Friday, September 28, 2012

Security Council's statement on Friends of Yemen

Security Council Press Statement on Friends of Yemen 

28 September 2012

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Peter Wittig (Germany): 

The members of the Security Council welcomed the 27 September 2012 Friends of Yemen Ministerial meeting as well as its Co-Chairs statement, and commended the substantial progress made by the Government of Yemen in implementing the transition agreement. They also reaffirmed their commitment to the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of Yemen.   

The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for Yemen in its efforts to reach key milestones in the implementation plan, including the upcoming National Dialogue Conference, adoption of the transitional justice law, setting up of a new electoral commission, and ongoing security sector reform. They called upon all parties to continue to honour the timetable set out in the agreement and for all sides to act in a transparent, peaceful, inclusive and timely manner, and in a spirit of reconciliation. 

The members of the Security Council re-emphasized the importance of conducting a fully-inclusive, participatory, transparent and meaningful National Dialogue conference including with youth and women’s groups and called upon all stakeholders in Yemen to participate actively and constructively in this process. They welcomed the continued engagement of the good offices of the Secretary-General and his Special Adviser Jamal Benomar in support of this process. 

The members of the Security Council urged all the parties in Yemen to reject acts of violence to achieve political goals, to refrain from provocations and to abide by resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012). They expressed increasing concern about efforts to undermine the National Unity Government as it endeavours to implement the political transition agreement and reiterated their readiness to consider further measures, including under Article 41 of the UN Charter, if such actions continued. They repeated their call that all those responsible for human rights violations and abuses, must be held accountable. 

The members of the Security Council welcomed the more than $7 billion pledged at the Riyadh donor conference as well as the Friends of Yemen meeting and the Government of Yemen’s agreement to a Mutual Accountability Framework setting out commitments from the Government and donors to ensure that these additional resources deliver support to Yemen’s people. They reiterated their grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Yemen, including severe food insecurity, alarming levels of malnutrition and increasing numbers of internally displaced persons. They also reiterated that all parties should ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access. 
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Sudan, South Sudan sign deals and Security Council applauds

UN Security Council Press Statement on Sudan/South Sudan 

28 September 2012

The members of the Security Council applaud the agreements reached by the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa September 27.  The members of the Council warmly congratulate the leaders and negotiators on both sides for demonstrating courageous leadership to find durable solutions to the challenging disputes that divided them.  These agreements represent a major breakthrough for the establishment of peace, stability and prosperity in both Sudan and South Sudan and give cause for genuine hope that the peoples of these two countries will realize the fruits of lasting peace and friendship.   
The members of the Security Council underline the critical importance of immediate and full implementation of the agreements reached between Sudan and South Sudan as well as the need for continued hard work by all relevant parties to resolve the details and outstanding issues that remain to be agreed.  The members of the Council urge the rapid resolution by the parties of the issues of the final status of Abyei and disputed and claimed areas.   The members of the Council look forward to President Mbeki’s recommendations on these matters after he reports to the AU PSC and to the report of the Secretary General.   
The members of the Security Council reiterate their grave concern about the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan.  They once again strongly urge the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to fully and faithfully implement the memoranda of understanding and tripartite plan to expedite the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected civilian populations as rapidly as possible.  They urge the parties to engage in direct talks to urgently agree to and implement a cessation of hostilities and create a conducive environment for further progress on political and security issues. 
The members of the Security Council extend warm thanks and congratulations to former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, former President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi, and former President Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar of Nigeria and the staff of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel, as well as UN Special Envoy Haile Menkerios and his support team for their creative and tireless work in mediating these agreements.  They also gratefully acknowledge the central contributions of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and of the Ethiopian government – in particular that of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and of new Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn – in assisting Sudan and South Sudan in reaching this outcome.  The dedicated perseverance of all these contributors is a tribute to international and regional diplomacy and exemplifies the true spirit of peace enshrined in the United Nations Charter.   
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brahimi's first report to Security Council on Syria

