). He noted that the security situation in the Abyei Area remains unpredictable and that in the absence of progress in the implementation of the Agreement of 20 June 2011, and on the final status of the territory, intercommunal tensions and the proliferation of arms create a continued risk.

Annual Report to the General Assembly

On 9 August, the Council adopted the introduction to its annual report to the General Assembly (S/PV.8021). The report, on an exceptional basis, covers the 17-month period  from 1 August 2015 to 31 December 2016, as stipulated by a Note by the President of the Security Council (S/2015/944) of 10 December 2015. The note, elaborated by the Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions in 2015, changed the reporting period of annual reports from the previous practice of covering the period from 1 August through 31 July to covering a full calendar year, i.e. from 1 January through 31 December. As a transitional measure, the report to the 71st  session of the General Assembly was submitted and discussed late in the session and covered a longer period. (Security Council President for the month of August, Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), presented the report to a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on 28 August.)

Women, Peace and Security

On 10 August, the Council was briefed by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed following her 19-27 July joint visit to the DRC and Nigeria with Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security Bineta Diop, Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten (S/PV.8022). Mohammed described the trip as the first of its kind - a high-level mission focused entirely on women, peace, security and development - with the goal of advancing peace by advancing the equality, empowerment and well-being of women. The mission also deepened the partnership between the UN and the AU, she said. Ambassador Téte António, Permanent Observer for the AU, also briefed.

Mali

On 14 August, Council members condemned the terrorist attack against the MINUSMA camps in Douentza, Mali, which caused the death of one Togolese peacekeeper and injured another (SC/12954).

Sahel

On 15 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations El-Ghassim Wane briefed the Council on the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5), providing an assessment on the deployment of the G5 joint force (S/PV.8024). During members’ interventions, France announced that it would propose a Council visiting mission to the Sahel. Several members highlighted the importance of providing UN assessed contributions to the G5 force.

Kosovo

On 16 August, the Council held its quarterly briefing on Kosovo (S/PV.8025). Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNMIK Zahir Tanin briefed the Council on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2017/640) and the recent developments in Kosovo. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Ivica Dačić and Kosovo’s ambassador to the US, Vlora Çitaku also participated in the meeting. Tanin stressed the need for Kosovo to form a new government following the general elections in June. Some members, including the US called for the downsizing and eventually terminating the UNMIK while also lengthening the reporting period to six month periods. Russia noted that there is no reason to reduce the UN presence in Kosovo and that the mission still plays important role in normalising relations.   

Central African Republic

On 22 August, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien briefed Council members on his recent visit to the CAR under “any other business” in consultations. The Secretary-General discussed developments in the CAR with Council members during his monthly luncheon on 17 August. On 3 August, the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee issued a press release (SC/12943) concerning its 21 July meeting with its Panel of Experts, where the panel’s midterm report was presented to the committee (S/2017/639). On 11 August, the committee issued a press release drawing attention to the recommendation contained in the midterm report concerning exemptions from sanctions (SC/12952).

Israel/Palestine

On 22 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča briefed the Council on the situation in Israel/Palestine (S.PV/8028). The meeting was followed by consultations.

Liberia

On 23 August, the Council held consultations on the situation in Liberia.  Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations El-Ghassim Wane briefed on the preparations for the 10 October presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, as requested by resolution 2333 of 23 December 2016. The resolution requested another oral briefing after the elections in Liberia and no later than 15 December.

Lebanon

On 23 August, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations El-Ghassim Wane briefed Council members in consultations on UNIFIL. At press time, the Council was scheduled to adopt a resolution renewing UNIFIL’s mandate on 30 August.

Guinea-Bissau

On 24 August, the Council received a briefing (S/PV.8031) from Modibo Touré, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNIOGBIS on the Secretary-General’s latest report on developments in the country and the activities of the mission (S/2017/695). Ambassador Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay), chair of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee, and Ambassador Mauro Vieira (Brazil), chair of the PBC configuration for Guinea-Bissau also briefed, focusing on recent visits they had each undertaken to the country. In addition, representatives of the Economic Community of West African States, Ambassador Kokou Kpayedo (Togo) and Maria Antonieta D’Alva (Guinea-Bissau) addressed the Council. Members continued discussions in consultations.  

Peacekeeping and Sustaining Peace

On 29 August, the Security Council held an open debate on “UN Peacekeeping Operations: Their Potential Contribution to the Overarching Goal of Sustaining Peace” (S/PV.8033). Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed briefed, as did Youssef Mahmoud, Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute and a former member of the High Level Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), and Gert Rosenthal, former chair of the Advisory Group of Experts for the 2015 review of the UN peacebuilding architecture (PBA). The session was organised by Egypt, which prepared and circulated a concept note ahead of the meeting (S/2017/692).

Myanmar

On 30 August, at the request of the UK, Council members were briefed under “any other business” on the situation in Myanmar.

Working Methods

On 30 August, the members of the Council reached agreement on a new version of the compendium of its working methods, commonly referred to as Note 507. The document, elaborated under the leadership of Japan, is expected to be issued as S/2017/507. 

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