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Friday, March 27, 2015

Resolution 2214 on Counter Terrorism in Libya, drafted by Jordan and Egypt

Draft resolution: Jordan

The Security Council,
Recalling its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005), 1989 (2011), 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014), 2174 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2195 (2014) and 2199 (2015), and its relevant presidential statements,
Reaffirming its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,
Reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomever committed, and remaining determined to contribute further to enhancing the effectiveness of the overall effort to fight this scourge on a global level,
Reaffirming the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and stressing in this regard the important role the United Nations plays in leading and coordinating this effort,
Recognizing that development, security, and human rights are mutually reinforcing and are vital to an effective and comprehensive approach to countering terrorism, and underlining that a particular goal of counter-terrorism strategies should be to ensure sustainable peace and security,
Reaffirming that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, or civilization, 
Emphasizing that sanctions are an important tool under the Charter of the United Nations in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security, including countering terrorism, and underlining the importance of prompt and effective implementation of relevant resolutions, in particular Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) as key instruments in the fight against terrorism,
Reaffirming its resolution 1373 (2001) and in particular its decisions that all States shall prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts and refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists,
Recognizing the significant need to build capacities of Member States to counter terrorism and terrorist finance,
Reaffirming its determination to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, including those committed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL also known as Daesh) everywhere, and urging all Member states to actively cooperate in this regard,
Expressing grave concerns over the growing trend of terrorist groups in Libya that proclaim allegiance to ISIL,
Expressing grave concern about ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia Benghazi and Ansar Al Charia Derna (Hereinafter collectively referred to as Ansar Al Charia), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and about the negative impact of their presence, violent extremist ideology and actions on stability in Libya, neighbouring countries, and the region, including the devastating humanitarian impact on the civilian populations,
Deploring the terrorist acts being committed by ISIL, groups that pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, including the recent cowardly and heinous kidnapping and killing of a number of Egyptian citizens in Serte and the killing of Libyan civilians in Al-Qoba,
Expressing grave concern over the acute and growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters in Libya and the region which increase the intensity, duration and intractability of the conflict in Libya, and who also pose a serious threat to their States of origin, the States they transit and the States to which they travel, as well as States neighbouring to Libya that are affected by grave security burdens,
Recognizing that addressing the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters requires comprehensively addressing underlying factors, including by preventing radicalization to terrorism, stemming recruitment, inhibiting foreign terrorist fighter travel, disrupting financial support to foreign terrorist fighters, countering violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, countering incitement to terrorist acts motivated by extremism or intolerance, promoting political and religious tolerance, economic development and social cohesion and inclusiveness, ending and resolving armed conflicts, and facilitating reintegration and rehabilitation,
Noting with grave concern the continued threat posed to international peace and security by ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, including in Southern Libya and reaffirming its resolve to address all aspects of that threat,
Expressing concern at the increased use, in a globalized society, by terrorists and their supporters of new information and communication technologies, in particular the Internet, for the purposes of recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts,
Commending the efforts undertaken by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to facilitate a political solution to the political and security crisis in Libya,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya, 
1. Condemns all terrorist acts committed by ISIL, groups that pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and emphasizes in this regard the need for a comprehensive approach to fully combat them;
2. Stresses the necessity of the full implementation of the Security Council resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005), 1989 (2011), 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014), 2174 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2195 (2014) and 2199 (2015), including with respect to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya;
3. Urges Member States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, including those committed by ISIL, groups that pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya in coordination with the Government of Libya;
4. Encourages the submission of listing requests to the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), by Member States of individuals and entities supporting ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and further encourages the Committee to urgently consider additional designations of individuals and entities supporting ISIL, Ansar Al Charia and other listed entities in Libya;
5. Expresses its strong determination to consider listing pursuant to resolution 2161 (2014) individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and Al-Qaida operating in Libya, who are financing, arming, planning, or recruiting for them, or otherwise supporting their acts or activities, including through information and communications technologies, such as the internet, social media, or any other means;
6. Reaffirms that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to counter terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law, and underscores that respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing with effective counter-terrorism measures, and are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort and notes the importance of respect for the rule of law so as to effectively prevent and combat terrorism, and notes that failure to comply with these and other international obligations, including under the Charter of the United Nations, is one of the factors contributing to increased radicalization and fosters a sense of impunity;
7. Calls upon the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011) to consider expeditiously requests under paragraph 8 of resolution 2174 (2014) for the transfer or supply of arms and related materiel, including related ammunition and spare parts, to the Libyan Government for the use by its official armed forces to combat ISIL, groups that pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and urges relevant states to provide relevant information for such a request;
8. Emphasizes the importance of providing support and assistance to the Government of Libya, including by providing it with the necessary security and capacity building assistance;
9. Calls upon Member States to help build the capacity of other Member States where necessary and appropriate and upon request, to address the threat posed by ISIL, groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and welcomes and encourages bilateral assistance by Member States to help build such national, subregional or regional capacity;
10. Expresses strong support for the efforts of the Libyan Government to combat ISIL, groups that pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and of members of the international community assisting the Libyan Government in this regard upon its request;
11. Recognizes the important roles of the African Union, the League of Arab States and Libya’s neighbouring countries with regard to finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in Libya and commend their efforts in countering the threats to international peace and security posed by ISIL, groups that pledged allegiance to ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya;
12. Expresses its support to the United Nations led political dialogue between the Government of Libya, and all Libyan parties that renounce violence, and calls upon them to engage constructively with the initiative of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General with the purpose of forming a national unity government, and commends their continued participation in the dialogue;
13. Directs the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team of the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) to report, within 180 days, and provide a preliminary oral update to the 1267 Committee within 90 days, on the terrorism threat in Libya posed by ISIL, Ansar Al Charia, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida operating in Libya, and on their sources of arms, funding, recruitment, demographics, connections to the terrorist networks in the region, and recommendations for additional actions to address the threat, and requests that after a Committee discussion of these reports, the chair of the Committee to brief the Security Council on its principal findings;

14. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Resolution 2213: Security Council endorses Leon's plan for Libya, extends sanctions, UNSMIL

The Security Council,
pp1 Recalling its resolution 1970 (2011) and all its subsequent resolutions on Libya,
pp2 Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya,
pp3 Welcoming the ongoing efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to facilitate a Libyan-led political solution to the increasing challenges facing the country and underlining the importance of agreement, in accordance with the principles of national ownership, on immediate next steps towards completing Libya’s political transition, including the formation of a national unity government,
pp3ter Welcoming the ongoing UN-facilitated political dialogue, recognising the contribution of Member States to host and support meetings of that dialogue, and emphasizing the necessity for the constructive participation of the elected House of Representatives and other Libyan parties to take forward the democratic transition, build state institutions and start the reconstruction of Libya,
pp4 Gravely concerned at the growing trend of terrorist groups in Libya to proclaim allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (also known as Da’esh) and the continued presence of other Al-Qaida-linked terrorist groups and individuals operating there, reaffirming the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including applicable international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and recalling, in this regard, the obligations under resolution 2161 (2014),
pp5 Expressing deep concern at the threat posed by unsecured arms and ammunition in Libya and their proliferation, which undermines stability in Libya and the region, including through transfer to terrorist and violent extremist groups, and underlining the importance of coordinated international support to Libya and the region to address these issues,
pp6 Reaffirming the importance of holding accountable those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, including those involved in attacks targeting civilians,
pp7Recalling its decision in resolution 1970 (2011) to refer the situation in Libya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), noting the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber dated 10 December 2014, and emphasizing strongly the importance of the Libyan government’s full cooperation with the ICC and the Prosecutor,
pp7bis Recalling the need for all parties to respect the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance,
pp8 Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) (S/2015/144),
pp9Taking note also of the special report of the Secretary-General on the strategic assessment of the UN presence in Libya (S/2015/113) including the recommendations on the configuration of the UN presence made therein,
pp10 Taking note of the final report of the Panel of Experts (S/2015/128) submitted pursuant to paragraph 14 (d) of resolution 2144 (2014) and the findings and recommendations contained therein,
pp11 Determining that the situation in Libya continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
pp12 Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Calls for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, underscores that there can be no military solution to the ongoing political crisis, and urges all parties in Libya to engage constructively with the efforts of UNSMIL and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to facilitate, in accordance with the principles of national ownership, the formation of a national unity government and agreement on interim security arrangements necessary for stabilising Libya;
2. Calls upon all Member States to fully support the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General;
3. Encourages Member States, particularly in the region, to urge all parties in Libya to engage constructively in the UN-facilitated dialogue and work quickly towards a successful outcome;
4. Condemns the use of violence against civilians and civilian institutions and continuing escalation of conflict, including attacks on airports, State institutions, and other vital national infrastructure and natural assets, and calls for those responsible to be held accountable;
5. Calls upon the Libyan government to promote and protect human rights, including those of women, children and people belonging to vulnerable groups, and to comply with its obligations under international law, and calls for those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights to be held accountable;
6. Condemns cases of torture and mistreatment, and deaths by torture, in detention centres in Libya, calls upon the Libyan government to take all steps necessary to accelerate the judicial process, transfer detainees to State authority and prevent and investigate violations and abuses of human rights, calls for all Libyan parties to cooperate with Libyan government efforts in this regard, calls for the immediate release of all individuals arbitrarily arrested or detained in Libya, including foreign nationals, and underscores the Libyan government’s primary responsibility for promoting and protecting the human rights of all persons in Libya, particularly those of African migrants and other foreign nationals;
7. Calls upon the Libyan government to cooperate fully with and provide any necessary assistance to the International Criminal Court and the Prosecutor as required by resolution 1970 (2011);
