Tuesday, January 17, 2012

[socialactionfoundationforequity:14789 Civilian Protection Remains atop Security Council Agenda in 2011 amid Violent Suppression of Mass Protests, Birth of New Member State

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Civilian Protection Remains atop Security Council Agenda in 2011 amid
Violent Suppression of Mass Protests, Birth of New Member State
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Members Adopt 66 Resolutions, Issue 22 Presidential
Statements as Number of Meetings Rises Sharply from Previous Year

In a year characterized by mass protests and other challenges to
entrenched leadership that frequently provoked violent reactions, the
Security Council continued in 2011 to grapple with the question of
protecting civilians in a manner consistent with the United Nations
Charter, as the 15-member body remained seized of a wide range of
conflicts, the birth of South Sudan, the Palestinian application for
membership in the Organization and other developments.

The Council adopted 66 resolutions — 40 of them concerning Africa —
and issued 22 presidential statements. Once again it strove for
consensus, with only five texts requiring a vote, although two on the
Middle East suffered vetoes — one by the United States and the other
by China and the Russian Federation.

In total, the Council convened 213 public meetings in 2011, up sharply
from the 182 held in 2010, with 115 of them concerning Africa, the
setting of both Sudanese republics, as well as Libya, the one theatre
of the "Arab Spring" that deteriorated into full-blown civil war. Much
attention was also devoted to events in Côte d'Ivoire, where after an
election defeat the former president refused to step down for five
bloody months; and Somalia, where change accelerated after insurgents
withdrew from the capital, stakeholders agreed on plans to meet
transition goals, attention to piracy focused on increasing regional
capacity for the prosecution of suspects, and access to aid for those
suffering from widespread famine became increasingly crucial.

Attacks on demonstrators and other civilians in North Africa, the
Middle East and elsewhere early in the year drove home the need for
the Council to implement its five resolutions intended to protect non-
combatants, Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian
Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said in May. "The events of
the last few months have provided a compelling reminder of the
fundamental and enduring importance of the Council's protection-of-
civilians agenda," she added.

Consensus on just how to protect civilians became more difficult,
however, as opposition in a growing number of countries continued to
suffer increasingly deadly crackdowns. The first draft resolution on
Libya — tabled in late February and demanding an end to the violence,
referring the situation to the International Criminal Court and
applying sanctions — was adopted unanimously. The second, imposing a
no-fly zone, and authorizing "all necessary measures" to protect
civilians, was adopted with only 10 votes. The extent of the resulting
air campaign attracted the disapproval of Council members who had not
voted in favour of the resolution, who said it exceeded the
resolution's provisions and veered towards supporting regime change.
Others objected that the campaign sidelined the African Union's
attempts to initiate dialogue.

Although cooperation reigned on the creation of a new peacekeeping
mission for Libya, measures to unfreeze assets and stem the spread of
weapons from the country, and consideration of the crisis in Yemen,
divisions hardened on the appropriate Council response to continuing
bloodshed in Syria. On Côte d'Ivoire, the Council unanimously adopted
a text reaffirming the mandate of the United Nations operation there
to use all necessary means to protect civilians under attack. However,
some members warned after the adoption that peacekeepers must not take
sides in any conflict.

Toward the end of the year, comments in the wake of a briefing by the
Chair of the Council subsidiary body on Iran sanctions indicated that
divisions were also stiffening over a response to troubling data on
that countries nuclear activities, presented in the latest report of
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

On the other hand, the Council achieved Consensus many times on other
key situations, including in the 29 public meetings on Sudan which
considered the referendum on South Sudan, the new State's admission to
the United Nations, violence in border areas, the urgent need to
settle outstanding peace process issues, and the need to persuade all
Darfur stakeholders to sign onto the new Doha Document for Peace and
bring an immediate halt to fighting in that strife-torn western
Sudanese region. As a result, the Council created two new missions —
the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the United
Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) for the disputed
Abyei border area between Sudan and South Sudan.

No other new missions were created in 2011, but in January the special
political mission in Nepal, known as UNMIN, was closed. In addition, a
further reconfiguration of the United Nations Organization
Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(MONUSCO) was postponed as militias continued to threaten populations
in the east and national elections approached. The Council also
postponed consideration of a United Nations mission to succeed the
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) pending an appropriate
security atmosphere, although hopes grew in the wake of following
positive security and political developments. The police and military
component of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti
(MINUSTAH) was reduced towards pre-earthquake levels as it continued
to deal with recovery, cholera and election tensions.

The International Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia
reported headway on their completion strategies, despite difficulties
in staffing. The arrests of former Bosnian Serb military commander
Radko Mladi? and former Interahamwe militia leader Bernard
Munyagishari put completion within clearer view. However, prospects
for reconciliation in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina remained
problematic.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained stalled despite much effort
by the diplomatic Quartet to restart negotiations, the Palestinian bid
for United Nations membership, and the exchange of captive Israeli
soldier Gilad Shalit for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. In
February, a text declaring the illegality of Israeli settlements in
the Occupied Palestinian Territory — a major factor in the stalled
negotiations, in the view of many — failed to win adoption due to a
United States veto.

Issuing 14 press statements, the Council condemned major terrorist
attacks in various countries around the world, while continuing to
monitor compliance with counter-terrorism resolutions through its
subsidiary bodies. On 2 May, following the death of Osama bin Laden,
the Council urged States to remain vigilant and intensify their
efforts against terrorism.

Continuing its practice of undertaking missions to gather first-hand
information on key situations, Council members visited sub-Saharan
Africa in May, stopping in Northern and Southern Sudan just before the
latter's independence, and in Addis Ababa, where cooperation with the
African Union was discussed, and in Nairobi, Kenya, where the focus
was on developments in neighbouring Somalia.

The General Assembly elected Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan
and Togo to serve two-year terms as non-permanent members of the
Security Council, starting on 1 January 2012. They replaced Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria, which concluded their
terms on 31 December 2011. Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and
South Africa will complete their terms at the end of 2012. China,
France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and the United States are
permanent members.

Following are summaries of Council activities in 2011:

Africa
Burundi
Central African Republic
Côte d'Ivoire
Democratic Republic of Congo
Guinea-Bissau
Liberia
Libya
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Sudan and South Sudan
Central African Region
West Africa
Western Sahara
Council Mission
Peace and Security in Africa
Americas
Haiti
Asia
Afghanistan
Nepal
Timor-Leste
Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cyprus
Kosovo
Middle East
Iraq
Lebanon
Syria
Yemen
Question of Palestine
Thematic Debates
Annual Report
Children and Armed Conflict
International Court of Justice
International Criminal Tribunals
Maintenance of International Peace and Security
Non-Proliferation
Peacekeeping Operations
Post-conflict Peacebuilding
Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
Regional Cooperation
Threats to International Peace and Security, Including Terrorism
Women, Peace and Security
Working Methods

Africa

Council Mission

The Council undertook one major mission in 2011, to sub-Saharan Africa
from 19 to 26 May. Susan Rice ( United States) and Vitaly Churkin
( Russian Federation), who led the mission's Sudan and South Sudan
legs, respectively, briefed the Council on 6 June, just ahead of the
latter country's independence. Martin Briens ( France) briefed on the
Addis Ababa leg, while Mark Lyall Grant ( United Kingdom) and Baso
Sangqu ( South Africa) described the Nairobi segment, during which the
situation in Somalia was discussed.

The briefers said that in Sudan, the mission had stressed the critical
importance for both North and South of reaching an accord on all
outstanding issues under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, prior to
South Sudan's independence on 9 July. They had also met with Thabo
Mbeki, Chair of the High-level Implementation Panel on Sudan and
former President of South Africa. The mission had then moved on to
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for its annual meeting with African Union
officials. Libya, Côte d'Ivoire, Sudan and Somalia had been among the
issues discussed.

In Nairobi, the mission had met with representatives of the African
Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the United Nations Political Office
for Somalia (UNPOS) and others. Kenyan officials, for their part, had
described the situation in Somalia as a threat to regional peace and
security, and reiterated their request for a strengthening of AMISOM
troop levels to 20,000. They had also asked for greater assistance in
the fight against piracy originating in Somalia and pervading the East
African coast, as well as for help with the influx of refugees from
the strife-torn neighbouring country. (See Press Release SC/10271.)

Peace and Security in Africa

Holding to its traditional practice regarding Africa, the Council
addressed, in addition to issues relating to specific countries and
subregions, matters considered vital to peace and stability throughout
the continent. In the first of its four relevant meetings, the Council
heard a briefing by Zachary Muburi-Muita, Under-Secretary-General and
Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union. Created by the
General Assembly in 2010, the Office integrates all activities of the
former United Nations Liaison Office, the former African Union
Peacekeeping Support Team and the former United Nations Planning Team
for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). (See Press Release
SC/10288.)

Addressing the Council for the first time in his new capacity, Mr.
Muburi-Muita discussed the efforts under way to broaden the strategic
partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on a
range of shared issues, including peacekeeping and post-conflict
peacebuilding, and raising the world body's profile as a vital partner
for capacity-building with African regional entities. He reported that
the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU), with the
active involvement of the Department of Field Support, was making
solid transition towards a "new, lean, self-sufficient operation"
based in Addis Ababa, and would have recruited 61 of its authorized 63
staff members by 31 July.

"Our experience on cooperation between the two organizations shows
that we do better in addressing crises on the continent when we stand
together and speak in one voice," he said. At the same time, no one
knew better than Security Council members that conflict mediation was
a "challenging business, particularly when we are faced with a
multiplicity of actors, initiatives and organizations playing their
respective roles". That was why one of UNOAU's key objectives was to
strengthen coordination with African Union institutions and enhance
their capacity to deliver peace on the continent.

As Council members took the floor during that meeting, Nigeria's
representative stressed the importance of acknowledging that, while
regional bodies like the African Union had the necessary political
will, they were insufficiently resourced to undertake long-term
peacekeeping operations. All too frequently its members mustered
sufficient numbers of peacekeepers but saw their efforts undermined by
the lack of resources. Today's armed conflicts required nuanced,
heightened responses, she continued, stressing that greater support
did not create dependency. Indeed, stronger partnership and
cooperation in deploying expert civilian personnel was central to that
partnership, she said, expressing hope that the opening of UNOAU would
lead to a more systematic, less reactive approach to joint
peacekeeping operations.

Meeting on 19 October to consider the increasing threat of piracy in
the Gulf of Guinea, the Council welcomed the Secretary-General's
decision to deploy an assessment mission to examine the scope of the
growing problem and make recommendations on anti-piracy efforts,
including in the broader context of organized crime and drug
trafficking. That meeting also included briefings by the Gulf of
Guinea Commission's Deputy Executive Secretary for Political Affairs
and the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.
(See Press Release SC/10415.)

In his address, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said there was an
increase in reported cases of piracy and armed robbery aboard vessels
along the West African coast. The threat was compounded by the limited
capacity of Gulf of Guinea States to ensure safe maritime trade,
freedom of navigation, the protection of marine resources and the
safety and security of lives and property. "We must approach the issue
in a holistic manner, focusing simultaneously on security, the rule of
law and development," he said. "Responses that fall short of these
requirements will only exacerbate the problem."

Less than two weeks later, the Council unanimously adopted resolution
2018 (2011), by which it condemned all acts of piracy and armed
robbery at sea committed off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. It also
called upon ECOWAS States, members of the Economic Community of
Central African States (ECCAS) and those of the Gulf of Guinea
Commission, in conjunction with flag States and those of victims or
perpetrators of acts of piracy or armed robbery at sea, to cooperate
in the prosecution of alleged perpetrators, including facilitators and
financiers of such acts. It further welcomed the intention to convene
a summit of Gulf of Guinea Heads of State to consider a comprehensive
response.

On 5 December, the Council's attention was drawn to the situation in
the Horn of Africa. Concerned about the potential use of Eritrea's
mining sector as a financial source in destabilizing the East African
subregion, the Council reinforced the sanctions regime imposed on that
country to prevent funds derived from mining from contributing to its
continued violations of those measures. (See Press Release SC/10471.)

Adopting resolution 2023 (2011) under Chapter VII of the Charter, by a
vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions ( China,
Russian Federation), the Council demanded that Eritrea cease all
direct or indirect efforts to destabilize States. It decided that
States would "undertake appropriate measures to promote the exercise
of vigilance" in business dealings with Eritrea's mining sector. To
that end, it requested its Sanctions Committee concerning Somalia and
Eritrea to draft, with the assistance of the Somalia/Eritrea
Monitoring Group, due diligence guidelines for optional use by States.

The Council also decided to expand the mandate of the Monitoring Group
to cover the provisions of the new text, as well as its demand that
Eritrea make available information on the Djiboutian combatants
missing in action since 10 to 12 June 2008. It called on all States to
report within 120 days on steps taken to implement the resolution, and
on the Secretary-General to report within 180 days on Eritrea's
compliance under the sanctions regime. The Council affirmed that it
would keep Eritrea's actions under continuous review, and its
readiness to strengthen, modify or lift the sanctions on the basis of
compliance.

Burundi

As the Council continued to monitor Burundi's path towards stability
and socio-economic health, it became clear during two joint briefings
that, despite extreme poverty, spiralling unemployment and isolated
violent incidents, the East African country's overall political and
security landscapes were "calm", with much anticipated for the
Government's long-term vision. "The road out of past violence is a
long and difficult one," said Karin Landgren, Special Representative
of the Secretary-General and Head of the year-old United Nations
Office in Burundi (BNUB), on 7 December. For a country that had
experienced many years of conflict, Burundi deserved to be commended
for its efforts. (See Press Release SC/10473.)

Of particular note, she continued, was the Government's desire for
dialogue with extra-parliamentary parties, the establishment of the
National Independent Human Rights Commission and the Office of the
Ombudsman, as well as the passing of a bill to establish a truth and
reconciliation commission. She expressed concern, however, that the
bill did not consider national recommendations to include non-
Burundians and representatives of civil society, among others, as
members of the commission. Also of concern were restrictions on
independence in the media, civil society and the judiciary, she said,
noting also that politically motivated killings had marred efforts to
consolidate peace. BNUB had documented a further 11 cases of suspected
extrajudicial killings, bringing the total number to 57 in the period
between 1 January and 30 November 2011, she added, urging all actors
to reject violence.

Adolphe Nahayo, Director of Regional and International Organizations
in Burundi's Ministry of External Relations and International
Cooperation, told the same meeting that part of his country's problem
of violence was the ready availability of illicit arms, which was
exacerbated by porous borders and previously existing arms caches.
Regarding justice and the rule of law, he reassured Burundi's partners
that cases pending before the courts would be concluded, despite
funding constraints that had sometimes slowed the judicial process.

When the Council met earlier in the year, Paul Seger ( Switzerland),
Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission's Burundi configuration, said
the most important recent development was completing the outcome
document from the review of the Strategic Peacebuilding Framework,
which should now be merged with the national poverty reduction
strategic paper. Yet, the Commission could not do everything, he
cautioned, pointing out that consolidating a culture of dialogue and
democracy while fostering good governance and the rule of law was the
primary challenge. "I think we're on the right track, but work still
needs to be done," he added. (See Press Release SC/10254.)

The Council closed out the year by adopting resolution 2027 (2011) by
which it extended until 15 February 2013 the mandate of BNUB to
continue its support for the Government in the areas of socio-economic
development, reintegrating conflict-affected populations and deepening
the country's regional integration. (See Press Release SC/10496.)

Central African Region

Cross-border threats to Central Africa such as the Lord's Resistance
Army (LRA), piracy, illicit small arms and drug trafficking, resource
poaching and massive refugee returns were the focus of two briefings
by Abou Moussa, head of the newly established United Nations Regional
Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). On 18 August, Mr. Moussa called on
the Council to provide consistent support for efforts by his Office
and regional States to stem those threats. (See Press Release SC/
10363.)

Taking up UNOCA'S first report and a special report of the Secretary-
General on LRA-affected areas on 14 November, the Council issued a
presidential statement condemning and demanding an immediate end to
attacks by the armed group notorious for its widespread abduction of
children and the displacement of some 450,000 people across the
region. On the same day, Mr. Moussa said that military operations
conducted by affected States should be coordinated to ensure the LRA's
containment rather than its dispersal. The emerging regional
architecture for peace and security should help in that and other
regional efforts and deserved international support, he said. (See
Press Release SC/10446.)

