8127TH MEETING (AM)
Members of the Security Council were briefed this morning by the Chairs of various subsidiary bodies, who reported on the Committees’ activities on such matters as counter‑terrorism efforts and the sanctions regimes in a range of countries from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Yemen.
Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), Chair of Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said that success of the sanctions regime depended on the cooperation of the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and States in the region. Having visited the country and the region, he concluded that sanctions were an effective deterrent from engaging in destabilizing activities.
Turning to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter‑terrorism, which he also chaired, he said the recent reform of the United Nations counter‑terrorism architecture had created a new opportunity to work in a coordinated manner. He urged Member States to continue to fulfil their obligations related to relevant Council resolutions, noting that in the past two years, the Council had adopted nine resolutions on counter‑terrorism, which signalled the commitment of the international community.
Fode Seck (Senegal), Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, said that not only was there was a real opportunity for the United Nations to build on its partnerships with the African Union and regional organizations, but also to continue the momentum gained in its work with troop‑contributing countries. In his role as Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) on South Sudan, he said that conflict in the country had worsened and hostilities had increased. In addition, a December 2016 draft resolution of the Security Council, which proposed an arms embargo, had not been adopted.
Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine), Chair of the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) on Sudan and resolution 1591 (2005) on the Central African Republic, said of his visits to both those countries that “If you want to be an effective Chair of a Sanctions Committee, engage in dialogue, build bridges of trust and mutual understanding, talk frequently to all stakeholders, and be ready to listen.”
The 2127 Sudan Committee had been unable to present its 90‑day report in an open format to the entire United Nations membership, despite other positive developments, he said. It was only yesterday that he had been able to brief the Council about recent activities.
Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), Chair of the 1718 Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, noted the sanctions and quick succession of new measures in recent months which required the body to help Member States and international organizations with implementation. Bolstered efforts were needed to lead the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea back to the negotiating table.
Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay) offered his summary of progress during his tenure as Chair of the Committee pursuant to resolution 2048 (2015) on Guinea Bissau and Chair of the Working Group on International Criminal Tribunals. There had been efforts to find a lasting solution to the political crisis in Guinea Bissau, but that work had had no effect on the ground. The solution to end institutional instability was in the hands of that country’s leaders, he said, noting that the lack of political will was based on personal interests and ambitions.
Noting that the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia would reach the end of its mandate on 31 December 2017, he cautioned that the work of prosecuting perpetrators of violations of humanitarian law in the former Yugoslavia territory had not yet come to an end.
Koro Bessho (Japan), Chair of the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) on Yemen, said that country’s political situation remained extremely fragile, and he had been unable to travel to the country as Chair of that Committee. Council members should consider how the Committee could best contribute to the political process.
The meeting began at 9:48 a.m. and ended at 10:53 a.m.
FODE SECK (Senegal), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan and Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, shared lessons drawn over the last two years of Senegal’s chairmanship of that group. The Working Group had addressed how the United Nations, the African Union and regional organizations could further build a strategic partnership. There had also been a special meeting focusing on troop‑contributing countries. He stressed the need to build upon the positive momentum gained to shore up dialogue between the United Nations and troop‑contributing countries, and for more substantive dialogue among stakeholders to have a better impact on the ground.
The Working Group’s meeting on 10 November, 2017 focused on improving triangular dialogue, he said. The Security Council, Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Secretariat must build on that triangular cooperation to ensure frank dialogue among stakeholders and foster productive discussions of the situation on the ground. As had been observed in the conclusions of the Working Group’s recent meetings, there had been a lack of information in due time, as well as a lack of time for the stakeholders to prepare themselves for the meetings and the irregular nature of informal meetings.
With respect to the 2206 Committee, he said that the Group of Experts had recommended to the Security Council that an arms embargo for South Sudan be established. The conflict in South Sudan had worsened and there had been briefings and consultations that allowed for taking stock of the gravity of that situation. He noted that he had visited the region to observe the situation on the ground and to gain intelligence. There had been an uptick in hostilities in several areas of the country. A draft resolution of the Security Council on 23 December 2016 included a proposal for an arms embargo and included an annex with a list of four individuals to be designated for sanctions. The necessary votes had not been forthcoming and adoption was not possible, he said.
ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA (Egypt), Chair of Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo; resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter‑terrorism; and resolution 1518 (2003) concerning Iraq, said that his main objective as Chair of the Counter‑Terrorism Committee was ensuring the full implementation of its mandate in monitoring, facilitating and promoting the implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005) and 2178 (2014). The Counter‑Terrorism Committee had conducted 22 assessment visits to Member States and ‑ with the full support of the Counter‑Terrorism Executive Directorate ‑ it had held 21 special meetings in 2016‑2017 in addition to 24 plenary meetings which had covered a wide range of issues, including terrorism financing, aviation security, preventing weapons acquisition and foreign terrorist fighters.
He said the Council had adopted nine resolutions on counter‑terrorism over the past two years, which was a clear signal reflecting the commitment of the international community to combat terrorism. He underlined the need to provide the Executive Directorate with the requisite financial and human resources so that it could fulfil its core mandate. With the recent reform of the United Nations counter‑terrorism architecture, United Nations entities had a new opportunity to work in a coordinated, coherent and effective manner to avoid duplication and competition. He urged Member States to continue to fulfil their obligations pursuant to the relevant Council resolutions on terrorism.
Turning to the 1518 Committee on Iraq, he said it had not held any meetings, but there had been a flurry of de‑listings over the past two years. Since August 2016, the 1518 Committee had de‑listed a total of 39 entities pursuant to requests by the Government of Iraq.
Addressing the 1533 Committee’s work on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he noted that success of the sanctions regime depended on the cooperation of the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and States in the region. The States had been regularly invited to 1533 Committee meetings. Issues addressed included neutralization of armed groups and combating illicit trafficking of natural resources. The 1533 Committee had, among other things, also interacted with sub‑regional organizations and frameworks. Based on two visits to the country and the region, he concluded that the sanctions regime had reduced the potential of armed groups to obtain weapons and was a deterrent from engaging in destabilizing activities. The regime was not only a preventive tool, but could also serve to combat the rampant impunity of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Paying tribute to the Group of Experts supporting the 1533 Committee, he said that Committee continued to mourn the loss of Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan and expected that their killers would be brought to justice. He urged all Member States and stakeholders, particularly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to provide full support and collaboration with the Group of Experts as well as with the team of technical experts appointed by the Secretary‑General to assist the authorities in the country.
VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine), Chair of the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) and resolution 1591 (2005), said that in the last 24 months, he had dedicated himself to strengthening the interaction between the Committees he chaired and the 1591 Committee on the Sudan and the 2127 Committee on the Central African Republic respectively. His visits to those counties had helped build up trust between the concerned parties, he said, adding “If you want to be an effective Chair of a Sanctions Committee, engage in dialogue, build bridges of trust and mutual understanding, talk frequently to all stakeholders, and be ready to listen.”
Recalling meetings that he had convened with the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General for Children and Armed Conflict and with the Special Representative of the Secretary‑General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, as well as briefings by the United Nations Mine Action Service and United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, he added that it was difficult to overestimate the role of the respective Panels of Experts in keeping the Committees informed about the current political and security situation in the countries concerned. In September, he had initiated an open briefing on the 2127 Central African Republic Committee with the participation of the wide United Nations membership and in November, the 1591 Sudan Committee had held its first‑ever joint informal consultation with the 1970 Libya Committee and the 2206 South Sudan Committees to discuss the spread of Darfuri armed groups into Libya and South Sudan.
Despite positive developments, he noted, the 1591 Sudan Committee had been unable to present its 90‑day report in an open format to the entire United Nations membership. It was only yesterday that he had been able to brief the Council about recent activities. Further, given that a Sanctions Committee reaches all decisions by consensus, sometimes “the Chair finds himself lacking a certain level of autonomy.” The Chair of a Sanctions Committee should not be considered exclusively as a trouble‑shooter. He or she could play a much more relevant role, particularly given the evolving nature of conflicts in assigned countries, he stressed.
SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said that effectiveness, unity and transparency informed the activities of the group this year. The leadership strived for consensus. The wide articulation of sanctions on the country and the quick succession of new measures in recent months required the 1718 Committee to make a special effort to assist Member States and international organizations in implementation. Thanking other Council members for their constructive cooperation, he affirmed the importance of transparency, which he tried to strengthen by organizing two open briefings and five regional meetings in 2017 to shed light on the evolving regime, while at the same time providing Member States with a platform to raise concerns and establish a dialogue to discuss implementation challenges.
Similarly, he added, commenting on his role as facilitator for the implementation of Council resolution 2231 (2015) on Iran, he said that the innovative set of provisions established by the text needed to be better understood and assimilated in their second year. The July open briefing on the resolution was helpful in focusing on the procurement channel, which was still underused and required further attention. He reiterated his country’s unwavering support for full implementation of the resolution and the agreement that it endorsed.
Turning back to the 1718 Sanctions Committee, he said that while a surge in diplomacy was hoped for, Member States must redouble their efforts for a full implementation of the regime to lead the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea back to the negotiating table. Creating conditions conducive to such negotiations was the crucial purpose of the sanctions. They were never meant to have a negative impact on the people of the country. During the 1718 Committee’s next meeting on 11 December, he announced, there would be a presentation and discussion on United Nations humanitarian operations in the field. He stressed that the abandonment of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and a return to international legality was entirely in the hands of Pyongyang. He finally wished best of luck to the new chairman of the 1718 Committee, with whom, he noted he had been working to ensure a smooth transition.
ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) concerning Guinea Bissau and Chair of the Working Group on International Criminal Tribunals, said that Guinea Bissau was still undergoing crisis and the causes were unresolved. There had been international and regional efforts to find a lasting solution to the political crisis, but those efforts had no effect on the ground. None of the provisions of the Conakry Accord had been implemented due to lack of political will, he said. The solution to bring an end to institutional instability was in the hands of the country’s leaders. He had visited Guinea Bissau and interviewed several different people in the military and in civil society. The visit showed that it was necessary to have greater dialogue between the Council, the 2048 Committee and citizens of Guinea Bissau.
The report concluded that there was a lack of political will based on personal interests and ambitions, and was not based on religious or philosophical differences, he said. Since 2012, military officials who had had sanctions against them had maintained conduct that obeyed the laws of the country. Those persons continued to be in the military and some had risen to higher ranks, which contributed to a climate of impunity prevailing. As of last year, two persons listed who had travelled outside of Guinea Bissau were both detained at the airport of destination and were repatriated. There were no indications that others had violated the prohibition on travel. That showed that Member States had been enforcing sanctions, he said.
Turning to the Working Group on International Criminal Tribunals, he said that it had prepared and negotiated the text of various Security Council resolutions, such as that which referred to the appointment of the prosecutor for the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals. On the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), he said that it would reach the end of its mandate on 31 December 2017, and was working on the creation of a press statement to mark that historic event. He would continue to work with the Residual Mechanism as the work of prosecuting perpetrators of violations of humanitarian law in the former Yugoslavia territory had not yet come to an end.
KORO BESSHO (Japan), Chair of the Security Council Committees established pursuant to resolutions 1636 (2005) and 2140 (2014) and Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, noted that the 2140 Committee on Yemen had met four times for informal consultations. Yemen’s political situation continued to be extremely fragile and Council members should consider how the 2140 Committee could contribute to the political process. Efforts had been made to ensure the independence of the Panel of Experts. While he had been unable to travel to Yemen, it would be useful for the next 2140 Chair and Committee members to undertake a visit to the region, he said.
Turning to the Informal Working Group, he noted that Japan had assumed its chairpersonship for the third time. Under his tenure, the focus had been on, among others, improving the transitional arrangements for newly elected Council members and to create an impact through codification as well as practice. After intensive discussions, a note had been issued, that would facilitate the preparedness of newly elected members by inviting them to observe the practices of the Council for up to three months.
For information media. Not an official record.