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Friday, March 10, 2017

Security Council fully supports Demistura's 4 baskets agenda

Security Council Press Statement on Syria
On 8 March 2017, the members of the Security Council were briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and reiterated their support for his leadership of the United Nations’ efforts to facilitate the lasting political settlement of the Syrian crisis through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.
         The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and reiterated that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012, as endorsed by the Security Council resolution 2118 (2013), the Security Council resolutions 2254 (2015), 2268 (2016) and 2336 (2016), and relevant statements of the International Syria Support Group.
 The members of the Security Council welcomed the conclusion of a further round of United Nations-facilitated intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva on 3 March 2017. They further welcomed the announcement by Special Envoy de Mistura of a clear agenda for future negotiations as indicated by Resolution 2254, focusing on governance; constitutional issues; elections; and counter terrorism, security and confidence building measures.  
         The members of the Security Council reiterate their commitment to ensuring the inclusion of Syrian women in the political process through sustained consultation and dialogue and promoting their full and effective participation.
The members of the Security Council recognised that the continuation of political negotiations was made possible by the ceasefire developed through the Astana process.  
         The members of the Security Council called on the Syrian parties to fully implement the ceasefire, established pursuant to the arrangements of 29 December 2016, noted by UN Security Council resolution 2336, including ending ceasefire violations and ensuring humanitarian access.
 The members of the Council also  encouraged the International Syria Support Group members to use their influence over the parties to help end violations, reduce violence, build confidence and ensure safe, sustained and unhindered humanitarian access in line with UN Security Council resolution 2165 (2014).
         The Members of the Security Council looked forward to the early resumption of the intra-Syrian negotiations and encouraged the Syrian parties to return to talks in good faith and to engage constructively and without preconditions on the agenda set out by the UN Special Envoy when talks resume.
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Demistura's briefing on Geneva talks: 4 Baskets Agenda

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY

Staffan de Mistura
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria
Briefing to the Security Council
8 March 2017
 
Mr. President,
 
1.      Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Security Council following the fourth round of intra-Syrian talks that concluded in Geneva last Friday, 3 March 2017. I will be releasing this briefing publicly as an aide to the invitees and all interested Syrians, as well as to the wider international community, so that all can understand what took place in Geneva and what lies ahead. And I am glad to be briefing you on International Women’s Day, since the voices and influence of Syrian women must be felt in this process.

Background

2.      The talks were conducted with the encouragement of the Security Council, which on 31 January 2017 urged me to re-convene negotiations. The invitation letter recalled the Security Council’s urging of the Syrian parties to participate in good faith and without preconditions, and its reaffirmation that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in Syria is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012 as endorsed by Security Council resolution 2118 (2013), Security Council resolutions 2254 (2015), 2268 (2016) and 2336 (2016), and relevant statements of the International Syria Support Group.

3.      Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) specifically mandates the Special Envoy to convene representatives of the Government of Syria and the opposition to engage in formal negotiations on a political transition process. In that context, the focus of the agenda set out in the invitation letter was operative paragraph 4 of Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

4.      The invitations also recalled that the ceasefire regime announced on 29 December 2016 and the follow-up efforts in Astana had made significant contributions to jumpstarting the political process in Geneva and would remain important to ensure conducive conditions for genuine negotiations, as recognized by this Council. Thus, I continued to consult throughout the round on how to ensure that the Astana and Geneva efforts reinforce each other, in particular on the issues identified in paragraphs 12, 13 and 14 of resolution 2254 (2015), in strengthening the ceasefire, and regarding combatting terrorism as stated in resolution 2254 and pursuant to Security Council Resolutions 2249 (2015) and 2253 (2015).
 



The course of the talks
5.      I thank the Syrian invitees for accepting my invitation, for engaging on procedure and substance, and for participating at the outset together in a symbolic welcoming ceremony in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations on 23 February 2017.

6.      The photo of that event captures the moment when the invitees in the intra-Syrian talks sat together in one room - under the UN emblem - for the first time in three years. All representatives of this Council and of the International Syria Support Group were witnesses. With me on the podium as part of my advisory team were Syrian women representing civil society. This moment sent an important signal to all Syrians that a political process is possible and has finally been reconvened.