Central African Republic

In the first of the Security Council's three meetings on the Central
African Republic, the senior United Nations official there sounded a
warning that an implosion there in that country — at the intersection
of critical conflict zones and impacted by insecurity in neighbouring
Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo — would have a
"cataclysmic impact throughout the region, negating investments made
in securing the neighbouring countries". Margaret Vogt, Special
Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations
Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Central African Republic (BINUCA),
noted, however, that barring "the worst-case scenario", much had been
accomplished in the two years since the establishment of BINUCA in
January 2010. (See Press Release SC/10311.)

A number of governance institutions had been created and key
legislation had been introduced, she said, adding that freedom of the
press had been expanded, despite recent setbacks involving the arrest
of two journalists, and adding that the overall security situation
remained calm, though unstable, especially outside Bangui, the
capital. She emphasized that the country still faced serious
challenges, including extreme poverty, weak national institutions,
corruption, a high rate of violent crime perpetrated by armed
movements and brigands, as well as human rights violations and
impunity. In the current context, she stressed, the two most immediate
challenges were the political dispensation following the legislative
and presidential elections, the implementation of peace agreements
with rebel groups, and the sustainable disarmament and reintegration
of former combatants as part of overall security-sector reform.

In mid-December, Ms. Vogt returned to the Council with another
warning: that while the positive dynamic initiated between the
Government of the Central African Republic and politico-military
groups offered "a real chance for peace", a lack of funding to
complete the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former
combatants and launch phase two of security-sector reform could put
the country back "on the brink of disaster". (See Press Release SC/
10488.)

She warned further that failure to find the resources to conclude
disarmament in the north and north-east, where all the politico-
military parties were anxiously awaiting the disarmament of their
forces, may lead to a major resurgence of violence and further
undermine security in a region where movement was highly impacted by
insecurity even under normal circumstances. The Government needed some
$3 million to complete national disarmament and about $19 million for
reintegration, she said, reiterating the Secretary-General's urgent
appeal for the international community's support, to be found in his
latest report on the Central African Republic and BINUCA's activities
(document S/2011/739).

Jan Grauls (Belgium), addressing the same meeting in his capacity as
Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission's configuration on the Central
African Republic, agreed, describing the uncertainty surrounding the
financing of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts as
a "major and pressing" challenge. Discussing prospects for the future,
based on his October visit to the country, he stressed that it was the
promise of support for reintegration that had enabled the Government
to disarm and demobilize the rebels in the west, and to sign an
agreement with the Convention des patriotes pour la justice et la paix
(CPJP).

Implementation of that pledge was highly desirable, he said, adding
that the Peacebuilding Fund and the World Bank would consider ways to
contribute accordingly and other potential donors should also do so.
While the Government had already made considerable strides in the
disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process, and had brought
the CPJP to the negotiating table so that it could join the Libreville
Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the country's security situation was
linked to that of the wider subregion, which could potentially undo
the fragile progress achieved so far, he cautioned. Destabilizing
threats included the LRA and new mercenaries from Libya, who often
joined armed groups. Heads of neighbouring States had an important
opportunity to address the problem of subregional insecurity and its
impact on the Central African Republic, he stressed.

The Council wrapped up its consideration of the Central African
Republic for the year by adopting resolution 2031 (2011), expressing
its concern at the security vacuum in many parts of the country and
continued reports of human rights violations. It also extended the
mandate of BINUCA until 31 January 2013. The resolution welcomed the
finalization of the national strategy for the reintegration of former
combatants, but noted with concern the absence of a "credible and
viable national strategy for security-sector reform". It called on the
Government to re-engage in meaningful dialogue with BINUCA on that
issue, taking into consideration the road map it had drafted to help
revive the process. (See Press Release SC/10501.)

Côte d'Ivoire

The new year began with Côte d'Ivoire still in the midst of a dramatic
political crisis sparked by contested presidential elections in late
November 2010. Long-time President Laurent Gbagbo had lost a run-off
to former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara, but even as the latter
claimed victory, his rival, alleging fraud, had refused to hand over
power and had had himself sworn in. The Council reacted to the
violence that had erupted in the wake of the stand-off by deploying an
additional 2,000 troops for the United Nations Operation in the
country (UNOCI), until 30 June 2011 (see Press Release SC/10156).

Unanimously adopting resolution 1967 (2011) under Chapter VII of the
United Nations Charter, the Council also extended until 30 June the
deployment of hundreds of military and police personnel, as well as
the temporary redeployment to UNOCI, by four additional weeks, of
three infantry companies and two military helicopters from the United
Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). It also decided to authorize the
temporary transfer to UNOCI of three armed helicopters with crews from
UNMIL for four weeks. Barely a month later, the Council extended that
temporary deployment for another three months, under resolution 1968
(2011). (See Press Release SC/10176.)

By late March, forces loyal to the leaders of the deadlocked political
camps were waging gun battles in the streets of Abidjan and in the
town of Tiebissou, and thousands of people were fleeing the country.
Expressing its deep concern, the Council demanded an immediate end to
the surge in violence against civilians and targeted Mr. Gbagbo and
his close associates with stiff sanctions, while reaffirming UNOCI's
mandate to protect civilians, including by preventing the use of heavy
weaponry against them. (See Press Release SC/10215.)

By the terms of resolution 1975 (2011), the Council cited five
persons, including Mr. Gbagbo, listed in an annex to the text, who met
the criteria set out in resolution 1572 (2004) for persons who
obstructed the peace process and national reconciliation, obstructed
the work of UNOCI, and committed serious violations of human rights
and international humanitarian law. It also condemned Mr. Gbagbo's
decision not to accept the overall political solution proposed by the
African Union High-level Panel, and urged him to "immediately step
aside".

Five days earlier, Atul Khare, Assistant-Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations, had conveyed to the Council a request by the
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for more stringent
measures against Mr. Gbagbo. He noted that UNOCI had reported 462
killings between mid-December and 23 March, in addition to at least
502 arbitrary arrests and detentions, some involving torture, and at
least 72 disappearances. Mr. Khare said regional leaders had made it
clear that the deteriorating security situation and "grave" human
rights conditions were a "direct consequence of the refusal of
outgoing President Mr. Laurent Gbagbo to cede power to Mr. Alassane
Ouattara, the universally recognized winner of the 28 November 2010
election". (See Press Release SC/10212.)

The deadly four-month stand-off ended on 11 April with the capture and
arrest of Mr. Gbagbo following a heavy siege of his Abidjan compound.
In the first of two Council meetings that month, Choi Young-Jin,
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOCI,
told the 15-member body that the crisis had been "utterly
unnecessary". Côte d'Ivoire now faced critical challenges, including
the restoration of order, the prevention of further human rights
abuses, national reconciliation and the rebuilding and completion of
the peace process. "Eleven April 2011 must be remembered as the end of
a demagogic and Orwellian perversion by a regime that tried to cling
to power by military means," he said. (See Press Release SC/10223.)

Also present at that briefing were Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for
Human Rights, and Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs, who told the Council that despite Mr. Gbagbo's
arrest, "the humanitarian situation remains deeply troubling". Having
just returned from a visit also covering neighbouring Liberia, she
said the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire had far-reaching effects in the
region which would not subside without significant and sustained
effort from the humanitarian community.

The Council quickly followed up by adopting resolution 1980 (2011),
which renewed until 30 April 2012 its arms embargo and diamond-trade
ban on the West African nation, as well as targeted sanctions
restricting the travel and financial dealings of individuals
threatening peace and national reconciliation there. It also decided
to review those measures no later than 31 October 2011, with a view to
possibly modifying, lifting or maintaining all or some of them amid
progress in the peace process, developments relating to human rights
violations and parliamentary elections. (See Press Release SC/10236.)

In its two subsequent meetings on Côte d'Ivoire, the Council focused
on bolstering UNOCI's mandate in the aftermath of the crisis. On 13
May, by resolution 1981 (2011), the Council extended the Operation's
mandate until 31 July 2011, and authorized the Secretary-General to
extend until 30 June 2011 the temporary redeployment of equipment from
UNMIL to UNOCI. It also authorized the temporary redeployment of three
infantry companies, one aviation unit comprising two military utility
helicopters and three armed helicopters with crews. (See Press Release
SC/10251.)

On 27 June, the Council again extended the temporary redeployment of
infantry and aviation units from UNMIL to UNOCI, this time through 31
July. Adopting resolution 1992 (2011), the Council welcomed the joint
operations and planning implemented by those missions, in Côte
d'Ivoire and along it's border with Liberia, and extended the
deployment of 2,000 more military personnel. It also extended the
deployment of additional military and police capabilities authorized
under resolution 1942 (2010), while authorizing, as well, the extended
deployment, until 30 September, of three armed helicopters with crews
from UNMIL to UNOCI.

Prompting the Council's action was the Secretary-General's concern
over the fragile security situation inside Côte d'Ivoire and along its
western border with Liberia. In a letter to the Council (document S/
2011/351), he said that, while the military utility helicopters were
to have been returned to UNMIL before 30 June, the Secretariat was
exploring various options for deploying a replacement unit, at least
for the duration of the legislative elections, given the extremely
fragile security situation and the high risk of renewed conflict or
violence that would require adequate transportation capacity for the
rapid deployment of the UNOCI force reserve.

Special Representative Choi returned to the Council on 18 July,
warning that while national reconciliation efforts, preparations for
legislative elections and steps towards economic recovery were moving
in the right direction, the rapid restoration of law and order was of
"primordial" importance in ensuring that all those other tasks could
be carried out. "We feel confident, as President Ouattara and his
team, who have shown remarkable patience and sang-froid during the
crisis, are working day and night to successfully meet the post-crisis
challenges for the benefit of the Ivorian people," he said, adding
that a clear vision for the establishment of a national security
structure must be developed to allow the effective deployment of
police and gendarmerie elements, as well as the military's return to
barracks.

At the same meeting, Youssoufou Bamba ( Côte d'Ivoire) said the events
of 21 May that had seen President Ouattara's installation had marked
the official return of the rule of law and normal life. A new
Government comprising all political parties — except Mr. Gbagbo's
Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), which had chosen not to participate — had
met with the President on 5 and 6 July to develop 14 short-term
strategies aimed at meeting immediate needs.

Emphasizing that President Ouattara had inherited a state of impunity
in which everything must be reconstructed, he said that was why the
new leader had created the Ministry of Human Rights and Public
Liberties, aimed at ensuring compliance with international security-
sector standards while reinforcing judicial, administrative and police
capacity. The aim, however, was not to treat members of the former
regime inhumanely, he stressed, reaffirming the President's
determination to ensure respect for all human rights.

Regarding the legislative elections, he asked that UNOCI's
certification role be maintained and that the mission continue to
support the Independent Electoral Commission. He also emphasized that
youth employment would be indispensable, pointing out that UNOCI's
quick-impact projects would help economic revival. The Operation's
mandate must be extended because Côte d'Ivoire was still reliant on
United Nations assistance, he said.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Meeting eight times throughout the year to consider the situation in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo — including two private sessions
with countries providing troops for the United Nations Organization
Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(MONUSCO) — the Council focused chiefly on helping the country cope
with the disruptions caused by armed groups, and on preparations for
the 28 November presidential and parliamentary elections.

Roger Meece, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head
of MONUSCO, told the Council on 8 February that, despite progress in
consolidating stability, international support must be maintained to
end violence against civilians and facilitate upcoming elections.
"With this support, and while cognizant of the ongoing challenges and
difficulties, I remain optimistic that with sustained engagement, we
are on a path towards achieving the kind of security and stable
conditions which the people of [the Democratic Republic of] the Congo
and region richly deserve," he said. (See Press Release SC/10166.)

The greatest difficulties were presented by foreign and domestic armed
groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, said Mr. Meece,
noting that they "continue to act as predatory forces, often
incorporating the use of rape and other violence as a weapon against
civilians". Meanwhile, there had also been "too many reported cases of
abuses committed by members of the Congolese Armed Forces and the
Congolese national police". MONUSCO had been working closely with the
national authorities to address such abuses and the number of suspects
arrested in that connection had increased significantly.

Following that briefing, Atoki Ileka ( Democratic Republic of the
Congo) confirmed the "good relationship" between his Government and
MONUSCO, saying that many things had been accomplished with the
Mission's help, although significant challenges nonetheless remained.
Violence against women and the impact of HIV/AIDS on peace and
security were key areas of Government concern, he said, expressing
optimism over the outcome of the visit by Margot Wallström, Special
Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in
Conflict.

The return of total peace was the only way to "put an end to [acts of
violence against women], which we all deplore." That was why strenuous
efforts to end all the activities of foreign armed groups must
continue, he continued, noting on that point that positive events in
the Central African Republic and Sudan would make it possible to
enhance the coordination of initiatives against the LRA. Efforts to
counter the actions of largely Rwandese foreign groups in the east,
"and my own countrymen who have become outlaws", were also continuing,
he added.

The Council next held an open debate in early May featuring addresses
by Secretary-General Ban-Ki-moon, Raymond Tshibanda, Minister for
International and Regional Cooperation, as well as officials of the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the
European Union. (See Press Release SC/10257.)

The Council concluded that meeting by issuing a presidential statement
(document S/PRST/2011/11), which stressed the need for a strong
partnership between the United Nations and the Congolese Government
for the next phase of the country's emergence from civil war.
Regarding the November presidential and legislative elections, to be
followed by provincial and local elections in 2012, the Council urged
the Government and other parties to ensure an environment conducive to
free, fair, peaceful and credible polls. It called on MONUSCO and
other international actors to support the training and equipping of
Congolese police for that purpose.

Returning to the Council on 9 June, Mr. Meece cautioned: "We have no
illusions regarding the magnitude of the challenges of organizing
successful elections and there are no guarantees of success." He
pointed out, however, that the same risk factors had been present
during the 2006 election cycle, which had been held successfully. In
addition to the logistical challenges, he noted with concern several
reports of harassment, intimidation and violence centred on electoral
activities, particularly those involving opposition parties. (See
Press Release SC/10275.)

Preparations for the elections had been under way for some time, he
noted, with more than half of the projected total of 31 million
eligible voters already registered. In addition, a timetable had been
announced by the National Independent Electoral Commission. MONUSCO
had been actively supporting the process, transporting thousands of
tons of materials, providing ongoing technical support in a variety of
areas, and generally helping the national authorities meet the
ambitious timetable. For the next budgetary year, however, the Mission
would need supplementary financial resources to continue its extensive
electoral support without negatively impacting other activities.

Meeting again three weeks later, the Council, stressing the
significant challenges posed by the ongoing presence of armed groups
in the restive eastern provinces, adopted resolution 1991 (2011) under
Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, extending MONUSCO's mandate
until 30 June 2012. It demanded that all armed groups — the LRA and
the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in particular
— immediately cease all forms of violence and human rights abuses,
including rape and other forms of sexual abuses against civilians,
particularly women and children. (See Press Release SC/10299.)

With election day rapidly approaching, the Council heard another
briefing in early November, in which Mr. Meece warned that sporadic
security threats by armed groups had triggered a need for additional
funding for military helicopters and police training. Stressing that
there were no "short-term solutions" to the challenges confronting
MONUSCO, he told the Council: "We need consistent commitment from you,
which is vital to the people of Congo and the region. With continued
support, we can make genuine progress towards attaining common
objectives."

Those common goals included a peaceful election, he said, pointing out
that security still presented a great concern and citing recent
reports of violence and incidents involving armed groups. Countering
such actions required non-lethal equipment for trained police units,
which remained outside the Mission's budget, he stressed, adding that
a shortage of helicopters had imposed "severe limits on the nature and
level of military operations", leading to the emergence or
strengthening of several armed groups. Restoring strong military
pressure on foreign armed groups was important in protecting civilians
and eliminating threats, he said.

In its final meeting on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2011,
the Council renewed until 30 November 2012 the arms embargo and
related sanctions imposed on the country, and requested the Secretary-
General to extend the mandate of the Group of Experts monitoring those
measures. Unanimously adopting resolution 2021 (2011), the Council
also requested the Secretary-General to appoint a sixth expert, on
natural resources, and asked the Group of Experts — established under
resolution 1533 (2004) — to report back by 18 May 2012, and again
before 19 October 2012. (See Press Release SC/10464.)

