UN Security Council

Today the UN Security Council will held its annual debate on women, peace and security and the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). Currently across all peacekeeping missions the total number of military women deployed in UN peace operations is less than 4%. We need more #WomenInPeacekeeping!

Women peacekeepers are essential to the operational effectiveness and success of our peacekeeping missions. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2erBers #UNSCR1325

Baby Steps on the Long Road to Justice for Atrocities in Syria

The negotiations set to recommence in Geneva on April 11, 2016 and the recent reduction of hostilities in Syria may represent important steps towards a peaceful solution to more than five years of turmoil. Few would not welcome the guns falling silent once and for all and for an end to the suffering of civilians.

The 'Livelihood Loophole' And Other Weaknesses Of N. Korea Sanctions
North Korea may face tougher sanctions in response to its most recent nuclear test, the most powerful blast yet. But North Koreans keep finding workarounds to the punitive measures.

Last week in Laos, when President Obama talked about the need to “tighten up” the existing sanctions on North Korea, a lot of other reporters asked, “Where?” Well, this piece, for Morning Edition, explains a loophole big enough to drive a coal truck through.

The Chaos in Darfur

Violence in the Darfur region of Sudan’s far west continues unabated. Some 450,000 persons were displaced in 2014 and another 100,000 in January 2015 alone, adding to some two million long-term internally displaced persons (IDPs) since fighting erupted in 2003. The government remains wedded to a military approach and reluctant to pursue a negotiated national solution that would address all Sudan’s conflicts at once and put the country on the path of a democratic transition. Khartoum’s reliance on a militia-centred counter-insurgency strategy is increasingly counter-productive – not least because it stokes and spreads communal violence. Ending Darfur’s violence will require – beyond countrywide negotiations between Khartoum, the rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition and unarmed players – addressing its local dimensions, within both national talks and parallel local processes.


Photo: United Nations Photo /Flickr 

Source : Crisis Group

It’s Time for a New United Nations

In March of 2011 and just hours before the United Nations Security Council vote, Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi promised citizens of Benghazi–his own countrymen–that he was “coming tonight” and that would show them “no mercy and no pity.” Gaddafi’s brazen statement telegraphed an impending attack with a high possibility massive civilian casualties.

In the Security Council immediately following Gaddafi’s threats, Russia and China–two permanent members with noted authoritarian governments themselves–abstained from voting on resolution 1973, which authorized “all necessary measures to protect civilians… including Benghazi.” (Germany, Brazil, and India, then-rotating members of the Security Council, abstained as well for their own reasons.)

In hindsight, Russia seems to have regretted its abstention. In January 2012, speaking about the growing civil war in Syria, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Australian TV that “the international community unfortunately did take sides in Libya and we would never allow the Security Council to authorize anything similar to what happened in Libya” in Syria.

That seems odd, because “what happened in Libya” was, on balance, a good thing: A sustained NATO air campaign unquestionably protected many more innocent civilians than it harmed and weakened Gaddafi’s forces en route to his downfall. What’s more, the Libya operation served as validation for those supporting the “responsibility to protect,” a 2006 Security Council mandate that called on parties involved in armed conflict to bear primary responsibility to protect civilians, approved by a unanimous 15-0 vote.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Trudeau unveils Canada's plan to seek 2021 UN Security Council seat
Move plays in to PM's narrative that 'Canada is back,' expert says

Canada is making a bid to take a seat on the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term beginning in 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today.

Flanked by five of his female cabinet ministers, Trudeau kicked off a two-day visit to the UN headquarters in New York CIty with the announcement in the lobby. He is also taking part in an armchair discussion with the executive director of UN Women at 11:45 a.m., and CBCNews.ca will carry that live.

Trudeau received a warm welcome from a crowd of Canadian UN employees and diplomats as he underscored Canada’s commitment to tackling climate change, helping Syrian refugees and promoting gender equality

Canada is prepared to play a leading role on the world stage, determined to “revitalize” Canada’s peacekeeping efforts, support civilian institutions that prevent conflict and promote international peace and security.

“This is the Canada of today, this is how we will build the world of tomorrow,” Trudeau said.

Noting that Canada last had a seat at the UN Security Council in 2000, Trudeau said “it’s time for Canada to step up once again.”

Continue Reading.

UN Security Council passes chemical weapons resolution on Syria

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution Friday backing a plan to turn Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile over to international monitors. It was the first time the divided council has been able to unite and pass a resolution related to the Syrian conflict, which has torn the country for two and a half years.