8. Encourages Libya and regional States to promote regional cooperation aimed at stabilization of the situation in Libya, to prevent former Libyan regime elements and violent extremist groups or terrorists from using the territory of Libya or such States to plan, fund or carry out violent or other illicit or terrorist acts to destabilize Libya or States in the region, and notes that such cooperation would benefit regional stability;
United Nations mandate
9. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) until 15 September 2015 under the leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and decides further that the mandate of UNSMIL as an integrated special political mission, in full accordance with the principles of national ownership, shall focus, as an immediate priority, on support to the Libyan political process and security arrangements, through mediation and good offices, and further, within operational and security constraints, shall undertake:
(a) human rights monitoring and reporting;
(b) support for securing uncontrolled arms and related materiel and countering its proliferation;
(c) support to key Libyan institutions;
(d) support, on request, for the provision of essential services, and delivery of humanitarian assistance and in accordance with humanitarian principles;
(e) support for the coordination of international assistance;
10. Recognises that the current security situation in Libya requires a reduction in the Mission’s size, but requests the Secretary-General to maintain the necessary flexibility and mobility to adjust UNSMIL staffing and operations at short notice in order to support, as appropriate and in accordance with its mandate, implementation by the Libyans of agreements and confidence-building measures or in response to their expressed needs, and further requests the Secretary-General keep the Security Council informed prior to such changes to UNSMIL in his reports pursuant to paragraph 27 of this resolution;
Sanctions measures
11. Reaffirms that the travel ban and asset freeze measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011), as modified by paragraphs 14, 15 and 16 of resolution 2009 (2011), apply to individuals and entities designated under that resolution and under resolution 1973 (2011) and by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011), and reaffirms that these measures also apply to individuals and entities determined by the Committee to be engaging in or providing support for other acts that threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya, or obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition, and decides that such acts may include but are not limited to:
(a) planning, directing, or committing, acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses, in Libya;
(b) attacks against any air, land, or sea port in Libya, or against a Libyan State institution or installation, including oil facilities, or against any foreign mission in Libya;
(c) providing support for armed groups or criminal networks through the illicit exploitation of crude oil or any other natural resources in Libya;
(d) threatening or coercing Libyan State financial institutions and the Libyan National Oil Company, or engaging in any action that may lead to or result in the misappropriation of Libyan state funds;
(e) violating, or assisting in the evasion of, the provisions of the arms embargo in Libya established in resolution 1970 (2011);
(f) acting for or on behalf of or at the direction of a listed individual or entity;
12. Reiterates that individuals and entities determined by the Committee to have violated the provisions of resolution 1970 (2011), including the arms embargo, or assisted others in doing so, are subject to designation, and notes that this includes those who assist in the violation of the assets freeze and travel ban in resolution 1970 (2011);
13. Condemns the continued violations of the measures contained in resolution 1970 (2011) and directs the Committee, in line with its mandate and guidelines, to consult as soon as possible with any Member State about which the Committee deems there is credible information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the State is facilitating such violations or any other acts of non-compliance with these measures;
Prevention of illicit oil exports
14. Decides to extend until 31 March 2016 the authorizations provided by and the measures imposed by resolution 2146 (2014);
15. Urges the Libyan government to provide regular updates to the Committee on ports, oil fields, and installations that are under its control, and to inform the Committee about the mechanism used to certify legal exports of crude oil;
Arms embargo
16. Stresses that arms and related materiel, including related ammunition and spare parts, that are supplied, sold or transferred as security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government in accordance with paragraph 8 of resolution 2174 (2014), should not be resold to, transferred to, or made available for use by parties other than the designated end user;
17. Urges the Libyan government to improve further the monitoring and control of arms or related materiel that are supplied, sold or transferred to Libya in accordance with paragraph 9 (c) of resolution 1970 (2011) or paragraph 8 of resolution 2174 (2014), including through the use of end user certificates, and urges Member States and regional organizations to provide assistance to the Libyan government to strengthen the infrastructure and mechanisms currently in place to do so;
