Outgoing Members of Security Council Brief on Activities of Subsidiary Bodies They Chaired During Two-Year Tenure

14 December 2011
SC/10487

Outgoing Members of Security Council Brief on Activities of Subsidiary Bodies They Chaired During Two-Year Tenure

14 December 2011
Security Council
SC/10487
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

6686th Meeting (AM)

Outgoing Members of Security Council Brief on Activities of Subsidiary Bodies

They Chaired During Two-Year Tenure

 

The outgoing members of the Security Council — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria — delivered briefings this morning on the work of the subsidiary bodies they had chaired during their two-year tenure.

Nigeria’s representative, reporting on the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, said mission-specific discussions had highlighted the core issues of peacekeeping mandates, such as the transfers of personnel equipment at the end of a mandate, the protection of civilians and shortages of military helicopters.

Other topics had included transitional exit strategies and the sharing of resources by peacekeeping missions that shared geographical areas.  As the curtain was drawn on a successful year, the international community must ensure that peacekeeping was a true global partnership, she said.

Outlining the work of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003), concerning Iraq and Kuwait, she touched on the issue of de-listing, noting that the Committee had agreed to remove the names of two individuals and that a request for the entry of two names from Iraq was pending.  A request had also been made to examine the transfer of frozen assets from Iraq to Kuwait.

Lebanon’s representative, Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia, noted the agreement reached in August concerning the use of the INTERPOL-United Nations special notices mechanism for individuals named on the travel ban list.  The committee had also considered the expert panel’s findings concerning the Liberian combatants during the 2011 Ivorian conflict, noting that while those groups likely did not pose an immediate threat to Liberian or Ivorian national security, they could attempt to destabilize areas along the Liberian-Ivorian border.  He reviewed the provisions of the resolution adopted this morning on Liberia — 2025 (2011).

Speaking as chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil’s representative said “important strides” had been made.  For example, the Committee had contributed to the fight against issues such as child recruitment and sexual violence.  It had also aimed to keep its sanctions list updated, and based on information from the expert group, new listings had been improved and information regarding the names already on the list had been updated.  Reflection was needed, however, on ways to make the sanctions regime more effective.

As chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire, she said the Committee had undertaken tasks regarding the arms ban, travel restrictions, assets freeze, and diamond embargo, counting on the recommendations and information of its expert group and on reports of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).  The Committee’s activities had been greatly impacted by the post-electoral crisis, which had led both the Government and the opposition to actively seek additional weapons.  New elements, including foreign mercenaries, had been drawn into the conflict, in violation of the sanctions regime.

During the post-electoral crisis, she noted, the Committee had followed closely the situation on the ground, and had sought to adapt its measures to the evolving decisions by the Security Council.  Looking ahead, she stressed the importance of, among other things, recognizing that many challenges to full observance of the sanctions regime remained, including the redeployment of State administration over the whole territory.

The representative of Gabon, chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1636 (2005), said the Committee had been tasked with registering individuals designated as suspects in the 14 February 2005 bombing incident in Beirut, which had killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 other people.  On 1 January 2010, when Gabon took over the chair, no one had been listed, and so during his tenure, there were no meetings and no designation of individuals subjected to the provisions of the above-mentioned resolution.  However, the administration of justice in the Hariri affair would be an important contribution to peace in Lebanon.

Having chaired the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other procedural Questions, the representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina said the group had examined possible means to reduce the items on the Council’s list of active consideration — a process to be tackled further in January 2012.  It had also taken up the redistribution of items on the Council’s yearly programme and ways of enhancing interaction with the wider membership.  With a view to improving and “demystifying” Council practices, the group had organized a special briefing by the Council Secretariat branch on unknown or misunderstood working methods.

At the conclusion of the briefings, the Council President for the month, Vitaly Churkin (Russian Federation), thanked the chairs for their presentations.

The meeting began at 10:16 a.m. and ended at 10:55 a.m.

Background

The Security Council met today to be briefed by the representatives of the five outgoing non-permanent members of the Council — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria — concerning the subsidiary bodies they chaired.

Briefings

U. JOY OGWU ( Nigeria), Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, said mission-specific discussions had highlighted the core issues of peacekeeping mandates, such as the transfers of personnel equipment at the end of a mandate, the protection of civilians and shortages of military helicopters.

On transitional exit strategies, the point was made that peacekeeping and peacebuilding were parts of the same process.  Transition strategies referred not to the shift from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, but the shift from peacekeeping to other United Nations presences.  Excessively rigid benchmarks for drawdowns were also discussed, she said.

