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Friday, September 12, 2014

UNSG Ban report on UNDOF

Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for the period from 29 May to 3 September 2014

I. Introduction
1. The present report gives an account of the activities of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) during the past three months, pursuant to the mandate contained in Security Council resolution 350 (1974) and extended by subsequent resolutions, most recently through resolution 2163 (2014).

II. Situation in the area and activities of the Force
2. At the time of writing, the situation in the UNDOF area of operation is evolving rapidly and remains volatile, with heavy fighting continuing between the Syrian armed forces and the armed members of the opposition and other armed groups in the area of separation. Several UNDOF peacekeepers serving with the Fijian Battalion were detained by armed elements. At this time, no additional information on their status or location has been established.*
3. During the reporting period, the ceasefire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic generally was maintained, albeit in a continuously volatile environment attributable to the ongoing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic and despite a number of significant violations of the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement by Israeli and Syrian forces, which are set out below. Several incidents of firing across the ceasefire line occurred resulting in casualties. Of particular note, on 22 June, fire from the Bravo side killed a civilian and injured others on the Alpha side and, in retaliation, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fired into the area of separation and limitation on the Bravo side, resulting in the death and injury of Syrian armed forces personnel. The Syrian armed forces significantly increased the number of personnel and equipment deployed inside the area of separation and carried out military activities and security operations against armed members of the opposition, at times in response to offensives carried out by the armed members of the opposition. Inside the area of separation, the presence of the Syrian armed forces and military equipment, as well as any other armed personnel and military equipment, is in violation of the Disengagement of Forces Agreement. As underscored by the Security Council in its resolution 2163 (2014), there should be no military activity of any kind in the area of separation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

US draft resolution on foreign terrorist fighters FTF

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Barack Obama at the Security Council Chamber. Sep 2013

Monday September 8-- V1 -- UNSC

UN Security Council Resolution on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) 

Reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and remaining determined to contribute further to enhancing the effectiveness of the overall effort to fight this scourge on a global level,  (PP1 of UNSCR 2129 - CTED mandate)

Noting with concern that the terrorism threat has become more diffuse, with an increase, in various regions of the world, of terrorist acts including those motivated by intolerance or extremism, and expressing its determination to combat this threat, (PP 2 of UNSCR 2129)

Emphasizing that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion,  nationality or civilization,  (drawn from PP6 of UNSCR 2129)

Recognizing that international cooperation and any measures taken by Member States to prevent and combat terrorism must comply fully with the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the purposes and principles thereof,  (A/RES/68/276)

Reaffirming that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to counter terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law, underscoring that respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing with effective counter-terrorism measures, and are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort and notes the importance of respect for the rule of law so as to effectively prevent and combat terrorism, and noting that failure to comply with these and other international obligations is one of the factors contributing to increased radicalization and fosters a sense of impunity,   (drawn from PP 5 of UNSCR 2129)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Security Council statement on UNDOF

Security Council Press Statement on UNDOF
The members of the Security Council received a briefing on September 3 from Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous concerning the welfare of UNDOF peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.  The members of the Security Council again condemned in the strongest terms the detention of 45 Fijian peacekeepers by a Security Council-designated terrorist organization.  They reiterated their call for the peacekeepers’ immediate and unconditional release.  There can never be any justification for attacks on or the detention of UN peacekeepers.  The members of the Security Council welcomed news that all Filipino peacekeepers are now safe and they commended the efforts of UNDOF’s Quick Reaction Force. 

The members of the Security Council insisted that UNDOF’s mandate, impartiality, operations, safety, and security must be respected.  To this end, they demanded that all groups other than UNDOF must abandon all UNDOF positions and the Quneitra crossing point, and return the peacekeepers’ vehicles, weapons, and other equipment. 

The members of the Security Council commended UNDOF’s peacekeepers for their bravery in facing the threats and challenges in their area of operation.  They called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel.  They also called upon countries with influence to strongly convey to those responsible to immediately release the peacekeepers. 

