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  • 27 дек 2019

    The number of Haitians who do not have sufficient food to eat is expected to surpass four million next year, the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, said on Friday. 

  • 26 дек 2019

    Only by ending the war in Afghanistan can there be “real hope” for a prosperous future for the country, the top UN official there said on Thursday. 

  • 26 дек 2019

    KABUL - Peace is crucial for the future of Afghanistan. I welcome the efforts made by the people of Afghanistan and other key actors to make progress and realize direct intra-Afghan talks. While...

  • 25 дек 2019

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has “strongly" condemned an attack carried out yesterday by unidentified gunmen in northern Burkina Faso.

  • 25 дек 2019

    While visiting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres extended wishes for a peaceful Christmas and a blessed New Year. 

  • 25 дек 2019

    With the 2020s now in full view, welcome to the second in our three-part series looking back at some of the major UN-related stories of the past decade. In part two, we take in the years 2014 to 2016, which saw the worst outbreak of Ebola ever recorded; new hope that the climate crisis could be tackled by world leaders, through the historic Paris climate agreement; a UN mission in Colombia to facilitate a much-awaited peace process; and the launch of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, a plan of action for people, the planet and prosperity.

  • 24 дек 2019

    Those responsible for the recent execution and abduction of civilians in northeastern Nigeria must be held accountable, the UN Secretary-General has said, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by his spokesperson. 

  • 24 дек 2019

    “Deeply concerned” over a recent military escalation in northwest Syria, Secretary-General António Guterres called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities”.

  • 24 дек 2019

    “Deeply concerned” over a recent military escalation in northwest Syria, Secretary-General António Guterres called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities”.

  • 24 дек 2019

    A woman speaks during a Global Open Days event on 22 October 2019 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photo: UNAMA / Fardin Waezi

    GHAZNI - In a UN-backed radio programme broadcast...

  • 23 дек 2019

    The top UN humanitarian official has called for a thorough investigation into weekend attacks against the premises of three international aid organizations in Yemen that wounded one person, in addition to damaging property. 

  • 23 дек 2019

    Abuja, 21 December 2019- Speaking at the 56th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, held in Abuja on 21 December 2019,...

  • 22 дек 2019

    Welcoming the preliminary results for Afghanistan’s presidential election on Sunday, the head of the United Nations mission in the country urged the authorities and all actors to “protect the integrity of the final stage of the process.” 

  • 22 дек 2019

    KABUL, 22 December 2019 - The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) welcomes the announcement of the preliminary results for Afghanistan’s presidential election and...

  • 21 дек 2019

    The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, participated in the 56th Ordinary Session of the Authority of the Heads of State and...

  • 20 дек 2019


    14 -  December 2019

    This Week in DPPA is a brief roundup of political and peacebuilding events and developments at UNHQ and around the world.


    “We need to reimagine a new global order with justice and accountability at its core”
    Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo visited Qatar to attend the Doha Forum between 14 and 15 December. The Forum is a global platform for dialogue, bringing together leaders in policy to build innovative and action driven networks. During a panel titled, “The United Nations at 75: A Time for Renewal and Innovation”, she said the world needed to reimagine a new global order with justice and accountability at its core. While in Doha, Ms. DiCarlo also held bilateral talks, including with  Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar. In a meeting with  Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khare, she emphasized the UN’s support to the upcoming elections in the country. With Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Sharif, she discussed Iran’s HOPE initiative to reduce tensions in the Middle East. For more information, contact us 

    Security Council

    West Africa and the Sahel “shaken by unprecedented violence”
    Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), briefed the Security Council on inter-communal violence and terrorism in West Africa on 16 December. He told the Council that the region has been “shaken by unprecedented violence” in recent months. “Curbing the financial and supply corridors used by armed groups, and the links with illegal trade, requires international cooperation; targeted sanctions and other measures recommended by Panels of Experts, are relevant for leverage,” Mr. Ibn Chambas said. 
    Read his full statement here
    Read more in UN News 