Also by that text, the Council condemned the continuing illicit flow
of weapons within and into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It
recommended that all States, particularly those in the region,
regularly publish full import and export statistics for natural
resources — including gold, cassiterite, coltan, wolframite, timber
and charcoal — and enhance regional information-sharing, as well as
joint action to investigate and combat regional criminal networks and
armed groups involved in the illegal exploitation of natural
resources.

Guinea-Bissau

Until the end of the year, with Secretary-General Ban calling on 27
December for respect for Guinea-Bissau's lawful civilian authority
following reports of arrests and clashes in the capital, the Council
remained concerned about the consolidation of stability in the West
African country, which has experienced much unrest since its
independence in the 1970s, including the assassination of its
President in 2009. On 21 December, the Council renewed the mandate of
the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau
(UNIOGBIS) until February 2013 to support peace consolidation, urging
the Government and other political actors to work together towards
that goal. (See Press Release SC/10500.)

On 3 November, Joseph Mutaboba, Special Representative of the
Secretary-General and Head of UNIOGBIS, told the Council that, while
there had been progress in police reform and other areas, it was
critical to meet other challenges such as judicial reform and
providing pensions for former ex-military personnel. It was equally
important to build upon recent gains ahead of legislative elections
planned for 2012. (See Press Release SC/10434.)

Mr. Mutaboba had struck a similar note in his first briefing of the
year, on 25 February, when he pointed to progress on national dialogue
and planning for security-sector reform, despite a "complex and
tenuous" political and security situation (see Press Release SC/
10183). On 28 June, however, he said progress was being hampered by
the "uncertain commitment" of the national authorities to address
impunity, drug trafficking and organized crime (see Press Release SC/
10300).

The Council also heard from officials of the Peacebuilding Commission,
which has Guinea-Bissau on its agenda, and of the Community of
Portuguese-speaking Countries, who addressed members during briefings
held this year.

Liberia

The Council dedicated five meetings to Liberia, beginning the year by
deciding to end the authorization for a special deployment of 150
United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) personnel, charged in 2005
with guarding the facilities of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Their deployment officially ended as the Council adopted resolution
1971 (2011) on 3 March. (See Press Release SC/10190.)

Nevertheless, the Council heard just weeks later that, while Liberia
was indeed "much stronger today" than it had been eight years ago, the
situation was becoming increasingly complex as the election process
geared up and refugees flooded in from neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire.
Briefing on 16 March, Ellen Margrethe Løj, Special Representative of
the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIL, stressed that the
international community must not take for granted the years of
unbroken peace since the end of Liberia's protracted civil war in
2003. Sustained international attention was still needed, she added.
(See Press Release SC/10197.)

Ms. Løj briefed the Council again on 13 September, emphasizing that
free, fair and peaceful elections were critical for Liberia's full
emergence from its brutal civil war. However, even if such a
referendum was successfully achieved, joint Liberian and international
rebuilding efforts were not yet finished, she noted. "Liberians will
still require considerable assistance and support in rebuilding their
lives and their country," she said, urging all partners to "stay the
course". (See Press Release SC/10380.)

The Council heeded those warnings on 16 September when, in the face of
remaining "significant challenges", it unanimously adopted resolution
2008 (2011), by which it extended UNMIL's mandate for one year, until
30 September 2012. (See Press Release SC/10388.)

Meeting again on 14 December, the Council went a step further to renew
a standing arms embargo imposed on the country, as well as
restrictions on persons deemed to pose a threat to Liberia's peace and
security. (See Press Release SC/10485.)

Libya

The National Transitional Council's "Declaration of Liberation" in
Benghazi on 23 October signalled the end of armed hostilities in the
country, eight months after the Qadhafi regime had begun its attempts
to suppress a peaceful movement sparked on 15 February, when families
held a protest calling for the release of a lawyer representing their
claims in respect of the 1996 Abu Salim massacre. With the Human
Rights Council having estimated that more than 15,000 people,
including protesters, armed belligerents and civilians had been killed
between February and June alone, the Security Council was a critical
actor in the tempest of diplomatic activity to end the fighting and
ultimately authorize the enforcement of a no-fly zone over the
beleaguered North African country.

In 19 formal meetings spanning the conflict's duration, the Council's
most significant actions included imposing sanctions on the Qadhafi
regime, approving the no-fly zone and authorizing the use of "all
necessary measures" to protect civilians. Its formal engagement in the
situation began with a briefing on 25 February, during which the
Secretary-General issued a warning that "fundamental peace and
security issues are at stake", urging Council members to consider
concrete action to stop the violence and end the killing. (See Press
Release SC/10185.)

In a swift, decisive action on 26 February, the Council unanimously
adopted resolution 1970 (2011) under Article 41 of the United Nations
Charter's Chapter VII, demanding an end to the violence and referring
the situation to the International Criminal Court. It imposed an arms
embargo on Libya; a travel ban and a freeze on assets belonging to the
Qadhafi family and certain Government officials; and authorized all
Member States to seize and dispose of military-related materiel banned
by the text. It called on them to facilitate the return of
humanitarian agencies to Libya and to make humanitarian and related
assistance available in the country. It also established a committee
to monitor the sanctions. (See Press Release SC/10187/Rev.1.)

Demanding an immediate ceasefire on 17 March, the Council adopted
resolution 1973 (2011) by 10 votes in favour to none against, with 5
abstentions ( Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russian Federation).
Foreign Minister Alain Juppé of France introduced the text, describing
the situation on the ground as "more alarming than ever, marked by the
violent re-conquest of cities that have been released". The Council
could not stand by and "let the warmongers flout international
legality", he said. (See Press Release SC/10200.)

After the vote — which set in motion an air campaign by the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to enforce the no-fly zone —
representatives who had supported the text agreed on the necessity for
strong action since the Qadhafi regime had not heeded the Council's
initial steps and was on the verge of even greater violence against
civilians. However, the representatives of China and the Russian
Federation called for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, with the
latter noting that the text left many questions unanswered, including
how and by whom the measures would be enforced and what the limits of
engagement would be. His Chinese counterpart stressed that he had
refrained from blocking the action with a negative vote in
consideration of the wishes of the League of Arab States and the
African Union.

"The international community has acted together to avert a potential
large-scale crisis," Secretary-General Ban said in a briefing to the
Council on 24 March. There was no evidence to support repeated claims
by the Libyan authorities that they had instituted a ceasefire and
otherwise taken steps to carry out their obligations under relevant
resolutions, he said, emphasizing that in all his meetings since the
adoption of the "action" resolution, he had taken "special care to
stress that action taken under resolution 1973 (2011) is governed by
an overriding objective — to save the lives of innocent civilians".
(See Press Release SC/10210.)

Emphasizing the need for the international community to come together
in support of the quest for a solution, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, the
Secretary-General's Special Envoy, told the Council during a briefing
on 4 April following his second mission to Libya that it was still
"very difficult" to know how long it would take to resolve the
conflict. He said he had reiterated the international community's
demand for the full implementation of resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973
(2011) in meetings with Libyan officials on 31 March. (Press Release
SC/10217.)

Briefing the Council again on 3 May, he said both the Libyan
authorities and the opposition forces had informed him that they were
"ready and willing" to implement a ceasefire, but on different terms.
The Government was insisting that a ceasefire must be accompanied by a
halt to aerial attacks by NATO, and the National Transitional Council
was asserting that no ceasefire would end the conflict unless it was
directly linked to Qadhafi's departure. (See Press Release SC/10240.)

On 4 May, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal
Court, told the Council of his intention to seek arrest warrants
against three Libyans who appeared to bear "the greatest criminal
responsibility for crimes against humanity" committed during the
brutal, months-long crackdown against the uprising. Laying out
evidence in support of the charges, he also said there was credible
information that an estimated 500 to 700 persons had been killed in
February alone, when security forces had fired live ammunition at
demonstrators gathered in Benghazi's High Court Square. (See Press
Release SC/10241.)

Pressing for a temporary end to hostilities on 9 May, Valerie Amos,
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief
Coordinator, said "humanitarian agencies must have access to all
people, regardless of where they are and under whose control they
happen to find themselves". Briefing the Council, she said more than
746,000 people had fled the country, some 5,000 were stranded at
border crossings and some 58,000 internally displaced were living in
makeshift settlements in eastern Libya. The total number of casualties
since the beginning of the crisis was still unknown, and the reported
use of cluster bombs, sea and landmines, as well as aerial bombings
showed a "callous disregard" for the physical and psychological well-
being of civilians", she said. (See Press Release SC/10244.)

On 15 June, the representative of a high-level African Union panel
told the Council that the regional body would never "hide from its
responsibilities" to help resolve the conflict. The time to articulate
a solution that would protect civilians, ensure a democratic
transformation and promote lasting peace was overdue, said Hamady Ould
Hamady, Mauritania's Minister for Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the
organization's High-level Ad Hoc Committee on Libya. "We cannot simply
be spectators to calamities that befall us," he added. Reporting on
the Extraordinary Summit held on 25 May, and on a road map prescribing
the immediate cessation of hostilities, the facilitation of
humanitarian aid, the protection of foreigners and political reform,
he said those steps were intended to allow all Libyan parties to
fulfil their political aspirations. (See Press Release SC/10280.)

B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefed
the Council on 31 May, saying that United Nations priorities in Libya
included protecting civilians, securing a commitment to indirect
negotiations, and planning for post-conflict peacebuilding in Libya,
where the human rights situation remained "deeply troubling". He cited
the previous day's condemnation of brutal Government measures by the
High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as "shocking reports of
sexual violence against women, including gang rapes by military
forces".

Three months since the crisis had begun, he continued, fighting
between the Government and opposition forces continued, particularly
in the western part of Libya, while the NATO operation had intensified
amid repeated Government claims of civilian casualties. Looking ahead,
he said the political process, aimed at indirect negotiations based on
proposals from both sides, were crucial in efforts to find a lasting
solution, responsive to the "legitimate demands of the Libyan people".
(See Press Release SC/10266.)

On 27 June, Mr. Pascoe reported that the International Criminal Court
had issued warrants of arrest for Colonel Qadhafi, his son Saif al-
Islam Qadhafi, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges
of crimes against humanity. However, the authorities and opposition
leaders remained far from agreement, although a nascent negotiation
process had begun. "It must be given space to grow and bear fruit," he
stressed. "We have an obligation to protect the people of Libya and
that is the goal of current international efforts." Jose Filipe Moraes
Cabral ( Portugal), Chairman of the Committee established to monitor
the sanctions imposed on Libya, also briefed the Council meeting. (See
Press Release SC/10297.)

The Under-Secretary-General returned to the Council on 28 July, to
report that the five-month-old war in Libya had basically stalled
behind the posturing of both sides. A ceasefire tied to transitional
arrangements was still the only sustainable political solution to the
crisis, he said, spotlighting activities aimed at advancing the
political process and outlining efforts by the Secretary-General and
his Special Envoy, who had pressed ahead with a parallel approach to
Government officials in Tripoli and National Transitional Council
representatives in Benghazi. He also provided details on the
humanitarian situation, saying that more than 630,000 people,
including some 100,000 Libyans, were believed to have fled the country
since the start of conflict. (See Press Release SC/10346.)

The following weeks saw heavy fighting, including in and around
Tripoli, as rebel elements in the capital, supported by NATO, launched
the so-called "Operation Mermaid Dawn" uprising on 20 August. By 22
August, Tripoli was largely believed to have fallen as rebel forces
from outside poured into the city, with little resistance from Qadhafi
troops. The so-called Battle for Tripoli reached a climax in mid-
August, during which time the Qadhafi family was believed to have
abandoned its fortified compound.

The Secretary-General reported in a 30 August briefing to the Council
that fighting had begun to wind down and the National Transitional
Council appeared to be largely in control of Tripoli and other cities,
although fighting continued in Sirte, Sabha, Zuwara and points south.
Expressing hope for "a quick conclusion to the conflict", he said the
most important job for the United Nations was ensuring that
multilateral, regional and international efforts complemented each
other and were responsive to Libyan wishes. "In our response to the
post-conflict challenge, we must be proactive and effective," Mr. Ban
said. "Yet, at the same time, we must be sensitive to the complex
needs and desires of the Libyan people themselves", acting "quickly
and decisively to meet the considerable challenges ahead". (See Press
Release SC/10374.)

Two weeks later, the Council established a support mission in Libya,
unanimously adopting resolution 2009 (2011) on 16 September. The
United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) would be authorized
for an initial period of three months and would assist national
efforts to restore public security, promote the rule of law, foster
inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation, and embark
on constitution-making and electoral processes.

It would also support national efforts to extend State authority,
strengthen institutions, restore public services, support transitional
justice and protect human rights, and initiate economic recovery. In
support of those objectives, the Council partly lifted the arms
embargo imposed on Libya and the assets freeze targeting entities
connected to the regime, under resolution 1970 (2011). It emphasized
its intention to keep the no-fly zone agreed in resolution 1973 (2011)
under review. (See Press Release SC/10389.)

Following the adoption, Council members congratulated Ibrahim
Dabbashi, Libya's representative, on assuming his seat on behalf of
the National Transitional Council. He responded by describing the
occasion as a historic day for Libyans, an indication that
dictatorship and terror had ended and that the blood of 30,000 martyrs
had not been shed in vain.

Briefing the Security Council on 26 October, Ian Martin, Special
Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNSMIL, said the
"new Libya" could move forward to build a modern nation-State, based
on the principles embraced by the revolution — democracy, human
rights, the rule of law, accountability, respect for minority rights,
empowering women and promoting society. He said he was confident that
the past would be addressed through proper judicial and truth-seeking
processes and that, despite violations committed in the heat of
battle, the National Transitional Council's leadership was committed
to "avoiding revenge, achieving reconciliation and overcoming the
manipulation of tribalism and regionalism — which the former dictator
promoted to entrench his own power — thereby ensuring that the past
would never be repeated". (See Press Release SC/10422.)

Following the briefing, Mr. Dabbashi affirmed that a new phase of
building democracy had begun and Libya would maintain neighbourly
relations with other nations. Had it not been for the solidarity of
the United Nations and all the States that had stood by the country
and its people in the past months, they would not have achieved what
they had done, and the number of victims would have been far, far
higher, he added.

The Council voted on 27 October to end NATO's civilian-protection
mandate in Libya following the formal declaration of liberation on 23
October, unanimously adopting resolution 2016 (2011) to terminate the
provisions of resolution 1973 (2011). It also strongly urged the new
Libyan authorities to refrain from reprisals, including arbitrary
detentions, and underscored the leadership's responsibility for the
protection of the entire population, including African migrants and
other foreign nationals. The Council looked forward to the
establishment of an inclusive, representative transitional Government,
underpinned by democratic principles, according to the text. (See
Press Release SC/10424.)

On 31 October, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2017 (2011)
calling for action by the interim authorities, neighbouring countries
and other relevant Member States to stem the proliferation of portable
surface-to-air missiles and other arms from Libya. It also authorized
the Libya sanctions committee to propose a strategy to ensure that
such materiel was kept out of the hands of terrorists and others. (See
Press Release SC/10429.)

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo told the Council
on 2 November that his Office was galvanizing efforts to ensure that
former intelligence chief Senussi would face justice, in light of
Colonel Qadhafi's death on 20 October. He also said that information
had been received that a group of mercenaries might be endeavouring to
facilitate the escape from Libya of Saif al-Islam Qadhafi. He called
on States to do all that they could to disrupt any such operation,
saying: "It is up to the United Nations Security Council and States to
ensure that they [the sons] face justice for the crimes with which
they are charged." (See Press Release SC/10433.)

There was broad agreement among Council members taking the floor
during the meeting that the decision to refer the Libyan case to the
Prosecutor's Office reflected the importance that the international
community attached to ensuring accountability for the systematic
attacks against Libyan civilians.

Secretary-General Ban, in his report to the Council on 22 November
(document S/2011/727), said the revolutionary fighters, many of them
young people, had earned great respect, and commended the transitional
authorities and all Libyans for their historic accomplishment. "I
believe that the leaders of the new Libya are truly committed to
building a society based on respect for human rights," he said, adding
that the Libyan people had created for themselves an extraordinary
opportunity and now faced extraordinary challenges. "They look to the
United Nations to be key partners as they address these challenges,
and we must devote our best efforts to supporting them."

