Pages

Follow by Email

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

UK draft press statement on Aleppo

The members of the Security Council condemned the increase in violence around Aleppo prompted by a military offensive by the Syrian authorities launched in late April. The members further expressed grave alarm at the intolerable suffering, death and destruction, resulting in the deaths of up to 280 civilians in just 12 days. The members of the Security Council reiterated the Secretary General’s call for the Syrian parties to recommit immediately to the cessation of hostilities and to protect civilians from t the dangers of military operations,

The members of the Security Council strongly condemned all attacks directed against civilians, civilian infrastructure, and medical facilities as violations of international humanitarian law. The members of the Security Council expressed their outrage that on 27 April the Al Quds hospital in Aleppo was destroyed by airstrikes, killing at least 50 people two doctors, one of whom was a pediatrician in Aleppo, injuring dozens, and depriving many more of lifesaving medical care. The members of the Security Council also strongly condemned the attack, on 3 May on Al-Dabit medical facility and the resulting casualties.

The members of the Security Council strongly condemned all acts of violence, attacks and threats directed against the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospital and other medical facilities in Syria.

The members of the Security Council recalled the adoption on 3 May 2016 of resolution 2286 on healthcare in conflict, and that, under international law, attacks intentionally directed against hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, functioning as such , as well as attacks intentionally directed against buildings, material, medical units and transport and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law are war crimes. [PP17, healthcare resolution]

The members of the Security Council underlined their demand in resolution 2268 that all parties to whom the cessation of hostilities applies fulfil their commitments as outlined in the terms of the cessation, and urged all Member States, especially ISSG members, to use their influence with the parties to the cessation of hostilities to ensure fulfilment of those commitments and to support efforts to create conditions for a durable and lasting ceasefire. (based on OP 1 of R. 2268)

The members of the Security Council look forward to the next report of the Special Envoy on the implementation of resolutions 2254 and 2268, including by drawing on information provided by the ISSG ceasefire task force.
Follow me on Twitter @NabilAbiSaab

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Draft Resolution on Healthcare in Armed Conflict

The Security Council 

PP1 Reiterating its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and, in this context, the need to promote and ensure respect for the principles and rules of international humanitarian law,

PP2 Recalling all relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 2175 (2014) and 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian personnel, resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006), 1894 (2009) and 2222 (2015) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005) relating to the establishment of a monitoring and reporting mechanism on children and armed conflict, and resolution 1998 (2011) on attacks against schools and/or hospitals, as well as relevant statements of its President related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict and to the protection of medical personnel and humanitarian personnel in conflict zones,
PP3 Recalling all relevant General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 70/104 entitled Safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, 70/106 entitled Strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, and 69/132 entitled Global health and foreign policy,

PP4 Recalling the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, as applicable, as well as relevant customary international law concerned with the protection of the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, and the obligation of parties to armed conflict to respect and ensure respect for international humanitarian law in all circumstances,

PP5 Recalling the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, and its Optional Protocol,

PP6 Recognizing the particular challenges faced by humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties and medical personnel and reaffirming that all humanitarian personnel are entitled to respect and protection under international humanitarian law,

PP7 Stressing that identification of medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities may enhance their protection, and in this regard, recalling also the obligations, in situations of armed conflict, pertaining to the use and the protection of the distinctive emblems under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and where applicable, their Additional Protocols,

PP8 Recalling further the specific obligations under international humanitarian law to respect and protect, in situations of armed conflict, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, and hospitals and other medical facilities, which must not be attacked, and to ensure that the wounded and sick receive, to the fullest extent practicable and with the least possible delay, the medical care and attention required,

PP9 Recalling also the obligation under international humanitarian law to distinguish between civilian populations and combatants, and the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks, and the obligations to do everything feasible to verify that the objectives to be attacked are neither civilians nor civilian objects and are not subject to special protection, including medical personnel their means of transport and equipment, and hospitals and other medical facilities, and recalling further the obligation to take all feasible precautions with a view to avoiding and in any event minimizing harm to civilians and civilian objects,

PP10 Deeply concerned that despite these obligations, acts of violence, attacks and threats against medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, are being perpetrated in situations of armed conflicts and that the number of such acts is increasing,

PP11 Recalling that locally recruited medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties account for the majority of casualties among such personnel in situations of armed conflict,

PP12 Further concerned that the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, to populations in need is being obstructed by parties to armed conflicts in many conflict situations,