    Peace will be the issue of paramount importance to the new administration in Afghanistan
    Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), briefed the Council on the situation in Afghanistan on 16 December. He provided an update on developments since voting took place in late September. "When the election is completed with credibility, it will become a milestone in the history of establishing a representative political system of the country”. Mr. Yamamoto explained that preliminary results are yet to be announced as stakeholders want to ensure the electoral process was as transparent and credible as possible. “Whatever the outcome of the presidential election may be, peace will be the issue of paramount importance to the new administration," he said.
    Read his full statement here
    Read more in UN News  

    Israeli-Palestinian conflict in “fragile phase”
    Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov briefed the Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 2334 (2016) on 18 December. The resolution concerns the Israeli settlements in “Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem”. “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in a fragile phase with the occupation deepening, political uncertainty prevailing, and volatile regional dynamics threatening to further de-stabilize the situation,” Mr. Mladenov told the Council.
    Read his full statement here
    Read more in UN News 

    Briefing on the Iran nuclear deal 
    Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo briefed the Security Council on nuclear non-proliferation and resolution 2231 on 19 December. The resolution backed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed by China, France, Russia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Iran in July 2015. “Certain actions taken by the United States, since its withdrawal from the Plan, are contrary to the goals of the Plan. The re-imposition of its national sanctions lifted under the Plan, as well as its decision not to extend waivers for the trade in oil with Iran and certain non-proliferation projects, may also impede the ability of Iran and other Member States to implement the Plan and 2231,” Ms. DiCarlo said. She added that since July: “Iran has surpassed JCPOA-stipulated limits on its uranium enrichment level, as well as limits on its stockpiles of heavy water and low-enriched uranium.”
    Read her full statement here
    Read more in UN News

    Pedersen: “The Constitutional Committee needs to be nurtured, and genuinely supported if it is to succeed”
    Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen briefed the Security Council on the situation in Syria on 20 December. He updated the Council on the work of the Constitutional Committee.  “The Constitutional Committee needs to be nurtured, and genuinely supported if it is to succeed. This is the responsibility of the Syrian parties. International stakeholders, too, have a supporting role to play. I know I can count on the support of this Council in that regard,” Mr. Pedersen said.
    Read his full statement here


    Bayman youth meet to discuss social cohesion  
    Youth activists in Afghanistan’s central highlands province of Bamyan gathered at a UN-backed symposium to strategize on ways to promote social cohesion in the interest of advancing peace, locally and nationally, on 15 December. Some 40 young activists from seven districts across Bamyan attended the event, organized by UNAMA’s Bamyan regional office, to exchange ideas on factors hindering the participation of young people in Afghanistan’s social, political and economic life and to chart out possible next steps to maximize their engagement in promoting a culture of peace.
    Read more on UNAMA’s website 

    Protecting Human Rights in Afghanistan spotlighted at Kunduz university symposium Participants at a UN-backed seminar at Kunduz University on 19 December underscored the crucial importance of human rights for peace and stability, and highlighted the special role of young people as constructive agents of change in promoting and protecting rights. The university event was the final in a series of seminars facilitated by UNAMA’s Kunduz regional office to enable faculty and students to discuss international and national principles related to human rights provisions, with a specific focus on Afghanistan. In the wide-ranging panel discussion in the final seminar, with more than 100 students from six faculties in attendance, participants noted that the seminars have contributed not only to enhancing student interest in human rights but also to generating support for a new Human Rights and Peace Centre as a step to institutionalizing the first-ever Master’s Degree in Human Rights in Afghanistan.
    Read more on UNAMA’s website  









    Central Asia

    Annual meeting with Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states  
    The ninth annual Meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states, convened by UNRCCA, took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on 14 December. The meeting brought together the Deputy Foreign Ministers of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. As part of the C5+1 format established by UNRCCA in December 2017, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan also took part in the discussion devoted to the cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan.
    Read more on UNRCCA’s website 