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their unconditional support for UNDOF and the vital role it plays in support of stability in the Golan Heights.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Draft PRST sends strong message to "Houthis and other spoilers" in Yemen


The Security Council welcomes the recent progress in Yemen’s political transition, in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, including the recent meeting of the National Authority for Monitoring the Implementation of the National Dialogue Outcomes on 11 August; and the economic reform agenda which began with fuel subsidy reform on 30 July.  The Security Council supports President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi in his efforts to address the concerns of all parties within the framework of the National Dialogue Conference Outcomes. 

The Security Council urges all the parties in Yemen to adhere to resolving their differences through dialogue and consultation, reject acts of violence to achieve political goals, refrain from provocation, and fully abide by resolutions 2014 (2011), 2051 (2012) and 2140 (2014). Furthermore, the Security Council calls on all member states to refrain from external interference which seeks to foment conflict and instability and instead to support the political transition. 

The members of the Security Council note with concern that the Houthis and other spoilers continue to stoke the conflict in the north in an attempt to obstruct the political transition. The Security Council recalls that resolution 2140 (2014) introduced targeted sanctions measures against individuals or entities engaging in or providing support for acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability in Yemen. The Security Council supports the efforts of the Panel of Experts in gathering and analysing information regarding the implementation of these measures, in particular incidents of undermining the political transition.
The Security Council expresses grave concern about the deterioration of the security situation in Yemen in light of the action taken by the Houthis, led by Abdul Malik al Houthi, and those who support them, to undermine the political transition and the security of Yemen.  These actions include their escalating campaign to bring down the Government; establishing camps in and around Sana’a; seeking to supplant the authority of the state by installing checkpoints on strategic routes into Sana’a; as well as on-going fighting in al Jawf. The Security Council calls on all armed groups to refrain from any action which might exacerbate this already fragile situation.

The Security Council condemns the actions of Houthi forces commanded by Abdullah Yahya al Hakim (Abu Ali al Hakim) who overran Amran including the Yemeni Army Brigade headquarters on 8 July. 

The Security Council calls on the Houthis to:

(a)  withdraw their forces from Amran and return Amran to Government of Yemen control;

(b)  cease all armed hostilities against the Government of Yemen in al Jawf; and

(c)  remove the camps and dismantle the checkpoints they have erected in and around Sana’a.

The Security Council condemns the growing number of attacks  carried out or sponsored by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and expresses its determination to address this threat in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including applicable human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, and in this regard, through the Al-Qaida sanctions regime administered by the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267(1999) and 1989 (2011) and reiterates its readiness, under the above-mentioned regime, to sanction further individuals, groups, undertakings and entities who do not cut off all ties to Al-Qaida and associated groups. 

The Security Council follows with great interest the progress of the Constitutional Drafting Committee and the preparations for a referendum on the new constitution and subsequent elections.  It hopes that an initial draft of the constitution will be passed to the National Authority review in a timely manner, in line with the National Dialogue Conference Outcomes. 

The Security Council reiterates its call for comprehensive, independent and impartial investigations, consistent with international standards, into alleged human rights violations and abuses in line with the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and Implementation Mechanism.

The Security Council notes the formidable economic, security and social challenges confronting Yemen, which continue to leave many Yemenis in acute need of humanitarian assistance. It reaffirms the need to undertake economic reforms, which are a necessary part of achieving macroeconomic stability, fighting poverty and addressing the chronic humanitarian consequences of the crisis in a sustainable manner. It encourages rapid implementation of Government of Yemen plans to improve social protection, as well as urging the international community to support the Humanitarian Response plan which remains underfunded. The Security Council also urges all parties to facilitate full, safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian actors to reach people in need of humanitarian assistance. It also reaffirms the need for all parties to ensure the safety of civilians receiving assistance and the security of humanitarian personnel and United Nations and its associated personnel.

