posted on WED 4 MAR 2015 5:35 PM
Technical Rollover Resolution on Libya

Tomorrow (5 March), the Council is set to adopt a technical rollover resolution renewing until 31 March the current mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), due to expire on 13 March. The resolution is also expected to renew for the same period of time the measures on vessels transporting crude oil illicitly exported from Libya that expires on 19 March. No meetings were held to agree on this draft, which was circulated by email and is expected to be put in blue today. (The mandate of the 1970 Libya Panel of Experts is up for renewal on 13 April and is likely to be considered when UNSMIL’s mandate comes up for renewal again at the end of the month.)

In considering UNSMIL’s mandate, Council members would have had the Secretariat’s strategic assessment of the UN presence in Libya as a guide (S/2015/113). The report includes recommendations for the UN to focus its work on mediation, support to key institutions (such as the electoral commission, the central bank or the Constitutional Drafting Assembly), provision of essential services, human rights reporting and advocacy as well as coordination of international engagement on Libya. The report highlights how, given the new environment in which UNSMIL operates and based on a realistic assessment of what it will be able to achieve in this context, “the Mission should be reduced substantially, while it refocuses its capacity on the tasks described above”. The changes in the situation on the ground notwithstanding, it seems Council members decided to give the political process more time to yield results before substantively amending the mandate of UNSMIL. It remains to be seen, however, whether much will have changed in the three week period before UNSMIL’s mandate will come up for renewal again.

In today’s (3 March) briefing to the Council, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Bernardino León announced the next round of negotiations to be held in Morocco starting tomorrow. The negotiations will include the major political stakeholders and revolve around three agenda items: the formation of a national unity government, security arrangements to pave the way for a comprehensive ceasefire and the completion of the constitution-drafting process. Subsequent dialogue meetings are expected to be held in Algeria and Belgium next week.

Both today and when he briefed the Council on 18 February following the 15 February release of a video depicting the beheading of 21 Christian men, including 20 Egyptian Copts, in Sirte by a Libyan branch of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), León emphasised that the success of the political dialogue and the formation of a national unity government are essential to combat terrorism. In today’s briefing he further highlighted that ISIS would stop at nothing in its bid to consolidate its presence in Libya and playing on existing political divisions.

A second reason for the rollover may be a reaction to calls from Egypt and Libya, echoed in the Council by Jordan, for lifting of the arms embargo as it applies to the government. Some members were concerned that the issue of the lifting of the arms embargo would have come up during negotiations and preferred to avoid any discussion of the sanctions regime at this point. In late February, Jordan circulated a draft resolution that would lift the arms embargo for the government. Although there were two rounds of negotiations, the draft was met with resistance by most Council members who were worried about the impact of lifting the arms embargo on the dynamics on the ground as well as how it would reflect on their support for a political solution to the crisis in Libya. A final report by the panel of experts assisting the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee recently highlighted how arms transfers to Libya, exempted by the Committee or not, have contributed to the consolidation of militias on the ground (S/2015/128). At press time, there were no further meetings scheduled to negotiate this draft text.

posted on TUE 3 MAR 2015 5:22 PM
Mandate Renewal of DPRK Panel of Experts and Panel Report

Tomorrow morning (4 March), the Security Council will adopt a resolution extending the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee. The proposed text, which was put in blue yesterday, closely follows the language of the previous mandate renewal (resolution 2141) making little change to the mandate of the Panel. According to the draft, the mandate is to be extended for 13 months (until 5 April 2016) and the Panel will be… Read more »

posted on TUE 3 MAR 2015 4:29 PM
Security Council’s March Programme of Work

The Security Council began the month of March by adopting a resolution on South Sudan sanctions right after agreeing on its programme of work this morning (3 March). Then this afternoon Council members had consultations on Yemen where they were briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar.… Read more »

posted on MON 2 MAR 2015 6:36 PM
Consultations on Yemen with Special Adviser Jamal Benomar

Tomorrow afternoon (3 March), Council members will hold consultations on Yemen where they will be briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser to Yemen Jamal Benomar via video teleconference from Yemen. At press time, no Council outcome was expected. With increasing concern over the potential split of Yemen following the escape of President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to Aden from house arrest on 21 February, Benomar’s briefing is expected to focus on his efforts to advance negotiations among Yemeni parties on… Read more »

posted on MON 2 MAR 2015 5:39 PM
Council to Adopt Sanctions Resolution on South Sudan

Tomorrow morning (3 March) the Security Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution deciding to impose targeted sanctions on spoilers in South Sudan. The draft was circulated to Council members last Tuesday (24 February) during consultations on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Following one round of negotiations and some email exchanges, the draft resolution was placed under silence on Friday (27 February). A first silence period was broken, but after some amendments, the draft passed successfully through a… Read more »

posted on THU 26 FEB 2015 6:36 PM
Briefing on Minsk Agreement Implementation in Ukraine

Tomorrow (27 February), the Security Council may hold a public meeting on Ukraine possibly followed by an informal interactive dialogue session. The Chief Monitor of the Special OSCE Monitoring Mission, Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan (Turkey), and the Chair of the OSCE’s Trilateral Contact Group, Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini (Switzerland), are expected to brief the Council by video teleconference. (The Trilateral Contact Group is made up of Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE.)… Read more »

posted on WED 25 FEB 2015 6:07 PM
Syria Humanitarian Briefing

Tomorrow afternoon (26 February), Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang and High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres will brief the Council on the devastating humanitarian situation in Syria and neighbouring countries.… Read more »

posted on WED 25 FEB 2015 5:14 PM
Adoption of Resolution on UN Interim Security Force for Abyei

Tomorrow (26 February), the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until 15 July 2015. The first draft was circulated to Council members on 18 February and after three rounds of negotiations and some additional bilateral exchanges between Russia and the US the draft was put under silence until 11:00 am today. Silence was not broken and the text is now in blue.… Read more »

posted on WED 25 FEB 2015 1:14 PM
Briefing on the Central African Republic under “Any Other Business”

Tomorrow (26 February), Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous will brief Council members on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) under “any other business”. The focus of the briefing will be the Secretary-General’s request to the Council to authorise a troop increase for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) contained in his 29 January letter to the Council president (S/2015/85). At present, it seems that Council members are generally in favour of… Read more »

posted on MON 23 FEB 2015 5:51 PM
Briefing by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

Tomorrow morning (23 February), Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dačić will brief the Council in his capacity as Chairperson-in Office of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE briefing is held annually usually soon after the new OSCE chairperson assumes office. (In 2012, Switzerland and Serbia decided to jointly run for the chairmanship of the OSCE (2014 and 2015) in an effort to foster long term planning for the organisation.… Read more »