    Capacity-building workshop and meeting of Central Asian water experts in Ashgabat
    UNRCCA convened a regional capacity-building workshop in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on 17-18 December dedicated to water cooperation in the Central Asian region. The event was attended by the representatives of the ministries and state agencies of the countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan, international and partner organizations as well as international experts. Special Representative Natalia Gherman welcomed the participants and praised efforts made by Central Asian states in strengthening regional cooperation in the sphere of transboundary water management. She pointed out that water and environmental issues continued to be key factors in terms of full and sustainable economic and social development in the region of Central Asia and Afghanistan. 
    Read more on UNRCCA’s website  


    Women activists trained on the integration of a gender perspective in the Universal Periodic Review
    In collaboration with OHCHR, UNSMIL completed a three-day training on the integration of gender perspective in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process on 17 December. The training benefited 15 geographically diverse women activists working on issues related to gender equality, combatting gender-based violence and promoting human rights. It further aimed to maximize knowledge among participants of gender sensitive analyses, monitoring, and how to best formulate tailor made and specific action-oriented recommendations to address gender related human rights violations. On the last day participants conceptualized a robust advocacy and outreach campaign strategy to build up momentum for the upcoming UPR cycle review of Libya’s human rights record due to take place under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council in May 2020.
    Read more on UNSMIL’s website


    Delegations of AU, EU, IGAD and UN hold consultations with stakeholders in Kismayo and Garowe  
    On the third stop of a series of consultations in Somalia’s Federal Member States, a senior delegation of some of the country’s international partners visited Jubaland’s capital Kismayo on 17 December, where it held meetings on how the country can implement the national priorities it has set for the coming year. “We are here to engage with a range of stakeholders, and to hear their views on how key national priorities can be achieved in 2020. These include preparations for ‘one-person, one-vote’ elections, finalization of the Federal Constitution, continued progress towards debt relief, and the fight against Al-Shabaab,” James Swan, Special Representative and Head of UNSOM, said on behalf of the delegation.
    Read more on UNSOM’s website  

    The delegation visited Puntland’s capital Garowe on 18 December, the final stop of their visits to seek stakeholders’ views on how key national priorities can be realized next year. The delegation met with Puntland’s President Said Abdullahi Deni, and other political and social actors in the state, such as cabinet ministers and civil society representatives. “These consultations have been an opportunity to hear directly from stakeholders on how Somalia’s national priorities can be achieved, and challenges overcome,” James Swan said.
    Read more on UNSOM’s website  



    Former combatants and victims of the conflict join in song for reconciliationVictims of the armed conflict and former FARC, ELN, and AUC combatants sang together with the Medellin Philharmonic Orchestra on 17 December during a "Reconciliation Concert" organized by the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, Explora Park, and the orchestra. "The fundamental objective of today's world is to obtain peace, and we know that the power of music is one of the tools for peacebuilding and reconciliation. I believe that citizens must support in-depth peacebuilding in Colombia", was the message of Karla Gabriela Samayoa Recari, Deputy Head of the UN Verification Mission. The artists were responding to a call from the Colombian Government through the Reintegration and Normalization Agency and the Victims’ Unit.
    For more information, contact us 

    Business roundtable between ex-combatants and businessmen in Meta
    In Villavicencio city on 17 December, ex-combatants and businessmen from the department of Meta met at a business roundtable to discuss commercial ideas. The ex-combatants presented 15 projects to the business sector, related to livestock, agriculture and tourism. The businessmen provided advice and recommendations to the new entrepreneurs so they could maximize productivity and profitability. The event was organized by the Reintegration and Normalization Agency, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, UNDP and IOM.
    For more information, contact us 


