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  • 25 окт 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    25 октября 2017 г., 50-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей. Она была проведена в деловой и довольно конструктивной атмосфере. Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная с сентябрьской (2017 г.) встречи МПРИ, была оценена как спокойная и стабильная.

    50-ой встрече предшествовали презентации по борьбе с преступностью в условиях конфликта или постконфликтных ситуациях, представленные двумя международными полицейскими экспертами. Цель этой инициативы ООН состояла в том, чтобы уделить главное внимание различному международному опыту относительно того, как наладить и укрепить сотрудничество, обмениваться информацией и координировать действия правоохранительной органов. 

    На самой встрече, главным образом продолжилась дискуссия по инцидентам, которые уже  были обсуждены во время предыдущих встреч МПРИ. Участники также обменялись мнениями относительно расширения добровольного обмена информацией о значимой деятельности с целью укрепления доверия.  Была подчеркнута важность активного использования горячей линии связи и обмена точной информацией.

    Участники согласились провести следующую встречу 28 ноября 2017 г. 

  • 25 окт 2017

    On 25 October 2017, the 50th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. It was held in a businesslike and rather constructive atmosphere. The overall security situation on the ground since the September 2017 meeting was assessed as calm and stable. 

    The 50th meeting was preceded by presentations on combatting crime in conflict or post conflict environments by two international police experts.  The purpose of this UN initiative was to highlight various international experiences on how to establish and strengthen cooperation, share information and coordinate activities of law enforcement actors.

    The actual meeting mainly followed up on incidents deliberated at the previous IPRM meetings. The participants also exchanged views on enhancing voluntary exchange of information on sensitive activities for confidence-building purposes. The importance of actively using hotline and sharing accurate information was emphasized.

    The participants agreed to hold the next meeting on 28 November 2017. 


  • 18 окт 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    Today’s briefing is taking place as important developments unfold to end the more than ten year long Palestinian divide and return Gaza to the full control of the legitimate Palestinian Authority.

    Last month when Hamas dissolved the Administrative Committee, a parallel institution to run governmental affairs in Gaza, it agreed that the Palestinian Government of National Consensus should assume its responsibilities in the Strip.

    President Abbas welcomed this crucial step, promising on 20 September at the UN General Assembly that the Government would soon visit Gaza.

    The Secretary-General, the Middle East Quartet and several Member States expressed their firm support and encouraged the parties to build on the commendable efforts of Egypt to seize this positive momentum toward Palestinian unity.

    On 2 October, Prime Minister Hamdallah travelled to Gaza with a delegation of some 150 officials, including Ministers, key security agencies and heads of the energy and water authorities. On the following day, the Government held its first meeting in Gaza since 2014.

    The United Nations has worked with the Palestinian leadership and the region in support of this process. Special Coordinator Mladenov travelled repeatedly between Ramallah, Gaza and the region in recent weeks to support the reconciliation effort and alleviate the humanitarian crisis. He also led a UN delegation during the Government visit and engaged with the Prime Minister, as well as all Palestinian political factions and civil society to ensure their support for the implementation of the understandings reached between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo on 17 September. These understandings included a three-step process to advance Palestinian unity: the return of responsibilities in Gaza to the legitimate Palestinian Authority (PA); subsequent bilateral talks between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo, including on public sector employees, security and control of the border crossings; and consultations with all Palestinian factions.

    On 12 October, with Egyptian mediation, Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement that enables the Palestinian government to resume its responsibilities in Gaza. According to its provisions, by 1 November, the Palestinian Authority should take control of the crossings of Gaza. Separately a joint committee will be formed to resolve the issue of public sector employees that should complete its work no later than 1 February 2018.

    A statement released by Egypt further highlighted that the Government should assume its full responsibilities in the management of the Gaza Strip by 1 December 2017. It was further announced that Egypt has called for a meeting in Cairo on 21 November for all Palestinian factions.

    The agreement does not contain any provisions related to elections, the formation of a national unity government, or the disarming of Hamas.

    The Secretary-General has spoken to President Abbas and welcomed the signing of this intra-Palestinian agreement. Its timely implementation and concrete efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis will be critical for effectively empowering the Palestinian Government in Gaza. Its implementation should also facilitate the lifting of the closures, while addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns.

    The agreement is an important step toward achieving the goal of Palestinian unity under a single, democratic Palestinian national authority on the basis of the PLO platform, the Quartet principles and the rule of law.

    The United Nations will continue working with the Palestinian leadership and the region in support of this process, which is critical for reaching a negotiated two-state solution and sustainable peace.


    Mr. President,

    I would like to take a moment to discuss the acute severity of Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and continuing human rights abuses.

    In an urgent call to action, during his August visit to the region, the Secretary-General called it “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” he has ever seen. Since then, the conditions have only worsened.

    For the sixth consecutive month, the two million people living in Gaza have received electricity for a mere four to six hours per day. The lack of energy has had a devastating impact on all aspects of their lives.

    It continues to disrupt essential public services including health care, the water supply and sanitation systems. The equivalent of over 40 Olympic-size swimming pools of virtually raw sewage continues to flow daily into the Mediterranean Sea, leaving the whole shoreline contaminated.

    Gaza is an unfolding environmental disaster that has no regard for borders.

    The quality of health care inside the Strip is deteriorating at an alarming rate. Access to medical care outside Gaza has also become increasingly difficult.

    As the Government returns to Gaza, it is critical that urgent measures are taken to reverse these trends.

    Meanwhile in other worrying developments, on 26 September Hamas sentenced three men to death by hanging on the charge of murder, accessory to murder and burglary. There are serious doubts as to whether their trials and detention conditions in Gaza meet international standards. As in previous cases, if these executions were to be implemented, they would be done in violation of Palestinian law, which requires the approval of the President.

    I urge Hamas not to carry out such executions and I, once again, call on President Abbas to establish a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty.


    Mr. President,

    Turning to the broader situation on the ground, over the past month violence has remained at low levels, compared to the rest of the region. Four Israelis were killed by a Palestinian attacker, who himself was shot, at the entrance of the Har Adar settlement on 26 September. It is deplorable that Hamas and others once again chose to glorify this attack.

    The UN urges all to condemn violence and stand up to terror.

    On 4 October, the body of an Israeli man from the settlement of Elkana was found in the Israeli-Arab village of Kafr Kassem with signs of extreme violence. Israeli authorities investigating the death arrested two Palestinians from the West Bank town of Qabatiyah in relation to the incident.

    During the reporting period in total 80 Palestinians were injured by Israeli security forces, with five Israelis injured by Palestinians.

    On 8 October, a rocket fired from Gaza toward Israel landed inside the Strip. No injuries or damage were reported. In response, the Israel Defense Forces shelled a Hamas post in central Gaza Strip, with no injuries reported.


    Mr. President

    Turning to the question of settlements, on 17 and 18 October, the Israeli High Planning Committee met to advance plans for more than 2,000 housing units in Area C of the occupied West Bank. This includes units in the new settlement of Amihai and a new neighborhood in Kochav Yaacov, both designated for settlers evicted by court orders from illegal outposts. Separately, a tender was issued for 296 units in Beit El and building permits for 31 units were conditionally approved in Hebron. Reportedly, the Hebron Municipality is expected to appeal this decision, which would delay the implementation of the building permits.

    This week, work began to prepare for the construction of infrastructure in Givat Hamatos, a settlement that, if built, would further disconnect East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

    I remain concerned about proposed legislation that, if adopted, would expand Jerusalem’s municipal jurisdiction by incorporating several West Bank settlements.

    The UN reiterates that all settlement activities are illegal under international law and are an impediment to peace.


    Mr. President,

    2017 has seen a significant decrease in Area C demolitions as compared to the previous year. Against this background some 13 residential, livelihood and public structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem were demolished in the past month. This brings the total of demolished structures for the year to over 350. Meanwhile the number of demolitions in East Jerusalem is quickly approaching 2016 levels, which were the highest number since 2000.

    I am particularly disturbed by reported Israeli plans to evict specific communities, including Bedouin in Khan al Ahmar, adjacent to the E-1 area, and Susiya in the South Hebron Hills. Nearly all structures in Khan al Ahmar now have demolition orders. Many of the structures are donor funded, including a school that serves 170 children.

    I urge Israel to cease the practice of demolitions, which has led to the displacement of thousands of people.


    Mr. President,

    Turning to Lebanon, the situation has remained generally quiet in the UNIFIL Area of Operations and along the Blue Line. 

    On the occasion of LAF Commander Aoun’s visit to UNIFIL, on 22 September, the LAF formally announced the deployment of the 5th Rapid Intervention Regiment to the UNIFIL Area of Operations, fulfilling their earlier commitment to expand LAF’s presence south of the Litani river.

    The regiment has since deployed, and coordination of activities between UNIFIL and the regiment has commenced. On 19 September, HoM/FC Beary chaired a Tripartite meeting during which the parties discussed the UNIFIL mandate extension under resolution 2373, violations of Security Council Resolution 1701, Blue Line marking and ongoing liaison and coordination matters.

    On the Golan, the ceasefire between the State of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic has been maintained, albeit in a volatile environment attributable to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Both sides have stated their continued commitment to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement and support for the full return of UNDOF to the area of separation, conditions permitting.


    Mr. President,

    In closing, I would like to emphasize that despite the overall negative trajectory that has characterized the Palestinian-Israeli conflict for far too long, there are reasons for cautious optimism.

    This past month, thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women united in a two-week march for peace that brought forward participants of all ages and backgrounds. The yearning for peace amongst both peoples remains strong. These grass-roots initiatives by civil society are critical to building the foundation for peace and must be supported.

    A key piece of the peace puzzle is to bring Gaza back under the control of the legitimate Palestinian Authority. The lack of Palestinian unity was identified in the July 2016 report of the Middle East Quartet as one of the main obstacles to achieving a two-state solution.

    Current Palestinian efforts to return the Government to Gaza must be encouraged; they must be supported; and they must be successful. The parties have taken a crucial first step in this process. They have demonstrated a willingness to engage positively and in good faith. Yet overcoming their deeply entrenched differences will not be easy, it will take time, and there will be many hurdles to overcome along the way.

    Success carries with it an enormous opportunity, just as failure carries with it great risks. Palestinians need to decide which path they will take. The international community must ensure that they are given every support and opportunity to reach a positive outcome, and we must ensure that work can move forward on ending the occupation and establishing a viable, sovereign Palestinian state that lives in peace and security with Israel.

    Thank you.

  • 17 окт 2017

    United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman visited Myanmar from October 13 to October 17 at the invitation of the Government.  In Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, he met with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, among other officials, as well as with representatives of Myanmar’s civil society. He attended the ceremony commemorating the signing of Myanmar’s historic National Ceasefire Agreement and met with the signatory ethnic organizations.  He also met with the resident diplomatic community and representatives of international NGOs.

    Most of Under-Secretary-General Feltman’s discussions focused on the situation in Rakhine State and the plight of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled to Bangladesh in the aftermath of the 25 August attacks on security positions and subsequent military action. He reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call that humanitarian actors be given full and unhindered access to northern Rakhine State and that refugees be allowed voluntary, safe and dignified return to their place of origin. 

    Acknowledging the announcements by the Government of Myanmar, including the State Counsellor’s address to the nation on 12 October, regarding the establishment of programs and policies to address the humanitarian concerns in Rakhine and the return of refugees from Bangladesh, the Under-Secretary-General encouraged the authorities to utilize the capacities, best practices, and extensive experience of the United Nations to help assure that stated intentions could be implemented in a timely and effective manner.

    In northern Rakhine, the Under-Secretary-General viewed dozens of burned and destroyed villages by air and visited several communities affected by the recent violence. He also visited internally displaced persons’ camps outside Sittwe, set up in 2012. He witnessed how, in addition to the documented endemic discrimination against the Rohingya population, socio-economic challenges adversely affect all communities.  Mr. Feltman noted the Government’s endorsement of the recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State and urged their comprehensive implementation, which the United Nations can help support if so requested.

    In discussions with Tatmadaw officials, the Under-Secretary-General noted that, in the UN’s experience, successful counter-terrorism efforts do not rely exclusively on security measures.  He urged the Tatmadaw to support the full implementation of the Advisory Commission’s recommendations and credible investigations into allegations of human rights abuses by security officials in Rakhine.  He underscored the importance of accountability and non-discriminatory rule of law and public safety as part of the comprehensive approach needed to address the fears and distrust among communities in Rakhine.

    The United Nations is committed to supporting Myanmar and Bangladesh in their efforts to find a sustainable solution to the plight of the refugees and people affected by the recent violence and mass displacement. Returning to New York, Mr. Feltman will report to the Secretary-General as the United Nations continues to respond to the humanitarian and human rights crisis and positions itself to work with Myanmar to help relieve the suffering of the Rohingya population and address the grievances and needs of Rakhine and other ethnic groups.

  • 16 окт 2017


  • 11 окт 2017

    The 41st round of the Geneva International Discussions has just concluded.

    In Working Group I dealing with security issues, the situation on the ground was extensively reviewed and assessed as relatively calm and stable. The participants continued discussions and consultations on the topic of non-use of force, including on the content of a joint statement. They agreed to continue consultations on this matter during the period leading up to the next round. The participants also touched upon several other issues, including detentions along the dividing lines, access to farmland, exchange of information on military activities and the need to ensure justice for serious crimes.

    Environmental challenges impacting the livelihoods of the local population were raised by participants in both Working Groups as an issue of particular urgency. The participants agreed to conduct additional consultations in the coming weeks in order to find joint solutions.

    In Working Group II dealing with humanitarian issues, the participants discussed developments affecting the rights of the local population, including freedom of movement, property rights, documentation and education. The exchanges also covered the issues of missing persons, cultural heritage and archives. Unfortunately, because of long-standing divergent positions on the issue of returns of IDPs/refugees, it was again impossible to complete discussion of all agenda items.

    The participants agreed to hold the next round on 12-13 December 2017.

  • 27 сен 2017

    Mr. President,

    Let me update you first on the latest developments, and then turn to the way ahead on the political track and the implementation of Security Council resolution 2254.

    First, what’s happening on the ground. The Amman discussions and the meetings which have taken place very effectively in Astana have created four zones of de-escalation – in the south, in Eastern Ghouta, north of Homs, and in Idlib province. We also now have two other so-called de-confliction zones which have been brokered by the Russian Federation in Ifreen and Eastern Qalamoun. 

    However, the situation, you know it, we know it, remains still fragile. We are concerned by the al Nusra offensive in Idlib and Hama provinces following the Astana meeting, and the heavy fighting that has been taking place there. This includes some of the first airstrikes in the area since April, some allegedly hitting civilians and civilian infrastructure including health facilities, as well as heavy opposition shelling on civilian towns under government control in Hama and Latakia. We are also concerned at heavy fighting in other places. So the situation is far from perfect. Nevertheless, we have to admit, and we want to reaffirm it here, the creation of the de-escalation zones is a very important step in the effort to de-escalate the violence in the whole country and we are seeing the results of it.

    ISIL is being beaten back. Government forces have advanced in the eastern countryside of Hama and Homs and broken the three-year of the so-called siege of, which is taking place de facto in Deir Ez Zor city. The Government and allies recently crossed the Euphrates River. Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces with the backing of the International Coalition made further advances against ISIL, taking control of most of the city of Raqqa, while the SDF-led Deir Ez Zor military council has made advances against ISIL on the eastern banks of the Euphrates.  The Government and its allies have reportedly increased their strikes on SDF positions. Armed opposition groups are also involved in battle against ISIL in Daraa.  I wish to recall the United Nations’ calls for the protection of civilians – and this is the right place to do it – in Idlib, in Deir ez Zor, in Raqqa and elsewhere where fighting is still going on. 

    In the midst of this intensive military activity, while we all recognize that the fighting against ISIL is important, we need to remember that the civilians cannot be punished twice: already because they have been under the rule of ISIL and then because they happen to be unlucky enough to be there when the fighting goes on. I would like to urge that more needs to be done in the field of protection of civilians: more needs to be done to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure from military assault, and to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded access to all civilians in need in Syria, wherever they are. You will hear more from my colleague Mark Lowcock on the latest humanitarian developments.

    Allow me nevertheless to specifically underline the issue of detainees, abductees and missing persons. Thousands of them according to their families are still missing, abducted or detained. We have not seen any progress on this issue – neither in Astana, despite several attempts and hopes; nor in Geneva. A very large number of Syrian families are suffering from the absence of their all detained or missing relatives, and lack above all information on their fate. They don’t even know if they are alive or not. The time has come to address this issue now as a major priority, particularly in this period when we see de-escalation taking place.

    I also hope that concrete results can be achieved in the near future on the issue of humanitarian mine action - I hate mines, I had three of my colleagues killed by mines both in Afghanistan and in Iraq. I’ve seen them in action -  as this would constitute another important confidence-building measure. I note with interest the ongoing dialogue between UNMAS and the Government of Syria in this regard.


    Mr. President,

    There is wide consensus that de-escalation arrangements must not lead to a soft partition of Syria, must not lead to a soft partition of Syria, and that Syria’s unity and territorial integrity must be fully upheld. I found many common perspectives through the hundreds of Syrians we are meeting regularly; Syrians of all backgrounds have voiced their strong rejection of any partitioning of Syria – its territory and its people.

    That is why de-escalation should be a pre-cursor to a truly nation-wide ceasefire, and to action on the humanitarian and confidence-building fronts – the issues identified in paras 12-14 of 2254. The Astana effort -- and the Amman one too -- should be seen as laying the basis for a renewed Geneva process -- one that moves from preparatory talks into genuine negotiations on the political future of Syria as envisaged in resolution 2254, tackling all four baskets of the agenda, and as welcomed by this Council.


    Mr. President,

    I have engaged both sides, as well as all those who have an influence over them, during the General Assembly, which has been as usual very useful. I attended a number of multilateral meetings in its margins, including one convened by the European Union - and I want to thank the European Union for that initiative - with a wide cross-section of international actors. I also had the opportunity to visit Washington on Monday, while my Deputy, Ambassador Ramzy, visited Moscow yesterday and today. I intend to maintain a high level of engagement with all concerned countries and Syrian parties in the weeks ahead.

    We will continue to engage with all participants in the Civil Society Support Room and to draw on the insights of the Women’s Advisory Board. Participants from both have strongly underscored to me the expectations of a broad cross section of Syrians for an inclusive political solution reflecting the interests of all Syrians and grounded in human rights, equality, and justice. They continue to call attention to the voices missing from the political process, including women who are half the population if not more. They should have an equal voice in the decisions shaping the future of their country.

    I wish to confirm today my intention to convene the 8th round of the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva – I discussed it with the Secretary-General yesterday – in about a month from now – the precise date is to be determined. It should be no later than end October or very early in November. I am reaffirming that timeframe so that all concerned can use the crucial month from now until then to create conditions for those talks to be particularly meaningful. And I am calling on both sides – I repeat, both sides – to assess the situation with realism and responsibility to the people of Syria and to prepare seriously to participate in the Geneva talks without preconditions – without preconditions. Let me explain exactly what we mean by that.

    We believe the Government has an interest and indeed a duty to genuinely negotiate with the opposition that this Council has identified by name in 2254. Until now, the Government has conditioned its readiness to move from talks to real negotiations on the issue of opposition unity, and a commitment to certain essential principles. I also know how important the terrorism and counter-terrorism issue has been to the Government. But it is precisely at this time, as terrorism is starting to be defeated in Syria, - and we are watching it with our own eyes - that we need to preserve those gains on the ground and sustain them through a real and inclusive political process – guided by resolution 2254.

    The Government therefore should be urged to show by word and action that it genuinely wants to have a negotiation about credible, inclusive governance locally and centrally; about a schedule and process for a new constitution; about UN supervised elections -- all while the sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Syria are preserved -- all while terrorism is combatted and defeated. It is important that those states who are friends of the Syrian Government encourage it to show its readiness to move forward, including on the substance of 2254, the agenda of the baskets, not just in broad terms, but in specifics, with details, sequencing and implementation modalities. This will not be easy, but it has to start, and the United Nations will be more than willing to be an honest broker in enabling real negotiations with the opposition.

    For its part, we also believe that the opposition has an interest and indeed a duty now to signal that it does want to speak with one voice and with a common platform in genuine negotiations with the Government on those 4 baskets and on the implementation of resolution 2254. No one is asking the opposition to suddenly stop being the opposition – but we are urging the opposition to realize that it is at its most credible and effective when it stands together, and shows readiness to negotiate, which means to give and take.

    In this regard, there has been a lot of hard work done by my office frankly. There is much to build from. My office facilitated valuable technical work of the three opposition platforms from May to July. The opposition should be urged now to take the opportunity presented by the effort of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to convene what they call an inclusive Riyadh 2 conference – which we hope and trust will take place in October before the Geneva talks and before Astana. That conference should be the time and place for the opposition, with the encouragement of those who have influence over it – and some of them are in this room – to ensure that it comes together, and presents a strategic approach to the negotiation process to realize the vision which remains always the same of 2254. The United Nations is ready to support this in any way we can.

    Let me caution all sides against illusions of victory or dreams of shortcuts. There is no substitute for a UN, internationally supported process based in Geneva on a comprehensive and inclusive approach that also helps Syrians to re-discover a modicum of trust and social cohesion after this bitter conflict.

    We need to remember: hundreds of thousands are dead, and millions carry the physical or psychological wounds of a brutal conflict. Millions are displaced, either within Syria or beyond, even as some are trying to return home. Thousands are detained, thousands have disappeared – many without a trace, and with no progress on revealing their fate. Infrastructure – particularly civilian infrastructure – has been destroyed on a scale that is not imaginable. Internationally proscribed terrorist groups, even if they are on the back foot today and they have shown their resilience in other places of the world in surviving battlefield reverses and thriving again – which they will or they could if there is no new political compact that enables the society to transition to a shared, inclusive, democratic future. The need to address the unmet grievances that exist in Syria is apparent to me from the range of Syrian voices who are not aligned neither with the Government nor the opposition.

    That is why, Mr. President, the time has come for the focus to return to Geneva, and the intra-Syrian talks under the auspices of the United Nations – yourselves. That is the only forum in which the transitional political process envisaged by this Council in resolution 2254 can be developed with the Syrian parties themselves, with the full legitimacy that the UN provides and the backing of the international community. We have a month until those talks - that is why we want to all work in this month. Let us use it to prepare them well.

    Thank you, Mr. President.


  • 19 сен 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    49-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.  Встреча была деловой и довольно конструктивной.

    Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная с предыдущей встречи МПРИ, была оценена как спокойная и стабильная.

    Участники продолжили обсуждение по делу от 19 мая 2016 г. об убийстве гражданского лица грузинской национальности на одной из бывших точек пересечения. Они обменялись информацией относительно предыдущих и недавних задержаний местных жителей, связанных с предполагаемыми “незаконными пересечениями”. Вновь прозвучал призыв рассматривать такие случаи с гуманитарной и административной точки зрения, а не как уголовное преступление. Участники также продолжили обсуждение касательно вопросов, связанных с пересечениями школьниками для получения образования на языке их выбора.

    Участникам было предложено уделить должное внимание предотвращению инцидентов и тесно сотрудничать в этом отношении, включая предоставление заблаговременных  извещений о значимой деятельности и активное использование горячей линии связи, которая доказала свою эффективность.

    Кроме того, участники продолжили использовать возможности на полях встречи для проведения интенсивных двусторонних обсуждений по интересующим их вопросам и укреплению доверия.

    Участники согласились провести следующую встречу 25 октября 2017 г. 


  • 19 сен 2017

    On 19 September 2017, the 49th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. The meeting was businesslike and rather constructive.

    The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting was assessed as calm and stable.

    The participants followed up on the 19 May 2016 killing case of a Georgian civilian man at one of the former crossing points. They exchanged information on previous and recent detentions of local residents related to alleged “illegal crossings”. An appeal was reiterated to handle such cases from a humanitarian and administrative angle, rather than as a criminal offence. The participants also followed up on the issues related to crossings by schoolchildren to access education in the language of their choice.

    The participants were called upon to give due attention to prevention of incidents and to closely cooperate in this respect, including by provision of an advance notice of sensitive activities and the active use of hotline, which has proven its effectiveness.

    Furthermore, the participants continued to take the opportunity in the margins of the meeting to conduct intensive bilateral discussions on issues of their interest and confidence building.

    The participants agreed to hold the next meeting on 25 October 2017. 

  • 18 сен 2017

    Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

    We are grateful to Norway for convening and chairing this important forum. 

    Last month, I accompanied the Secretary-General in his first visit to Israel and Palestine in his new capacity. In the visit, he had the chance to speak with Palestinians and Israelis and with their leadership about their concerns, hopes and aspirations. The Secretary-General came away more convinced than ever that there is no alternative to the two-state solution that can bring an end to the conflict and meet the legitimate national aspirations and security needs of both sides.

    The evolving situation in the occupied Palestinian territory these past few months is deeply worrying. A man-made humanitarian crisis in Gaza is rapidly deteriorating, somewhat slowed by the United Nations delivery of fuel to key infrastructure facilities. The situation also remains volatile in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with little hope for a political breakthrough on the horizon.   

    The development needs of the Palestinian people, however, cannot be held hostage to the political stalemate. Israel, the Palestinian Leadership and the international community must each take tangible steps to improve socio-economic conditions on the ground and to protect human rights.

    However, economic development, critical as it is, is no substitute for sovereignty and statehood. Efforts aimed at achieving both must proceed in parallel. We must simultaneously pursue a three track approach — a political process with the clear objectives of two states living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition; a substantial effort to improve the socio-economic conditions of Palestinians that would reduce the vast discrepancies between the two societies; and an active engagement with the region to support the process.   

    This approach also requires dealing with the obstacles to meaningful engagement.

    Settlement activity remains a substantial impediment to the implementation of the two-state solution. It is illegal under international law and needs to stop. Violence and incitement, as well as the political divisions between Gaza and the West Bank also present substantial challenges to peace.

    Let me address also the situation in Gaza which is rapidly deteriorating and remains of grave concern for all of us. Hamas’ rule and militant buildup have continued for ten years. Israel’s restrictive closures also remains a key impediment to Gaza’s development. This long-standing reality is further exacerbated by the internal political divide between Fatah and Hamas.

    In this regard,  I welcome the recent statement by Hamas announcing the dissolution of the Administrative Committee in Gaza and agreement to allow the Government of National Consensus to assume its responsibilities in the Strip.

    I commend the Egyptian authorities for their tireless efforts in creating this positive momentum and I encourage all parties to seize this opportunity to restore unity and open a new page for the Palestinian people. This should facilitate the removal of Israeli closures on Gaza, in line with Security Council Resolution 1860.