Another discussion topic was that contemporary peacekeeping missions that shared geographical areas could share resources.  The working group praised the triangular relationship between the Secretariat, the Council and troop-contributing countries.  It noted that Security Council resolution 1353 (2001) had envisioned more than information sharing.  In that regard, there were views that input from troop-contributing countries should be sought before a mission was carried out and at the start of a transition or drawdown.

The working group’s added value was the platform it provided for dialogue among various stakeholders.  The discussions in the working group could enrich Council debates during the crucial phases of a mission’s life cycle, including technical assessment stages, she said.  The group should continue to work together with troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat in incorporating case studies, which should be drawn from peacekeeping missions, as well as missions in which strategic actions could impact the mandate.

The group’s obligation was to ensure the meetings’ outcome was translated into action.  Keeping the format of the meetings informal was imperative.  Bearing in mind the troop-contributing countries concerns, the working group should become a consensus-building platform.  It was, indeed, her expectation that the group’s final report would capture all those proposals.

In order to sustain its unique role, it should be made certain that no gain was lost in the process, so far.  As the curtain was drawn on a successful year, the international community must strive to ensure peacekeeping was a true global partnership.

As Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003), concerning Iraq and Kuwait, she said the Committee had received two de-listing requests.  On 3 June, the Committee agreed to remove the names of two individuals.  On 6 December another individual was removed from the list.  That de-listing concluded one of the pending issues that had been before the Committee.  Another request for entry of two names from Iraq remained pending before the Committee, she said.

An additional request to transfer frozen assets from Iraq to Kuwait was examined. Also, Australia had inquired about the arms embargo on Iraq.  She noted that the Security Council had decided under resolution 1518 (2003) that the Committee would make a decision on that matter.  The remaining prohibitions on arms to Iraq were not currently accompanied by a Security Council mechanism.

She said Security Council resolution 1546 (2004) had stressed the importance for all states to abide by existing measures regarding Iraq.

NAWAF SALAM (Lebanon), Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia, first reviewed the results of the Committee’s three informal consultations, held during the course of the year.  It considered the findings and recommendations of the expert panel, among those, the recommendation that the Committee update the travel ban and assets freeze lists and explore with INTERPOL the preparation of INTERPOL-United Nations special notices for the individuals whose names were on the travel ban list.  Subsequently, the Committee reached agreement in August on a comprehensive update, the first time since 2005 that a sanctions committee would utilize the special notices mechanism.

He noted next the Committee’s consideration in November of the panel’s findings and recommendations, following the panel’s review of the activities of Liberian combatants during the 2011 Ivorian conflict.  The panel had observed that Liberian mercenary command structures in the Ivorian conflict were fluid and relied on an alliance of generals who often activated their own recruits, mainly drawn from unemployed Liberian ex-combatants.  The panel had obtained testimony concerning the substantive overlap between the military operations of Liberian mercenaries and Ivorian militias, whose forces were residing in Liberia and intermingling with Ivorian refugees.  While those groups likely did not pose an immediate threat to Liberian or Ivorian national security, they could attempt to destabilize areas along the Liberian-Ivorian border.

With the unanimous adoption this morning of resolution 2025 on Liberia, the Council noted with serious concern the lack of progress in implementing the assets freeze, and demanded that the Liberian Government strive to fulfil its obligations.  The Council also decided to renew the arms embargo on all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in Liberia and the travel ban for 12 months, extend the panel for the same period and request a report on implementation and any violations of the arms ban.  Among other provisions, the Council decided to review the sanctions regime by the end of 2012, with a view to possibly modifying or lifting those measures.

In conclusion, he said the Committee remained committed to successfully discharging its mandate, with a view to playing its part in making sustainable the peacebuilding process in Liberia, which still faced considerable challenges.

MARIA LUIZA RIBEIRO VIOTTI, (Brazil) briefed as Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire.  She said the sanctions Committee concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo had made “important strides” in recent years, and cooperation between the expert group and the Government had been positive.  She hoped that Member States, especially in the region, would continue to report to the Committee on implementation measures.

She said the sanctions Committee had contributed to the fight against issues such as child recruitment and sexual violence.  The Special Representatives on those issues had briefed the Committee, the first time they had appeared before a sanctions committee.  Their briefings provided important information, and she strongly encouraged their continued interaction.  The Committee had also striven to keep its sanctions list updated.  Based on information from the expert group, Member States and the United Nations system, new listings had been improved and information and narrative summaries regarding the names already on the list had been updated.

