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United Nations Security Council

Report of the Security Council

Introduction

1.       Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council continued to engage on a wide-reaching agenda in accordance with the principles and objectives set forth in the Charter of the United Nations. During the period under review, the Council held 356 formal meetings, of which 331 were public. The Council adopted 102 resolutions and 31 presidential statements and issued 150 statements to the press. During the reporting period, the Council conducted five missions.
2.       The present report incorporates the changes mandated in the note by the President dated 10 December 2015 (S/2015/944), whereby all future reports will cover the calendar year, 1 January to 31 December. As this is the first report under the new system, it bridges the old and new time periods, covering the period from 1 August 2015 to 31 December 2016.
3.       During the reporting period, the situation in the Middle East figured prominently on the Council’s agenda. Meetings were held on the situations in the Syrian Arab Republic, Iraq and Yemen, the Palestinian question, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force and Lebanon. The Council also regularly monitored the situation in Afghanistan.
4.       The situations in Africa remained a focus of the Council. Frequent meetings were held on Burundi, South Sudan and Libya.
5.       The Council periodically considered the situation in and around Ukraine and continued to monitor the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6.       Thematic, general and cross-cutting issues remained a priority for the Council, including non‑proliferation, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, the protection of civilians in armed conflict, children and armed conflict, women and peace and security, peacekeeping and post-conflict peacebuilding, security sector reform, sanctions, cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, peace and security in Africa, and the rule of law.
7.       The Council considered the work of the International Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and continued to monitor situations that it had referred to the International Criminal Court concerning the situation in Darfur and Libya.
8.       Further information on the work of the Council and more detailed accounts of its meetings can be found in the monthly assessments of the Council’s work, available online at www.un.org/en/sc/programme/
assessments.shtml. Records of all open Council meetings, including the names and titles of officials providing briefings, are available at http://www.un.org/
en/sc/meetings/. This introduction does not seek to provide an exhaustive list of meetings, developments or Council responses. It is intended as a succinct and useful overview of key developments. Unless otherwise indicated, resolutions referred to in this introduction were adopted unanimously.

 

Africa

Visits of the Security Council to Africa

9.       The Council undertook five missions to Africa in the reporting period.
10.     During the first mission, the Council visited Burundi and Ethiopia from 21 to 23 January. In Burundi, the Council heard contrasting views from the President, Pierre Nkurunziza, on the one hand, and the opposition and civil society, on the other hand, about the situation in the country. The Council urged inclusive national dialogue, an end to violence and continued adherence to the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi. While in Addis Ababa, the Council held an informal dialogue with the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on the situations in Burundi and in Somalia. This was the first such informal dialogue conducted between the two Councils. The Council also met with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union.
11.     The Council visited West Africa, with stops in Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal during the second mission, from 3 to 9 March. In Mali, the Council focused on three issues: the acceleration of the implementation of the peace agreement; the ongoing threat of terrorism and the fulfilment by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali of its mandate; and the peace dividends to the population. In Guinea-Bissau, the Council stressed the importance of dialogue and the mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African States. In Senegal, the Council discussed the rise of terrorist threats and the need to continue to provide adequate support to the region.
12.     The third mission, from 17 to 22 May, visited the Horn of Africa, where the Council continued to voice support for the Somali political process. The Council met with the President and the Deputy Prime Minister, United Nations personnel, and other actors. The Council also went to Cairo to speak to the Council of the League of Arab States and to Kenya to speak to the President of that country. On those occasions, the African Union Mission in Somalia, the Middle East peace process, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and Libya were topics of discussion.
13.     During the fourth mission, from 2 to 5 September, the Council visited South Sudan, with a stop in Addis Ababa for a meeting with the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Members met with the President, Salva Kiir, members of the Cabinet, civil society, the Chair of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, the leadership of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, contingent commanders and civilian staff. They also visited protection of civilian sites in Juba and Wau. In Addis Ababa, the Council discussed the situation in South Sudan with the Chair of IGAD and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union.
14.     The fifth mission, from 11 to 14 November, focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the context of the increasing political tension related to the electoral process, and also included Angola. The Council visited Kinshasa, Beni (eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Luanda. The members met the President, Joseph Kabila, and other Government officials, political parties, civil society and the leadership of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Luanda, they met representatives of the Government of Angola, as the Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

Burundi

15.     In August 2015, in a statement to the press, the Council condemned two high-level killings and noted that there was no place for violence. In October 2015, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/18) in which it condemned all human rights violations and urged accountability.
16.     Throughout the period, the Council was briefed by, inter alia, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Peacebuilding Commission, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and representatives of the African Union.
17.     At briefings in November 2015 and March 2016, the Council was informed that the situation in Burundi was characterized by violence, inflammatory rhetoric and extrajudicial killings. Council members were concerned about the escalation of violence and civil unrest, and some members were alarmed at the possibility of a conflict relapse. The Council was informed that hundreds of thousands of people had fled Burundi for neighbouring countries.
18.     In November 2015, the Council adopted resolution 2248 (2015), in which, inter alia, it requested the Secretary-General to present to it options on the future presence of the United Nations in Burundi.
19.     In April 2016, by resolution 2279 (2016), the Council requested the Secretary-General to present options for the deployment of a United Nations police contribution to monitor the security situation, promote respect for human rights and advance the rule of law.
20.     In July 2016, by resolution 2303 (2016), the Council authorized a ceiling of 228 United Nations individual police officers to be deployed in Burundi for the purposes of monitoring the security situation and to support the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. It was adopted by 11 votes in favour, with 4 abstentions. In October, the Council issued a statement to the press, in which it noted its concern about the continued lack of implementation of the resolution.

Central African region

21.     The Council received briefings on the Central African region in December 2015 and in June and December 2016 that highlighted the security and humanitarian crisis caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), in particular its increasing number of attacks in the Central African Republic, and by Boko Haram.
22.     In 2016, presidential elections were held in seven countries in the region. In this context, the Council underlined the importance of the early warning and good offices of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).
23.     The Council urged UNOCA to continue to facilitate coordination among regional actors in addressing a number of challenges in the region, including piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, continued aggravation by LRA, the threat of Boko Haram, internal armed groups in the Central African Republic and poaching.

Central African Republic

24.     During 2015, the Council supported the transitional authorities of the Central African Republic by mandating the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) to take a leading role in international efforts to assist the transitional authorities in achieving the successful and timely completion of the political transition.
25.     In face of the upsurge of violence in October 2015, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/17), in which it condemned such violence and reiterated its support for the transitional authorities. Noting the continuing security challenges, the Council adopted resolution 2264 (2016) in February 2016 to increase the number of corrections officers. The Council issued statements to the press on the upsurge of violence and to condemn attacks on MINUSCA, in August, September, October and November 2015 and in April and June 2016.
26.     The Central African Republic held elections late in 2015. A new government was formed following the inauguration of the President in March 2016.
27.     In April 2016, the mandate of MINUSCA was extended until 31 July 2016 by resolution 2281 (2016), and then until 15 November 2017 by resolution 2301 (2016). MINUSCA was instructed to adopt a robust posture to support the creation of conditions conducive to sustainably reducing the presence of, and the threat posed by, armed groups.
28.     In November 2016, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/17), in which it welcomed the steps taken with regard to the Central African Republic peace process with the signing of the National Strategy on Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation, the National Security Policy, the Internal Security Forces Development Plan and the National Reconciliation Strategy.
29.     The Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic briefed the Council twice during the reporting period. In January 2016, the sanctions regime was renewed for 12 months by resolution 2262 (2016).

