I would like, first of all, to congratulate you, on behalf of the members of the Security Council, on your election as President of the General Assembly.
It is for me an honour, as President of the Security Council for the month of November, to introduce the annual report of the Security Council. The presentation of this report is more than a regular reporting exercise pursuant to the UN Charter. The report underscores the importance of the relationship of both principal organs of the United Nations, and provides an excellent opportunity to debate and exchange views with the general membership on the report on the work of the Council. I’m therefore grateful to you, Mr. President to have arranged this meeting for the consideration of the Security Council’s annual report.
The report covers the period from August 2011 to July 2012. The introduction to the report was prepared by the delegation of Colombia, which held the presidency in July 2012. I wish to thank Ambassador Nestor Osorio and his team for their efforts in preparing the introduction on which I call your attention as it gives a helpful overview on the different activities under the responsibility of the Council during the reporting period. Allow me also to thank the Secretariat, which prepared the other parts of the report that you have now before you.
I would also like to highlight the monthly assessments by each presidency which are mentioned in the report. They contain information, on a monthly basis, on the most relevant activities carried out by the Council on each item of its agenda, thus adding to the overall comprehension of the report. This is an important exercise regularly undertaken on the responsibility of each Presidency aimed at informing the wider membership on the work of the Council and on which I would like to call your attention as well.
During the reporting period, the Council adopted 60 resolutions and 25 presidential statements, and issued 83 statements to the press. The Council held 222 formal meetings, of which 205 were public meetings. Open meetings, including open debates, increase transparency in the work of the Council and allow for an enhanced participation by the wider membership and the international community.
Presidencies of the Council and of the General Assembly continued throughout this year to meet regularly, and monthly briefings by the Presidents of the Council to the wider membership on the Council’s work continued to be held. Meetings with troop contributors have also taken place as a regular practice, in particular prior to any decision with impact on UN peacekeeping mandates, as a way to enable collecting relevant inputs.
These practices represent useful steps to promote a better dialogue with the general membership on the work of the Council and we encourage delegations to make use of these opportunities to increasingly ensure such interaction. The Council continued its implementation of Note S/2010/507 on working methods and sought to reform its working methods further wherever possible, including by better planning and spreading out its workload, ensuring reporting requirements were fit for purpose, the more efficient use of conference resources and more interactive exchanges among Council members. Presidencies have promoted useful practices aiming at increasing efficiency and expediency, such as streamline introductions made by the presidency and video conferences in open briefings or debates to provide updates from the field.
Council members have agreed to reduce the use of speakers’ lists and better use Other Matters to discuss issues of concern. Informal interactive dialogues were also held regularly as a useful consultation practice.
During the period of the report many of the activities of the Council were centered, as in previous years, on situations in Africa, including Sudan (Darfur), South Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Somalia, the question of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea. The two missions conducted by the Council this year were to Haiti in February 2012 and West Africa (Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) in May 2012. The Council also held a consultative meeting with the African Union Peace and Security Council in New York in June 2012.
The Security Council closely followed the unresolved disputes between Sudan and South Sudan after the latter’s independence in July 2011. After the resumption of fighting on the border, it adopted resolution 2046 in May 2012 to endorse the AU roadmap and demand that parties achieve a negotiated solution for all post-secession unresolved issues in a period of three months. The Council also continued to closely follow the implementation of resolution 2046 and remained seized of the ongoing negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan to resolve the outstanding CPA issues under the auspices of the AUHIP.
On Somalia, the Security Council’s strong support to the transition process was instrumental in bringing about the most representative Somali leadership in decades. The joint African Union-UN technical assessment mission resulted in a revised concept of operations for AMISOM, which contributed to a significant improvement in the security situation across the country.
The Council considered the events in various countries on its agenda prior to, during and after elections that took place during the period under review.
Following developments in Libya and taking note of the Declaration of Liberation, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2016 (2011) on 27 October 2011, reiterating the need for the transitional period to be underpinned by a commitment to democracy and respect for human rights, and terminating the mandates regarding the protection of civilians and the no-fly zone as stipulated in resolution 1973 (2011).