    Decolonization Committee visits Montserrat
    The Special Committee on Decolonization, also known as the C-24, is wrapping up a visit to the Caribbean island of Montserrat, which is under United Kingdom administration. Montserrat is on the UN’s list of 17 Non-Self-Governing Territories. The mission, which also included meetings in Antigua and Barbuda, is led by Grenada, the Chair of the C-24, alongside representatives of Antigua and Barbuda, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. The C-24 is mandated to undertake at least one visiting mission per year to a Non-Self-Governing Territory. In Montserrat, the delegation paid particular attention to the impact of the volcanic eruptions that have hit the island since 1995, forcing thousands of people to evacuate mostly to Antigua and Barbuda and the United Kingdom, or to resettle in the north of the island. Upon their return to New York, the delegation will present its findings in a public report. For more information on the mission and DPPA’s work on decolonization, visit the Decolonization Unit’s new website: https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en






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  • 20 дек 2019

    Our top stories for Friday include: Pope Francis receives the UN chief in Rome, Lesotho famine threat, concern for jailed Iranian protestors, and strengthened global action to prevent corruption. 

  • 20 дек 2019

    Following a “thorough, independent and objective assessment”, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Friday that she plans to open a formal investigation into alleged war crimes in Palestine, but asked the Court for a further ruling over territorial jurisdiction.

  • 20 дек 2019

    The second session of the Syrian Constitutional Committee, aiming to create a new post-war political road map for the country, failed to get off the ground due to lack of consensus over the agenda, the UN Special Envoy for the country told the Security Council on Friday. 

  • 20 дек 2019
  • 20 дек 2019

    Madame President 

    1. One year ago, many believed that the Syrian conflict was winding down. Yet the past 12
    months have seen a steady stream of violence, punctuated by escalations, that continue to
    this day, across many areas of Syria – such as the northwest, the northeast and the
    south. Proscribed terrorist groups have also not been defeated and continue to pose a
    major security threat. All of this serves as a constant, grim reminder that the need for a
    comprehensive political process, as mandated by this Council in resolution 2254, is more
    pressing than ever.

    2. Today, let me start by updating you on one aspect of that process – the Constitutional

    3. On 25 November, the Small Body of the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned Constitutional
    Committee convened for its second session. Before arriving in Geneva, I had asked each
    Co-Chair to put forward proposals for an agenda for the second session, in line with the
    Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure.

    4. On 21 November, the Co-Chair designated by the opposition Syrian Negotiations
    Commission, sent me a proposed workplan with 10 constitutional headings and an agenda
    focusing on the preamble to the Constitution and basic principles of the Constitution. On
    25 November, the Co-Chair designated by the Syrian Government, proposed an agenda
    discussing “national pillars”, or national pillars of concern to the Syrian people.

    5. At the same time, the Co-Chair designated by the Government insisted that constitutional
    issues could not be discussed until these “national pillars” were discussed. For its part, the
    SNC Co-Chair stated that “national pillars” could be discussed, provided this occurs
    within the context of the agreed Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure or
    within an agenda of basic constitutional principles.

    6. From 25 through 29 November I sought, in line with my mandate, and consistent with the
    Syrian leadership and ownership of the process, to facilitate consensus between the Co-
    Chairs and bring their viewpoints closer together. We had serious discussions in this
    regard. Different formulas were put forward that might have enabled both sides to table
    and discuss the issues of interest to them within the scope of the Constitutional
    Committee’s mandate. By the end of the week, however, it was clear that consensus
    would not be reached and that a meeting of the Small Body was not possible.

    7. During this recess, I remain focused on facilitating agreement on an agenda for the next
    session of the Small Body. I hope that I will soon be able to consult with the Syrian
    Government directly in Damascus to this end, as well as the Syrian Negotiations
    Commission. My team also remains in contact with the “Middle Third” civil society
    delegation and I stand ready to support them, along the lines I outlined in my last briefing.

    8. I have also met with international stakeholders, on this and all other aspects of the
    process. This past month, I met with the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Turkey, as well
    as those of Italy, Jordan, Algeria, and senior officials from the US, France, Iran, and
    Germany, who all expressed support for my mediation efforts.