    The United Nations stands ready to assist all efforts in this respect, most notably to address the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza and crippling electricity crisis.

    When I visited Gaza with the Secretary-General, I saw firsthand the deep sense of isolation within the population.

    Let me be clear - the risk of a major humanitarian breakdown is very high today as essential services are largely operating on back-up generators and with fuel provided by the UN.

    Today, our first priority should be to urgently stabilize the electricity supply by restoring the electricity coming from Israel to at least to pre-crisis levels. Once this is done we can seize the momentum and create a facility to finance the necessary infrastructure upgrades and increase electricity supply without a negative effect on the already strained Palestinian budget.


    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    In conclusion, on the occasion of this AHLC, as we renew our commitment to support the development of the State of Palestine, we must take stock of the progress achieved to date. The formidable challenges notwithstanding, the Palestinian Authority has made tremendous strides in its ability to deliver services and expand its economy. These are laudable achievements, absolutely, but not an end goal. For more than 20 years, we have told Palestinians that they need to focus on institution building and socio-economic development. We have encouraged and supported them in preparing for statehood. The time has come for us to deliver on that promise.

    In this context, I want to express the steadfast commitment of the United Nations to do everything in its power to realize the two-state solution, to protect human rights and to advance the development aspirations of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory.

    Today, I hope that we can together commit to systematically easing the political constraints to Palestine’s development and statehood. I hope you will all take back to your capitals the urgency of the situation and a clear vision of the way forward.

    I wish you the very best in your endeavors. 

  • 13 сен 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin (S/2017/764).  

    Mr. President,

    Allow me to comment first on security and political developments. Thanks to coordination among affected countries, we have witnessed encouraging progress in the fight against Boko Haram.  The Secretary-General commends the Governments of the region for their efforts, including through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). Without question, Boko Haram’s combat capacity has diminished.  But to compensate for this, Boko Haram has changed tactics, increasing the use of suicide attacks.

    We thank the Government of Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross for efforts in the release of an additional 82 girls kidnapped from Chibok in north-east Nigeria in 2014. The recent visit to Nigeria by the Deputy Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UN Women shed further light on the plight of women and girls in the Lake Chad Basin.

    Unfortunately the fight is far from over.  130 attacks attributed to Boko Haram in the four affected countries in June and July resulted in 284 civilian fatalities, a significant increase compared to 146 attacks and 107 civilian fatalities in April and May. The most affected countries remained Nigeria, followed by Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

    In terms of political advocacy, the two Special Representatives of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and for West Africa and the Sahel regularly visit the affected countries to promote enhanced inter-regional cooperation. They propose a regional strategy to address the root causes of the crisis. Such a strategy should be owned and supported by the affected countries as well as the relevant sub-regional organizations:  the Economic Community for Central African States, the Economic Community for West African States and the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

    The Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in February, and the visit by this Council in March brought needed attention to the long neglected crisis in the Lake Chad Basin. The UN and international partners are working to sustain the momentum created by these events. Last week in Berlin, the UN participated in the first Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Oslo Consultative Group on Prevention and Stabilization in the Lake Chad Region.  This brought together representatives of the affected countries, donors and regional and sub-regional organizations. Discussions focused on addressing the structural causes of the crisis, including community stabilization, restoration of services, local governance systems and prevention of violence.


    Mr. President,

    Turning to the development challenges, I note that the Lake Chad Basin crisis has wreaked havoc on basic infrastructure, assets and government services. Insecurity has sparked large-scale unemployment and left 1 million school-age children deprived of education. The substantial economic impact of the crisis has reached nearly $9 billion across north-east Nigeria alone.  Poverty, low legitimacy of the State, human insecurity and climate change, among other challenges, compound this dire situation. As is so often the case, women and the youth are key risk groups.

    Conflict and displacement have eroded, and in some cases ruptured, the bonds between and within communities. Intra-communal structures and processes that traditionally regulated violence and resolved conflicts have weakened. We detect worrying signs of social fragmentation as tensions emerge from ethno-religious, social and other divisions, including between IDPs and host communities. Unless robust peacebuilding efforts are introduced, reintegration of ex-combatants, including from Boko Haram and vigilante groups, risks creating additional tensions and heighten the risks of secondary conflict.

    In addition, the report notes the need for greater attention and funding to support development interventions including community stabilization, economic revitalization and prevention to build community resilience and ensure durable solutions.


    Mr. President,

    Yesterday, Under-Secretary-General Lowcock of OCHA concluded his first visit to Niger and Nigeria to raise international visibility on the humanitarian situation,  discuss with the Governments and consider practical steps to further strengthen the response.

    Despite significant progress made in reaching affected people in the Lake Chad basin, the humanitarian needs in the region continue to be staggering. Some 10.7 million people require humanitarian assistance. With 8.5 million people in need, north-east Nigeria is again enduring the worst of this crisis. Funding continue to fall significantly short. At present, the regional appeal requesting $1.5 billion for 2017 is funded at only 40%.

    The region now faces the rainy season, when food insecurity is at its worst, with thousands of farmers having missed four planting seasons in a row due to conflict, resulting insecurity and displacements. Across the region, 7.2 million people are severely food insecure, including 5.2 million in north-east Nigeria, where an estimated 50,000 people are at highest risk of famine.

    The crisis displaced an estimated 2.4 million people, including 1.5 million children. New displacements occur alongside the return of IDPs and refugees. Given the continued insecurity and lack of basic services in many affected areas, involuntary and unsafe returns of refugees and IDPs must be avoided at all costs.


    Mr. President,

    On human rights, we are deeply concerned with the continued violations by Boko Haram, including killings, forceful use of children as suicide bombers and sexual and gender-based violence against women and children. Perpetrators must be brought to justice.

    The UN has also received numerous allegations of serious human rights violations committed in the context of counter-terrorism operations. The UN continues to advocate strongly with MNJTF to put forward a clear strategy to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, including by recruiting a dedicated gender adviser within its civilian component.

    The report notes our conviction that we must develop a common understanding that human rights violations are among the root causes of instability in the Lake Chad Basin and that impunity will fuel the crisis. Investing in traditional justice mechanisms at the community level is essential to sustainable reconciliation and stability. Prevention of terrorist activities, stabilization and recovery initiatives must integrate the human rights dimension.

    Sexual violence remains appallingly widespread in the region. It is a driver of forced displacement and a particular risk in displacement settings, where conflict-affected women and children are exposed to daily risks of exploitation. Those suffering from acute physical and psychological trauma need urgent medical and psychosocial care. The UN is exploring options for the deployment of dedicated expertise on conflict-related sexual violence to north-east Nigeria.

    The UN faces a serious funding shortage to deploy human rights monitors across the region. We reiterate our call to the international community to generously contribute funds to enable UN to support the establishment of national and regional mechanisms for the systematic monitoring and reporting of the human rights situation.


    Mr. President,

    Allow me to touch on SSR and DDR.  The lack of a comprehensive approach in addressing Boko Haram defectors, including clear and transparent criteria that are human rights-compliant and in line with the international terrorism framework, produces multiple challenges. Despite good faith, ad hoc efforts result in thousands of persons being irregularly detained and/or unpredictably processed. This situation is not productive, sustainable or in accordance with the rule of law, and justice is not served.


    Mr. President,

    In our view, the MNJTF efforts remain indispensable in resolving the crisis. However, the heavy financial investment borne by regional countries comes at a high cost:  Governments have no choice but to divert much of their national budgets from development to addressing national and regional security. Within the UN, Member States are careful to make sure that we do not shift development and humanitarian funds to peace and security work; we would hope that the affected countries could attract the support to do the same.  We welcome the pledges already made and encourage the further timely disbursement of contributions to enable MNJTF to address the challenges it faces.


    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,                            

    In conclusion, I note that the complex and increasingly protracted nature of the Lake Chad Basin crisis calls for innovative and integrated solutions that bridge traditional divides between humanitarian and development strategies. UN is committed to adopting a New Way of Working that will address the urgent needs of the affected populations and the root causes of the crisis in a coordinated and phased manner. I urge all partners to redouble their efforts to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the affected populations, as well as early and longer term recovery. That is the basis to build resilience and assure durable solutions to the crisis.

    We encourage, once again, the affected countries to jointly elaborate a regional strategy to address the root causes of the crisis. We hope that the planned regional conference on stabilization in N’Djaména, in October, will be the first step towards the development of such a strategy.

    We in the UN remain committed to working with regional countries on ending the violence, protecting civilians, promoting human development and alleviating the suffering in the Lake Chad Basin. We can prevent this crisis from growing but that would require greater political and financial support to the Lake Basin region. The Side-event on 21 September, in the margins of the General Assembly, will be a key opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its support for the region.

    Thank you for your attention.

  • 4 сен 2017

    Mr. President,

    Members of the Security Council,

    In a statement by its official news agency on 3 September 2017, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) announced that it had successfully conducted a sixth nuclear explosive test.

    The DPRK characterized the event as a quote “perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)” end quote. The DPRK further said that it also – quote – “marked a very significant occasion in attaining the final goal of completing the state nuclear force” end quote.

    The Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna said in a statement that the organization’s monitoring stations had picked up an unusual seismic event in the area of the site used in the DPRK for its previous nuclear tests.

    The CTBTO’s data indicated that the event measured approximately 6.0 in magnitude. Governmental sources from UN Member States measured a yield as high as 6.3. In any case, it is evident the yield of the device was larger than any of the DPRK’s previous nuclear tests. Experts have estimated a yield of between 50 and 100 kilotons, or on average more than five times more powerful than the weapon detonated over Hiroshima and at the low end of the yield of a modern thermonuclear weapon.

     The CTBTO detected a second smaller seismic event at the location of the DPRK test site eight and half minutes after the main event. The CTBTO has not yet completed its analysis of this second event, but experts have speculated that it could have been caused by the collapse of the tunnel used in the nuclear test.

    Mr. President, in an earlier statement the same day, the DPRK official media reported that their leader had inspected what they claimed to be a hydrogen bomb, which was conspicuously displayed in front of a payload fairing for a Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile. The DPRK article stated that the hydrogen bomb was quote “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated even at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP attack” end quote. This was a rare reference by the DPRK to the use of EMP, an electromagnetic pulse, which triggered by a nuclear weapon would aim for widespread damage and disruption to electricity grids and sensitive electronics, including on satellites.

    Mr. President, this is the second emergency Security Council meeting on non-proliferation/DPRK in less than a week and the tenth time the Security Council has met to discuss the DPRK this year. On 31 August, the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement to reject the Security Council’s recent Presidential Statement and said that the ballistic missile launch of 29 August was the quote “first step taken by the Korean People’s Army in its Pacific operation and a meaningful prelude to restraining Guam” end quote. There are reports today indicating that the DPRK may be preparing new ballistic missile tests.

    Mr. President, we are alarmed by this dangerous provocation. The Secretary-General condemns the underground nuclear test announced by the DPRK. This act is yet another serious breach of the DPRK’s international obligations and undermines international non-proliferation and disarmament efforts. This act is also profoundly destabilizing for regional and international security. The DPRK is the only country that continues to break the norm against nuclear test explosions. The Secretary-General reiterates his call on the DPRK leadership to cease such acts and to comply fully with its international obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General counts on the Security Council to remain united and take appropriate action. As was said in the Security Council meeting last week, as tensions rise, so does the risk of misunderstanding, miscalculation and escalation.

    The latest serious developments require a comprehensive response in order to break the cycle of provocations from the DPRK. Such a response must include wise and bold diplomacy to be effective.

    As the Council considers its reaction, the Secretary-General reiterates the importance of responding to humanitarian imperatives regardless of the political situation. The people of the DPRK rely on the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.

    We will continue to carefully follow the developments and remain in close coordination with the concerned international organizations, Members of the Council and other governments concerned.

    Thank you.



  • 30 авг 2017

    Mr. President,

    I last briefed the Security Council after the 7th round of the Intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, which concluded on the 14th of July. Since then, we have been active in a range of diplomatic efforts and continuing contacts. I have recently held high-level consultations in Tehran and Paris, and my Deputy Special Envoy, Ambassador Ramzy, was earlier in Moscow and is currently in Saudi Arabia. Contacts are continuing with other actors as we seek to lay the ground for further rounds of talks that bring the parties into a genuine negotiation.

    Let me now elaborate on how I assess the situation at present, and what we think we can expect in the period ahead – in de-escalating violence, in combatting terrorism, and in advancing the political process.

    While undoubtfully there is still violence in Syria, the trend of de-escalation and the operationalization of de-escalation zones is indeed continuing. We are encouraged by the calm in the southwest, and the opening of a trilateral Amman Monitoring Centre by the Russian Federation, the United States of America and Jordan. Meanwhile, following a series of agreements with armed groups, including with the active support of Egypt and the Russian Federation, we have seen a significant reduction of violence in parts of the Ghouta de-escalation zone, although not in all of it. In Homs, we note that the Russian Federation's efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement are continuing. We are worried about reports of shelling and airstrikes north of Homs city, which we believe require the guarantors’ urgent attention.

    Meantime, the situation in Idlib is complex and complicated and needs close attention. Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham – or as we still continue to call it, the former al-Nusra, a terrorist group identified by this Council – has seized territory from other armed opposition groups in this area. Its stated intention is to set up some kind of new Al-Nursa dominated administration. It is very important that Astana guarantors, in liaison with the Government and armed opposition groups, come to a speedy agreement to operationalize the de-escalation zone in Idlib. This will also require a very important element: protecting civilians; but that will be addressed I am sure by my colleague, Steven O’Brien.

    As efforts to combat terrorism continue, we are seeing ISIL/Daesh’s area of control being constantly shrunk – something I think everybody welcomes in the ongoing fight against terrorism. While the Government of Syria is proceeding towards Deir Ez-Zor, the Lebanese army has advanced against ISIL/Daesh on the Lebanese side of the border. The Syrian Democratic Forces and the US-led coalition continue their efforts to eliminate ISIL from Raqqa, while the Russian Federation is supporting the Government of Syria in proceeding towards Deir Ez-Zor.

    And while military operations are underway, rapid, safe, and sustained humanitarian access remains indeed essential, as well as the work for the release of the arbitrarily detained persons, and to shed light on the fate of the thousands of disappeared. All parties must also do their utmost to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure while this is happening. I am sure my colleague and friend, Under-Secretary-General O’Brien – who I would like to thank personally for his immense efforts on Syria – will further address these issues in his briefing on the humanitarian aspects. I also want to thank UNMAS for its continued readiness to support humanitarian demining efforts.


    Mr. President,

    The developments I have described are the result of a very timely process of prioritization and cooperation among key external players, and a realization among internal players of the need to compromise. The challenge ahead will be to extend this spirit into the political realm. This requires clear and new thinking from the opposition and the Government, and enhanced international cooperation.

    Let me start with the opposition. The opposition invitees to the Geneva talks – i.e. the HNC, the Cairo Platform and the Moscow Platform, those specified in SCR 2254 – have important and urgent work to do to develop common negotiating positions and strengthen their unity. It is high time. I briefed you last time on progress we have made with them in two rounds of UN technical talks in Geneva and nearby – there was important substantive progress, which should now be used as a springboard for further efforts. Given that many developments are taking place elsewhere between the actors of the opposition, we have refrained from holding further UN technical talks to give time for these developments to unfold and progress. But time must not be lost. Elevating common technical commonalities to the political level remains an imperative.

    I am grateful to Saudi Arabia for taking the initiative for a new, more inclusive meeting of the opposition – a Riyadh 2 conference as it is called, including with the hosting of a preparatory meeting last week. Our technical work and political support will be important contributions to these efforts. We will work closely with Saudi Arabia and all who have traditionally supported or engaged with the opposition in this pursuit. I recall in this respect that 2254 does encourage me to be active in any finalization effort in this regard.


    Mr. President,

    As we counsel fresh thinking and initiative on the part of the opposition, we may also need to do the same with the Government. The Government has indicated that it would be prepared to intensify its engagement with a unified opposition and with clarity on principles that govern the political process. But there are times when strong public signals are sent that indicate an exclusively military approach, and a dismissal of the prospects of any meaningful political negotiation.

    However, we have seen too many instances in other conflicts where, despite military advances, a government has not been able to turn those gains into a sustainable post-conflict situation, due to unmet political grievance and lack of genuine inclusion of all in the future of the country. That’s why we are convinced that both the Government and the Opposition should have a genuine interest now to engage in a serious discussion.

    Ultimately, it will only be Syrians who determine the future of their country. But an internationally supported and inclusive political process will be required to lay the foundation for a sustainable future, and for genuine reconstruction.

    It is in the profound interests of the long-suffering people of Syria that the government and the opposition realize that the time has come to engage in a more serious and concrete negotiation.


    Mr. President,

    In this regard, I would like to note that we are not only focused on the government and opposition, but are listening to the full range of Syrian stakeholders.

    Immediately after the 7th round, our OSE Civil Society Support Room completed regional consultations in Beirut, Gaziantep and Amman. These discussions involved over 120 actors and networks stemming from the Syrian civil society, establishing the foundations for future consultations in Geneva. It is becoming increasingly clear from these consultations that regardless of their perceived differences, all Syrians are impatient for the conflict to end and the political process to deliver. We will continue to encourage and facilitate their collective work.

    Let me also update you on the Women Advisory Board. Following its regular contributions to the work that was done during the 7th round of intra-Syrian talks, the 12-member board is currently undergoing a rotation exercise to ensure continuous diversity of perspectives.

    I count on the continued support of the Women Advisory Board to advise me and my team to ensure the meaningful representation of diverse women’s voices and women’s rights perspectives in the political process as we move forward. And we hope to see the same, both in the delegation of the opposition and of the Government.


    Mr. President,

    So, how do we bring all of this activity together into one common effort in the coming months to genuinely advance a political solution? What is the path forward?

    First, Russia, Iran and Turkey and others – including the United States of America, Egypt and Jordan – will need to keep actively working, as they have been doing, on de-escalation. The next Astana meeting, now scheduled for 14 and 15 September, should help to address these matters, and I and my team will be there to help.

    Second, it will be important that Saudi Arabia and all who have influence with the opposition focus as they are currently doing on one plan to foster the cohesion and realism of the opposition. We shall on our side be actively involved in that too, while, let me reiterate, standing ready for my office to convene further technical talks to support what Saudi Arabia has been trying to do in unifying the opposition.

    Third, it will be vital for those with influence on the Government of Syria to [urge it to] assess the situation carefully and signal a genuine readiness for dialogue and inclusion on the political future of Syria.

    Fourth, I appreciate the continued engagement and support of the European Union, and view the meeting it intends to host during the General Assembly as an opportunity to address future resilience and stabilization efforts and support the humanitarian needs of civilians.

    Bearing all this in mind, Mr. President, it is my intention to re-convene the formal intra-Syrian talks in Geneva later in October. This is designed to give time for the dynamics I have just described to reach a further stage of maturity. It is my hope that both the Syrian Government and the opposition will come to Geneva then to engage in formal negotiations.  


    Mr. President,

    This is a time for realism and focus, for shifting from the logic of war to that of negotiation, and for putting the interests of the Syrian people first. If I could identify one thing above all that can make the difference, it will be a sense of unity of purpose internationally with clear priorities and common goals.

    We need to find creative ways to proceed along the path of peace that this Council, with SCR 2254, has long sought to advance. With that, and our common encouragement to the Syrians in this regard, we can make a real difference in this tragic conflict. I also look forward to the occasion of the forthcoming General Assembly to see further occasions and initiatives related to an accelerated political process in Syria.

    Let me summarize so that we have on our radar screen some points that may be helping us to focus. First, our Security Council meeting and your own deliberations. Second, Astana is due to take place, and we want them to succeed and look at additional de-escalation areas. Then the opportunity that all of us will have at the General Assembly to promote and push for discussions, initiatives, related to an accelerated political process for Syria. Then, in October, we hope to see – and we will be working and pushing for it – that the Riyadh 2 meeting will contribute to produce a common platform among the oppositions, hoping meanwhile that the Government will also be helped to realize that there is now a need for a genuine and concrete political negotiation.

    Meanwhile, we hope that Deir Ez-Zor and Raqqa will be moving towards liberation. Hence, there will be even more urge for a sustainable political solution so that Daesh will not reappear again like it did in Iraq.

    Late October: Geneva talks. This time, we hope, serious ones, concrete ones. We are planning for two weeks in a row. That is basically what we are seeing on our radar screen. Things may happen to support the political process, to stop it, to complicate it or to move it forward, but we need a to have a common vision.

    Thank you, Mr. President.

  • 24 авг 2017

    Monsieur le Président, Distingués Membres du Conseil,

    C’est pour moi un insigne honneur de prendre la parole pour vous présenter le dernier rapport du Secrétaire général sur la situation en Guinée-Bissau et les activités du Bureau Intégré des Nations Unies pour la Consolidation de la Paix dans ce pays (BINUGBIS).

    Notamment, je souhaite vous présenter mon analyse des derniers développements dans le processus de résolution de la crise en Guinée-Bissau, des étapes immédiates qui reste à franchir, et du rôle qu’il serait souhaitable que les Etats membres et le BINUGBIS continuent à jouer en vue d’assurer une stabilité à long terme et la réalisation du plein potentiel de développement économique et social du pays.

    A cet égard, j’aimerais souligner que l’Accord de Conakry et la feuille de route de la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO), demeurent le cadre principal pour résoudre la crise actuelle et aider la Guinée-Bissau à s’attaquer aux causes structurelles de l’instabilité politique et des blocages institutionnels récurrents depuis son indépendance. La mise en œuvre de cet Accord et de la feuille de route nécessite la volonté des acteurs politiques de la Guinée-Bissau, ainsi qu’un engagement dans la durée de la communauté internationale.  

    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    The political situation in Guinea-Bissau has evolved since my last briefing to the Council in February. Three months ago, tensions had reached a new peak leading the Guinea-Bissau based Group of International Partners to publicly express, on 26 May, concern over increasing inflammatory rhetoric and the threats of violent street demonstrations and to reiterate calls for restraint made by ECOWAS and the Security Council, among others.

    By contrast, in recent weeks, the tone of media coverage in the country has quieted down and dialogue aimed at resolving the political impasse within the framework of the Conakry Agreement has resumed between the parties to the crisis. In July, for the first time since the start of the crisis in 2015, bilateral discussions took place between the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the People’s National Assembly and leaders of the main political parties.  I congratulate Bissau-Guinean political actors for these positive developments.

    I must also acknowledge the continued efforts of the international community to convey the need for urgency in the implementation of the Conakry Agreement; the commitment of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to maintain their focus and engagement on the crisis and their  determination to impose, if need be, targeted sanctions on those who obstruct the implementation of the Conakry Agreement ; as well as the intense facilitation efforts led by the Women’s Facilitation Group—with advisory, technical and operational support from UNIOGBIS.


    Distinguished Members of the Council,

    Next month, the three-month mandate extension for the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau (ECOMIB) by the sub-regional organization to enable Guinea-Bissau’s political actors to fully implement the Conakry Agreement will expire.

    The resolution of the crisis in Guinea-Bissau, within the framework of the Conakry Agreement, requires our continued engagement and support. As I brief you today, I believe that essential conditions exist for the implementation of this Agreement. To capitalize on recent positive developments and on the considerable concerted international efforts, I call upon the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government and the Security Council to jointly:

    • Exhort the President of the Republic to abide by his commitment to implement the Conakry Agreement within the timeframe provided by ECOWAS;
    • Exhort the leadership of PAIGC and the remaining members of the group of 15 parliamentarians expelled from PAIGC to complete their effective reintegration into the party;  
    • Encourage the leadership of PAIGC and the Party for Social Renewal (PRS), as well the three other parties represented in Parliament, to reach an agreement on a stability pact to ensure the stability of the inclusive government.


    Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

    As we enter a sensitive electoral period, with the legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 2018 and 2019, respectively, requisite measures must be taken to create an environment conducive to the holding of free, peaceful and credible polls.

    I therefore urge Member States to consider ways to financially support the continued presence of ECOMIB through the full implementation of the Conakry Agreement and the completion of the next electoral cycle.


    Distinguished Members of the Council,

    Recent positive developments include the continuation of processes around national reconciliation, through the Organizing Commission for the National Conference on reconciliation and with the support of UNIOGBIS; on combatting drug trafficking and serious organized crime, with joint support from UNIOGBIS and UNODC; as well as on mainstreaming women’s human rights and gender equality.

    Progress on the implementation of reform of the Security Sector has been slow, although the process has seen some positive developments, including the recent endorsement of an ambitious three year Joint Programme on Justice, Police and Corrections, which focuses on building the capacities of national law enforcement agencies and strengthening the national justice system. I have called on the members of the Peacebuilding Commission to support resource mobilization efforts to ensure the immediate implementation of this programme.

    On the economic front, economic growth is forecast to reach 5.2 percent on account of another strong cashew harvest in a context of attractive prices on the international markets. According to the IMF, the country has made notable progress in improving the macroeconomic frameworks and the management of the public expenditures. Better domestic resource mobilization in the absence of budget support has enabled the regular payment of salaries in the public sector.


    Distingués membres du Conseil,

     L’engagement concerté, et sur le long terme, de la CEDEAO, de la Communauté des pays de langue portugaise (CPLP), de l’Union Africaine, de l’Union Européenne et des Nations Unies reste crucial pour appuyer la mise en œuvre de l'Accord de Conakry. Ce n’est qu’en remplissant les conditions minimales posées par l’Accord que le pays pourra avancer dans le processus de réformes, organiser des élections crédibles et apaisées, canaliser les ressources nationales, et mobiliser l’assistance internationale nécessaire au soutien de ses efforts de développement socio-économique pour le bien-être de son peuple.

    J’encourage la CEDEAO à effectuer une mission d’évaluation de la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de Conakry par le biais de son Comité ministériel de haut niveau, conformément à la dernière décision de la Conférence des Chefs d’état et de gouvernement. Cela permettra à l’organisation de prendre la mesure des défis qui restent à relever, et de recommander des actions appropriées. J’encourage également les Chefs d’Etat de la CEDEAO à organiser une rencontre sur la Guinée-Bissau en marge de la prochaine session de l’Assemblée Générale. De plus, la concrétisation de la visite envisagée par le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l'Union Africaine à Bissau au cours de cette année, en vue de suivre la mise en œuvre des décisions de l'Union Africaine et de la CEDEAO, serait une contribution importante au maintien de l’engagement de la communauté internationale aux côtés de la Guinée-Bissau. A cet égard, il serait souhaitable que telle visite puisse être effectuée conjointement avec le Conseil de Sécurité des Nation Unies.