On 2 December, the Council stressed the importance of continued United
Nations support for the transitional Government in addressing
immediate priorities, as it extended UNSMIL's mandate until 16 March
2012. Unanimously adopting resolution 2022 (2011), it laid out the
elements of that mandate, which included assisting national efforts to
address the proliferation of arms, man-portable surface-to-air
missiles, in particular. (See Press Release SC/10469.)

During the Council's last meeting on Libya, on 22 December, Mr. Martin
said the United Nations now had partners to whom it was offering its
support and who were responding to a changing public mood increasingly
focused on issues that were central to the demands of the revolution.
(See Press Release SC/10503.)

Sierra Leone

The Council's two briefings on Sierra Leone focused mainly on the West
African nation's fragile progress following its emergence from a
decade-long civil war in 2002. Describing its recovery in the past
nine years as "truly remarkable", Michael von Schulenburg, Executive
Representative of the Secretary-General in Sierra Leone and Head of
the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone
(UNIPSIL), told Council members on 24 March that the country — once
the "symbol of a failed State" — was now becoming a model for
overcoming divisions and developing into a peaceful, democratic and
prosperous country. (See Press Release SC/10208.)

He said he was encouraged by the headway made in the exploitation of
mineral resources over the last six months, pointing to the "vital
endeavour" of making Sierra Leone into a major exporter of mineral and
hydrocarbon resources. However, that transformation could test the
country's fragile cohesion and provoke greater social changes than
were currently envisaged, he cautioned, stressing the need for
continuing strong international support.

On 12 September, Mr. Von Schulenburg focused on the preparations for
presidential elections in 2012, warning the Council of the critical
need to avert a resurgence of the tensions that had helped to ignite
the devastating civil war. Noting that clashes had occurred recently
between groups loyal to the two main political parties, he expressed
hope that an agreement could quickly be reached on the legal framework
for the upcoming elections, and on a new code of conduct governing
election campaigns. (See Press Release SC/10379.)

Unanimously adopting resolution 2005 (2011) just two days later, on 14
September, the Council decided to extend UNIPSIL'S mandate for one
year, until 15 September 2012. It determined that the Office should
support the Government in holding fair, credible and democratic
elections, while continuing to assist its efforts in conflict
prevention and mitigation, tackling youth unemployment, promoting good
governance and other related endeavours. It also called on the
Government to fight corruption, improve accountability and promote
private-sector development. In particular, it called on the Ministry
of Mines and Mineral Resources to help mitigate the risk of resource-
based conflict. (See Press Release SC/10379.)

Somalia

Somalia — which this year entered its third decade without a
functioning Central Government but which was seen to make considerable
progress towards meeting the deadline of the transitional period
mandated by the Djibouti Peace Agreement – continued to preoccupy the
Security Council, which held 16 public meetings on the situation
there, adopting six resolutions and issuing three presidential
statements devoted to the Horn of Africa country and the piracy off
its coast.

After the withdrawal of the insurgent group Al-Shabaab from the
capital, Mogadishu, and the launch of a road map to complete
transitional tasks agreed upon at a long-awaited, broad-based
consultative meeting, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was able to visit
in December. Reporting to the Council on his return, on 13 December,
he said: "We finally face a moment of fresh opportunities. We must
seize it." Beyond Mogadishu, he said, the insurgents were retreating
under mounting pressure from Government forces and their militia
allies, backed by Kenyan and Ethiopian forces, which represented a
unique opportunity to help stabilize the country at large, but
required full deployment of the authorized 12,000 African Union
Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops, as well as all other resources
needed. (See Press Release SC/10479.)

The year started off on an optimistic note on 14 January, with
Augustine Mahiga, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and
Head of the United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS),
hailing the appointment of a "technocratic" and "professional" cabinet
by Somalia's Transitional Federal Government, as well as other gains
in institution-building. However, the constitution process,
reconciliation and security remained major concerns as the August 2011
transition deadline drew near, he noted. (See Press Release SC/10153.)

On 10 March, in a presidential statement issued after an open debate,
the Council stressed the need for a comprehensive strategy to deal
with those challenges, for the reliable financing of AMISOM, and for
adequate funding of humanitarian relief as a severe drought began to
overtake many areas of the country, some of which had only restricted
access due to domination by the insurgents. (See Press Release SC/
10193.)

The Council subsequently demonstrated less confidence in the
Transitional Federal Government, issuing another presidential
statement, on 11 May, in which members expressed their regret over its
failure to attend a consultative meeting held in Nairobi in April (see
Press Release SC/10246). Some tensions within the Transitional Federal
Government were resolved by the Kampala Accord, an agreement between
the President and the Speaker of Parliament, which effectively
extended the transitional period for one year, until August 2012. On
24 June, the Council welcomed the Accord in a presidential statement
that also called on its signatories to ensure "cohesion, unity and
focus" in completing the transition (see Press Release SC/10294).

In the Council's next briefing, held on 10 August, following Al-
Shabaab's unexpected withdrawal from Mogadishu, Mr. Mahiga was able to
brief members via videoconference from the Somali capital, which had
previously been too dangerous to host a United Nations presence. He
said the withdrawal opened up new opportunities but stressed that
Somalis simply could not wait any longer for international support.
Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg briefed on the
spreading famine. (See Press Release SC/10358.)

On 14 September, following the long-awaited broad-based consultative
meeting earlier that month, Mr. Mahiga reported to the Council that
"seeds of hope and progress have begun to sprout". He called on the
international community to help the Transitional Federal Government
and AMISOM consolidate gains. Subsequently, the Transitional Prime
Minister had reported that his Government was doing its best, within
its limited resources, to fill the void left by Al-Shabaab with
legitimate State authority, and to re-establish security. (See Press
Release SC/10384.)

In order to facilitate the provision of urgently needed humanitarian
assistance, the Council decided on 17 March to ease its asset freeze
on the country for 16 months (see Press Release SC/10198). Authorizing
a 12-month mandate extension for the Monitoring Group on Somalia and
Eritrea on 29 July, the Council tightened measures on individuals and
entities identified as users of child soldiers or involved in attacks
against civilians (see Press Release SC/10348). On 30 September,
condemning attacks on both civilians and members of the Transitional
Federal Government, the Council extended the authorization for AMISOM
until 31 October 2012 (see Press Release SC/10399).

Much of the Council's attention in the international fight against
piracy off the Somali coast focused on building the regional capacity
to prosecute the maritime criminals. On 25 January, Jack Lang, Special
Adviser of the Secretary-General, said that, despite security efforts,
pirates were expanding their activities and geographic reach, partly
due to an inability to prosecute. He proposed the establishment of
specialized jurisdictions in the region, as well as the need to
bolster forensic police work. (See Press Release SC/10164.) In a
resolution adopted on 11 April, the Council decided urgently to
consider the establishment of special Somali courts operating in the
wider subregion (see Press Release SC/10221). On 21 June, the United
Nations Legal Counsel outlined considerations relating to such courts.
(See Press Release SC/10287.)

Following its 31 October consideration of a report of the Secretary-
General citing evidence of the continued expansion of the reach of
pirates, as well as their increasing violence and technical
capabilities, the Council adopted a resolution renewing its call for
further consideration of specialized courts. (See Press Releases SC/
10431 and SC/10419.) On 22 November, it extended for another year the
authorization for those cooperating with the Transitional Federal
Government to use "all necessary means" to combat piracy. (See Press
Release SC/10454.)

Sudan and South Sudan

The Council paid considerable attention to Sudan, devoting 29
meetings, nine resolutions and four presidential statements to the
sprawling country, from which South Sudan gained its independence
through a historic referendum held from 9 to 15 January. Although the
conduct of that poll was deemed timely, peaceful and credible in a way
that few had anticipated, the Council closely monitored throughout the
year tensions relating to still-unresolved issues under the 2005
Comprehensive Peace Agreement that had ended the North/South civil
war, including armed conflict in the disputed area of Abyei, and in
the border states of Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. He urged the
Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to resume negotiations with a
view to completely fulfilling their obligations under the Agreement,
including a referendum on the status of Abyei, border demarcation,
security arrangements, citizenship, debt, assets, currency, wealth-
sharing and natural resource management. Meanwhile, in the western
region of Darfur, the Council saw appreciable political progress but
also continued massive displacement as military action by the
Government, rebels and other groups continued.

In the aftermath of the May advance by armed elements from both
northern and southern Sudan into Abyei, and that town's capture by the
Sudanese Armed Forces, which the Council condemned alongside attacks
on UNMIS through a press statement on 22 May and a presidential
statement and 3 June (see Press Releases SC/10262 and SC/10268,
respectively), the Council urgently authorized the deployment of the
United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNIFSA) on 27 June
(Press Release SC/10298). That action followed a 20 June briefing on a
North/South agreement to pull all troops out of Abyei, as well as on
bloody clashes between pro-South groups and Government forces in
Southern Kordofan that had forced thousands of people to flee (see
Press Release SC/10286).

On 27 July, the Council heard a briefing on the sped-up deployment of
Ethiopian troops for UNISFA (see Press Release SC/10344). On 14
December, it expanded the Force's mandate to include facilitation of
border negotiations (Press Release SC/10484), and on 22 December,
extended the mandate for five additional months (see Press Release SC/
10505).

In response to South Sudan's security, rule-of-law and other
peacebuilding needs, the Council also established the United Nations
Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on 8 July (Press Release SC/10314),
formally authorizing closure of the previously mandated United Nations
Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) on 11 July. Its mandate had only been
extended, on 27 April, until 9 July, the planned date of South Sudan's
independence, although some Council Members voiced regret at its
withdrawal given the ongoing clashes in Blue Nile and Southern
Kordofan States (see Press Releases SC/10317 and SC/10233).

On 11 July, the Council had referred South Sudan's application for
United Nations membership to its Committee on Admissions and formally
recommended its acceptance as the 193rd Member State on 13 July. In a
subsequent meeting, the Secretary-General told the Council that, "like
any other newborn, South Sudan needs help", while Council Members
pledged their support to the country, which they noted ranked at the
bottom of nearly all human development indicators (see Press Releases
SC/10322 and SC/10323).

Relief over the peaceful holding of the referendum, as well as
warnings that unresolved Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues must be
settled was first expressed in a formal Council meeting on 18 January
by Benjamin Mkapa, Chair of the Secretary-General's Panel on the
Referenda in the Sudan, and Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of
the Secretary-General. (See Press Release SC/10155.)

On 26 January, Atul Khare, Assistant Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations, said the early vote count pointed to broad
support for South Sudan's secession, but in Abyei, where a required
referendum had not yet taken place, tensions remained high between the
agricultural Ngok Dinka and the pastoral Misseriya communities. (See
Press Release SC/10165.)

The Council issued a presidential statement on 9 February, welcoming
the 7 February announcement of the final result of the South Sudan
referendum, in which 98.83 per cent of voters had chosen independence,
and called on the international community to lend its full support to
a peaceful and prosperous future for all Sudanese people. (See Press
Release SC/10169.)

However, briefers continued to warn of increased violence unless
outstanding Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues were addressed. With
rumours of impending attacks and actual military action in Abyei and
in the two border states, senior peacekeeping officials told the
Council on 31 May that agreement was needed to avoid "an acrimonious
divorce" between Sudan and South Sudan. Similarly, the leaders of the
Council's 19-26 May mission to Africa reported on 6 June that it was
critical to reach accord on Comprehensive Peace Agreement issues
before South Sudan's independence. (See Press Releases SC/10267 and SC/
10271.)

Bloodshed had remained localized in the border regions when South
Sudan's independence had finally been declared, but in briefings
throughout the remainder of the year, speakers warned that, without a
resumption of talks on outstanding issues, and given the heightened
rhetoric, the fragile border situation could lead to violence with a
regional impact, as stated, for example, by Hervé Ladsous, Under-
Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, who, noting recent
border incidents on 8 December, urged the two countries to establish
the joint border monitoring mechanism they had agreed upon in July.
(See Press Release SC/10477.)

The Council called for a halt to fighting in Southern Kordofan State
in a press statement following a closed-door briefing by Under-
Secretary-General Amos on 15 July, amid reports of aerial bombing of
civilians and mass graves following fighting between the Sudanese
Armed Forces and cadres of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).
On 8 June, decrying the appointment as Southern Kordofan's Governor of
Ahmad Harun, an indictee of the International Criminal Court, Luis
Moren-Ocampo, its Chief Prosecutor, said the President Omer al-Bashir
of Sudan had learned to defy the Council, stressing that genocide and
crimes against humanity continued unabated in Darfur (see Press
Release SC/10274). Those crimes could be ended by the arrest of
indictees, including President Bashir, he said on 15 December (see
Press Release SC/10489).

While many of the briefings on the situation in Darfur pointed to a
continuing humanitarian tragedy, meetings on the western Sudan region
described progress in negotiations taking place in Doha, Qatar, and in
"broad-based" talks that had started in Sudan, including the All
Darfur Stakeholders Conference, held on 31 May. (See Press Release SC/
10229.)

On 22 July, Ibrahim Gambari, Joint African Union-United Nations
Special Representative for Darfur, hailed the 14 July Doha Document
signed by the Government and major opposition movements, stressing
that it was vital for hold-out movements and the Government to end
continuing hostilities in the north, south and west of Darfur. (See
Press Release SC/10336.)

Extending for one year the mandate of the African Union-United Nations
Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), on 29 July, the Council called on
the mission to make full use of its capabilities to protect civilians,
but recognized that, given the continuing violence, the situation was
not yet conducive to open dialogue, as called for by the Doha
Document, and known as the "Darfur-based Political Process". (See
Press Release SC/10349.)

On 25 October, the Council was told that a road map for peace, making
the Doha process more inclusive and leading to the end of hostilities
was being created in consultations with all stakeholders (see Press
Release SC/10421).

The Council also issued several press statements throughout the year
condemning attacks on UNAMID peacekeepers. On 17 May, it extended for
one year the mandate of the Panel of Experts monitoring sanctions on
those impeding peace in Sudan, particularly in Darfur (see Press
Release SC/10253.)

West Africa

The Security Council held several meetings on the regional situation
in West Africa. On 25 March, Atul Khare, Assistant-Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping Operations, briefed on the political unrest in Côte
d'Ivoire during a meeting in which the Council heard about reported
grave human rights violations in that country. They allegedly included
the use of heavy weapons against civilians by forces loyal to former
President Laurent Gbagbo, which had resulted in hundreds of killings
and arbitrary arrests, as well as the displacement of up to 1 million
people. The deteriorating situation had taken a serious toll on the
lives of the Ivorian people, Mr. Khare said, conveying a request by
regional leaders for more stringent measures against Mr. Gbagbo. Also
calling for stronger Council action was the representative of Côte
d'Ivoire, who stressed that the obligation and responsibility to
protect civilians lay at the heart of current international concerns.
(See Press Release SC/10212.)

Meeting again on 8 July, the Council welcomed the resolution of the
Ivorian and other political crises in the region. Citing in particular
the peaceful end to the protracted post-election crisis in Côte
d'Ivoire, Said Djinnit, Special Representative of the Secretary-
General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA),
said there had been positive developments throughout the region. The
invitation extended to the democratically elected leaders of Côte
d'Ivoire, Niger and Guinea was a signal that the international
community firmly supported that progress, he added. However, he
stressed that the region would still require assistance in dealing
with an array of challenges, including chronic food insecurity in
Niger, new institutional reforms under way in Guinea and the flood of
migrants returning to Mali and Niger from North African countries in a
state of transition. In addition, he warned that elections scheduled
before the start of 2013 had the potential to ignite simmering
tensions that could lead to renewed violence and instability, and that
the region's progress could be derailed unless drug trafficking,
organized crime and terrorism were effectively countered. In that
context, the Council must remain vigilant and work to prevent
conflicts, he stressed. (See Press Release SC/10315.)

In a press statement also issued on 8 July, the Council expressed
concern that West Africa's progress remained fragile. Welcoming the
adoption of the Praia Declaration on Elections and Stability in West
Africa, which had been adopted at a recent regional conference, it
also stressed the importance of strengthening trans-regional and
international cooperation to support West Africa in combating
recurrent threats to peace and security. The statement further
encouraged engagement by the international community to ensure that
progress made in preventing conflict and consolidating democracy in
the region was sustained. (See Press Release SC/10316.)

