This Month in the Security Council – January 2021
ON 1 JANUARY 2021, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway commenced their twoyear term on the Security Council. 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. January proved to be yet another busy month with a packed agenda of activities which continued to be conducted remotely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Maintaining Peace and Security: The Security Council held a high-level virtual open debate on the challenges of maintaining peace and security in fragile or confl ict-affected countries. Our delegation was represented by Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. The Hon. Ralph Gonsalves. Prime Minister Gonsalves urged the Security Council to continue to play a leading role while working closely with the other main organs of the UN System to foster developmental solutions to the challenges of peace and security.
2. Threats to International Peace and Security: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of resolution 1373. The Council held a Ministerial-level open debate to address international cooperation in combatting terrorism. Our delegation was represented by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade H.E. Ms. Keisal Peters, who emphasized the important role that long-term developmental solutions provide in promoting the stability needed to counter terrorism.
3. Regional and Subregional Organizations: Our delegation expressed support for efforts aimed at strengthening cooperation between the Security Council and the League of Arab States. Regional and sub-regional organizations perform a vital role in mediating conflicts and restoring peace in their respective regions. Specifically, the Arab region currently faces several protracted conflicts that would benefit greatly from the constructive engagement of regional members. The League of Arab States and the Security Council have a shared interest in maintaining peace and security and promoting the welfare of all people.
4. Maintenance of International Peace and Security: The Security Council held a virtual meeting to discuss the impacts of the pandemic on conflict-affected countries and to follow-up on the implementation of resolution 2532 which calls for a global ceasefire. Our delegation highlighted that as vaccines are rolled out to combat the disease, we must spare no effort to ensure that they are equitably available to all, including conflict-affected and least developed countries. We appealed for greater financial support to the COVAX facility to strengthen
the global immunisation campaign against COVID-19, and called for an enforceable, international rulesbased compact between all countries and major pharmaceutical companies to deliver, universally and affordably, COVID-19 vaccines.
5. Yemen: In light of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen as a result of famine-like conditions that have been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, our delegation called for donations to be made to the humanitarian response plan, and for financial assistance to be given to support the economy. We highlighted that humanitarian aid is critical to assuaging much of the suffering, and in this vein we called on all actors within Yemen, and those who have influence over the situation, to encourage and facilitate the unhindered passage of humanitarian aid, in accordance with international law. 6. Central African Republic (CAR): The A3+1 condemned recent attacks by armed groups in which several MINUSCA peacekeepers were killed and several others injured. Armed groups utilized violence as a means to disrupt the presidential and legislative elections held on December 27, 2020. All Council members called on the CAR authorities to take all necessary actions to ensure that perpetrators of these violations are held accountable, and indicated their continued support to MINUSCA, as well as the efforts of the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in supporting the peace process in CAR.
7. Colombia: The A3+1 commended the Colombian peace process as a global exemplar. However, we expressed our concern for the dire security conditions confronting former combatants, women social leaders and human rights defenders, indigenous and Afro-Colombian leaders. Additionally, we reiterated the Secretary-General’s views that the greatest threat to the implementation of the Final Agreement remains the incessant violence against those who laid down their arms in good faith and remain committed to peace. The A3+1 reaffirms its support for the peace process and remains in solidarity with the government and the people of Colombia.
The Council also held meetings to discuss the situations in the Middle East (including the Palestinian Question and Syria), Mali and Libya.
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