posted on FRI 16 NOV 2018 4:24 PM
“Strengthening Peacekeeping Operations in Africa” Open Debate

On Tuesday (20 November), the Security Council will hold an open debate on strengthening peacekeeping operations in Africa at the initiative of China, this month’s Council president. Briefings are expected from Secretary-General António Guterres and Smaïl Chergui, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security (via VTC).

The concept note circulated ahead of the meeting emphasises the strategic partnership between the AU and the UN, particularly on peacekeeping, and highlights how AU peace support operations serve as a vital complement to other international efforts. The stated objective of the meeting is to mobilise the international community to increase its level of attention to and investment in African peace and security in general and peacekeeping operations there in particular.

The concept note invites participants to address how to improve AU-UN cooperation on peace and security issues “while respecting Africa’s leading role in resolving its own security issues”. Another of the suggested topics is how to increase coordination between UN peacekeeping operations and the political processes led by regional and sub-regional mechanisms.

The issue of funding features prominently in the concept note and is expected to be addressed by many participants in the open debate. The Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations, which has been endorsed by 151 member states so far, includes member state commitments to support the AU to strengthen and implement its policies, procedures and capacities, including on compliance, and reaffirms the need to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of financing for AU-led peace support operations authorised by the Council.

The potential of UN funding for AU peace support operations has been a recurring focus of the Council’s attention. A 26 May 2017 report of the Secretary-General outlined options through which the UN could provide sustainable financial support to AU peace support operations, considering the limitations of current structures. The Secretary-General strongly recommended that the Council endorse in principle the option regarding the joint financing of a jointly developed budget. In addition to the issue of financing, the report proposes a decision-making framework aimed at making joint action more effective. On 20 September 2017, the Council adopted resolution 2378, expressing its intention to further consider practical steps to establish a mechanism through which AU peace support operations could be partly financed through UN assessed contributions on a case-by-case basis.

The suggestion of using UN assessed contributions for AU peace operations has been a source of some friction in the Council. African Council members have repeatedly stressed the importance of securing a resolution to establish that UN assessed contributions should, on a case-by-case basis, finance Security Council authorised AU peace support missions. A draft resolution circulated by the African members of the Council aimed at advancing this issue is currently being negotiated. In the past, the US has objected to the use of assessed contributions in this way, with the exception of the funds provided to the AU Mission in Somalia through a UN support office established in 2009 and other ad hoc mechanisms. At an 18 July briefing, the US said it would not consider using assessed contributions for AU-led operations without the demonstrable implementation of benchmarks for financial transparency, conduct and discipline, and human rights. This is a debate that has also played out in the Council’s consideration of how to support the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel, which is currently being funded through voluntary contributions and through the provision of operational and logistical support by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali.

posted on FRI 16 NOV 2018 3:41 PM
Israel/Palestine Briefing

On Monday (19 November), the Security Council will hold its monthly meeting on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine). Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov will most likely provide the briefing (via video teleconference from Jerusalem), which will be followed by statements from Council members.… Read more »

posted on THU 15 NOV 2018 9:40 PM
Yemen Briefing and Consultations

Friday afternoon (16 November), the Security Council is expected to hold a briefing, followed by consultations, on Yemen, on which there has been new urgency to restart a political process between the Houthi rebel group and the Yemeni government amidst dire warnings of famine. The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is expected to brief. The Council also expects to receive briefings from Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley. A civil… Read more »

posted on THU 15 NOV 2018 3:17 PM
South Sudan Briefing

Tomorrow (16 November), the Security Council is scheduled to receive a briefing on the situation in South Sudan from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaïl Chergui (via VTC) and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. Council members are not scheduled to hold consultations following the briefing.… Read more »

posted on WED 14 NOV 2018 7:55 PM
Group of Five for the Sahel Joint Force Briefing

Tomorrow (15 November), the Security Council will hold a briefing on the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5-Sahel) joint force or FC-G5S, which Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger established last year to combat terrorist and criminal groups in the region. The Council expects to hear briefings from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, G5 Sahel Permanent Secretary Maman Sidikou, and AU High Representative for Mali and the Sahel Pierre Buyoya. Pedro Serrano, the EU Deputy Secretary General… Read more »

posted on WED 14 NOV 2018 2:55 PM
UN Interim Security Force for Abyei Mandate Renewal

Tomorrow (15 November), the Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until 15 May 2019. An initial draft was circulated to Council members by the US, the penholder on UNISFA, on 7 November, following bilateral negotiations with Ethiopia (the primary troop-contributing country to UNISFA). One round of negotiations among all 15 members was held on 8 November, and a revised draft was circulated the next day. A final draft was… Read more »

posted on TUE 13 NOV 2018 1:36 PM
Somalia and Eritrea: Security Council to Lift Sanctions on Eritrea

On Wednesday (14 November), the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing sanctions measures on Somalia while lifting sanctions on Eritrea, namely the arms embargoes, travel bans, asset freezes and targeted sanctions imposed on Eritrea in resolutions 1907 (2009), 2023 (2011), 2060 (2012) and 2111 (2013). Accordingly, the draft resolution states that the committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea will be known as the committee pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) concerning… Read more »

posted on MON 12 NOV 2018 9:02 PM
Democratic Republic of the Congo Briefing and Consultations

Tomorrow (13 November), the Security Council is expected to receive a briefing on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from Special Representative and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Leila Zerrougui. In addition, a female civil society representative, whose participation was requested by the Netherlands, will brief via video-teleconference from the DRC. While Council members are expected to speak in the open chamber, closed consultations are scheduled to be held after… Read more »

posted on MON 12 NOV 2018 4:30 PM
UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Briefing

Tomorrow (13 November), the Security Council is scheduled to be briefed by the Special Representative and head of UNAMI, Ján Kubiš, his last appearance before the Council in this capacity. His successor, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, has already conducted preliminary meetings in New York, including with the Secretary-General and the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the UN.… Read more »

posted on THU 8 NOV 2018 5:17 PM
“Strengthening Multilateralism and the Role of the United Nations” Open Debate

Tomorrow (9 November) the Security Council is planning to hold an open debate on “Strengthening multilateralism and the role of the UN”. Briefing the press on this month’s programme of work on 1 November in his capacity as Council president for the month, Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu discussed the open debate at length, stating: “We believe it is important that the United Nations and its member states jointly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter” and maintaining that… Read more »