Tuesday, April 30, 2013

UN Kane's letter to Syrian Government dated April 3rd, 2013

H.E. Dr. Bashar Ia’afari
Permanent Representative of
The Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations New York

3 April 2013
Excellency, -
I refer to your letter of 2 April 2013 and to our meeting of the same data during which we discussed your Government’s suggested amendments to the exchange of letters that I had proposed which would establish the legal and logistical parameters for the conduct of the investigation mission. We have considered the points raised by your Government. In accordance with the Secretary-General's letter of 21 March 2013 to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Syrian Arab Republic, I Wish to confirm that the investigation mission will look at the specific incident brought to his attention by your Government and investigate the facts related to the reported incident on 19 March 2013 at Khan al—Asal in Aleppo Governorate. The mission will gather relevant data and undertake the necessary analyses for this purpose.
At the same time, we must remain mindful of other allegations that chemical Weapons were used elsewhere in the country. As you are aware, the mandate given to the Secretary-General by the General Assembly and the Security Council is to carry out investigations in response to reports that may be brought to his attention by any Member State concerning the possible use of chemical and bacteriological (biological) or toxin weapons that may constitute a violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol or other relevant rules of customary international law. In this connection, the Secretary-General continues to assess the reports submitted by the Governments of France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland pursuant to their joint request of 21 March 2013, to which the Secretary-General had referred in his above mentioned letter.
On the basis of the foregoing we will be prepared to discuss the amendments your Government has proposed to the exchange of letters. In this regard, I wish to inform you that while we may be able to reach a compromise on certain of the, proposed amendments, it will be solely for the Secretary—General to determine the composition of the investigation mission, which should have the necessary freedom of movement and access to conduct a thorough and objective investigation. The names of the members of the mission will be provided to your Government in advance. In this respect, the Organization will be ready to consult with your Government, as appropriate.
I look forward to your Government’s reply so that we may proceed to finalize the arrangements necessary to deploy the investigation mission as soon as possible.

Please accept, Excellency, The assurances of my highest consideration.
Angela Kane
High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Security Council resolution 2099 on Western Sahara/ MINURSO

Resolution 2099 (2013)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 6951st meeting, on 25 April 2013

The Security Council,
Recalling and reaffirming all its previous resolutions on Western Sahara,
Reaffirming its strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to implement resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), and 2044 (2012),
Reaffirming its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect,
Reiterating its call upon the parties and the neighbouring states to cooperate more fully with the United Nations and with each other and to strengthen their involvement to end the current impasse and to achieve progress towards a political solution,
Recognizing that achieving a political solution to this long-standing dispute and enhanced cooperation between the Member States of the Maghreb Arab Union would contribute to stability and security in the Sahel region,
Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations, including MINURSO, under close review and reiterating the need for the Council to pursue a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments, and effective management of resources,
Expressing concern about the violations of existing agreements, and calling on the parties to respect their relevant obligations,
Taking note of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to the Secretary-General and welcoming serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution; also taking note of the Polisario Front proposal presented 10 April 2007 to the Secretary-General,
Encouraging in this context, the parties to demonstrate further political will towards a solution including by expanding upon their discussion of each other’s proposals,
Taking note of the four rounds of negotiations held under the auspices of the Secretary-General and welcoming the commitment of the parties to continue the negotiations process,
Encouraging the parties to continue cooperating with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in implementing the January 2012 updated Plan of Action on Confidence Building Measures,
Stressing the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps, and encouraging the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law,
Encouraging the parties to continue in their respective efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps,
Recognizing and welcoming, in this regard, the steps taken by Morocco to strengthen the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, and Morocco’s ongoing interaction with Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council, including those planned for 2013,
Also welcoming the implementation of the enhanced refugee protection programme developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in coordination with the Polisario Front, which includes refugee and human rights training and awareness initiatives,
Reiterating its request for consideration of a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps and encouraging efforts in this regard,
Welcoming the commitment of the parties to continue the process of negotiations through the United Nations-sponsored talks,
Recognizing that the consolidation of the status quo is not acceptable, and noting further that progress in the negotiations is essential in order to improve the quality of life of the people of Western Sahara in all its aspects,
Affirming support for the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Ambassador Christopher Ross and his work in facilitating negotiations between the parties, and, welcoming to that effect his recent initiatives and ongoing consultations with the parties and neighbouring states,  
Affirming support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Head of MINURSO Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber,
Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 8 April 2013 (S/2013/220),
1. Decides to extend the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2014;
2. Reaffirms the need for full respect of the military agreements reached with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with regard to the ceasefire and calls on the parties to adhere fully to those agreements;
3. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of MINURSO, including its free interaction with all interlocutors, and to take the necessary steps to ensure the security of as well as unhindered movement and immediate access for the United Nations and associated personnel in carrying out their mandate, in conformity with existing agreements;
4. Welcomes the parties’ commitment to continue the process of preparation for a fifth round of negotiations, and recalls its endorsement of the recommendation in the report of 14 April 2008 (S/2008/251) that realism and a spirit of compromise by the parties are essential to achieve progress in negotiations;
5. Calls upon the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to enter into a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations, thus ensuring implementation of resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), and 2044 (2012), and the success of negotiations;
6. Affirms its strong support for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara in this context and calls for renewed meetings and strengthening of contacts;
7. Calls upon the parties to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect;
8. Invites Member States to lend appropriate assistance to these talks;
9. Requests the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on a regular basis, and at least twice a year, on the status and progress of these negotiations under his auspices, on the implementation of this resolution, challenges to MINURSO’s operations and steps taken to address them, and expresses its intention to meet to receive and discuss his briefings and in this regard, further requests the Secretary-General to provide a report on the situation in Western Sahara well before the end of the mandate period;
10. Welcomes the commitment of the parties and the neighbouring states to hold periodic meetings with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to review and, where possible, expand confidence-building measures, and in this regard, supports the Secretary-General’s request for additional six United Nations police officers to implement the expanded family visit programme;
11. Urges Member States to provide voluntary contributions to fund confidence-building measures that allow for visits between separated family members, as well as for other confidence-building measures agreed upon between parties;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance in MINURSO with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including predeployment awareness training, and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;
13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Security Council to establish MINUSMA force in Mali - draft resolution