7.      In my first bilateral meetings following the opening ceremony, I shared a set of initial thoughts on procedural issues while signaling my desire to move ahead with genuine engagement on the substance. The procedural issues related to how we intended to deal with the specific agenda for governance, constitution-making and elections as per 2254, the relevant process design and methodology, issues of timelines and sequencing, and how any additional basket of issues might be handled.

8.      The talks which followed were not always easy. However, I can report that the invitees engaged constructively in increasingly intensive discussions on procedure and substance with me and my team. Invitees agreed to receive a non-paper on principles and expert presentations on issues in the baskets. These are all issues that touch upon a transitional political process. Invitees therefore engaged in substance on the agenda presented by the UN, and in some cases gave initial reactions. 

Commonalities and principles
9.      There was one early point of common ground. All invitees confirmed that the talks should not start from scratch, and instead build upon the achievements of the three rounds held in 2016. This allows me to affirm the common ground identified in last year’s points of commonalities and mediator’s summary papers produced after rounds two and three. This also allowed me during this fourth round to build upon this with a twelve-point non-paper that captured certain essential principles. I was satisfied with the reactions to these principles, and feel there is a broad area of common
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meeting of the minds regarding the type of Syria that all invitees may want to see one day. These principles can continue to evolve as a living set of points. They can also serve to guide me as the mediator in shepherding the effort. I did not at this stage seek any formal agreement, not least because the important thing is to focus on the real substance at stake. Therefore, I am not publicly releasing them at this time, and may continue to refine them.
 
Agenda

10.  It was clear and not disputed that the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva are aimed at implementing resolution 2254. As the mediator, it is my view and expectation that the sides should aim at a framework agreement containing a political package so that a negotiated transitional political process can be implemented in accordance with the clear sequencing and target timelines set out in resolution 2254.
 
11.  To achieve this goal, a clear agenda has emerged consisting of four baskets – three baskets as per my invitation letter plus a new  additional basket added during the round. Each is to my mind framed by the goal I have just described and contributes to developing the overall political package for a negotiated transitional political process to unfold in Syria:
·         Basket 1 addresses all issues related to the establishment, within a target of six months, of credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance.
·         Basket 2 addresses all issues related to setting, within a target of six month, a schedule and process for drafting a new constitution.
·         Basket 3 addresses all issues related to ensuring that free and fair elections, pursuant to a  new constitution, can be held within 18 months and administered under the supervision of the UN, to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate.
·         The new basket 4 addresses (within the context of the overall transitional political process) issues related to counter-terrorism and security governance, and also confidence-building measures.

12.  We have elaborated with the sides elements that could be covered in the workstream in each basket. Expert UN inputs have mapped to varying degrees substantive issues that would need to be addressed. Basket 1 should address the functions, elements and institutions of credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance, their membership and decision-making, their powers and relations to other institutions, governance practices and policies and mechanisms, and the mechanisms and legal basis to ensure implementation. Basket 2 should address the type of constitutional drafting process by the Syrians that would be set up such as a special commission, how a national conference or national dialogue could play a role, what public consultation and revision could take place on a draft, and how a draft would be formally approved by Syrians. Basket 3 should identify the balloting events that would take place, how elections would be administered, what UN supervision would entail, what free and fair elections according to highest international standards would require, and how to ensure eligibility of all Syrians including members of the diaspora to participate.

Basket 4 should be informed by UN standards, such as the pillars of the UN counter-terrorism strategy, and address strategic counter-terrorism issues well as  security sector governance. Thus, this basket could address internal and external conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, preventing and combatting terrorism, ensuring state capacity to address terrorism, and upholding the rule of law and human rights while fighting terrorism -- including in state institutions, and in particular security institutions. Issues of unity of command over armed forces, powers of and oversight of security agencies, credible and effective police forces, and dealing with foreign fighters and forces could all be usefully addressed. So could confidence-building measures.

13.  Let me clarify that these are not as far as the UN understands the same issues as those to be addressed in the Astana effort. The UN strongly supports Astana in addressing the crucial issue of maintaining the ceasefire regime announced on 29 December. Likewise, any immediate operational counter-terrorism issues can be dealt with there, in Astana not in Geneva.