As delivered
24 September 2012
Mr. President, Distinguished members of the Council.
Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the UN
and the League of Arab States for Syria, on his way
to his office at UN Headquarters in New York.
24 September 2012 (Click on picture)
1. It is an honour for me, to return to the Council in an official capacity almost seven years after I left the United Nations. I look forward to a fruitful cooperation with you on Syria, which is a particularly difficult crisis.
2. My initial remarks will be as brief as possible. And I look forward to the exchange that will take place afterwards.
3. In my remarks, I will first say a few words on how we are trying to organize our Office. I will then list the contacts I have made during the past four or live weeks. And finally, I will share a few impressions about the present situation in and around Syria and just a couple of preliminary, very tentative thoughts concerning the way forward.
4. Concerning the way our work is being organized, the United Nations is in the liquidation phase of both UNSMIS in Syria and the set up by Annan in Geneva. At the same time, we are in the process of establishing an in Damascus. That Office is headed by Mokhtar Lamani, a Canadian national of Moroccan origin who knows the region very well, and already in Damascus and has started working.
5. The natural place for myself and all my colleagues in this is in Damascus. But for a variety of reasons, it is necessary for the time being to operate from outside of Syria. We first thought our should be established here at the United Nations Headquarters. But we are now thinking of perhaps establishing it in Cairo as a more convenient location. In both Damascus and Cairo, we shall do our very best to respect the print” principle but we naturally look up to the United Nations to provide us with all the staff and equipment necessary for us to do our work properly.
6. Since my appointment, I have seen and talked to many people in many capitals, including Damascus. I am very grateful to the Foreign Ministers, and you in particular Mr. President, who kindly called me to express support and discuss aspects of the Syrian crisis. lt was an honour and a pleasure to talk to each one of them. It was also a privilege to get together informally with you, the Security Council members, at a meeting kindly organized by Monsieur Araude Ambassador of France, and your Predecessor at the Chair, Mr. President. I also met Ambassador Bashar J aafarir the Permanent Representative of Syria here at the United Nations.
7. In Cairo, l naturally met Dr. Nabil Al-Arabi, Secretary General of the League of Arab States and Sheikh Hamad bin Jasem bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar who is the Chairman of the Arab League’s Standing Committee on Syria. 1 attended a session of their Council of Ambassadors also. And, President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt gmnted me an audience and I met over dinner with the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Iran and Turkey who were in town for the meeting of the Quartet suggested by President Morsi. As you know, Saudi Arabia did not attend that meetmg.
8. In Damascus, Cairo and Paris, I met a very large number of Syrian nationals, mostly belonging to the opposition. I met also local human rights activists, intellectuals and businessmen. I also met President Bashar Al-Assad, Foreign Minister Walid AlMuallem, Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mokdad as well as a few other Senior Officials of the present Government in Syria. In Syria, I also meta few members of the internal opposition, as it is called.