    9. I hope agreement can be reached promptly on an agenda that falls in line with the Terms
    of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Committee. As things
    stand and absent an agreed agenda, I see no reason to convene another session of the
    Small Body.

    Madame President,

    10. When I last briefed this Council, we had just concluded a successful opening session of
    the Constitutional Committee. This second session was obviously very different, in both
    substance and tone. But disagreement on the agenda is typical for any political process.

    11. I do, however, believe there are several lessons we can draw from the experience of the
    second round.

    12. First, the Constitutional Committee is and will remain fragile. Progress depends on the
    two sides, whose agreement made its creation possible – the Syrian Government and the
    Syrian Negotiations Commission – allowing their members to work professionally on the
    constitutional issues, and without disassociating themselves from the work of those they
    nominated. The Constitutional Committee needs to be nurtured, and genuinely supported
    if it is to succeed. This is the responsibility of the Syrian parties. International
    stakeholders, too, have a supporting role to play. I know I can count on the support of this
    Council in that regard.

    13. Second, any proposed agenda must comply with the Terms of Reference and Core Rules
    of Procedure, agreed between the Government and opposition. This means that all issues
    are open for discussion within the Committee - without preconditions, and without
    making consideration of one issue dependent on resolution of another. And it also means
    that issues should be framed and fall under a constitutional heading. The Constitutional
    Committee is mandated by agreement to prepare and draft a constitutional reform as a
    contribution to the political settlement. If the Constitutional Committee is to deliver on
    this, it must focus on its constitutional mandate.

    14. Third, the second round only underscores the need for a broader and comprehensive
    political process. The Government and Opposition reaffirmed this when they agreed, in
    the Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure, on the need for a ‘broader political
    process moving forward to build trust and confidence and implement Security Council
    resolution 2254 (2015).’ Indeed, I believe that, while a Constitutional Committee cannot
    solve the crisis, it can help foster the trust and confidence between the parties, that can
    open the door to a broader process– and, equally, such a broader process can feed
    positively into the work on the constitutional issues.

    Madame President,

    15. I believe a meaningful, wider political process would be one that delivers tangible
    actions, such as progress on the release of detainees/abductees and the clarification of the
    fate of missing persons. It remains a matter of great frustration for me that there has not
    been meaningful movement on this issue. My Deputy and I will continue engaging with
    the Syrian parties directly as well as with other relevant actors. We also remain
    committed to actively contribute to the efforts of the Working Group that was set up to
    deal with this issue. In this context, I met with senior officials from Russia, Turkey and
    Iran in Nur-Sultan last week and, along with discussion on other issues, I stressed the
    need to move beyond the “one-for-one” exchanges, and to see releases, at a meaningful
    scale, of children, women and the sick.

    16. De-escalating violence and a nationwide ceasefire should underpin a wider political
    process. Northwest Syria has seen a deeply troubling escalation of violence in recent
    days. ASG Muller briefed this Council in detail yesterday on the terrible suffering of
    civilians there. The devastating humanitarian cost of a full-scale military offensive for the
    3 million people living in northwest Syria is a price we simply cannot afford to pay. All
    sides must de-escalate urgently. Civilians also continue to suffer in northeast Syria, where
    the security situation remains volatile, even if it is calmer relative to the days and weeks
    after Turkey first launched its intervention. It is crucial that the various ceasefire
    understandings negotiated between actors there are respected and lead to a sustained deescalation
    in violence. The security situation in southern Syria also remains turbulent and
    should be addressed.

    17. Countering Security Council-listed terrorist groups is imperative too – through an
    approach that is cooperative, that ensures the protection of civilians, respects international
    humanitarian and human rights law.

    18. And as always, while the security situation is the most devastating threat, Syrians also
    face increasing economic hardship, including as a result of commodity shortages and
    entrenched poverty. A broader process must ultimately address this too.