14.  I also look to the coming meeting in Astana to do everything possible to find practical measures of confidence-building, such as securing releases of arbitrarily detained persons, and also ensuring unhindered humanitarian access. There were quite a few interactions on these issues in Geneva. I also want to make clear that in Geneva we will continue to address in the framework of the ISSG Humanitarian Task Force issues of humanitarian access. We will also pursue a systematic and sustained approach to the issue detainees, missing persons, and other confidence-building measures, as called for in Security Council resolution 2254 (2015).

15.  Let me also indicate as I did to the invitees that if and as substantive talks on the four baskets deepens, additional baskets on reconstruction and international support for a negotiated transitional political package could be added in due course.

Work methods

16.  Within the intra-Syrian talks process, as far as the UN is concerned, we aim to address the baskets in parallel.  This at least means that:
·         Each basket will contain its own work stream;
·         We address all four baskets in-depth in each round;
·         The mediator will not allow any party to prevent discussion of a basket;
·         The sequencing of meetings to discuss baskets does not denote the sequence of implementation of any agreed package;
·         Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed unless the sides decide otherwise;
·         Any framework agreement would be a package from a comprehensive negotiation.

17.  I urge the invitees to prepare actively for the next round of talks on all baskets. I intend to actively mediate in proximity talks, as by the way is done in Astana. Workstreams in the baskets will be pursued in formal meeting with the United Nations, as well as technical discussions, and possibly working groups, expert committees, or other arrangements, depending on the complexity of the issues, the preferences of the sides, and what I assess can be fruitful.

18.  As we proceed in proximity mode, we will continue to explore every opportunity for direct meetings on all issues on the agenda, or on specific issues where appropriate.

Progress re opposition

19.  In this context, I am also pleased to note that, with our active encouragement, important progress was made before this round toward the needed basis for a single opposition delegation to participate in direct negotiations with the Government of Syria. Significant dialogue and contact among invitees on this matter continued during round 4 in Geneva.
 
20.  I will continue encouraging efforts in this direction, and work for finalizing efforts to this end within the context of resolution 2254. There should at the very least be cooperation among the opposition invitees in a manner that promote the effectiveness of the process. I hope that a clear agenda for the talks process will play its part in assisting the opposition in its diversity to overcome whatever differences remain. Let everyone note that success in this endeavor lies in many hands, not just mine.

Resolution 1325

21.  Beyond the invitees to the talks, this round of talks re-engaged Syrian women and Syrian civil society in the peace process, in ways that we have to build on. I strongly reiterated my commitment to ensuring the inclusion of diverse voices of Syrian women in the process through sustained consultation and dialogue. I reiterated my request to all invitees to ensure full and effective participation of women in their teams in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325. Meanwhile, I convened and worked closely throughout the round with the Women Advisory Board, who directly advise me and my team before and after the sessions.

Civil society

22.  My office also activated the Civil Society Support Room to accompany the process and enable a broad cross-section of Syrian civil society to be present in Geneva. This enabled me and my colleagues to consult with a range of Syrian civil society individuals and organisations with a humanitarian and human rights background. We were also able to consult Syrian legal and economic experts, primarily academics and former civil servants, from both inside and outside Syria. Their voices brought many perspectives, and also gave us useful expert insights.

Next steps and required support

23.  What is the way ahead? I am in New York to brief you but also to consult the Secretary-General, which will be later this week. It is my intention to reconvene the invitees for a 5th round with a target date of 23 March, with invitees to arrive 22 March.

24.  In support of the talks process, I need your help. First, I would welcome this Council sending a clear signal that the outcomes of this round of intra-Syrian talks have your full support. The agenda now set should be fully backed. We cannot accept any back-sliding. You should know that I was quite prepared to adjourn meetings if no serious engagement was taking place on the baskets in the round that just passed, and that will continue. And I will not hesitate to explain why.

25.  Second, the invitees should be preparing for intensive and substantive discussion on the baskets in the fifth round. I hope they will come with constructive inputs and fresh thinking where that is needed. That is what a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process ideally would require. But if they do not, the UN will continue to stimulate them with inputs.