Reflection was needed on ways to make the sanctions regime more effective, perhaps in considering alternative tools to better target individuals and entities that might not travel or hold bank accounts, she said.  Also important was to encourage the use, through the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), of mass communication, to help prevent criminal activities and disseminate information about sanctioned individuals and entities.  Implementation of the due diligence guidelines would be a focus of the Committee’s work in future.  She hoped that compliance with those would contribute increasingly to avoiding the risks of financing illegal arms groups in the country.  The Committee also should continue its interaction with Member States and regional organizations to raise awareness on, among others, the importance of following good practices in the field of natural resources.

The Committee was also giving continued attention to weapons flows to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said.  In that, it was essential for the international community to support efforts to enhance local capabilities to mark and control the circulation of weapons in the country, with a view to cutting off the sources of arms to illegal groups.

Turning to the Committee concerning Côte d’Ivoire, she said it had continued to undertake tasks regarding the arms embargo, travel restrictions, assets freeze, and diamond embargo, counting on the recommendations and information of its expert group and on reports of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).  The Committee’s activities had been greatly impacted by the post-electoral crisis, which had led both the Government and the opposition to actively seek additional weapons.  New elements, including foreign mercenaries, had been drawn into the conflict, in violation of the sanctions regime.

During the post-electoral crisis, she noted, the Committee had followed closely the situation on the ground, and had sought to adapt its measures to the evolving decisions by the Security Council.  For example, it had taken the appropriate measures to update the list of targeted individuals, after resolution 1975 (2011) had added five persons to the financial and travel sanctions list; and modified the exemption procedure concerning arms and related materiel, vehicles and training.

Looking ahead, she stressed the importance of recognizing that many challenges to full observance of the sanctions regime remained, including the redeployment of State administration over the whole territory; the continued de facto presence of command zones in the North; slow progress in disarmament and reintegration; the widespread availability of small arms and ammunition; and the presence of elements from the former regime in neighbouring States.  On the last, it was key for the Committee and Council to guard against a backslide from the progress made in Côte d’Ivoire.  There were also positive signs, however, such as renewed cooperation between the Government and the expert group.

She said she trusted that the Committee would stand ready to grant travel ban exemptions for those listed individuals indicted by the International Criminal Court, as was the case on 29 November with the transfer of former President Laurent Gbagbo to The Hague.  Overall, despite the challenges, she was confident the “1572” Committee would remain a key actor in ensuring compliance with the Council’s measures, thereby contributing to sustainable peace and stability in Côte d’Ivoire.

ALFRED MOUNGARA MOUSSOTSI (Gabon), Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1636 (2005), said the Committee had been tasked with registering individuals designated as suspects in the 14 February 2005 bombing incident in Beirut that killed then Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 other people.  On 1 January 2010, when Gabon took over the chair, no one had been listed.  During his country’s term as chair, there were no meetings and no designation of individuals that would be subjected to the provisions of the above-mentioned resolution.

The administration of justice in the Hariri affair would be an important contribution to peace in Lebanon.  He was convinced that the Committee could play a more important role in the future, particularly with respect to investigations and judicial proceedings pertaining to the 14 February 2005 incident.

The Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions, IVAN BARBALIĆ (Bosnia and Herzegovina), said the group held five meetings during the year and members had considered a number of issues.

Considering the summary statement streamlining of matters of which the Council remained seized, the group examined possible means to reduce the items on the Council’s list of active consideration.  “This is not an easy task, since it needs to be carried out with extreme care with regard to concerned countries,” he said.  “This enduring process is to be tackled in January 2012.”  Also, the Group focused on redistribution of reporting and mandate cycles in order to create a more even annual workload, he said, noting that June, July and December were more dense than the other months.

The Group believed the exercise would be an important improvement in the Council’s working methods.  He said the group heard briefings from the Security Council Secretariat branch and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on administrative, financial and political implications of redistributing the mandate cycles of peacekeeping missions.  That exercise would take 18 months to implement and he urged the incoming chair to build upon the work done to date.

With a view to improving and “demystifying” some Council practices, the group organized a special meeting where the Council Secretariat branch briefed members on unknown or misunderstood working methods of the Council, he said.  Engaged in the issue of transparency, the group organized a workshop on working methods for the general United Nations membership and introduced the “new” 507 Presidential Note.

As Chair, he had also participated in the meeting of the Ad hoc Working Group on General Assembly Revitalization, sharing the Council’s experience and good practices in the area of documentation, working methods and organization of work.

He then made recommendations for the group’s future activities.  First, taking note of calls for interaction between the group and the wider membership, he suggested that the group should hold regular briefings on Council working methods for non-Council members.  He intended to hold such a meeting in a week’s time.  Second, he said it was of vital important that the redistribution of reporting and mandate cycles, initiated by his country, remained a priority on the group’s agenda next year.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.