Overview2In Hindsight: Syria
4Status UpdateGuatemala will preside over the Security Council in October. It is planning to hold
6In Hindsight: The three open debates during the month. In mid-October, an open debate on the role Secretary-General’s of the International Criminal Court and its relation to the Council will be chaired Report on Eritreaby Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros. The Secretary-General may brief the 7Rule of LawCouncil. The quarterly open debate on the Middle East is also planned, with a 9Sudan and South Sudanbriefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman. Late
12 Sudan/Darfurin the month, the annual open debate on women, peace and security is expected,
15 Somaliawith the head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet and the head of UN peacekeeping,
18 Israel/PalestineHervé Ladsous, expected as briefers. The Secretary-General may also address the
Two country-specific debates are expected: a debate on Haiti and the work of 22 Afghanistan
the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) with a briefing by its head, 25 1988 Sanctions
Mariano Fernández; and a debate on Somalia and the work of the AU Mission Committee Report
in Soma- lia (AMISOM) with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, 26 Côte d’Ivoire
Augustine Mahiga, briefing (most likely by videoconference). The AU 29 Sierra Leone
Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ramtane Lamamra, may also brief the 30 HaitiCouncil.33 Women, Peace andThe Council expects to be briefed by President Shireen Avis Fisher and Security
Prosecutor Brenda Hollis of the Special Court for Sierra Leone on developments 35 Security Council Electionsrelated to the final phase of its work. Members will also hold their annual private 2012
meeting with the President of the International Court of Justice, Judge Peter 38 Notable Dates
Briefings in consultations are likely on:
• developments in Sudan/South Sudan, by Special Envoy of the Secretary-General
Haile Menkerios (most likely by videoconference);
• the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), by the Under-Secretary-
Gen- eral for Peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous;
• the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), also by
• the implementation of resolution 1559 on Lebanon, by Special Envoy Terje
Roed- Larsen; and
• the work of the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee by its chair,
Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala).
In addition, briefings and consultations are possible on developments in the 28 September 2012Dem- ocratic Republic of the Congo and Syria, and on the plans for an This report is available online atsecuritycouncilreport.org.international force in Mali.For daily insights by SCR on evolving Formal sessions will be needed to adopt resolutions renewing the mandate of Security Council actions please subscribe to our “What’s In Blue” MINUSTAH and the authorisations for AMISOM and the International Security series at whatsinblue.org or followAssistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF).@SCRtweets on Twitter.
In line with Article 24(3) of the UN Charter, the Council plans to adopt its
annual report to the General Assembly in October.
At press time, Council members were discussing plans for a possible visiting
mis- sion in October to Afghanistan and Yemen.
On 18 October, the General Assembly is scheduled to hold an election for the
members of the Security Council who will replace Colombia,
Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa whose terms end on 31 December. •
IN HINDSIGHT: Syria
At press time, the Council was not scheduled to hold a meeting in October focused on Syria despite continuing intensifica- tion of the crisis there. After the conclusion of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) on 19 August and decreased Council activity on Syria, it may be timely to take stock of the Council’s response to the situation.Syria Raised
Since being first discussed by the Council on 26 April 2011, when the Secretary-General briefed on the unfolding crisis, Syria has been dealt with under the agenda item “the situation in the Middle East” (existing since 1960). The following day the then head of the Department of Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, briefed on the anti-government demonstrations, which had begun in mid-March. Russia asserted that Council action on Syria would constitute interference in a domestic matter. Lebanon, at the time an elected member, was also reluctant.As the crisis in Syria continued, it became apparent that divisions in the Council were affecting its ability to engage effec- tively on the issue. In May 2011, EU members raised the situation several times during Council meetings (including during the 10 May open debate on protection of civilians) while Pascoe also started using the monthly “horizon-scanning” briefings to highlight the Syrian crisis.
By June 2011, supporters of Council action on Syria had the necessary nine votes for a resolution condemning the Syrian government’s response to the crisis. Yet China and Russia emphasised the internal nature of the situation, while both coun- tries—along with Brazil, India and South Africa—were also wary of Council action. It was only on 3 August 2011 that the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2011/16) expressing concern over the deteriorating situation in Syria.