26.  Third, I appeal to those convening the Astana meeting next week to address urgently the challenges to the ceasefire. And I urge all states with influence to use that influence now with the conflicting parties. Since mid-February, we have witnessed several worrisome developments that can be classified either as typical spoiler acts, or escalatory steps in contested areas that are of strategic interest to the parties to the ceasefire. This surge in violence is killing more civilians, and has the potential to undermine confidence in the 29 December 2016 ceasefire agreement. There is an urgent need for an effective working mechanism on verification, prevention, or correction on the ground. The UN will be present and active in the Astana meeting to support the principal players address these challenges.

27.  Fourth, humanitarian access must be safe, unhindered and sustainable, especially in besieged and hard to reach areas, on the basis of needs assessed by the UN and its humanitarian partners. All parties to the conflict must meet their obligations under international humanitarian law.

28.  Fifth, let us remember the enormous task of bringing about a return of those who have fled and the reconstruction of Syria once a political solution is reached. The ministerial-level conference that will take place in Brussels less than a month from now will focus on the implementation of pledges and commitments made in London last year, on supporting the resilience of millions of refugees and host communities in neighboring countries,

but will also begin to look a possible concerted path forward on early rehabilitation and future reconstruction needs – if and only if a credible and genuine transitional process has firmly taken place. A well-coordinated approach to reconstruction needs can be a powerful incentive to all to replace guns with bricks and mortars, boost regional economies, and enable the return of the displaced to their homes.

29.  Sixth, let us plainly acknowledge that, while the solution must be Syrian led and owned, Syria’s future is not, tragically, only in Syrian hands. Syrians from all walks of life remind me of this on a daily basis. I appreciated the assistance of many active diplomatic counterparts during the fourth round. If we are to go further, every important outside player needs to make a firm and unequivocal decision not to pursue the illusion – the fantasy as I said in Geneva – of a military solution, or to foster that illusion among Syrians. All must recognize that only a political solution can produce a sustainable future for Syria. This requires a solution that addresses the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. The Syrians must recognize this, and so must outsiders.

Mr. President,

30.  On this International Women’s Day, I want to try to capture what I heard from Syrian women, and also Syrian civil society, during this fourth round. Here is what they tell me: Syria and Syrians are sick of this conflict; they are devastated at what has befallen their country; they demand that their voices be heard; they want Syria’s destiny to be in Syrian hands; theyhave a huge amount to contribute to peace not war; they know the difficulties but want these UN talks to work; and, above all, they call on all of you to support this mediation process and help it succeed. I hope this Council hears these voices, and that everyone now acts accordingly.

Thank you, Mr. President.
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Friday, February 10, 2017