18. Reiterates its call upon Libya, with the assistance of international partners, to address the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons in the country, and to ensure the safe and effective management, storage, and security of their stockpiles of small arms and light weapons and the collection and/or destruction of surplus, seized, unmarked, or illicitly held weapons and ammunition;
19. Calls upon all Member States, in order to ensure strict implementation of the arms embargo established by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1970 and modified by subsequent resolutions, to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, vessels and aircraft bound to or from Libya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), as modified by paragraph 13 of 2009 (2011), paragraphs 9 and 10 of 2095 (2013) and paragraph 8 of 2174 ( 2014) for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of those provisions, and calls upon all flag States of such vessels and aircraft to cooperate with such inspections;
20. Reaffirms its decision to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, upon discovery of items prohibited by paragraph 9 or 10 of resolution 1970, as modified by paragraph 13 of 2009 (2011), paragraphs 9 and 10 of 2095 (2013), and paragraph 8 of 2174( 2014), seize and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable, storage or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) of such items and further reaffirms its decision that all Member States shall cooperate in such efforts;
21. Requires any Member State, when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 19 of this resolution, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspections, the results of such inspections, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;
Assets
22. Welcomes the efforts of the Libyan authorities to implement measures to increase transparency of government revenues and expenditures, including salaries, subsidies, and other transfers from the Central Bank of Libya, and welcomes the efforts of the Libyan authorities to eliminate the duplication of payments and to guard against the illegal diversion of payments,, and encourages further steps in this regard that ensure the long-term sustainability of Libya’s financial resources;
23. Supports the efforts of the Libyan authorities to recover funds misappropriated under the Qadhafi regime and, in this regard, encourages the Libyan authorities and Member States that have frozen assets pursuant to resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011) as modified by resolution 2009 (2011) to consult with each other regarding claims of misappropriated funds and related issues of ownership;
Panel of Experts
24. Decides to extend until 30 April 2016 the mandate of the Panel of Experts, established by paragraph 24 of resolution 1973 (2011) and modified by resolutions 2040 (2012) 2146 (2014) and 2174 (2014), expresses its intent to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding further extension no later than twelve months from the adoption of this resolution, and decides that the Panel shall carry out the following tasks:
(a) assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011), and modified in resolutions 2146 (2014) and 2174 (2014) and in this resolution;
(b) gather, examine and analyse information from States, relevant United Nations bodies, regional organizations and other interested parties regarding the implementation of the measures decided in resolutions 1970 (2011), 1973 (2011) 2146 (2014) and 2174 (2014), and modified in resolutions 2009 (2011) 2040 (2012), 2095 (2013), 2144 (2014) and in this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance;
(c) make recommendations on actions that the Council, the Committee, the Libyan government or other States may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures;
(d) provide to the Council an interim report on its work no later than 180 days after the Panel’s appointment, and a final report to the Council, after discussion with the Committee, no later than 15 March 2016 with its findings and recommendations;
25. Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies, including UNSMIL, and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures decided in resolutions 1970 (2011) 1973 (2011), 2146 (2014) and 2174 (2014), and modified in resolutions 2009 (2011) and 2040 (2012), 2095 (2013), 2144 (2014) and in this resolution, in particular incidents of non-compliance, and calls on UNSMIL and the Libyan government to support Panel investigatory work inside Libya, including by sharing information, facilitating transit and granting access to weapons storage facilities, as appropriate;
26. Calls upon all parties and all States to ensure the safety of the Panel’s members, and that all parties and all States, including Libya and countries of the region, provide unhindered and immediate access, in particular to persons, documents and sites the Panel of Experts deems relevant to the execution of its mandate;
Reporting and review
27. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution at least every 60 days;
28. Affirms its readiness to review the appropriateness of the measures contained in this resolution, including the strengthening, modification, suspension or lifting of the measures, and its readiness to review the mandate of UNSMIL, as may be needed at any time in light of developments in Libya, particularly outcomes of the UN-facilitated dialogue;

29. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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Security Council Statement on humanitarian situation Syria

Security Council - Press Statement 

As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, the members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern that the people of Syria continue to suffer from deteriorating conditions, with devastating consequences. They also expressed deep concern that over half of Syria’s pre-war population — some 12.2 million people — and the more than 3.9 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.  
 
The members of the Security Council highlighted that the lack of funding for the United Nations and its implementing partners has already forced humanitarian agencies to reduce food rations for Syrians by 30 per cent and that for every $1 million the UN cannot raise for its Syria programmes, some 227,000 people lose vital health services. They also stressed that unless urgent funding is received before May 2015, one million Syrian children who are not attending school will not be able to access alternative education options.
 
The members of the Security Council noted that the Syria Response Plan’s appeal for $2.9 billion is only 9 percent funded, and the Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan’s appeal for $4.5 billion is only 6 percent funded.
 
The members of the Security Council therefore welcomed the upcoming Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria to be hosted by Kuwait on 31 March, and encouraged the international community to respond with generous pledges of new humanitarian and development funding towards the UN appeals for 2015.
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Serry's Farewell Statement: Bibi's words raises serious doubts about Israel' s commitment to the two-state solution

ROBERT SERRY
SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS
BRIEFING TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
26 MARCH 2015

Monsieur le Prdsident,
Je vous remercie chaleureusement pour vos aimables propos. Ces septs dernibres ann4es ont 4t4 pour moi une expdrience extraordinaire qui restera avec moi pendant toute ma vie. Je reconnais avec humiliate et gratitude l'opportunitd unique qui m'a 4t4 offerte.

I brief today against the backdrop of another month plagued by the brutality that continues to cause immense human suffering across the region. As this will be my last briefing, I intend to focus on my own mandate while, of course, recognizing that the Arab-Israeli conflict is affected by the dramatic events in the region. In any peace agreement Israeli security concerns will need to be seriously ad&essed. However, losing sight of reaching peace between Israel, Palestine and the wider Arab world altogether -I have repeatedly warned the Council that we may be heading in this direction- would be tantamount to pouring more oil on the regional flames. Conversely, real progress in achieving a two-state solution and ending the longest ongoing occupation in modern history would go a long way towards improving regional security and strengthening moderate forces in the region. In this regard, the Arab Peace Initiative still holds out the prospect of Israel normalizing its relations with the Arab and wider Muslim world, rather than isolating itself.

Let me first briefly update you on significant events during this reporting period before sharing with you some parting thoughts based on my seven years of experience, which the Council may wish to consider. On 17 March, general elections were held in Israel. We congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud party on winning the highest number of seats and note that President Rivlin has invited him to form the next government, a process that may take several weeks. However, I am frankly concerned by many of the hardline statements put forward in the final days of campaigning, in particular remarks by the Prime Minister raising serious doubts about Israel' s commitment to the two-state solution. I urge the incoming Israeli government to seize the opportunity of a fresh mandate to quickly demonstrate in words and, more importantly by actions, this commitment.

Earlier this month the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) Central Council adopted a series of decisions, including "to suspend all forms of security coordination given Israel's systematic and ongoing noncompliance with its obligations under signed agreements." While noting that in three months' time the PLO Executive Committee will report back on the implementation of this decision, to date security coordination is continuing. This move may have far-reaching consequences and, along with the Palestinian accession to the International Criminal Court effective 1 April, it is yet another powerful sign of Palestinian determination not to return to the status quo.

We cannot run from reality. There is a genuine possibility that ending Palestinian security coordination with Israel may be the final nail in the coffin of the Oslo Accords. However, there is still time for parties to end the cycle of counterproductive action and counteraction.

With the third month of Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenues, now amounting to over $400 million dollars, the Palestinian Authority's financial crisis is deepening. We are deeply concerned that despite the announcement of an austerity budget for 2015, this temporary bandaid may not allow the Palestinian Authority to survive. Israel's action is in violation of the Paris Protocol of the Oslo Accords. We, again, call on Israel to immediately reverse this decision.

