March a testing month for SVG team at UN Security Council
This Month in the Security Council – March 2020
THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2020 was a challenging month for our diplomatic team at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the working methods of the Council as we continue to address a number of important issues:
1. Peace and Security in Africa: Our delegation worked alongside our African colleagues at the Security Council (A3) to deliver a joint statement on the topic of terrorism and violent extremism in Africa. The A3+1 statement highlighted the importance of detecting, disrupting and prosecuting all means of support to terrorism in Africa; addressing the root causes and conditions of conflict, including poor education, unemployment, socioeconomic marginalization and political instability; addressing the interlinkages between terrorism and organized crime; strengthening the capacity of states; and enhancing regional coordination. A presidential statement was adopted at this debate.
2. South Sudan: A resolution to renew the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was adopted unanimously on March 12th. UNMISS is a large peacekeeping operation with a troop ceiling of 17,000 personnel. This mission has played a critical role in supporting the peace process in South Sudan. A number of encouraging developments have occurred in the country recently, including the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity. South Sudan is the world’s youngest country, gaining independence from Sudan in 2011 following decades of civil war.
3. Iraq: At a monthly briefing on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), our delegation reiterated that issues related to conflict, and development must be addressed concurrently. We emphasized the need to combat poverty, unemployment and inequality and for urgent economic and social reconstruction of Iraq. We also highlighted that the international community remains duty-bound to provide the Republic of Iraq with all of the support necessary to materialize their future possibilities across the peace, security and development nexus.
4. Afghanistan: Following the US-Taliban agreement, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution which called upon the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban to pursue additional confidence-building measures – including by reducing violence and releasing prisoners – in good faith, thereby creating the conditions for a swift start to intra-Afghan negotiations leading to a durable peace. Following the vote, our delegation highlighted the importance of an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that leads to an inclusive, negotiated political settlement.
The Council held its monthly briefing and consultations on Yemen. Council members were updated on the ongoing conflict and the movement restrictions on UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA). Obstructions to humanitarian access, continues to be of immense concern. Our delegation called for de-escalation and dialogue with an immediate emphasis on saving lives and the longer- term goals of rebuilding Yemen, addressing underdevelopment, and re-establishing the rule of law.
6. Informal Working Group (IWG) on Documentation and other Procedural Questions: There was a meeting of the IWG on March 6. Under the Chairmanship of Ambassador King, the Committee met to discuss various issues to be further explored over the next two years, in particular, striking a balance between efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the Council’s work to the wider membership of the UN and the public.
7. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):
The Council held a videoconference meeting on the peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). This is the first such meeting in the Council’s history, in light of the emergency measures of the COVID-19 pandemic. A joint statement was delivered by the A3+1 which emphasized Niger, Tunisia, South Africa, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ collective support to the people and government of the DRC. We encouraged the government of the DRC to create a framework conducive to the return of peace and security and to economic and social development with the support of the United Nations, the countries of the region and the international community.
8. Video-Teleconferencing (VTC) Test
Meetings: Several VTC test meetings occurred during the month, as the Council assessed its technical readiness to continue its work during the period where it is unable to meet physically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our delegation continues to work closely in the “A3+1” configuration alongside our colleagues from Niger, Tunisia, and South Africa (A3) on issues concerning the African continent. A number of other important meetings and discussions were also held during the month, including on Syria. The mandates for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts, UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) are currently being reviewed and are expected to be extended by month’s end.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.