On 3 July, the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee met to discuss the report of the chair, Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine), on his 14 to 18 May 2017 visit to Sudan (SC/12903). Yelchenko briefed Council members in consultations on the work of the committee on 24 July.
Children and Armed Conflict
The Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict met on 6 July to discuss its draft conclusions on the Secretary-General’s report on children and armed conflict in the Philippines (S/2017/294). It met again on 13 July to adopt its conclusions on Somalia (S/AC.51/2017/2). The Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, briefed Council members on 6 July under “any other business” on the impact of the conflict in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on children.
In a press statement on 7 July, Council members condemned a terrorist attack at a checkpoint in Rafah, Egypt, where at least 26 officers and soldiers from the Egyptian armed forces were killed and injured (SC/12905). On 20 July, the Council adopted resolution 2368 renewing and updating the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions regime. The resolution included a number of updates intended to better reflect and counter the evolving threat presented by Al-Qaida and ISIL (S/PV.8007). These focused on addressing foreign terrorist fighters returning to their respective countries of origin; trafficking in persons and kidnapping for ransom by Al-Qaida and ISIL; and measures to restrict Al-Qaida and ISIL financing. The resolution also provided updates concerning the Office of the Ombudsperson, including regarding communications among the Ombudsperson, the Sanctions Committee and petitioners. Through an annex to the resolution, eight individuals or organisations were added to the ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions List. On 24 July, Council members issued a press statement condemning the terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan that occurred that same day and resulted in more than 80 people killed or injured, with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claiming responsibility (SC/12925).
On 10 July, the Council adopted resolution 2366 establishing the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, a successor mission to the current UN Mission in Colombia (S/PV.7997). The adoption followed a 5 June letter (S/2017/481) to the Council and the Secretary-General from Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón conveying the request of the parties to establish the mission in accordance with the Final Agreement. The resolution also calls on the UN Mission in Colombia to start “provisional work anticipated by the Verification Mission…within its current configuration and capacity” up until the time its mandate ends on 25 September.
Ad Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa
On 12 July, the Working Group convened to discuss the AU roadmap for “silencing the guns,” a plan to end conflict in Africa.
On 12 July, the Council was briefed via video teleconference by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and in person by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien (S/PV.7999). The director-generals of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and of the Food and Agricultural Organization, José Graziano da Silva also briefed by video teleconference. After further discussion in consultations, Council members issued elements to the press, which reiterated members’ support for the Council’s 15 June presidential statement (S/PRST/2017/7) and recognised the need for all parties to convert the words of the text into action.
Central African Republic
In a meeting on 13 July (S/PV.8001), the Council adopted a presidential statement that “expresses concern at the ongoing clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the targeting of civilians from specific communities, UN Peacekeepers and humanitarian workers” (S/PRST/2017/9). At the subsidiary level, the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee met on 21 July to discuss the six-monthly report of the committee’s Panel of Experts. In a press statement on 24 July Council members condemned the attack on a MINUSCA convoy in Bangassou (Mbomou) on 23 July by anti-Balaka elements that resulted in one peacekeeper killed and three injured (SC/12926). Another press statement was issued on the Central African Republic on 26 July, condemning the 25 July attacks on MINUSCA peacekeepers (SC/12930). On 27 July, Council members discussed recent developments in the CAR under “any other business”.
On 13 July, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and head of UNOWAS, briefed the Council (S/PV.8002) on recent developments in the region and the semi-annual UNOWAS report (S/2017/563). After public statements by Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Uruguay, further discussions followed in consultations. On 24 July, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2017/10), initiated by Senegal, in follow-up to the briefing (S/PV.8009). The statement, inter alia, welcomed developments in The Gambia and Côte d’Ivoire, highlighting the role for UNOWAS to support, as necessary, Côte d’Ivoire following the recent withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping operation to the country. The statement highlighted the terrorism threat in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin and regional efforts through the Multinational Joint Task Force to combat Boko Haram, and the initiative of the Group of Five for the Sahel to establish a joint force. The presidential statement, among other elements, also encouraged further progress in implementing the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel. In this regard, it emphasised the importance of the UN and partners enhancing their programmatic capacity and focus on cross-border challenges, as well as reiterating the importance of UNOWAS’s collaboration with the Peacebuilding Commission.
On 13 July, Council members issued a press statement in which they welcomed the announcement by the Iraqi authorities on the liberation of Mosul (SC/12911). The statement also called on the government of Iraq to stabilise liberated areas across the country and called on all Iraqis to work towards national reconciliation. On 14 July, the Council adopted resolution 2367, extending the mandate of UNAMI for another year (S/PV.8003). The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to conduct an independent external assessment of the structure and staffing of UNAMI and related resources in an effort to ensure that the UN mission and the UN country team fulfil their mandated tasks more efficiently. On 17 July, Special Representative and head of UNAMI Ján Kubiš briefed the Council on the latest developments in Iraq and on the situation in Mosul (S/PV.8004).
On 18 July, Council members met in consultations on the situation in Cyprus. Elizabeth Spehar, Special Representative and head of UNFICYP, briefed on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2017/586) and on developments related to the UN mission. Espen Barth Eide, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, briefed on the latest developments in the unification talks. On 27 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2369 which extended the mandate of UNFICYP for another six months (S/PV.8014). The resolution also requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of the mission and provide, within four months, recommendations on how the mission should be optimally configured to implement its mandate.
On 18 July, Sandra Honoré, Special Representative and head of MINUSTAH briefed the Council on the latest report of the Secretary-General (S/2017/604) and recent developments (S/PV.8005). Honoré called on the Haitian authorities to restore the country's judiciary and to bolster its independence. Council members emphasised the importance of the smooth transition to a successor mission in October. Council members also addressed the issue of cholera and some also called on the international community to contribute to the cholera fund.
Peace and Security in Africa
On 19 July, the Council held an open debate on “Enhancing African capacities in the areas of peace and security” (S/PV.8006 and Resumption 1). The open debate focused on policies and procedures that can provide concrete and effective support for building the capacities of African countries in the field of peace and security. The Council was briefed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaïl Chergui. The basis for the open debate was a concept note circulated by China (S/2017/574) as well as the 26 May report of the Secretary-General that identified four options through which UN assessed contributions could be used to help meet the requirements of supporting AU peace support operations (S/2017/454).
On 24 July, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2017/11) on the Liberia peacebuilding plan and upcoming presidential elections (S/PV.8010). The statement, which was drafted by both the US, the penholder on Liberia, and Sweden, which chairs the Liberia country configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, was intended to represent a sign of continued Council support for Liberia in its peacebuilding efforts. It commended the progress made in restoring peace, security and stability in the country and the commitment of the people and government of Liberia to developing democracy.
In a press statement on 24 July, Council members condemned the terrorist attack that took place in Kabul that same day, which resulted in more than 70 people killed or injured, for which the Taliban claimed responsibility (SC/12924).
On 25 July, the Council convened for its regular quarterly open debate on the Middle East (S/PV.8011 and Resumption 1). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefed, focusing on the increased tensions around the Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem and related violence. A day earlier, Mladenov briefed Council members on the same issue under “any other business”, at the request of Egypt, France and Sweden. He also briefed under “any other business” on 12 July on the situation in Gaza, at the request of the Secretariat.
On 26 July, the Council received a briefing, followed by consultations, on the situation in Burundi from Special Envoy Michel Kafando and Ambassador Jürg Lauber of Switzerland, the chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s Burundi configuration (S/PV.8013).