    19. A broader process should respect and ultimately restore Syria’s sovereignty, unity,
    territorial integrity and independence.

    20. Such a process should achieve a long-lasting, real and genuine reconciliation.

    Madame President,

    21. A broader process must also be inclusive. We continue to consult with the Syrian
    Women’s Advisory Board on the concerns and priorities of diverse Syrian women and
    their perspectives on a sustainable and inclusive political solution.

    22. Syrian civil society should be fully included in any broader process.

    23. Ultimately, the process should help develop a safe, calm and neutral environment - an
    environment that sees safe, voluntary and dignified refugee returns, to their places of
    origin or of their choosing; an environment in which a new Constitution, adopted by
    popular approval, can be genuinely reflected in institutions and in practice; an
    environment in which inclusive, free and fair elections can take place, which include the
    diaspora and which are administered under the supervision of the United Nations in line
    with resolution 2254.

    24. Many of these issues touch upon constitution-making and some could be discussed under
    a constitutional rubric. But a constitution-making process itself is not likely to resolve
    them in a way that meets the urgent and legitimate concerns of the Syrian people. I
    remain convinced that a “steps for steps” model could help unlock practical progress –
    steps that build trust and confidence among Syrians, and between Syrians and the
    international community, undertaken in a reciprocal fashion.

    25. I continue to press on this in all of my engagements, with the Syrian parties and
    international stakeholders. I continue to offer my good offices in this regard. And I
    continue to support the convening of a new international format, to bring together the will
    of the key players.

    Madame President,

    26. This is my last briefing of my first year as Special Envoy. When I first briefed you, I said
    my priorities were a sustained dialogue with the Syrian Government and the opposition,
    the launch of the Constitutional Committee as a door opener, a wider dialogue with civil
    society, action on detainees, abductees and missing, and international discussions in
    support of a political solution.

    27. These remain my priorities. But it is time now to update them. The Committee is
    launched – but needs to work expeditiously and continuously, producing results and
    continued progress. I appreciate my open and direct dialogue with both Syrian parties –
    but if we are to take it to the next level, we need to address the full array of issues. We
    must enable de-escalation leading towards a nationwide ceasefire, as well as a
    cooperative, lawful approach to countering proscribed terrorist groups. As part of this
    dialogue, we must generate concrete action on detainees, abductees and missing persons.
    I think all of this could take shape for the benefit of all Syrians, like through a “steps for
    steps” approach. And I think a key part of this is for international discussions to deepen
    and for a new international format to take shape, to underpin the process. We know that
    none of this will be easy, and I will continue to count on the full engagement of the
    Syrian parties and the full support of this Council.

    Thank you, Madame President.

  • 20 дек 2019

    The Network of Civil Society Organizations for monitoring stability-promoting reforms, through the political dialogue support project, organized a...

  • 20 дек 2019

    In the midst of “turbulent and trying times”, all the world’s people must stand together in peace and harmony, the UN Secretary-General said on Friday. António Guterres was speaking following an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, who he thanked for his strong support for the global Organization. 

  • 19 дек 2019

    Both Iran and the United States have been putting strain on the groundbreaking 2015 deal to monitor Iran’s nuclear programme, which remains a “cornerstone of international peace and security”, said the UN’s political affairs chief on Thursday.

  • 19 дек 2019

    The head of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office (UNOCT) has highlighted the importance of tolerance in combating the “corrosive spread” of violent extremism. 

  • 19 дек 2019

    Thank you, Madame President, for convening today’s meeting on non-proliferation, which remains a cornerstone of international peace and security and a top priority for the international community.

    In this regard, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue, and resolution 2231 (2015), are crucial to nuclear non-proliferation as well as regional and international security. We are encouraged by the broad international support for the Plan and the resolution. Their full and effective implementation is key to ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme and to secure tangible economic benefit to the Iranian people.           

    We therefore regret the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA in May 2018 and the recent steps taken by Iran to reduce its nuclear-related commitments under the Plan.