Côte d’Ivoire

30.     The Council held briefings on Côte d’Ivoire in January and April 2016. During those meetings, briefers praised the peaceful election cycle, while also underlining that national reconciliation and progress in prosecuting alleged perpetrators of crimes committed during the crisis were outpaced by reconstruction and economic recovery. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations recommended that the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) begin the withdrawal process. There had been tangible reforms that allowed the Council to believe that Côte d’Ivoire was ready.
31.     Several resolutions were adopted. In January, the Council decided in resolution 2260 (2016) to decrease the authorized ceiling of the UNOCI military component and requested the Secretary-General to provide a report with recommendations no later than 31 March 2016.
32.     By resolution 2284 (2016) of 28 April 2016, the Council endorsed the Secretary-General’s withdrawal plan, which was to be completed by 30 April 2017. Until that time, the Mission’s mandate would be to support the efforts of the Ivorian security forces to protect civilians and efforts by the Government to consolidate peace and stability in the country, while helping to address border security challenges. The closure of the Mission was to be completed by 30 June 2017.
33.     On the same day, by resolution 2283 (2016), the Council decided to terminate, with immediate effect, all arms, travel and financial sanctions against Côte d’Ivoire and to dissolve the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) and the Group of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1584 (2005).

Democratic Republic of the Congo

34.     Political tensions surrounding the electoral matters continued to be among the main subjects stressed in briefings to the Council in October 2015 and in January, March, July, October and December 2016, as well as during the Council’s visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in November 2016. The Council was briefed that, without political consensus on electoral process, there were significant risks for violence and civil unrest. Through a statement to the press issued in July 2016, the Council encouraged all stakeholders to participate in the dialogue.
35.     In the east, the security situation remained fragile and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) continued to readjust itself to best project force and enhance the protection of civilians. In November 2015 and in August and December 2016, the Council issued statements to the press on the security situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which it strongly condemned the attacks perpetrated by armed groups against civilians and peacekeepers and expressed its deep concern regarding the persistence of violence in the region.
36.     Two statements by the President were issued (S/PRST/2015/20 in November 2015 and S/PRST/2016/18 in December 2016) concerning the security situation in the eastern region and the political impasse related to elections, respectively.
37.     By resolution 2277 (2016), the Council extended the mandate of MONUSCO until 31 March 2017. While maintaining the current force ceiling, the Council underlined that the Mission’s exit should be gradual and progressive and tied to specific targets to be jointly developed by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and MONUSCO.
38.     Concerning the violent clashes between protesters and security forces that occurred in Kinshasa in September 2016, leading to the death of many civilians, the Council, in a statement to the press, called upon all political parties and actors to refrain from further violence and to engage in an inclusive and peaceful political dialogue over the holding of presidential elections. This was reiterated in a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/18) in December. In the statement, the Council also expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the country.
39.     In June 2016, by resolution 2293 (2016), the Council renewed until 1 July 2017 the measures relating to an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban affecting the Democratic Republic of the Congo and extended the mandate of the Group of Experts. In October 2016, the Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo gave a briefing on his Committee’s work.

Peace and Security in West Africa

40.     The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/19) in December 2016, in which it requested the authorities of the Gambia to respect the results of the recent presidential election. President Yahya Jammeh and the relevant Gambian authorities were called upon to carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process and transfer of power to President-elect Adama Barrow by 19 January 2017, in accordance with the Constitution.

Great Lakes Region

41.     The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/2), in which it expressed regret that progress in the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework remained limited. The Council urged more efforts to end the illegal exploitation of natural resources by armed groups and to ensure inclusive electoral processes. The Council also stressed that the forced displacement of people in the region was an underlying reason for conflict.
42.     The Great Lakes region was also discussed in November 2016. The Council was urged by briefers to continue its involvement to maintain recent progress.

Guinea-Bissau

43.     The Council focused on the political crisis in Guinea-Bissau started in August 2015. The same month, the Council issued a statement to the press urging political progress and cooperation.
44.     In a statement to the press issued in September 2015, the Council stressed the importance of the appointment of a new government as soon as possible, and in line with constitutional procedures.
45.     The political crisis had a negative effect on the development of basic services in Guinea-Bissau.
46.     In February 2016, by resolution 2267 (2016), the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau for one year. The Council continued to express concern about political problems in the country in statements to the press issued in June, September and October 2016.

Liberia

47.     During the period, the Council adopted several resolutions on Liberia. In resolution 2237 (2015), it renewed the arms embargo for nine months and terminated the rest of the sanctions regime. The sanctions regime was completely terminated in May 2016 by resolution 2288 (2016).
48.     The mandate of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) was extended until 30 September 2016 by resolution 2239 (2015), with the understanding that a drawdown would continue and that Liberia would assume full responsibility for security by 30 June 2016. In September 2016, by resolution 2308 (2016), the Council extended the Mission’s mandate until 31 December 2016 and requested the Secretary-General to conduct an assessment mission to Liberia to provide recommendations by 15 November 2016.
49.     Late in 2016, the Council was briefed that Liberia was deemed stable, although greater investment in the country’s security services and improvements in the justice and corrections sectors were needed to maintain stability.
50.     The UNMIL mandate was renewed for a final extension until 30 March 2018 by resolution 2333 (2016), which was adopted by 12 votes in favour, with 3 abstentions. The Council reduced the Mission’s remaining military personnel of 1,240 to a ceiling of 434 and its authorized police strength to 310 personnel.

Libya

51.     Council members worried about polarization in Libya and its negative effect on political progress. It was stressed that Libya needed buy-in from all parties for any progress to be made. They expressed concern about the spillover effect of the situation in Libya into neighbouring countries, in particular those in the Sahel region. Throughout 2015 and 2016, briefers spoke of the large task ahead, including the need for adequate support from the international community.
52.     In November 2015, the Council welcomed the negotiation of a political agreement. Significant delays remained, however, which continued to weaken the country overall. The Libyan Political Agreement, which provided for the formation of the Government of National Accord, was signed on 17 December 2015. Continued difficulties slowed the country’s ability to address other issues, such as the presence of ISIL.
53.     The Council welcomed the arrival of members of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord in Tripoli through a press release in March 2016.
54.     By June 2016, the Council expressed frustration with the fact that little progress had been made despite the Political Agreement. In July, the Council welcomed in a statement to the press the meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue and Presidency Council.
55.     In September 2016, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) reported that political divisions were deepening even further. The list of the members of the Government of National Accord had been rejected for the second time by the House of Representatives. The Council continued to urge political cooperation through statements to the press issued in October and November 2015 and in January, March, April, July and December 2016. The need to face the challenges of Libya was also addressed in a briefing in December 2016.
56.     There continued to be great human suffering and a need for humanitarian assistance. Meanwhile, Libya remained a gateway for many migrants heading to Europe. In 2016, more than 181,400 migrants had reached Italy, while over 5,000 migrants had drowned or gone missing. The Council released a statement to the press on maritime migrant tragedies in April 2016, when there were up to 500 deaths in a specific incident.
57.     There were three briefings by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, in November 2015 and in May and November 2016. The Prosecutor urged the Libyan authorities to surrender Saif al-Islam Qadhafi to the Court. The Prosecutor expressed concern about the security situation in Libya. Some Council members called upon the Libyan authorities to hand over Mr. Qadhafi to the International Criminal Court, while others underlined the importance of investigating all the alleged crimes committed by all parties to the armed conflict in Libya.
58.     The Council adopted several resolutions. First, in September 2015, in resolution 2238 (2015), the Council extended the mandate of UNSMIL until 15 March 2016 and called for an immediate ceasefire in the country and constructive engagement in political dialogue. In October 2015, by resolution 2240 (2015), the Council authorized Member States to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya that they had reasonable grounds to suspect were being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking, provided that good faith efforts had been made to obtain the consent of the vessels’ flag State. Late in December 2015, the Council adopted resolution 2259 (2015), in which it welcomed the signature of the Libyan Political Agreement.
59.     In March 2016, by resolution 2273 (2016), the Council extended the UNSMIL mandate until 15 June. Also in March, by resolution 2278 (2016), the Council renewed until 31 July 2017 the measures imposed by resolution 2146 (2014) on the prevention of illicit crude oil exports from Libya, as well as the mandate of the Panel of Experts. The mandate of UNSMIL was again extended in June until 15 December 2016 by resolution 2291 (2016), and until 15 September 2017 by resolution 2323 (2016).
60.     In June 2016, in an effort to strengthen the arms embargo imposed on Libya, the Council adopted resolution 2292 (2016), by which it authorized for a period of 12 months Member States, acting nationally or through regional organizations, to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya believed to be in violation of the embargo, provided that good faith efforts had been made to obtain the consent of the vessels’ flag State.
61.     In July, the Council adopted resolution 2298 (2016) under Chapter VII of the Charter, whereby it endorsed the decision of 20 July of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) requesting the Director-General to assist Libya in developing a modified plan of destruction of its chemical weapons, under which OPCW would help with the transport, storage and destruction of those weapons. The Council encouraged Member States to provide personnel, technical expertise, information, equipment and financial and other resources that would enable OPCW to implement the elimination of Libya’s category 2 chemical weapons.
62.     In October 2016, by resolution 2312 (2016), the Council renewed for 12 months the authorization for Member States to intercept vessels involved in human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
63.     The Council also heard briefings concerning sanctions by the Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1970 (2011), in December 2015 and in March, June, September and December 2016.