In August 2011, the UK—with EU and US support—circulated a draft resolution calling for an assets freeze on President Bashar al-Assad and other key figures, a travel ban, an arms embargo and the establishment of a sanctions committee. The draft was contentious with Russia most notably arguing that dialogue should be pursued with Syria, not sanctions. As other members likewise expressed reservations, the text was modified to address some of the
concerns while retaining the non-compliance language in the resolution.
On 4 October 2011, the Council voted on a draft resolution (S/2011/612) condemning Syria’s excessive use of force and expressing the Council’s intention to consider further non-military measures. Nine Council members voted in favour of the draft resolution and four abstained (Brazil, India, Lebanon and South Africa), but the resolution was vetoed by China and Russia (see table below), paralysing the Council.
On 15 December 2011, Russia called for consultations to discuss a draft resolution on Syria it had proposed calling for a cessation of violence by all parties. Yet the draft did not include elements that others considered essential, including withdrawal of the military from the streets.
Different Year, Same Divisions
On 1 February, Morocco formally submitted a new draft supporting the political transition in Syria as outlined by the Arab League on 22 January. Although the draft included additional co-sponsors, mainly Turkey and ten other Arab states, the draft resolution (S/2012/77) was vetoed again (S/PV.6711) by China and Russia on 4 February (all other members voted in favour).
As the crisis continued, Kofi Annan—who had been appointed UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy pursuant to a 16February General Assembly resolution (A/RES/66/253)—briefed Council members on 16 March about his mediation
efforts. During this short period the Council acted with a degree of unanimity as demonstrated on 21 March when the Coun- cil adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/6) supporting Annan’s “six-point plan”. This called for an inclusive political process, cessation of all violence, humanitarian access, release of those arbitrarily detained, access for journalists and the right to peaceful demonstrations. On 5 April, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/10) calling on the Syrian government to cease violence by 10 April and the opposition to do likewise 48 hours thereafter.
Subsequently, through resolution 2042, on 14 April the Council authorised the deployment of an advance team of 30 unarmed military observers to report on the implementation of the cessation of armed violence by all parties. On 21 April, it adopted resolution 2043, establishing UNSMIS for 90 days and calling for the urgent implementation of the six-point plan. The mission, under the command of Gen. Robert Mood, was comprised of up to 300 military observers.Throughout UNSMIS’s mandate, the Council was briefed every 15 days. On 16 June, Gen. Mood decided to suspend UNSMIS activities due to the deliberate targeting of the mission and other security concerns. From that point, the relatively unified approach of Council members began to dissolve, as it appeared UNSMIS would not have the desired impact on the ground. Foreign Ministers of the P5 met in Geneva—along with regional representatives—and this “Action Group for Syria” issued a 30 June communiqué calling for all parties to recommit to the six-point plan and mapped out steps for a “Syrian-led political process leading to a transition.” Yet fundamental divisions remained as to what this political transi- tion would involve and whether it was contingent on Assad’s removal from power.On 11 July, the UK circulated a draft resolution (S/2012/538) under Chapter VII. The text endorsed the 30 June com- muniqué, renewed UNSMIS for 45 days and threatened sanctions on the Syrian government if it did not cease its activi- ties within ten days. Russia also circulated a draft resolution (S/2012/547/Rev.2), endorsing the communiqué, renewing UNSMIS for three months but making no references to consequences for non-compliance. The Council voted on the UK draft (but not the Russian draft), which was again vetoed by China and Russia on 19 July (Pakistan and South Africa abstained). The following day, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2059, tersely renewing UNSMIS for a final
SYRIA: COUNCIL VOTES TAKEN ON DRAFT RESOLUTIONS
DATE OF VOTEUN DOCUMENTCONTENTSOUTCOME OF VOTE
4 Oct 2011S/2011/612Condemned use of force by Syrian authorities. Expressed Not adopted (9-2-4)
intention to consider further options, including measures Veto: China; Russia. under article 41.Abstention: Brazil; India;
Lebanon; South Africa.
4 Feb 2012S/2012/77Not adopted (13-2-0) Supported the Arab League’s 22 January decision to facilitate
a Syrian-led political transition.Veto: China; Russia.