PP13 Recalling that under international humanitarian law, persons engaged in medical activities shall not be compelled to perform acts or to carry out work contrary to the rules of medical ethics or to other medical rules designed for the benefit of the wounded and the sick,

PP14 Convinced that acts of violence, attacks and threats against medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, and obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, may exacerbate ongoing armed conflicts and undermine the efforts of the Security Council to maintain international peace and security under the Charter of the United Nations,

PP15 Reaffirming the need for all parties to armed conflict to respect the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in the provision of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance, and reaffirming also the need for all actors engaged in the provision of such assistance in situations of armed conflict to promote and fully respect these principles,

PP16 Urging States to ensure that violations of international humanitarian law related to the protection of the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities in armed conflicts do not remain unpunished, affirming the need for States to ensure that those responsible do not operate with impunity, and that they are brought to justice, as provided for by national laws and obligations under international law,

PP17 Recalling that, under international law, attacks intentionally directed against hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided that they are not military objectives, as well as attacks intentionally directed against buildings, material, medical units and transport and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law are war crimes,

PP18 Stressing that the fight against impunity and to ensure accountability for war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law has been strengthened through the work on and prosecution of these crimes in the international criminal justice system, and in this regard reiterating the importance of State cooperation with international courts and tribunals in accordance with States’ respective obligations,

PP19 Noting that medical personnel, and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, in an armed conflict situation, continue to be under a duty to provide competent medical service in full professional and moral independence, with compassion and respect for human dignity, and always to bear in mind human life and to act in the patient’s best interest and stressing the need to uphold their respective professional codes of ethics, and further noting the applicable rules of international humanitarian law relating to the non-punishment of any person for carrying out medical activities compatible with medical ethics,

PP20 Reaffirming the primary responsibility of States to protect the population throughout their whole territory and recalling in this regard that all parties to armed conflict must comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international humanitarian law related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict and medical personnel,

OP1 Strongly condemns acts of violence, attacks and threats against the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, and deplores the long-term consequences of such attacks for the civilian population and the healthcare systems of the countries concerned;

OP2 Demands that all parties to armed conflicts fully comply with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law, as applicable, and international humanitarian law, in particular their obligations under the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the obligations applicable to them under the Additional Protocols thereto of 1977 and 2005, to ensure the respect and protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities;

OP3 Demands that all parties to armed conflicts facilitate safe and unimpeded passage for medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their equipment, transport and supplies, including surgical items, to all people in need, consistent with international humanitarian law;
OP5 Strongly urges States and all parties to armed conflict to develop effective measures to prevent and address acts of violence, attacks and threats against medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities in armed conflict, including, as appropriate, through the development of domestic legal frameworks to ensure respect for their relevant international legal obligations, the collection of data on obstruction, threats and physical attacks on medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and medical facilities, and to share challenges and good practice in this regard;

OP6 Underlines the important role that education and training in international humanitarian law can play in supporting efforts to halt and prevent acts of violence, attacks and threats against the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities;

OP7 Calls upon States to ensure that their armed forces and security forces, within their respective competencies under domestic law, make or, where relevant, continue their efforts to integrate practical measures for the protection of the wounded and sick and medical services into the planning and conduct of their operations;

OP8 Emphasizes the responsibility of States to comply with the relevant obligations under international law to end impunity and to ensure those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law are held to account;

OP9 Strongly condemns the prevailing impunity for violations and abuses committed against medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities in armed conflict, which in turn may contribute to the recurrence of these acts;

OP10 Strongly urges States to conduct, in an independent manner, full, prompt, impartial and effective investigations within their jurisdiction of violations of international humanitarian law related to the protection of the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities in armed conflict, and, where appropriate, take action against those responsible in accordance with domestic and international law, with a view to reinforcing preventive measures, ensuring accountability and addressing the grievances of victims;

OP11 Expresses its intention to ensure that the mandates of relevant United Nations peacekeeping operations can, where appropriate and on a case-by-case basis, help to contribute to a secure environment to enable the delivery of medical assistance, in accordance with humanitarian principles;
OP12 Encourages the Secretary-General, in accordance with his prerogatives under the Charter of the United Nations, to bring to the attention of the Security Council situations in which the delivery of medical assistance to populations in need is being obstructed by parties to the armed conflict;

OP13 Requests the Secretary-General to include in his country-specific situation reports, and other relevant reports which address the protection of civilians, the issue of the protection of the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities, including recording specific acts of violence against them, remedial actions taken by parties to the armed conflict and other relevant actors, including humanitarian agencies, to prevent similar incidents, and actions taken to identify and hold accountable those who commit such acts;

OP14 Further requests the Secretary-General to promptly provide the Security Council with recommendations on measures to prevent incidents of the kind described in the above paragraph and to better ensure accountability and enhance the protection of the wounded and sick and medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities;

OP15 Further requests the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council every twelve months on the implementation of this resolution.