Mr. President,
9- To say that the situation in Syria is bad and getting worse is to state the obvious. Incliscriminate shelling ofdcnsely populated areas, excessive use of force, arbitrary and wide use of torture continue unabated. There is no safe place for those who are caught in violence, which is now engulfing almost the entire country. A measure of the catastrophic magnitude of the crisis is given by the fact that during the month of August perhaps as many as 5,000 people were killed -- 1,600 of them during the last week of the month alone. It is diffieult to give an accurate estimate of the people who have been arrested — most observers put that number at “more than 30, 000 ”. Among the opposition, many speak of 50000 and even 60,000. President Assad himself does not deny that “thousands” are detained but thinks that 30,000 is far too high a number.
10. The sad truth is that a Syrian citizen, man woman or teenager does not need to do much these days to be picked up by one of the many security agencies and be kept either in a recognized jail or in one of the much feared "'seeret" detention centers where
maltreatment and medieval forms of torture are so common that victims do not even talk about until a direct question is asked. I was told that at least 1,000 people have died inside detention centers as a result of sever torture. Many travelers are picked up on the way to or from the Damascus Airport. This was the case, a few days ago, of members of a delegation of the opposition parties returning from China. As you know Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have assembled impressive, well documented, files on the subject. UNSMIS has done its share as well, when it was operating. Our in Damascus will try to continue this work but of course, our means are for the moment very limited. The issue is high on the Agenda of the ICRC, the of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council in Geneva, as you all know. President Assad told me that he has assured ICRC President Mr. Peter Maurer, during his recent visit to Syria that his Government would fully cooperate with the ICRC and grant full access to all places of detention. To date, I don't think the Government has acted on these promises.
11. Many tragedies, Mr. President, have affected individuals, communities and propefly since the start of the Syrian uprising 18 months ago. One aspect that we do not hear oiten about, but which clearly indicates the gravity of the situation is that Syria's cultural heritage is being destroyed. Throughout the country, archeological sites of the Antiquity, historic churches, medieval mosques and Crusader Castles have been subject to shelling, gunfire and often military occupation. Some of the worst hit monuments are situated in cities that have been the focus of sustained bombing. These include Homs where countless mosques, churches and old markets now lay in ruin. These, Mr. President, include the Syrian Orthodox church “Um dating back to 59 AD. It was built in 59 AD and is now destroyed. The K Irafed Ibn A1- Wafid Mosque dating back to the beginning offslnm has been destroyed as well.
12. There is also Dara’a where the uprising began in March 2011: its ‘Umari Mosque - also founded at the very beginning of Islam in the country - has sustained heavy shelling, as has the Mudiq Citadel dose to the Heflenistic site of Apamea.
13. Six major sites in Syria are part of the UNESCO World Heritage list: Palmyra, Bosra, Darnascus, Aleppo, and the ancient villages 0fN0rthern Syria, as well as the Crak des Chevaliers and the Castle of Salah A1-Din. Many are said to have been damaged by attacks and illicit excavations
14. Now in Aleppo, gunfire is engulfing the medieval citadel in the centre of town, There are also reports of dozens of other examples of destmction throughout the country, not to mention instances of brazen theft, plunder, looting and consequent risk ofillegal exports of cultural heritage, particularly archeological objects.
Mr. President,
15. The United Nations Country Team in Damascus is working diligently to offer help where help is needed and that is practically the entire country. Perhaps as many as two and a half million people are affected by the conflict and need help. One and a half million people have been forced to leave their homes and are now sheltering with family and friends or in public buildings, especially schools. 280,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. These numbers can be much higher, and certainly are growing by the day.
16. Food shoflages are looming due to poor harvest. Syria used to produce about 90% of its pharmaceutical needs. Most of the factories and laboratories have been destroyed or otherwise forced to stop production. As a result, medical supplies are no longer available to most Syrians, especially in conflict zones. Hospitals have been damaged and the fear of security agents present in many hospitals keeps patients away from those hospitals.
17. The new school year has just started. But in reality, not all of the schools have been able to open to pupils. A large number of schools have been destroyed. It is estimated that more than 2,000 schools ofa total of the 22,000 schools in the country have been damaged and at least 88 staff have lost their lives. Other schools, as said a moment ago, are used to shelter families whose homes have been damaged. We were told that the Government wants to evacuate internally displaced people from 50 per cent of the schools, in which they are sheltered, to give them back to education. UNHCR, UNICEF and other partners will distribute 100,000 school bags to support basic education for displaced and vulnerable children.