    J'aimerais saisir cette occasion pour réitérer mes remerciements au Conseil pour l’intérêt qu’il n’a cessé de manifester concernant l’évolution de la situation en Guinée-Bissau, comme en attestent les réunions et déclarations de presse à ce sujet. Il est important que le Conseil maintienne son engagement. A cet égard, une session spéciale de consultations pourrait être consacrée à la Guinée-Bissau en marge de la prochaine Assemblée générale des Nations Unies pour s’accorder sur les prochaines étapes afin d’assurer la résolution de la crise.

    J’adresse mes félicitations à la CEDEAO et à son président en exercice, le Président Faure Gnassingbé du Togo, ainsi qu’au médiateur de la CEDEAO pour la Guinée-Bissau, le Président Alpha Condé de Guinée, pour leur engagement inébranlable en faveur de la stabilité dans ce pays et leurs efforts de médiation. Mes remerciements vont également à l’endroit de tous les partenaires régionaux et internationaux, notamment l’UA, la CPLP et l’UE, avec lesquels le BINUGBIS continuera à travailler de manière étroite afin d’aider le pays à maintenir le cap vers la stabilité durable et la prospérité, facteurs de paix et de stabilité régionale et internationale.

    Je vous remercie de votre attention. 

  • 24 авг 2017

    Thank you very much Mr. President for the opportunity to brief the Council on the situation in South Sudan. My remarks build on the briefing provided by Assistant Secretary General Wane and cover the developments relating to a resumption of a political process in South Sudan.


    Mister President,

    Since my last briefing two months ago, the five internal and regional initiatives to address the crisis in one form or another indicate continuing concern over the trajectory and depth of the conflict, without any of them so far presenting a definite breakthrough in the political impasses. However, I remain hopeful that some or a combination of them, may have the potential to positively impact the situation. 

    As we have heard from ASG Wane, there is sporadic fighting and widespread insecurity across the country. Our engagements with South Sudanese interlocutors, including the opposition, suggest that battlefield fortunes continue to inform the calculus of both the Government and its opponents. Alongside its military pacification efforts, the Government has created an appearance of reconciliation efforts, inter alia through the limited release of political prisoners.  

    The Government has further linked these efforts to the National Dialogue initiative, and to lay the ground to calls on political actors to prepare for elections in 2018. We have made clear to all external and internal stakeholders our view that the prevailing insecurity, (internal and external) population displacement, the lack of appropriate institutions or a reasonably level political playing field, in an increasingly divided ethnic environment, militate against organizing credible elections within a year, indeed it may well contribute to deepening and extending the conflict.

    ASG Wane has dealt with some of the challenges facing the National Dialogue and its potential contribution to long-term sustainable peace. I would simply draw attention, in the context of various current regional initiatives, to the possibility of the National Dialogue initiative being played off against other initiatives directly related to securing an immediate Cessation of Hostilities.


    Mr. President,

    Among the regional efforts, the Ugandan initiative has focused on the reunification of certain factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). This initiative led in late July to President Kiir, Madame Rebecca Garang of the Former Detainees group, and First Vice President Taban Deng committing to expediting the implementation of the Arusha Agreement of January 2015. This agreement concerned a resolution of SPLM intra-party problems.  With the continued absence of Machar’s opposition faction, and some among the Former Detainees reluctant to reconcile with President Kiir in such a manner, the Ugandan initiative continues to fall short of achieving its goal. It may even be divisive amongst and between opposition groups. President Museveni has also begun to engage groups outside the SPLM core, inter alia encouraging preparations for elections.

    Another regional initiative, the meeting of opposition parties that was to be hosted in Kenya by President Kenyatta, has not gained much traction. With the Kenyan Government focused on the outcome of recent elections, and the Former Detainees – who were the driving force behind the initiative – preoccupied with the Kampala discussions, the initiative appears to be stalled.  The apparent advantage to any peace process of dealing with a coherent opposition, and the rising competition and conflicts between opposition groupings, have led stakeholders to explore alternatives.  A meeting between Opposition parties, possibly outside Kenya, could be reinstated as part of preparations for the IGAD Revitalization Forum.

    The decision of the IGAD Heads of State summit of 12 June to convene a High-Level Revitalization Forum in respect of the 2015 IGAD sponsored peace agreement has begun to gain some momentum. It aims to include Government and Opposition groups in a dialogue to consider how to implement the Peace Agreement, and IGAD has appointed Special Envoy, Ambassador Ismail Wais, to follow through on its decisions. Recognizing the importance of securing President Kiir’s buy-in, the IGAD Council of Foreign Ministers met in Juba on 24-25 July. Following that, IGAD, with help from JMEC, UNMISS, and my office, carried out a mapping exercise on the relevant opposition actors to be included in the Revitalization Forum.

    In mid-August, I attended an IGAD-hosted meeting of independent South Sudanese experts in Ethiopia. The discussions were frank, and generated a number of recommendations for IGAD, including on which opposition parties to engage, and on how the Peace Agreement should be adjusted to reflect the new realities in South Sudan.

    While the IGAD initiative continues to have potential, a main concern, which I have conveyed to IGAD, is its cautious preparation for engagement with the opposition actors. While these engagements are delicate, the danger is that the more they consult with IGAD capitals, including Juba, the more suspicious the opposition will become that its agenda is partisan.

    Crucially, and irrespective of his declared commitment made to the IGAD Council of Ministers during their Juba visit to implement the IGAD summit decisions, President Kiir continues to prioritize the National Dialogue and the reunification of the SPLM, which he recently stressed would bring peace, with the revitalization process playing only a “supplementary role”.

    As IGAD grapples with these challenges it has already warned that the indicative timeline for holding the Revitalization Forum at the end of September will necessarily slip.

    Meanwhile, in regard to the AU’s engagement, the AU High Representative, President Alpha Oumar Konaré is awaiting the internal adoption of a broad AU engagement strategy on South Sudan before taking matters further. Previously, President Konare has emphasized speaking with one voice, the primacy of internal support for any solutions to the conflict, and a full and robust presence of the Regional Protection Force. President Konare is visiting Addis Ababa this week, providing my office an opportunity to engage and take stock on the current tracks of engagement, and the respective steps to be taken by the AU, IGAD and the UN. We will be concerned to establish mutual complementarity between IGAD and AU initiatives. This will be crucial as we enter a period of a more intensive public engagement by, respectively, your Council, the AU Peace and Security Council, and forums on the margins of the UN General Assembly.


    Mr. President,

    Given the motives and underlying logics that drive the National Dialogue, the SPLM reunification process, the IGAD’s Peace Agreement Revitalization forum, and even the AU plan of action, it would at first instance appear that these initiatives will clash or undermine each other. On the other hand, they could harness the potential complementarity. And such an outcome would require a clear commitment to an inclusive and credible peace process. We have underlined to the IGAD Secretariat the importance of distinguishing the particular goals of each initiative and to focus on how they can work to the greater good. The Revitalization Forum, the National Dialogue or the other initiatives should neither adopt the agenda of the other nor overload the agenda of competing initiatives with their own goals.

    In the quest for a more coherent approach therefore, my office will continue to work closely with IGAD, JMEC, the AU and UNMISS to support initiatives towards a sustainable peace.  I will also continue to engage South Sudanese stakeholders so as to open lines to all sides of the conflict.

    Thank you.

  • 22 авг 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    Thank you for this opportunity to brief you on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. As detailed by Special Coordinator Mladenov last month, the recent crisis in Jerusalem highlighted once again the unsustainability of the current situation, and the need for a political horizon and a clear re-commitment by the international community and both parties to ending the occupation and realizing a two-state solution that meets the legitimate national aspirations and security needs of both Palestinians and Israelis.

    Following the deadly 14 July attack in which two policemen were killed by three assailants in the Old City, three Israelis were stabbed to death in a terror attack and six Palestinians were killed during primarily peaceful protests, two as a result of live ammunition, which raises concerns about the use of force by Israeli Security forces.

    I join the Secretary-General in commending the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in line with its special and historic role, for bringing this crisis to a conclusion. I would also note positively the calls for de-escalation by prominent religious leaders on both sides. We encourage continued discussion among all concerned parties to ensure the safety and security of all worshippers and visitors, while upholding the historical status quo in the holy sites.

    In this context, continued security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is paramount, and the official resumption of contacts between the parties is vital.

    Mr. President,

    In other incidents in recent weeks, two Palestinians were killed and over 150 injured by Israeli Security Forces. Four Israelis were injured by Palestinians, including one civilian. On 28 July, a Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli Security Forces for reportedly attempting to stab a soldier at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank. On 2 August, an Israeli civilian was seriously wounded during a stabbing attack by a Palestinian in the Israeli town of Yavneh.

    On 8 August, militants in Gaza fired a rocket, which landed in an open area in southern Israel. The following day, the Israeli Air Force retaliated with missile fire at two Hamas installations in Gaza, injuring three people.

    On 17 August, an alleged suicide bombing killed one and injured five other in the Southern Gaza strip.

    Mr. President,

    Over the past month, other developments occurred that further undermine trust between the parties. On 26 July the Israeli Knesset approved in a first reading, an amendment to the “Basic Law: Jerusalem the Capital of Israel.” If approved, this law would further cement Israeli control over occupied East Jerusalem and would limit the ability of both sides to reach a negotiated solution that is in line with UN resolutions and prior agreements. Jerusalem is a final status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties. Any move which could impact demographics in the city is extremely worrisome and could spark violence.

    On 25 July, 15 Israeli settler families illegally occupied the so-called Machpelah House in the divided city of Hebron, despite an ongoing Israeli legal process over ownership of the house. We urge Israeli authorities to resolve the situation quickly to avoid further tensions in this already highly charged town.

    Settlers reportedly also placed mobile homes near the settlement of Halamish in response to last month’s deadly attack there, as well as within the Shvut Rachel neighbourhood of the Shilo settlement.

    On 3 August, the Israeli Prime Minister delivered an inauguration speech at the launch of the construction of 1,000 new housing units in the Beitar Ilit settlement. In the speech, he praised the achievement of his Government in promoting settlements.

    Such actions only fuel perceptions that those working to obstruct the two-state solution are gaining the upper hand. I must reiterate that settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.

    Mr. President,

    In a few days’ time, we will mark the third anniversary of the ceasefire that ended the last round of hostilities between Hamas and Israel in Gaza in 2014, in which close to 1,500 civilians were killed. Since then the overall humanitarian conditions in Gaza have worsened. This was clearly documented in a recent UN Country Team report which looked at the state of Gaza’s population since Hamas’s take-over of the Strip in 2007, increasing concerns that the strip could become unlivable by 2020. The punishing measures taken against Gaza by the Palestinian Authority since April only add to the crippling humanitarian effect on the population of Israel’s closures. Whatever the political differences between the Palestinian factions, it is not the people of Gaza who should pay the price.

    Despite the reconstruction efforts over the past three years, some 29,000 people remain displaced, living in temporary shelters and in poor conditions. Completing our collective reconstruction effort in Gaza is within sight but Member States need to fulfil their funding commitments.

    The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, established by Israel and the Palestinian Authority with support from the United Nations in the aftermath of the conflict, has enabled much of the reconstruction. I encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to intensify their engagement towards improving the Mechanism to reach its full potential. It is also time for the parties to discuss the future of this provisional instrument with the goal of fully lifting all closures.

    Mr. President,

    Despite the import of fuel from Egypt to run the Gaza Power Plant, most residents are experiencing the sweltering summer heat with only 4 to 5 hours of electricity per day. The impact of the ongoing energy crisis is far-reaching, affecting the availability of clean water, health care and sanitation services. The UN continues to provide a lifeline through its provision of emergency fuel supporting a number of critical facilities.

    I call on Palestinian leaders to address the destructive consequences of the divisions. I encourage them to reach agreement that would allow the legitimate Palestinian authorities to take up their responsibilities in Gaza, as a step towards the formation of a united, democratically elected Palestinian government on the basis of the PLO principles.

    Hamas must also ensure that calm is maintained by stopping militant buildup against Israel and by doing its utmost to sustain security at the border with Egypt. Israel should step-up measures to lift the closures and facilitate development in Gaza as overall calm persists in the Strip, in line with Security Council resolution 1860.

    I also call upon donors to respond urgently to the $25 million humanitarian appeal made in July in the wake of the electricity crisis, and to fill the current 70 per cent funding gap.

    Mr. President,

    Turning briefly to Lebanon, the situation in the UNIFIL area of operations remained generally quiet. On 31 July, Major General Beary chaired a tripartite meeting with the parties during which both sides discussed violations of Security Council Resolution 1701, Blue Line marking and ongoing liaison and coordination matters. UNIFIL protested the presence of unauthorized weapons and uniformed personnel in violation of Resolution 1701 during a commemoration of the 2006 war organized by Hizbullah on 13 August.

    Military operations against militants continue on the eastern border with Syria. As a result of local deals, a number of militants and refugees were evacuated from the area of Arsal to areas in Syria. Support to the Lebanese Armed Forces and other security institutions of the State as the sole protectors of the security and stability of Lebanon remains important.

    In the Syrian Golan, the ceasefire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic has been maintained, albeit in a volatile environment attributable to the ongoing conflict in Syria. Both Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic have stated their continued commitment to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement and support for the full return of UNDOF to the area of separation, conditions permitting.

    Mr President,

    Returning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, last month’s crisis in the Old City of Jerusalem, which hosts Holy sites of all three monotheistic religions, demonstrated that tensions can ignite, threatening to transform the nature of the conflict and spread across borders.

    It is, therefore, essential that international and regional partners remain engaged in ending the occupation and resolving all final status issues, in upholding and implementing the vision of two states living side-by-side in peace and security on the basis of all relevant UN resolutions, and in supporting both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take the necessary steps for an enduring peace.

    Thank you.

  • 17 авг 2017
  • 3 авг 2017

    Thank you, Mr. President for the opportunity to address the Security Council on issues related to United Nations sanctions.

    This Security Council discussion on sanctions is set against a backdrop of wide-ranging and sustained challenges to international peace and security.   New crises are straining the collective capacity to respond, while older conflicts are simmering, without resolution, and with the potential to reignite.   

    It seems timely therefore to take stock of the efficacy of UN sanctions, as was recently done for peace operations, peacebuilding and the women peace and security agenda.  Just as the causes of conflicts are complex and interlinked, the  responses must be effective, complementary and mutually reinforcing.  Sanctions are not an end in themselves. At their most effective, sanctions should contribute to a comprehensive political strategy, working in tandem with other Charter-based instruments, to prevent and peacefully resolve conflicts.

    Today, 13 Security Council sanctions regimes[1] play an enabling role in preventing conflict, countering terrorism and constraining the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  The Council has adopted tailored and calibrated sanctions measures to deter unconstitutional change of governments, the illicit exploitation of natural resources which fund the activities of armed groups, as well as violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular sexual violence in conflict as an act of terror.  Conversely, sanctions measures have been adopted to support implementation of peace agreements and peacebuilding efforts.  The Council’s sanctions regimes on ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida, as well as its 1718 regime on DPRK are central to international efforts to tackle terrorism and non-proliferation, respectively. Both have been continually adjusted to meet specific and evolving challenges, with due regard to the impact on civilian populations.

    Security Council sanctions are also a flexible instrument, subject to regular reviews, adjustments and terminations. In 2016, three sanctions regimes (Iran, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia) were terminated. While the Council has adopted 26 sanctions regimes since 1966, it has also terminated 15 regimes to date, invalidating the often-heard criticism that the Council establishes but does not terminate its sanctions regimes. 

    In this commitment to continually review its sanctions regimes, the Council has also requested the Secretary-General to take stock of various elements of the sanctions regimes.  Since 2014, the Secretary-General has provided assessments to the Council on the arms embargoes in Somalia and Central African Republic, as well as the sanctions regimes in Liberia and Guinea-Bissau. In his next report  to the Security Council on small arms and light weapons, the Secretary-General will provide  lessons learned on the implementation of arms embargoes in field missions. 

    Reviews of sanctions regimes have also resulted in strengthening responses to growing threats. Last year, the Council adopted two resolutions 2270 (2016) and 2321 (2016)) which considerably strengthened the existing sanctions regime on DPRK. In Libya, the Council expanded the prohibitions on the export of petroleum products, and designation criteria were adopted this year for acts of sexual violence in the Central African Republic, as well as in the  ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions regimes.  

    Moreover, the Council has combined robust sanctions enforcement with due respect for human rights through the Focal Point for Delisting in the Secretariat and the Office of the Ombudsperson for the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions regime. Over the last decade, the Council has made important strides in its due process commitments when imposing targeted sanctions on individuals and entities.


    Mr. President,

    Effective UN sanctions require the broad-based support of Member States and the international community at large. Even the best designed UN sanctions resolutions are not self-implementing. Member States would need to fulfill their implementation obligations.  And while there may have been different assessments of the implementation gap of UN sanctions, it is undeniable that the diversity and complexity of targeted UN sanctions regimes have imposed a considerable implementation burden on Member States and other implementing entities.

    To mitigate these difficulties, the Security Council and its sanctions committees have enhanced outreach to Member States, and especially to regional countries affected by sanctions. Sanctions committees routinely meet with regional countries to discuss implementation challenges. Chairs of sanctions committees have also held open briefings, including for regional groups, to promote awareness of Council sanctions regimes.  These are supplemented with the travel of committee Chairs to countries and regions impacted by sanctions, to gain first-hand understanding of the effectiveness of sanctions measures. Furthermore, all Security Council sanctions lists[2] have been made available in the six official languages, with linkages to UNSC-INTERPOL Special Notices[3], where available. The Secretariat has also been working on the implementation of an enhanced data model of UN sanctions lists to deepen the information base for more accurate screening of individuals and entities by relevant national and international authorities.

    While these are all useful means to enhance the application of sanctions, the implementation of UN sanctions is necessarily a “whole of government” endeavor and Member States would benefit from even greater “in-country” assistance.  Sanctions are adopted in New York, but they are mainly implemented at border crossings, ports, and airports as well as in banking and financial institutions, bringing together a multitude of governmental institutions at various levels as well as the private sector. Beyond Member States, the positive experience of Council’s partnership with INTERPOL (especially through the use of the [UNSC-INTERPOL] Special Notices) should be applied to other important partnerships, especially the aviation and financial sectors. 


    Mr. President,

    All previous States-led reviews of UN sanctions have stressed the importance of coordinated UN system-wide support to Security Council sanctions regimes. Since 2014, under the leadership of the Department of Political Affairs, the UN Inter-Agency Working Group on UN sanctions, comprising 26 UN entities, has continued its work to ensure system-wide support to UN sanctions. The Working Group is an important forum for promoting better understanding of UN sanctions regimes, facilitating the preparation of sanctions assessment reports, as well as promoting productive interactions among UN entities, sanctions committees and sanctions experts.  

    The Department of Political Affairs, through its Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD), has also continued its support to the Security Council in the design, implementation and evaluation of UN sanctions.  In recent years, SCAD has further enhanced its support to the Council, sanctions committees and their experts on substantive, procedural and technical issues.  Sanctions workshops and regime-specific briefings were organised for incoming members of the Council to explain working methods and procedural issues, as well as the substantive aspects of each sanctions regime. Furthermore, advisory support was also provided to Member States to facilitate implementation of UN sanctions regimes, in particular regarding exemption requests and implementation reports.   

    SCAD also plays a key role in the support to, and management of, the nine sanctions monitoring groups, team and panels[4], which comprise 59 sanctions experts.  Since 2013, the Division has organized an annual inter-panel workshop for all sanctions experts.  And since 2015, it has organized an investigative techniques workshop for relevant experts, in partnership with the UN Office for Internal Oversight and Audit. 

    The importance of our support to sanctions experts was brought into sharp focus, tragically, with the killings in March this year of Ms. Zaida Catalan and Mr. Michael Sharp, members of the DRC Group of Experts.  Even as we continue to press for full accountability for these abhorrent crimes, we need to also reassess the security arrangements governing the work of sanctions experts to ensure that such crimes never happen again.  In this regard, the findings and recommendations of the board of inquiry will be instructive, and we look forward to the support of the Security Council in the implementation of the necessary changes that may be required. 


    Mr. President,

    United Nations sanctions are a formidable instrument for global peace and security.  It is important that they continue to be deployed in tandem with other Charter-based instruments, in the service of clearly established objectives, and with respect for due process and human rights.

    Thank you. 


    [1] Somalia and Eritrea, ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida, Iraq, DRC, Sudan, 1636 (Hariri investigation), DPRK, Libya, 1988 (Taliban), Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Yemen, and South Sudan.

    [2] As of 31 July 2017, the UN Security Council Consolidated Sanctions List contains 1031 entries (654 individuals and 377 entities)

    [3] As of 31 July 2017, there are 583 UNSC-INTERPOL Special Notices

    [4] The Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team (supporting the 1267 and 1988 Sanctions Committees), the Group of Experts on the DRC, and the Panels of Experts on Sudan, DPRK, Libya, CAR, Yemen and South Sudan.

  • 26 июл 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    48-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций (ООН).  Грузинские, российские, абхазские и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представители приняли участие во встрече.

    Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности, начиная с предыдущей встречи МПРИ, была оценена как относительно спокойная и стабильная. Особое внимание было уделено основному мандату МПРИ, то есть, предотвращение инцидентов и сотрудничество в ответ на любые события. В этом связи было высоко оценено частое использование горячей линии связи, и участникам рекомендовалось продолжить эффективно её использовать для предотвращения инцидентов и в гуманитарных целях, таких как случаи срочных медицинских эвакуации.

    В целях нахождения решения, была продолжена дискуссия по двум раннее обсуждённым случаям  - по делу от 19 мая 2016 г. об убийстве грузинского гражданского лица на одной из бывших точек пересечения и дальнейшее содержание под стражей двух людей за предполагаемое “незаконное пересечение”. Относительно второго пункта, вновь прозвучал призыв уделить должное внимание гуманитарной стороне этого случая и освободить задержанных как можно скорее.

    Участники обменялись имеющейся в наличии информацией по вопросам, связанным с видами на жительство и документами для пересечения. Кроме того, было сделано обращение к соответствующим властям рассмотреть механизмы для беспрепятственного  пересечения школьниками в течение предстоящего учебного года, который начнётся в сентябре.

    Применяя уже установленную практику, которая всегда приветствовалась Председателем, участники использовали на полях встречи для двусторонних обсуждений интересующих их вопросов.

    Участники согласились провести следующую встречу 19 сентября 2017 года.


    Read the English press statement.

  • 26 июл 2017

    Mr. President,

    I would like to start by congratulating you on assuming the presidency of the Security Council for this month.

    It is an honour for me to address for the first time the Security Council in my capacity as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General. As you are aware, EAC Facilitator, Former President Benjamin Mkapa was scheduled to brief with me this Council. Due to health reason, he is not here today. I wish him a speedy recovery.

    My briefing will focus on three aspects:

    1. my meetings in Bujumbura
    2. my preliminary assessment on the situation in Burundi
    3. and possible way forward


    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Arrivé à Bujumbura le 27 juin, j’ai été reçu, successivement, par le Ministre des Relations extérieures et de la coopération internationale, Monsieur Alain A Nyamitwe et par le Président Pierre Nkurunziza. J’ai eu avec le Président Nkurunziza près d’une heure d’entretien en tête-à-tête. Ma rencontre avec le Président était essentiellement une visite de courtoisie.

    J’ai également rencontré à Bujumbura, différents acteurs politiques burundais, les représentants de la société civile, et des confessions religieuses, les membres du corps diplomatique ainsi que la famille des Nations Unies.    

    En Tanzanie, j’ai été reçu par l’ancien Président et Facilitateur du dialogue inclusif inter-burundais, Monsieur Benjamin Mkapa, et le Ministre des Affaires étrangères, Monsieur Augustine Mahiga. Le Facilitateur dit avoir terminé son travail dont le rapport a été transmis au Président Museveni, le Médiateur en Chef du dialogue inter-burundais.

    A Addis Abeba, j’ai également eu des entretiens, en marge du Sommet de l’Union Africaine, avec le Ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’Ouganda, avec des leaders Africains qui suivent de près la situation au Burundi, notamment le Président en exercice de l’Union Africaine, Monsieur Alpha Condé, ainsi qu’avec le Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine, Monsieur Moussa Faki.  


    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Je viens de vous relater, assez rapidement, les contacts que j’ai eus dans le cadre de mon premier voyage au Burundi et dans la sous-région. J’imagine que vous vous posez la question de savoir quelle analyse je fais de ces différents échanges?

    Il ressort de ces entretiens, des appréciations divergentes sur la situation politique qui prévaut dans le pays. Les autorités burundaises sont confiantes en leur capacité à conduire les affaires du pays dans la sérénité. Elles estiment que la situation générale est calme, dénoncent les interférences étrangères dans la gestion de leurs affaires internes et rappellent leur attachement à leur souveraineté nationale.

    Les représentants de l’opposition politique et certains de la société civile, pour leur part, s’inquiètent de ce qu’ils qualifient de  dérives autoritaires actuelles du pouvoir et demandent, à cet égard, une plus grande implication de la région et de la communauté internationale, en faveur de la tenue d’un dialogue inclusif et sans préconditions et avec la participation de tous les Burundais. Ils souhaitent également, la suspension du processus de révision de la Constitution, en cours, ainsi que la fin de la violation de leurs droits élémentaires et l’hostilité des autorités à leur égard, laquelle s’accompagne, selon eux, d’une répression par les forces de l’ordre ou par des groupes proches du pouvoir. En revanche, les partis politiques et organisations de la société civile, favorables au pouvoir, sont d’un avis opposé.

    La situation socio-économique continue de se dégrader, en raison de la conjoncture politique tendue, qui dissuade l’engagement des investisseurs privés nationaux et internationaux. Le chômage, notamment des jeunes, est une réalité. Cette situation entraine des départs de populations vers les pays voisins, ce qui accroit indubitablement le nombre des réfugiés.

    Quant à la situation sécuritaire, elle s’est améliorée depuis le début de l’année. A Bujumbura, tout semble calme et la population vaque librement à ses occupations. On note toutefois que, ces dernières semaines  ont été marquées par des attaques à la  grenade ayant occasionné plusieurs morts et blessés. Pour l’instant, les raisons de ces attaques n’ont pas été élucidées. 


    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    C’est une telle atmosphère de paix que l’on souhaiterait désormais au Burundi. Mais dans quelle condition et à quel prix pourrait-on y arriver?