The Security Council reacted repeatedly with concern to the worsening security and humanitarian situation in Eastern DRC due to the violence caused by the M23 and all armed groups.
Following the deterioration of the security situation in Mali with the 20 March 2012 military coup and the Northern part of the country being occupied by armed rebel and terrorist groups, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2056 (2012) on 5 July to set a comprehensive path to solve all aspects of the crisis. The Security Council also requested the elaboration and implementation of a United Nations integrated strategy for the Sahel.
Reiterating its strong condemnation of the 12 April 2012 military coup that occurred in Guinea-Bissau, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2048 (2012) on 18 May, demanding the restoration of and respect for the constitutional order.
Developments in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, as well as the ongoing effects of the “Arab Spring”, remained prominent on the Council’s agenda.
The Council held monthly briefings and consultations on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, and quarterly open debates on the issue. The members expressed concern at the continuing stalemate on the Middle East peace process and urged negotiated settlement of all issues. The Council also heard briefings from the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the OCHA on the human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The Council closely followed developments in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon. One of the main issues considered by the Council was the application of Palestine for membership in the United Nations.
Following the adoption of various press statements in 2011, the Council in April 2012 unanimously adopted resolution 2042 (2012), authorizing an advance team to monitor the ceasefire in Syria, and resolution 2043 (2012) establishing the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to monitor and support the implementation of the six-point proposal of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan.
With respect to the situation in Yemen, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2051 (2012), expressing support to President Hadi and the Government of National Unity of Yemen to move the transition process forward, and encouraging the international community to provide active and increasing support to help the Yemeni government meet the forthcoming political, security, economic and humanitarian challenges.
The Council also continued to monitor developments in Afghanistan, as well as other counties in the Asian region, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar and Timor-Leste.
In Europe, the Security Council followed up on its long-standing interest in exploring means and ways to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in its institutionalisation process; as well encouraging the progress of negotiations in Cyprus; and monitoring the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and pacific settlement of differences through the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue.
The Security Council reaffirmed its commitment to ensure stability and security as well as assist Haiti in the rebuilding process by extending the mandate of United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) through resolution 2012 (2011).
The issue of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction also figured prominently on the agenda.
The Council also considered issues concerning international tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia, and heard reports from the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and the President of the International Court of Justice.
Other priorities of the Council’s work were the thematic, general and crosscutting issues. Debates and consultations were held on Peace and security in Africa, support for the United Nations Office in West Africa (UNOWA) and the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).
The Council commended and promoted cooperation with sub regional organizations and in particular with the African Union via resolution 2033 (2012), which encourages the enhancement of the relationship.
The issues of children and armed conflict, women and peace and security, the protection of civilians and post-conflict peacebuilding also figured on the Council’s agenda, with several important debates being held during the period. In August 2011, after an open debate on peacekeeping operations, the Council adopted a presidential statement, which, inter alia, sought to deepen the existing cooperation among the Council, the Secretariat and the troop and police contributing countries.
During the reporting period, the Security Council also approved 25 resolutions extending the mandates of various peacekeeping and monitoring missions. In July 2012, the Council held an open debate on “Post-conflict peacebuilding” to consider the Annual Report of the Peacebuilding Commission, which was followed by an interactive dialogue focused on how to meet the Peacebuilidng Commission’s full potential and bring all partners together around common strategies.
The Council remained seized of the threat posed by terrorism and heard regular briefings from the Chairs of the 1267/1989, 1373, 1540 Committees. In various press statements, the Security Council strongly condemned the terrorist acts that occurred in different locations between August 2011 and July 2012.
I could go on and on in referring to matters that were under consideration by the Council during this reporting period. But I should rather listen to you and other member-states. I have, therefore, not mentioned several other issues which find detailed mention in the report and may be referred to.
The annual report you have before you includes an important number of analytical, descriptive and statistical information on the work of the Council, the preparation of which requires a significant effort both by delegations in the Council and the Secretariat.
I hope that member-states will seize this opportunity to discuss the report, and I will be glad to take your suggestions back to my colleagues in the Council. There is always room for improvement, and the Council members will benefit from your comments and suggestions.