Follow me on Twitter @NabilAbiSaab

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Demistura's Mediator's Summary

MEDIATOR ́S SUMMARY OF THE 13-27 APRIL ROUND OF UN FACILITATED INTRA-SYRIAN TALKS

This paper sets out an account of developments and the work plan executed by the UN Special Envoy during the round of UN facilitated Intra-Syrian Talks held in Geneva between 13-27 April 2016.

Agenda
The work plan for this round of Talks was based upon the agenda as set by Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), which provides for, within the target of six months, the establishment of a credible, inclusive, and non-sectarian governance, the setting of a schedule and process for drafting a constitution, and further expresses support for the holding of free and fair elections. Prior to the beginning of this round of Talks, the Special Envoy informed the participants that the round would focus on political transition and governance, in accordance with the exclusive mandate given to him by the Security Council. The Special Envoy can confirm that the agenda of political transition is now accepted by all participants, who indicated a readiness to engage on political transition and governance during this round of Talks.
At the start of this round, the Special Envoy further informed the participants that he intended to use the first week and a half to map out their vision of political transition in order to ascertain points of commonality with a view to establishing a clear, concrete conception of political transition for Syria, that was in accordance with resolution 2254, the Vienna Statements and the Geneva Communiqué. To this end, he offered the services of experts from his office to engage each of the participants in technical talks, which were designed to help them identify the actual steps and arrangements necessary to establish a political transition. The participants were further informed on 15 April 2016 that the Special Envoy intended to hold four sessions on four central issues of transition, namely:

  • The functions and powers of the institution, or institutions, of governance established to carry through the political transition,
  • The method of establishing the institution, or institutions, of governance through mutual consent and the decision-making process,
  • The relationship of the transitional institutions with the overall institutions of the state,
  • The process of moving on from political transition to a permanent, new constitution and eventually to new elections.