Mr. President,
18. Visiting refugee camps is never a happy experience. Going lo Altinozu camp in Hatay, Turkey and Za’atari camp in Mafraq in Jordan was no exception. We tend to speak of them as numbers and we try to help provide basic needs for them. But these are men and women who, yesterday, had a life, a home, a family, a business perhaps, or a shop, or a small farm. They had hopes, plans for the future, and all ofa sudden, nothing. They are dependent on the goodness of others. They live day by day, hour by hour, longing to go back where they eame from, to bring their children back home. One of them listed seven or eight cities in my own country, Algeria, he had visited. Another one asked me this terrible question: “Please tell me, Sir, are we humans?” In Za’atari camp, another man said: “we left a large prison in Syria. And here we are, locked up behind barbed wire, with nothing to do, nothing to hope for”.
19. Turkey has spent U SD $300 million dollars to accommodate refugees from Syria. Jordan does not have the means to match that kind of generosity. But, UNHCR people told us that Jordan was definitely one of the most hospitable countries in the world for refugees.
20. Those 2.5 million Syrians who need help inside Syria and over 250,000 refugees deserve a better, more generous attention from the international community. Efforts of the United Nations, the ICRC, the Syrian Red Crescent and devoted Syrian volunteers are handicapped by shortages in funding more than by anything else. Of course__ bureaucratic hurdles, restricted access and insecurity inside the country do not help.
21. One can only note that the overwhelming attention of the international community and media on the political and security dimensions of this crisis has not yet translated into more genuine and effective efforts to assist its victims. Millions of lives have already been shattered. Unless the international community provides aid to organizations, the necessary space and resources to assist and help restore the dignity of Syrians most affected, people will continue to suffer on their own.
22. However, the best kind of help these IDPS, refugees and people in Syria in general desperately need is peace, a secure and stable environment in which they would rebuild their country, and this is, of course, easier said than done.
23. I don’t think it is an unfair representation of reality to say that, on the side ofthe Government, the aim is still to keep, or return to, the old Syria, even if much is said about dialogue and reform. Popular demand for change, not reforms. is hardly recognized by the Government. The crisis is seen mainly as a foreign eonspiraey engineered from abroad. The fact that for about six months the popular movement was peaceful is hardly remembered in government circles. Indeed, it is often claimed that mainly non-Syrian jihadists, salafi st and other Islamists and members of Al Qaeda are being confronted by the Government whose forces are exercising their duty to protect their people.
24. It is generally agreed however that there are foreigners among the groups fighting Government forces. But, it is estimated that those foreign elements are less than 2,000. Government sources themselves speak of 5,000. In private conversations, Syrian officials do not really insist that only foreigners are involved in this insurgency. But they do insist that only the flow of arms and money from abroad is keeping it going.
25. Divided as it is, the opposition speaks in one voice in describing their actions as a National Revolution, as a determined rejection of an unjust, cruel and corrupt regime that has kept the country under a system of terror for well over four decades. And they say that there is no turning back: like in Tunisia and Egypt: the Syrian people want to see the end of this regime, they say. Which is summed up in their slogan: “Bashar must go. No dialogue or negotiations until he does leave”.
26. The opposition suspects that all the Government sweet talk about dialogue is but a play to gain time and allow their forces to win on the ground and again silence the people and impose its will. That is why they are suspicious of mediation eiTorts._ including Annarfs and my own. Almost everyday one spokesman of the opposition or another, goes live on Al J azeera or Al Arabiya satellite television channels to declare, sometimes rudely or less so, that my efforts, like are a waste of time. Worse, that in wasting time, in this manner we are responsible for the death of scores of people every day.
27. It is also a fact that many in the opposition, whether they say so in so many words or not, believe that the only solution would be a military intervention from abroad. And quite a few are certain that such an intervention is in preparation and shall take place, in spite of the repeated unambiguous declarations to the contrary by those very countries who are supposed to be preparing military intervention.
28. In the League of Arab States, the majority‘s wish is to see “the beginning of the transition and a process for a fast transfer of power”. There is much merit in the SixPoint Plan Annan’s and in the Geneva Declaration and Action Plan ofthe 30 of June. If has given up, however, it is evidently because the implementation of both the 6 Point Plan and the Geneva process has hit series ofhurdies. Those hurdles exist among the Syrian parties as well as at the regional and international levels.
29. The initiative of President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt to bring together four major regional powers has not - or has not yet - produce all the good effects its author hoped it would achieve.
30. Efforts to unite the opposition have produced disappointing results for the moment. These efforts are continuing, as you know, and it is important that they be more successful in the near future.

Mr. President,
31. In his last press conference as Joint Special Envoy, Koli said that, “ultimately President Bashar Al-Assad shall have to go”. Indeed, it bears repeating that the solution of Syria’s problem demands a clean break with the past. How does that happen is all the question. Events of the recent past in the region teach us the all important necessity to avoid the destruction of the state and to prevent the collapse of the Army and police.
32. This cannot be achieved by rushing into a new plan ofaetion before ensuring reasonable chance for such a plan to be implemented. It is in this perspective that I intend to work. The efforts I intend to undertake - indeed, the efforts that I have already undertaken — cannot go anywhere, Mr. President, without a strong collective, united and sustained support from this Council.
33. It is this support that I have come to ask for today, Mr. President.
I thank you for your attention.
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Friday, September 21, 2012

German draft statement on Arab League - UN cooperation

Peter Wittig (front row, left), Permanent Representative of Germany
to the UN and President of the Security Council for the month of
 September. At right is Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General
for Political Affairs. 12 September 2012
This is a revised draft presidential statement proposed by Germany to be adopted in the high level Security Council meeting on September 26th. Diplomats said that this draft was still under discussions on Friday, 21 September 2012. 