    Certain actions taken by the United States, since its withdrawal from the Plan, are contrary to the goals of the Plan. The re-imposition of its national sanctions lifted under the Plan, as well as its decision not to extend waivers for the trade in oil with Iran and certain non-proliferation projects, may also impede the ability of Iran and other Member States to implement the Plan and 2231.

    Since July, under IAEA monitoring, Iran has surpassed JCPOA-stipulated limits on its uranium enrichment level, as well as limits on its stockpiles of  heavy water and low-enriched uranium. It has taken steps related to centrifuge research and development, and commenced injecting uranium hexafluoride gas into the centrifuges at the Fordow facility. Iran has stated that all these steps are reversible and that it intends to remain in the Plan.  It is important that Iran returns to full implementation of the Plan, and refrain from further steps to reduce its commitments.

    We welcome the initiatives of the other participants of the JCPOA, which should be given full effect as a matter of priority.  In this regard, the recent decisions by Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway to also join the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) are positive developments.

    These actions can contribute to the goals of facilitating legitimate business with Iran and the preservation of the Plan. The Secretary-General encourages Member States and others to work with JCPOA participants to achieve these important goals.

    At the same time, Iran should carefully consider and address the concerns expressed by Member States about its activities in relation to the restrictive measures contained in annex B to the resolution.

    Over the course of this year, tensions in the region have worryingly escalated. We witnessed attacks against oil tankers, strikes against a civilian airport, and a highly sophisticated and synchronized attack against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Combined with acrimonious rhetoric, these developments have dangerously brought the region closer to a serious confrontation. Such an eventuality would be devastating and must be prevented at all cost. The Secretary-General continues to call on Member States to exercise maximum restraint and prevent further escalation amid heightened tensions.

    Madam President, 
    I will now turn to the measures contained in annex B to the resolution, as outlined in the Secretary-General’s eighth report on the implementation of resolution 2231 and subsequent information obtained during the reporting period.

    First, on the implementation of the nuclear-related provisions, we have not received new reports on the supply, sale or transfer to Iran of nuclear and nuclear-related dual-use items contrary to paragraph 2 of annex B.  It is vital that the procurement channel works effectively and efficiently to promote increased international engagement with Iran. All Member States and the private sector are encouraged to fully utilize and support this channel. 

    In this connection, we recall the 3 May 2018 announcement by the United States that involvement in certain nuclear-related activities set forth in paragraph 2 of annex B may be exposed to its national sanctions. We also note the announcement by the United States that effective 15 December 2019 it “will terminate the sanctions waiver related to the nuclear facility at Fordow”.

    Exemption provisions in resolution 2231 allow for the transfer of such items, materials, equipment, goods and technology required for the nuclear activities of Iran under the Plan, subject to the relevant notification requirements. 

    Second, several Member States have provided divergent views  on Iran’s test-firing of ballistic missiles in the reporting period, as well as a reportedly failed launch of a space-launch vehicle in August. Paragraph 3 of annex B calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.

    France, Germany, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States viewed the missiles reportedly launched by Iran to be category I systems under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and are therefore designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.  By contrast, Iran and the Russian Federation stressed the lack of any reference to the MTCR regime in paragraph 3 of annex B. They further stated that Iran’s ballistic missile activities were not inconsistent with paragraph 3, as these missiles were not designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. 

    Related to ballistic missiles activities, the Secretariat also received information from the United States that several shipments of HTPB (hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene) – a substance that can be used in solid missile fuel – were transferred to Iran in July and August 2017. We are examining this information and will update the Council accordingly.

    Third, regarding arms-related restrictions, the Secretariat confirmed that 23 optical sights for RPG-7-type rocket propelled grenade launchers, part of a larger consignment seized in Aden (in December 2018), were delivered to end-users in Iran in 2016. This suggests that these optical sights may have been transferred from Iran to Yemen after 16 January 2016, which would be inconsistent with Iran’s obligations under resolution 2231. We had already indicated in our last report that the grenade launchers found in that seizure had characteristics similar to the Iranian-produced RPG-7-type launchers, such as markings and heat shields.