Resolution 2285 on Western Sahara

The Security Council,
Recalling and reaffirming all its previous resolutions on Western Sahara,
Reaffirming its strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to implement resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), 2044 (2012), 2099 (2013), 2152 (2014), and 2218 (2015),
Reaffirming its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect,
Reiterating its call upon the parties and the neighbouring states to cooperate more fully with the United Nations and with each other and to strengthen their involvement to end the current impasse and to achieve progress towards a political solution,
Recognizing that achieving a political solution to this long-standing dispute and enhanced cooperation between the Member States of the Maghreb Arab Union would contribute to stability and security in the Sahel region,
Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations, including the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), under close review and reiterating the need for the Council to pursue a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments, and effective management of resources,
Recognizing the important role played by MINURSO on the ground and the need for it to fully implement its mandate,
Expressing concern about the violations of existing agreements, and calling on the parties to respect their relevant obligations,
Taking note of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to the Secretary-General and the serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution; also taking note of the Polisario Front proposal presented 10 April 2007 to the Secretary-General,
Encouraging in this context, the parties to demonstrate further political will towards a solution including by expanding upon their discussion of each other’s proposals,
Taking note of the four rounds of negotiations held under the auspices of the Secretary-General and recognizing the importance of the parties committing to continue the negotiations process,
Encouraging the parties to resume cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in implementing the January 2012 updated Plan of Action on Confidence Building Measures, including programs focused on linking people who have been divided for more than 40 years due to the conflict,
Stressing the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps, and encouraging the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law,
Encouraging the parties to continue in their respective efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps, including the freedoms of expression and association,
Welcoming in this regard, the recent steps and initiatives taken by Morocco, and the role played by the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, and Morocco’s interaction with Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council,
Commending the technical visit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to Western Sahara in April 2015, and to the Tindouf refugee camps in July-August 2015, and strongly encouraging full continuing cooperation with OHCHR, including through facilitating further visits to the region,
Recognizing the impact of torrential rains in October 2015 on the Tindouf refugee camps and welcoming the plan of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to convene a donor briefing,
Reiterating its request for consideration of a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps and inviting efforts in this regard,
Stressing the importance of a commitment by the parties to continue the process of negotiations through the United Nations-sponsored talks,
Recognizing that the consolidation of the status quo is not acceptable, and noting further that progress in the negotiations is essential in order to improve the quality of life of the people of Western Sahara in all its aspects,
Affirming full support for the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Ambassador Christopher Ross and his work in facilitating negotiations between the parties, and, welcoming to that effect his recent initiatives and ongoing consultations with the parties and neighbouring states,
Affirming full support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Head of MINURSO Kim Bolduc,
Noting with concern that MINURSO’s ability to fully carry out its mandate has been affected as the majority of its civilian component, including political personnel, cannot perform their duties within MINURSO’s area of operations,
Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 19 April 2016 (S/2016/355),
1. Decides to extend the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2017;
2. Emphasizes the urgent need for M1NURSO to return to full functionality;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to brief the Council within 90 days on whether MINURSO has returned to full functionality and expresses its intention, if MINURSO has not achieved full functionality, to consider how best to facilitate achievement of this goal;
4. Reaffirms the need for full respect of the military agreements reached with MINURSO with regard to the ceasefire and calls on the parties to adhere fully to those agreements;
5. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of MINURSO, including its free interaction with all interlocutors, and to take the necessary steps to ensure the security of as well as unhindered movement and immediate access for the United Nations and associated personnel in carrying out their mandate, in conformity with existing agreements;
6. Emphasizes the importance of the parties' commitment to continue the process of preparation for a fifth round of negotiations, and recalls its endorsement of the recommendation in the report of 14 April 2008 (S/2008/251) that realism and a spirit of compromise by the parties are essential to achieve progress in negotiations;
7. Calls' upon the parties to continue to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to enter into a more intensive and substantive phase of negotiations, thus ensuring implementation of resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), |920 (2010), 1979 (2011), 2044 (2012), 2099 (2013), 2152 (2014), and 2218 (2015) and the success of negotiations;
8. Affirms its full support for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara in this context and calls for renewed meetings and strengthening of contacts;
9. Calls upon the parties to continue negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect;
10. Invites Member States to lend appropriate assistance to these talks:
11. Requests the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on a regular basis, and at least twice a year, on the status and progress of these negotiations under his auspices, on the implementation of this resolution, challenges to MINURSO's operations and steps taken to address them, expresses its intention to meet to receive and discuss his briefings and in this regard, and further requests the Secretary-General to provide a report on the situation in Western Sahara well before the end of the mandate period;
12. Welcomes the commitment of the parties and the neighbouring states to hold periodic meetings with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to review and, where possible, expand confidence-building measures;
13. Urges Member States to provide voluntary contributions to fund confidence-building measures agreed upon between the parties, including those that allow for visits between separated family members, as well as food programmes to ensure that the humanitarian needs of refugees are adequately addressed;
14. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance in MINURSO with the United Nations zero- tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including predeployment awareness training, and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;