Security Council supports President Farmajo of Somalia

PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT ON SOMALIA
 The Security Council welcomes the conclusion of the electoral process in Somalia and the election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo”.    The Security Council pays tribute to former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for his service and commends the swift and gracious transfer of power in Somalia.
The Security Council welcomes the political and security progress in Somalia since 2012, and underscores the need to maintain the momentum towards democratic governance in Somalia.  The Security Council commends the increased participation and representation of the people of Somalia in the electoral process.  The Council emphasises the importance of governing in a spirit of national unity in an inclusive manner and of adhering to the political road map in order to reach one-person, one-vote elections in four years time.
The Security Council commends the role of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) in enabling the electoral process in close cooperation with the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other international partners.  The Security Council pays tribute to the contribution of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to lasting peace and stability in Somalia, noting in particular AMISOM’s critical role in ensuring the provision of security for the electoral process, which along with the Somali security forces, enabled voting to take place across the country.
The Security Council strongly condemns recent Al-Shabaab attacks that attempted to disrupt the political process in Somalia and pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of AMISOM and the Somali security forces for their efforts in reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab.
The Security Council welcomes the increased representation of women in the Upper House and the House of the People and underlines the important contribution of women to Somalia’s peacebuilding and State building process.
The Security Council underscores the importance of the timely and transparent appointment of Ministers and Cabinet positions in consultation with the Somali Parliament. The Council calls on the Parliament and all Federal and State leaders to cooperate fully with the Federal Government of Somalia in driving forward reform and addressing immediate priorities without delay.
The Security Council calls on President Farmajo and his government give urgent attention to the immediate risk of famine, to take active steps to prevent it, and to address the consequences of the severe drought in Somalia.  The Council appeals to donors to increase support to the Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia and to support the appeals for aid by Somali Federal and Regional authorities’.  The Council reiterates the need for full, safe and unhindered access for the timely delivery of aid to persons in need across Somalia.
The Security Council emphasises the need to accelerate agreement between the federal and regional authorities on a Somali federal security sector architecture, which clearly defines the roles, responsibilities and structures of relevant security sector institutions under full Somali ownership as an immediate priority.  The Council stresses the importance of the Federal Government of Somalia enhancing and strengthening efforts to strengthen Somalia’s security capabilities in order to move towards the eventual handover of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali security services.  In this regard, the Council encourages UNSOM to continue to undertake a Comprehensive Approach to Security in close coordination with the Somali authorities, AMISOM and international partners.
The Security Council underlines the importance of good faith cooperation between federal and regional authorities in Somalia in order to accelerate Somalia’s peacebuilding and State-building process, and calls on the international community and Somalia's partners to step up their support to efforts to build and strengthen Somalia’s national institutions, governance structures and socio-economic infrastructure.
The Security Council underlines the need to ensure progress in the Somali-led constitutional review process.  The Council encourages the Federal Government of Somalia to promote a comprehensive reconciliation process that brings about local, regional, and national cohesion and integration in a climate of respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to establish an effective federal political system.   The Council further encourages President Farmajo, the Federal and Regional authorities to reiterate Somalia’s commitment to increase transparency and accountability of public financial management, including to advance security sector reform.
The Security Council urges the new Federal Administration to take active steps to lay the foundations for inclusive and transparent elections in four years time, including by ensuring that public office in Somalia cannot be achieved through harassment, intimidation, corruption or manipulation. 
The Security Council reaffirms its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.
The Security Council recognizes that the coming months will be an important period for Somalia.  The Council will continue to follow progress closely, and reaffirms its support for peace, stability and development in Somalia.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Security Council Supports Barrow, Calls Jammeh to Transfer Power Immediately