14 April 2012S/2012/219 Adopted (15-0-0)Authorised the deployment of 30 military observers to Syria.(S/RES/2042)
21 April 2012S/2012/245 Established UNSMIS for 90 days.Adopted (15-0-0)
S/2012/538Not adopted (11-2-2) 19 July 2012Stipulated that Syrian authorities cease troop movements—
Veto: China; Russia. and use of heavy weapons—in population centres. Stipulated
that article 41 measures would be imposed in the case ofAbstention: Pakistan;non-compliance.South Africa.
S/2012/560 Adopted (15-0-0)20 July 2012Extended UNSMIS for a final 30 days.(S/RES/2059)
Frustrated by little traction gained by the six-point plan, Annan announced his resignation on 2 August. Lakhdar Bra- himi (Algeria) was appointed Joint Special Representative for Syria as of 1 September. After traveling to Syria and the region, Brahimi briefed Council members on 24 September, keeping expectations of what could be achieved rather low. •
Status Update since our September Forecast
On 11 September, Council members issued a press statement (SC/10757) and condemned the wave of terrorist attacks across Iraq on 8 and 9 September. The members of the Security Council “reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.”Libya
On 12 September, Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, presented to the Council the latest Secre- tary-General’s report (S/2012/675) on UNSMIL (S/PV.6832). Feltman also drew the attention to the death of four Americans killed in Benghazi on 11 September, including the US Ambassador to Libya, John Christopher Stevens. Deputy Permanent Representative Ibrahim Dabbashi (Libya) also addressed the Council and said that the attack, “carried out by extremists”, had been strongly condemned by Libya and in no way represented the Libyan people or the Islamic faith. Council members reaffirmed that “such acts are unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed”, in a press statement released on 12 September (SC/10761).
On 12 September, the Council adopted resolution 2065 extending UNIPSIL’s mandate until 31 March 2013. This followed a briefing (S/PV.6829) from Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen (Denmark), the Executive Representative of the Secretary- General in Sierra Leone and head of UNIPSIL, on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2012/679). Ambassador Guill- ermo Rishchynski (Canada), the chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s configuration for Sierra
Leone, and Ambassador Shekou M. Touray (Sierra Leone) also addressed the Council. The resolution authorised UNIPSIL to assist the government and people of Sierra Leone through elections in November and to perform a number of post-election tasks, including “the preparation of a transition plan and exit strategy” following the elections.Attacks Against Diplomatic Premises
On 14 September, the Council released a press statement (SC/10764), condemning the violent attacks against embassies and consular premises of UN members in multiple locations on 13 and 14 September. The Council called on all authori- ties to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel, in accordance with their international obligations. On 12
September, the Council issued a similar press statement (SC/10761), condemning the attacks on the US diplomatic posts
in Benghazi and Cairo, and underlining the need to bring the perpetrators of these acts to
On 17 September, the Council adopted resolution 2066 extending the mandate of UNMIL for one year. The resolution authorised the reduction of the mission’s military strength in three phases, with the first phase of that reduction—1,900 personnel—to happen between October 2012 and September 2013. The resolution was adopted after the Council received a briefing (S/PV.6830) from Karin Landgren (Sweden), the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Liberia and head of UNMIL, on the latest UNMIL report (S/2012/641).
On 18 September, Special Adviser on Yemen Jamal Benomar briefed Council members in consultations on the recent
developments in Yemen. Benomar’s briefing focused on the ongoing challenges to the transition process as well as
political, humanitarian and security issues. Benomar also updated the Council on the national dialogue conference as well as security reforms. Earlier in the month, on 13 September, Council members issued a press statement condemning the 11
September terrorist attack in Sana’a (SC/10762). On 27 September, a high-level “Friends of Yemen” meeting took place
on the margins of the General Assembly.
On 18 September, the Council held closed consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s UNIOGBIS report (S/2012/554).
There was no Council action after the consultations.
