New perspectives emerged in the Security Council on United Nations policing, peacekeeping and sanctions during the month of November amid attention to a range of urgent crises, the Permanent Representative of Australia and President of the body said in a monthly wrap-up meeting.
The busy calendar, suggested Gary Quinlan, said more about the breadth and depth of the crises around the world than it did about the Council’s effectiveness, which needed strengthening. Among efforts in that context, he spoke of the interactive dialogue on Mali and continued attention to peacekeeping challenges, such as meeting the demand and effectively carrying out the protection of civilians.
Strides in engaging the broader membership were made in several areas, he said, citing the first open briefing by the Chair of the Sudan sanctions committee, and the open debate on terrorism, commenting that the resulting presidential statement provided practical steps to build on previous resolutions.
The Council needed to keep terrorism high on the agenda and ensure compliance with all relevant resolutions, he said, recalling unforgettable testimonies on the human impact of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The meeting on the general subject of sanctions responded to a long-felt need to make those measures fairer and more effective, he added.
On work with the African Union Peace and Security Council, he said there was a need to do a lot more to realize the full potential of that partnership. Welcoming the adoption of resolution 2185 (2014), the first ever stand-alone text on policing, he expressed hope that the briefing by heads of police components would become an important addition to the yearly calendar.
On Syria, he said that while briefings had shown some progress in humanitarian access and on the chemical weapons track, unfortunately, most provisions of the latest resolutions on the crisis had been violated in ways he called “savage and routine”. The Council must give more serious attention to getting full compliance in all areas.
Following the President’s statement, Council members took the floor, with most welcoming the attention paid to sanctions, policing and terrorism under the Australian presidency. Continued vigilance on Ukraine, Syria, Israel/Palestine, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and a range of situations in Africa was urged by varied speakers as well, with some drawing attention to the Ebola crisis.
Appreciation was expressed for the informal interactive debate on Mali, which the French representative, among others, praised for its innovative format and hoped it would be repeated. The representative of the United Kingdom commended the Council’s quick reaction to reports on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and other emergent issues. He encouraged future presidents to flexibly blend such issues with regular business. The United States representative said that attention to Ebola in December should help fine-tune assistance to the most affected countries, with donors matched up with the most critical needs.
Some speakers, reiterating their position on sanctions regimes, urged ongoing attention to due process, effectiveness and other dimensions of the measures. Chile’s representative stressed the importance of field visits in that context, particularly to countries affected by sanctions regimes. On conducting the wrap-up meetings themselves, some speakers welcomed their emerging regularity, while others, such as the representative of the Russian Federation, voiced opposition, saying that they encouraged fragmentary, one-sided appraisals of a long list of crises.
The representative of Chad, the incoming President of the Council, pledged to fulfil the responsibilities to the best of his delegation’s ability. He hoped that Council unity would grow stronger, despite the divisions that had been all too evident at the mid-November retreat, so that the light at the end of the tunnel on persistent crises could come into sight.
Also speaking were representatives of Lithuania, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Jordan, Argentina and China.
The meeting started at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 11:50 a.m.