Mali

64.     In October 2015, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said that, while the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali of 2015 continued to underlie political actions, its implementation had been slow and the security situation in Mali continued to be difficult. It was stressed that events on the ground showed the need for urgent cantonment and security sector reform.
65.     The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations warned in January 2016 that the situation remained fragile and that the implementation of the Agreement was slow. On the plus side, there was the creation of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and continued international engagement. In a statement to the press, the Council stressed again the need for all parties to prioritize implementation of the Agreement.
66.     In April, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations noted as a positive development the creation of national commissions on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and the construction of cantonment sites, while remaining concerned about the slow progress of defence and security reforms. In June, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General recommended authorizing proactive operations for what had become the deadliest United Nations peacekeeping operation.
67.     Following that briefing, the Council adopted resolution 2295 (2016), by which it raised the force levels and extended the mandate of the Mission until 30 June 2017. The Mission’s strategic priority would be to support the implementation of the Agreement by the parties to the conflict in Mali, its other tasks including good offices and reconciliation, the protection of civilians and the protection, safety and security of United Nations personnel. Some members of the Council, while voting for the resolution, explained their view that it was not in the United Nations’ purview to combat terrorism.
68.     In October 2016, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations reported that the Agreement continued to be unimplemented, and that MINUSMA could not fully implement its mandate. In a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/16), the Council condemned repeated ceasefire violations and urged the Government and signatory armed groups to work together.
69.     The presence of extremist groups in northern Mali remained a concern. The Government of Mali continued to combat extremist forces. There also continued to be terrorist attacks, which the Council condemned in statements to the press issued in November 2015 and in February, May, June, August and October 2016.

Somalia

70.     The Council continued to monitor the democratic process in Somalia and the fight against Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab continued to perpetrate attacks, which the Council condemned in statements to the press issued in September and November 2015 and in January and June 2016.
71.     In statements to the press issued in April and May 2016, the Council expressed its view that Somalia had come a long way towards achieving real progress. It still faced challenges, however, when it came to the rule of law and inclusive politics.
72.     The humanitarian situation in Somalia remained a considerable concern, with millions of people requiring aid.
73.     In resolution 2275 (2016), the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until 31 March 2017. The Council underlined the importance of continued support for the Somalia peace and reconciliation process and the electoral process scheduled for later in 2016.
74.     By resolution 2289 (2016), the Council authorized a short extension of the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In July 2016, by resolution 2297 (2016), the Council renewed the Mission’s mandate until 31 May 2017 and agreed that the conditions in Somalia were not appropriate for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission.
75.     In August 2016, when the electoral process was supposed to begin, the Council was presented with a revised timetable, because of delays in Somalia. The electoral process was now to take place in October. In a presidential statement issued on August 2016 (S/PRST/2016/13), the Council underscored the need to maintain the momentum towards democratic governance, with an inclusive, transparent and credible electoral process in 2016 as a stepping stone to universal suffrage elections in 2020. In September, it was announced that the process would need to be delayed until the end of November. In a statement to the press issued on 28 September 2016, the Council expressed regret at those delays, while expressing its continued support for Somalia to overcome its political differences.
76.     The Council was briefed in October 2015 that, in order to perform well, the United Nations Support Office for the African Union Mission in Somalia (UNSOA) needed to be strengthened. The briefer urged critical financial support from the Council, the General Assembly, Member States and the African Union, as current resources had not kept pace with the increased demands on UNSOA.
77.     In response, the Council adopted resolution 2245 (2015), by which it decided that UNSOA would bear the name United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) to better serve its client base (AMISOM, UNSOM and the Somali National Army). Logistical support to AMISOM, the Somali National Army on joint operations with AMISOM, and UNSOM was to continue.
78.     The Council renewed the arms embargo on Somalia and Eritrea by resolutions 2244 (2015) and 2317 (2016). In February 2016, the Chair of the Committee pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea gave a briefing focusing on natural resources, saying that more partner coordination was needed to stop the illegal charcoal trade in Somalia.
79.     The Council renewed measures to combat piracy in resolutions 2246 (2015) and 2316 (2016), by which it renewed for 12 months each time the measures to counter piracy and armed robbery off coast of Somalia.

Sudan and South Sudan*

Darfur

80.     In September 2015, the Council issued a statement to the press in which it condemned an attack on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) that had killed one peacekeeper and injured four others.
81.     In October 2015, the Council was briefed on ongoing meetings on the national dialogue and the cessation of hostilities, as well as the military operation “Decisive Summer”. The latter made military gains while, at the same time, displacing some of the civilian population. UNAMID and the United Nations country team continued to create a plan for the gradual transfer of tasks, the initial phase of which would focus on capacity-building.
82.     Hostilities flared up in northern and western Darfur in January 2016, including attacks on UNAMID. The United Nations was unable to confirm the number of displaced persons, owing to access restrictions. The Council condemned an attack on UNAMID peacekeepers in March 2016. By resolution 2265 (2016), in February 2016, the Council continued the sanctions regime and extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts until 12 March 2017.
83.     By the beginning of April, the Government of the Sudan had retaken the Jebel Marra area, except for some pockets of resistance. The ability of UNAMID to fulfil its mandate was still hampered by restrictions on access and violations of the status-of-forces agreement.
84.     In June 2016, by resolution 2296 (2016), the Council extended the mandate of UNAMID until 30 June 2017. In August 2016, in a statement to the press, the Council welcomed the signing of the road map agreement by the Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Minni Minnawi, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North and the National Umma Party, as well as the support for the road map agreement by other members of the Sudan Call. The Council commended the Government of Sudan for signing the road map agreement on 16 March 2016.
85.     In a briefing in October 2016, the Council was informed that the peace process remained constrained.
86.     The United Nations continued to stress the need for the Government of the Sudan to allow it unimpeded access so that UNAMID might implement its mandate, and to facilitate the delivery of its food rations from Port Sudan. The United Nations also continued to face hurdles in receiving approval of visas.
87.     The Council was briefed in December 2015 and in June and December 2016 by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who expressed concern at the lack of cooperation by the Government of the Sudan and urged the Council to enforce the obligations under resolution 1593 (2005). Some Council members urged the Government of the Sudan to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Court, while others supported the African Union position, including on the immunities of the officials of non-States parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