Western Sahara

In a single meeting to consider Western Sahara on 27 April, the
Council unanimously adopted resolution 1979 (2011), by which it
extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum
in Western Sahara (MINURSO) for one year, until 30 April 2012. By that
text, it called on Morocco and the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro (Polisario Front) to adhere fully to
military agreements reached with MINURSO. It called on both parties to
continue to show political will and to work in an atmosphere
propitious for dialogue. (See Press Release SC/10234.)

By other terms of the resolution, the Council welcomed the parties'
commitment to continuing to hold small, informal talks in preparation
for a fifth round of negotiations. It further welcomed the
establishment of a National Council on Human Rights in Morocco,
including the proposed component regarding Western Sahara, as well as
Morocco's commitment to ensuring unqualified and unimpeded access to
all special procedures of the Human Rights Council. Additionally, the
Council welcomed the implementation of the enhanced refugee protection
programme developed by the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees, in coordination with the Polisario Front.

Americas

Haiti

The Council considered the situation in Haiti in four meetings,
beginning with a briefing by Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations, who urged members on 20 January to help
prevent the electoral process from distracting from earthquake-
recovery efforts. While the security situation remained calm, he said,
there were pockets of violence related to political tensions amid
widespread accusations of voting fraud. The United Nations
Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) had continued its work with
the Haitian National Police to maintain public order and protect
civilians, he added. (See Press Release SC/10159.)

During the same meeting, Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for
Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, reported that
more than 1 million people had received shelter and adequate water
supplies. While the cholera fatality rate had dropped, intensive
efforts must continue through 2011 to stave off the epidemic, as well
as malnutrition and other severe problems, she warned.

On 6 April, the Council issued a presidential statement (document S/
PRST/2011/7), recognizing the interconnected nature of long-term
recovery and development challenges and expressing concern for the
most vulnerable populations. It also stressed the importance of
completing the electoral process in such a way as to consolidate
democracy, complete the constitutional reform process and create a
strong basis for continued reconstruction. The Council urged donors to
disburse funds already pledged. (See Press Release SC/10218.)

During the day-long debate, speakers applauded Haiti's peaceful
holding of presidential and legislative elections, while stressing the
need to remove the million metres of rubble left by the earthquake so
as to facilitate the development of school sanitation systems, power
grids and communities.

However, during a meeting on 16 September, Mariano Fernandez, Special
Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of MINUSTAH, told the
Council that the transition had not been smooth. The rejection of
President Michel Joseph Martelly's nominations for Prime Minister had
prompted a political stalemate that was preventing the installation of
an effective Government. He stressed the need to extend the Mission's
mandate, albeit with reduced troop numbers, given the fragile security
situation, noting also that high food and fuel prices, as well as the
continuing cholera epidemic, were still wreaking havoc on an already
devastated population. (See Press Release SC/10387.)

With that in mind, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2012
(2011) on 14 October, authorizing a one-year mandate extension for
MINUSTAH, until 15 October 2012. Consistent with recommendations in
the Secretary-General's latest report on the Mission's work (document
S/2011/540), the resolution also called for reducing military and
authorized police personnel. (See Press Release SC/10411.)

Asia

Afghanistan

The Council held six formal meetings on Afghanistan in its ongoing
effort to keep pace with the evolving security and political situation
and its concomitant endeavour to help the country's integration into
the wider region.

Midway through the year, Staffan de Mistura, Special Representative of
the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance
Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the country was at a crossroads,
"between national sovereignty and responsibility, between continuing
conflict and politically inclusive dialogue". By year's end the latest
report of the Secretary-General (document S/2011/772) stated: "We have
now moved into a new phase of long-term engagement, support and
partnership between the international community and Afghanistan.
Clearly, as Afghanistan makes progress towards peace and improved
governance, the role of the United Nations will continue to be
assessed".

As the Council met on 17 March to consider the situation in
Afghanistan for the first time in 2011, Mr. De Mistura urged full
international support for the planned transition to Afghan
responsibility for security, governance and development in the
troubled country. The beginning of the transition meant an end to
"business as usual", he added. (See Press Release SC/10199.)

During the same meeting, Zahir Tanin (Afghanistan) submitted his
Government's request for greater coherence in the work of the United
Nations, as well as a comprehensive review and reshaping of UNAMA's
mandate, due to expire on 23 March, around the transition to full
Afghan responsibility countrywide. " Afghanistan cannot stand on its
own two feet if its State institutions remain weak and are undermined
by various parallel structures, and if capacity is not strengthened,"
he said.

In the ensuing debate, Council members, as well as representatives of
other interested countries strongly supported a transition to full
Afghan responsibility, as well as related aspects of the so-called
"Kabul Process". Most of them prioritized building the capacity of
Afghan institutions, particularly those related to security, the rule
of law and other services.

On 17 June, in a move designed to stay in step with the evolving
security situation and defeat terrorism, the Council split the regime
governing the sanctions imposed on Al-Qaida and the Taliban, and
extended by 18 months the term of the Ombudsperson to oversee the Al-
Qaida List, by unanimously adopting resolutions 1988 (2011) and 1989
(2011) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. Several
delegates welcomed those actions, saying that distinguishing between
Al-Qaida and the Taliban was an acknowledgement that the terrorist
threat had evolved, and the distinct regimes presented a means of
separating extremists from those who might participate in the Afghan
reconciliation process. (See Press Release SC/10285/Rev.1.)

With Afghanistan set for the launch of its two-year transition process
— covering security, governance and efforts to bring opposition groups
into the political mainstream — Mr. De Mistura told the Council on 6
July that the "train is on track and moving forward", but cautioned
that, to be successful, it must be underpinned by the socio-economic
development that the Afghan people so desperately needed and deserved.
(See Press Release SC/10309.)

Declaring that "peace is never smooth", the Special Representative
told the Council on 29 September that precious ground gained in taking
the transition and national reconciliation processes forward would not
be undermined by the assassination of chief peace negotiator
Burhanuddin Rabbani. Afghanistan and its people were going through a
"terrible, terrible time" following Mr. Rabbini's killing by suicide
bomb, he said, adding that, while his murder had been a major blow,
the Afghan people had repeatedly shown their capacity to recover from
tragedy and sad losses. (See Press Release SC/10398.)

Unanimously adopting resolution 2011 (2011) under Chapter VII, the
Council authorized on 12 October a one-year mandate extension for the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), led by the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), ending on 13 October 2012, and
welcomed an agreement to transfer lead security responsibility for the
entire territory to the Government by the end of 2014. (See Press
Release SC/10408.)

The international community's commitment to enduring engagement with
Afghanistan through its transition and transformation — voiced at the
5 December Bonn Conference — was the subject of a debate and
presidential statement on 19 December. The 15-member body welcomed the
declaration in Bonn that the so-called Process of Transition, to be
completed by the end of 2014, should be followed by a Decade of
Transformation (2015-2024), in which Afghanistan would consolidate its
sovereignty by strengthening a fully functioning, sustainable State in
the service of its people. (See Press Release SC/10494.)

Presenting the Secretary-General's latest report on that occasion was
Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations,
who declared: "The United Nations is committed to supporting the
Afghan Government and its people for the long term. We have been in
Afghanistan for more than half a century assisting the Afghan people
and we will be there far beyond 2014, as the Afghans need us."

Nepal

In two formal meetings, the Council examined the 15 January closure of
the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), created by the Council in
2006 as a special political mission with a mandate covering the
election of the Constituent Assembly and monitoring the management of
arms and armed personnel of the Nepal Army and the Unified Communist
Party of Nepal (Maoist).

In her final briefing to the Council as Representative of the
Secretary-General and Head of UNMIN, Karin Landgren said on 5 January
that, while the peace process was incomplete, the Mission had
performed its mandated tasks and contributed significantly to peace
against a complex backdrop of dramatic political gains, and the
growing risk of a people's revolt following a stalemate occasioned by
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal's resignation in June 2010. (See
Press Release SC/10145.)

Expressing concern about who would take over UNMIN's monitoring
duties, she said the Mission would have benefitted from a review of
its mandate after the 2008 elections, adding that stronger support for
the peace process should have been considered more seriously. Warning
that stalled efforts to implement land reform and establish the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission, among others, could hobble progress,
she noted that Nepal's peace process would remain on the Council's
agenda for a further three years.

Gyan Chandra Acharya ( Nepal) told the Council that the Mission had
helped, and the country was now working hard on moving the peace
process forward, including the reintegration of former combatants and
shaping a new constitution.

On 14 January, the Council issued a presidential statement (document S/
PRST/2011/1) calling on all political parties to "resolve
expeditiously" the outstanding issues surrounding the peace process.
It pledged the Council's continued support for the process and
encouraged Nepal to complete its new constitution, calling on all
parties to "redouble their efforts to continue to work together in the
spirit of consensus to fulfil the commitments they made in the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement and other agreements". (See Press
Release SC/10152.)

Timor-Leste

Welcoming recent progress in many sectors, the Council unanimously
adopted resolution 1969 (2011) on 24 February, extending the mandate
of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) until
26 February 2012 at the current authorized troop levels. (See Press
Release SC/10181.)

The Council stressed the importance of holding peaceful and credible
elections in 2012, and urged all political parties to continue to work
together and engage in dialogue. It requested the Mission to support
the further institutional development of the national police force,
and to help Government efforts in further building and reforming the
justice sector, coordinating international assistance, reducing
poverty and improving education, among other tasks.

Ameerah Haq, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head
of UNMIT, told the Council on 22 November that Timor-Leste was indeed
a "very different place today", noting that calm and stability were
paving a smooth road ahead to the "democracy fest" anticipated for the
landmark 2012 elections. Envisioning a peaceful transition to a new
Government, she expressed optimism that conditions would allow for
UNMIT's departure by 31 December 2012. However, significant challenges
remained, she cautioned, citing institutional capacity-building,
strengthening the security sector, and socio-economic issues such as
youth employment. (See Press Release SC/10455.)

Also addressing the Council was Zacarias Albano da Costa, Timor-
Leste's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, who cited recent
gains while noting the need to make a long-term effort for progress.

Council members hailed UNMIT's planned departure in 2012 as a
significant milestone after a decade of assistance. Echoing a common
view, the United Kingdom's representative said 2012 would be a pivotal
year, but the Mission's scheduled withdrawal would not mean a
lessening of the Council's interest in Timor-Leste.

Europe

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Valentin Inzko, High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, twice
briefed the Council in 2011.

On 9 May, he presented his fifth report, noting that, during the
period from 16 October 2010 to 20 April 2011, an upsurge in
nationalist rhetoric had challenged the Dayton Peace Agreement and
there was still no prospect of forming a State-level Government seven
months after general elections. If the current crisis deepened, it
would have negative consequences for the entire region, he warned.
(See Press Release SC/10243.)

As Council members expressed alarm at the worsening conditions and
particular concern over challenges to the Dayton accords, Ivan
Barbali? ( Bosnia and Herzegovina) said the High Representative still
had an important role in supporting the strengthening of State
institutional capacity and Euro-Atlantic integration. He called for
regional cooperation to ensure mutual respect and non-interference in
internal affairs.

Returning to brief the Council on 15 November, Mr. Inzko said
political stagnation and instability had continued during the period
21 April to 15 October. Challenges to the Dayton accords had
continued. One year after general elections, the State-level budget
had not been passed and the Council of Ministers was yet to be formed.
He thus recommended that the Office of High Representative, as well as
the European Union multinational stabilization force (EUFOR ALTHEA)
remain operational. (See Press Release SC/10449.)

Mr. Barbali? ( Bosnia and Herzegovina), describing the situation in
his country as "complex, but not unresolvable", said that, given a
positive security situation, and with 2011 economic data showing
improvements, there was a way to overcome the current situation.

Calling on political leaders in the country to form a new Council of
Ministers, refrain from divisive rhetoric, and make further concrete
and tangible progress towards European Union integration, the Council
unanimously adopted resolution 2019 (2011) on 16 November, authorizing
a one-year extension of EUFOR ALTHEA until 15 November 2012.
Reiterating that all the Federation's authorities bore primary
responsibility for the further implementation of the Dayton Peace
Agreement, the Council reminded the parties that they had committed
themselves to full cooperation with all entities involved in
implementing the peace settlement. (See Press Release SC/10451.)

Cyprus

The Council twice extended the mandate of the 47-year-old United
Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). In meetings on 13 June
and 14 December, members called on both sides in the disputed island
nation to continue to engage on the demarcation of the buffer zone
separating the two rival communities, as a matter of urgency, and to
reach agreement on other outstanding issues. (See Press Releases SC/
10279 and SC/10486.)

Kosovo

In five meetings, Lamberto Zannier, Special Representative of the
Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim
Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), briefed the Council on
discussions with Serbia and escalating violence over boundary-related
issues. Tensions also continued over the 2010 International Court of
Justice decision on Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence in
2008, an issue dividing Council members.

What had begun in February as a collective call by the Council for the
launch of an internationally mandated dialogue between authorities in
Kosovo and Serbia, amid expectations of increased political stability,
had by November spiralled into sporadic violent incidents in northern
Kosovo following disputes over custom stamps and boundary control.

Briefing the Council on 16 February before stepping down in June, Mr.
Zannier emphasized the pressing need to launch a dialogue on
reconciliation, noting that both parties had expressed readiness to do
so. Unresolved issues threatened the security situation, he said,
adding that other challenges included fiscal difficulties, recent
attacks on minority returnees in northern Mitrovica, and allegations
of illegal human organ trafficking involving members of the Kosovo
Liberation Army. On the latter point, he noted that the European Union
Rule of Law Mission (EULEX) was ready to undertake an investigation.
(See Press Release SC/10177.)

Reporting on developments on 12 May, Mr. Zannier said he was hopeful
that Pristina and Belgrade would demonstrate the resolve needed to
find solutions to outstanding problems. However, he expressed concern
that a stagnant economy was an obstacle to the return of refugees. He
also supported a call by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary
Assembly for an independent investigation into organ-trafficking
allegations. (See Press Release SC/10250.)

Briefing the Council on 30 August, however, Farid Zarif, Acting
Special Representative and Head of UNMIK, said the situation had
soured following the postponement of talks due to disagreements over
boundary-related issues. Violence had erupted at boundary crossing
points in northern Kosovo after Pristina had effectively placed
Serbian goods under embargo and attempted unilaterally to deploy a
special police unit, he said, adding that strengthened dialogue
between Pristina and Belgrade was imperative to reducing chances for
further destabilization. He also reported on the selection of the
EULEX task force to investigate organ trafficking allegations. (See
Press Release SC/10371.)

However, in a 15 September meeting urgently requested by Serbia and
the Russian Federation, Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for
Peacekeeping Operations, appealed to the authorities in Kosovo and
Serbia to maintain calm to avoid exacerbating tensions over a plan to
hand over authority on boundary crossing points to the European Union
mission in the presence of Kosovo customs officials. (See Press
Release SC/10386.)

During the year's final briefing, on 29 November, Mr. Zarif, confirmed
as the new Special Representative and Head of UNMIK, reported that
incidents involving roadblocks mounted by northern Kosovo residents to
keep boundary crossings into Serbia closed had deteriorated into
violent confrontations with the multinational Kosovo force (KFOR). The
precarious situation warranted the Council's attention and leadership.
Updates on the EULEX investigation included a meeting between the lead
prosecutor and leaders from Kosovo, Albania and Serbia, he said,
prompting much debate in the Council as some members called for
witness-protection guarantees and others recommended that the Council
play a more significant role. (See Press Release 10462.)

Middle East

Question of Palestine

"I am acutely conscious of the unsustainable status quo, which is only
thrown into sharper relief by the profound political changes now under
way in the region," said the Secretary-General in his mid-year report
on the question of Palestine, declaring: "Peace and Palestinian
statehood are long overdue" (document S/2011/585).

Indeed, the profound political changes in the wider Middle East
highlighted the stasis of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. In monthly briefings to the Council throughout the year,
senior United Nations officials stressed the urgent need for the
parties to return to negotiations, to take "bold and decisive steps",
and for the international community to remain constructively engaged.
Yet, by August, with no political breakthrough in sight and amid
continuing Israeli settlement activity, the Palestinian leadership
confirmed its intention to approach the United Nations with an
application for recognition of a Palestinian State within the 1967
lines and full membership in the Organization.