15. Decides to remain seized of the matter. 
Follow me on Twitter @NabilAbiSaab

Monday, April 25, 2016

Security Council Presidential Statement on Yemen

DRAFT PRST – YEMEN
25 April


  1. The Security Council recalls its resolutions 2014 (2011), 2051 (2012), 2140 (2014), 2201 (2015), 2204 (2015), 2216 (2015), and 2266 (2016) and presidential statements of 15 February 2013, 29 August 2014, and 22 March 2015.
  2. The Security Council recalls that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference, and relevant Security Council resolutions provide the basis for inclusive negotiations for a political settlement of the crisis in Yemen.
  3. The Security Council welcomes the commencement of a nationwide cessation of hostilities in Yemen which began at midnight on 10 April 2016, and the launch of Yemeni-Yemeni peace talks, hosted by Kuwait, led and facilitated by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, which commenced on 21 April. The Council urges the parties to comply fully with the cessation of hostilities and exercise restraint in response to any reports of violations. The Council welcomes the establishment of a De-escalation and Coordination Committee in Kuwait to bolster adherence to the nationwide cessation of hostilities, and calls on the parties to work with the De-escalation and Coordination Committee to resolve any reports of violations to the cessation of hostilities. Furthermore, the Council reiterates its call to all parties to engage in peace talks in a flexible and constructive manner without preconditions, and in good faith.
  4. The Security Council further notes the importance of reaching agreement on a framework of principles, mechanisms and processes for the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement which will bring about a permanent end to the conflict.
  5. The Security Council also calls on all Yemeni parties to develop a roadmap for the implementation of interim security measures, especially at the local level, withdrawals, handover of heavy weapons, restoration of state institutions, and the resumption of political dialogue in line with relevant Security Council decisions, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and Implementation Mechanism, and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference.
  6. The Security Council notes that in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015) and the outcomes of the comprehensive National Dialogue conference, the Parties should commit to ensure that security mechanisms, including the formation of security committees, facilitate and oversee the negotiated withdrawal of militias and armed groups and provide for the orderly handover of heavy and medium weapons to state control.
  7. The Security Council recalls the importance of the full participation of women and civil society in the peace process (including on security arrangements), in line with the outcomes of the National Dialogue conference.
  8. The Security Council expresses its strong concern about intensified terrorist attacks, including by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (also known as Da’esh), and encourages all Yemeni parties to avoid any security vacuums that can be exploited by terrorists or other violent groups. The Security Council stresses that a political solution to the crisis is essential to address, in a durable and comprehensive manner, the threat of terrorism in Yemen.
  9. The Security Council stresses the importance of the restoration of government control over all state institutions, including respect for the legally established lines of authority in state institutions; removal of any hindrance or obstructions to proper functioning of state institutions; and changes to ensure inclusivity in political institutions.
  10. The Security Council reiterates that resuming Yemen’s peaceful political transition to a democratically-governed State, in line with the GCC initiative, should be guided by a new constitution and the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections, and conducted in an inclusive manner involving the full participation of all of Yemen’s diverse communities, including all regions of the country, youth, and the full and effective participation of women.
  11. The Security Council notes the devastating humanitarian impact of the conflict on the Yemeni people and emphasises that the humanitarian situation will deteriorate in the absence of a political solution. The Security Council calls upon all sides to comply with international humanitarian law, including to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects, in order to prevent any further suffering for the people of Yemen. The Security Council further underlines the need to ensure the security of humanitarian and United Nations personnel. The Security Council further calls on all parties to respect and protect medical facilities and personnel.The Security Council calls on all parties to take proactive steps to protect civilians and civilian objects, in order to prevent any further suffering of the Yemeni people. The Security Council further calls on the parties to allow the safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian supplies to all affected governorates and to facilitate access for essential imports of food, fuel and, medical supplies into the country and their distribution throughout. In this regard, the Security Council calls upon all States to respect the mandate and processes of the United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM), based in Djibouti, and facilitate the full implementation of its mandate without any further delay.
  12. The Security Council recalls its resolution 2266 (2016)  which expressed the Council’s support for and commitment to the work of the Special Envoy for Yemen to the Secretary-General Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in support of a Yemeni-led transition process.
  13. The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to present a plan to the Security Council, within 30 days, outlining how the Office of the Special Envoy could support the next phase of its work with the parties, in particular to support the elements set out in paragraph 5 above.
  14. The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen.
Follow me on Twitter @NabilAbiSaab

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ban's Report on Western Sahara

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2218 (2015), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until 30 April 2016 and requested me to provide a report to it on the situation in Western Sahara well before the end of the mandate period. It covers developments since my report dated 10 April 2015 (S/2015/246) and describes the situation on the ground, the status and progress of the political negotiations on Western Sahara, my activities and those of my Chef de Cabinet, the implementation of resolution 2218 (2015), and the existing challenges to the Mission's operations and steps taken to address them, as the Council requested in its resolution 2218 (2015).
2. Between 3 and 7 March 2016, I visited the region to make my own contribution to the negotiating process, to pay tribute to the United Nations peacekeeping operation, MINURSO, and its personnel, to see for myself the humanitarian situation on the ground, and to discuss other issues of concern. The Moroccan Government took strong exception to a number of my words and actions during this trip. I regret that it chose to forego seeking clarifications through diplomatic channels, instead issuing a number of public statements and communiques and organizing mass protest demonstrations in Rabat and Laayoune. I have repeatedly made it clear that nothing I had said or done had been meant to take sides, express hostility to the Kingdom of Morocco, or signal any change in the approach of the United Nations to the Western Sahara issue. The results of my trip and subsequent developments are further detailed in the sections on political activities and M1NURSO below.

II. Recent developments
3. In additional reaction to certain of my words and actions during my trip, the Foreign Minister of Morocco, Mr. Salaheddine Mezouar, called on me on 14 March 2016 to deliver a letter stating that Morocco was entitled to "immediate, formal and public clarifications about [my] positions, the meaning of [my] actions, as well as [my] intentions concerning [...] the parameters agreed during [my] phone conversation with His Majesty the King Mohammed VI". On 15 March, the Government of Morocco announced a series of measures