Security Council Hears Briefings from Outgoing Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies on Work Accomplished During Two-Year Tenure

SC/12167
17 December 2015
7586th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Hears Briefings from Outgoing Chairs of Subsidiary Bodies on Work Accomplished During Two-Year Tenure

Outgoing members of the Security Council — Chad, Jordan, Lithuania, Chile and Nigeria — briefed the 15-member body today on their work during their two-year tenure as Chairs of various subsidiary bodies, sharing their highlights, concerns and recommendations.

Mahamat Zene Cherif (Chad), Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, said topics discussed had revealed a disconnect between classical peacekeeping and the realities of the modern world.  He stressed the importance of strengthening partnerships with regional and subregional organizations by providing necessary support for them to take charge of peacekeeping, calling the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) a model for the future.  He also underscored, among other things, the need to strengthen the safety and security of peacekeepers, and the dialogue between the Council, the troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat.

Dina Kawar (Jordan), Chair of the Security Council Committee on Liberia established by resolution 1521 (2003) and of the Committee on the Democratic Republic of the Congo established by resolution 1553 (2004), noted that those were two of the longest-serving sanctions regimes.  In her review of both bodies, she said that resolution 2337 (2015) on Liberia represented a major positive shift as the text had the Council terminate the travel and financial bans in place.  The related Sanctions List had been terminated, although the arms embargo against all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in Liberia had been renewed for nine months.

Turning to the 1533 Committee concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said the situation in the country remained fragile with the eastern provinces continuing to suffer from a plethora of armed groups.  Discussions with regional States during a visit affirmed the need for more designations, particularly on the armed groups who were abusing civilians and trafficking in natural resources.

Raimonda Murmokaitė (Lithuania), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) concerning Yemen, said the Committees had sought to promote transparency and openness.  She had insisted on open briefings to Council members, and had organized the first one on the Yemen sanctions regime.

The Committees had, among other things, sought to engage Yemen and the Central African Republic, their neighbours and other interested partners, inviting them to formal, informal and “informal-informal” briefings.  Focusing on building coordination and synergy, she said that in June 2014 the 2140 Committee had held a common meeting with the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to discuss Yemen’s challenges in countering terrorism.  There was a clear need for dedicated capacity on sanctions regimes within the Secretariat, as its work was “on the patchy side”, she stated.

She also voiced concern about a lack of compliance and reporting, as demonstrated in the Central African Republic where sanctioned individuals had been travelling freely, and in some cases, where travel had been facilitated by regional States.  She urged that Committee ensure more resolute action in sanctions designations.  While sanctions were not a cure-all, they did have a role to play in tackling impunity and restraining perpetrators.  They were a way of telling rapists, murderers, abusers and spoilers of political process that the Council was ready to step in.

Christián Barros Melet (Chile), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206  (2015) concerning South Sudan and the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, said his visit to Côte d’Ivoire had proved to be essential in improving the efficiency of the Committee and the sanctions regime.  Côte d’Ivoire had made important progress towards establishing democracy and security.  The list of individuals had been shortened and the embargo on diamonds had been lifted.

 

The 2206 Sanctions Committee on South Sudan had agreed on the listing of six individuals subject to sanctions and had held meetings with representatives of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), United Nations Mine Action Service and the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives on Children in Armed Conflict and on Sexual Violence, he said.  He also highlighted the importance of meetings with countries concerned, countries in the region and regional organizations, a practice that should be emulated by other committees.  The implementation of sanctions without cooperation of neighbouring countries would be difficult.

On the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, he noted the strategy of winding down those judicial bodies and establishing the Residual Mechanism, in particular the Rwanda Tribunal.  He urged the Council not to disregard due process as a principle of justice in applying sanctions.  In that regard, the Council should not only strengthen the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsperson, but expand its mandate to other bodies.

U. Joy Ogwu (Nigeria), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) concerning Guinea-Bissau and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003) concerning Iraq, said the 2048 Committee had convened twice in informal consultations, most recently with a briefing on the findings and recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report on stabilization and restoration of the constitutional order.  The sanctions regime, despite its limited scope, had contributed to the pursuit of a lasting political solution.  Turning to the work of the 1518 Committee, she said a number of communications had been received in connections with the Sanctions List, which currently stood at 86 individuals and 208 entities, making it the second-largest list after that for Al-Qaida.

The meeting started at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 11:10 a.m.

Briefings

MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad), Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, said he also had chaired the Sanctions Committee established by resolution 1636 (2005) on Lebanon.  That Committee, however, had not carried out any activities.  As Chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, he had convened nine thematic meetings on cross-cutting issues of peacekeeping operations.  Topics discussed included traditional peacekeeping, safety and security of peacekeepers, bilateral and multilateral support for capacity-building of troop- and police-contributing countries, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), and dialogue between the Council, the Secretariat and troop- and police-contributing countries.  There had also been meetings with the High-level Panel on Peacekeeping Operations.