In Gaza, an equally destructive financial crisis, related to the lack of progress on civil service reform, continues to ratchet up tensions. It has been nearly five months since the UN facilitated a humanitarian payment to Gaza civil servants. I cannot help but feel that such a gesture may be needed yet again to sustain minimum conditions for stability until the parties have addressed the underlying issue.

In this regard, I welcome Prime Minister Hamdallah's second visit to Gaza this week and commend his continued efforts to find solutions for this and other critical issues, which will facilitate the GNC's assumption of its rightful responsibility in Gaza, which was developed with Palestinian and broad international support. I also welcome last week's declaration of support by President Abbas and Hamas for the Swiss Roadmap pertaining to the reintegration and reform of the public sector in Gaza. I would like to thank Switzerland for their committed efforts on this issue and urge the Roadmap's swift implementation.

While the appalling situation in Gaza endures, there are some signs of progress. While not enough, the temporary Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) is making a difference. As of 23 March, almost 80 per cent of damaged shelters have been processed through the GRM, with over 61,000 individuals having procured construction materials to carry out their home repairs. In addition, the mechanism is ready to process large-scale reconstruction. Over 40 international and private sector projects have been approved and five are already underway - including Qatar's first major housing project to construct 1,000 housing units. I appreciate Israel's willingness to facilitate this process. I, therefore, encourage all international partners to take note that the mechanism is working and to fully engage on Gaza reconstruction, in line with their pledges in Cairo last Octo

Mr. President,
The situation in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, remains tense. At practically every monthly briefing during the past seven years we have reported on negative developments. These include the loss of lives and injuries resulting from demonstrations, inter-communal violence often involving Israeli settlers and Israeli search-and-arrest operations. We have also reported on security incidents, including, increasingly, so-called "lone-wolf' attacks - and the Secretary General and I have firmly condemned acts of terror. I do not need to give the details to report that this month resembles the average from previous briefings, including on home demolitions, another disturbing trend. Numbers sometimes hide the grim reality of entrenched occupation leading to growing despair.

We did not fail to report to you either more positive developments, in particular related to Palestinian state building and the easing of Israeli restrictive measures. After a longstanding dispute, Rawabi has finally been connected to water supply, allowing families to begin moving into this modern Palestinian township near Ramallah. I also welcome recent Israeli steps to ease some of its restrictions on the movement of people and goods in the West Bank and Gaza. I only wish that I could have reported such positive news on a regular basis, and I urge Israel to expand upon these important initiatives.

Unsurprisingly, settlement planning and activity also continued this month, despite unanimous opposition from the international community. According to the Israeli NGO Peace Now, from January 2008 to January 2014 - or six of my seven years as Special Coordinator - the population in settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem steadily increased by an estimated 16 per cent to a total of 551,500 persons - over half a million people. Some 16,500 new residential units were constructed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem during this period.

Illegal settlement activity simply cannot be reconciled with the objective of a negotiated two state solution and may kill the very possibility of reaching peace on the paradigm of two states for two peoples. I frankly do not lcnow if it is already too late. The minimmn conditions of trust cannot be restored without the new Israeli government taking credible steps to freeze settlement activity.

Mr. President,
Allow me, in this final briefing, to share my parting thoughts.

Upon leaving this position, I cannot but express an overriding feeling that I have been part of a peace process in which a can is kicked down an endless road. During the past seven years, three US led peace initiatives remained inconclusive and did not bring us any closer to the urgently needed political foundation for a Palestinian state as part of a two state solution. This is why the remarkable progress achieved in Palestinian state building, pursued vigorously under the leadership of President Abbas and former Prime Minister Fayyad, has started to turn into a "failed success". Moreover, all three stalled negotiations were followed by wars in Gaza, leaving the strip devastated seven months after the last war, as I observed during my last visit.

To seek to prevent yet another descent into conflict, I have publicly called for a new strategy prioritizing Gaza. By this, let me be clear, I do not mean "Gaza only." Neither I nor the United Nations would ever support a strategy that would seek to divide Gaza from the West Bank. Focusing support to Gaza must be inextricably linked to addressing the wider peace process.