Date: 20 September 2012
Statement by the President of the Security Council
At the XXXth meeting of the Security Council, held on 26 September 2012, in connection with the Council’s consideration of the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East”, the President of the Council made the following statement on behalf of the Council:
The Security Council reaffirms its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
The Security Council recalls all its previous resolutions and statements of its President which underscore the importance of developing effective partnerships between the United Nations and regional organizations in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant statutes of regional and subregional organizations.
The Security Council recognizes that regional organizations are well positioned to understand the causes of armed conflicts owing to their knowledge of the region which can be a benefit for their efforts to influence the prevention or resolution of these conflicts.
The Security Council expresses its appreciation for the briefings of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Nabil Elaraby.
The Security Council recognizes the contribution made by the League of Arab States in efforts to settle conflicts in the Middle East peacefully as well as to formulating international responses to the transformations experienced in the region, while reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of regional countries and to the purposes and principles of the Charter.
The Security Council welcomes the intensifying cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States in the wake of these transformations which reflect the legitimate aspirations of all peoples in the region for freedom, political participation and economic and social well-being in a pluralistic society.
“The Security Council, [reiterates | underscoring] the importance of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East[, calls for renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognised borders, in accordance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council, and also recalls the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative].
The Security Council welcomes the appointment of the Joint Special Representative for Syria of the United Nations and the League of Arab States following relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations and of the League of Arab States as an important step forward in the cooperation between both organizations and expresses its support for his continued efforts.
The Security Council commends the Members of the League of Arab States for their ongoing commitment to international peacekeeping and peacebuilding, including through the contribution of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.
The Security Council takes note of the general meeting on coordination between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, held in Vienna on 10 July 2012,
The Security Council acknowledges the intention expressed by representatives of both organizations to cooperate across a broad agenda of mutual concern, formulating adequate joint responses to humanitarian crises, promoting human rights, freedom of expression, food security, environment protection and the fight against terrorism and the illicit trafficking of drugs and arms, while reiterating the need to ensure that all UN efforts to restore peace and security also respect and promote the rule of law. [The Council recognizes the necessity of an integrated approach, which strengthens coherence between political, security, development, human rights and rule of law activities.]
[“The Security Council, recalling its condemnation of violence against diplomatic missions and personnel,  emphasizes that expressions of ideas should never be met with violence, recognizes continuing international efforts to enhance a global dialogue for the promotion of tolerance and peace, and calls for enhanced cooperation in light of recent events to strengthen the fundamental principle of the inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises, whose very purpose to promote better understanding across countries and cultures, and to support host governments in meeting their obligations to take all appropriate steps to protect diplomatic and consular premises and their staff against any intrusion or damage, and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of these missions or impairment of their dignity.”]
The Security Council recognizes the importance of strengthening cooperation on capacity building, including efforts to enhance the capacities of the League of Arab States in the maintenance of international peace and security,
The Security Council expresses its determination to take effective steps to further enhance cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, in accordance with Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter.
The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to report, as appropriate, on further ways of strengthening institutional relations and cooperation between the two organizations.”
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Security Council to support ECOWAS in Mali

Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative
of France  to the U.N. speaks to correspondents
following Security Council consultations on Mali.
August 2012 (Click on picture)
Security Council press statement on Mali and the Sahel as read out by Security Council President Ambassador Wittig

Last Monday 17 September 2012, the members of the Security Council were briefed on the situation in the Sahel region, including Mali, by the United Nations Under-Secretary General for political affairs, Mr Jeffrey Feltman.

The members of the Security Council reiterate their grave concern about the continuing deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in the North of Mali and the increasing entrenchment of terrorist elements including Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and affiliated groups. They urge all Malian rebel groups to cut off all ties to AQIM and affiliated groups. They express their grave concern about the violations of human rights perpetrated by rebel and extremist groups in the North of Mali.

The members of the Security Council welcome the appointment of a Government of National Unity in Mali. They express their support to the work of the Interim president of Mali, Traoré and call on the Transitional authorities to continue ongoing efforts towards the strengthening of democratic institutions and the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Mali through the holding of elections by the end of the transition. They repeat their demand that all members of Malian armed forces cease immediately any interference in the work of the Transitional authorities, they take note of the decisions and recommendation by ECOWAS to adopt targeted sanctions in Mali and further reserve the right to consider appropriate measures as necessary.

The members of the Security Council, recognizing the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to mediate with Malian rebel groups, who dissociate themselves from AQIM and other terrorist groups, urge all parties, including the Interim Government of Mali, to intensify such efforts in order to seek a sustainable political solution, mindful of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali.