South Sudan

88.     South Sudan continued to grapple with internal strife and division. In August 2015, the political situation remained tense and the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/16) to remind parties that the Council was ready to consider appropriate measures to ensure the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, including the imposition of an arms embargo and additional targeted sanctions.
89.     In October 2015, the Council extended for two months the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) by resolution 2241 (2015), which was adopted by 13 votes in favour, with 2 abstentions. The Council urged full implementation of the Agreement and expanded the Mission’s mandate to help to support implementation of the Agreement. It also requested the Secretary-General to make available technical assistance for the implementation of chapter V of the Agreement to the Commission of the African Union and to the Transitional Government of National Unity, and to report to the Council on that assistance within six months.
90.     In December 2015, the Council heard from the Secretariat that international pressure and cooperation were needed to ensure that the Agreement could be implemented and hostilities could end.
91.     After hearing the Secretary-General’s recommendations, the Council extended the mandate of UNMISS until 31 July 2016 by resolution 2252 (2015), which was adopted by 13 votes in favour, with 2 abstentions. The Council increased force levels while maintaining the core elements of the Mission’s mandate — the protection of civilians, monitoring and investigating human rights violations, the creation of conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the implementation of the Agreement. The Council requested UNMISS to continue to intensify its presence and active patrolling in areas of high risk of conflict and to extend its presence to areas of displacement, return and resettlement. It again expressed its intention to consider “all appropriate measures”, as demonstrated by its adoption of resolution 2206 (2015), against those who undermined the peace, stability and security of South Sudan.
92.     In 2016, various Secretariat members spoke of a fragile and dangerous situation, in its security as well as humanitarian and human rights aspects, which had the potential for escalation and atrocities. While the Government was making some efforts to implement the Agreement, violence, especially towards civilians, continued. Member States and briefers alike urged more concrete action to avoid large-scale violence.
93.     Violence erupted in mid-2016. The Council issued a statement to the press about events in Wau at the end of June and called upon all parties to cease hostilities. In Juba, the escalation of the fighting over several days in July between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition resulted in many people being killed or injured, leading Riek Machar to leave Juba and ultimately the country. Two peacekeepers were killed. The Council issued statements to the press on 9 and 10 July, in which it strongly condemned the fighting. In the midst of the fighting, armed men in military uniform committed murder, rape and looting at the Terrain Hotel complex. At a briefing immediately after the events, the Secretariat called for an arms embargo in South Sudan.
94.     The Council initially renewed the UNMISS mandate for only a limited time in July 2016, by resolution 2302 (2016). Then, in August 2016, the Council adopted resolution 2304 (2016) by 11 votes in favour, with 4 abstentions, and extended the mandate of UNMISS until 15 December 2016. In the resolution, the Council decided that UNMISS would include a Regional Protection Force. The Council also decided that it would consider appropriate measures, as described in the annex to the resolution (a draft resolution on arms embargo), if the Secretary-General reported political or operational impediments to operationalizing the Regional Protection Force or obstructions to UNMISS in the performance of its mandate, owing to the actions of the Transitional Government of National Unity, within five days of receipt of such report.
95.     In September 2016, the Council visited South Sudan. At the end of the visit, the Council issued a joint communiqué with the Transitional Government of National Unity, in which they agreed to work together to advance the interests of the South Sudanese people, and the Government of South Sudan gave its consent to the deployment of the Regional Protection Force.
96.     In December 2016, resolution 2326 (2016) was adopted to extend the UNMISS mandate for one day, after which the Council extended the mandate of UNMISS until 15 December 2017, by resolution 2327 (2016). In the resolution, the Council renewed the mandate of UNMISS and its Regional Protection Force but did not annex a draft arms embargo. Later in December, the Council voted on a draft resolution by which it would have imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan and targeted sanctions on South Sudanese individuals. The draft resolution did not receive the necessary votes to be adopted.
97.     UNMISS protected hundreds of thousands of people at its sites, but not without problems. Criminal activity was taking place and some of the tensions present throughout the country were seen in microcosms at the sites. The sites themselves were often subject to attack, as seen in Malakal in February 2016. After that attack, the Council condemned in the strongest terms such violence in a statement to the press. UNMISS personnel tried to adopt a more agile posture to better protect civilians and themselves. The concern of the United Nations and the international community over this led to the issuance of a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/1), in which the Council expressed deep alarm at the situation in South Sudan and called upon the parties to fully implement the Agreement.
98.     The Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan briefed the Council in August 2015 and in February and November 2016. The Council twice renewed the mandates of the Committee and the Panel of Experts in a technical rollover. Finally, in resolution 2290 (2016), the sanctions regime was renewed until 31 May 2017 and the mandate of the Panel of Experts was extended until 1 July 2017.

Sudan, South Sudan and Abyei

99.     By resolution 2251 (2015), the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until 15 May 2016, while also calling for the withdrawal of armed elements from the Abyei Area. In the resolution, the Council expressed regret that a meeting of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee had not taken place.
100.   The Council again extended the mandate of UNISFA, until 15 November 2016, by resolution 2287 (2016). The Council requested the Force to observe, document and report on the movement of weapons into the region. The Council also reiterated the call to appoint a civilian head of mission.
101.   The Council issued a statement to the press in November 2015, in which it condemned an attack by unknown assailants on the residence of the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief in Abyei Town, which resulted in the death of a UNISFA peacekeeper and a child.
102.   In November 2016, the Council once more extended the mandate of UNISFA, until 15 May 2017, by resolution 2318 (2016).

Western Sahara

103.   In March 2016, Morocco informed the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) that civilian staff must leave the area of operation. The Council held several meetings to receive updates from the Secretariat and to discuss the situation. The Council met in April to extend the mandate of MINURSO for one year.
104.   By resolution 2285 (2016), adopted by 10 votes in favour to 2 against, with 3 abstentions, the Council emphasized the urgent need for the Mission to return to full functionality and called upon all parties to cooperate fully with MINURSO and to continue negotiations in good faith.

Peace consolidation in West Africa

105.   Several meetings on peace consolidation in West Africa were held in 2016, with the first in January. At the meeting in January, the briefer highlighted several peaceful elections that had been held in the region and other elections that were forthcoming, and said that the people of West Africa were dedicated to democratic principles.
106.   Challenges that were highlighted included violent extremism and terrorism, perpetrated in particular by Boko Haram, as well as drug trafficking and security sector reform.
107.   On 28 January, the members of the Security Council requested the Secretary-General to proceed with the merger of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel, with a view to maximizing synergies by ensuring a unified management and structure of the new United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).
108.   In April 2016, a meeting was held specifically on the subject of piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea. The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/4) in April 2016, in which it referred to the link between piracy and the financing of terrorism, urged regional organizations to enhance cooperation and encouraged the international community to assist in enhancing the capabilities of the States affected to counter piracy.
109.   By July 2016, UNOWA and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel had merged to form UNOWAS. The July briefing, therefore, contained information on the security challenges in the Sahel and the greater Lake Chad Basin. The briefer said that, without justice and job opportunities, desperation was rising. It was urged that regional security forces be strengthened.
110.   The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/11) in July 2016, in which it welcomed the merger of the two Offices, condemned terrorist attacks, expressed concern about piracy and human and drug trafficking, and looked forward to enhancing the activities of UNOWAS, including in the area of respect for the rule of law.

Peace and security in Africa: Lake Chad Basin

111.   A briefing on the security situation in the Lake Chad Basin was held in July 2016. The main topic was Boko Haram and the ensuing humanitarian crisis. The increased number of both refugees and internally displaced people put pressure on a region already facing food insecurity. The international community was urged to help the region, which had been facing trade disruptions and budget shortfalls caused by the security situation.
112.   Council members spoke about the many challenges facing the region, including poverty, terrorism, organized crime and climate change.

Peace and security in Africa: Ebola

113.   In August 2015, the Council held a meeting on the global response to the outbreak in 2013 of Ebola virus disease in West Africa. Briefers were optimistic about the progress made, while urging continued vigilance on the part of the international community. Council members shared the same opinions.

Peace and security in Africa: Sahel

114.   The Council met to discuss the situation in the Sahel in November 2015 and May 2016. Briefers urged international cooperation to address the Sahel’s many continuing challenges. Climate change, in particular desertification in the Sahel, was highlighted as a factor of instability. Council members discussed how to address root causes, the threat of terrorism in the region, and the need to support political processes.
115.   The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/24) in December 2015, in which it encouraged greater cooperation among all stakeholders and called for the creation of opportunities for women and youth and for cooperation by all to increase economic and political progress. It welcomed the establishment of the Group of Five for the Sahel, which aimed to enhance ownership of the initiatives focused on addressing the threats to peace, security and development in the Sahel.