    La première exigence est de donner la priorité au dialogue inclusif, condition sine qua non à tout règlement de la crise. Il devient impératif que le Gouvernement burundais accède à l’insistance des pays de la sous-région et de l’Union Africaine, appuyée en cela par les Nations-Unies, d’aller au dialogue inclusif, c’est à dire impliquant l’opposition exilée et celle de l’intérieur. C’est, à mon avis, à ce prix que nous parviendrons à instaurer la confiance entre les Burundais, à garantir des institutions crédibles, stables et démocratiques et à promouvoir la réconciliation nationale.

    De ce point de vue, l’Accord d’Arusha doit demeurer la norme de référence la pierre angulaire. Tous les acteurs non-gouvernementaux que j’ai eu à rencontrer, le reconnaissent et l’exigent.  


    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Les nouvelles perspectives et orientations que nous devons envisager pour le règlement de la situation du Burundi, doivent converger, me semble-t-il, vers une action commune et collective des dirigeants Africains, et d’abord ceux de la sous-région, solidairement avec les Nations-Unies, visant à:

                -Persuader le régime burundais d’accepter des mesures d’apaisement, notamment celles proposées par le Facilitateur et celles plus générales contenues dans l’Accord d’Arusha ;

                -Une action commune aussi visant à encourager le régime burundais à s’engager impérativement dans le dialogue inclusif inter-burundais.

    Dans cette optique, la récente visite du Président Nkurunziza au Président Magufuli de la Tanzanie, est un signe encourageant. Osons espérer que ce geste est l’indication de la  volonté de faire avancer le processus de dialogue inclusif.

    Voilà pourquoi entant qu’Envoyé spécial et alors que de nombreux hauts responsables Africains se décide à s’engager personnellement et à fond dans le règlement de la crise, je suggère d’apporter plus de discernement dans l’examen de la question burundaise.


    Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les membres du Conseil,

    Comme vous le savez, je suis à ma première mission exploratoire et  entends poursuivre mes consultations dans les jours à venir.  Je crois en l’engagement de la sous-région a ouvrer pour la paix au Burundi avec le soutien de l’Union Africaine et je recommande fortement que les Nations-Unies accompagnent et soutiennent résolument ces efforts.

    A terme, même s’il faut encore un tout petit peu de patience, nous arriverons certainement à un compromis dynamique.

    Par conséquent, et pour me répéter, tous nos efforts doivent porter sur ce soutien sans faille à la région et, en particulier, aux efforts du Médiateur et du Facilitateur ainsi qu’à ceux du Gouvernement de la Tanzanie.

    Je vous remercie de votre attention.

  • 26 июл 2017

    On 26 July 2017, the 48th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations (UN).  Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives took part in the meeting. 

    The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting was assessed as relatively calm and stable. The special emphasis was made on the key mandate of the IPRM, which is prevention of incidents and cooperation in responding to any occurrences. In this connection, the frequent use of hotline was highly commended, and the participants were encouraged to continue using it effectively for incident prevention and for humanitarian purposes, such as emergency medical evacuation cases.

    The earlier discussed two cases – the 19 May 2016 killing case of a Georgian civilian man at one of the former crossing points and the continued detention of two individuals for an alleged “illegal crossing” - were followed up with a view to finding solutions. With regard to the second point, an appeal was reiterated to give due attention to the humanitarian side of the case and to release the detainees as soon as possible.

    The participants exchanged available information on issues related to the residence permits and crossing documents. Furthermore, an appeal was made to respective authorities to consider the modalities for smooth crossing of schoolchildren during the upcoming school year, which commences in September.

    Following the already established practice, which is always welcomed by the Chair, the participants used the margins of the meeting for bilateral discussions on issues of their interest.

    The participants agreed to hold the next meeting on 19 September 2017.

  • 21 июл 2017

    The Ninth General Meeting between the United Nations (UN) system and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and its associated institutions was held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 20 and 21 July 2017.  The UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, and the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, addressed the participants.  The meeting − which enjoyed wide participation of representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat and its associated institutions and of the UN system − was co-chaired by Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations of the CARICOM Secretariat, and Ms. Martha Doggett, Director, a.i. of the Americas Division of the UN Department of Political Affairs.  Mr. Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Ambassador Granderson delivered closing remarks.

    The UN Secretary-General congratulated CARICOM on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the General Assembly session during which it was granted observer status at the UN and thanked CARICOM Member States for their leadership on pressing global issues, such as climate change and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).  He underlined that the UN system stood ready to help prevent and mitigate the effects of climate change, a global threat and a hurdle for sustainable development which affects, in particular, the most vulnerable countries such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS), including low-lying coastal States.  He commended the progress of regional integration in the Caribbean and welcomed the meeting as a means to increase bilateral cooperation between CARICOM and the UN.  The UN Secretary-General thanked the Caribbean region for its strong commitment to multilateral diplomacy and expressed his gratitude for CARICOM’s longstanding role as an advocate for Haiti.  He praised the contributions to the UN by CARICOM nationals who figure prominently among his senior advisers and the UN leadership in general, while calling for CARICOM and the UN to stand together in defense of the rights and well-being of future generations.

    The Secretary-General of CARICOM expressed the Caribbean Community’s appreciation for the support rendered by the UN System to the integration movement and the development of its Member States. He reiterated the Region’s commitment to the UN “as a principal forum for multilateral cooperation and a platform from which small States can be seen and heard.”  He outlined some of the major challenges faced by CARICOM, including the adverse effects of climate change, graduation from concessional development financing based on GDP per capita and not taking into account the inherent vulnerability of SIDS, crime and violence, the illicit trade in drugs and small arms, the threat of terrorism and extreme violence, the blacklisting of CARICOM Member States as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions despite their compliance with the relevant OECD regimens, the withdrawal of correspondent banking relations, and the high economic cost of addressing NCDs.  With regard to NCDs, Secretary-General LaRocque welcomed ECOSOC’s most recent resolution on their prevention and control, which, inter alia, called for greater financing to facilitate the work of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force.  He, also, noted the opportunity provided by the Ninth General Meeting to examine the impact of global changes and developments of significance to SIDS and to strengthen cooperation between CARICOM and the UN system in relation to those developments. 

    An update was provided on the Caribbean Community, highlighting the links between the Community’s four (4) pillars − economic integration, foreign policy coordination, human and social development and security − and the implementation of the Community’s first Strategic Plan 2015-2019.  The Meeting was also informed of the outcome of the review of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), which highlighted the significant progress made but also the challenges involved in completing implementation.  Note was taken of recent decisions of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community further strengthening the integration arrangements and charting the way forward toward making the CSME more effective.

    As part of the review of the implementation of decisions adopted in the previous General Meeting, the Meeting was informed of progress made in various areas of strategic intervention and received a briefing on the main activities undertaken via the UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF), which has been signed by fourteen (14) CARICOM Member States and twenty (20) UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes.  Taking into account that the UN MSDF and CARICOM Strategic Plan 2015-2019 are fully aligned and complementary, the UNDS proposed to use the UN MSDF as the Strategic Framework for collaboration with the UN system, which was welcomed by the CARICOM Secretariat.  Thus, CARICOM will continue to engage with the UN system in the Caribbean through the MSDF Annual Coordination Meeting to enhance collaboration and for better and faster results toward the SDGs in the Caribbean region. Also, the UN system will engage with CARICOM and its institutions to build initiatives addressing identified needs and gaps, while ensuring complementarity that may be identified by the MDSF Virtual Policy Networks.  This does not preclude the existing MOUs with specific UN Entities.  UN Agencies will continue to engage in specific areas of sectoral expertise with CARICOM.  The CARICOM side expressed its appreciation to the UN for its support. A brief overview of current changes and developments in the international and hemispheric political and economic environment and their geopolitical and geo-economic implications for the Caribbean Community was presented.

    The action framework that the UN has adopted regarding SIDS, with particular reference to the SAMOA Pathway, was presented.  Participants highlighted the challenges that Caribbean States face in the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda as well as the goals of the SAMOA Pathway.  The aim of the Caribbean Community in achieving a high level of congruity between the developments at the international level on SIDS with its regional strategic plan and the international sustainable development agenda was noted.  CARICOM stressed the urgency to take action, mobilize resources, strengthen cooperation and undertake activities needed to achieve the SDG and SAMOA targets.  Additionally, the economic and social burden on the region from the epidemics of CHIKV and Zika and the gap in regional health security was noted. 

    The Meeting also focused on the strong linkages between the development of Caribbean States and the environment.  The role that the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN system could play in supporting Member States’ participation in both regional and global multilateral environment agreements was highlighted.  CARICOM’s impending engagement in a series of national, sub-regional and regional consultations on the proposed Community Environment and Natural Resources Policy Framework and First Action Plan was underlined and discussion on these engagements with UN stakeholders was invited. 

    The Meeting also received a report on the energy situation in CARICOM Member States, which depend heavily on fossil fuels and which face technical, environmental and socioeconomic obstacles to improving energy efficiency.  Participants were updated on CARICOM’s Energy Policy, and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS). The Meeting recognized the critical role of energy within the sustainable development agenda of CARICOM SIDS, along with key issues faced by CARICOM in integrating variable renewals and resilience into energy planning and in incorporating energy at the center of development planning.  CARICOM pointed out that a sustainable energy architecture, if suitably designed, could play a significant role in empowering Member States with an ability to implement some of the measures that are necessary for adapting to climate change and sea-level rise.  It could also support other critical interventions, which are necessary for Member States’ sustainable development and resilience building.  The General Meeting noted the positive steps made within the Caribbean Community, inclusive of the establishment of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CREEE), thanks in part to the critical support of international partners.

    Recognizing that the impacts of climate change will be felt most strongly by SIDS, CARICOM sought support for adaptation and mitigation measures and in implementing national action plants as well meeting commitments under the COP Paris Agreement.  Adverse effects include more extreme climate events occurring with more intensity, frequency and unpredictability.  The importance of community-level preparedness was highlighted, given the differential impacts of recent hurricanes in the region.  The UN recognized the capacity of CARICOM through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and offered support to strengthen partnerships for joint risk assessment, mobilization of disaster experts and resource mobilization.

    Additionally, the Meeting noted the multi-dimensional challenges of financing for development.  These included the lack of economic resilience and of access to concessional multilateral financing and a worsening of the external public debt situation resulting from a constrained fiscal capacity.  Several initiatives were being pursued by CARICOM States toward the achievement of fiscal and debt sustainability, such as a fiscal responsibility framework for the Caribbean Community and an ECLAC initiative on debt for climate change adaptation and debt reduction.  The Meeting was also informed of external challenges which exacerbate inherent vulnerabilities.  These included the decrease in correspondent banking relations − which disrupted international payments and capital inflows − and the high cost of compliance with the OECD-driven international tax agenda.

    CARICOM emphasized the need to advance measures to develop sustainable ocean-based economies in the Caribbean and the importance of technical assistance and investments in unlocking the potential of oceans and seas for food security, employment and the economic development of Caribbean countries, especially in the context of SDG 14 −  “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development” −  and of the outcomes of the UN Oceans Conference held in June 2017.  CARICOM also highlighted the ongoing work on the development of a legally binding international instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.  The Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) was spotlighted as a model for protection and sustainable development of marine resources. 

    The important relationship between fisheries and the environment was underscored.  In recognition of the blue-growth concept, which focuses on generating economic growth from oceans and seas, CARICOM sought to expand and sustain the productive potential of fisheries and aquaculture, while developing new opportunities for trade in marine products and improving the resilience of coastal communities.  It was posited that although marine conservation and fisheries were treated as separate issues, they were part of the same system.  A call was made by CARICOM, therefore, for closer collaboration between the agencies involved in the maritime environment and those involved in fisheries, as well as for continued technical support from the UN system to develop and implement fisheries management plans, strengthen data collection and statistics for evidence-based decision-making, and build human resources in fisheries and oceans management. 

    A presentation was made on CARICOM’s Human Resource Development Strategy, which will focus on the development of technical and personal skills to address the workplace, the future of jobs and active citizenship. It was recognised that the opportunities for lifelong learning and certification presented through the proposed seamless system would be crucial in addressing wastage and the current high stratification of outcomes.  The importance of an inter-sectoral approach  and partnerships at all levels in ensuring successful implementation of the Strategy was stressed.

    Furthermore, linkages were drawn between the CARICOM’s HRD Strategy and the framework for the implementation of SDG 4: “Ensure inclusive and quality for all and promote lifelong learning” on education.  It was stressed that, as a basic human right, as a transformational force for poverty eradication, as an engine for sustainability, and as a force for dialogue and peace, education is a fundamental enabler for the enjoyment of other rights.  Implementing evidence-based education policies is in fact a key strategy to address all development challenges and uphold the 2030 Agenda.

    Prioritizing early-childhood development and addressing the need for reform and expansion of higher education were exemplified as commitments to lifelong learning in the region.  In order to improve learning outcomes, tackle disparities, prevent dropouts, secure completion of secondary education and increase completion of tertiary education, participants underscored the need to generate tangible outcomes in relation to SDG 4, such as: tying education with employment; moving towards a technology and gender-inclusive approach; developing vocational training based on requirements needed to go into the workforce and ultimately building a culture of human rights.

    Participants drew attention to the linkages between health and nutrition security, particularly with respect to the child population and underscored the value of the ongoing collaborative work between CARICOM and the UN in securing Food and Nutrition Security with emphasis on reducing the food-import bill through increased food production and trade, wider application of Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS), supporting the Regional NCD Strategy and implementation of effective Agricultural Health and Food Safety Systems.  The Meeting was advised of decisions of CARICOM Heads of Government supporting action in these areas and the importance of the Region realizing the potential for the contribution of agriculture.  CARICOM expressed its appreciation particularly to the FAO for its ongoing contribution to the Region’s agriculture sector. 

    Participants assessed youth development as an accelerating factor for national and regional development, paying attention to the outcomes of CARICOM’s Youth Development Action Plan.  The benefits of systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective, including a gender perspective in development frameworks, were underscored.  Participants agreed on the need to foster the use and collection of data and application of gender-analysis tools such as the CARICOM Gender Equality Indicators as a means to support and amplify Governments’ capacity to achieve gender equality and monitor and assess its SDG implementation. Participants welcomed the decision of the CARICOM Heads of Government during the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting celebrated in February of 2017 in Guyana to endorse the “Every Caribbean Women, Every Caribbean Child Initiative” and to take actions to address  women’s, girls’, children’s and adolescent’s health.  Attention was drawn to the fact that gender equality, including the prevention of gender-based violence and adolescent pregnancy, as well as combating NCDs and HIV requires a multi-sectoral approach that relies on the availability of sex-disaggregated data as a minimum requirement in all monitoring frameworks.

    UN participants praised CARICOM’s leadership in raising global awareness of NCDs.  Cooperation options between the UN and CARICOM to improve Caribbean States’ health systems were explored, including sexual reproductive health and “Fast Tracking” the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, under a convening role of CARICOM/PANCAP. 

    The regional challenges regarding transnational organized crime and citizen security were discussed.  CARICOM highlighted its concerns regarding the escalating crime and violence in the region and their deleterious impact on society  and the need for support for interventions to eradicate this scourge.  Participants agreed on the need to maintain a comprehensive approach to security issues.

    Responding to the priorities emphasized by CARICOM, the UN also stood ready to continue to support the Caribbean region in strengthening the approach to citizen security through tackling key areas of concern, including criminal intelligence and the control of small arms and light weapons, as well as the strengthening of capacities at both the national and regional levels for statistics.  UNODC applauded the work of the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) in the development and drafting of the Caribbean Agreement for the Return and Sharing of Recovered Assets and pledged to continue to support the development, adoption and subsequently the implementation of the Agreement in the region.  As the Caribbean region, led by IMPACS, seeks to strengthen its capacity to prevent, combat and prosecute terrorism through the development of a Caribbean Counter Terrorism Strategy − currently under development − the UN System aimed to support the implementation of the Strategy through the focus on region-wide strengthening of the legal counter terrorism framework, at both the national and regional levels, in line with UN Security Council resolutions.

    An overview was provided of the University of the West Indies (UWI)’s 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, which is focused on expansion of access to tertiary education, alignment of industry and academia for wealth creation and economic growth, and UWI’s agility to respond to global opportunities.  In highlighting the UWI’s current thematic research areas, synergies with the MSDF in the Caribbean, the SDGs and CARICOM development goals were identified, with the UWI pledging to increase UN access to its research and graduate talent.

    Participants agreed that the Ninth UN-CARICOM General Meeting achieved its goals of strengthening the existing partnership between the two organizations and identifying ways to maximize progress in the priority areas of cooperation.  The Tenth UN-CARICOM General Meeting is expected to take place at the CARICOM Headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana, in 2019.

  • 12 июл 2017

    Mr. President,

    The situation in Yemen remains extremely grave. The intensity of the conflict increases day after day and the tragic humanitarian situation continues to worsen.

    For a third successive year, Yemenis have seen the Holy month of Ramadan transformed from a month of tolerance and peace into a month of violence and hopelessness. Yemen has seen an increase in battles of attrition between the parties to the conflict, and the pace of military operations has increased in Hajjah, Marib and Al Jawf governorates. Since 10 June, fighting has also escalated significantly in Taiz and areas to the east of the city. The fighting for control of the Presidential Palace in the city has intensified in parallel with indiscriminate shelling in residential areas, leading to an increase in the numbers of dead and injured, and further destruction to the city’s remaining civilian infrastructure. There have been numerous casualties in Ma’reb governorate, particularly during the battle for control of Serwah district.

    Violence has also continued in Hajjah governorate and the border area between Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including on 22 and 29 June when rockets landed in the Jizan area of Saudi Arabia. Airstrikes have continued to hit numerous locations in the governorates of Saada, Taiz, Marib and Sana’a. Airstrikes hit a market in Moshnaq village in Saada on 18 June and Al-Mokha town on 4 July. Both incidents resulted in numerous civilian deaths and injuries, including women and children.

    I am deeply concerned by the continued targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure by the parties to the conflict. I have consistently urged the warring parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. The targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure is utterly unacceptable and must stop immediately.

    On 15 June, an Emirati ship was subjected to a bombardment from the vicinity of Al-Mokha port, threatening maritime security in the Bab Al-Mandab strait. The continued targeting of vessels in the area seriously jeopardises the provision of much needed humanitarian and commercial supplies to the most vulnerable Yemenis.

    In addition, security continues to be undermined by the activity of extremist groups including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. On 7 June, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device targeted the convoy of the Abyan Chief of Security, killing two of his bodyguards. Later in the month, on 14 June, militants detonated an improvised explosive device at a police station in Al-Dhale’ governorate, killing the Chief of Police and wounding several others. As part of their counter-terrorism efforts, on 27 June, the Government of Yemen re-deployed additional forces to Abyan, Lahj and Taiz.

    As I have stated here many times, the longer the conflict lasts, the more the terrorist groups will expand and threaten Yemen’s future.


    Mr. President,

    The humanitarian situation in Yemen is appalling. The people are suffering from war, hunger and cholera, which has spread further during the last few weeks. The country is not suffering from a single emergency but a number of complex emergencies, which have affected more than 20 million people and whose scale and effect will be felt long after the end of the war. 14 million people are food insecure, of whom almost 7 million are at risk of famine. My colleagues will provide further details on the humanitarian situation in their briefings.

    Cholera is spreading rapidly and is infecting children and elderly people and other vulnerable groups in many areas of the country. There are now over 300,000 suspected cases and over 1,700 have died as a result of the epidemic. Tens of thousands of healthcare workers have not been paid for many months, more than half of the country’s health facilities have closed and supplies of medicine and medical equipment remain severely limited.  

    The speed and scale of Yemen's cholera outbreak highlights the consequences of a collapsed public sector system. I praise the generous donation of USD 67 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which helped to slow the spread of the disease. I call on other donors to provide further contributions as soon as possible. The non-payment of salaries for healthcare workers and other staff in the public sector is an urgent issue. If this is not addressed the health situation will continue to deteriorate and key state institutions will cease to function. I fully support the joint UNDP, WHO and UNICEF proposal to support immediate payments to health care workers as soon as possible in advance of an agreement to restart salary payments nationally as I have proposed. I encourage member states to support this important initiative which will help ensure the maintenance of health care services. Preserving national capacity is critical to stabilizing the humanitarian situation now and to securing service delivery in the future.

    A World Bank-financed cash transfer program is expected to disburse the first quarterly payment to the most vulnerable households across the country in August, benefitting about eight million Yemenis. My office has been working continuously with partners to ensure the success of this initiative, to support household purchasing power, avoiding widespread destitution, improving the general situation and restoring hope. I hope that the international community will heed this call and support these initiatives. 


    Mr. President,

    Over the last year, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and I have called repeatedly for the resumption of commercial flights from Sanaa. The lack of commercial flights has placed an unnecessary burden on the population and worsened an already desperate humanitarian situation. I appeal to the Coalition and the parties to the conflict to support our proposal for the resumption of regular flights specifically for individuals requiring medical care, students studying abroad and the reunion of families.  


    Mr. President,

    I continue to encourage the parties to work towards the agreements I outlined during my last briefing to this Council. I am planning to invite representatives of Ansar Allah and GPC to restart discussions of these ideas as soon as possible. In the past few days, I was in direct contact with Ansar Allah, which is cause for optimism. I am grateful for the efforts of the People’s Republic of China for playing an instrumental role in this regard.

    The proposed agreements focus on the Hodeidah port and the surrounding area and aim to ensure the continued flow of basic humanitarian supplies and commercial goods through the port and to implement a programme for collecting taxes and other revenues so that they can be used to support salaries and services, instead of supporting the war. An agreement on the port of Hodeidah should become the basis for a national agreement for the resumption of salary payments nationwide that will provide some relief to many Yemenis. Without doubt, such an agreement will require clear mechanisms to ensure that all state revenues, whether collected in Hodeida, Sanaa, Aden or elsewhere, are used in support of salary payments and the reactivation of state institutions in all areas of the country.

    The Government of Yemen has reacted positively and has agreed to negotiate on the basis of my proposals. In my meetings with President Hadi he agreed on the necessity of implementing measures to ensure the delivery of humanitarian and commercial supplies, and prevent arms smuggling and the diversion of taxes and other revenues. I arrived this morning from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where I met Saudi Crown Prince, First Deputy Prime Minister His Royal Highness Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud, and I welcome the commitment by the Saudi leadership to support agreements between the parties on these issues.

    I will depart for Cairo tomorrow to continue my current work with the Government of Yemen and regional leaders on these ideas. I also hope to meet with the delegation of Ansar Allah and GPC soon to discuss the possible agreements on Hodeidah and salaries as a preliminary step to a national Cessation of Hostilities and a comprehensive resolution to the conflict which restores peace to Yemen. It is essential that Ansar Allah and the GPC engage with me constructively and in good faith on these proposals if they truly want an end to the war and improvements in the humanitarian situation.

    I reiterate my sincere gratitude to the international community, which has consistently supported my efforts and the proposals that I have put forward to the parties. I briefly visited France recently and the new government has re-iterated its support for the peace process. Regional and international unity is critical in order to secure peace and security in Yemen.


    Mr. President,

    I commend the courageous efforts of Yemeni civil society, who continue to push for peace in spite of many security challenges. In June, the Yemeni Women’s Pact continued to promote a spirit of compromise and mechanisms that could put an end to this devastating conflict. I recently met a group of Yemeni youth activists who also demonstrate the same commitment and dedication. Yemeni civil society groups are in constant contact with my team and me. They are supportive of the efforts of the United Nations and recognize that only a political solution will end the war and the suffering of the Yemeni people. Their drive and sense of nationalism carries with it high hopes. I wish that the political leaders would mirror these activists’ love of their nation and its people, which I sense with each and every proposal I receive from them. They are the true voices of Yemen, far removed from personal concerns and considerations. They convey the suffering of the people from the farthest corners of the country.

    The political leadership must recognize that the continuation of the war can only lead to more human and physical loss, and complicate crucial questions on the future of the country, including the grievances of the South. In this context, the Southern Question requires a deeply considered solution and I call on Yemenis to address this question through dialogue and peaceful means.

    Finally, I want to note that history will not judge kindly those Yemeni leaders who have used the war to increase their influence or profit from the public finances, and Yemenis’ patience will not last. The people need an alternative to politicians who work for their own interests and not for their country, who destroy and do not build, and who use the finances of the people and the state to enrich themselves, rather than serve the people.

    I call on all of the parties to act for the sake of peace. Their excuses are unacceptable, and their justifications are unconvincing, especially when the solutions are in plain sight. The opportunity to reach peace is not yet lost.

    Thank you, Mr. President.



  • 5 июл 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    According to the official news agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and various governmental sources, at approximately 09:00 am local time on 4 July 2017, the DPRK launched a ballistic missile, which it termed a quote – “test-fire of inter-continental ballistic rocket Hwasong-14” – end quote.

    The missile was launched near the Panghyon airfield in the northwest of the DPRK.  According to the DPRK, it covered a distance of 933km during a 39-minute flight, reaching an altitude of 2,802km, before impacting into the sea.  According to these parameters, the missile would have a range of roughly 6,700 km if launched on a more typical trajectory, making it an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) according to widely used definitions.  The DPRK again did not send pre-launch notifications to international organisations responsible for airspace and maritime safety.

    The official media claimed the DPRK was now – quote – “a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world, along with nuclear weapons” – end quote.

    This is the seventh time the Council has met to discuss the DPRK in 2017.  Including today, five of these emergency consultations have followed the launch by the DPRK of ballistic missiles in open violation of Security Council resolutions.

    Mr. President, the Secretary-General strongly condemns the launch of a ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range conducted by the DPRK.  This action is yet another brazen violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and constitutes a dangerous escalation of the situation.  The DPRK leadership must cease further provocative actions and comply fully with its international obligations. The Secretary-General underlines the importance of maintaining the unity of the international community in addressing this serious challenge.

    The DPRK must stop actions in violation of Security Council resolutions and allow space for the resumption of sincere dialogue.  All parties must work to reopen communication channels, particularly military-to-military, to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding.

    Amidst the escalation of the security situation in the region, the United Nations and partners play a critical role in saving the lives of the most vulnerable people in the DPRK. As the Council considers its response, we again remind Member States of the importance of separating political and humanitarian concerns, and urge them to support the life-saving activities carried out by the humanitarian organisations in the country.

    Mr. President, I would like to close by reiterating the Secretary-General’s commitment to seeking peaceful and political solutions. The United Nations will remain in close contact with all concerned parties and remains ready to assist in any way possible.

    Thank you.