Draft resolution on MaliRevised version after silence procedure 
as of 23 April 2013.

The Security Council,

PP1. Recalling its resolutions 2056 (2012), 2071 (2012) and 2085 (2012), its Presidential Statements of 26 March 2012 (S/PRST/2012/7) and 4 April 2012 (S/PRST/2012/9) as well as its Press Statements of 22 March 2012, 9 April 2012, 18 June 2012, 10 August 2012, 21 September 2012, 11 December 2012 and 10 January 2013 on Mali,

PP2. Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali,

PP3. Reaffirming the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate, and recognizing that the mandate of each peacekeeping mission is specific to the need and situation of the country concerned,

PP4. Condemning strongly the offensive launched on 10 January 2013 by terrorist, extremist and armed groups towards the south of Mali and stressing that terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States, and international and regional and international organizations to impede, impair, and isolate the terrorist threat, and reaffirming that terrorism could not and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization,  

PP5. Welcoming the swift action by the French forces, at the request of the transitional authorities of Mali, to stop the offensive of terrorist, extremist and armed groups towards the south of Mali and commending the efforts to restore the territorial integrity of Mali by the Malian Defence and Security Forces, with the support of French forces and the troops of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA),

PP6. Stressing the need to work expeditiously toward the restoration of democratic governance and constitutional order, including through the holding of free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential and legislative elections and emphasizing the importance for the transitional authorities of Mali to move swiftly in a process of inclusive dialogue and active engagement with Malian political groups, including those who have previously advocated independence, are prepared to cease hostilities, have cut off all ties with terrorist organizations and who recognize, without conditions, the unity and territorial integrity of the Malian State,

PP7. Remaining seriously concerned over the significant ongoing food and humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region and over the insecurity which hinders humanitarian access, exacerbated by the presence of armed groups, terrorist and criminal networks, and their activities, the presence of landmines as well as the continued proliferation of weapons from within and outside the region that threatens the peace, security, and stability of States in this region,

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Brahimi in a closed meeting: l apologize to the Syrian people

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with
Nabil El Araby (left), Secretary-General of the League of Arab States
 and Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative for Syria.
22 April 2013
 19 April 2013

Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Security Council,

1. I thank you Mr. President for giving me the opportunity to brief the Council once again on Syria. This is an honour indeed and I am Very much aware that I’ll be speaking under the Chair of the Distinguished Ambassador of Rwanda, a Country where people know a thing or two about repression, injustice and suffering, all things we shall be saying much about during our conversation this morning.

2. Yesterday, the Council held an open session and heard from Valerie Amos, Antonio Gueterres, Zainab Bangura and Leila Zerrougui Who described the dire humanitarian situation in all its manifestations. They spoke with the authority of their respective high positions and the intimate knowledge they have acquired of the situation. They spoke with eloquence and emotion about the sufferings of millions of Syrians inside and outside their country. They highlighted for you in particular the unbearable conditions under which children live and die and the many humiliations Women and girls have to endure.

3. To what you heard yesterday, there is nothing I can add – except perhaps the following remarks:

a) let us spare a thought for the tens of thousands of prisoners and detainees held in official prisons and secret detention centres, most of Whom are routinely subjected to torture and humiliating and degrading treatment. And let us once again call for their immediate release.