    Further on the arms restrictive measures, the Secretariat – at the invitation of Saudi authorities – examined the debris of the weapons systems used in the 14 May attack on the oil facility in Afif, the 12 June and 10 August attacks on the Abha International Airport and the 14 September attack on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.  

    Though the Houthis claimed responsibility for the 14 September attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, their announcements on the number and type of weapons systems used do not correspond to the information that we have seen. The Houthis claimed that the attacks involved 10 UAVs.

    However, the number of impact points observed by the Secretariat shows that the attacks involved a larger number, and different types, of weapons systems – which is consistent with the information provided by Saudi authorities. According to them, the attacks involved at least 18 UAVs, and 7 cruise missiles. In addition, since the publication of the report, United States has shared additional information with us regarding the debris of one of the UAVs, which indicated that this UAV traversed a location about 200km northwest of Abqaiq shortly before the strike.

    At this time, we are unable to independently corroborate that the cruise missiles, or the recovered components we inspected, are of Iranian origin.  I would like to stress, however, that this is our preliminary finding. We are still very much in the process of reviewing components and subcomponents recovered, as well as collecting and analysing additional information on these cruise missiles.

    For example, we have recently received confirmation that some of the cruise missile components were, in fact, not made by the identified manufacturers but could have been copies. The Secretary-General intends to report back to the Security Council on our further findings.

    Regarding the UAVs, the Houthis in Yemen are not known to be in possession of the specific delta wing type UAVs used in these attacks. The UAVs were found to be equipped with a type of vertical gyroscope that had been observed on an Iranian UAV reportedly recovered in Afghanistan in 2016. Parts of the UAVs were also produced and transferred between Member States, after 16 January 2016, and as recently as 2018.

    Based on our preliminary assessment, the Secretariat is unable to independently corroborate that the UAVs, or the recovered components we examined, are of Iranian origin. As with the cruise missiles, the Secretariat is still actively reviewing components and subcomponents recovered, as well as collecting and analysing additional information on these UAVs. The Secretary-General intends to report back on our further findings.

    In addition, I would like to bring to your attention arms-related information that had become available since the publication of the Secretary-General’s report.  At the invitation of the United States, the Secretariat travelled to examine arms and related materiel, alleged to be of Iranian origin, which the US seized in international waters off the coast of Yemen, on 25 November 2019. The seized items included anti-tank guided missiles, surface to air missiles, as well as parts of cruise missiles and anti-ship missiles. The anti-tank guided missiles that we saw had production dates as recent as 2018. Their container-launch units also had characteristics consistent with the Iranian-produced Dehlavieh anti-tank guided missile; we had made a similar observation of other ATGM container-launch units seized in Yemen in our sixth report to the Council. The Secretariat is still reviewing the information and will report back to the Council with additional details. 

    Finally, we were informed of additional travel allegedly untaken  by the Commander of the Al-Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Major General Qasem Soleimani, to Iraq in October 2019. We also were informed of  alleged cooperation between a Member State’s academic institution with an entity on the 2231 list, as well as several ongoing cooperation agreements in the construction sector between foreign entities and other entities on the list.

    The Secretariat has requested clarification from relevant Member States and will report back to the Council.

    Madam President,
    The Secretary-General considers the full implementation of 2231 by all Member States as an integral component of our collective conflict prevention efforts. This has assumed greater importance in the context of current tensions in the Gulf. The Secretary-General, therefore, calls on Member States to avoid confrontational actions and explore avenues for dialogue and cooperation in the interest of international peace and security. 

    Let me conclude by acknowledging the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve in his role as the Facilitator for the implementation of resolution 2231 and to assure him once again of our full support. I would also like to thank the Coordinator of the Procurement Working Group of the Joint Commission for our continued cooperation.



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