The Security Council,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of The Islamic Republic of The Gambia, and recalling the importance of the principles of good-neighbourliness, non-interference and regional cooperation,
Recalling the Statement of its President on 21 December 2016 on Peace consolidation in West Africa and the Press Statement of its Members on 10 December 2016 on the Gambia elections,
Recalling the relevant provisions of Article 23 (4) of the African Union (AU) Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the provisions of the Supplementary Protocol of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Democracy and Good Governance,
Congratulating the Gambian people for the holding of the peaceful and transparent Presidential election on 1 December 2016,
Noting the official results of the elections of 1 December 2016 issued by the Gambian Independent Electoral Commission which proclaimed Mr. Adama Barrow President Elect, and which the outgoing President of The Islamic Republic of The Gambia, Mr. Yahya Jammeh, himself publicly recognized and accepted on 2 December,
Strongly condemning the statement by President Jammeh, on 9 December rejecting the December 1 official election results and the takeover of the Independent Electoral Commission by the Gambian Armed Forces on 13 December 2016, and the attempt by the Parliament ON 18 January 2017 to extend President Jammeh’s term for three monthS beyond his current mandate,
Condemning in the strongest possible terms the attempts to usurp the will of the people and undermine the integrity of the electoral process in The Gambia,
Condemning the attempt to prevent a peaceful and orderly transfer of power to President-elect Barrow by declaring a state of emergency,
Expressing grave concern at the risk of deterioration of the situation in the Gambia, recalling that the Gambian government bears primary responsibility for protecting human rights and protecting the civilian population in The Gambia and demanding that all stakeholders and parties act with maximum restraint, refrain from violence and remain calm,
Commending the declaration of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) at its 647th meeting held on 13 January 2017 that as of 19 January 2017, outgoing President, Yahya Jammeh, will cease to be recognized by the AU as legitimate President of the Republic of the Gambia,
taking note of the communiqué of the Chairman of the African Union on 10 December 2016 and the joint Communique of The ECOWAS Commission, the African Union Commission and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) on 10 December 2016,
Commending the initiatives of ECOWAS, including the visit of a ECOWAS/UN high level delegation in Banjul on 13 December 2016, led by Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Chairperson of the ECOWAS authority, aimed at ensuring a peaceful and orderly transition of process in The Gambia, as well as the ECOWAS high level delegation in Banjul on 13 January 2017,
Further welcoming the efforts of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander in chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the ECOWAS Mediator in the Gambia and His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana as the Co-chair,
Recognizing the important mediation role of Mr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS),
Commending and strongly supporting the continued efforts of the African Union and ECOWAS to promote peace, stability and good governance in the Region,
    1. Urges all Gambian parties and stakeholders to respect the will of the people and the outcome of the election which recognized Adama Barrow as President-elect of The Gambia and representative of the freely expressed voice of the Gambian people as proclaimed by the Independent Electoral Commission;
    2. Endorses the decisions of ECOWAS and the African Union to recognize Mr. Adama Barrow as President-Elect of the Gambia;
    3. Calls upon the countries in the region and the relevant regional organisation to cooperate with President Barrow in his efforts to realize the transition of power ;
    4. Welcomes the decisions on The Gambia of the Fiftieth Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority held in Abuja on 17 December 2016 and the decisions of The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 644th meeting held on 12 December 2016 and its 647th meeting held on 13 January 2017;
    5. Welcomes further the decisions of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), declaring the inviolable nature of the outcome of the presidential elections held on 1 December 2016 in The Gambia, calling upon outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to keep to the letter and spirit of the speech he delivered on 2 December 2016, in which he welcomed the maturity of democracy in The Gambia and congratulated the president-elect, Adama Barrow, and declaring further that, as of 19 January 2017, outgoing President Yahya Jammeh will cease to be recognized as legitimate President of the Republic of The Gambia (AU/PSC communique at its 647th meeting held on 13 January 2017);
    6. Expresses its full support to the ECOWAS in its commitment to ensure the respect of the will of the people of The Gambia as expressed in the results of 1stDecember elections (draw from para 38(h) of the communiqué of 50th ECOWAS summit of 17 December 2016 and para 3 of the AU/PSC communique at its 647th meeting held on 13 January 2017);
    7. Requests outgoing President Jammeh to carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process, and to transfer power to President-elect Adama Barrow by 19 January 2017 in accordance with the Gambian constitution,
    8. Emphasizes the importance that the safety of President-elect Adama Barrow, and that of all Gambian citizens be fully ensured, and noted the decision of ECOWAS Fiftieth Session in this regard;
    9. Requests all stakeholders, within and outside The Gambia, to exercise restraint, respect the rule of law and ensure the peaceful transfer of power;
    10. Further Requests the Gambian defence and security forces to demonstrate maximum restraint to maintain an atmosphere of calm in the Gambia and stresses their duty and obligation to place themselves at the disposal of the democratically elected authorities.
    11. Requests the Secretary General to update the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution within ten (10) days after its adoption (new para);
    12. Requests the Secretary-General, including through his Special Representative, to facilitate, as appropriate, political dialogue between the Gambian stakeholders in order to ensure peace in The Gambia and respecting the outcome of the Presidential election as recognized by ECOWAS and African Union, and to provide technical assistance to the ECOWAS mediation where required,
    13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

At First Appearance at UNSC, Guterres Calls For Prevention

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL 
REMARKS TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL OPEN DEBATE ON 
MAINTENANCE OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY: 
CONFLICT PREVENTION AND SUSTAINING PEACE 
NEW YORK, TUESDAY, 10 JANUARY 2017 

Madame President, may I first of all thank you very much, and thank the Swedish presidency, for convening this meeting and allowing me to have my first formal presence in the Security Council, discussing what I believe must be the priority of everything we do together – preventing conflict and sustaining peace. And I believe that the massive attendance that we are registering in this meeting proves that indeed this message is something that we all fully recognize. Thank you very much again. 

The United Nations was established to prevent war by binding us in a rules-based international order.  
Today, that order is under grave threat.   
  
Millions of people in crisis look to this Council to preserve global stability and to protect them from harm, but the enormous human and economic cost of conflicts around the world shows how complex and challenging this is. Yet we spend far more time and resources responding to crises rather than preventing them. People are paying too high a price. Member States are paying too high a price. We need a whole new approach. 