The Security Council remains closely engaged on the situation in Yemen and will continue to closely follow the next steps towards a peaceful political transition. In this regard it welcomes the continued and co-ordinated efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council, ‘Group of Ten Ambassadors’, the Secretary-General’s Good Offices, including through the Special Adviser Jamal Benomar, the wider diplomatic community, and the next Friends of Yemen meeting that will take place on 24 September in New York. The Security Council underscores the need for continued international support for Yemen’s political transition, including though the fulfillment of commitments made by donors to support Yemen.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Resolution 2174: Security Council expands arms embargo on Libya

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:
draft resolution

The Security Council,
Recalling all its resolutions on Libya since resolution 1970 (2011), as well as the Statement of its President (S/PRST/2013/21) of 16 December 2013,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Libya,
Deploring the increasing violence in Libya, in particular around Tripoli and Benghazi, condemning ongoing fighting by armed groups and incitement to violence, and expressing its deep concern at its impact on Libya’s civilian population and institutions, as well as the threat it poses to Libya’s stability and democratic transition,
Welcoming the calls of the Government of Libya and House of Representatives for an immediate ceasefire, underlining the need for all parties to engage in peaceful and inclusive political dialogue and to respect the democratic process, and encouraging the Arab League, the African Union and all those with influence on the parties, in particular neighbouring and regional countries, to support an immediate cessation of hostilities and constructive engagement with such a dialogue,
Recalling its decision in resolution 1970 (2011) to refer the situation in Libya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and reaffirming the importance of the Government of Libya’s cooperation with the International Criminal Court and the Prosecutor,
Reaffirming the importance of holding accountable those responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or violations of international humanitarian law, including those involved in attacks targeting civilians,
Expressing deep concern at the threat posed by unsecured arms and ammunition in Libya and their proliferation, which poses a risk to stability in Libya and the region, including through transfer to terrorist and violent extremist groups and underlining the importance of coordinated international support to Libya and the region to address these issues,
Concerned at the growing presence of Al-Qaida linked terrorists groups and individuals operating in Libya, reaffirming the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including applicable international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and recalling, in this regard, the obligations under resolution 2161 (2014),
Expressing its determination to use targeted sanctions in pursuit of stability in Libya, and against those individuals and entities who threaten its stability and obstruct or undermine its successful completion of the political transition,
Mindful of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Calls on all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire and an end to fighting, and expresses its strong support for the efforts of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in this regard;
2. Condemns the use of violence against civilians and civilian institutions and calls for those responsible to be held accountable;
3. Calls on the House of Representatives and the Constitutional Drafting Assembly to carry out their tasks in a spirit of inclusiveness, and calls on all parties to engage in an inclusive Libyan-led political dialogue in order to help restore stability, and to forge consensus around the next steps in Libya’s transition;
4. Reaffirms that the measures specified in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 of resolution 1970 (2011), as modified by paragraphs 14, 15 and 16 of resolution 2009 (2011), apply to individuals and entities designated under that resolution and under resolution 1973 (2011) and by Committee established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1970 (2011), decides that they shall also apply to individuals and entities determined by the Committee to be engaging in or providing support for other acts that threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya, or obstruct or undermine the successful completion of its political transition, and decides that such acts may include but are not limited to:
(a) planning, directing, or committing, acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses, in Libya;
(b) attacks against any air, land, or sea port in Libya, or against a Libyan State institution or installation, or against any foreign mission in Libya;
(c) providing support for armed groups or criminal networks through the illicit exploitation of crude oil or any other natural resources in Libya;
(d) acting for or on behalf of or at the direction of a listed individual or entity;
5. Reiterates that individuals and entities determined by the Committee to have violated provisions of resolution 1970 (2011), including the arms embargo, or assisted others in doing so, are subject to designation, and notes that this includes those who assist in the violation of the assets freeze and travel ban in resolution 1970 (2011);
6. Requests the Panel of Experts established pursuant to paragraph 24 of resolution 1973 (2011), in addition to its current mandate, to provide information on individuals and entities who meet the designation criteria specified in paragraphs 4 and 5 of this resolution;
7. Requests that the Committee give due regard to requests for delisting of individuals and entities who no longer meet the designation criteria;
8. Decides that the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel, including related ammunition and spare parts, to Libya in accordance with paragraph 13 (a) of resolution 2009 (2011) as modified by paragraph 10 of resolution 2095 (2013) must be approved in advance by the Committee;
9. Calls upon all States, in particular States neighbouring Libya, to inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, all cargo to and from Libya, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraphs 9 or 10 of resolution 1970 (2011), as modified by paragraph 13 of 2009 (2011) and paragraphs 9 and 10 of 2095 (2013), for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of those provisions;
10. Reaffirms its decision to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, upon discovery of items prohibited by paragraph 9 or 10 of resolution 1970, as modified by paragraph 13 of 2009 (2011) and paragraphs 9 and 10 of 2095 (2013), seize and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable, storage or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) of such items and further reaffirms its decision that all Member States shall cooperate in such efforts;
11. Requires any Member State when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 9 of this resolution, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspections, the results of such inspections, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee, at a later stage, a subsequent written report containing relevant details on the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;
12. Affirms its readiness to review the appropriateness of the measures contained in this resolution, including the strengthening, modification, suspension or lifting of the measures, and its readiness to review the mandate of UNSMIL, as may be needed at any time in light of developments in Libya;
13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Security Council on James Foley: Journalists in armed conflicts should be protected


