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 d