This Month in the Security Council – June 2021
In June the Security Council held both in-person and VTC meetings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our delegation continued to work closely in the “A3+1” configuration with our African brothers and sisters (Niger, Kenya and Tunisia) on many country-specific and thematic issues.
1. Working Methods: Our Permanent Representative, H.E. I. Rhonda King, briefed the Council, in her capacity as Chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG), on “Agility and Innovation: Lessons for the future from the Coronavirus disease”. Ambassador King noted that the extraordinary circumstances under which the Security Council has operated for the majority of the past year, demonstrated a need for it to remain agile and responsive to all situations that may disrupt its functioning. She further noted that the IWG remains a critical framework within which the Council can assess and improve its working methods.
2. Haiti: Representing the A3+1, our delegation noted that the persistent political stalemate, coupled with the upsurge in COVID-19 cases, risks further exacerbating the already dire socio-economic and humanitarian situation. We further stated that all Haitian stakeholders need to soften their deeply entrenched positions and build trust to overcome the current crisis through an inclusive national political dialogue. We encouraged the international community to continue to support Haiti’s 2021 National Humanitarian Response Plan to address the needs of 1.3 million people who are severely food insecure. We also repeated our call for reparations from former colonial powers to assist in repairing the malignant legacy of slavery.
3. Myanmar: Our delegation remains concerned about the ongoing political situation in Myanmar. We reiterated our condemnation of the coup and the detention of those arbitrarily detained. We also expressed our condemnation of all violations and abuses of human rights, including those committed against women and children. We further urged the parties to engage in meaningful dialogue and to work productively to implement the Five-Points Consensus established by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
4. International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT): Our delegation reiterated our unwavering support for the important work of the IRMCT. It continues to be an essential pillar of the international criminal justice system and its critical role in the fight against impunity cannot be overstated. We noted that international co-operation remains necessary to facilitate the search for missing persons and the tracking, apprehension and prosecution of the remaining fugitives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. We further unequivocally denounced all forms of genocide denial and the glorification of convicted war criminals.
5. The Palestinian Question: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is deeply troubled by the progressively worsening situation on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories. We continued to appeal for an end to the violence and urged the parties involved to reach a political agreement that conforms to the two-state solution. Our delegation reiterated our call to Israel to adhere to international law. We also urged the Security Council to send a clear message to the Israeli Government that polices of violence against civilians will not lead to a positive outcome.
6. Children and Armed Conflict: At the high-level debate on Children and Armed Conflict, our delegation was represented by Minister of State with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Hon. Keisal Peters. She noted that despite significant progress made in the 25 years since the emergence of the Children and Armed Conflict mandate, the number and severity of verified grave violations against children in 2020 remained unchanged. She emphasised the need for political will and national ownership; co-operation between UN and regional bodies; and consistent and predictable funding to ensure that states can meet their obligations to protect children.
At the time of publication, the Council would have also held meetings to discuss the situations in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, the Middle East (Syria and Yemen), Sudan and South Sudan. There were also Arria-Formula meetings (informal meetings) on strengthening an integrated approach to peace and security in the Sahel, the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on international efforts to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism and addressing the impact of the departure of foreign fighters and mercenaries from Libya on the Sahel region.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.