  • 5 июл 2017


  • 29 июн 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Two years after the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Secretary-General is immensely encouraged by the continued commitment by all participants to the agreement.  The JCPOA – reached by the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 14 July 2015 – is the embodiment of successful multilateral diplomacy, political will and perseverance. This diplomatic achievement reflects the spirit, purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and gives us all hope that even the most difficult issues amongst States can be addressed through dialogue, understanding and reciprocity. As noted by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini, the agreement belongs to the entire international community. Hence it is imperative that all JCPOA participants, the United Nations and the international community at large continue to support the full and effective implementation of this historic agreement.


    Mr. President, 

    Today’s meeting of the Security Council on the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) is taking place against a backdrop of steady implementation, cooperation and progress.  Since “Implementation Day”, 16 January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued seven reports documenting continued implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments. The recent 25 April meeting of the Joint Commission in Vienna – the fifth meeting since Implementation Day – noted the continued adherence to JCPOA commitments by all its participants, and stressed the need to ensure its full and effective implementation.

    The Secretary-General believes that the comprehensive and sustained implementation of the JCPOA will guarantee that Iran’s nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful, while allowing for transparency, monitoring and verification.  It will also provide Iran with an opportunity for greater engagement with the international community and assist in increasing Iran’s trade and economic relations. It will also bring forth to a satisfactory conclusion the consideration of the Iranian nuclear issue by the Security Council.  


    Mr. President,  

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the Third Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2017/515).  The report was submitted to the Council on 16 June 2017 pursuant to annex B to resolution 2231 (2015) and paragraph 7 of the Note by the President of the Council [issued on 16 January 2016 (S/2016/44)].   

    As guided by the Security Council, the report of the Secretary-General focuses on the implementation of the provisions contained in annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).   Let me turn to the main findings of the third report.  

    First, the Secretary-General has not received any report, nor is aware of any open source information regarding the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear-related items undertaken contrary to the provisions of the resolution. 

    I also welcome the fact that Member States are making greater use of the procurement channel. Since 30 December 2016, 10 new nuclear-related proposals were submitted to the Security Council for approval, bringing to 16 the total number of proposals submitted since Implementation Day. Of the 16 proposals, 10 were approved by the Council, 2 were withdrawn by the proposing States and 4 are currently under review. 

    The proposals were processed in accordance with the timelines established by resolution 2231 (2015), with due regard for information security and confidentiality.  The operational linkages established between the Security Council and the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission are both effective and efficient.  

    In this regard, I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent cooperation we have with the European External Action Service (EEAS), especially its Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group (PWG) of the Joint Commission (JC). 

    Second, regarding the implementation of ballistic missile-related provisions, the report notes that on 29 January 2017, Iran launched a (Khorramshahr) medium-range ballistic missile. Letters were submitted to the Secretary-General by Iran and Israel, and jointly by France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States concerning the launch, which presented a range of views and interpretations.  As in the case of the ballistic missile launches by Iran in March 2016, there was no consensus in the Security Council on how this particular launch related to resolution 2231 (2015). In this regard, I would like to quote from the third report of the Secretary-General: [quote] I call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to avoid such ballistic missile launches that have the potential to increase tensions. I appeal to all Member States to redouble their efforts to promote peace and stability in the region [end quote].

    Third, in terms of restrictions on arms-related transfers, the report includes additional information on the seizure of an arms shipment by the French Navy in the Northern Indian Ocean in March 2016. In January 2017, France invited the Secretariat to examine the seized arms.  After examination of the weapons and analysis of information provided, the Secretariat is confident that the weapons seized are of Iranian origin and were shipped from Iran.  

    Fourth, the report also highlights the participation, for the second year in a row, of the Defence Industries Organisation (DIO) in the Iraq Defence Exhibition held in March which may again have implications regarding implementation of the assets freeze. Since the DIO is an entity on the list maintained pursuant to resolution 2231 (2015), its funds, other financial assets and economic resources on the Iraqi territory should have been frozen by Iraqi authorities. The issue was raised again with the Permanent Mission of Iraq and the Secretary-General intends to report back to the Council in due course. The Secretary-General report also provides information on additional travels by Major General Qasem Soleimani since the second report.  The travels were reported by Iranian and Arab media outlets.

    In addition to the above findings, the report also reflects official information provided by Member States to the Secretary-General. They included information from Israel, Lebanon, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Yemen.  The Secretariat has not been able to independently corroborate these reports and will provide further updates, as appropriate, should additional information become available. 

    Mr. President, 

    As we are about to enter into the third year of JCPOA implementation, the Secretary-General would like to once again reaffirm the particular responsibilities of JCPOA participants in carrying the full and effective implementation of the agreement. The Secretary-General is hopeful that all participants will continue to make progress in the implementation of the agreement, and in the process secure its durability.  

    In closing, I would like to acknowledge the leadership of H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy) in his role as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015). I would also like to convey our fullest support to him as well as to the Security Council in the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015). 

    Thank you.

  • 28 июн 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    47-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединённых Наций.  Грузинские, российские, абхазские и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представители приняли участие во встрече.  Встреча оказалась полезной и деловой.

    Общая обстановка на местах в плане безопасности начиная с предыдущей встречи МПРИ была оценена как относительно спокойная и стабильная. Внимание было привлечено к важности сотрудничества между всеми участниками с целью предотвращения инцидентов.

    Участники продолжили обсуждения с целью достижения торжества справедливости по случаю от 19 мая 2016 г. об убийстве грузинского гражданского лица в одной из бывших точек пересечения.

    Участники обменялись последней информацией относительно случая двух грузинских мужчин, задержанных с начала апреля 2017 г. за предполагаемое пересечение линии контроля в “несанкционированном месте”. Вновь прозвучал призыв к соответствующим участникам рассматривать этот случай с гуманитарной точки зрения.

    Участники подчеркнули важность горячей линии связи как эффективного инструмента для своевременного обмена информацией. Им было рекомендовано использовать горячую линию связи эффективно и обоснованно, прежде всего, для предотвращения инцидентов.

    Было согласовано провести следующую встречу 26 июля 2017 г. 

  • 28 июн 2017

    On 28 June 2017, the 47th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations.  Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives took part in the meeting. The meeting was useful and business-like.

    The overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting was assessed as relatively calm and stable. Attention was drawn to the importance of cooperation between all participants in order to prevent incidents.

    The participants continued discussions with a view to achieving justice on the 19 May 2016 killing case of a Georgian civilian at one of the former crossing points.

    The participants exchanged latest information on the case of two Georgian men detained since the beginning of April 2017 for the alleged crossing of the line of control at an “unauthorized location”. The appeal was reiterated to relevant participants to consider the case from a humanitarian angle.

    The participants stressed the importance of hotline as an effective tool to exchange information on a timely basis. They were encouraged to make use of hotline effectively and reasonably in order, first and foremost, to prevent incidents.

    It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 26 July 2017. 

  • 28 июн 2017

    Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Conference on Cyprus, and Espen Barth Eide, Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Cyprus, spoke to journalists at a press point after the opening of the Conference on Cyprus on Wednesday, 28 June in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.  

    JF: Good afternoon.  I am delighted to be here today and glad to be here with the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Espen Barth Eide. The Secretary-General asked me to come out and represent him today for the opening. He will arrive to the talks later this week, and he asked me to pass on a message to the two leaders and to the guarantor parties that they should seize this opportunity. This is an historic opportunity to solve a problem that has been there for decades. The Secretary-General last met with the leaders on June 4th in New York to prepare for this Conference. In fact it was at that meeting when the two leaders agreed to reconvene the Conference on Cyprus.  And what we heard this morning gave us the hope and the conviction that the leaders and the three guarantors have come to this Conference with the determination to overcome the challenges and resolve the issues. I think at this point I will ask the Special Adviser to add his words.

    EBE: Thank you Under-Secretary-General Feltman, I want to reiterate that we feel that we had a good opening session with everybody, with the guarantors, with the two sides, and with the European Union as an observer. Mr. Frans Timmermans, the First Vice President of the European Commission, joined us this morning and we had a constructive and good start where we started to address the critical issues that will be the focus of table one, which is the security and guarantees questions, which are those that pertain to all participants of the Conference.  And then in half an hour, the second table will start its work. First, the two negotiators will have a planning session, how to structure that second table which will be on the bi-communal issues that are still pending, because as you know, the statement of the Secretary-General after the meeting with the two leaders on the 4th of June made very clear that while security and guarantees is now a particularly essential question, there are outstanding issues in those other chapters as well and we need to have a process that is interdependent and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. So these tracks will happen in parallel and that second track will start today and continue. In principle, these two tracks will be constantly active. There may be more emphasis on one and less emphasis on the other, and the other way around, but in principle, they will remain open and this is the way we found a way to deal with everything because all participants yesterday and today made it clear that they came here to Crans-Montana to try to solve the problem. And the Cyprus problem is of course all chapters. So this is the way it is structured. I am encouraged with what I heard so far. As I said in Geneva, hard work will remain, and we make no mistake, we are very much aware of that, but we have a set-up for having larger meetings, smaller meetings, bilateral meetings, meetings in small groups, maybe leaders and ministers only, and we will do what is possible to facilitate. But at the end of the day, of course, it is the responsibility of the Conference participants to go that final mile, to think outside the box, to try out some new ideas so that we finally can go down from this beautiful Swiss mountain with a plan. Thank you.

    Q: Mr. Eide, welcome back again. Today you should meet the guarantor powers, but you changed the modality and you are going to meet them separate. Why is that?

    EBE: We had that in the programme and then we just agreed that we will do it in three separate sessions because we heard interesting things this morning that we will continue to develop for the afternoon session. And this is the way it goes; once you start such a conference, you used tracks that everybody is together in the most effective way and we jointly agreed that this would be the most effective way.  

    Q: Just wondering what kind of signal do you see in the fact that the UK, one of the three guarantors, just sent back the two high representatives that were yesterday evening and this morning here. Is there any particular signal that you see in that?

    JF: That has to do with UK politics. That has nothing to do with the Conference on Cyprus that we are here. In fact, given the parliamentary votes in London, I think it is admirable that both Secretary Johnson and Minister Alan Duncan were here last night. And they have left able representation here and they are monitoring the situation.  We have the full commitment of the UK to work on finding a solution on the Cyprus problem.  

    EBE: If I just might add that Minister of Europe Duncan will come back as soon as these votes are over. And Foreign Secretary Johnson also said that he, in principle, is aiming at coming back when time permits. But the UK is constantly here. And by the way, we knew this all the time.  It is not news for us.  I mean, this was clear that today they had these inaugural votes after the Queen’s speech and we fully understand that without them, the Government might not continue, and in politics, people tend to think that that is important.

    Q: Mr. Eide, you said yesterday that the four other issues, barring security, were basically done. Does that just mean that we are waiting for the security issue to fall, or could you unpack a little bit more how far along we are in terms of the other four issues being discussed?

    EBE:  What I said, and what I will repeat now, is that the four first chapters, and I could even add the fifth – territory – much more work has been done than on the security chapter. It doesn’t mean that they are completely done. There are a few but very important issues. There is particularly one issue in the area of governance. There is one more issue of some importance in the territory chapter. And we still have to wrap up the final property deal; even if most of it is there, there are a few issues that are still remaining.  And they are not remaining because we did not have time to do it, or that we forgot about them, they are remaining because the leaders chose to put them on the list of those issues they can only deal with at the very end and as part of a broader package. And now I think the sense that we are getting from everyone here is that this is the moment to actually unwrap these issues as well. And because of inter-connected nature, this has to happen in parallel, because you cannot any longer do one chapter and then another one. So in principle while we’re here in Crans-Montana, all issues are open, but in two separated formats, a format with the guarantors and the EU as an observer, plus the sides, on security and guarantees principally, maybe some treaty related issues, and then the second level which is for the sides only, but they will feed each other and inform each other.

    Q: I would like to ask did the parties this morning found a common basis for discussion for security and guarantees. And what will be the sequence of the discussion regarding the other chapters and the inter-connection between the chapters. Thank you.

    EBE: So as I said, this second track starts now in 22 minutes, and the negotiators will start by answering exactly that question, what will be the sequence of this other track.  But there is a hint already in the statement from the Secretary-General on the 4th of June, which highlights territory, property, governance and power sharing, and it is exactly around these issues that I just mentioned. So it is quite clear what will be the early emphasis, and because these are those questions outside of security and guarantees, that the leaders feel have a ‘make or break’ character to them. There are many more issues, but they don’t really, you can’t really say that they will, can break the deal, there is simply work to be done. But these issues are still of a more essential nature.  And to your first question Stella - yes, we had a good beginning, we had a good beginning, actually I think beyond what we expected for the beginning. It does not mean that we have concluded, nor did we expect to, but there were ideas put on the table that’s something we will work on tonight, and in the coming days. So largely yes, but we still have to conclude what it exactly means.

    Q: Thank you very much. A question for both of you; Mr. Feltman, there are a bunch of other peace processes going on where the UN is involved. Would you agree that the Cyprus peace process, on paper at least, is the easiest, and if you can’t get a deal here, what does it stay for the others? And a question for Mr. Eide, if you do get a deal, are we correct in thinking this will go to a referendum? Would that be in November? Can you tell us what would be the outcome? Thanks.

    JF: I don’t think one can really compare from one peace process to another because they’re all so different. In some cases, such as in this one, the UN’s playing a facilitating role, in others the UN is playing more of a supporting role, it’s hard to compare. I was in Colombia last week, for example, where the UN is involved in one specific aspect of the Colombia peace process, and while there are challenges in Colombia, I was there to witness part of the disarmament, the laying down of arms by the FARC rebels, so there’s some progress there. I think that what’s notable about this process is that the two leaders have taken the process further than their predecessors have taken it, that they come up with a remarkably expansive set of convergences between the two sides on the chapters that the Special Adviser was describing. That’s not to underestimate the differences that still have to be overcome. But what I found reassuring this morning was the positive atmosphere and the forward-looking nature of the comments by the two leaders and by the three guarantors who were in the room. There was a sense that whatever disagreements there may be about history, that now is the time to come to an agreement about the future of Cyprus. And that certainly is consistent with the message that Secretary-General António Guterres asked me to deliver to the two leaders, to the three guarantor parties and to the EU as an observer this morning, and I felt that the interventions that each of the others made were consistent with that vision of the Secretary-General. 

    EBE: Yes, and that’s an easy question to answer. Both leaders envisaged that with the advent of an actual deal between them, they will present it to referenda. There will be two simultaneous referenda happening at the same date, sometime later this year, if a deal comes out of this. But of course, first we will clinch the deal and then we’ll decide when that would happen. But that’s the logic.

    Q: What would the UN consider as a success from Crans-Montana?

    EBE: Of course, the biggest success would be an actual comprehensive agreement. That’s hard, but not impossible, in the sense that so much has been discussed that you know, if this is really productive and we take our time and we focus on the essentials, it is not beyond reach. It could happen. Short of that, we could have not a framework deal, but a breakthrough on the key issues. A breakthrough that will lead the leaders to tell each other that Cyprus will reunify, there is some more work, we might go back to Cyprus and wrap up certain things that we haven’t had time to do here, but it will happen. I think if we don’t have either of those, I don’t think we can talk of success in Crans-Montana, so this is what we’re working on. 

    Q: Mr. Eide, you said yesterday in Geneva that this is the “best chance” for finding a solution for the island, this conference. So, do you still think that this is the best chance, after what you saw in the opening session? Also, you said this is not the last chance. What did you mean by that? Are we expecting more talks after Crans-Montana? 

    EBE: Thank you for asking, because, what happened yesterday, that I was asked by more than one of you whether this was the last chance, and I very deliberately said that I hear a number of people saying that, I prefer to say it’s the best chance. I did not say that it was not the last chance, if you see my point, I just did not say that it was the last chance. There’s a nuance that I think was lost when your excellent articles came to the desk and they shortened it – I think you know the feeling, I know the feeling. So I haven’t said it’s not the last chance but I haven’t said it is the last chance, but I reiterate, it is the best chance. And after this morning, I feel even better about this chance. 

    Q: I was going to ask you to clear [up] something that was being reported in some media this morning, that there was a crisis in the morning meeting, just to clear that there wasn’t such a thing.

    JF: The atmosphere was positive. The interventions were forward-looking. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised, to be honest. I’ve participated in several of these sessions alongside the Special Adviser, and I thought today’s was the most constructive session in which I’ve participated. And remember, this was Table One. This was about security and guarantees. This was about the issue that’s been least developed and the issue that is probably the most difficult, again, not to underestimate challenges on the others, and yet the atmosphere was positive: the two leaders, the three guarantor powers, shared some creative ideas that we can pursue later in more detail. There was, I’d say, a remarkably positive attitude.

    EBE: Definitely no crisis.

    Q: Mr. Eide, do you have the full blessing of the Secretary-General, Mr. Guterres, after the withdrawal of the document you tried to implement, that caused some controversy within the Greek Cypriot side and indeed, the Greek side. 

    JF: You posed the question to the Special Adviser, but I’m going to answer, because I’m here representing the Secretary-General at this opening. The Secretary-General will arrive later in the week to join the conference. The Secretary-General wants me to assure everyone that he is fully behind this process, he is fully behind the work that the Special Adviser and his team have done, and he respects and admires what the two leaders have done in terms of developing the convergences that have occurred so far.

    Q: Mr. Eide, you said this is the best chance. What makes you believe this is the best chance, since we’ve had other chances before, and how long are you prepared, and the sides are prepared to stay here to realize this? 

    EBE: So, both leaders told the Secretary-General, Anastasiades and Akýncý both said to the Secretary-General on 4 June that they will go here and stay, and their aim is to find a settlement. So we didn’t define how long that was, but it was clearly understood that we talked about weeks in plural, if necessary. For planning purposes, we have been planning to be here till Friday 7 July. That does not mean neither that we will necessarily leave that afternoon, nor that we will have to stay till that day, but that’s a planning assumption. But the idea is to be here to try to solve the outstanding issues, now that we have everyone together. And all delegations will remain as well. That doesn’t mean that they will always be at the same level, but there will always be a fully empowered negotiator from every delegation that is here until the meeting is over. And that has been cleared and agreed and reiterated by everybody. So we’re in here for the long haul. How much time it takes, time will show.

    Q: Given the essence of the document that was proposed to both sides, given the fact that there was over-reaction of both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, and Turkey and Greece, and given that it was supposed to be the basis of how we moved one step forward – how we discuss security and guarantees – do you believe that those preconditions - wrong word maybe for our Turkish Cypriot colleagues – do you believe that those things that needed to be done and said for the discussion of guarantees have happened on the way here, and have they happened today? Has anything replaced what the document was supposed to do?  

    EBE: First, I want to link up to the question of the document. The document has not been withdrawn. That’s a wrong expression. We simply concluded that it’s not common.  We presented it, it exists, it’s not common. So we are not using it as a common platform. That’s a wrong expression. [The Special Adviser later clarified that the document was not a common document and therefore was not and will not be tabled at the Conference on Cyprus. However, the positions that were captured in the document from Monte Pelèrin III in January and the ideas that had informed the drafting of the document in consultation with all parties, remained available to inform the positions of the sides.]. We simply concluded that it’s not common. We presented it, it exists, it’s not common.  So we are not using it as a common platform. 

    That’s actually not a problem, we realize now, because in the interventions that we already have heard, we basically heard the same elements again. Because, remember, this document was not invented by us. It was a compilation of input and elaboration of input that we got from all sides, the same sides, the same people, and they have been discussing most of those issues anyway, but as their own inputs to the talks. So I think, as I said yesterday, and I can say that with even more confidence today, what mattered was the process towards, you know, collecting these ideas. The fact that we don’t formally talk about a common document is not an issue because in reality that started the thinking and we could see today that that thinking continues in a positive sense. As the Under-Secretary-General Feltman said, we heard five opening interventions, from the sides, from the guarantors and an exchange around these issues, which basically encapsulates what are the issues to be discussed. And what we’re going to do this afternoon and maybe tomorrow is to continue to deep dive into what these different elements are, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that it’s not shockingly different from what was in this document. But, the document as a document is not seen as a common document, which is fine. And you were right; basically everybody felt that it was leading too much in the direction of the opposite side, which is not completely unfamiliar in the Cyprus talks.

  • 27 июн 2017

    Mr. President [Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz of Bolivia], Dear colleagues, 

    Let me start by giving a summary of what is our own analysis based on the latest developments and on some of the possible future steps ahead. As usual in Syria we have a mixed picture and I have to refer to it. There have been some interesting technical steps in advance of the 7th round of intra-Syrian talks that will take place as you know very well by now on the period of the 10-14 July. There are currently serious efforts on the other hand underway to deliver further agreements and implementation agreements regarding the de-escalation zones before an Astana meeting which is planned on the 4-5 July. But there have also been worrying developments which we cannot ignore and we will elaborate a little bit on that. We are at a time of testing whether the political will exists for real de-escalation and more meaningful political talks and move beyond preparatory talks. 

    Throughout this period, Mr. President, dear representatives of the Security Council, the UN has been quite active, convening joint technical meetings with opposition experts, seeking to support the efforts of the Astana guarantors on de-escalation, consulting widely including in Moscow and Paris and with many others, and laying the basis for a new round of the Geneva talks - and also having consultations with our colleagues in the European Union. Let me map this out for you and look to where we can go next. 


    Mr. President, 

    In the last round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva, I did announce the establishment of a technical consultative process - you remember, that was an additional layer that we believe can be very helpful in actually abolishing layers by accelerating the real talks. This technical consultative process was meant to develop relevant options on constitutional and legal issues that would need to be considered anyway and resolved anyway in relation to any proposals and positions put forward in formal sessions. This was designed in fact to help the formal talks to progress more expeditiously, and be better prepared by ensuring that any negotiated transitional political process would enjoy solid technical constitutional and legal foundations. Let me give you one example, some times ago as you will remember, we had a moment of truth in Afghanistan, many years ago, I was around and some of you were. And there was a feeling that nothing was moving forward until at a certain point there was a rush for conference in Bonn. Much of the work had been already prepared. Preparatory work which appears sometimes to be tedious, sometimes not conclusive, was immediately put in action and utilized as homework preparing for the Bonn conference. Well we are in a certain way doing something similar, waiting for the major Geneva conference, God willing. 

    We made it clear that the consultative process created was technical - as you know everything we do is political but the particular emphasis in this case were technical -, expert and non-binding in nature. It was not designed, and it is not designed to act as a negotiating forum, to take on the political responsibilities of the formal sessions, or to take on itself the Syrian people’s right to determine the constitutional future of the state of Syria. But it is a serious process because it does prepare for this. 

    You will recall that both the Government and the three opposition invitees to the intra-Syrian talks – those mentioned in 2254 – all agreed, last time, to participate in separate consultations under this consultative process, and indeed we were able to do so separately in the last round for - at least two days. 

    Since then, there has been a potentially significant new development. On 15 and 16 June, two days ago, opposition experts from the High Negotiations Committee and the Cairo and Moscow platforms convened jointly, together, in the same room, in Geneva at the invitation of the UN within the framework of the consultative process. This was the first time a joint set of UN meetings with the opposition invitees in one room has taken place, and not only for protocol reasons, but substantively discussing during the whole day among them and with us - and we believe we must build on this. 

    The opposition experts worked to develop joint technical options regarding the schedule and process for drafting a new constitution and its popular approval. They also discussed the principles involved, covering the substance of the so-called living 12 points that we did put forward in round 4. The experts also discussed these issues in the context of a negotiated political transition process within the framework of relevant resolutions of the Security Council. 

    While such expert meetings are by nature exploratory and non-binding, the joint meeting brought to light welcome similarities and common technical and perhaps even political understanding of various issues, and could potentially be the beginning of greater technical coordination among these three groups and we hope you will be helping us in supporting these three groups to do so in order to show unity. 

    The participants felt that more work could be even more productive, and my office has, therefore, accordingly invited them to participate next week in a further set of joint meetings in the framework of the consultative process on constitutional and legal issues, ahead of the seventh round of formal intra-Syrian talks, taking place as you know in July. 

    You will recall that the Government of Syria which was by the way the first to commit to the technical process, communicated to me that it would participate in expert meetings in the framework of technical consultation process during formal sessions of the intra-Syrian talks -- but not outside those formal occasions. I therefore look forward to experts from my team continuing during the 7th round the engagement that began with experts from the Government during the 6th round. 

    Naturally, the UN remains ready to engage with the Government experts at any mutually convenient time, including before and after formal talks. 


    Mr. President, 

    In my formal invitations to the forthcoming round of the intra-Syrian talks, I encouraged the invitees to prepare actively. I look forward therefore, to them engaging in an intensified set of discussions on issues across all four baskets – governance issues, constitutional issues, electoral issues, counter-terrorism, security governance and medium term confidence-building issues. I hope it will be possible to accelerate the peace talks. I am giving consideration to sharing some of my own thinking on certain issues in order to stimulate the parties. 

    If the environment is propitious, I am also ready to seek to facilitate direct talks between the Government and the opposition, hopefully unified opposition, in those talks, either at the formal or technical level. This is something that all sides have stated more than ones they want, and I hope conditions are being created that could enable this. 

    I also believe it would be important to aim for a further round towards end August or early September, in advance of the September General Assembly meeting. 

    Both during and between the upcoming rounds of formal talks and expert meetings, my team will continue to closely engage with the members of the Women’s Advisory Board of Syria and the Civil Society Support Room and listen to their suggestions and practical advice. In particular, my team and I continue to strive to engage with and hear the priorities of more women's organizations, including those working across Syria, inside Syria, during and between rounds of intra-Syria talks. 

    In this context, I should note that, following the last round round of intra-Syrian talks, we did activate our Civil Society Support Room, which allowed us to consult with more than 50 civil society organizations and experts from all walks of life and different expertise, from both within and outside Syria. 

    The more we engage with these interlocutors, the more we are convinced that civil society will be critical to preserving and indeed regenerating the social cohesion of a country that for too long has been torn apart by war. 


    Mr. President, 

    As we advance the overall political effort unfolding under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva, efforts are continuing by the three guarantors to finalize modalities for the implementation of the Astana de-escalation memorandum concluded on 4 May. A meeting of the guarantors is planned for Astana to be in Astana on 4 and 5 July. I plan to be present at that meeting.   

    With every week that passes, we know it, without a final arrangement for the de-escalation zones being indeed finalized, the fragility of the ceasefire regime and the risk posed by the fragility increases. I am aware of the genuine efforts currently being undertaken to try and overcome the remaining obstacles, as was witnessed by my own team of experts from my own office during the recently held technical-level meeting of the joint working group on de-escalation in Moscow. 