Leading up to that decision was another calendar year fraught with
seemingly insurmountable obstacles to a resumption of negotiations.
The Council began its consideration of the situation as it had done in
past years — hearing a senior United Nations official voice serious
concern at the lack of progress. "Peace and Palestinian statehood
cannot be further delayed," B. Lynn Pascoe, Under-Secretary-General
for Political Affairs, emphasized in his briefing on 19 January.
Despite international efforts to restart the stalled peace talks, they
were still deadlocked and the goal of reaching a framework agreement
on final-status issues remained elusive, he said. Helping to undermine
trust and bolster prejudice was the sharp increase in settlement
expansion on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, following
Israel's lifting of its 10-month partial freeze on building in
September 2010, he added. (See Press Release SC/10157.)

A month later, however, on 18 February, the Council failed — by a vote
of 14 in favour to 1 against (United States) — to adopt a resolution
that would have described Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory
occupied since 1967 as "illegal", while reiterating its demand for an
immediate cessation of all settlement activity. (See Press Release SC/
10178.)

Where was the international community? Lebanon's representative
demanded before the vote. Where was the respect for international law?
The Israeli occupation authorities had approved a plan to construct
1,400 new settlements just south of East Jerusalem, he noted, adding
that there were also plans to erect settlements throughout the
Occupied Palestinian Territory. Indeed, since the suspension of the 10-
month partial freeze, the rate of building had just about doubled, he
said, pointing out that Israel continued to destroy buildings and
other structures in East Jerusalem that were part of the Palestinian
identity.

Palestine's Permanent Observer said the situation must be remedied
lest the prospects for a negotiated two-State solution be placed in
permanent jeopardy. The situation was intolerable and the status quo
untenable, he stressed.

Israel's representative said the text should never have been submitted
as direct negotiations remained the only way to resolve the long-
standing conflict. The Council should have called on the parties to
return immediately to the negotiating table, without pre-conditions,
in order to reach a final settlement of all outstanding issues.

The representative of the United States, who had exercised the veto,
said her country rejected the legitimacy of settlement activity in the
strongest terms, but emphasized that every action must be measured
against the standard of its capacity to bring the parties closer or
take them further from negotiations and agreement. The text had risked
hardening positions on both sides, she said, adding that it could have
encouraged the parties to stay away from the negotiations or to return
to the Council whenever they reached an impasse.

Briefing the Council on 24 February, Robert Serry, Special Coordinator
for the Middle East Peace Process, pointed out that, in stark contrast
to the dramatic political transformations in the Middle East, the
Palestinian-Israeli negotiations remained at a standstill, with each
party sceptical of the other's intentions and of the international
community's seriousness. "I must in all frankness report low
confidence and trust in each other and in international efforts to
help them overcome their differences," he said, calling for "credible
and effective international intervention" to get the process back on
track. (See Press Release SC/10182.)

A sharp spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence informed the briefing on
22 March, when Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General
for Political Affairs, described as "alarming" rocket fire from the
Gaza Strip into Israel and the subsequent Israeli air strikes that had
left three Palestinians dead. Important achievements, especially those
relating to the Palestinian Authority's State-building agenda, would
be at risk if the political impasse continued, he warned, reiterating
the urgent need to break the political deadlock and calling for
decisive action by the diplomatic Quartet and the wider international
community to bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

He reported that, during the previous month, the Quartet had continued
its efforts to help the parties find a way back to direct
negotiations. As per the February agreement reached in Munich, Quartet
envoys had met separately with Palestinian and Israeli negotiators and
were giving serious consideration to their views on how to re-start
talks on all core issues, including borders and security, he said,
adding that the envoys planned to engage both sides further. The
Quartet Principals were scheduled to meet in April in the hope of
setting the stage for renewed talks. (See Press Release SC/10204.)

Opening a day-long Council debate on 21 April, Mr. Pascoe said both
parties should be concerned that the political track was falling
behind the significant progress of the Palestinian Authority's State-
building agenda. In the six areas in which the international community
was most engaged, governmental functions were now sufficient for a
viable State, he said, citing a recent United Nations report. In
parallel, Israeli measures to facilitate movement had supported
economic activity and access to basic services. At the same time, he
pointed out that the reporting period had seen the highest levels of
violence in Gaza and Israel in two years. (See Press Release SC/
10230.)

Deadly clashes, as well as Palestinian reconciliation and State-
building efforts, showed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not
immune to the political changes sweeping across the Arab world, Mr.
Serry told the Council in a 19 May briefing. "One way or another,
change will come to it, too," he said, adding: "This change must be
shaped to positive ends." Unfortunately, the search for a two-State
solution was "stuck" and there was a genuine lack of trust between the
parties, he noted. In the absence of negotiations and amid the
continuing expansion of Israeli settlements, the Palestinians were
preparing to approach the United Nations in September to seek
recognition as a State, he reported. (See Press Release SC/10261.)

On 23 June, Mr. Serry cited United States President Barack Obama's
speech of 19 May, saying it offered a framework for resuming
negotiations and seeking agreement. Stressing the urgent need to
resume meaningful negotiations, he described the standstill in the
Israeli-Palestinian political process as "dangerous". (See Press
Release SC/10290.)

Mr. Serry further warned the Council on 26 July that without a
credible path out of the profound, persistent deadlock, coupled with
far-reaching steps on the ground, the viability of the two-State
solution and the Palestinian State-building agenda were in jeopardy.
"I cannot but describe the situation where Palestinian State-building
has matured in the West Bank, but the political track has failed to
converge, as dramatic," he said. (See Press Release SC/10340.)

Briefing the Council on 25 August, Mr. Pascoe said that recent terror
attacks and escalating violence in the Middle East showed the urgent
need for progress, but the political deadlock persisted. Profound
differences remained over the terms in which to frame negotiations, he
said, cautioning that "mistrust is deepening". Calm was necessary if
meaningful negotiations were to have a chance, but without a political
breakthrough, and with Israeli settlement activity continuing, the
Palestinian leadership had confirmed its intention to approach the
General Assembly and the Council for recognition in September, he
reported. (See Press Release SC/10367.)

With Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon presiding on 27 September,
Mr. Pascoe told the Council that Palestinian and Israeli positions
remained far apart after a week of "intensive diplomacy", but the
existence of some "building blocks" — a clear timetable, expectations
that the parties must put forward proposals, and an active role by the
Quartet — could make negotiations more effective. "It will not be
easy, but now is the time for everyone to give diplomacy a chance," he
said.

Prime Minister Mikata said the "winds of change" were blowing in the
Middle East, heralding the "Palestinian Spring" that had resulted in
the previous week's application for full United Nations membership.
The Palestinians had reaffirmed their willingness to negotiate, but
the negotiations were still clashing with Israeli intransigence and
violations of international law, he added. (See Press Release SC/
10396.)

On 28 September, the Council referred the Palestinian application to
its Committee on the Admission of New Members, for "examination and
report". According to a statement by Council President Nawaf Salam
( Lebanon), the Palestinian President had submitted the application in
a letter dated 23 September and addressed to the Secretary-General
(document S/2011/592). He proposed that the Committee meet on 30
September, to consider the application. (See Press Release SC/10397.)

There were renewed appeals for Palestine's United Nations membership
throughout a day-long debate in the Council on 24 October, as the
Permanent Observer described attempts to postpone consideration of the
application as unacceptable and the status quo as "illogical and
unjust". Israel's delegate said his country had accepted the Quartet's
call to re-start negotiations immediately, without preconditions.
Describing the suggestion that settlements were the cause of the
conflict as "interesting", he pointed out that the conflict had been
raging for nearly half a century before a single settlement had sprung
up in the West Bank. The primary obstacle to peace was the Arab
world's refusal to accept the Jewish State, he reiterated. (See Press
Release SC/10420.)

Mr. Serry, returning to the Council on 21 November, warned: "The
viability of the Palestinian Authority and its State-building agenda —
and, I fear, of the two-State solution itself — cannot be taken for
granted." Both parties had engaged separately with the Quartet in the
framework of the 23 September statement, but direct negotiations,
without preconditions, in which the parties would be expected to table
territorial and security proposals within 90 days, were still not
taking place. Instead, gaps in trust, perception and substance
remained, he noted, appealing to the parties to de-escalate, refrain
from provocations, adhere to their obligations, enter direct talks and
advance concrete and negotiable proposals. (See Press Release SC/
10453.)

Delivering the last scheduled briefing on 20 December was Mr.
Fernandez-Taranco, who said that credible progress in the search for
peace between Israel and the Palestinians was more urgent than ever,
but remained elusive in a context of tensions on the ground, deep
mistrust and volatile regional dynamics. "Our worry is that as the
year draws to a close, the situation on the ground is deteriorating
and the path towards peace remains dangerously uncertain." Those
negative dynamics must not be allowed to prevail, he added,
emphasizing that too much was at stake. (See Press Release SC/10497.)

Iraq

The Council's consideration of the situation in Iraq was largely
informed by the planned withdrawal of United States military forces by
the end of the year. Briefing the Council formally on 6 December,
Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and
Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI),
described the withdrawal as an important milestone that would entail
many challenges, even as it provided all Iraqis with the opportunity
to prove to themselves that they could build a peaceful and better
future. He cautioned that the task ahead should not be underestimated,
and would require further progress on the security front. While Iraqi
forces had assumed full control of the country's security, they still
faced armed opposition and terrorist groups, which also posed
significant challenges to the delivery of aid, he noted.

Hamid Al-Bayati ( Iraq) declared: "My Government has worked hard in
the last months to improve its defensive capabilities to stand in the
face of terrorist attacks to protect international security and to
save democracy." The country was poised to take on the great
challenges and responsibilities that would follow the withdrawal of
United States forces, he said. Indeed, Iraq was witnessing a new era,
in which "the foundations of democracy, personal and private freedom
of the press, freedom of creating political parties, political
diversity and peaceful transition of power are established," he said.
(See Press Release SC/10472.)

The Council's formal consideration of the situation in Iraq began on 8
April, when Ad Melkert, then Head of UNAMI, said citizens had
protested across the country to demand the dividends promised by the
New National Partnership, including employment opportunities for young
people. Iraq's elected officials were taking those issues seriously,
and had shown renewed determination to act decisively, he said, adding
that the United Nations was also doing its part.

However, despite progress towards stability, security remained a
concern, he said, pointing to the 25 security incidents reported the
previous month and the 29 March terror attacks against a provincial
government building that had killed 76 people and injured 100. "As
[ United States] forces prepare to Leave, Iraq should not be forgotten
and the international community should stand ready to continue
support," he said. (See Press Release SC/10220.)

Briefing on earlier developments on 19 July, Mr. Melkert said real
progress had been achieved in replacing Iraq's ruthless dictatorship
with institutions mandated by constitutional principles, which laid
the ground for "cautious optimism" about the future. In some important
aspects, he said, Iraq was at the heart of fundamental changes in the
region, as its system of government had incorporated a power-sharing
Constitution that guaranteed the participation of women and minorities
while nurturing a culture of constitutional debate. (See Press Release
SC/10330.)

On 28 July, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2001 (2011),
extending UNAMI's mandate for another 12 months. Recognizing that the
security of United Nations personnel was essential for the Mission to
carry out its work, the Council called on Iraq and other Member States
to provide it with security, logistical support and sufficient
resources. (See Press Release SC/10345.)

Lebanon

In the wake of the 27 May and 26 July attacks against the United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the Council, on 30 August,
extended its mandate for one year, until 31 August 2012, condemning
all terrorist attacks against it in the strongest terms. Unanimously
adopting resolution 2004 (2011), the Council called for the rapid
finalization of Lebanon's investigation into the attacks, and urged
all parties to abide scrupulously by their obligation to respect the
safety of UNIFIL and other United Nations personnel. It strongly
called upon all parties concerned to respect the cessation of
hostilities, prevent any violation of the "Blue Line" and cooperate
fully with UNIFIL. It urged Israel to expedite immediately the
withdrawal of its Army from northern Ghajar, and called for
cooperation between UNIFIL and the Lebanese Armed Forces. (See Press
Release SC/10373.)

During the portion of the regular monthly briefing on the Middle East
devoted to Lebanon, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-
General for Political Affairs, said on 20 December that several
incidents in UNIFIL's area of operations had raised concerns. He
recalled in that vein that the Secretary-General had condemned all
indiscriminate rocket attacks and urged all parties to exercise
maximum restraint.

In a positive development he reported the 30 November announcement by
Prime Minister Mikati that he had transferred his Government's share
of the 2011 budget for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Inaugurated
in March 2009, the court's primary mandate was to try the people
accused of carrying out the attack on 14 February 2005 in which 23
people, including former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, had
been killed and many others and injured. (See Press Release SC/10497.)

(Summaries of additional relevant meetings of the Council can be found
in Press Releases SC/10453, SC/10420, SC/10396, SC/10367, SC/10340, SC/
10290, SC/10261, SC/10230, SC/10204, SC/10182, SC/10178 and SC/10157).

Syria

The Council's consideration of the situation in Syria was in response
to the uprising that had begun with public demonstrations on 26
January. While only sporadic initially, they had erupted into mass
protests in the southern city of Dera'a on 17 March, sparking a full-
scale nationwide revolt, with demonstrators demanding the resignation
of President Bashar al-Assad and the Government's overthrow. Motivated
by the successful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, Syrian
demonstrators sought to end nearly five decades of Ba'athist rule, but
as the protests continued, the Syrian Government began deploying tanks
and snipers.

Prior to the Council's involvement, Secretary-General Ban condemned,
on 23 March, the violence against peaceful demonstrators in Dera'a,
which had killed several people and injured many more. He called on
the Syrian authorities to refrain from violence and abide by their
human rights commitments (see Press Release SG/SM/13472). With the
situation intensifying, he again condemned violence against peaceful
demonstrators on 25 April, and reminded the Syrian authorities of
their obligation to respect international human rights, including the
right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and freedom of
the press. He called once more for an independent, transparent and
effective investigation into the killings. (See Press Release SG/SM/
13521.)

The Security Council considered the situation formally in four
meetings, beginning on 27 April with a briefing by B. Lynn Pascoe,
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. He said that, despite
the promise of reform contained in a spate of announced legislative
and legal changes, the crackdown against the anti-Government
protesters had intensified dramatically. "Repression is not the
solution," he said, adding that inclusive dialogue and genuine reforms
were required to address the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian
people and restore confidence, social peace and order. (See Press
Release SC/10235.)

On 30 June, the Council met to consider the Secretary-General's report
(document S/2011/359) on the United Nations Disengagement Observer
Force (UNDOF), which recommended an extension of its mandate by a
further six months. The Force was established to supervise the
disengagement agreement of 31 May 1974 between Syrian and Israeli
forces. The Secretary-General said that, although the situation in the
Israel-Syria sector remained generally quiet, the serious events that
had occurred in the UNDOF area of operation were of grave concern.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1994 (2011) that day, the Council also
expressed grave concern, fearing that those serious events, occurring
on 15 May and 5 June, could jeopardize the long-standing ceasefire
between Israel and Syria. (See Press Release SC/10305.)

Following the adoption, the United Kingdom's representative stressed
that the situation in Syria was unsustainable, and his delegation
would continue to press for a stronger resolution on the matter.
However, the Russian Federation's representative pointed out that
Syria was not on the Council's agenda. China's delegate said the
matter was an internal one and should be left to the parties
concerned.

Syria's representative, while pledging his Government's commitment to
do its utmost to maintain the safety of mission officials, said he was
puzzled by attempts to cite internal events in a technical draft
resolution pertaining to the extension of UNDOF's mandate.

Israel's representative said the need to respect the disengagement
line had never been clearer, given the prevailing regional
instability. Outlining the events of 15 May and 5 June, he said the
Syrian regime's fingerprints "were all over it".

In a presidential statement on 3 August (document S/PRST/2011/16), the
Council expressed "profound regret" over the many hundreds of deaths
in Syria and condemned the authorities' widespread violations of human
rights against civilians. Calling for an immediate end to violence, it
urged all sides to act with utmost restraint. (See Press Release SC/
10352.)

But on 4 October, the Council failed to adopt a draft resolution
condemning Syria's crackdown on anti-Government protestors, owing to
vetoes by the Russian Federation and China. The text would have
demanded that Syrian authorities immediately stop using force against
civilians and allow the exercise of the freedom of expression. It
would also have warned of options for action to be considered against
the Government, including measures under the section of the Charter on
sanctions. (See Press Release SC/10403.)