It has proved very difficult to persuade decision-makers at national and international level that prevention must be their priority – perhaps because successful prevention does not attract attention. The television cameras are not there when a crisis is avoided. 

But most of today’s conflicts are still essentially internal, even if they quickly take on regional and transnational overtones. They are fuelled by competition for power and resources, inequality, marginalization and exclusion, poor governance, weak institutions, sectarian divides. They are exacerbated by climate change, population growth and the globalization of crime and terrorism. With so many factors at work, it takes very little to trigger a crisis that can engulf a country or a region, with global consequences.   

But while the causes of crisis are deeply interlinked, the UN’s response remains fragmented. 

The interconnected nature of today’s crises requires us to connect our own efforts for peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, not just in words, but in practice. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on sustaining peace demonstrate strong intergovernmental support for an integrated approach. 

The challenge now is to make corresponding changes to our culture, strategy, structures and operations. 

We must rebalance our approach to peace and security. For decades, this has been dominated by responding to conflict. For the future, we need to do far more to prevent war and sustain peace. 

The reforms I am setting in motion aim to achieve this. I have started with the decision-making processes in the Secretariat. The newly-established Executive Committee will increase our capacity to integrate all pillars of the United Nations, under a common vision for action.     

I have appointed a senior Advisor on Policy, whose main task will be to map the prevention capacities of the UN system and to bring them together into an integrated platform for early detection and action. This work will enable us to link the reform of our Peace and Security architecture with the reform of the UN Development System, while respecting the specific areas of competence of the Security Council and the General Assembly. 

But we need the support of both bodies for our efforts to build and sustain peace across the continuum, from prevention, conflict resolution and peacekeeping to peacebuilding and long-term development. 

The primary work of conflict prevention lies with Member States. 

L’ensemble du système des Nations Unies doit se tenir prêt à aider les gouvernements à mettre en œuvre l’Agenda 2030, à renforcer la gouvernance et les institutions et à promouvoir l’état de droit et tous les droits humains, qu’ils soient civils, politiques, sociaux, économiques ou culturels. L’initiative des Droits Humains Avant Tout, qui vise également à intégrer les problématiques de la paix et de la sécurité, des droits humains et du développement durable, permettra de continuer à renforcer les capacités de l’ONU dans ce domaine. 
Et les agences humanitaires et les acteurs du développement doivent travailler ensemble pour aider les états à prévenir les crises et à renforcer la résilience de leurs sociétés. Le dispositif fragmenté actuel ne nous donne pas la capacité de nous attaquer aux causes profondes des conflits.   
Il est fondamental aussi de faire en sorte que les femmes et les filles participent pleinement à l’édification de sociétés inclusives et résilientes. Lorsque l’égalité de genre imprègne le tissu social, lorsque les femmes et les hommes font face aux difficultés en tant que partenaires égaux, les sociétés ont de bien meilleures chances de parvenir à la stabilité et de préserver la dignité humaine et la prospérité. 

Il est aussi crucial de régler le fléau mondial qu’est le chômage des jeunes, non seulement pour garantir leur épanouissement, mais aussi pour prévenir l’instabilité, les conflits sociaux et réduire l’extrémisme violent. Combattre le chômage des jeunes doit faire non seulement une priorité absolue des politiques nationales de développement mais une priorité de la coopération au niveau international. 

As societies become multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural, we will need greater political, cultural and economic investments in inclusivity and cohesion, so that people appreciate the benefits of diversity rather than perceiving it as a threat. All groups need to see that their individual identities are respected, while feeling that they belong as valued members of the community as a whole. Civil society has a role to play in raising the alarm when this respect is threatened or lost. 

We must commit to a surge in diplomacy for peace, in partnership with regional organizations, mobilizing the entire range of those with influence, from religious authorities to civil society and the business community. 

We will launch an initiative to enhance our mediation capacity, both at United Nations Headquarters and in the field, and to support regional and national mediation efforts. 

I ask the Security Council to make greater use of the options laid out in Chapter VI of the UN Charter. And I am prepared to support you through the use of my good offices and through my personal engagement. 

Too many prevention opportunities have been lost because Member States mistrusted each other’s motives, and because of concerns over national sovereignty. Such concerns are understandable, in a world where power is unequal and principles have sometimes been applied selectively.  Indeed, prevention should never be used to serve other political goals. On the contrary, prevention is best served by strong sovereign States, acting for the good of their people. 