Children and Armed Conflict
On 19 September, the Council held an open debate (S.PV/6838 and resumption 1) on children and armed conflict. Ahead of the debate it adopted resolution 2068 by a vote of 11 in favour, none against and four abstentions (Azerbaijan, China, Pakistan and Russia). Through the resolution the Council expressed deep concern about perpetrators who persisted in com- mitting violations against children, called on member states to bring them to justice through national judicial systems, and where applicable, international mechanisms, and reiterated its readiness to adopt targeted and graduated measures against them. The Council also called on the Working Group to consider, within the year, a broad range of options for increasing pressure on these persistent perpetrators and asked the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict to brief on the delisting process. The new Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Leila Zerrougui, peacekeeping head Hervé Ladsous, Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake and the President of the International Centre for Transitional Justice, David Tolbert, briefed the Council during the debate.Iran
On 20 September, Ambassador Néstor Osorio (Colombia) presented his regular quarterly report as chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee (S/PV.6839). Nearly all Council members in their statements referred to the recent report of the IAEA and the resolution of its Board of Governors adopted on 13 September. (The resolution expressed “serious concern regarding the continued enrichment and heavy water-related activities in Iran” and emphasised a “peaceful resolution of the international community’s concerns”.) Several members reiterated the importance of resolving the issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme through dialogue and diplomacy. Some members, including those from the EU and the US, stressed that Iran needed to abide by relevant IAEA and Council resolutions and negotiate a settlement, but that talks would not continue indefinitely if progress were not made. Other members noted that Iran had both rights and responsi- bilities that it needed to live up to. Calls were also made by the P3 for the Committee to implement the recommendations in the Panel of Experts’ recent report (S/2012/395), including adding named Iranian companies to the sanctions list. Concerns were raised about Iran’s documented links to the Syrian government.Mali/Sahel
On 21 September, Council members issued a press statement (SC/10772) taking note of the progress made in developing an integrated strategy for the Sahel, pursuant to resolution 2056. On Mali, the statement noted the request by the interim gov- ernment for ECOWAS assistance and took note of that organisation’s ongoing strategic planning efforts. The statement also stressed the need for ECOWAS to coordinate with the interim government, regional and international organisations, other Sahel countries and bilateral partners to prepare detailed options regarding the deployment of a regional force in Mali. The press statement followed a briefing by Jeffrey Feltman (S/PV.6836), head of the Department
of Political Affairs, to the Council on 17 September. Ambassador Youssoufou Bamba (Côte d’Ivoire) also made a statement on behalf of ECOWAS at the briefing.
On 26 September, the Secretaries-General of the UN and the Arab League briefed the Council at a high-level meeting on the Middle East (S/PV.6841). Germany, as president of the Council in September, circulated a concept paper (S/2012/686) on 6 September focusing on ways to enhance cooperation on issues that are on the agendas of both the
Council and the Arab League. After the meeting, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/20) that
welcomed the inten- sifying cooperation between the UN and Arab League in the wake of regional transformations,
reiterated the Council’s
commitment to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, welcomed the appointment of the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria and asked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report on ways to strengthen cooperation between the two organisations.
On 27 September, a high-level meeting on the DRC took place on the margins of the General Assembly. On 18 September, Council members were briefed in consultations by head of peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous on his recent trip to the region. Ladsous updated the Council on regional efforts to address the crisis in North Kivu caused by the mutiny of the M23 rebel group. •
IN HINDSIGHT: The Secretary-General’s Report on EritreaOn 29 August, the Secretary-General reissued the report on Eritrea (S/2012/412) initially circulated to Council members on
8 June. In resolution 2023 of 5 December 2011 (which condemned Eritrean violations of resolutions 1844, 1862 and 1907 and imposed new measures to prevent Eritrea from using the diaspora tax or revenues from its mining sector to commit further violations), the Council had requested the Secretary-General to report on Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions of that as well as previous relevant resolutions.
While it is not uncommon for the Secretary-General to reissue reports for “technical reasons” (usually followed by an aster- isk at the end of the document symbol), in this case the new version had been significantly revised, replacing the 8
June report altogether with no indication in the new document that it was reissued. The withdrawal and later revision of the original report seem to be surrounded by some controversy and further analysis may be of interest.As reported in our July Monthly Forecast, soon after receiving the Secretary-General’s report on Eritrea on 8 June, Council members were informed in a letter that it had been withdrawn. The official explanation was that it needed to be revised because of some omissions in the first version and that it would be reissued later in the month.The withdrawal of the report seems to have caused some consternation among Council members. Most members seemed to agree that the report did not offer much added value (it was seen as providing a summary of already known facts), but they were not satisfied with the explanation offered for the withdrawal even after it was discussed with the Sec- retariat in informal consultations under other matters. The Secretariat apparently alluded to the fact that the report had not met Council members’ expectations.
