This Month in the Security Council – October 2020
The month of October was a busy period at the Security Council with a packed agenda. Some activities were still conducted remotely considering the COVID-19 pandemic. Our delegation continued to work closely in the “A3+1” configuration with our African brothers and sisters (Niger, South Africa and Tunisia) on many country-specific and thematic issues.
1. Persian Gulf Region: At an open debate on a Comprehensive Review of the Situation in the Persian Gulf region, the Secretary-General called for the Security Council to work in unison to promote peace and security in the region. SVG noted that the Palestinian plight remained a central component as a destabilizing factor in the Middle East and reiterated the call for a two-State solution. We also called on all regional and international powers to refrain from aggressive rhetoric and unnecessary unilateral action.
2. Haiti: Our delegation delivered a statement on behalf of the A3+1 regarding the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). The A3+1 noted that the political uncertainty surrounding the elections and the constitutional crisis are of great concern. We encouraged the government to urgently undertake the necessary measures to adopt the draft national strategy on community violence reduction. Additionally, our delegations urged authorities to address the lack of accountability and impunity in instances of human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence. We also emphasized the importance of strengthening the capacity of the Haitian National Police (HNP).
3. Access to Education: At a high-level Arria-Formula meeting, our delegation affirmed that a child’s right to quality education must be universally prioritized and safeguarded. We noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing shortcomings in the global education system. SVG called for the implementation of the September 2020 Presidential Statement, which urged support for digital technology in conflict affected countries. Additionally, we encouraged strategies for assessing and addressing learning gaps as a result of multiple shocks experienced by children in conflict affected countries.
4. Colombia: The A3+1urged Colombians to continue to forge ahead with the comprehensive implementation of the 2016 Final Peace Agreement to end the armed conflict and build a stable and lasting peace. Our delegations also recognized the government’s laudable efforts in authorizing peace-related funds from mineral royalties to facilitate the implementation of the Development Programs with a Territorial Focus.
5. Democratic Republic of the Congo: The A3+1 noted that the prevailing political situation in the DRC provided a rare opportunity to build a long-term stable future and a unified country. Our delegations commended the continued efforts by the Congolese to resolve their political differences in a peaceful manner and encouraged sustained international support to the DRC authorities to mitigate the negative impact of the challenges they face. We expressed concern, however, about the humanitarian situation in the country as over 21 million people are currently facing acute food insecurity.
6. Mandating Peace: At an Arria-Formula meeting on Enhancing Mediation Sensitivity and the Effectiveness of the Security Council, our delegation welcomed the ongoing commitment of the Secretary-General’s Special Envoys and Special Representatives in their efforts to advance political and peace discussions. Additionally, we noted that the focus on meditation should always be to realign social and political norms to allow parties to abandon conflictual relationships.
7. Forecast for November Presidency: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will hold the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of November. During the month we will focus on our signature event on the “Contemporary Drivers of Conflict and Insecurity”, as well as meetings on the political and humanitarian situation in Syria, the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, and the maintenance of international peace and security. Our delegation will also preside over a meeting of the UN Police Commissioners to discuss a range of issues pertaining to performance and accountability, political solutions through UN policing, and capacity building in the context of Haiti.