But in taking preventive action, we need to avoid double standards. But that does not mean that there are no standards at all. Preventive action is essential to avert mass atrocities or grave abuses of human rights.  And we can achieve this only through reasoned discussion, based on facts and the pursuit of truth. 

Prevention must consistently be seen as a value in itself. It is an essential means of reducing human suffering and enabling people to reach their full potential. 

International cooperation for prevention, and particularly translating early warning into early action, depends on trust between Member States, and in their relations with the United Nations. 

I stand ready to foster a more trusting relationship and to improve communications with the Council, with consistency, candour and transparency. 

Disagreements about the past cannot allow us to prevent us from acting today. 

Together, we need to demonstrate leadership, and strengthen the credibility and authority of the United Nations, by putting peace first. Ending the boundless human suffering and the wanton waste of resources generated by conflict is in everyone’s interests. 

This Council, working with the Peacebuilding Commission, all other parts of the United Nations system, and regional organizations, can enable faster preventive action when the warning signs are there. The cost of inaction is simply too high. 

War is never inevitable. It is always a matter of choice: the choice to exclude, to discriminate, to marginalize, to resort to violence. By restoring trust between governments and their citizens and amongst Member States, we can prevent and avoid conflict. 

But peace, too, is never inevitable. It is the result of difficult decisions, hard work and compromise. We should never take it for granted; but should prize and nurture it in every country, at every time. 

Prevention is not merely a priority, but the priority. If we live up to our responsibilities, we will save lives, reduce suffering and give hope to millions. 

Allow me to repeat the appeal I made ten days ago in my first message as Secretary-General: Let us make this year, 2017, a year for peace. I think it would be naïve to say that 2017 will be a year of peace, but at least it is our obligation to do everything we can to make it a year for peace. Thank you very much. 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Russian - Turkish Resolution (2336) on Syria: Ceasefire, Astana Talks

Russian Federation and Turkey
The Security Council
Recalling all its previous resolutions and Presidential Statements on situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, in particular 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016), and the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012, 
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Noting the Joint Statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey of December 20, 2016,
Noting with appreciation the mediation efforts undertaken by the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey to facilitate the establishment of a ceasefire in the Syrian Arab Republic,
Reiterating its call on the parties to allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria, as provided for in its relevant resolutions,
Reiterating that the only sustainable solution to the current crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic is through an inclusive and Syrian-led political process based on the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 as endorsed by resolution 2118 (2013), its resolutions 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016) and relevant statements of the International Syria Support Group,
1. Welcomes and support the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end violence in Syria and jumpstart a political process, and takes note of the document issued by Russia and Turkey in this regard (S/2016/1133);
2. Stresses the importance of the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolution, particularly 2254 (2015) and 2268 (2016); 
3. Looks forward to the meeting to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan, between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the representatives of the opposition viewing it as an important part of the Syrian-led political process and an important step ahead of the resumption of negotiation under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on 8 February 2017; 
4. Decides to remain seized of the matter.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

France, UK draft: Sanctions on Assad's officers, helicopters

Draft and annexes (names) here

Draft UNSCR:
Use of chemical weapons in Syria
Preambular Paragraphs
The Security Council,
PP1. Recalling the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC) ratified by the Syrian Arab Republic on 14 September 2013, and the Council’s resolutions 1540 (2004), 2118 (2013), 2209 (2015), and 2235 (2015), (from PP1, UNSCR 2209 but added reference to 2235)
PP2. Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, (PP2 UNSCR 2118)
PP3. Condemning again in the strongest terms any use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in the Syrian Arab Republic, and reaffirming that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a serious violation of international law, (PP3 and 4, UNSCR 2235)
PP4. Recalling its determination to identify those parties in Syria responsible for the use of any chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic, and recalling also the establishment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) to identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups, or governments who were perpetrators, organisers, sponsors or otherwise involved in the use of chemical weapons, including chlorine or any other toxic chemical, in the Syrian Arab Republic where the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) determines or has determined that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons, (OP4 and 5, UNSCR 2235)