The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the heinous and cowardly murder of James Foley, an American journalist, by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This incident is a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers journalists face every day in Syria. It also once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of abuses against the Syrian and Iraqi people. 

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the family of the victim, to the Government of the United States of America, as well as to the families of all victims of ISIL.   

The members of the Security Council stressed that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out. The members of the Council further emphasized that there has to be a common effort amongst governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, to counter ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, as the Council resolved in UN Security Council Resolution 2170.   

The members of the Security Council recalled that, in accordance with international humanitarian law, journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict are generally considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such. The members of the Security Council recalled their demand that all parties to an armed conflict comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international humanitarian law, including as related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict. 

The members of the Security Council demanded the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those who are kept hostage by ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida. 

The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. The members of the Security Council stressed that those responsible for the killing of James Foley shall be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the United States and all other relevant authorities in this regard. 

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.

22 August 2014

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

European proposal for Gaza: Open borders, return of PA, security assurances for Israel

19 August 2014

Condemns all violence and hostilities directed against civilians, as well as indiscriminate attacks resulting in civilian casualties, and all acts of terrorism.

Calls for an immediate, sustainable and fully respected ceasefire, including an end to all firing of rockets as well as to any other offensive military operation in the Gaza Strip;

Calls for the parties to support a sustainable ceasefire based, inter alia, on the following principles:
- the return of the Gaza Strip to the control of the Palestinian Authority;

- the security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities;

- the prohibition of sales or supply of arms and related material to the Gaza Strip except as authorized by the Palestinian Authority;

- the obligation to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism;

- the lifting of economic and humanitarian restrictions on the Gaza Strip, to enable its reconstruction, full economic rehabilitation and development;

- the full opening of the crossings into the Gaza Strip taking into account the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access;

Decides to establish an international Monitoring and Verification Mission with a mandate to include:
- investigating reports of ceasefire violations and reporting them to the parties and the Security Council;
- monitoring and verification of the implementation of principles supporting the ceasefire;

- assisting in facilitating the flow of persons and commercial goods to and from the Gaza Strip;

- maintaining close contact and liaison in order to ensure effective communications between the parties to the ceasefire;

- disseminating information to humanitarian agencies, wider civil society and other involved in the implementation of the resolution;

Requests the Secretary-General immediately to develop, in coordination with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, detailed proposals to implement the relevant provisions of this resolution and to inform the Security Council of those proposals;

Requests that the Secretary-General conduct an assessment of the needs on the ground with regards to establishing effective governance and service delivery by the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip and to report to the Security council with options for deployment of appropriate technical and stabilization expertise;

Calls on Member States and international organizations to provide support to the Palestinian Authority, including towards resuming the payment of salaries of civil servants as well as building the necessary capacity of its security forces;

Calls on member states to contribute to the recovery and reconstruction needs of the Palestinian people in the Gaza in coordination with United Nations, including through convening a Reconstruction Conference for the Gaza Strip;

Calls upon all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949;

Calls for renewed and urgent efforts by the parties and the international community to resume the negotiations in order to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of two democratic States, Palestine and Israel, living side by side on the basis of the pre-1967 borders in peace and security, as envisaged in resolution 1850 of 16 December 2008, and stressed in this regard the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative.

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