    The UN team continues to stand ready to provide technical advice, whenever and wherever needed. Because we need a success in Astana, as Astana desperately needs a success in the Geneva political process in order to consolidate what we are all trying to do. Let’s give de-escalation efforts a fair chance to succeed because that is what people are asking in order to bringing the violence further down and enabling confidence-building. 

    I also express the hope that the discussions aimed at finding a suitable formula for addressing the difficult situation that has emerged in the south of Syria, will also yield positive results. 


    Mr. President, 

    As we plan for Geneva intra-Syrian talks and as the Astana guarantors work for de-escalation, let us recall what has been achieved and some of the challenges that are still to be met on the ground. 

    Since the three guarantor states signed the de-escalation memorandum on 4 May in Astana, violence is clearly down. Hundreds of Syrian lives continue to be spared every week, and many towns have returned to some degree of normalcy.   

    That is a good general trend, but it is not the same good trend everywhere. In some areas, the fight and violence has been continuing and in fact intensified. 

    The overall significant improvement of the security situation on the other hand has not, and we have to recognize that, regrettably, yielded equally significant progress on humanitarian access to areas where the needs are the greatest. The support of the ISSG co-chairs and other ISSG members has been helpful, and efforts are continuing. However, let me be honest, much more needs to be done - and urgently - to enable safe, unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access to all Syrians, wherever they are, particularly in the areas which have been difficult to reach. 

    Let me also stress the importance of moving forward on the issue of detainees, abductees, missing people and on the important issue of humanitarian demining. Let me express here my appreciation to UNMAS for its continuing engagement in this regard. 


    Mr. President, 

    We note that the fight against terrorism appears to be proceeding with Daesh under pressure and in retreat in various locations in Syria. The same time incident between the international anti-ISIL coalition and forces of the Government of Syria and its allies, including the downing of a Syrian military plane, have taken place. 

    As I see it, the ideal trajectory over the coming two weeks would be: progress in Astana on 4-5 July; then a further set of joint technical expert meetings with the opposition groups in the same week; and then a continued discussion and dialogue hopefully among international stakeholders (including at the G20 Summit in Hamburg on 7-8 July), in which Syria can not be avoided as a subject. And all this in support of both the Astana de-escalation efforts and the intra-Syrian Geneva-based political process. I hope that a combination of these elements would help shape an environment conducive for the next round of intra-Syrian talks in Geneva in the months to come, and bring us one step forward on the journey towards our shared goal of implementing the resolutions of this Council, in particular 2254. All the political efforts of the United Nations are directed towards this end, and we continue, with the guidance of the Secretary-General to count on the strong support of all of you and of the Security Council as a whole. Thank you. 

  • 21 июн 2017

    Good morning, Mr. President, Esteemed Members of the Security Council.

    The months since my last briefing have been unusually tense in Afghanistan. The deteriorating security situation has brought underlying political tensions to the surface. At the same time, the willingness of the Government to take steps towards peace was demonstrated by their successful holding earlier this month of a Kabul meeting on regional peace and security, as well as the continuous implementation of the political agreement with former insurgent group Hezbi-i Islami. But without enhanced efforts by the National Unity Government to increase political inclusiveness, strengthen accountability and improve the Government’s credibility, particularly in the security sector, we are likely to face more crises in an increasingly fragile environment. The events of the early morning of 20 June, when the Government’s attempt to remove the final protest resulted in violence is a reminder of the need for caution, calm and unity.

    Mr. President,

    The most recent security and political crisis was sparked by a terrorist bombing in Kabul’s centre on 31 May. This was followed by large street demonstrations protesting growing insecurity which turned violent, and then a suicide attack at a subsequent funeral of one of those killed in the demonstrations. Chief Executive Abdullah, Foreign Minister Rabbani and other senior political officials were near the blasts at the funeral but were thankfully unhurt. The political fault-lines that emerged are increasingly along an ethnic basis, which is particularly worrying at a time when the Islamic State is attempting to provoke sectarian strife in the country through attacks against Shia Muslims.

    During the anti-government demonstrations on 2 June, we at UNAMA conducted extensive outreach to leaders on all sides, particularly leaders of political movements which were considering joining the protests. We urged restraint, warned of the negative consequences for everyone of loss of control, and requested them to give time to allow their grievances to be addressed without violence. Coupled with the intensive efforts by the government and members of the diplomatic community, the immediate risk of escalation was defused. We are grateful for the subsequent expressions from the government and political leaders outside the government that UNAMA’s efforts contributed to calming the situation. I remain concerned, however, that without changes in governance practices we are likely to face future crises that might be more difficult to contain.

    What is the root of the problem? There have been indications since last summer that Afghanistan’s broad political consensus was fraying. In recent months, a growing number of political factions, some who were formerly part of the National Unity Government as well as a younger generation of political forces, have begun to criticise and demand reforms to the Government. They argue that it is not sufficiently consultative or inclusive. The Government, on the other hand, claims that opposition groups block important reforms and stoke tension by calling for the Government to be replaced. Each side accuses the other of acting against the national interest. It appears to me undeniable that these perceptions have contributed to tensions that characterize today’s political environment. The existence of opposition is natural in any political scene, but the amount of mistrust is growing and there is an increasing resort to uncompromising slogans and statements which can fuel further violent protest. Efforts at inclusiveness and building consensus for political stability are critical.

    The 31 May suicide bomb exploded just outside the restricted diplomatic enclave in the middle of Kabul. It took more than 90 lives and injured close to 500 people—all Afghans. While there were no serious international casualties, a number of diplomatic facilities, including several UN buildings, were badly damaged. Some embassies have had to evacuate staff while their facilities are repaired. Despite these realities, it is imperative that the attack not be allowed to undermine international support for Afghanistan including development and economic assistance. The international community must not be intimidated nor succumb to the terrorists.

    Mr. President,

    The Government’s ability to hold a high-level meeting of the Kabul process on regional peace and security in Kabul on 6 June, with the participation of 24 states or organizations, demonstrated its resilience and the determination of the international community to maintain its support for Afghanistan and the National Unity Government.

    In his opening speech, President Ghani stated: “We are gathered in this conference because the world community signed a promise that terrorism would not be tolerated. And today we are demanding that the world makes good on this promise.” In this regard, I welcome the General Assembly’s endorsement of the Secretary-General’s proposal to create a new office on counter-terrorism headed by an Under-Secretary-General.

    The Afghan vision for peace is premised on the fact that a stable Afghanistan would lead to a stable and more prosperous region. Achieving this vision will require the strong determination of all states concerned, particularly of the region and the neighbourhood. The Afghan Government has requested at the Kabul conference for the international community to address this issue in all its facets. The nexus of crime, corruption, and terrorism eventually undermines all states and the state system, which is why states must unite to combat it. The proof of our commitment will be a stable Afghanistan.

    On the Afghan side, the recent series of security incidents has demonstrated the urgent need for reforms in the security sector. I welcome the Government’s commitment to transparent, merit-based appointments, and credible investigations of the events of 31 May, 2 and 3 June, 20 June, and other reforms in the ministries of the Interior and Defence.

    Mr. President,

    Afghanistan faces numerous internal challenges in addition to fighting an insurgency that seems to be gaining ground. These include deep rooted political tension, the difficulty of integrating socially and economically the thousands of Afghan refugees who return each day, an economy that is only very slowly recovering after the international drawdown in 2014, and pervasive corruption. The economy remains heavily dependent on development assistance. The private sector, as the biggest potential provider of employment, suffers from a lack of investor confidence and pervasive corruption. As a result, economic growth can neither match population growth nor generate enough employment for the many young Afghans entering the labour market every year. Corruption undermines the legitimacy of the state. It prevents a real economy from emerging. It contributes to insecurity. Corruption is at the heart of the problem of impunity, which itself is at the heart of the ongoing human rights challenges. Afghans alone are not to blame, but the consequences of corruption disproportionately affect Afghanistan.

    In April, UNAMA issued its first comprehensive report on corruption in Afghanistan. I was gratified by the intensity of the public’s response to this report. Afghans understand the effects of corruption and impunity because they face them every day. Positive steps have been made to tackle this problem by the National Unity Government. Reforms that have begun to work in the Ministry of Defence are now being applied to the Ministry of Interior. The Anti-Corruption Justice Centre is proving to be an effective instrument.

    UNAMA’s Human Rights remains committed to provide credible data of the impact of the conflict of civilians, especially women and children. It continues to engage with all main parties to the conflict to support them in taking measures to limit harm against civilians. UNAMA’s report on the treatment of conflict detainees for the period of 2015 and 2016 was published in April to coincide with the second periodic review of Afghanistan by the United Nations Committee against Torture. UNAMA welcomes the Government’s renewed commitment to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and to take further steps to eliminate the torture and ill-treatment of detainees. These efforts must be accelerated to increase accountability and increase public trust in the Government.

    Mr. President,

    The attack of 31 May and the events that followed should serve as a clarifying moment. We are at a point where we need to take conscious decisions to reverse negative trends and seek stability or face far worse. The recent crisis has illustrated the dangers of pushing narrow interests, be they domestic or international, in Afghanistan’s fragile context. There are two specific issues in particular that we must focus on.

    First, in the domestic sphere, preparation must be accelerated for the next round of elections, parliamentary and presidential. Decisions must be made regarding the use of technology, and the role and modalities of international electoral assistance. Work must start on voter registration. The electoral calendar must be made clear. In my discussions with Afghan political actors, especially outside of Kabul, it is clear that the lack of clarity on these issues is a major component of the growing political mistrust. We understand that the Independent Elections Commission will make an announcement as early as tomorrow regarding the date for parliamentary elections. I believe that this announcement will contribute to allaying the political tensions I have referred to in this briefing.

    Second, as I have repeatedly stated in this forum and elsewhere, a genuine peace process with the Taliban is essential and urgent. In the 6 June Kabul meeting, the need for a modus vivendi between Afghanistan and its neighbours was stressed. At the same time, I encourage the people of Afghanistan to begin an internal dialogue on the meaning of peace and reconciliation. The Government and the Taliban need to engage directly with each other to define a political solution. In this regard, the appointment of the new Chair of the High Peace Council is a welcome development, but it is only a first step towards the Council’s revitalization and its new role in driving the peace process.

    Mr. President,

    UNAMA is doing all it can to help contain political tensions, using our long-standing relationships and our experience. I have been proud of the entire mission and Country Team for these efforts. I was honoured to welcome the Secretary-General to Afghanistan last week, where his visit clearly demonstrated his and this Organization’s commitment to Afghanistan, solidarity with its people, and perseverance in the pursuit of peace.

    We look forward as well to the results of the strategic review, which you have requested. We are hopeful and confident that it will ensure that we have the tools to continue to work for peace in Afghanistan.

    On the eve of the important Muslim holiday of Eid, I wish to again reiterate my call for unity and urge restraint so that families and communities can enjoy a peaceful end of Ramadan.

    Thank you.  

  • 20 июн 2017

    Mr President,

    Thank you for this opportunity to brief the Security Council on  developments in Burundi and the efforts of the United Nations and partners to help resolve the crisis in the country.

    As Members of the Security Council are aware, on 5 May, the Secretary-General appointed former President of Burkina Faso Michel Kafando as his new Special Envoy to lead and coordinate United Nations political efforts on Burundi, and to provide assistance to the mediation and facilitation led by the East African Community.  Mr. Kafando visited New York from 30 May to 7 June for briefing and introductory meetings and consultations with Member States and the Secretariat. He will travel to the region shortly, to meet with Burundian stakeholders, the EAC Mediator and Facilitator, the African Union, and other relevant actors. This engagement in the region will give us a better insight into the status of the political process, the assessment of regional leaders of the situation and on the way forward.

    Since the latest briefing to the Security Council on 9 March, the situation in Burundi has remained volatile.

    On the political process, after some delays, an EAC Summit of Heads of State and Government was held on 20 May in Dar es Salaam at which President Museveni of Uganda was elected Chair of the Eastern African Community and approved the progress report and recommendations presented by EAC Facilitator former President Mkapa. In the report, Mr. Mkapa highligthed nine points to, as he put it, “clean the polluted political environment” for effective preparations of the 2020 elections, including confidence building measures, inclusivity and political space, return of refugees and exiled political leaders and preservation of the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement.

    Mr. Mkapa expressed concern over the slow progress in the dialogue and called on all parties to engage in good faith and without preconditions. He  also expressed concern over the Government’s demand to ‘repatriate’ the EAC-led dialogue to Burundi. Mr. Mkapa urged the leaders of the region to put their full weight behind his facilitation, including by providing appropriate funding for the process.  The next round of consultations is scheduled to take place in Arusha in early July.  The joint EAC-UN-AU working group continues to meet regularly in Arusha, with the participation of a team from the Office of the Special Envoy in Burundi, in support of the efforts of the Facilitator.


    Mr President, Members of the Council,

    The security situation remains fragile.  Recent weeks have seen grenade attacks in the capital, and repression and intimidation by security forces and associated groups.

    OHCHR, as well as  human rights NGOs, continue to report targeted arrests, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment of real or perceived opposition members and supporters, as well as extra-judicial killings and forced disappearances.

    Reports of incitement to hatred and violence have  increased since April 2017,with regular testimonies and video recordings  of rallies by the Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling CNDD-FDD.  The dissemination of one such video on social media prompted CNDD-FDD to issue a statement on 5 April 2017, condemning the inflammatory lyrics and attributing the events to “influences outside the party”.  On 18 April, the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a strong statement condemning the hateful rethoric and incitement to violence.

    The Government of Burundi has not resumed cooperation with OHCHR, since it was suspended in mid-October 2016.  OHCHR has been awaiting a response from the Government regarding amendments to a proposal for a new Memorandum of Understanding. The Commission of Inquiry on the human rights situation in Burundi established by the Human Rights Council presented its second oral briefing on 15 June. The three commissioners regretted the lack of access to the country and lack of cooperation by the government of Burundi.  The Commission of Inquiry has collected more than 470 testimonies of human rights violations allegedly committed in Burundi since 2015. The Commission will present its final report to the Human Rights Council this coming September (2017).


    Mr. President, Members of the Council,

    In its final report issued on 12 May, the Commission Nationale de Dialogue Inter-Burundais (CNDI) stated that the majority in Burundi support  a revision of the Constitution,  the lifting of presidential term limits and changes to other provisions of the Arusha Agreement.  Subsequently, President Nkurunziza appointed  a constitutional review commission, which has yet to be established, with a six-month mandate to submit proposals to amend the Constitution.  The  CNDI report and the creation of the constitutional review commission were denounced by opposition parties, including  CNARED.  Civil society leaders in exile also condemned the move, which they consider a potential catalyst for unrest.

    It is of great concern that these developments are taking place against the backdrop of widespread restrictions on civil liberties and political freedom. Implementing the proposed changes in the current climate will likely lead to an escalation of the crisis.


    Mr. President, Members of the Council,

    Since the Secretariat’s last briefing, the socioeconomic and humanitarian situations have also deteriorated. Three million people in Burundi  are in need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 2.6 million others experience acute food insecurity, with over 700,000 in need of emergency food assistance. Mass displacement continues, due to natural hazards, food insecurity and socio-political factors.  About 209,000 people are internally displaced.  The number of Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries exceeds 400,000. Humanitarian actors have scaled up their response but have yet to reach the capacity required to meet emerging life-saving needs.  The Government has eased some restrictions on humanitarian access.  The humanitarian community has appealed for 73.7 million US dollars to assist a third of the estimated three million people in need. The appeal is currently funded at only 35 percent, and the humanitarian community urgently needs additional financial support.

    The IMF projects a growth rate of  zero percent and an inflation rate of 12.4 percent in 2017. Severe fuel and electricity shortages further disrupt business and social activities and drive up prices. Blackouts lasting several days at a time have reportedly caused an uptick in criminal activities in some areas.

    The Secretariat  remains fully committed to assisting the people of Burundi and supporting the EAC-led dialogue process.  Regional actors and international partners need to put their full weight behind the EAC-led dialogue and continue to press for the implementation of confidence-building measures, to help create conditions conducive for the holding of an inclusive and credible political dialogue.

    I thank you for your attention.

  • 20 июн 2017

    Mr. President, Members of the Security Council,

    Today I devote my regular briefing to the Council to reporting, on behalf of the Secretary-General, on the implementation of resolution 2334 during the period from 25 March to 19 June.

    I will focus on developments on the ground in accordance with the provisions of the resolution, including on regional and international efforts to advance peace.

    Let me once again note that nothing in the report can be divorced from the broader context in which it is happening: the half century of occupation, the stalled peace process, the lack of dialogue between the parties, as well as continued illegal settlement activities, terror, violence and increased radicalization.

    Allow me to note that this month’s briefing coincides with the 50-year anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan. Achieving a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to lay the foundations for enduring peace that is based on Israeli security needs and the Palestinian right to sovereignty and statehood.

    Now is not the time to give up on this goal.

    Now is the time to create the conditions for a return to negotiations to resolve all final status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, mutual agreements and international law.

    Mr. President,

    Resolution 2334 calls on Israel to take steps “to cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.” No such steps have been taken during the reporting period. In fact — since the 24th of March – there has been substantial increase in settlement-related announcements as compared with the previous reporting period, with plans for nearly 4,000 housing units moving forward and 2,000 tenders issued.

    The United Nations considers all settlement activities to be illegal under international law. Resolution 2334 states that the international community will not recognize any changes to the 4th of June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed to by the parties themselves through negotiations.

    Plans for some 3,200 units were advanced through the various stages of the planning process in 22 settlements in Area C of the occupied West Bank. These plans include 2,000 housing units in major population centers of Ma’ale Adumim and Ariel, and over 800 units in Kerem Reim, Oranit and Beit El.

    One hundred units were advanced for the new settlement of Amihai, established in the eastern Shiloh Valley for the former residents of the Amona outpost, where the Israeli authorities also declared 241 acres as ‘state land’ in the same zone. Both acts would further sever the territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian State, solidifying a line of settlements dividing the northern and central West Bank. As construction on the new settlement began today, the Prime Minister stated that “there will never be, a Government that is more prosettlement than our Government”.

    Separately, tenders were issued for close to 2,000 housing units in four settlements close to the 1967 line — Alfei Menashe, Beitar Illit, Beit Arie and Karnei Shomron. Infrastructure tenders for a future construction of over 200 settlement units in Kochav Yaakov, located between Ramallah and Jerusalem were also re-issued.

    In East Jerusalem 770 housing units in the Gilo Southern Slopes reached the final approval stage, and building permits for over 360 housing units were granted in Ramat Shlomo, Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot.

    Meanwhile, according to OCHA, the reporting period witnessed a sharp decline in the number of demolished Palestinian-owned structures in Area C: 29 structures were demolished or seized, down from 149 in the previous reporting period. East Jerusalem saw a less pronounced decrease in demolished structures from 49 to 32; however, the monthly average of demolitions in East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2017 remains at the same levels as in 2016 when demolitions reached a 15-year record.

    Mr. President,

    Allow me to turn to the problem of violence that remains a hallmark of the conflict. Resolution 2334 calls on all sides to refrain from such acts and undertake efforts to combat them.

    During the reporting period, the security situation on the ground remained relatively calm. No rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces did not conduct any airstrikes in Gaza.

    However, according to OCHA seventeen Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, in various incidents including reported terror attacks, clashes, and military operations. One Israeli soldier was killed in a car ramming attack on 6 April outside the Ofra settlement, northeast of Ramallah, and, on 16 June, a policewoman was killed in a shooting and stabbing attack by Palestinian assailants in the vicinity of the Old City of Jerusalem.

    On 14 April, a British exchange student was killed by a Palestinian assailant in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.

    The Israeli Security Forces killed a Jordanian citizen reportedly involved in a stabbing incident in the Old City on 13 May, and on 25 May a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of Gaza. The reporting period also witnessed the shooting of two Palestinian men during protests at the fence along Gaza’s northern border.

    On March the 24th, a senior Hamas military commander was assassinated by unknown assailants in Gaza City. This was followed by a lockdown of Gaza by Hamas in which for a period of a few days the de facto authorities did not allow Palestinians or internationals to leave the Strip. In April, Hamas executed six Palestinian men for alleged collaboration with Israel, an act that was condemned by the international community.

    Settler-related violence continued during the reporting period as well. According to OCHA, 31 incidents were documented, resulting in one Palestinian killed, ten injured, and damage to Palestinian property. Much of the violence has centred around the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, near Nablus, a recurrent source of violent actions against neighbouring villages in the past.

    Against the backdrop of Israeli security officials reportedly warning of the increased risk of another terror attack by Jewish extremists, like the one against the Dawabshe family two years ago, a Rabbi from Yitzhar was indicted for incitement to violence against Palestinians, while a number of others have been arrested.

    Mr. President,

    Security Council resolution 2334 called upon both parties to refrain from acts of provocation, incitement, and inflammatory rhetoric, and to “clearly condemn all acts of terrorism." Regrettably, such calls continued to go unanswered during the reporting period.

    Palestinian officials and media outlets affiliated with Fatah continued to commemorate perpetrators of past terror attacks against Israeli civilians. One community center was recently named after a Palestinian woman who was involved in an attack in which 38 Israelis, including 13 children were killed in Tel Aviv in 1978. UN Women and Norway withdrew support from the organisation.

    Hamas leaders have also continued their deplorable practice of celebrating recent attacks against Israeli civilians as “heroic,” including the 1 April stabbing in Jerusalem’s Old City in which two civilians were injured. And, just a few hours after the complex attack at Damascus Gate last Friday, in which a policewoman was killed, Hamas was quick to praise "the three martyrs from today’s heroic Jerusalem operation.”

    Some Israeli officials have also employed provocative rhetoric. Politicians have repeatedly declared that there will never be a Palestinian state, pledging to take the idea of statehood “off the agenda.” In a regrettable incident, an Israeli minister spoke at an event, attended by other members of the Knesset, celebrating the publication of a book promoting abhorrent views towards Israel’s Arab citizens. The book was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League as “dangerous and inhumane” and a number of the participants expressed regret at their attendance.

    Mr. President,

    Resolution 2334 reiterated the call by the Middle East Quartet on both parties to take steps “to reverse negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-state solution.”

    In May, Israel approved a number of positive measures to improve the Palestinian economy. These included the 24-hour opening of the Allenby Bridge for a three-month period, which is effective as of today, in addition to extended operating hours at the Tarkumiya, Ephraim, Gilboa, Maccabim and Reihan crossing points, and the construction of a vehicular crossing at Eyal. In addition, the package envisions the development of an industrial zone that includes bonded warehouses and a natural gas and fuel terminal, aiming to enhance Palestinian authority over trade and customs issues. The measures also included the demarcation of approximately 4,000 acres of land in Area C, including next to three major Palestinian cities — Ramallah, Nablus and Tulkarem – in which the regulation of planning and zoning will undergo changes, with potentially positive implications for Palestinian development.

    Palestinian and Israeli Finance Ministries held a number of meetings to discuss fiscal leakages, a critical issue given the Palestinian Authority’s 800 million dollar financing gap. The parties have progressed in discussions on VAT clearance revenues. In early June, in accordance with the Electricity Agreement signed last September, Israel transferred 30 million dollars to the Palestinian Authority in lieu of equalization levies and health stamps and agreed to conduct monthly transfers in the future. In May, the Joint Water Committee held its first meeting in seven years.

    Mr. President,

    During the reporting period, the situation in Gaza has heightened intra-Palestinian tensions, creating an increasingly dangerous humanitarian situation, and raising serious concerns about the prospect of another conflict.

    By establishing an Administrative Committee to run civilian affairs, Hamas tightened its control of Gaza and further antagonized the legitimate Palestinian authorities, reducing the prospects for reconciliation.

    Meanwhile, a standoff between Fatah and Hamas over the payment of taxes on fuel led to the shutdown of the only power plant in Gaza, leaving residents with four hours of electricity per day. Basic services, including health facilities, water supply and wastewater management have almost ground to a halt increasing the risk of health and environmental disasters. Today Gaza depends exclusively on Israeli electricity lines, which normally provide 60 percent of supply; on Egypt; and on a UN-managed emergency fuel operation that given the funding available, will expire in two to three months.

    On May 15th , the Palestinian Authority informed Israel that it would reduce its payment for the electricity Israel supplies to Gaza by 30 per cent. One month later, Israel agreed to the Palestinian request. An initial five per cent reduction was implemented on 19 June; further cuts are expected to have catastrophic consequences for Gaza’s population.

    Mr. President,

    Going beyond the scope of today’s report on the implementation of resolution 2334, I want to — once again – warn all parties that Gaza is a tinderbox.

    If and when it explodes, it will have devastating consequences for the population and derail all efforts at advancing peace.

    Two million Palestinians in Gaza can no longer be held hostage by divisions. For a decade they have lived under the control of Hamas. They have had to deal with crippling Israeli closures, Palestinian divisions and have lived through three devastating conflicts. Perpetuating this situation breeds radicalism and extremism.

    We have a collective responsibility to prevent this.

    We have a duty to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.

    Returning to the resolution, Mr. President,

    During the reporting period there have been no developments related to Member States’ distinguishing, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied in 1967. There have, however, been continuing efforts by the international community to advance peace.

    On the 29th of March in Jordan, at the Summit of the League of Arab States, Arab leaders committed to re-launching serious peace negotiations on the basis of the two-state solution, establishing a Palestinian state “on the lines of June 4, 1967 with its capital in East Jerusalem” and reaffirmed their commitment to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

    In May, on his first trip abroad, U.S. President Trump visited Israeli and Palestinian leaders and made clear that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is critical to combating the threat of violent extremism and terrorism. He expressed his personal commitment to helping both sides achieve a peace agreement that would begin a process of peace throughout the region.

    The Secretary-General looks forward to working with the United States, Russia, the European Union and regional partners towards improving the environment for peacemaking, including by engaging with all sides to improve the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza.

    Mr. President, Members of the Council,

    In closing, I would like to share some broad observations on the reporting period.

    First, I must stress once again the urgency of addressing the rapidly deteriorating situation in Gaza.

    We must acknowledge the significant budget constraints the Palestinian Authority is currently facing and the need to support the Government in addressing them. However all decisions must be taken with due consideration of their humanitarian impact. I, therefore, call on Palestinian leaders to urgently reach the necessary compromises that will return Gaza to the control of the legitimate authorities.

    Last month, I warned the Security Council that this crisis is leading us toward another conflict. A conflict that no one wants. I urge all parties to act before it is too late.

    Secondly, the policy of continued illegal settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territory contravenes resolution 2334. The large number of settlement-related activities documented during this period undermine the chances for the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.