Discussions revealed a disconnect between classical peacekeeping and the realities of the modern world, he said.  In some circumstances the use of force had become inevitable.  The results of the intervention brigade in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo had been instructive.  If the United Nations could not count on use of force, it was important to strengthen partnerships with regional and subregional organizations by providing necessary support for them to take charge of peacekeeping.  The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), initiated by the Union and supported by outside partners, was a model for the future.

Given the threats for peacekeepers, he said there was a need to strengthen their safety and security, in particular regarding improvised explosive devices.  Peacekeeping was a collective endeavour to which all Member States had to contribute.  Capacity-building for troop- and police-contributing countries should be strengthened.  It was crucial that countries with progressive technologies and equipment share such technologies with others.

He also stressed that dialogue between the Council, the troop-contributing countries and the Secretariat, should be strengthened.  That dialogue had been hampered by a lack of serious consultations on mandates before establishing, renewing, or drawing down peacekeeping operations, as well as by insufficient circulation of information.  Troop-contributing countries were frustrated because they did not receive necessary information in a timely manner and could not provide their views.  He urged the Council to address those concerns.

DINA KAWAR (Jordan) noted that her delegation had chaired two of the longest-serving sanctions regimes, one on Liberia, known as the 1521 Committee, and the other on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as the 1533 Committee.  Regarding the former, she said that the adoption on 2 September of resolution 2237 (2015) represented a major positive shift as the text had the Council terminate the travel and financial bans in place.  Those measures were no longer applicable to any individual or entity, and the related Sanctions List had been terminated, although the arms embargo against all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in Liberia had been renewed for nine months.

In November 2014, the Committee had considered the report of the assessment mission mandated by the Secretary-General upon the request of the Council, she continued.  In July of this year, the Security Council Affairs Division of the Department of Political Affairs presented to the Committee the main findings contained in the update by the Secretary-General on the progress made by Liberia’s Government in implementing recommendations on the proper management of arms and ammunition, and on facilitating the effective monitoring and management of border regions between Liberal and Côte d’Ivoire.  She encouraged Ukraine, the incoming Chair, to continue engaging Liberia’s Government, the pen-holder and the Panel of Experts in identifying ways to help Liberia address the few remaining challenges to the total lifting of the arms embargo.

Turning to the 1533 Committee concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she said the situation in the country remained fragile with the eastern provinces continuing to suffer from a plethora of armed groups.  While there had been progress, plenty of work remained in terms of combating the involvement of both the armed groups and the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) fringe elements in the trafficking of natural resources, restoring State authority and creating space for peacebuilding and national dialogue.  “It is troubling that so many armed groups with no more than several hundred combatants have been able to prey on the civilian population in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo for so long,” she said.

She touched on her visits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda during which she was able to collect first-hand information about the situation in the region and learn how to assist those States in capacity-building.  Discussions with the regional States affirmed the need for more designations, particularly on the armed groups who were abusing civilians and trafficking natural resources.  There should be no perception among Member States, particularly those in the Great Lakes region, that the importance of sanctions regimes was waning and that the Council was less concerned about the climate of impunity, particularly in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) concerning counter-terrorism, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2140 (2014) concerning Yemen, presented the outgoing Chairs’ views on the work done in steering those subsidiary bodies.

The Committees had sought to promote transparency and openness, as it would defeat the purpose for respective bodies to “keep it all to themselves”, she said.  While there were 15 members making decisions, all Member States were expected to implement the sanctions regimes and to report accordingly.  The Chairs had insisted on open briefings to Council members, and had organized the first one on the Yemen sanctions regime.  While voicing regret that a similar one on the Central African Republic sanctions regime had not been organized, she noted that they also had issued regular press statements, considered introducing Chairs’ statements, and had welcomed Secretariat efforts to improve the effectiveness of sanctions lists by standardizing the formats and creating a Consolidated List.

The Committees had sought to engage Yemen and Central African Republic, their neighbours and other interested partners, inviting them to formal, informal and “informal-informal” briefings, she went on to say.  The range of briefers, both in Sanctions Committees and in the Counter-Terrorism Committee, were expanded, with organized briefings by the Special Representatives on Sexual Violence in Conflict and on Children and Armed Conflict. 

Focusing on coordination and synergy building, she said that, in June 2014, the 2140 Committee had held a common meeting with the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to discuss Yemen’s challenges in countering terrorism.  She expressed regret at being unable to visit Yemen and urged incoming chairs to carry out annual visits.  Her visit to Central African Republic from 25 to 29 August of this year offered an opportunity to receive feedback from the ground.

There was a clear need for dedicated capacity on sanctions regimes within the Secretariat, as its work was “on the patchy side” depending on the enthusiasm of staff, she stated.  More broadly, a lack of compliance and reporting was concerning.  In the Central African Republic, sanctioned individuals had been travelling freely, and in some cases, travel had been facilitated by regional States.  She urged that Committee to ensure more resolute action in sanctions designations.  In Yemen, she regretted that the Committee had acted “too little and too late” when ground conditions were spinning out of control, and the unintended consequences had been hitting civilians.

