This Month in the Security Council – July 2020
JULY WAS A BUSY period in the Security Council with a packed agenda of activities conducted remotely 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, South Africa and Tunisia) on many issues.
1. COVID-19: The pandemic continued to be a central point in Security Council discussions.
Due to disrupted supply chains, some humanitarian efforts have been impeded, thereby exacerbating safety concerns for persons in vulnerable situations. Our delegation called for a recommitment to the values of multilateralism in order to address the various dimensions of the pandemic.
2. UN Peacebuilding Architecture: Resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council called for a comprehensive review of the UN peacebuilding process to be conducted during the 74th session of the General Assembly.
Our Permanent Representative, H.E. I. Rhonda King has been appointed as one of the two co-facilitators who will lead the intergovernmental consultations during the formal phase of the review process, which will begin on 1 September 2020. Ambassador King will be supported within the Mission by Special Advisers Mr. Ellis Phillips and Mr. Dominic Brisbane.
3. CARICOM IMPACS Virtual Security Conference (Securing Our Community Within the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond): The first ever virtual security conference in the Caribbean Community was held from 27-31 July. CARICOM IMPACS brought together a network of practitioners, security experts, government officials, academics, private sector representatives and civil society officials to discuss the challenges, impact, and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the security of our region.
Ambassador King participated session 1 under the theme: “Peace, Security and Development – Roadmap for the Future”, where she emphasized the mutually reinforcing nature of peace, security, and development. She further noted that the current pandemic has exposed and exacerbated many of the vulnerabilities and inequalities both within and among countries and threatens to derail many of the gains made with the Sustainable Development Goals.
4. UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS): The A3+1 celebrated the numerous elections that have occurred despite the ongoing pandemic. Many of these elections saw an increase of the number of women in key political positions.
In the Sahel region, COVID-19 has exacerbated challenges including climate change, armed conflict and fragile health systems. Food insecurity and displacement will be major issues in the region. The A3+1 believes that the best way to face these issues is with poverty alleviation and investment in human development.
5. Syria: The Cross-Border Mechanism, which allows the delivery of humanitarian aid from neighbouring countries into Syria, was extended for an additional 12-month period. Our delegation voted in favor of the resolution authorizing the extension and we continue to support the most optimal access arrangements for the delivery of aid utilizing all modalities. 6. Climate and Security: At a debate on climate and security, our delegation highlighted that leadership and political will are urgently needed to drastically change our planet’s trajectory and to address the climate and security challenges already in existence. We emphasized that while the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change remains the primary body for addressing climate change, and other UN organs such as the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council continue to play important roles, it is crucial that climate perspectives are comprehensively incorporated into the work of the Security Council to help foster complementary and synergistic climate action across the UN system.
We called for all major and historical emitters to commit to the terms of the Paris Agreement and to take the actions needed to keep temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. We also called for developed countries to honour finance pledges as a floor and not a ceiling.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.