I thank you for convening this meeting to consider the draft annual report of the Security Council A/69/2, covering the period 1August 2013 to 31 July 2014, and for giving Rwanda the floor, as a delegation that coordinated the documentation of the Council’s business in the reporting period.
The process towards a consensus on this draft is one that is representative of how productive the Council could be if its members were willing to always work towards a common interest. This has been the expectation of UN member states, when they mandated this organ to deal with the maintenance of international peace and security – a united, hence effective Council. It is on that note that I would like to express our gratitude to all Council members for their valuable collaboration in the process of drawing up the draft report. As it has been confirmed by the Secretariat, this report is recorded as one of the substantive Security Council reports agreed on in a shortest period.
As stated in the introduction of the draft report, the Council held, during the reporting period, 238 formal meetings, of which 218 were public. The Council adopted 55 resolutions and 26 presidential statements, while issuing 113 statements to the press. During the same period, the Security Council conducted two missions in the field, one to Africa – in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia – in October 2013, and another to Mali, in February 2014. In Ethiopia, the Security Council held, on 8 October 2013, one of its two annual consultative meetings with the African Union Peace and Security Council that took place during the reporting period; and the second meeting was held in New York on 7 June 2014.
As it was the case over the past years, most of Council’s activities and efforts were on Africa. The continent registered some progress; in Sierra Leone, where the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) was successfully completed; in Somalia, where the National Army, supported by the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continued to make substantive territorial gains against Al Shabaab; in Guinea Bissau, where the constitutional order was restored, albeit fragile; or in DRC, where a Force Intervention Brigade was deployed, pursuant to resolution 2098 (2013), to neutralize all armed groups. This led to the defeat of the Mouvement du 23 Mars (M23) in November 2013, which ended its rebellion through the Kampala Process and the Nairobi Declarations. However, the Security Council continued to follow closely the situation in the DRC, where a number of other armed groups, including the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and the Alliance Democratic Force (ADF), which remain active in the eastern part of the country.
Nonetheless, despite the aforementioned progress in Africa, the Security Council had to deal, during the reporting period, with the outbreak of conflicts in Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Libya, which led to widespread human rights and humanitarian consequences. It’s in this context that the Security Council reinforced the mandate of protection of civilians of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS), through the adoption of resolution 2155 (2014), and decided to establish the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), created by through resolution 2149 (2014) and deployed on 15 September 2014 to replace the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA). On CAR, the Council also adopted resolution 2127 (2013) establishing a Committee mandated to oversee an arms embargo, a travel ban and an asset freeze imposed pursuant to the same resolution.
The situation in the Middle East was also prominent in the Council’s agenda, following the eruption of the conflicts in Gaza and in Iraq, as well as the worsening security situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and in Yemen. On Syria, the Council adopted three resolutions: resolution 2118 (2013), related to the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and resolutions 2139 (2014) and 2165 (2014) related to the humanitarian situation in the country. On Yemen, Council adopted resolution 2140 establishing a Sanctions Committee mandated to oversee a travel ban and an asset freeze imposed to Yemen pursuant to the same resolution.
In Europe, the Security Council continued to follow the situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus and Kosovo, which remained generally calm and stable. However, in February 2014, the Council was seized with the conflict in Ukraine, which further escalated on 17 July 2014, with the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Donetsk Oblast, resulting in the loss of 298 lives. In that regard, the Security Council adopted resolution 2166 (2014) to condemn, in the strongest terms, this tragic incident; to demand a full, thorough and independent international investigation, and to stress that those responsible should be held accountable.
As for Asia and the Americas, the Council continued to monitor the situations in Afghanistan and in Haiti; and adopted relevant resolutions to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) and that of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Turning to thematic, general and cross-cutting issues, the Council continued to hold regular open debates and other public meetings on human rights-related issues such as the protection of civilians in armed conflict, children and armed conflict and women and peace and security; on security-related issues such as non-proliferation and peacekeeping; on post-conflict-related issues such as peacebuilding, security sector reform and the rule of law; and on working methods, including through the wrap-up sessions. At the same time, the Security Council debated specific issues, such as prevention of genocide (on the occasion of the 20th commemoration of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda); Medal of Honor for Captain Mbaye Diagne (a UNAMIR peacekeeper in Rwanda who saved hundreds of people during the genocide); small arms; and war, its lessons and the search for permanent peace.
During the reporting period, accountability for the most serious crimes was a permanent concern for the Security Council, through various country-specific debates and products; through meetings to discuss the work of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, and through meetings to consider reports of the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in accordance with relevant resolutions concerning the situation in Sudan and in Libya. Unfortunately, during the reporting period, Council members could not agree on two draft resolutions on the work of the ICC, in relation to the situations in Kenya and in Syria, respectively.
It is our hope that the important records of the Council’s business contained in this report will continue to be a guide to Council members, to the larger UN membership, to the UN secretariat and to all actors serving the international community in the maintenance of international peace and security. Nonetheless, I do hope that for the future, the Security Council should consider how to improve its annual reports by assessing its effectiveness in the reporting period, with concrete recommendations on how to act better and faster while maintaining international peace and security.
To conclude, Madam President, allow me to express our satisfaction for this opportunity for Rwanda to document the Council’s work. A particular thank to my Security Council Team, at the Rwanda Mission, which worked hard to put together this draft report, with the invaluable support and contribution to all Council members, to whom we extend our appreciation. We also express our gratitude to the Secretary-General and senior officers of his administration, for their usual availability to brief us, sometimes on a very short notice; and we recognize the invaluable support of members of the Security Council Affairs Division (SCAD), mainly for the advice they accorded to us throughout this drafting process, for the substantive contribution to this draft report, including on Council statistics; and for ably servicing the meetings that are the basis of this draft report.
I thank you.