"Prioritizing Gaza" means that we recognize that we cannot possibly hope to pick up the pieces of a shattered Israel-Palestinian peace strategy, leaving Gaza as it is. It means that we cannot possibly hope to again board the peace train in the West Bank and arrive in Gaza as a final stop. It means that we must fix Gaza - or at least stabilize it - so that we do not reconstruct it for a third time only to see it destroyed again and so that it does not halt peace efforts which aim to reach the long desired two-state vision: Israel living side-by-side in peace and security with one single, unified State of Palestine.

"Pfioritizing Gaza" means for me achieving four main objectives urgently.

First, we need a more stable ceasefire under the umbrella of the Government of National Consensus. I have called for a "reconstruction hudna": a freeze of all military activities above and below ground over at least a three-to-five-year timeframe. This would allow time and give donors confidence for the large-scale, accelerated reconstruction that Gaza desperately needs: major infrastructure projects, including housing; a gas pipeline to generate inexpensive energy; and a desalination plant to address the chronic water shortages. Once these immediate needs would be met, a next step would be to look into providing an opening to the world via a seaport.

Second, such a "hudna" can only be sustainable if Palestinians move towards a real reconciliation - this has not happened yet. Clearly this will not be an easy task, but what is the alternative? Empowering the Government of National Consensus to take up its leadership role in Gaza is the only way forward. Bringing all the crossings in Gaza under the control of the consensus Government and civil service reform represent essential next steps.

Third, all Gaza crossings need to be opened further to support the free movement of people and goods, including to reconnect the Strip and the West Bank and to enable exports.

And fourth, the international community must be prepared to fully support the Government of National Consensus politically and financially. This includes acting on the commitments made at the Cairo Conference to support Gaza reconstruction. A new strategy for Gaza needs the engagement of all stakeholders. I very much hope that conditions will soon allow Egypt to continue playing its important role, including by resuming the stalled ceasefire talks and promoting Palestinian reconciliation.

I can honestly state that Gaza has consistently been a top priority for the UN and for me, personally. During each crisis, the United Nations, including through the personal involvement of the Secretary-General, was in the forefront to stop the fighting. Let me here also thank the UN family on the ground, particularly UNRWA, for their indispensable role in picking up the pieces in the aftermath and doing the important development and humanitarian work. The stark truth is that, despite all the efforts, Gaza is our collective failure and the people of Gaza continue to suffer the consequences.

Mr. President,
Auother lesson learned after seven years and three wars is that the Middle East Peace Process has mainly played out on three inter-connected and mutually conflicting tracks: Peace negotiations; Gaza; and the UN.

The interplay of these three tracks has produced a dangerous outcome, I dare say the biggest crisis to date to our joint efforts to achieve a two-state solution. As I have noted in my briefings to you since May 2012, the parties are heading towards an outcome which I can only describe as a one-state reality.

As the parties do not appear at this point ready to recommence negotiations, we should not rush them back to the table. If indeed we believe that they do continue to seek an outcome of two neighbouring states living in peace and security, but are unable themselves, at this juncture, to agree on a meaningful framework to resume negotiations, the international community should seriously consider presenting such a framework for negotiations, including parameters, to achieve this. This may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution, in the present circumstances.

Peace is first and foremost the responsibility of the parties to the conflict. But that reality cannot absolve international institutions of their responsibilities. For its part, the Quartet has largely failed to live up to expectations - although recent efforts to reinvigorate it, including through an enhanced role for regional stakeholders, may have a positive impact.

It remains the primary responsibility of this Council to play its role in developing a new peace architecture for resolving the conflict at long last. Security Council resolution 242 embodying the key principle of"land for peace" is nearly half a centmy old. During my tenure - in my first year, actually - the Council passed only two resolutions on Israel and Palestine and neither of these provided a strategy. Hasn't the time come, Mr. President, for the Council to lead?

Mr. President,
In conclusion, let me express my appreciation for the dedicated work of the many UNSCO staff members without whose efforts I could not have done my job. And, further, I wish to convey my sincere gratitude to the Security Council and to the Secretary-General for all the support I have received over these eventful years. I could not have carried out my mission without your strong backing and, in particular, without your support for my maintaining contact - as the only peace Envoy permanently on the ground - with all parties concerned, including as appropriate with non-state actors, such as Hamas. Goal-oriented contact with such interlocutors is an essential element for any Envoy seeldng peace in a complex, modem conflict.


Finally, to my successor, Nickolay Mladenov, I wish every success in dealing with this infinitely challenging environment.  
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