The members of the Security Council take note of the Interim Malian Government request for assistance to ECOWAS. They further take note of the ongoing strategic planning efforts of ECOWAS and stress the need for ECOWAS to coordinate with the Interim Government of Mali, African Union and Sahel countries, bilateral partners and international organizations including the European Union, with the support of the Secretary General of the United Nations, in order to prepare detailed options regarding the objectives, means and modalities of the deployment of a regional force in Mali. They express their readiness to consider a feasible and actionable proposal from ECOWAS addressing such a request from the Interim Malian Government.

The members of the Security Council welcome the progress made in developing a United Nations Integrated strategy for the Sahel, pursuant to Resolution 2056 (2012). They note the importance of international coordination and express their firm hope that the Secretary General will encourage the United Nations system to deliver as one in the Sahel region, while strengthening international and regional cooperation. They take note of the UN's ongoing efforts to finalise the Integrated Strategy for the Sahel through a consultative process, in particular with countries of the region, and encourage the rapid conclusion of the drafting process.

The members of the Security Council look forward to the development of a strategic document and proposals of adequate mechanisms for coordinated implementation of the integrated strategy for the Sahel. In this context, they welcome the organization of a High-Level Meeting on the Sahel convened by the Secretary General on 26 September as a first opportunity to present the outline of that strategy, generate international support for its implementation and agree the principles for more effective and regional and international coordination.
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Security Council draft resolution on the protection of Children in Armed Conflict

Germany: draft resolution

           The Security Council,
           Reaffirming its resolutions 1261 (1999) of 25 August 1999, 1314 (2000) of 
11 August 2000, 1379 (2001) of 20 November 2001, 1460 (2003) of 30 January 2003, 1539 (2004) of 22 April 2004, 1612 (2005) of 26 July 2005, 1882 (2009) of 
4 August 2009 and 1998 (2011) of 12 July 2011, and all relevant Statements of its President, which contribute to a comprehensive framework for addressing the protection of children affected by armed conflict,

           Reiterating its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and, in this connection, its commitment to address the widespread impact of armed conflict on children,
           Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 26 April 2012 (A/66/782-S/2012/261) and stressing that the present resolution does not seek to make any legal determination as to whether situations which are referred to in the Secretary-General’s report are or are not armed conflicts within the context of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols thereto, nor does it prejudge the legal status of the non-State parties involved in these situations,
           Stressing the primary role of Governments in providing protection and relief to all children affected by armed conflict, and reiterating that all actions undertaken by United Nations entities within the framework of the monitoring and reporting mechanism must be designed to support and supplement, as appropriate, the protection and rehabilitation roles of national Governments,
           Stressing the importance of comprehensively protecting children in all situations of armed conflict,
           Acknowledging that the implementation of its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2011) has generated progress, in particular the demobilization of thousands of children, the signing of action plans between parties to armed conflict and the United Nations and the delisting of parties to conflict from the Annexes to the Secretary-General’s annual report,
           Remaining deeply concerned over the lack of progress on the ground in some situations of armed conflict, where parties to conflict continue to violate with impunity the relevant provisions of applicable international law relating to the rights and protection of children in armed conflict,
           Recognizing the importance of strengthening national capacities for the protection, reintegration and rehabilitation of children affected by armed conflict, bearing in mind national ownership,
           Recalling the responsibilities of States to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children,
           Stressing the need for alleged perpetrators of crimes against children in situations of armed conflict to be brought to justice through national justice systems and, where applicable, international justice mechanisms and mixed criminal courts and tribunals in order to end impunity,
           Noting also relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,
           1.       Welcomes the appointment of the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and highlights the importance of her work in carrying out her mandate for the protection of children in situations of armed conflict, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions;
           2.       Strongly condemns all violations of applicable international law involving the recruitment and use of children by parties to armed conflict as well as their re-recruitment, killing and maiming, rape and other sexual violence, abductions, attacks on schools and/or hospitals as well as denial of humanitarian access by parties to armed conflict and demands that all relevant parties immediately put an end to such practices and take special measures to protect children;
           3.       Expresses deep concern that certain perpetrators persist in committing violations and abuses against children in situations of armed conflict in open disregard of its resolutions on the matter, and in this regard:
           (a)      Calls upon Member States concerned to bring to justice those responsible for such violations through national justice systems, and where applicable, international justice mechanisms;
           (b)      Reiterates its readiness to adopt targeted and graduated measures against persistent perpetrators, taking into account relevant provisions of its resolutions 1539 (2004), 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009) and 1998 (2011);
           4.       Invites the SRSG to brief the Security Council on questions relating to the delisting process and progress made, enabling an exchange of views;
           5.       Reiterates its call upon the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict to consider, with the support of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, within one year, a broad range of options for increasing pressure on persistent perpetrators of violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict;
           6.       Requests the Secretary-General to continue to submit annual reports to the Council on the implementation of its resolutions and Presidential statements on children and armed conflict, and to submit his next report by June 2013;
           7.       Decides to remain actively seized of this matter.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ban Ki Moon's report on UNSMIL / Libya