Following the vote of 9 in favour to 2 against ( China, Russian
Federation), with 4 abstentions ( Brazil, India, Lebanon, South
Africa), opponents of the text stressed their concern over the
violence, but said the threat of sanctions was counter-productive,
maintaining that the Council should instead prioritize dialogue
between the parties. They also stressed the importance of the
principle of non-intervention in domestic affairs.

The Russian Federation's representative expressed alarm that
compliance with Council resolutions on the situation in Libya had been
considered a model for future actions that could involve the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). "We're not advocates of the Assad
regime," he said. Stressing that the violence was unacceptable, he
noted, however, that a portion of the Syrian opposition movement had
not hidden its extremist bent and hoped for foreign sponsors. The
opposition was acting outside the law and killing people who complied
with law enforcement, he added.

However, supporters of the draft resolution countered by saying that
the proposed text had included a call for national dialogue; it did
not threaten Syria's sovereignty but aimed to stop the brutality
against civilians exercising their rights. They cited condemnations by
the League of Arab States and others in the region as evidence of
international support for Council action. The representative of the
United States expressed outrage over the Council's failure to take
minimum steps to protect civilians in Syria, after long, hard
negotiations.

Yemen

In its consideration of the Middle East, the Council devoted one
meeting to the situation in Yemen, unanimously adopting resolution
2014 (2011) on 21 October. In that text, it expressed profound regret
at the hundreds of deaths in the country, mainly of civilians,
including women and children, following months of political strife.
The Council demanded that the Yemeni authorities immediately allow the
exercise of the fundamental rights of peaceful assembly and
expression, and that they end the attacks. It also called for a
commitment to a peaceful transition of power, based on proposals
advanced by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The Council also
expressed its concern over the presence of Al-Qaida in the Arabian
Peninsula, as well as its intention to address that threat. (See Press
Release SC/10418.)

Thematic Debates

Children and Armed Conflict

"Places of learning and places of healing should never be places of
war," Secretary-General Ban said on 12 July as the Council adopted
resolution 1998 (2011), by which the Council declared schools and
hospitals off-limits to armed groups and military activities. Hailing
the text as a significant advance on the Council's previous efforts,
he said that it sent a consistent and clear message: protecting
children in armed conflict was a peace and security issue, and the
international community would not tolerate grave violations of that
principle. (See Press Release SC/10319.)

Calling for all parties attacking such facilities to be held
accountable and placed on the Secretary-General's annual list of those
committing grave violations against children, the resolution built on
more than a decade of contributions towards a comprehensive framework
for protecting children affected by conflict. By its terms, the
Council urged all parties to refrain from any actions that impeded
children's access to education and health services, and expressed its
readiness to adopt "targeted and graduated measures against persistent
perpetrators".

The action followed a day-long debate, during which Radhika
Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for
Children and Armed Conflict, said that the decision to add attacks on
schools and hospitals as listing criteria had been taken as such
actions were became more frequent and appalling. The Council had begun
a journey of great promise in 1999, she said, noting that Governments
and non-State actors had begun to respond to its calls for action.
Hopefully, the text "will help usher in an era where children can
study, play and learn in an atmosphere of safety and dignity", she
added.

International Criminal Tribunals

Continuing its support for the battle against impunity and the broader
global effort to bolster the development and codification of
international law, the Council convened twice to consider the work of
the United Nations war crimes tribunals trying cases stemming,
respectively, from the 1994 Rwanda genocide and the Balkan wars of the
1990s.

The Council also met five times to consider matters pertaining to the
functioning of the Tribunals, holding two meetings to reappoint
Prosecutors and three more to adopt resolutions extending the terms of
17 judges; allowing, as a one-time exception, a Rwanda Tribunal judge
to take outside judicial work; and authorizing ad litem judges to be
candidates or voters in elections for President of the International
Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

On 6 June, during its first meeting of 2011 to consider the Tribunals,
the Council commended the arrests of high-profile fugitives, including
former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladi?, a suspect in the
1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and Bernard Munyagishari, former leader of Rwanda's
Interahamwe militia. (See Press Release SC/10269.)

Despite that and other progress in the fight to end impunity, however,
the Presidents of each Tribunal said their future work would be
hampered unless the Council addressed urgent, unprecedented
challenges. Judge Patrick Robinson of Former Yugoslavia Tribunal said
the most pressing issues were staff retention, as well as support for
a victims' trust fund and for the enforcement of sentences. "The
staffing problem is so bad that it can now be described as chronic,
systemic and endemic; we are in a staffing crisis: c-r-i-s-i-s," he
emphasized. Judge Khalida Rachid Khan of the Rwanda Tribunal called on
the Council to find sustainable solutions to critical challenges,
including staffing issues, the resettlement of acquitted persons and
the relocation of those convicted.

Briefing the Council again on 7 December, the two Tribunal Presidents
said those challenges had worsened, threatening the timely completion
of their mandates. Limited resources, lack of State cooperation in
critical areas and ongoing staff crises were the main obstacles. (See
Press Release SC/10476.)

As Council members expressed frustration over delays in winding up the
Tribunals' work, the Russian Federation's representative said their
cause was unclear. Noting that the Former Yugoslavia Tribunal's latest
report showed that the trials of Mr. Mladi? and arrested fugitive
Goran Hadži? had been scheduled to start in 2012 and 2013,
respectively, and that appeal proceedings for some individuals would
last until 2016, he said there was no significant reason for that
lengthy time frame. Many members supported the Tribunals' work, with
some expressing concern about staff retention and other issues.

Meeting on 29 June to deal with operational matters, the Council
extended the terms of 17 judges with the Former Yugoslavia Tribunal,
adopting resolution 1993 (2011). (See Press Release SC/10304.)

Unanimously adopting resolutions 2006 (2011) and 2007 (2011) in two
meetings on 14 September, the Council reappointed Hassan Bubacar
Jallow as Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
and Serge Brammertz as Prosecutor of the International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. (See Press Releases SC/10382 and
SC/10383.)

The Council also unanimously adopted resolution 1995 (2011) on 6 July,
allowing ad litem judges to be candidates or voters in elections for
President of the Rwanda Tribunal. The President would have
responsibility for ensuring that the arrangement was compatible with
judicial independences and impartiality, did not give rise to
conflicts of interest, and did not delay the delivery of judgements.
(See Press Release SC/10308.)

In a unanimous action on 14 October, the Council adopted resolution
2013 (2011), making a one-time exception to allow Rwanda Tribunal
Judge Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov to undertake outside judicial work. (See
Press Release SC/10412.)

International Court of Justice

In separate meetings on 10 November, the Council and the General
Assembly filled four out of five vacancies on the International Court
of Justice, electing Giorgio Gaja ( Italy), Hisashi Owada ( Japan),
Peter Tomka ( Slovakia) and Xue Hanqin ( China). Under the Court's
Statute, a candidate obtaining an absolute majority of votes in both
the Council and the Assembly is considered elected.

No decision was made on one candidate after three rounds of balloting
on 22 November as the Council repeatedly elected incumbent Abdul
Koroma of Sierra Leone, while the majority of the Assembly elected
Julia Sebutinde of Uganda. Both organs achieved an absolute majority
on 13 December, after nine rounds of balloting in the Council. (See
Press Releases SC/10444, SC/10456 and SC/10482.)

Regional Cooperation

The Council commended the European Union's efforts to help realize
United Nations peace and security goals in a wide range of situations
around the world, following a briefing on 8 February by Catherine
Ashton, the bloc's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and
Security Policy. (See Press Release SC/10168.)

Emphasizing that security, development and democracy, good governance
and respect for human rights were all interlinked, she called for more
investment in the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts
while addressing their underlying causes. People in North Africa were
demanding greater freedom, democracy and accountability, she said,
adding that a recent meeting of European Union Heads of State and
Government had offered assistance to governmental transitions in that
context.

Following a 15 February briefing on by Audronius Ažubalis, Chair-in-
Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE) and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, the Council
praised that body's work in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. (See Press
Release SC/10175.)

Detailing priority areas for 2011, he said the OSCE would seek
tangible progress in addressing protracted conflicts, including those
in the Republic of Moldova and the South Caucasus. Recent crises
demonstrated an urgent need to strengthen capabilities across the
entire conflict cycle, he said, adding that early warning must be
followed by early action, as demonstrated by the OSCE's quick response
to events in Albania.

Working Methods

During the Council's 30 November open debate on its working methods —
the fourth such meeting in the body's nearly 66 years of existence,
the wider United Nations membership discussed the crucial necessity of
making its activities more open and transparent, while maintaining
effectiveness and efficiency. Many of the 34 speakers taking the floor
said Council deliberations on everything, from the content of its
resolutions to sanctions and peacekeeping mandates, should be open to
genuine input from all Member States. (See Press Release SC/10466.)

The need to bring the Council into the twenty-first century was a
common thread during the day-long debate, with many speakers agreeing
with the proposals by the so-called group of five "small
countries" (Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore and
Switzerland) formed to support improvement of the Council's working
methods. Switzerland's representative, speaking on their behalf,
recalled that the Council's current working methods dated back to the
provisional rules of procedure adopted at its first meeting in 1946.

Among the many calling for greater transparency was India's
representative, who said the Council's composition and working methods
were "divorced from the contemporary reality of international
relations". Several Council members, while expressing support for many
suggestions, maintained that closed meetings without records would
remain necessary. France's representative said that, since most
Council meetings were held in public or semi-public formats, and the
number of open debates had increased, the public format for meetings
should be enhanced.

The United Kingdom's representative said the Council must also be
flexible regarding new technologies, noting that social media networks
had played a critical role in the "Arab Spring". If the Council wished
to stay abreast of developments, it should consider using available
new technologies, by which rapid assessments on the ground could
enable it to act more quickly, he said.

Most non-Council members, as well as some elected members, proposed a
range of suggestions, with South Africa's representative noting that,
while progress had been made in enhancing and strengthening the
Council's partnership with the African Union, conflict-prevention,
management and resolution efforts should be further addressed. Many
speakers agreed with Germany's representative, who said that focusing
only on working methods was a "Band-Aid approach" when the Council
really needed to represent the United Nations membership more fairly.

Finland's representative called for pursuing enhanced relations with
troop-contributing countries, who should be closely engaged at all
stages of decision-making relating to peacekeeping operations. Many
speakers also called for a closer relationship with the General
Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding
Commission; regular consultations with regional and subregional
organizations such as the African Union; and more "Arria formula"
meetings, with the opportunity to hear the views of non-member
stakeholders and civil society groups.

Annual Report

On 27 October, the Council unanimously adopted its annual report to
the General Assembly for the period 1 August 2010 to 31 July
2011(document A/66/2). Peter Wittig ( Germany) said it contained a
comprehensive account of all meetings and activities of the Council,
as well as its discussions covering a range of thematic issues. (See
Press Release SC/10425.)

Maintenance of International Peace and Security

Under this broad agenda item — encompassing transnational crime,
pandemics, economic fragility and extreme weather in an "unholy brew"
with the potential to create dangerous security vacuums — the Council
met six times, beginning on 11 February with a day-long debate that
culminated with a presidential statement. (See Press Release SC/
10172.)

Opening that debate, Secretary-General Ban said recent world events
were "a sharp reminder of the need for political stability to be
anchored in peace, opportunity, decent standards of living and the
consent of the governed". Members stressed the need to take into
account the economic and social dimensions of conflict, in addition to
the political factors of maintaining international peace and security.
It stressed the need, in helping a country emerge sustainably from
conflict, for a comprehensive and integrated approach aimed at
strengthening coherence between political, security, development,
human rights and rule-of-law activities, while also addressing the
underlying causes of each conflict.

Among the 60 other speakers was Eugene-Richard Gasana ( Rwanda), Chair
of Peacebuilding Commission, who emphasized the critical importance
for the Council to mandate multidimensional peacekeeping missions.
There was broad agreement that there could be "no security without
development and no development without security", he said, cautioning
at the same time that the Council should not be directly involved in
development activities, which were beyond its competence.

On 7 June, by its unanimous adoption of resolution 1983 (2011), the
Council reaffirmed its previous commitment to address the HIV/AIDS
pandemic as a threat to international peace and security, and
encouraged the incorporation of HIV prevention, treatment, care and
support into the implementation of peacekeeping mandates. Welcoming
the adoption, the Secretary-General recalled that, before the adoption
of resolution 1308 (2000), uniformed personnel had been viewed in
terms of the risk they might pose to civilians. "Now we understand
that United Nations troops and police are part of prevention,
treatment and care." (See Press Release SC/10272.)

In a presidential statement on 20 July, the Council expressed concern
that the possible adverse effects of climate change could aggravate
certain threats to international peace and security, and that the loss
of territory to rising seas, particularly in small low-lying island
States, could have possible security implications. (See Press Release
SC/10332.)

Following a day-long debate on the impact of climate change on global
peace and security, the statement noted the importance of "conflict
analysis and contextual information" on the "possible security
implications of climate change", among other things, when climate
issues drove conflict, challenged the implementation of Council
mandates or endangered peace processes.

Reporting to a 22 September Council meeting at the level of Heads of
State and Government on the topic "Preventive Diplomacy: Delivering
Results", the Secretary-General called for adequate, predictable and
timely financial support for rapid preventive responses to emerging
crises, as well as further investment in "preventive diplomats" on the
ground, and for an expanded pool of highly skilled envoys and
mediators who could be deployed rapidly to situations of concern.
"Preventive diplomacy may not be effective in all situations, yet I
firmly believe that better preventive diplomacy is not an option; it
is a necessity," he said, introducing his first-ever report on the
subject. (See Press Release SC/10392.)

The Council issued a presidential statement in which it expressed its
determination to enhance United Nations effectiveness in preventing
the outbreak of armed conflicts, their escalation or spread when they
occurred, and their resurgence once they ended.

In the ensuing discussion, speakers agreed that preventive diplomacy
should be the priority in the maintenance of international peace and
security. Some expressed regret that little attention had been paid to
prevention and the root causes of conflict, and at the over-emphasis
on the military dimensions of peacekeeping.

Taking up the issue of security-sector reform on 12 October,
particularly in the context of prospects and challenges in Africa, the
Council emphasized that establishing an effective, professional and
accountable security sector was the cornerstone of peace and
sustainable development. (See Press Release SC/10409.)

Before the Council President read out that statement to cap a day-long
debate, Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping
Operations, said on behalf of the Secretary-General that "an
ineffective and poorly governed security sector is one of the major
obstacles to stability, poverty reduction, achievement of sustainable
development and peacebuilding". He noted that several African
countries were assisting in security-sector reform efforts on the
continent and contributing to the international security architecture.
The African Union was at the forefront in developing a security-sector
reform framework, he added.

On 23 November, Secretary-General Ban said that the Council — so
central to the international community's ability to keep the peace —
must keep pace as the nature of threats such as transnational crime,
pandemics, and climate change evolved. As the Council considered new
challenges to peace and security and conflict prevention, he said
that, although none of those threats were new, they were increasingly
transnational, increasingly acute, and with even greater implications
for human, State, regional and international security. No country or
region, no matter how powerful, could "go it alone", he stressed. (See
Press Release SC/10457.)

Non-Proliferation

The Council, playing its pivotal role in staunching nuclear
proliferation and international terrorism, reaffirmed its strong
commitment to that goal on 20 April, extending until 25 April 2021,
the mandate of its 1540 Committee, which monitors efforts to prevent
weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of terrorists
and other non-State actors.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1977 (2011), the Council requested the
Secretary-General to establish a group of up to eight experts to
assist the Committee, known formally as the Committee established
pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004). By that text — heralded by some as
a "global effort to lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials" — the
Council imposed binding obligations on all States to establish
controls preventing the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons, as well as the means of their delivery. (See Press
Release SC/10228.)

Meeting earlier, on 22 March, the Council heard a report by Néstor
Osorio (Colombia), Chair of the Committee established in 2006 to
monitor sanctions imposed on Iran in relation to its nuclear programme
— the 1737 Committee — who said outlined two new cases of alleged
violations as he delivered the seventeenth report since the
Committee's creation. The alleged violations were related to the ban
on exporting items that could contribute to Iran's uranium-enrichment,
reprocessing or heavy-water activities, or to the development of
nuclear weapon delivery systems, he explained, adding that the
Committee and its Panel of Experts were examining the cases. The
increased number of reported violations was a matter of serious
concern, he said, adding, that the readiness of Member States to
report them should be encouraged. (See Press Release SC/10206.)