 

Americas

Haiti

116.   During the reporting period, the situation in Haiti was characterized by continuing discussions on the state of the country’s electoral process. In October 2015, the Council was briefed about the successful legislative elections held earlier that year. At that time, the Secretary-General recommended that the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) be extended for one more year with the same force and police levels and to conduct a strategic assessment mission to formulate recommendations for the future presence of the United Nations in Haiti. In resolution 2243 (2015), adopted a few days later, the Council endorsed the recommendation regarding force levels and affirmed its intention, based on its review of the overall capacity of Haiti to ensure security and of the conditions on the ground, to consider the possible withdrawal of MINUSTAH and transition to a future United Nations presence beginning no sooner than 15 October 2016. In this regard, the Council requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic assessment mission to Haiti and, on that basis, to present to the Council recommendations on the future presence and role of the United Nations in Haiti, preferably by 90 days after the inauguration of the new President, and ideally after the formation of a new government.
117.   At a briefing in March 2016, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General warned that previous gains made in Haiti were challenged by the contentious presidential election, which went through two rounds. A last round was postponed, leading to the swearing-in of a provisional president. Council members called for the expeditious and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process.
118.   The briefing on the Secretary-General’s report on MINUSTAH (S/2016/753) in October 2016 was overshadowed by the recent landfall of Hurricane Matthew on Haiti, which caused tremendous harm. There was severe damage to infrastructure, many people died and the elections were postponed. The briefer called for significant international support for Haiti. The Council responded by adopting resolution 2313 (2016), by which it extended the mandate of MINUSTAH for six months and requested the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic assessment mission and to present recommendations to the Council on the future role and presence of the United Nations in Haiti.

Identical letters dated 19 January 2016 from the Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council (S/2016/53)

119.   In January 2016, by resolution 2261 (2016), the Council established the United Nations Mission in Colombia as a political mission of unarmed international observers with the mandate to monitor and verify the laying down of arms by the Government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia — Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP).
120.   The Council welcomed the agreements reached in Havana in June 2016. In a statement to the press, the Council reiterated its full commitment to assisting the peace process.
121.   Steps to create the mission were taken throughout the year, including the recommendations approved by the Council in resolution 2307 (2016) in September regarding the size and scope of the mission. Council members praised the decision by Colombia to approach the Council and urged Colombia to remain steadfast in the search for peace, despite the setback of a referendum on approving the peace agreement.

 

Middle East

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

122.   The Council continued its previous practice with regard to this agenda item, meeting each month on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. The Middle East peace process and the situations in Lebanon, Yemen and the Syrian Arab Republic were addressed.
123.   With regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, violence continued between the two parties, including clashes around holy sites highlighted in a statement to the press issued by the Council in September 2015, further diminishing hopes for a two-State solution. The Secretariat urged the Council to act before a two-State solution was eliminated as a possibility, saying that the Middle East Quartet envoys had been discussing with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the League of Arab States, the Gulf Cooperation Council and other key international partners how negotiations for a two-State solution could be restarted.
124.   Demolitions of West Bank structures continued, as well as prolonged administrative detention of Palestinians. The Council members voiced their concerns about continued settlement activities. Meanwhile, Gaza continued to be plagued by slow reconstruction and by security incidents. In November 2016, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator reported that 70 per cent of the population of Gaza received some form of international assistance. He also reported that providing such assistance was becoming more difficult under Israeli restrictions.
125.   Council members continued to urge a cessation of violence and inflammatory rhetoric from both sides. They also urged development of economic opportunities for Palestinians to give an avenue of hope for the future. Council members stressed that a political solution involving the two-State solution remained the best way forward for peace. Member States called for political will to be shown by both sides to establish a peaceful solution. The Council condemned a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv in June 2016 in a statement to the press.
126.   Late in 2016, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said that two-State solution was facing massive hurdles and asked for urgent support from the Council. He specifically cited a more aggressive attitude by Israeli settlement supporters as the possibility of peaceful talks remained remote. The Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, gave his final briefing on the subject in December 2016, during which he expressed dismay at the lack of optimism on this question.
127.   Concern on the part of Council members about the question of settlements, violence and the future of a two-State solution culminated in the adoption on 23 December of resolution 2334 (2016), by 14 votes in favour, with 1 abstention, in which the Council reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory and their threat to the two-State solution. The Council also condemned acts of violence, called upon the parties to refrain from incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, and called for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians and for all parties to continue to exert collective efforts to launch credible negotiations on all final-status issues in the Middle East peace process within the time frame specified by the Quartet in its statement of 21 September 2010.
128.   The situation in Lebanon was reported by the Secretariat to be calm, although remaining fragile. The situation along the Blue Line and in the area of operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon remained calm.

The situation in the Middle East (Syrian Arab Republic)

129.   The Syrian Arab Republic was a significant focus for the Council: meetings were held on the chemical weapons and humanitarian tracks, and several meetings on the political track were held nearly every month.
130.   In August 2015, by resolution 2235 (2015), the Council established, for one year, an OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups or Governments that were perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemicals as weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Mechanism issued four reports during that period. Its mandate was first extended until 31 October 2016 by a letter dated 21 September 2016 from the President of the Security Council to the Secretary-General (S/2016/807). The Council then renewed the mandate of the Mechanism, as set out in resolution 2235 (2016), in a technical rollover by resolution 2314 (2016), and for another year by resolution 2319 (2016).
131.   In November and December 2015, a series of meetings of the International Syria Support Group were held in Vienna and New York, and the outcome of those meetings resulted in the unanimous adoption of resolution 2254 (2015) on 18 December 2015, in which the Council expressed its support for a Syrian-led political process facilitated by the United Nations and for a nationwide ceasefire.
132.   There were various attempts at a lasting ceasefire throughout 2016. In February, by resolution 2268 (2016), the Council endorsed the cessation of hostilities agreement brokered by the United States of America and the Russian Federation, Co-Chairs of the International Syria Support Group.
133.   The Council continued to receive monthly briefings on the implementation of resolutions 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014) and 2191 (2014), which detailed the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation. Civilians continued to be adversely affected. In his report dated 14 December 2016 (S/2016/1057), the Secretary-General reported that the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate throughout the Syrian Arab Republic and that the continuing conflict posed an immediate threat to millions of civilians every day, especially those under attack and those who could not be reached. Briefers also often spoke of the situation in relation to the ongoing refugee crisis. In December 2015, by resolution 2258 (2015), the Council renewed for one year the mandate allowing the United Nations to deliver assistance across the border to the Syrian Arab Republic through determined border crossings, with notification to the Syrian authorities. A year later, it renewed that mandate for an additional 12 months, by resolution 2332 (2016).
134.   The situation in the city of Aleppo received particular attention, especially during the latter half of 2016. From 1 September 2016 until the end of 2016, the situation in Aleppo was discussed at 10 Council meetings.
135.   The Council failed to adopt two draft resolutions on the situation in Aleppo early in October 2016. It also failed to adopt a draft resolution in December 2016. On 19 December, however, the Council adopted resolution 2328 (2016), in which it requested the United Nations to monitor evacuations from Aleppo and demanded that all parties provide the United Nations with safe, immediate and unimpeded access to this end and to ensure the protection of civilians throughout the Syrian Arab Republic, in accordance with international humanitarian law.
136.   After the announcement of the renewed cessation of hostilities mediated by the Russian Federation and Turkey, the Council adopted resolution 2336 (2016), in which it welcomed and supported the efforts by those two countries to end violence in the Syrian Arab Republic and jumpstart a political process under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva.
137.   In October 2016, the Council released a statement to the press condemning reported attacks on schools in which a number of children were killed. The Council also released three statements to the press in which it condemned terrorist attacks in the Syrian Arab Republic.

Iraq

138.   When the Council took up the situation in Iraq in November 2015 and in February, May, July and November 2016, the members discussed various issues, including the fight against ISIL, national reconciliation and the humanitarian situation.
139.   The Council issued statements to the press, in which it condemned terrorist attacks in Iraq, in January, May and July 2016. The Council also issued a statement to the press regarding the Iraq-Kuwait issue in July 2016.
140.   The Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq until 31 July 2017, by resolution 2299 (2016).