30 August 2012
Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya
I. Introduction
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2040 (2012), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) for a 12-month period. The present report fulfils the requirement to outline steps that are currently being taken by UNSMIL, after the General National Congress elections, to engage with the Libyan authorities to ensure that it continues effectively to support Libya’s specific needs with a view to reviewing and adjusting its mandate as necessary. The present report covers major developments since my report of 1 March 2012 (S/2012/129) and describes the activities undertaken by UNSMIL in line with its mandate under Security Council resolutions 2009 (2011), 2017 (2011), 2022 (2011) and 2040 (2012).
II. Political and security developments
2. In the wake of successful national elections, the National Transitional Council handed over its functions to a democratically elected General National Congress. Nevertheless, Libya continued to face serious political and security challenges, with a resurgence of several local conflicts and increased instability in the east, which will constitute early tests for the new national authorities.
3. The successful elections on 7 July 2012 marked a significant step forward for Libya in its democratic transition. Amid the constraints imposed by a compressed electoral timetable, a volatile security environment and lack of previous experience in electoral administration, the elections were a remarkable achievement. With turnout estimated at slightly in excess of 62 per cent, some 1.77 million voters participated in this historic event, in a general atmosphere of pride and enthusiasm.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Brahimi's first formal remarks to the UN General Assembly on Syria

The Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi. 
New York, 4 September 2012


Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary-General,
It is a great honour indeed to come to this Assembly as I prepare to start this difficult mission.
I thank you Mr. President for your kind words, and I am deeply thankful to you, Mr. Secretary-General for your confidence and your support.
As you said, Mr. Secretary-General, in a few days' time, I will go to Cairo to see Dr. Nabil Al Araby, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, to express appreciation for his confidence and benefit from his advice and guidance as I have benefited from yours, Mr. Secretary-General.
You have just described the grave situation which prevails in Syria today. It has been deteriorating steadily. The death toll is staggering, the destruction is reaching catastrophic proportions and the suffering is immense.
I am looking forward to my visit to Damascus in a few days time, and also, when convenient and possible to all the countries who are in a position to help the Syrian-led political process become a reality, “leading to a transition that respects the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future”.
The future of Syria will be built by its people and none other. The support of the international community is indispensable and urgent. It will only be effective if all pull in the same direction.

Mr. President,
As I told the Secretary-General a few days ago, I, myself, my deputy Nasser Alkidwa and my teem will spare no effort to participate in the common endeavour to find peace for the Syrian people.
Thank you.
Follow me on Twitter @NabilAbiSaab

UN Ban Ki Moon's report on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 66/253 B on Syria

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds a press conference wrapping up
his visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
31 August 2012 (Click on picture) 
تقرير الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة حول تطبيق قرار الجمعية العامة في شأن سورية 66/253B- النص الكامل باللغة العربية هنا
Implementation of General Assembly resolution 66/253 B on the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

I. Introduction
1. The present report is submitted in compliance with General Assembly resolution 66/253 B of 3 August 2012, in which the Secretary-General was requested to report to the Assembly, within 15 days, on the implementation of the resolution. The report provides an update on the implementation of the political, security, humanitarian and human rights aspects of the resolution during the period from 3 to 17 August.
2. The overall situation in the Syrian Arab Republic continued to deteriorate during the reporting period, with the most intense fighting seen to date taking place in Aleppo. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and elements of the armed opposition continued to engage in violent confrontation. The Government remained convinced that it would be able to succeed militarily against the opposition and refused to engage in any political dialogue or move forward with the promised implementation of the six-point plan unless the opposition lay down arms. The armed opposition was equally convinced that its military efforts would succeed in toppling the leadership of the country and refused to accept the Government’s preconditions for dialogue. Temporary, localized reductions in troop strengths were seen in some areas although, in others, the conflict intensified. Armed opposition elements launched offensives in Aleppo and Damascus, while government forces maintained their use of heavy weapons in and around population centres and significantly increased the use of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft in their operations.