    Thirdly, the continuing terror attacks, violence and incitement remain a very serious concern. Leaders have a responsibility to implement measures demonstrating their commitment to combatting violence and any acts of provocation and inflammatory rhetoric.

    Fourthly, while Israeli initiatives to improve the Palestinian economy are positive steps forward, it remains to be seen whether this will significantly increase Palestinian civil authority, in line with Quartet recommendations and prior commitments between the parties.

    Mr. President,

    In this symbolic month it is time to turn the challenges of the past into opportunities for the future. As the Secretary-General recently stated: “The occupation has shaped the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. It has fueled recurring cycles of violence and retribution. Its perpetuation is sending an unmistakable message to generations of Palestinians that their dream of statehood is destined to remain just that, a dream; and to Israelis that their desire for peace, security and regional recognition remains unattainable.”

    Every day that passes without peace, is another day we neglect our collective responsibility to advance a meaningful strategy towards a negotiated two-state solution that meets the national and historic aspirations of both peoples. 

    The United Nations will continue its determined engagement with the parties and all key stakeholders to achieve that objective.

    Thank you.

  • 15 июн 2017

    Сообщение для СМИ

    46ая встреча Гальского Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты

    46-ая встреча совместного Механизма по Предотвращению и Реагированию на Инциденты (МПРИ) была проведена в городе Гали под председательством Организации Объединенных Наций, с участием грузинских, российских, абхазских и МНЕС (Миссия Наблюдателей Европейского Союза) представителей.

    На встрече участники продолжили обсуждение по некоторым важным вопросам, обсуждаемым на предыдущих встречах, таким как убийство гражданского лица год назад в одной из недавно закрытых точек перехода. К сожалению, ссылаясь на «недостаточность доказательств»,   абхазские участники сообщили, что решение было принято снять обвинения с подозреваемого. После одного года интенсивной работы и передачи материалов расследования на встречах МПРИ, такое решение стало большим разочарованием.

    Участники также обсудили случай двух лиц, задержанных за предполагаемое пересечение в несанкционированном пункте в начале апреля этого года. Был обращён призыв рассматривать этот случай с гуманитарной точки зрения и освободить задержанных. Участники также обсудили процесс “обустройства границы” и закрытие пунктов пешеходного перехода, которые влияют на повседневную жизнь местных жителей.

    Председатель подчеркнул бесспорную ценность МПРИ как важной платформы для обсуждения по вопросам, связанным с безопасностью, и для укрепления доверия. Он настоятельно призвал участников сосредоточить внимание на предотвращении инцидентов и на сотрудничество в расследовании любого инцидента для торжества  справедливости.

     Было согласовано провести следующую встречу 28 июня 2017 г. 

  • 8 июн 2017

    Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    At the outset, I would like to reiterate, on behalf of the Secretary-General, my solidarity with the people and Governments of Iraq, Afghanistan, the United Kingdom, the Philippines, Egypt and Iran following the recent terrorist attacks on their cities. I call on all Member States to redouble their efforts to strengthen international cooperation to address terrorism and violent extremism, and bring those responsible for these despicable attacks to justice.


    Mr. President,

    Thank you for this opportunity to brief the Security Council on the fifth “Report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat.”

    This report was prepared with the input of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, and in close collaboration with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, and other relevant entities.

    Since January 2016, the four previous reports to the Security Council on ISIL’s threat focused on the global landscape; South East Asia; Yemen and East Africa; Libya and Afghanistan; and Europe, North Africa and West Africa. This fifth report has taken a global approach with a focus on the financing of terrorism.


    Mr. President,

    This fifth report stresses that ISIL, despite continuous military pressure, continues to resist, particularly in Mosul and Raqqah. At the same time, ISIL has reorganized its military structure, giving more power to local commanders, and is more focused than ever before on enabling and inspiring attacks outside of conflict zones. 

    The threat from ISIL has been intensified by its use of the Internet and social media to disseminate propaganda online to a wide international audience. Although the volume of such messages has declined in the past 16 months, the threat persists as supporters outside Syria and Iraq collect and re-distribute this propaganda.

    In Europe, ISIL has used its online presence to encourage supporters to mount attacks in their countries of residence. This has led to multiple attacks, including in Belgium, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Some attacks were carried out by foreign terrorist fighter returnees, while others were conducted by individuals who had not travelled to conflict zones. Despite being sometimes labelled as “lone actors”, investigations demonstrate that the perpetrators often received support or resources from facilitators and, in a number of cases, were in direct contact with ISIL enablers.

    The report notes a decrease in the flow of foreign terrorist fighters and in the overall number of ISIL fighters during the last 16 months. However, returnees and the relocation of fighters from the conflict zones to other regions now present a considerable threat to international security.

    Although ISIL’s financial situation has steadily declined over the past 16 months, it continues to rely chiefly on the same two revenue streams- sales of hydrocarbons and extortion/taxation, which may amount to tens of millions of dollars per month. ISIL has also drawn income from antiquities smuggling, agricultural products, sale of electricity, exploitation of mineral resources such as phosphates and sulfuric acid, external donations, kidnapping for ransom, and human trafficking. As ISIL loses its control on population centers and its forces continue to dwindle, it will also have substantially lower costs. Despite growing liquidity shortages, ISIL may be able to stretch further its existing resources.

    ISIL continues to fund affiliates, while urging them to become more self-sufficient and proactive in developing internal revenue streams. Money services, including exchange houses and money couriers, continue to be a preferred method for ISIL and its supporters to move funds across borders.

    As Member States consider efforts to counter the ISIL financing, a key concern is how to allow reconstruction and stabilization funds to flow into liberated areas, including by reconnecting international financial structures, without also enabling ISIL remnants to abuse these structures and exploit this new liquidity.

    In regard to ISIL’s evolving threat outside of Syria and Iraq, ISIL-affiliated groups in North Africa have shown considerable resilience and pose a serious danger. For example, while ISIL in Libya has been weakened after losing a significant portion of the territory it controlled, its threat persists in Libya and in neighbouring countries. In West Africa, ISIL is challenging established Al-Qaida affiliates. In East Africa emerging ISIL affiliates operating in Puntland and parts of Southern Somalia compound the threat posed by Al-Qaida’s affiliate, Al-Shabaab. ISIL in Somalia and ISIL in Yemen represent an increasing menace. ISIL in Afghanistan is shifting its focus to the north of the country. The threat level has intensified in South-East Asia, with ISIL directing more of its attention, including its propaganda, at the region. 


    Mr. President,

    I welcome the efforts of this Council over the past months to adopt resolutions on countering terrorist narratives; protecting critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks; stemming the destruction, looting and smuggling of cultural heritage sites and artefacts, as well as their illicit trade and trafficking carried out by terrorist groups or in a context of armed conflict; and addressing the terrorist threat in the Lake Chad Basin region.

    Member States, the UN and international, regional and subregional organizations continue to strengthen existing tools while also developing new ones to address the rapidly evolving threat posed by ISIL, including the threat posed by returning FTFs.

    In this context, the report highlights some points that deserve attention:

    Since the adoption of Security Council resolution 2253, 11 associated individuals have been listed in the UN ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions List, and among them eight are listed as financiers or financial facilitators.

    Member States are making substantial progress on adapting their legal and operational frameworks to the requirements of Security Council resolutions to address the terrorist financing and FTF threats. Notwithstanding, more work needs to be done in regard to the implementation of these norms and mechanisms, including in the context of terrorist asset-freezing; cross-border movement of cash; and human rights compliant travel measures to address the FTF threat.    

    UN entities’ efforts, as well as those of other key actors such as INTERPOL and the Financial Action Task Force, have helped strengthen regional and national frameworks to counter terrorism financing and stem the flow of FTFs. Other examples in the report include: CTED’s assessments and identification of good practices; and the capacity-building initiatives of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, UNODC and UNICRI’s, including on the legal and judicial aspects of terrorism financing, kidnapping for ransom and asset freezing, and border security and management.

    The CTITF Office and CTED recently concluded the second iteration of the Security Council-mandated “All-of-UN” Capacity Building Implementation Plan to Stem the Flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. While the projects included in the Plan continue to address the entire life-cycle of the FTF phenomenon, this updated version focuses on the tail-end of the FTF life-cycle, with a number of projects related to prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration to support Member States in their efforts to address returnees. A number of projects have now been completed or are well under way. The Plan now includes 50 projects submitted by 13 entities, with a total budget of 107 million dollars over 5 years. 41 percent of the total budget is funded.

    I invite all of you to inform your capitals of the new and partially funded projects and let us know of any projects you may be interested in co-funding.

    The UN is assisting Member States and regions most at risk and where UN support can bring added value. For example, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, as mandated by Security Council resolution 2195 (2015) and S/PRST/2015/24,  and in collaboration with other CTITF entities, is developing a regional “All-of-UN” Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism (I-ACT) initiative for G5 Sahel countries, as well as a national I-ACT for Mali.  

    As mentioned in the report, the UN engagement in the Sahel will evolve in response to the continued threats posed by terrorism, violent extremism, transnational organised crime and illicit trans-border trafficking. Partnerships between the UN system and regional stakeholders need to be strengthened to effectively support G5 Sahel countries’ efforts to fight terrorism and illicit trafficking. The UN is renewing its engagement in the region, following an independent review of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.  


    Mr. President,

    Since the first report of the Secretary-General pursuant to resolution 2253, ISIL and its affiliates have remained under continuous military pressure and experienced significant setbacks. At the same time, ISIL is becoming an increasingly transnational threat, which severely undermines international peace and security.

    Consequently, the Secretary-General welcomes the focus that the Security Council has put on this matter, and urges you to enhance multilateral cooperation to address the threats and challenges he has reported on. 

    The Secretary-General considers countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism one of the highest priorities of the Organization. This is why, in his report A/71/858,  currently being considered by the General Assembly, he recommended the establishment of a new Office of Counter-Terrorism headed by an Under-Secretary-General.

    I am convinced that the new office will provide stronger leadership to our counter-terrorism efforts, enhance UN coordination, and increase the impact of our assistance to Member States.

    Thank you, Mr. President. 

  • 31 мая 2017

    On 31 May 2017, the 46th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the chairmanship of the United Nations, with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. 

     At the meeting, the participants followed up on some important issues discussed at the previous meetings, such as the killing of a civilian person a year ago at one of the recently closed crossing points. Regrettably, referring to “insufficient evidence”, the Abkhaz participants informed that the decision had been made to drop charges against the suspect. After one full year of intensive work and handover of investigation materials at the IPRM meetings, the decision was a great disappointment.

    The participants also discussed the case of two persons detained for alleged crossing at unauthorized point in early April this year. An appeal was made to look into the case from the humanitarian point of view and to release the detainees. The participants also discussed the process of “borderization” and closure of pedestrian crossing points, which have an impact on the daily lives of the local residents.

    The Chair emphasized the indisputable value of the IPRM as an important platform for the discussion on security-related issues and confidence building. He urged the participants to focus on prevention of incidents and cooperation in the investigation of any incident for justice to be served.

     It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 28 June 2017. 

  • 25 апр 2017

    On 25 April 2017, the 45th meeting of the joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) was held in Gali town under the aegis of the United Nations, with the participation of Georgian, Russian, Abkhaz and EUMM (European Union Monitoring Mission) representatives. As in the previous meetings, the discussion was business-like, and the participants also engaged in bilateral consultations in the margins of the meeting.

    Security-related issues and prevention of incidents were prominently featured on the agenda.  Participants followed up certain issues discussed at the previous meetings, including the May 2016 murder case.  Additional information was provided on the cases of alleged trafficking of radioactive materials in the previous years, which had been previously discussed. 

    Participants also discussed the crossings of schoolchildren and the issues essential for the daily lives of the local population. The issues related to detentions in the vicinity of the line of control were discussed. Appeals were reiterated to look into the crossing-related detentions from the humanitarian point of view.

    One recent double-murder case in the Gali district was raised for the discussion, and according to the findings of the preliminary investigation, it had been linked to domestic homicide. The need to find and bring the suspected perpetrator to justice was emphasized; and in this context, close cooperation between the relevant law enforcement agencies on this and other cases was encouraged.

    The importance and need for the information exchange on planned sensitive activities for confidence-building purposes was once again highlighted.

    It was agreed to hold the next meeting on 31 May 2017. 

  • 15 апр 2017


  • 7 апр 2017

    Madame President,

    The Council has requested the Secretariat to provide an update on Syria. In addition, Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura will brief the Council in less than a week. I will therefore keep my remarks short.


    Madame President,

    In the last two months, we have seen the 30 December 2016 ceasefire falter, amid a steady escalation of military activity. In mid-February, Government forces escalated its their military operations in several areas of Damascus and Homs, recapturing Wadi Barada and al-Waar in Homs.  Military advances there were accompanied by the large scale evacuation of fighters and their families. The Syrian Government cited the presence of the al-Nusra Front in these areas – claims disputed by the opposition. Subsequently, during February and March, armed opposition groups, sometimes coordinating with al-Nusra Front, launched offensives in Daraa, Damascus and Hama.

    On 4 April, as government forces were fighting to regain territory recently lost to opposition offensives in northern Hama, disturbing reports emerged of an alleged chemical attack, in nearby Khan Shaykhoun in southern Idlib. Sources on the ground reported airstrikes. The attack was ostensibly the cause of a reported 86 deaths and more than 300 injuries. The Council discussed this in an emergency session on 5 April. The OPCW has announced that its Fact Finding Mission (FFM) is starting to investigate the alleged Khan Shaykoun attack. Earlier today, the Secretary-General, in a public statement, shared that he was abhorred by the chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, and the death and injury of many innocent civilians.

    This morning at approximately 04:35 hours local time in Damascus - 7 April - two US naval vessels deployed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea launched a total of 59 cruise missiles targeting the Al-Shayrat military airbase in Homs Governorate. The United States has stated that this was in response to what it states was the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons from this airbase. The US claimed that the missiles severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment. According to news reports, the US said that they had informed Russian Federation forces of the strike in advance, using the established de-confliction mechanism, and taking precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.

    A statement from the Syrian General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces called the attack a “blatant act of aggression” which had caused six deaths and “huge material damage.” Iran and the Russian Federation condemned the attack. The UK, Australia, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand have expressed some support for the strikes.


    Madame President,

    The Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security. We hope the Council can unite and exercise that responsibility to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in Khan Shaykhun. It is important that this Council sends a strong collective message that any use of chemical weapons shall not be tolerated and will have consequences. The Secretary-General stresses that the international community has a responsibility to hold the any perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks accountable and to ensure that chemical weapons are never used again as an instrument of warfare. 

    The protection of civilians and accountability should be at the top of our peace and security agenda. In the case of Syria, there can be no genuine protection if parties to the conflict, Government and opposition, are permitted to act with impunity and if the Syrian Government continues to commit human rights violations against its own citizens. Protecting the Syrian people requires immediate action, action that is rooted in the principles of the United Nations and international law.  Mindful of the risk of escalation, the Secrteary-General has publicly appealed for restraint to avoid any acts that could deepen the suffering of the Syrian people. We further urge all parties involved in military operations to abide by international humanitarian law and take all necessary precautions to avoid and minimize civilian casualties. 


    Madame President,

    As the Secretary-General said today, these events underscore our belief that there is no other way to solve the conflict than through a political solution. We call on the parties to urgently renew their commitment to making progress in the Geneva talks. Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) and the Geneva Communiqué remain the foundation of, and contain the core principles for, United Nations mediation efforts in this regard.  

    Thank you, Madame President.

  • 31 мар 2017

    2016 was a year of transition for the United Nations. In his last year at the helm of the Organization, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon moved to translate the conclusions of the wide ranging and recent reviews of the United Nations peace and security work into meaningful reforms and action, and saw the adoption of the landmark “Sustaining Peace” resolutions. The United Nations also welcomed a new leader, António Guterres, who has made a “surge in diplomacy for peace” his clarion call. These changes, along with the continuously evolving “conflict landscape” that gave rise to them, promise to have a transformational effect on the Department of Political Affairs (DPA). 

  • 24 мар 2017

    Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief on this important topic.

    I would like to start by expressing my sincere condolences to the loved ones of the victims of Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London and my deep sympathy to the people and Government of the United Kingdom

    We needed no reminder of the horror of terrorism. But the London attack -- like those in Kabul, Baghdad, Maiduguri and so many other places recently– must move us to strengthen international counter-terrorism cooperation in line with international human rights and humanitarian law standards


    Mr. President,

    Today, terrorists, particularly in armed conflict situations, are destroying lives but also visiting their horrific violence on historical sites and objects. Indeed, the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage and the trafficking in items of great artistic, religious or cultural significance target individuals and communities on cultural and religious grounds. The protection of heritage, then, is not only a cultural issue; it is also a security and humanitarian imperative.

     Terrorist groups like ISIL exploit cultural sites to finance their activities while strengthening their linkages with transnational organized crime. And they destroy and traffic cultural heritage to undermine the power of culture as a bridge between generations, people of different backgrounds and religions.

    Today’s resolution aims to strengthen international cooperation to deprive terrorists of funding, but also to protect cultural heritage as a symbol of understanding and respect for all religions, beliefs and civilizations.

    Awareness of the essential importance of the protection of cultural heritage is not new, but it has grown considerably over the past several years. Creating MINUSMA’s mandate in 2013 through Resolution 2199, the Security Council established the link between the illicit trafficking of cultural objects and the financing of terrorism. Resolution 2322 (2016) urged States to bolster cooperation to prevent and combat trafficking in cultural property and related offences that benefit or may benefit terrorist groups.

    Meanwhile, during the fifth review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the General Assembly expressed concern in resolution 70/291 that terrorists may benefit from transnational organized crime in some regions, including from the trafficking of cultural property, and condemned the destruction of cultural heritage by terrorist groups. 

    In resolution 68/127, the General Assembly deplored “attacks on religious places and shrines and cultural sites in violation of international law, in particular human rights and humanitarian law”.   

    And there is already a strong international legal and normative framework to address these crimes. This is based on the United Nations Conventions against Transnational Organized Crime and Corruption; the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism; and the International Guidelines for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses with Respect to Trafficking in Cultural Property and Other Related Offences.


    Mr. President,

    Protecting cultural heritage requires us to make every effort to implement this international legal and normative framework and strengthen international cooperation.

    It also demands a global criminal justice response that can prevent trafficking in cultural property by disrupting organized criminal and terrorist networks, including through anti-corruption and anti-money-laundering action, and bringing perpetrators to justice.

    We need to put a stronger focus on investigation, cross-border cooperation and exchange of information, and on bringing in private and public sector partners, including dealers and the tourism sector, to promote supply chain integrity and stop the illicit trade and sale of cultural property.   

    The United Nations system, particularly through the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) entities, is increasingly supporting Member States efforts to address these threats through advocacy and capacity-building assistance. 

    For example, UNESCO and UNODC are already working together, along with INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, and other partners, to assist Member States in protecting cultural heritage and countering the trafficking in cultural property.

    As CTITF Chairman, and in light of this debate and the resolution that was adopted today, I will encourage the CTITF Inter-Agency Working Group on Countering the Financing of Terrorism to develop new projects to help Member States protect their cultural heritage. 


    Mr. President,

    The United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, have demonstrated their determination to further integrate the protection of cultural heritage in their counter-terrorism work.

    With the support of United Nations entities, Member States are strengthening their legal frameworks and criminal justice systems, and enhancing their collaboration to prevent and respond to terrorists’ attacks against their cultural heritage. I believe we can, and must, do even more.

    This resolution provides a good basis to do just that. The United Nations stands ready to do its part.

    Thank you, Mr. President. 

  • 21 мар 2017

    On 21 March 2017, the Office of the United Nations Representative to the Geneva International Discussions (UNRGID) organized and chaired the 44th meeting of the Gali joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM). The meeting took place in a constructive and business-like atmosphere. With the aim to solve existing problems, the participants have discussed in details all agenda points in good faith.


    In addition to the19 May 2016 murder case, which has remained on the agenda, the participants extensively discussed the recent closure of the two pedestrian crossing points at the line of control. In this regard, the participants have exchanged information on reasons for the decision to close the crossing points and several measures taken to minimize the impact.  Nevertheless, the concern was expressed about the implications on the daily lives of the local population, as well as security on the ground.  The Chair has once again appealed to the participants to look into the issue from the humanitarian point of view in order to avoid any negative impact on the local residents. Furthermore, one recent case of detention involving three women was addressed.

    The participants also discussed several alleged attempts of trafficking radioactive materials in previous years and agreed to exchange available information for the purpose of investigating the cases.

    The participants have agreed to hold the 45th IPRM meeting on 25 April 2017.

  • 15 мар 2017

    This UN DPA guidance seeks to inform mediators and their teams, as well as conflict parties, about the principles and strategies for the effective inclusion of women, as well as a gendered perspective, in mediation processes. The guidance addresses mediation preparation, process design, and substantive issues including security arrangements, participation, constitutions, language and the implementation of peace agreements through a gender lens.


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  • 22 Feb 2017

    On 22 February 2017, the 43rd meeting of the Gali joint Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) took place under the chairmanship of the United Nations.  The atmosphere during the discussions was positive and businesslike.

    The participants followed up on some issues discussed at the previous meetings, including the May 2016 murder case; as well as health and safety conditions of a long-term prisoner. In particular, they exchanged views on the validity of previously presented investigation documents and discussed provision of necessary material evidence to the court in order to move forward the resolution of the murder case. In this context, the Chair encouraged the participants to take pragmatic steps in order to overcome existing impediments.

    The participants also continued discussions on the announced closure of two crossing points at the line of control, focusing on the possible implications for the movement of the local population. Information on the already implemented measures to facilitate the movement of the population was shared by the respective participants. The Chair and other participants appealed to look into the issue from the humanitarian perspective in order to minimize any negative impact in this respect.

    The participants agreed to hold the 44th IPRM meeting on 21 March 2017.

  • 16 Feb 2017

    Mr. President, members of the Security Council, 

    On the night of 8 February, ISIS and its affiliates in the Sinai launched a series of rockets towards the Israeli coastal resort of Eilat. Thankfully, no one was killed or injured in the attack. I unequivocally condemn this act as well as those who inspired, implemented and celebrated it.

    I recall this incident because it is a chilling reminder of the need for states to work together and stand firm against terror.

    The Middle East continues to be plagued by extremism, bloodshed and displacement that feeds intolerance, violence, and religious radicalism far beyond the region.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sadly, is not immune from these sweeping regional threats. Although leaders on both sides agree on the need to continue Israeli-Palestinian security coordination, there is increasing anger in the street and radical views are hijacking the discourse as moderate voices are increasingly vilified and cast aside.

    It is critical that we all understand that we must never allow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to drift into the abyss of the extremism and radicalism sweeping the region. Palestinians, Israelis and the international community have a duty to act responsibly, avoid escalating tensions, refrain from unilateral actions and work together to uphold peace. 

    Sadly, today unilateral actions are returning the parties to a high-stakes collision course.


    Mr. President,

    In 6 February, the Israeli Parliament adopted the so-called “Regularisation Law” which enables the use of privately owned Palestinian land for Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank without the owners’ consent. The law has the potential to retroactively “regularise” – under Israeli law – thousands of existing settlement units built on land owned by Palestinian individuals living under occupation, as well as dozens of illegal outposts. Its passage marks a significant shift in Israel's position concerning the legal status of the West Bank and the applicability of Israeli law therein. It contravenes international law and according to the Israeli Attorney General it is also unconstitutional. It is expected that the Supreme Court of Israel will rule on its constitutionality soon.

    If the law stays in place, it will have far-reaching consequences for Israel, while seriously undermining prospects for the two-state solution and for Arab-Israeli peace.

    This period also saw Government statements announcing significant settlement expansion, which were quickly followed by action. Within a three-week period, the Israeli authorities promoted some 4,000 housing units in Area C, including tenders for around 800 units, advancement of around 3,000 units and approval of plans for an additional 230 units. These numbers are all the more worrying if compared to the whole of 2016, when 42 units were tendered and some 3,000 were advanced in Area C. Settlements were also advanced in East Jerusalem during the reporting period, with the issuance of building permits for over 900 units.

    Settlement activities are illegal under international law, as stated by the Middle East Quartet, they are one of the main obstacles to peace. All core issues, Mr. President, should be resolved between the parties through direct negotiations on the basis of relevant Security Council resolutions and mutual agreements.


    Mr. President,

    I continue to be concerned by the daily violence. So-called “lone wolf” attacks against Israeli civilians, though greatly reduced as compared to 2016, continue. On February 9th, in the market of Petah Tikva in central Israel, an 18-year-old Palestinian from Nablus shot and stabbed six Israelis, who were injured in the attack.

    In the West Bank, three Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli security forces in recent weeks, two allegedly attempting attacks on Israeli soldiers, while a teenager was killed during clashes with Israeli security forces. I once again call for the calibrated use of force and stress that live fire should be used only as a last resort, in situations of imminent threat of death or serious injury, with any resulting death or injury properly investigated by the authorities.

    The trend of demolishing Palestinian-owned structures continues. Some 57 structures have been torn down, displacing 108 people. Last year saw over 1,000 demolitions, the largest annual number of demolitions on record, nearly double the figure for 2015. I once again take this opportunity to urge Israel to cease this destructive practice.


    Mr. President,

    I welcome the Palestinian decision to hold the postponed local elections on May 13th, however I also take note of Hamas’ rejection of that decision. Let me urge all factions to work together in good faith to uphold democracy and to overcome the internal divisions that are undermining Palestinian national institutions and the legitimate aspirations for statehood.

    Local elections, if held simultaneously in both Gaza and the West Bank, and conducted in line with international standards, can contribute to advancing reconciliation. Gaza and the West Bank should be reunited under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO principles and the rule of law, in accordance with existing agreements. 

    In Gaza, we have consistently warned that the situation is not sustainable and that another escalation is likely, unless the pressing needs of the population are more systematically addressed.

    I also note that Hamas in Gaza has elected a new leadership. It is for this leadership to ensure that Gaza remains calm and avoid the risk of spiraling into another conflict. Rocket attacks, tunnel construction and smuggling only heighten that risk. 

    After over three months of relative calm, the launching of a rocket from Gaza towards Israel on February 5th – which landed without injury –reminds us all of the risk of further destabilizing an already combustible environment.  In this environment all sides should exercise maximum restraint.

    The volatile situation in Gaza continues to be exacerbated by the persistence of a major humanitarian and development challenges, related in large part to the crippling closures of the Strip and the continuing political divide. This winter has borne witness to a serious electricity crisis which in December left Palestinians in Gaza with only two hours of electricity per day. Tens of thousands of people came out in the streets in mass protests, many — including journalists, were detained. The crisis was temporarily resolved with a generous contribution of US$ 12 million from the State of Qatar.