Lebanon

141.   The Council met regularly on Lebanon, including in consultations on resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1701 (2006) and the operations of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). In August 2015, by resolution 2236 (2015), the Council extended the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2016. One year later, by resolution 2305 (2016), the Council extended it again, until 31 August 2017, and requested that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations conduct a strategic review of UNIFIL, owing to the Council’s concern about the limited progress being made.
142.   The Council issued a statement to the press in May 2016 and a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/10) in July 2016, in which it strongly urged Lebanon to elect a new president.
143.   In a presidential statement issued in November 2016 (S/PRST/2016/15), the Council welcomed the election of the new President of Lebanon, Michel Aoun. In December, the Council welcomed through a statement to the press the positive news that a national unity Government had been formed on 18 December. It stressed the importance of the holding of parliamentary elections by May 2017.

United Nations Disengagement Observer Force

144.   The Council adopted three resolutions by which it renewed the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), for six months each time (resolutions 2257 (2015), 2294 (2016) and 2330 (2016)). In those resolutions, the Council stressed the importance of full adherence to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement of 1974 and called upon both sides to exercise maximum restraint. The Council also expressed its concern about ISIL actions in the area. The Council further welcomed the return of UNDOF to its former headquarters at Camp Faouar, on the Bravo side of the area of separation.

Yemen

145.   The humanitarian and security situation in Yemen remains one of the most significant crises on the Council’s agenda. As stated by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, in his last briefing in 2016, instability marked both the security and the humanitarian situation. The economic situation was also deteriorating. In October 2016, the Council condemned through a statement to the press the attack by Houthi forces on a United Arab Emirates ship, stressing that there must be freedom of navigation in Bab al-Mandab.
146.   The Council condemned all violations of humanitarian laws and expressed serious concern about the humanitarian situation in a statement to the press issued in February 2016.
147.   The United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism was launched in May 2016 to facilitate the flow of commercial imports into Yemeni ports outside Government control.
148.   United Nations-sponsored peace talks were held sporadically. The Special Envoy for Yemen continued to engage in shuttle diplomacy and brief the Council on its results. In March 2016, the Council welcomed through a press release the announcement of a nationwide cessation of hostilities and the launch of peace talks, which the Council later supported again in a presidential statement issued in April 2016 (S/PRST/2016/5).
149.   During the reporting period, the Council issued statements to the press in which it welcomed the different dialogues, in September, October and December 2015 and in February and September 2016.

 

Asia

Afghanistan

150.   The situation in Afghanistan remained fragile. It was stressed that Afghanistan needed continued international support in order to face its multitude of challenges.
151.   The Council was informed in September 2015 that a series of critical government appointments had been made. Council members commended these positive actions and reiterated their continued support.
152.   The security situation, however, remained dangerous, and civilians continued to bear the brunt of the violence, which intensified in 2015 and continued throughout 2016.
153.   Many Council members urged regional support for tackling all of Afghanistan’s challenges.
154.   As previously requested by the Council, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), on behalf of the Secretary-General and in full consultation with the Government of Afghanistan and donors, conducted an examination of the role, structure and activities of all United Nations entities in country. The results of that examination, presented to the Council in September 2015 (see S/2015/713), would in future allow the United Nations to coordinate with the Government of Afghanistan and create better UNAMA mandates.
155.   In a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/14) issued in September 2016, the Council called for continued international assistance to Afghanistan in advance of a donor conference, while underscoring the importance of the progress made in the country.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

156.   On 10 December 2015, the Council held a meeting on the situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The meeting’s agenda was adopted after a procedural vote of 9 in favour to 4 against, with 2 abstentions.
157.   At that meeting, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that the human rights situation in the country remained of grave concern. The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs said that it was critical to determine an effective way to address such human rights abuses.
158.   Another meeting was held in December 2016, with a procedural vote on the adoption of the agenda. The agenda was adopted by 9 votes in favour to 5 against, with 1 abstention. The Deputy Secretary-General and the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights detailed no improvement in the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during 2016. They highlighted, among other issues, poor custody conditions and food shortages.

 

Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina

159.   The Council held meetings on Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2015 and May 2016. By resolution 2247 (2015), the Council authorized the European Union-led multinational stabilization force for a further period of 12 months, and did so again in November 2016, by resolution 2315 (2016). Member States continued to worry that, 20 years since the Dayton Accords, there had not been significant political reform and cooperation among all parties. Council members did praise the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with the European Union, which led to an application for membership in February 2016.
160.   There were differences in the Council on the various actions of Republika Srpska, especially its desire to hold an independence referendum. The referendum was eventually cancelled.

Cyprus

161.   The Council held meetings on Cyprus twice in 2016, in January and July, and each time extended by six months the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). In January, by resolution 2263 (2016), the Council authorized an increase in the force level. In July, the Council, by resolution 2300 (2016), extended the mandate of UNFICYP until 31 January 2017.

Security Council resolutions 1160 (1998), 1199 (1998), 1203 (1998), 1239 (1999), 1244 (1999)

162.   The Council held six meetings on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), in August and November 2015 and in February, May, August and November 2016. While no longer administering the territory, UNMIK continued to provide technical expertise and diplomatic efforts to maintain calm.
163.   The overall situation was stable, although there continued to be underlying political and security tensions, owing to disagreements over the status of Kosovo and among the different ethnicities represented. Meetings between Kosovo and Serbia continued to take place. One of the most critical negotiations concerned the establishment of the future association/community of Serb-majority municipalities.
164.   In February 2016, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIK warned that polarization between Serbia and Kosovo had reached the point of impeding any further progress. He warned that continued violence from the opposition could have damaging consequences. The region also faced challenges because of the ongoing influx of migrants and refugees.
165.   Council members praised the positive achievements made that had given way to cautious optimism for the future, including the adoption of a constitutional amendment and laws on the establishment of a special court for war crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army.
166.   Several Council members commented on procedural matters, remarking that the situation on the ground was calm enough to decrease the frequency of meetings on this subject. Others spoke in favour of continuing the schedule. This disagreement was reflected in positions concerning revisions to the mandate. Some Council members urged representatives of both parties to seriously consider ways to decrease unhelpful nationalist rhetoric. They worried that such rhetoric would reverse the positive gains made in the previous years.

Letter dated 28 February 2014 from the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2014/136)

167.   At a meeting in December 2015, the Council focused on the continuing clashes in the conflict area in eastern Ukraine. The Deputy Secretary-General recognized the sustained efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group and its four working groups and the Normandy format leaders, but also reported that most provisions of the Minsk agreements remained unimplemented. The Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights called upon all the parties involved in the hostilities to investigate all incidents of civilian casualties caused by military action. A representative of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that approximately 2.7 million people in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine were living with limited freedom of movement, and that 800,000 people lived under difficult and dangerous conditions along the contact line. Member States urged implementation of the Minsk agreements.
168.   The same ideas were reiterated at an open briefing in April 2016. The Secretariat reported that fighting continued daily and that more than 3 million people still needed assistance that could not be delivered.

 

Thematic issues

Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

169.   There was a briefing in December 2015 by the Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). The Chair urged global action ahead of the 2016 comprehensive review. Council members voiced concern about the increase in terrorist attacks and that terrorist groups could gain access to weapons of mass destruction.
170.   At the ministerial-level open debate held in December 2016, the Council adopted resolution 2325 (2016) concerning the 2016 comprehensive review of the status of the implementation of resolution 1540 (2004).

Non-proliferation: Islamic Republic of Iran

171.   The Council held meetings in September and December 2015 to discuss the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1737 (2006) and its transition under the new agreement.
172.   In December 2015, the Council discussed potential violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran of resolution 1737 (2006) in October 2015. Several Council members encouraged continued compliance with resolution 1737 (2006).
173.   Council members also continued to praise the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as an example of successful diplomacy in action. On 1 January 2016, the provisions of resolution 1737 (2006) were terminated and replaced under the terms of resolution 2231 (2015). Signatories were urged to continue to work through challenges together.

