|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7076th Meeting (PM)
Outgoing Chairs Brief Security Council on Activities
of Subsidiary Bodies during Two-Year Tenure
Four of its five outgoing members — Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco and Pakistan — briefed the Security Council this afternoon on the work of the subsidiary bodies they had chaired during their two-year tenure, highlighting significant gains made and the challenges ahead.
Masood Khan ( Pakistan), Chair of the 1521 Committee concerning Liberia and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, said his country was proud of its engagement with Liberia, as a troop contributor and twice as Committee Chair. The Committee’s Panel of Experts had found that a majority of the individuals and entities listed for asset freeze and travel bans did not pose a threat to peace and security in Liberia or the region.
However, he noted that the Panel had identified “huge” institutional capacity deficits in Liberia, including the legal framework for preventing illicit arms, accountability in the forest sector and control of diamond trafficking. Given that, the Council’s decision to lift the sanctions should be based on collective political judgement. “Scale back, but do not lower your guard,” he advised. Although no country wanted to remain under sanctions indeterminately, Liberia still faced enormous challenges, including a frail State security apparatus and ineffective natural resource management.
Turning to the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations — one of the Council’s principal subsidiary bodies, he said the Group had begun its work with the adoption of resolution 2086 (2013), a comprehensive text on peacekeeping and the first of its kind in over a decade. In February, the Group had brought together representatives of the African Union, troop-contributing countries and senior leaders from the Secretariat to discus the situation in Somalia.
Utilizing modern technologies in United Nations peacekeeping operations, the Working Group had held a rich exchange of views on the related legal and administrative aspects, he said. In November, it had held the first-ever meeting dedicated to United Nations police. Going forward, the Group would look into issues related to force generation and mission start-up at its final substantive meeting on 20 December.
Agshin Mehdiyev ( Azerbaijan) briefed the Council on the 1718 Sanctions Committee concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, noting that the Committee had held six meetings since January 2012 and had taken decisions on various recommendations contained in the reports of its Group of Experts. It had also updated the sanctions list in April of this year. The signing of the Framework Agreement for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and deployment of the Force Intervention Brigade clearly demonstrated that the international community had become increasingly involved in the pursuit for political and security-related solutions to that country’s crisis.
Similar energy, he emphasized, should be directed towards the exploitation of natural resources and infrastructure development, in order to open the region’s nearly untapped potential and diminish the space for armed groups and criminal networks. In addition, the number of notifications of arms deliveries by Member States to the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Government had increased over the past two years, while armed groups’ access to weapons — in violation of the arms embargo — continued to threaten regional stability.
On that point, he said arms proliferation could be an area where, through the establishment of confidence-building measures and control mechanisms, increased regional collaboration might have a major impact. As noted in the Group of Experts’ midterm report, instability in various parts of the country was exacting a heavy toll on the fragile equilibrium of wildlife and unique ecosystems.
Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004) concerning Côte d’Ivoire, and Chair of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, said that by month’s end, the Committee would have held seven informal consultations over the past two years. Most meetings had focused on exchanging views with the Group of Experts and taking decisions on its recommendations. The Committee also had exchanged views with the Special Representative of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), which had led to an information-sharing agreement. As well, it met twice with the Chairs of the Kimberley Process. “On balance, I believe that implementation of the arms embargo, diamond embargo, assets freeze and travel ban have played the desired role in moving towards a lasting political solution in Côte d’Ivoire,” he said.
However, the sanctions committees were flawed by a lack of compliance by State and non-State actors alike, especially on arms embargoes, he said. There was also a need to improve transparency and information-sharing. A “permanent tension” persisted, with the host Government pushing for a rapid dismantling of the sanctions regime, and other States seeking a more conservative approach. There were also tensions between experts and members of the Committee around the process for selecting experts.
As for the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals, he said it had drafted four resolutions and was currently negotiating a fifth text. It had issued two press statements on the Tribunals’ contribution to the fight against impunity, and had supported the launch of the Arusha and Hague branches of the Residual Mechanism, which would ensure the closure of the International Criminal Tribunals on Rwanda and former Yugoslavia did not leave “the door open to impunity”.
During his tenure, he said that he had sought to carve out a niche in the area of peace and justice which would reflect his country’s own experience transitioning from authoritarian to democratic governance. The impact of the Tribunals could not be measured in terms of the number of people judged, but rather, in terms of their “dissuasive effect”. The challenges ahead included staff retention and the problem of persons acquitted or who had served their sentences living in safe houses in Arusha. The Working Group should, in its future endeavours, continue to hold regular meetings and briefings, and maintain dialogue with the Tribunals and affected countries alike.
Mohammed Loulichki (Morocco), Chair of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee, said that during his tenure the Committee had imposed a travel ban on all individuals who sought to prevent a return to constitutional order or undermine stability in Guinea-Bissau, especially those who had played a role in the 2012 coup d’état. It had held informal consultations, maintained communications among its members and taken decisions related to the sanctions regimes. It also had expanded the list of individuals who were subject to the travel ban and concluded an agreement with INTERPOL on Special Notices.
He said the Committee’s main difficulty centred on accessing and disseminating information, pointing out that it did not have a panel of experts. Nonetheless, it had held information exchanges with Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, during which those countries had signalled a travel ban violation by one individual. He called on all stakeholders to report to the Committee on the steps they had taken to implement the resolution. Indeed, the Committee was a lever the Council could use to tackle the many challenges in Guinea-Bissau. He was pleased with the Council’s assistance in the country’s transition and stabilization process, stating his hope that momentum would continue to grow.
Concluding the meeting, Council President Alexis Lamek ( France), conveyed the Council’s gratitude to the outgoing Chairs for the manner in which they had discharged their important responsibilities.
The meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and ended at 3:55 p.m.
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