Finally, she said that while sanctions were not a cure-all, they did have a role to play in tackling impunity and restraining perpetrators.  They were a way of telling rapists, murderers, abusers and spoilers of political process that the Council was ready to step in.  Her delegation had sought to make the Counter-Terrorism Committee more proactive and operational.  The Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate had completed assessments of progress made by 39 States in implementing resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005) and 2178 (2014), and prepared five analytical reports on foreign terrorist fighters.

A number of special meetings and open briefings had been held, she said, notably in July, in Madrid on stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters.  Other innovations included the first high-level political regional visit to Mali and Niger, and two targeted meetings on the Horn of Africa and Central Asia.  Looking ahead, the Committee and its Executive Directorate must continue working with States on the implementation of recommendations of the analytical reports, and those identified during the Committee’s two special meetings.  The Committee must also focus on emerging thematic issues, including the problems associated with children and adolescents in the terrorism environment.

CHRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire, the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan, and the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, first turned to the work of the 1572 Sanctions Committee on Côte d’Ivoire.  His visit to that country in November 2014 had proved to be essential in improving the efficiency of the Committee and the sanctions regime.  The time for processing notifications had been shortened.

There was less mistrust between the Panel of Experts and the Government, he went on to say, adding that it was important not to allow too much time to pass between the establishment of a sanctions regime and a visit to the country affected.  Côte d’Ivoire had made important progress towards establishing democracy and security.  The list of individuals had been shortened and the embargo on diamonds had been lifted.  Noting that the sanctions regime might be lifted, he observed that there was a time to impose sanctions and a time to lift them.

As Chair of the 2206 Sanctions Committee on South Sudan, he said that, since its establishment nine months ago, the task had been to set up smooth operations by negotiating guidelines.  The Committee had agreed on the listing of six individuals subject to sanctions and had held meetings with representatives of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Secretary-General’s Special Representatives on Children in Armed Conflict and on Sexual Violence.  He highlighted the importance of meetings with countries concerned, countries in the region and regional organizations, a practice that should be emulated by other committees.  The implementation of sanctions without cooperation of neighbouring countries would be difficult.

He said the practice of open briefings to present Chair reports should become the general rule as it fostered understanding of the mechanism of sanctions.  Imposing sanctions was one among various instruments for the maintenance of peace, albeit perhaps not the best instrument.  The Council should demonstrate that sanctions sought to contribute to greater peace and national security, and combat impunity.

 

As Chair of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, he noted the strategy of winding down those judicial bodies and establishing the Residual Mechanism, in particular the Rwanda Tribunal.  All documents demonstrated the determination of the Group on issues of major interest to the international community, he said, stressing his recommendation to continue and intensify dialogue with the authorities of the Tribunals and the Mechanism.

He said that in applying sanctions, due process should not be disregarded, as that was a principle of justice.  In that regard the Council should not only strengthen the mandate of the Office of the Ombudsperson, but expand its mandate to other bodies.  Improvements were possible in the delisting procedure.  He called for gender balance and equitable regional participation in the subsidiary bodies and panels of experts.  Also of concern was the trend to confuse “wrap-ups” in the Council Chamber with informal briefings.  They had different formats and goals.  Only through clear rules could transparency and accountability of the Council be guaranteed.  He urged the Council to continue working to end impunity, always keeping due process in mind.

U. JOY OGWU (Nigeria), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2048 (2012) concerning Guinea-Bissau and the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1518 (2003) concerning Iraq, turned first to the 2048 Committee, noting that it had convened twice in informal consultations, most recently with a briefing on the findings and recommendations in the Secretary-General’s report on stabilization and restoration of constitutional order.  The sanctions regime, despite its limited scope, had contributed to the pursuit of a lasting political solution.  Continuous monitoring would be necessary in the short-run.

Going forward, she said, maintenance of the sanctions would send a clear message that those impeding the process towards peace and security would be held accountable.  The establishment of a Panel of Experts would “go a long way” towards enhancing the Committee’s effectiveness and facilitating surveillance of threats.  Benchmarks to determine the readiness for lifting sanctions should include completion of the retirement and demobilization process for military personnel; the re-establishment of civilian control over the military; completion of the reconciliation process; and establishment of an effective judicial system.

In addition, she said, the time had come for the Council to review both the situation of the 11 sanctioned individuals to determine whether they still met the listing criteria, and the sanctions regime to determine its effectiveness. Continued international engagement would be vital during and after the recovery period, she said, as would be concerted action by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union, European Union, United Nations and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.

Turning briefly to the work of the 1518 Committee, she said a number of communications had been received in connections with the Sanctions List, which currently stood at 86 individuals and 208 entities, making it the second-largest list after that for Al-Qaida.  She said that unlike in other committees, her “burden had been lightened”, which explained the brevity of her report.

For information media. Not an official record.