Non-proliferation: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

174.   The Council held urgent consultations in January 2016 on the fourth nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Urgent consultations were again held in February on the launch using ballistic missile technology conducted by that country.
175.   On 2 March 2016, by resolution 2270 (2016), the Council strongly condemned the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 6 January and the launch on 7 February. The resolution specifies strict non-proliferation measures and strengthens the arms embargo, while renewing and strengthening the sanctions regime imposed upon the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
176.   Urgent consultations continued to be held in March, April, June and August, following the continuation of launches using ballistic missile technology, in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions, and in September, immediately after the fifth nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
177.   The Council adopted resolution 2321 (2016) in November to create an even stronger sanctions regime in response to the nuclear test of 9 September, including a binding annual cap on the total export of coal originating in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
178.   With regard to the work of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006), by resolution 2276 (2016) of 24 March 2016, the Council extended the mandate of the Panel of Experts and expanded it to include the new measures adopted in resolution 2270 (2006).

Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations in maintaining international peace and security

179.   In August 2015, the Council held an open debate on cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. Much of the discussion was based on recently-released recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, which called for more overall cooperation and predictable financing.
180.   In February 2016, the Council heard a briefing on the priorities of the German Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and further cooperation with the United Nations.
181.   The enhanced partnership between the United Nations and the African Union was highlighted in May 2016 at an open debate. Coherence and complementarity of joint peacebuilding efforts were emphasized.
182.   The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/8) in May 2016, in which it welcomed the African Union’s enhanced peacekeeping role and stressed the importance of effective consultations with the African Union on peacekeeping, including on securing resources.
183.   The African Union was also the subject of a meeting in November 2016. The Council adopted resolution 2320 (2016), in which it expressed its readiness to consider an African Union proposal on cost-sharing mechanisms for peace-support operations. The Council also highlighted its commitment to continued cooperation.
184.   The High Representative of the European Union briefed the Council in June 2016. She stressed that multilateralism was critical and that the United Nations and European Union must create a mutually beneficial relationship to tackle such issues as human trafficking and peacekeeping, as well as difficult situations, including in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
185.   In October 2016 the Council held a meeting with the Secretary-General on cooperation with regional organizations in Eurasia and Central Asia. Briefers from the region were the Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Council members supported increased cooperation, especially in terms of peace and security issues, such as terrorism and drug trafficking.
186.   In November 2016, the Council held a meeting at which members spoke on the need for enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Members especially stressed the need to work together on conflict prevention and counter-extremism.

United Nations peacekeeping operations

187.   On 13 November 2015, the Council held a debate on United Nations peacekeeping operations and, some days later, issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/22), in which it took note of the recommendations in the reports of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Secretary-General (S/2015/446 and S/2015/682).
188.   In December 2015, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/26) regarding triangular consultations.
189.   In March 2016, the Council held a briefing on sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping operations and adopted resolution 2272 (2016), in which it welcomed the Secretary-General’s continued efforts to implement and reinforce the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.
190.   In November 2016, the Council held an open debate on peace operations facing asymmetrical threats, during which there were discussions about root causes, the need to create State capacity and strong institutions, and maintaining the safety and security of peacekeepers.
191.   In November 2015 and November 2016, the Council held meetings on the work of United Nations Police in peacekeeping. The Council was informed that police personnel played an important technical advisory role for host countries as well as positively contributing to unarmed protection activities. Council members stressed the need for appropriate training and equipment, which personnel-contributing countries should provide to carefully selected police personnel who had experience in international humanitarian law and had been trained to combat sexual-based violence, and that attention should be paid to increasing women’s representation in the police.
192.   The Council stressed the importance of triangular consultations to improve peacekeeping operations in a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/26) issued in December 2015, in reference to discussions between the Security Council, troop- and police-contributing countries, and the Secretariat.

Maintenance of international peace and security: security sector reform

193.   At a debate in August 2015, Council members discussed how best to address security sector reform through the Council’s tools and implement resolution 2151 (2014), concerning this topic. Members focused on the importance of capacity-building and cooperation with regional and subregional organizations to achieve national ownership.

Maintenance of international peace and security: water, peace, and security

194.   In November 2016, the Council held an open debate regarding the need for water to play a role in cooperation, not conflict, between countries.

Maintenance of international peace and security: root causes of conflict

195.   In November 2015 the Council convened an open debate on the root causes of conflict and conflict prevention. A range of topics was discussed, from whether human rights violations could be conflict warning signs, to the need for development, to the important role of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Maintenance of international peace and security: respect for the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations as a key element for the maintenance of international peace and security

196.   In February 2016, the Council held an open debate on the Charter of the United Nations to reaffirm commitments to the Charter’s principles and purposes. Some Council members said that today’s global challenges required new interpretations of the Charter, while others emphasized the immutable nature of the principles of the Charter, including the principle of non-interference.

Maintenance of international peace and security: the role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace

197.   In response to an open debate on the maintenance of international peace and security and the role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace, held in April 2015, the Council adopted resolution 2250 (2015) in December 2015. The Council urged member States to consider establishing mechanisms for meaningful participation of youth in peace processes, as young people accounted for many of those adversely affected by armed conflict and might be susceptible to radicalization.

Maintenance of international peace and security: trafficking in persons in situations of conflict

198.   For the first time in its history, the Council held a meeting on trafficking in persons in situations of conflict, in December 2015. There were briefings from the Secretariat, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Freedom Fund and a victim of trafficking by ISIL. The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/25).
199.   The Council held an open debate on the same subject in December 2016, at which it adopted resolution 2331 (2016).

Maintenance of international peace and security: settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa

200.   At an open debate convened in September 2015, the Council discussed the challenges of insecurity and terrorism facing the Middle East and the North Africa region. The Council called for a united strategy to tackle those challenges. Many Council members referred to the massive migrant flows as indicative of the instability of the region. Recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters must also be addressed.

Maintenance of international peace and security: nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament

201.   On 23 September 2016, the Council adopted resolution 2310 (2016) by 14 votes in favour, with 1 abstention, in which it urged all States that had either not signed or not ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, in particular the eight remaining Annex 2 States, to do so without further delay.

Peacebuilding and sustaining peace

202.   The Council was briefed in an open debate by the Peacebuilding Commission in February 2016, where the members were, inter alia, called to consider possible preventative posture for peacebuilding. The briefers urged concerted efforts to coordinate all peacebuilding activities. Member States were urged to provide more support for the Peacebuilding Fund.
203.   In resolution 2282 (2016), the Council expressed its intention to regularly request, deliberate and draw upon the specific, strategic and targeted advice of the Peacebuilding Commission, and it encouraged the Commission to consider diversifying its working methods to enhance efficiency.
204.   The Peacebuilding Commission presented its 2015 report to the Council in June 2016. The Commission welcomed the chance to deepen its relationship with the Council and regional organizations, such as the African Union.
205.   On 28 July 2016, the Council held an open debate on peacebuilding in Africa, during which it emphasized the need to address root causes. The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/12) in which it recognized the important role of the African Union and underlined that cooperation with regional and subregional organizations was critical to contributing to peacebuilding and sustaining peace. The Council also stressed the importance of long-term capacity-building in sustaining peace.

Children and armed conflict

206.   The Council convened an open debate on children and armed conflict in August 2016. The Secretary-General, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Executive Director of UNICEF urged member States to address violations of children’s rights in armed conflict.

Protection of civilians in armed conflict

207.   In November 2015, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/23).
208.   The topic of protection of civilians in armed conflict was discussed at meetings held in January, May, June and September 2016.
209.   In May 2016, the Council adopted resolution 2286 (2016), in which it strongly condemned attacks and threats on hospitals and other medical facilities.
210.   The Council convened a briefing in September 2016, following the submission of the Secretary-General’s recommendations on measures to enhance the protection of civilians and health care in armed conflict (S/2016/722, annex).