    As we speak, the United Nations is working actively with the Palestinian Authority, all stakeholders and key donors, on a roadmap to ensure that Gaza’s massive electricity problems are addressed in a sustainable manner.


    Mr. President,

    Briefly turning to Lebanon, the reactivation of state institutions has continued. The President and Prime Minister have expressed their confidence that an electoral law will be agreed with the aim of holding timely elections.

    On February 11th, in an interview, President Aoun stated “[…] the need to maintain Hizbullah’s weapons”. The UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon is in discussion with authorities on their continued commitment to relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions1701 and 1559, which clearly call for the disbanding and disarmament of all non-state armed groups.

    Relative calm continued in the UNIFIL area of operations and along the Blue Line, with the exception of some ground and air violations. On 19 January, UNIFIL deployed on both sides of the Blue Line to mitigate tensions including weapons pointing between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Lebanese Armed Forces in the context of the placement of a soil barrier near El Adeisse by Lebanese municipal workers, in violation of the Blue Line. 

    Meanwhile in the UNDOF area of operations the ceasefire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic is holding, albeit in a volatile security environment on the Bravo side. On February 8th, the IDF carried out a strike on the Syrian side of the Golan in response to a spillover fire incident involving a tank shell that landed in an open area in Israeli-occupied Golan. Spillover from Syria continues to heighten the risk of further escalation between the two sides.

    Both sides however have stated their continued commitment to the Disengagement of Forces Agreement. Conditions permitting, the full return of UNDOF to the area of separation remains a priority.


    Mr. President,

    Returning to the Palestinian - Israeli conflict, recent developments should be of concern to all.

    Some may hold the illusion that the conflict can be “managed” indefinitely. That the absence of a clear strategy to advance peace is a strategy in itself.

    The Middle East Quartet Report and Security Council resolutions have clearly outlined what is needed to advance a sustainable and just peace. The two-state solution remains the only way to achieve the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples. Israel can take the necessary step to stop settlement expansion and construction in order to preserve this prospect, while the Palestinian leadership can demonstrate their commitment to tackling the challenges of violence and incitement on their side. This will create an environment that will facilitate bilateral final status negotiations that the international community can support.

    As Palestinians and Israelis face another period of uncertainty and concern for what lies ahead, I urge leaders on both sides to carefully contemplate the future they envision for their people.

    Will it be a future built on perpetual conflict, rising extremism and occupation? 

    Or will it be a future built on mutual respect and an appreciation for the unimaginable wealth of opportunities that would come with peace?

    The answer seems obvious but, as history has painfully demonstrated, the path to peace is riddled with hazards. The United Nations remains resolute in its commitment to help Palestinians and Israelis strive to overcome these challenges.

    Thank you.

  • 8 Feb 2017

    I am delighted to be with you to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Children and Armed Conflict mandate and I thank the President of the General Assembly, His Excellency Peter Thomson, for convening this event.

    The mandate was an important call for us all to consider that how we treat children will affect future prospects for peace. In the Department of Political Affairs, we engage in preventive diplomacy, and work in partnership with national and regional partners to address the root causes of tensions and violent conflict. Through our experience, we have learned that how a society treats young people can be at the same time an indicator for how that society will be able to sustain peace.

    Looking back 20 years, to the time when the mandate was enacted, a fundamental shift in the nature of conflict was already underway: from interstate armed conflict to conflict within States.

    And indeed, the proliferation of non-state actors, the rise of violent extremism, regionalisation of conflicts and protracted unresolved conflicts together create a picture that is much more complex than we could have imagined.

    Many of these complex conflicts which the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict focusses on also see engagement by the Department of Political Affairs. This includes the UN Special Political Missions or Envoys, who work in the most dangerous and difficult situations we face together. And they are the places where children continue to be at the highest risk.

    I am therefore deeply aware of the importance of the visits that the SRSG makes to the countries, and of the work of her office. Her reports highlight the challenges we face. They help to influence parties to conflict and to bring international attention to where it is most needed.

    Yet even with the strength, commitment and expertise of this engagement, the news can be grim.

    The most recent report of the SRSG finds that violations against children are tragically on the rise.

    In Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, child casualties persist or have increased, and attacks on civilian infrastructure, including schools and hospitals continue. Elsewhere children are abducted or humanitarian access is denied.

    Even in these most difficult settings, however, SRSG Zerrougui and her team have had some crucial successes. The Afghan government has taken significant steps to end child recruitment in its security forces, including extending the police child protection units to 21 of the 34 provinces. Iraqi Prime Minister al-Abadi has reiterated publicly that it is illegal to pay a military salary to anyone under 18. Monitoring and dialogue continues in the occupied Palestinian territory. And Action Plans have been developed in other places where conflicts are ongoing. Several of our Special Political Missions, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, have child protection advisers who work directly with mission leaders to negotiate with parties, ensure that children are protected and that the monitoring and reporting mechanisms are implemented.

    This is not enough, however. We must work to put an end to the use of military strategies that depend on violations of humanitarian law and we must support sustainable and inclusive peace processes that lead to meaningful political solutions.

    The Department of Political Affairs has also worked with SRSG Zerrougui and other partners to include provisions in ceasefire agreements and peace agreements that address the concerns around the involvement of children in armed conflict and on engagement with non-state armed groups. We welcome the development of the “Checklist for drafting children and armed conflict provisions in ceasefire and peace agreements” that was developed with UN and other partners and is a useful tool for mediators.

    DPA also commends the strong engagement of the SRSG and her office in the Colombian peace process. This has contributed to important commitments by the parties, which we hope to see implemented, to the early release of children from the FARC-EP and to the establishment of a special reintegration program tailored to their needs.

    20 years ago we had not envisaged the rise of violent extremism and the situation of children in conflicts involving terrorist groups. Increasingly, violent extremist groups are abducting children and are using children to perpetuate suicide attacks or as decoys, crimes that are, for example, committed by Boko Haram in Nigeria. We emphasise now more and more that any counter-terrorism effort must incorporate appropriate responses in its treatment of children.

    Finally and fundamentally, as Graça Machel so poignantly argued 20 years ago, the best way to protect children from armed conflict is to prevent the outbreak of armed conflict in the first place.

    We continue to believe in that goal. DPA’s central priority is conflict prevention and sustaining peace.

    The new Secretary-General’s vision intently focuses on integrating the work of the three UN pillars, peace and security, development, and human rights, to “sustain peace”. It is through working together, in a truly integrated approach, that sustaining peace and sustainable development will, together, deliver a better future for children.

    The plight of children affected by armed conflict, and the dedication Ms. Zerrougui and her office have shown, inspire us. We must continue to strive, and strive harder, in our efforts to protect children and to prevent and resolve violent conflicts. In DPA, we remain committed to and proud of our strong partnership with the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict and we congratulate you on the twentieth anniversary of your mandate.

    Thank you.

  • 7 Feb 2017

    Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the fourth “Report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat.”

    This report was prepared with the input of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, and in close collaboration with the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), and other relevant United Nations actors and international organizations.       


    Mr. President,

    The report stresses that ISIL is on the defensive militarily in several regions. But although its income and the territory under its control are shrinking, ISIL still appears to have sufficient funds to continue fighting. The group relies  mainly on income from extortion and hydrocarbon exploitation, , even though resources from the latter are on the decline. Member States are concerned that ISIL will try to expand other sources of income, such as kidnapping for ransom, and increase its reliance on donations.

    ISIL is adapting in several ways to military pressure – resorting to increasingly covert communication and recruitment methods, including by using the ‘dark web’, encryption and messengers. Moreover, it has expanded its area of attacks to countries neighbouring Iraq and Syria, while continuing to encourage followers farther afield to perpetrate attacks. Meanwhile, foreign terrorist fighters leaving Iraq and Syria augment the threat of terrorism in their countries of origin.


    Mr. President,

    The previous reports to the Security Council on ISIL’s global threat, have focused on South East Asia, Yemen and East Africa, Libya and Afghanistan. This, fourth, report focuses on Europe, North Africa and West Africa:

    1. Since declaring in 2014 its intent to attack Europe, ISIL has conducted a range of attacks in that region. Some of these attacks were directed and facilitated by ISIL personnel, while others were enabled by ISIL providing guidance or assistance or were inspired through its propaganda. 
    2. While the military offensive in Libya has dislodged ISIL from its stronghold Sirte, the group’s threat to Libya and neighbouring countries persists. Its fighters – estimated to range from several hundred to 3,000 – have moved to other parts of the country.
    3. ISIL has increased its presence in West Africa and the Maghreb, though the group does not control significant amounts of territory in the region. The reported loyalty pledge to ISIL by a splinter faction of Al-Mourabitoun led by Lehbib Ould Ali may elevate the level of the threat.
    4. ISIL-affiliate Boko Haram is attempting to spread its influence and commit terrorist acts beyond Nigeria, and remains a serious threat, with several thousand fighters at its disposal. It is, however, plagued by financial difficulties and an internal power struggle, and has split in two factions.

    The fourth report also notes some of the measures taken by Member States through the Security Council and the General Assembly since the last report.

    On international cooperation and information sharing, the report highlights Security Council resolution 2322 (2016), which calls upon Member States to consider establishing laws and mechanisms to allow for the broadest possible international cooperation in the judicial and law enforcement spheres. The report also notes the General Assembly consensus resolution of 21 November aimed at further enhancing and strengthening collaboration between the INTERPOL and the UN. INTERPOL reports that information sharing between Member States has since increased.

    The report also mentions Security Council resolution 2331 (2016), which recognizes the connection between human trafficking, sexual violence and terrorism and other transnational organized criminal activities, calling upon Member States to prosecute and penalize perpetrators. Some States, with help from UNODC, have instituted special procedures to screen for trafficking victims among refugees and asylum seekers.

    The report highlights some of the actions Member States have taken in Europe, the Mahgreb and West Africa to counter ISIL Regarding Europe, for example, it stresses the improvements in States’ information sharing and cooperation on addressing terrorist attacks and on curtailing the travel and transit of foreign terrorist fighters. Although more work needs to be done, including on the use of Advance Passenger Information systems, the report notes that substantial progress has been made to counter the financing of terrorism despite continuing challenges.

    The report also notes efforts by the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to prevent and counter violent extremism, including projects to bring together information on radicalization and intervention and raise awareness about the phenomenon.

    Regarding the Maghreb and West Africa, the report notes that States are pooling resources regionally to combat terrorism, while improving the sharing of information on FTFs. It also highlights that some States – with UN support – are developing and implementing counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism strategies. Some West African States are taking action on countering the financing of terrorism, including through legislation, though the report notes that few terrorist financing cases have been prosecuted.

    During the reporting period, a number of United Nations entities have taken further steps to support the efforts of Member States to counter the threat of ISIL. For instance:

    • The CTITF Office and CTED are currently reviewing the Security Council mandated “All-of-UN” Capacity Building Implementation Plan to Stem the Flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters in order to adjust it to the changing phenomenon. The 37 project proposals address the entire life-cycle of the FTF phenomenon, including radicalization, travel, financing, return, and rehabilitation and reintegration should they return. The Plan is currently 23 per cent funded.
    • UNCCT provides capacity-building assistance to Member States through a number of projects at the global, regional and national level. At the global level progress was made on the Border Security Initiative, the development of the Border Security and Management programme, and the Advance Passenger Information (API) project, while at the regional level UNCCT continued to provide assistance on the development of strategies to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism. The centre also continued its efforts to improve the capacity of Member States in East and West Africa to address kidnapping for ransom, which is a potential source of funds for ISIL affiliated groups. At the regional and national levels, the Integrated Assistance for Counter Terrorism (I-ACT) initiative aims to develop a coherent and coordinated capacity building programme to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism.  During the reporting period, much progress was made in the implementation of the I-ACT, both in Mali, with the support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, and regionally, in the preparation of an I-ACT for the G5 Sahel, as mandated by Security Council Presidential Statement 2015/24 on Peace and Security in Africa. The UNCCT has also continued its preparation for a project to enhance aviation security in Nigeria.
    • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) published a Handbook on the Management of Violent Extremist Prisoners and the Prevention of Radicalization to Violence in Prisons. UNODC also continued to provide assistance to Member States in the MENA region aiming to strengthen law-enforcement capacity at international airports, as part of its Airport Communication Project (AIRCOP).
    • UNODC and CTED collaborated to provide technical assistance to Member States on strengthening judicial cooperation on foreign terrorist fighters and have held technical consultations with Nigeria on the prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration of persons associated with terrorist organizations.
    • The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) implemented projects in the Maghreb on preventing and managing violent extremism, including in prison settings. 


    Mr. President,

    The need to develop sustained, coordinated responses to the grave threat posed by ISIL and associated groups and entities is beyond question. There are 19 universal counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, as well as related regional instruments on international terrorism, and relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. But we need to do more, as Member States continue to face significant challenges to ensure effective international cooperation.

    Improving our response is critical to address the growth of transnational terrorism as ISIL expands its area of attacks and foreign terrorist fighters leave Syria and Iraq. Even though many foreign terrorist fighters stay behind in the conflict zone, those returning or leaving the conflict could pose a grave risk to the country of origin or to the countries they are travelling to or transiting through, such as Iraq and Syria’s neighbours as well as countries in the Maghreb.

    The Secretary-General has warned that terrorism exacerbates conflicts, and that it takes little to trigger a crisis that can engulf a country, or a region, with global consequences. He has urged Member States to step up efforts to resolve conflicts, including those that are responsible for the dramatic increase in global terrorism.

    As we consider what more we can do to check and roll back ISIL, we must also step up efforts to prevent and resolve the violent conflicts that both drive and are made worse by terrorism. These are mutually reinforcing pursuits. Ultimately, it is the spread and consolidation of peace, security, development and human rights that will most effectively deprive terrorism of the oxygen it needs to survive.

    Thank you, Mr. President. 

  • 2 Feb 2017

    Mr. President,

    Distinguished members of the Council,

    The conflict in Ukraine will soon enter its fourth year. Since the Department of Political Affairs last briefed the Council on the situation in eastern Ukraine on 28 April 2016, fighting has continued unabated, with only short periods of respite.

    Almost 10,000 people have been killed (Ukrainian armed forces, civilians and members of armed groups), and over 23,000 injured since the beginning of the conflict, according to the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU). Over 2,000 of those killed were civilians.

    Since 7 January this year, and in particular over the last few days, we have seen a dangerous intensification of the conflict. On 1 February, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission reported over 10,000 explosions in the Donetsk region over 24 hours, the highest number of violations yet recorded by the Mission. While the most serious clashes in the last few days have predominantly hit the Avdiivka – Yasynuvata– Donetsk airport area, heavy fighting has also been reported near Mariupol, Popasna and the Svitlodarsk/Debaltseve areas, both in government-controlled and non-government controlled territory. The entire length of the Contact Line has seen a serious escalation of hostilities, and there is still a risk of further deterioration of the situation.  The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission has also registered frequent use of heavy weapons proscribed by the Minsk Agreements, such as multiple-launch-rocket systems, including in the areas designated for disengagement as per the 21 September 2016 Agreement on Disengagement of Forces and Hardware. There are reports of civilian casualties, including at least four deaths since the escalation on 28 January, and heavy losses among the combatants on both sides. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission also recorded damage to civilian houses and a school in populated areas of Avdiivka, which raises serious concerns about possible violations of international humanitarian law by all sides.

    There are now reports of clashes that are directly endangering civilian crossing points, residential areas and critical civilian infrastructure, such as water purification plants and delivery systems, power lines and heating supply lines. Ensuring the urgent disengagement of forces at all checkpoints across the contact line would greatly improve the security of the population in conflict affected areas, where more than 20.000 people cross the contact line daily. Hundreds of thousands of civilians on both sides of the contact line are still at risk of losing all access to water, heating and electricity, bringing the spectre of further displacements closer. This is particularly worrying, given the frigid winter temperatures in the region at present.

    There are also real threats of serious environmental disasters should major chemical waste storage locations in the area be shelled. As of yesterday, thousands of inhabitants in Avdiivka, including children, were reportedly at risk of being evacuated. Combatants must stop the shelling in cities such as Avdiivka, on both sides of the contact line, and allow for the restoration of basic services. The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs will shortly provide further updates on the humanitarian situation on the ground.


    Mr. President,

    We welcome the prompt statement of the Security Council on 31 January concerning the deterioration of the situation in Donetsk region. The Secretary-General has expressed deep concern about the high level of military readiness and the recent intensification of fighting, which is having an increasingly serious impact on the civilian population in the conflict zones.  He has called on all parties to immediately halt all hostilities, fully observe the ceasefire, allow immediate and unhindered humanitarian access to the affected population, facilitate full and safe access to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to report on the situation on the ground, and renew serious efforts towards the peaceful settlement of the conflict. He particularly underlines the imperative for all sides to take all measures to protect civilians. The sides should refrain from any action that may be seen as provocative or escalates tensions.

    The hostilities in Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport area increased in intensity in a few days to levels never recorded before in this area by the OSCE SMM. This escalation demonstrates how precarious the situation remains and how suddenly and abruptly the security situation can deteriorate. The statement agreed at the meeting yesterday in Minsk of the Trilateral Contact Group and the Representative from certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions lays down the urgent measures the sides should take not only in this area, but along the entire contact line in order to prevent further ceasefire violations that could in turn spiral out of control.

    This is a positive development, but the test will be in the implementation of the measures. The pattern of successive ceasefire agreements broken by fresh violence has left civilians caught in the crossfire and trapped in suffering. With every new day of fighting, the conflict becomes more entrenched and difficult to resolve. There is no military solution to this conflict.


    Mr. President,

    Despite the commendable efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group and the Normandy Four, the recent intensification of the conflict coincides with a period of relative stagnation in the diplomatic processes designed to find a peaceful solution and ensure the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The international community must remain constructively and actively engaged, however, if we are  to prevent this crisis becoming a catastrophe. In this regard, there is a pressing need to revitalise the negotiation process without delay. 

    The United Nations continues to strongly support the efforts in the Normandy Four and Trilateral Contact Group frameworks and of the OSCE Chairmanship in Ukraine. We commend the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, who are carrying out essential work under extremely difficult circumstances in the conflict areas. The United Nations calls on both sides to lift all restrictions on the OSCE SMM’s freedom of movement and to immediately end all use of force and threats against the Mission’s monitors . We welcome the visits of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Austrian Foreign Minister Kurz to Ukraine and the Russian Federation in January and hope that his engagements, along with other ongoing efforts, will bear fruit. The United Nations stands ready to support these efforts. I look forward to hearing shortly from Ambassador Apakan, Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, regarding his assessment of the latest developments the ground.


    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It has been almost two years since the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” was signed on 12 February in Minsk, which was in turn endorsed by the Security Council in Resolution 2202 on 17 February 2015. This remains the foundation through which we, the international community, have committed ourselves to engage in the search for lasting peace in eastern Ukraine. I urge you all to continue such efforts with renewed vigor.


    Mr. President, distinguished members of the Council,

    In accordance with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, the United Nations remains committed to supporting a peaceful resolution of the conflict, in a manner that fully upholds the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. The United Nations priority remains to support the peace efforts in Ukraine led by the OSCE and ensure the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. The parties themselves, however, have the main responsibility to work constructively towards this end.

    Thank you, Mr. President.


  • 24 янв 2017

    On 24 January 2017, the 42nd meeting of the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) took place under the chairmanship of the Office of the United Nations Representative to the Geneva International Discussions (UNRGID). It was the first meeting this year, which took place in a businesslike atmosphere. The participants assessed the overall security situation on the ground since the previous IPRM meeting as relatively calm and stable.

    The participants discussed in detail the materials, which had been transferred earlier, on the May 2016 killing incident at Khurcha-Nabakevi crossing point, and exchanged views on how to proceed in a pragmatic way. They were encouraged to further develop this trend of cooperation and address concerns of each participant in good faith.

    The participants followed up on the issues discussed at the previous meetings. They also discussed new agenda points, with a particular focus on the imminent closure of the two pedestrian crossing points along the line of control and possible implications for the local population. The issues related to changes to the “border zone” in the Gali district were also discussed, and concerns were expressed about the possible negative impact on freedom of movement. The Chair appealed to the respective participants to look into the matter from the humanitarian point of view and to take into consideration the well-being of the local population, especially schoolchildren and people traveling for medical purposes.

    Furthermore, the participants discussed the issues related to sensitive activities, such as military exercises, and the need to exchange advanced notice with the purpose to enhance transparency and avoid misperceptions.

    The participants agreed to hold the 43rd IPRM meeting on 22 February 2017.


  • 18 янв 2017

    Mr. President,

    Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    On 16 January, the United Nations welcomed the first anniversary of  “Implementation Day” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which was endorsed by Security Council resolution 2231 (2015).  One year on, the Secretary-General is encouraged by the continued reaffirmation by all JCPOA participants, including during the meeting of the Joint Commission in Vienna on 10 January, of their unequivocal commitment to the full and effective implementation of the agreement.

    The JCPOA -- reached by the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 14 July 2015 -- is a good example of how multilateral diplomacy, political will and perseverance can resolve the most complex issues.  It is imperative that its participants, the United Nations and the broader international community continue to support the full implementation of this historic multilateral agreement for its full duration.  Its comprehensive and sustained implementation guarantees that Iran’s nuclear programme remains exclusively peaceful.  It will help realize the long-awaited aspirations of the Iranian people to be reconnected to the global economy, and bring to a satisfactory conclusion the consideration of the Iranian nuclear issue by the Security Council.


    Mr. President,

    Today’s meeting of the Security Council is taking place against a backdrop of steady implementation, cooperation and progress.  Since “Implementation Day”, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued five reports documenting continued implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments.  In her statement on the first anniversary of “Implementation Day”, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, noted that lifting of nuclear-related sanctions, as promised in the agreement, resulted in a surge in bilateral trade and investment in Iran, contributing to better living standards for the benefit of all.  The Secretary-General underscores the importance of all JCPOA participants equally accruing the full benefits of the agreement, and calls upon all its participants to continue to work together in good faith and reciprocity.


    Mr. President,  

    Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on the second report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2231 (S/2016/1136).  The report was submitted to the Council on 30 December 2016 pursuant to annex B to resolution 2231 (2015) and paragraph 7 of the note by the President of the Council issued on 16 January 2016 (S/2016/44).   

    As guided by the Security Council, the report of the Secretary-General focuses on the implementation of the provisions contained in annex B to resolution 2231 (2015).  It does not cover implementation of annex A to the resolution – namely implementation of its nuclear-related commitments by Iran and of their sanctions lifting commitments by other participants – nor touch upon issues falling within the remit of the Joint Commission. 

    Let me now turn to the main findings and recommendations of the second report of the Secretary-General related to annex B of resolution 2231. 

    First, the Secretary-General has not received any report, nor is aware of any open source information regarding the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear-related items undertaken contrary to the provisions of the resolution.  Moreover, and also on an encouraging note, Member States have made greater use of the procurement channel process through which the transfer of nuclear-related items is approved by the Council on the basis of recommendation provided by the Joint Commission.  Five nuclear-related proposals were submitted since July last year.  Three of the proposals have been approved; the other two are still under consideration.

    The proposals were processed in accordance with the timelines established by resolution 2231 (2015), with due regard for information security and confidentiality.  The operational linkages established between the Security Council and the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission are functioning well, and I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent cooperation that we have with the European External Action Service, especially its Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission.

    Second, the Secretary-General has also not received any information regarding Iranian ballistic missile activitiesor ballistic missile-related transfers to Iran undertaken contrary to the relevant provisions of the resolution.

    Third, in terms of restrictions on arms-related transfers, the report includes information on the seizure of an arms shipment by the French Navy in the Northern Indian Ocean in March 2016.  France concluded that the arms shipment originated in Iran and that such transfer had been undertaken contrary to annex B of the resolution.  In addition, the Secretariat also received information from Australia and the Combined Maritime Forces on another arms seizure, off the coast of Oman, in February 2016, by the Royal Australian Navy.  That shipment of arms was also assessed, by the US Navy, to have originated in Iran.  Both seizures bear strong similarities with the one reported by the United States in June 2016 (and mentioned in the first report of the Secretary-General).

    The Secretariat looks forward to the opportunity to examine the arms seized in all three instances and obtain additional information, in order to corroborate the information provided and independently ascertain the origin of the shipments.

    Still on arms-related transfers and of particular concern is the June 2016 televised statement by the Secretary-General of Hizbullah that Hizbullah receives its salaries, expenses, weapons and missiles from Iran.  The statement suggests that transfers of arms from Iran to Hizbullah may have been undertaken contrary to resolution 2231 (2015).  In addition, the report notes the November 2016 letter by Israel to the Secretary-General and the Council about the alleged use of commercial flights by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to transfer arms and related materiel to Hizbullah, and the subsequent response from Iran that such claims were baseless and unsubstantiated accusations.

    With regards to the case of Iranian participation in an arms exhibition held in Baghdad in March 2016, which was presented in the first report of the Secretary-General on this issue, I am able to inform the Council today that Iraqi authorities confirmed in October 2016 that all items exhibited were returned to Iran.  Therefore, no further follow-up will be taken by the Secretariat in relation to this matter.

    Finally, Mr. President, the report draws the attention of Council members to possible ongoing travel ban violations by individuals on the list maintained pursuant to resolution 2231 (2015).  The report includes information on two possible foreign travels by Brigadier General Naqdi and on numerous possible foreign travels by Major General Soleimani which are supported by photographic evidence released by Iranian and other regional media outlets.  The Secretariat raised these possible violations with the countries involved.  Iraq and Syria did not deny nor confirm such information, but emphasized that no invitations were extended or visas were issued by their respective authorities to the individuals.

    In response to the Secretariat’s request for clarification on the possible transfer of arms to Hizbullah as well as the possible travel ban violations, Iran underlined that “measures undertaken by [Iran] in combating terrorism and violent extremism in the region have been consistent with its national security interests and international commitments.”


    Mr. President,

    Looking forward to the second year of JCPOA implementation, I would like to once again emphasize the particular responsibilities of JCPOA participants in carrying the full and effective implementation of the agreement.  The wider international community also has an interest in and must contribute to the long-term implementation of the agreement.

    In closing, I would like to acknowledge the leadership of H.E. Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain) in his role as Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015) in 2016. I would like to congratulate H.E Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy) on his selection as Facilitator for 2017.  Ambassador Cardi, you and the Security Council can count on the full support of the United Nations Secretariat in your stewardship of the resolution endorsing this historic agreement.