Friday, April 19, 2013

UN Ban's 17th report on 1559/ Lebanon

Attached is an advance copy of the Seventeenth semi-annual report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 (2004) for the information of the members of the Security Council.
This report will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/2013/234.
18 April 2013

Seventeenth semi-annual report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 (2004)
I. Background
1. The current report is my seventeenth semi-annual report on the implementation of Security Council resolution 1559 (2004). It reviews and assesses the process of the implementation of the resolution since my last report issued on 17 October 2012 (S/2012/773). It notes the absence of further tangible progress on key provisions of the resolution, and highlights concerns that continue to threaten Lebanon’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence, despite Lebanon’s careful policy of disassociation from the Syrian crisis.
2. The last six months were marked by two major developments: the assassination of Internal Security Forces chief Wissam al-Hassan on 19 October 2012 that cast further uncertainty over Lebanon’s stability, and the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati on 22 March 2013 that raised further questions regarding the electoral process. On 6 April, President Michel Sleiman appointed Mr. Tamam Salam as Prime Minister- designate with the task of forming a new Government. During the period under review, the Security Council issued two press statements in which it reiterated the importance of preserving Lebanon’s security, stability and independence (S/10799, SC/10941).
3. Since my last report, the ongoing turmoil in the Syrian Arab Republic has further impacted Lebanon, as it increased political polarization and concern that the unrest in Syria could have negative consequences for Lebanon’s stability. Several Lebanese citizens were killed by shots fired from Syria, and Syrian Government forces were responsible for further incidents of cross-border shelling and at least three reported airstrikes by Syrian helicopters in Lebanon. Lebanese members of a group of fighters supporting the Syrian opposition were reportedly killed by Syrian Government forces after they crossed into Syria near the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh on 30 November. There are further reports of the deaths of Hizbullah fighters in Syria.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Security Council draft statement on the humanitarian situation in Syria

- The Security Council held consultations on the humanitarian and human rights situation in Syria following the public briefings on 18 April by senior UN officials.

- Members of the Security Council expressed the view that the escalating violence is completely unacceptable and must end immediately.

- Members of the Security Council condemned the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses by armed groups.

- Members of the Security Council strongly condemned incidents of sexual violence, as well as the grave violations and abuses against children, including the recruitment and use of children in the conduct of hostilities.

- Members of the Security Council urged all parties, to protect civilians and respect international human rights and humanitarian law, recalling the primary responsibility of the Syrian authorities in this regard.

- Members of the Security Council stressed the need to ensure that there is no impunity for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

- Members of the Security Council urged all parties to ensure safe and unimpeded access for aid organisations to those in need in all areas of Syria. They deplored the obstacles to the provision of humanitarian assistance and underlined the urgent need to remove all such obstacles, including those which are bureaucratic in nature.

- Members of the Security Council called on all parties in Syria, and in particular the Syrian authorities, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and relevant humanitarian organisations. They underlined the need to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance through the most effective ways, including where appropriate across borders in accordance with international humanitarian principles, as recommended by Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos.

- Members of the Security Council called on member states to, as a matter of urgency, fulfil pledges made at the International Humanitarian Pledging Conference in Kuwait in January, including to support the UN’s Syria Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan and the SyriaRegional Response Plan.

- Members of the Security Council underlined the destabilising impact of the crisis on Syria’s neighbours and emphasised the urgent need for further support to host countries and affected communities.

- Members of the Security Council called for parties to ensure the safety of humanitarian personnel and refrain from attacking medical and educational facilities and personnel.

- Members of the Security Council reiterated their call for all parties to cease all armed violence in all its forms and underlined the need for a political process leading to a political transition on the basis of the Geneva Action Group Communiqué of 30 June 2012. 
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UN General Assembly draft resolution on Syria

Qatar proposed this draft resolution in the UN General Assembly, diplomats said. It might be voted on later this month. 

Proposed Draft General Assembly Resolution on the Situation in Syria
Agenda item 33
Prevention of armed conflict
The situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

PP1 Recalling its resolutions 66/176 of 19 December 2011, 66/253 A of 16 February 2012 66/253 B of 3 August 2012, and 67/183 of 20 December 2012, and Human Rights Council resolutions S 16/1 of 29 April 2011,  S 17/1 of 23 August 2011,3 S 18/1 of 2 December 2011,  19/1 of 1 March 2012, 19/22 of 23 March 2012,5 S 19/1 of 1 June 2012,  20/22 of 6 July 2012, 21/26 of 28 September 2012, and 22/31 of 22 March 2013,
PP2 Recalling also Security Council resolutions 2042 (2012) of 14 April 2012 and 2043 (2012) of 21 April 2012,
PP3 Recalling further all resolutions of the League of Arab States relating to the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular resolution 7595 of 6 March 2013, in which the League reviewed the very serious situation in the Syrian Arab Republic due to the escalating violence and killings in most of the Syrian territory, and the continuation of grave violations of human rights by the Syrian regime using heavy weapons, warplanes and Scud missiles to bomb neighbourhoods and populated areas, which has seriously increased the number of victims, caused human displacement inside the Syrian Arab Republic and an influx of thousands of Syrians to the neighbouring countries fleeing violence, which targets even children and women who have been subjected to frightful massacres, threatening thus to lead to the collapse the Syrian State, and endangers the security, peace and stability of the region,