While the matter was not openly discussed, it seemed widely understood that these complaints came from the US and that the Secretariat had been under pressure to withdraw the 8 June report. In particular, it appears the US argued that any reference to the lack of progress in the implementation of the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) would be outside the Secretary-General’s reporting mandate. (It should be noted that it was apparently the US that initially pushed for resolution 2023 to include the request for a report, whereas other members were less convinced about the usefulness of asking the Secretary-General to report on something that was essentially one of the main tasks of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea.)
When comparing the two versions of the report (both can be found on our website at
www.securitycouncilreport.org), one of the differences is indeed that the 29 August report contains no reference to the unresolved border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea as a relevant issue, whereas the 8 June report in paragraph 44 states that “The lack of progress in the implementation of the decision of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission continues to negatively affect the multifac- eted and complex regional dynamics in the Horn of Africa and the normalization of relations between the two countries. A comprehensive approach should be adopted by states in the region, IGAD [the Intergovernmental Authority on Develop- ment], the African Union and the United Nations to address the broader aspects of the conflict in the region, including the long-standing border stalemate.”Apart from this, a main difference is that the 29 August report is considerably shorter than the first report (four pages instead of eight). The descriptive part is shorter and has been updated to reflect the conclusions of the report of the
Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea, which came out on 13 July (S/2012/545). Both versions emphasise that the Secretariat “does not have independent means of assessing Eritrea’s compliance with the provisions of resolution 2023.” The 29 August version also notes that “the report of the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group provides authoritative information on Eritrea’s record of compliance with the provisions in resolution 2023.”Among Council members there was clearly some unease about the procedural aspects of the handling of the report, with some describing it as unprecedented. There was also concern about the future impact of perceptions that the Secretariat had given in to outside pressure. At this point, however, there does not seem to be any interest in pursuing these issues further. Also from a more substantive point of view, Council members seem to agree that the report does not merit further consideration. As is clear from its conclusions, the report adds little to the analysis already presented by the Monitoring Group, whose report was thoroughly discussed in July by the 751 and 1907 Sanctions Committee on Somalia and Eritrea.
The Monitoring Group reported that it found no evidence that Eritrea was directly supporting the terrorist group Al-
Sha- baab but that in all other respects Eritrea had failed to comply with Council resolutions and remained a destabilising force in the region. Following these discussions, the US proposed six additional sanctions listings for approval by the Sanctions Committee, including two Eritrean nationals: Tewolde Habte Negash and Abraham Goitom. (The same individuals were designated for sanctions by the US Department of Treasury on 5 July.) So far, Council members have agreed to designate only two of the six that were proposed. There is a hold by some members on the other four, including the two Eritreans, and it seems unlikely that the hold on the latter will be lifted any time soon. Also, it appears there are some differences in the Committee over the Monitoring Group’s recommendation to send a letter to Eritrea to request information on Djiboutian
prisoners of war, with Russia having refused to agree to a draft letter proposed by India in its capacity as Committee chair. •
Rule of Law
Expected Council Action
In October, the Council will hold an open debate on the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its relation to the Council under the agenda item entitled “The promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security”.
The open debate will be presided by the Foreign Minister of Guatemala, Harold Caballeros, and the Secretary-General may brief the Council.
No outcome is expected.
In recent years, rule of law and justice issues have gained prominence in the Council, becoming part of mainstream Council
discussion and action and at times influencing the design of its operations in the
The Council held its first thematic debate on the rule of law in 2003, followed by debates in 2004, 2006 and 2010. The last open debate was on 19 January 2012. In a presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/1) adopted after the debate, the Council reaffirmed its strong opposition to impunity for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
On 17 July 1998, 120 states signed the Rome Statute, establishing the ICC as a permanent court to help fight impu- nity for the crimes of highest concern to the international community. The ICC was given jurisdiction over genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and aggression, while elaborating on the specifics of each category of offences. As of September 2012, 121 states have ratified the Rome Statute, which came into force on 1 July 2002, and are subject to its jurisdiction (China, Russia and the US have not ratified the Rome Statute).The Rome Statute granted the Security Council unique powers to refer situations and place them under the jurisdic-