UN Security Council in June
UN Security Council in June
June 2011 will be an especially busy month for Germany in the Security Council. A whole series of conflict regions such as North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa will once again be on the agenda. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office and Germany’s Mission to the United Nations are heavily involved in preparing for the German Security Council Presidency in July 2011.
As in previous months, June 2011 will again be dominated by the crises in North Africa and the Arab world. The main focus of attention, apart from Libya, will be the situation in the Sudan. Developments in Abyei and along the border between Northern and Southern Sudan are causing grave concern. Prior to Southern Sudan’s proclamation of independence on 9 July much needs to be done to ensure it will not embark on independence saddled with heavy burdens.
A considerable part of the Security Council’s work is concerned with the UN’s peace missions. At regular intervals decisions also have to be taken on extending the missions’ mandates. In June 2011, for example, UNFICYP (Cyprus), UNDOF (Golan) and MONUSCO (Democratic Republic of the Congo) will be on the Council’s agenda.
Decisions on peace missions
UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) is one of the UN’s longest-running peace missions. It was established in 1964 to prevent fighting between the island’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Today the conflict is still unresolved. The mission’s current mandate is due to be extended for a further six months on 14 June.
The mandate of UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) is due to be extended on 29 June. UNDOF’s main task is to supervise implementation of the 1974 disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria. It is also responsible for monitoring the ceasefire between the two countries. The mission was established after the so-called Yom Kippur War following the attack on Israel launched by Egypt and Syria on 6 October 1973.
With over 17,000 peacekeepers, MONUSCO is one of the UN’s largest peace missions. Its mandate is to protect the civilian population, disarm and reintegrate armed groups and restore stability. Given the country’s size – the Democratic Republic of the Congo is larger than Western Europe in area –, poor infrastructure and the sometimes inadequate preparedness of the blue helmets, this is a formidable challenge.
In 2011 and 2012 MONUSCO will have the further job of providing logistical support for the planned presidential and parliamentary elections. The Security Council is likely to decide on 29 June whether to extend MONUSCO’s mandate.
AIDS and peace
The Gabonese Republic, which holds the Security Council Presidency in June, is also keen to highlight the impact of HIV/AIDS on peace and international security. The debate on this important topic on 7 June will be chaired by Gabon’s President Bongo. From 8-10 June the issue of AIDS and its impact will also be on the agenda of the General Assembly.
In Resolution 1308 (2000) the Security Council had already pointed out the potential damaging impact of HIV/AIDS on the health of peacekeepers as well as their possible role in the spread of the disease. In Resolution 1308 (2000) the Security Council had already pointed out the potential damaging impact of HIV/AIDS on the health of peacekeepers as well as their possible role in the spread of the disease. The disease could pose a risk to a country’s security and stability and its spread could be exacerbated in conditions of violence and instability, the Resolution noted.