On 9 June, the Council extended for one year the mandate of the
Committee's Panel of Experts, created in 2010 to help monitor
implementation of the sanctions. Adopting resolution 1984 (2011) by a
vote of 14 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (Lebanon), the
Council also set up a schedule for the work of the Panel authorized by
resolution 1929 (2010), which tightened the sanctions on Iran by
including a ban on arms sales and all items that could contribute to
the enrichment of uranium, and imposed an asset freeze on targeted
entities. (See Press Release SC/10276.)

The representatives of the United States, France, Germany and the
United Kingdom said the Panel's work was far from complete because
Iran continued to evade full cooperation with the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA), as confirmed by the Agency in its latest report.
Germany's representative emphasized that the dual-track strategy,
entailing pressure on as well as dialogue with Iran, could only be
effective if the existing sanctions regime was carried out
effectively.

Explaining his abstention, Lebanon's representative acknowledged the
technical nature of the resolution, but said he had voted in
accordance with his position on resolution 1929 (2010). He reaffirmed
the importance of the balance in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation
of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) between non-proliferation, disarmament and
the peaceful acquisition of nuclear energy by developing countries,
particularly those in the Middle East, and said he looked forward to
the day when that region would be free of nuclear weapons.

On 10 June, the Council extended until 12 June 2012 the mandate of the
Panel of Experts helping to monitor sanctions imposed on the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Unanimously adopting resolution
1985 (2011), it maintained the current mandate of the group it had
established in June 2009. At that time, the Council condemned a
nuclear weapons test explosion conducted by the East Asian country and
tightened the sanctions regime, calling for stricter inspections of
cargo suspected of containing banned items related to the country's
nuclear and ballistic-missile activities (See Press Release SC/10277.)

Briefing the Council on the Iran sanctions committee on 23 June, Mr.
Osorio ( Colombia) reported three new alleged violations as several
concerned Council members urged Tehran to scale back the activities in
dispute and seek a diplomatic solution. Following the briefing,
several Council members expressed alarm over Iran's announcement that
it would significantly boost its enrichment activities and that it had
successfully launched a second satellite into orbit. (See Press
Release SC/10292.)

In his next briefing, on 7 September, Mr. Osorio ( Colombia) reported
that investigations into previously reported sanctions violations were
ongoing, and that there were new complaints about Iran's launching of
ballistic missiles. Council members welcomed the Committee's work, but
some criticized the delay in publishing the latest report of the Panel
of Experts, calling for its immediate issuance. Several speakers
expressed heightened concern following the release of the IAEA's most
recent report, saying that it showed Iran's continued flouting of its
obligations under the NPT and related Council resolutions. (See Press
Release SC/10376.)

Presenting his twentieth 90-day report on 21 December, Mr. Osorio
( Colombia) informed the Council that the Committee was considering
holding an open briefing to discuss its mandate and activities,
against a backdrop of growing concern about the nature of Iran's
nuclear programme, and amid questions of transparency surrounding the
non-publication of the report by the Panel of Experts. The
representative of the United States called the report's non-
publication an "appalling failure of transparency", and described the
IAEA's recent conclusion that Iran remained in non-compliance of its
obligations as "damning". Similarly, the United Kingdom's
representative pointed out that United Nations Member States had paid
for the Panel's report and had a right to see it. As far as Iran was
concerned, "unambiguous evidence" had been provided, and the military
dimension of its nuclear programme was "compelling", she said. (See
Press Release SC/10502.)

Peacekeeping Operations

Despite "serious shortcomings and abundant imperfections, it is
evident that peacekeeping and peacekeepers have delivered results",
according to a concept note — titled "Peacekeeping: taking stock and
preparing for the future" — for the Council's meeting on 26 August.
Prepared by the Permanent Representative of India, it said that a
major question was the extent to which peacekeeping missions could be
used as instruments of innovation in the application of international
law and norms. Such innovations, it stated, must be clarified in light
of the critical peacekeeping principles of consent of the parties
(with its implications for State sovereignty), limits on the use of
force, and impartiality. As peacekeepers were often asked to make life-
or-death decisions and tough moral choices, they must operate in an
environment of legal certitude, the note said. (See Press Release SC/
10368.)

In a presidential statement issued after a day-long debate on the
issue, the Council reaffirmed that respect for fundamental
peacekeeping principles — including consent of the parties,
impartiality and the non-use of force except in self-defence, or in
defence of a Council mandate — was essential to the success of
operations. The Council also committed itself to strengthening its
partnership with countries contributing military and police
contingents to peacekeeping operations, and recognized the need to
provide adequate resources for the fulfilment of mandates.

On 27 July, the Council held a discussion with the military commanders
of key operations in Africa and the Middle East, who highlighted their
strategies for overcoming the challenges they faced in unpredictable
settings and under the impact of everything from sporadic armed
conflict and unfriendly local populations, to lingering political
tensions, long-term humanitarian needs and inclement weather. (See
Press Release SC/10343.)

Post-conflict Peacebuilding

The Council held four meetings on the topic, beginning on 21 January,
when it issued a presidential statement stressing the need to continue
to support countries emerging from conflict in order to sustain peace
by creating national bodies that would promote democratic processes
and socio-economic development. (See Press Release SC/10160.)

Opening the debate on that day, Secretary-General Ban noted a mixed
track record of international support for post-conflict institution-
building. "We can do better," he said, pointing out that international
efforts often failed to recognize that building effective institutions
was a long-term effort, even in relatively stable conditions. While
some progress could be made in three to five years after the end of a
conflict, expectations, including those of the Council, must be
realistic, he stressed. It was also necessary to ensure, right from
the start, strong engagement with other international actors,
including international financial institutions and regional
organizations so that there would be a smooth transition of power when
Council-mandated missions ended.

Presenting the Peacebuilding Commission's 2010 report on 23 March,
Peter Wittig (Germany), its outgoing Chairperson, said the challenge
facing that organ in realizing its full potential as an advisory body
that increased the collective capacity to aid fragile, post-conflict
countries was ensuring that its work was backed by a higher level of
political commitment from Member States and the senior United Nations
leadership. Council members praised the Commission's efforts, but also
acknowledged the five-year-old body's growing pains as it endeavoured
to meet the extremely high expectations placed on it. (See Press
Release SC/10207.)

For its debate on 12 May, the Council had before it the independent
review on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict prepared by
the Secretary-General's Senior Advisory Group. It recommended several
ways to strengthen national ownership of peace processes, broaden the
international civilian pool and make United Nations support more
appropriate, timely and effective. In one of three briefings to the
Council, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Chair of the Advisory Group, said the
international community too often missed the immediate post-conflict
window of opportunity to provide basic security, deliver peace
dividends, build confidence in political processes and strengthen core
national capacities in the lead-up to peacebuilding efforts. (See
Press Release SC/10249.)

Later in the year, Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General for
Peacebuilding Support, told the Council on 31 October that the United
Nations agenda for action on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath
of conflict — when threats to peace were often greatest — was
beginning to yield promising results on the ground. The Organization's
peacebuilding agenda, she recalled, had been developed with the
understanding that a coordinated, system-wide approach to the issue
was required, given the multitude of actors whose involvement was
needed. (See Press Release SC/10428.)

Welcoming the Commission's progress, Council members stressed that
national ownership was key to peacebuilding, and that the
international community should assist countries while maintaining full
respect for their priorities. Peacekeeping and peacebuilding should be
seen as two parts of an integrated effort, they said, emphasizing that
the relevant activities should begin as soon as the situation
permitted.

Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The unprecedented crises in the Middle East and parts of North and sub-
Saharan Africa in early 2011 drove home the need for the Council to
implement its five resolutions intended to protect civilians trapped
in the crossfire of armed conflict. "The events of the last few months
have provided a compelling reminder of the fundamental and enduring
importance of the Council's protection-of-civilians agenda," Valerie
Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency
Relief Coordinator, told the Council on 10 May. (See Press Release SC/
10245.)

Noting, however, that the Council's responses to the crises in Libya
and Côte d'Ivoire had raised questions, she said it was not clear, for
example, whether the imposition of measures on Côte d'Ivoire similar
to those later imposed on Libya would have prevented the former
situation from deteriorating further. Similarly, while the Council's
authorization of the use of force in Libya had prevented civilian
deaths and injuries, there were concerns that such a move could
undermine the civilian-protection agenda in future crises. Council
decisions must not go beyond promoting and ensuring civilian
protection, she emphasized.

At the outset of a debate on 9 November, Secretary-General Ban noted
that women, girls, boys and men in conflicts around the world were
still subjected to blatant and frequent violations of international
human rights and humanitarian law, not because they were "collateral
damage", but because they were deliberately targeted. Protection was
essential, but it was important not to lose sight of the need also to
address the causes of conflict and not just the symptoms, he said.
(See Press Release SC/10442.)

Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, told
the same meeting that a "people's spring" was thawing the global
landscape, with the election of a new Government in Côte d'Ivoire, the
birth of South Sudan as a new nation and the dawn of a new era in
Libya. Where basic human rights were trampled and peaceful demands for
change were met with brutal force, people were eventually compelled to
exercise recourse, she said. And where national authorities failed to
investigate credible allegations, it was incumbent upon the
international community rigorously to establish the facts.

She said the adoption of resolution 1973 (2011), authorizing the use
of force and other protection measures in Libya had prevented civilian
deaths and injuries, but it had also raised concerns about potentially
undermining the civilian-protection agenda. In addition to scrupulous
compliance with international humanitarian law, the implementation of
Council decision must be limited exclusively to promoting and ensuring
civilian protection, she stressed.

Also addressing members that day was President Anibal Antonio Cavaco
Silva of Portugal, whose country held the Council's November
presidency. He said that when civilians were targets and national
authorities or conflicting parties failed to protect them, the United
Nations — and especially the Security Council — "has the duty to speak
up and the obligation to act".

While many speakers in the ensuing debate agreed, some did not. They
argued that using the concept of civilian protection in order to
remove Governments in developing countries was "immoral", as was
foreign intervention in a country's internal affairs under a similar
guise. The notion of "responsibility to protect", they said, had
provided the pretext for aggression, in violation of international
humanitarian and human rights law. The case of Libya emblematic in
that regard, they said.

Threats to International Peace and Security, Including Terrorism

The Council heard a briefing on 24 June by Yury Fedotov, Executive
Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), who
warned that illicit drugs and organized criminal networks were
wreaking havoc in many countries — even holding the stability and
development of entire regions hostage. Piracy in Somalia or the
ongoing struggle against a subversive and still-thriving opiate trade
in Afghanistan were stark examples of how the vast sums of money
generated by transnational organized crime destabilized transitions,
disrupted political processes and obstructed development, he said.
(See Press Release SC/10295.)

In a presidential statement on 28 February, the Council welcomed the
first report of the Ombudsperson — installed by resolution 1904 (2009)
to ensure fair and clear procedures for those designated, or "listed"
by the Committee established pursuant to Council resolution 1267
(1999) as subject to a global sanctions regime entailing such measures
as asset freezes and travel bans. Kimberly Prost, a former Judge on
the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, was
appointed the first Ombudsperson (See Press Release SC/10189.)

Meeting next on 2 May, in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, the
Council recalled the "heinous" terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001
in the United States, as well as the numerous attacks perpetrated by
the Al-Qaida network around the world, and welcomed news of the terror
group leader's demise. In a presidential statement, it urged States to
remain vigilant and intensify their efforts. It stressed that no cause
or grievance could justify the murder of innocent people, and that
terrorism would not be defeated exclusively by military force, law-
enforcement or intelligence measures. Trouncing the threat required a
sustained, comprehensive approach involving all States, relevant
international and regional organizations, the statement said. (See
Press Release SC/10239.)

In the first of two briefings by the Chairpersons of its counter-
terrorism subsidiary bodies, the Council heard on 16 May that, despite
Bin Laden's death, the three committees must strengthen their efforts
through enhanced effectiveness and cooperation. Peter Wittig
( Germany), Chair of the so-called "1267 Committee", noted that Bin
Laden's death was a turning point but neither the end of Al-Qaida nor
of terrorism. He said the Committee had discussed the possible
implications of political dialogue in Afghanistan, and its sanctions
regime must not become a stumbling block to peace and security in the
region. (See Press Release SC/10252.)

Indeed, in a move designed to keep pace with the evolving security
situation and defeat terrorism, the Council unanimously adopted
resolutions 1988 (2011) and 1989 (2011) on 17 June, under Chapter VII
of the Charter, splitting the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regimes
and extending the Ombudsperson's term for 18 months to oversee the Al-
Qaida List. (See Press Release SC/10285/Rev.1.)

On 14 November, following updates on the three committees' work,
Council members said that the United Nations, led by the Council, must
adapt in order to find the most appropriate tools with which to fight
the continuing terrorist threat, since terrorists adapted to new
situations, using new technologies such as the Internet for
recruitment and incitement. Terrorist networks had proved adaptable
and resilient, shifting tactics and identifying new financing sources
and methods, they said, emphasizing that effective global cooperation
was, therefore, more important than ever. (See Press Release SC/
10447.)

The Council also issued numerous press statements concerning terrorist
attacks in Nigeria on 27 December (Press Release SC/10507), 8 November
(Press Release SC/10437) and 26 August (Press Release SC/10370); Syria
on 23 December (Press Release SC/10506); Afghanistan on 7 December
(Press Release SC/10474), 31 October (Press Release SC/10432) and 21
September (Press Release SC/10391); Somalia on 4 October (Press
Release SC/10402); India on 7 September (Press Release SC/10377) and
13 July (Press Release SC/10325); Iraq on 18 August (Press Release SC/
10362); Norway on 25 July (Press Release SC/10337); Morocco on 29
April (Press Release SC/10238); and the Russian Federation on 24
January (Press Release SC/10162).

Press statements were also issued concerning attacks against the
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on 9 December (Press
Release SC/10478), 26 July (Press Release SC/10341), and 27 May (Press
Release SC/10264); and against peacekeepers in Darfur on 8 November
(Press Release SC/10439), 11 October (Press Release SC/10407), and 8
August (Press Release SC/10355).

The Council also issued press statements on attacks against diplomatic
premises in Syria on 15 November (Press Release SC/10448) and 12 July
(Press Release SC/10321) and against the United Kingdom's diplomatic
premises in Iran on 29 November (Press Release SC/10463). On 9
September, it issued a press statement on the tenth anniversary of 11
September 2001 (Press Release SC/10378).

Women, Peace and Security

On 14 April, Margot Wallström, Special Representative of the Secretary-
General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, told the Council that civilian-
protection initiatives such as those taken in Libya would not be
comprehensive unless they systematically included efforts to end
sexual violence before it began. "Even in the tyranny of emergency,
before hard evidence emerges, and though it may not be obvious what
gender has to do with arms embargoes or no-fly zones, we must remember
women." (See Press Release SC/10226.)

She said that "from the way sexual violence spans the history of war,
it should be automatically and systematically included in protection
measures". Unfortunately, resolutions 1970 (2011) and 1973 (2011) on
the protection of civilians in Libya made no mention of the risk of
sexual violence, despite the emergence of reports that it was
occurring. She also described the activities of her Office, including
visits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and India to
discuss the contributions of peacekeepers in efforts to end sexual
violence in conflict.

She expressed optimism, however, that resolution 1960 (2010), which
calls for such protection measures and reporting mechanisms on
conflict-related sexual violence in situations on the Council's
agenda, would shift the terms of the debate from reaction to
prevention. She urged the Council to use its influence to ensure that
any ceasefire agreement reached in relation to Libya or Côte d'Ivoire
would also stipulate the cessation of sexual violence as a tactic of
war.

On 28 October, the Council reviewed progress on implementation of its
landmark resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, issuing
a presidential statement which stressed the importance of promoting
and protecting the human rights of women and girls, and of increasing
women's participation in conflict prevention and resolution, and
peacebuilding. At the same time, the Council voiced concern over
"persistent gaps and challenges that seriously hinder the
implementation of [the resolution]", including continued low numbers
of women in formal conflict-prevention institutions, especially in
preventive diplomacy and mediation efforts. It not only stressed the
need to bolster the role of women in that regard, but also to
incorporate the gender perspective into United Nations field missions.
(See Press Release SC/10426.)

--
Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi

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