Women and peace and security

211.   The Council held four open debates on women and peace and security, in October 2015 and in March, June and October 2016.
212.   In August 2015, the Council released a statement to the press in which it condemned sexual violence in conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq.
213.   Before the open debate in October 2015, the Council adopted resolution 2242 (2015) to mark 15 years since the adoption of resolution 1325 (2000). At the open debate held in March 2016, the focus was on the specific role of women in conflict prevention and resolution in Africa. The Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/9) in June 2016.
214.   The Council held an open debate on the subject “responding to human trafficking in situations of conflict-related sexual violence” in June 2016, and an open debate on women and peace and security in October 2016.

General issues relating to sanctions

215.   In February 2016, the Council held a briefing on general issues relating to sanctions, at which the representative of Sweden urged the Council to institute closer interaction among Chairs of sanctions committees and stressed the need for sanctions to have clear objectives and clear criteria for suspension.
216.   Council members agreed that, while there had been improvements, more must be done.

Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts

217.   The Chair of the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) concerning Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities briefed the Council in October 2015 and warned that Libya was vulnerable to exploitation by terrorist groups owing to its security situation. Libya was also strategically valuable to extremist groups because of its geographic location and significant oil resources.
218.   In November 2015, the Council adopted resolution 2249 (2015), in which it condemned the terrorist attacks that ISIL perpetrated or claimed responsibility for in Sousse, in Ankara, over Sinai, in Beirut and in Paris. It urged Member States to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism.
219.   By resolution 2253 (2015), adopted in December 2015 at a meeting of Ministers of Finance of Council member States. the Council decided that the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) would be known as the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, and that the Al‑Qaida Sanctions List would be known as the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
220.   ISIL was also the subject of a meeting in February 2016, at which the Council was briefed that ISIL remained a very serious threat, with vast resources and manpower.
221.   An open debate was held in April 2016 with wide participation to discuss ways to counter terrorism globally in a comprehensive way, including cutting off financing and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, and finding ways to combat their incitement online.
222.   The ideas were further discussed at an open debate in May. During that debate, the Council issued a presidential statement (S/PRST/2016/6), in which it requested the Counter-Terrorism Committee to present by 30 April 2017 a proposal for a comprehensive international framework to counter terrorist narratives used in recruitment and incitement to violent acts.
223.   Throughout these open debates, member States highlighted international cooperation as critical for stopping terrorist acts.
224.   The Council held a ministerial-level meeting to discuss methods to combat terrorism’s threat to civil aviation in September 2016. It adopted resolution 2309 (2016), by which it called upon all States to work within the International Civil Aviation Organization to ensure that its international security standards were reviewed and adapted to address effectively the threat posed by terrorist targeting of civil aviation.
225.   At the presentation of the third report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (S/2016/830), in October 2016, the Council was briefed that, while ISIL continued to face military setbacks, it was still a threat to international peace and security.
226.   In December 2016, the Council held a briefing and adopted resolution 2322 (2016), with the goal of enhancing and fortifying international judicial cooperation against terrorism.

International Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia

227.   In November 2015, the Council adopted a presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/21) in which it requested the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals to carry out an examination of the report of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and present its findings for the Council’s review of the work of the Mechanism. In December 2015, the Council was briefed by the Presidents and Prosecutors of the Tribunals and the Mechanism, including on the arrest of Ladislas Ntaganzwa. Subsequently, the Council, by 14 votes in favour, with 1 abstention, adopted resolution 2256 (2015) to conclude its review of the progress of the work of the Mechanism and extend the mandates of judges of the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Tribunal for Rwanda completed its work on 31 December 2015, which was marked by a statement to the press. In February 2016, by resolution 2269 (2016) adopted by 11 votes in favour, with 4 abstentions, the Council appointed the Prosecutor of the Mechanism.
228.   At a debate convened in June 2016, the completion of some cases of the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia was acknowledged. The necessity for the Tribunal to keep the judicial timeline was underlined. In December 2016, the Council heard a briefing by the Presidents and Prosecutors of the Tribunal and the Mechanism, during which concern about staff attrition was stressed. Some Council members called upon the Mechanism to use all procedural options provided for in its statute to fulfil its mandate effectively.
229.   In September 2016, the Council, by resolution 2306 (2016), amended the statute of the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and, in December, by resolution 2329 (2016), extended the terms of office of the judges of the Tribunal and reappointed the prosecutor of the Tribunal under the condition that those would be the final extensions and reappointment.

Briefing by the President of the International Court of Justice

230.   In November 2015 and October 2016, the Council was briefed by the President of the International Court of Justice. The President outlined the overall activities of the Court, focusing on the complementary roles that the Court and the Council played in the promotion of the rule of law at the international level.

Appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations

231.   Following six rounds of straw polls, the first of which was held in July 2016, the Council issued on 6 October 2016 a communiqué in which it noted that it had adopted by acclamation resolution 2311 (2016), which read:
The Security Council,
Having considered the question of the recommendation for the appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Recommends to the General Assembly that Mr. António Guterres be appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations for a term of office from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2021.
232.   On 14 December, the Council adopted by acclamation resolution 2324 (2016) to pay tribute to the outgoing Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

 

Other matters

Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2010/507)

233.   In October 2015, the Council convened the annual open debate on its working methods under the item entitled “Implementation of the note be the President of the Security Council (S/2010/507)”. The debate was based on the concept paper distributed by Spain (S/2015/793, annex), in which it was proposed that the discussion focus on how the Council could continue to improve its efficiency and transparency, in addition to its interaction and dialogue with non‑members of the Council and bodies. Member States expressed a range of views, including on the process of selecting and appointing the next Secretary-General. A presidential statement (S/PRST/2015/19) was issued 10 days after the debate, in which, among other things, the Council requested the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions to continue reviewing and updating relevant notes by the President of the Security Council, in particular note S/2010/507 of 26 July 2010, including with a focus on implementation.
234.   In response to the decision by the General Assembly to conduct the elections of the non‑permanent members of the Security Council about six months before the elected members assume their responsibilities (resolution 68/307), the Council, in its Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, started discussions in 2016 on improving transitional arrangements for its newly elected members. In July 2016, the Council adopted a note by the President (S/2016/619). A product of intensive work on the part of the Working Group over several months, the note outlined measures to facilitate the preparation of newly elected members and improve the selection process for and the preparation of Chairs of subsidiary organs.
235.   In July 2016, on the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the previous note by the President on the working methods of the Council (S/2006/507), the Council convened an open debate on its working methods under the item entitled “Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2010/507)”. The debate was based on the concept paper distributed by Japan (S/2016/585, annex), in which it was proposed that the Council, with the participation of interested delegations from the wider membership, look at the implementation of note S/2010/507 and other relevant notes to identify successful practices as well as possible shortcomings, and consider making necessary adjustments. Many delegations stressed the importance of the Council’s continuous efforts to improve its transparency, while ensuring its ability to act effectively and efficiently. While welcoming the improvements made in recent years, including the recent adoption of another note (S/2016/619), many delegations called for fuller and more even implementation of the presidential notes, and looked forward to the reviewing and updating of note S/2010/507 by the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, including with a focus on implementation, as requested in the statement by the President (S/PRST/2015/19). The Informal Working Group started deliberations on the specific ideas and proposals made at the open debate, as it worked on reviewing and updating note S/2010/507.
236.   The Council held six wrap-up sessions (in August and October 2015 and in January, February, May and August 2016) to review its work and consider how the it could improve its efficiency and effectiveness, in particular in dealing with country-specific situations, conflict prevention and its working methods.

Subsidiary bodies

237.   In December 2015, the five outgoing non‑permanent members (Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, and Nigeria) briefed the Council on the committees that they had chaired.
238.   On 4 May 2016, the three Chairs of terrorism-related committees briefed the Council on their ongoing duties, cooperation and goals for the future.
239.   In December 2016, the five outgoing non‑permanent members (Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Spain and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) briefed the Council on the committees that they had chaired.

Annual report of the Security Council

240.   On 20 October 2015, the Council adopted its annual report for the period from 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2015. On 12 November, the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in his capacity as President of the Council for the month, presented the annual report to the General Assembly.

      * For the purposes of the present report, developments under this item are set out under three headings: “Darfur”, “South Sudan” and “Sudan, South Sudan and Abyei”.