U.S. officials are hailing the resolution as a victory, in the wake of three joint vetoes by Russia and China in the past two years. But the resolution – which President Barack Obama and other Western diplomats have called “binding” and “enforceable” – lacks the teeth that the Obama administration has repeatedly called for.

However, speaking in the Security Council chambers just after the vote, Secretary of State John Kerry suggested that U.S. airstrikes are still an option. 

Read more at Al Jazeera America

Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images


Why Did the Iraq War Start? The Untold Story - Seymour Hersh - Reasons, Justification 

In the days immediately following 9/11, the Bush Administration national security team actively debated an invasion of Iraq. A memo written by Sec. Rumsfeld dated Nov 27, 2001 considers a US-Iraq war. One section of the memo questions “How start?”, listing multiple possible justifications for a US-Iraq War.

During 2002 the amount of ordnance used by British and American aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones of Iraq increased compared to the previous years and by August had “become a full air offensive”. Tommy Franks, the allied commander, later stated that the bombing was designed to “degrade” the Iraqi air defense system before an invasion.

In October 2002, a few days before the U.S. Senate voted on the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, about 75 senators were told in closed session that Iraq had the means of attacking the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. with biological or chemical weapons delivered by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs.) On 5 February 2003, Colin Powell presented further evidence in his Iraqi WMD program presentation to the UN Security Council that UAVs were ready to be launched against the United States. At the time, there was a vigorous dispute within the U.S. military and intelligence communities as to whether CIA conclusions about Iraqi UAVs were accurate and other intelligence agencies suggested that Iraq did not possess any offensive UAV capability, saying the few they had were designed for surveillance and intended for reconnaissance. The Senate voted to approve the Joint Resolution with the support of large bipartisan majorities on 11 October 2002, providing the Bush administration with a legal basis for the U.S. invasion under U.S. law.

The resolution granted the authorization by the Constitution of the United States and the United States Congress for the President to command the military to fight anti-United States violence. Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement. The authorization was signed by President George W. Bush on 16 October 2002.

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix remarked in January 2003 that “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance—not even today—of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.” Among other things he noted that 1,000 short tons (910 t) of chemical agent were unaccounted for, information on Iraq’s VX nerve agent program was missing, and that “no convincing evidence” was presented for the destruction of 8,500 litres (1,900 imp gal; 2,200 US gal) of anthrax that had been declared.

In the 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush said “we know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile biological weapons labs”. On 5 February 2003, Secretary of State Colin Powell appeared before the UN to present American evidence that Iraq was hiding unconventional weapons. The French government also believed that Saddam had stockpiles of anthrax and botulism toxin, and the ability to produce VX. In March, Blix said progress had been made in inspections, and no evidence of WMD had been found. Iraqi scientist Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi codenamed “Curveball”, admitted in February 2011, that he lied to the CIA about biological weapons in order to get the US to attack and remove Hussein from power.

In early 2003, the U.S., British, and Spanish governments proposed the so-called “eighteenth resolution” to give Iraq a deadline for compliance with previous resolutions enforced by the threat of military action. This proposed resolution was subsequently withdrawn due to lack of support on the UN Security Council. In particular, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members France, Germany and Canada and non-NATO member Russia were opposed to military intervention in Iraq, due to the high level of risk to the international community’s security, and defended disarmament through diplomacy.

The UN Organization Stabilization Mission suffered a severe blow on 20 November 2012, when forces of the 23rd March Movement (M23) entered the eastern city of Goma. In March 2013, in response, the UN Security Council agreed to more drastic measures, and adapted a 2012 proposal by Rwanda and Uganda to establish a Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), which was tasked to take stronger action against armed groups in the region. This was the first-ever ‘offensive’ combat force created by the UN Security Council. The brigade was deployed in May 2013 with success, pushing back the M23 and changing public opinion toward the mission for the better.

Find out about other significant events which happened across the globe with our SIPRI Yearbook 2014 interactive map.

Image credit: M23 troops in Bunagana (July 2012). Photo by Al Jazeera English. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Palestinians to seek end date for Israeli occupation with UN resolution

The Palestinian leadership intends to seek a UN Security Council resolution setting a three year deadline for ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, a PLO official said Tuesday.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, acknowledged at a news conference that the United States would veto such a resolution.

Nevertheless, she told reporters, “We will be seeking a Security Council resolution on ending the occupation on a specific date.”

“We should know that the occupation will end within three years,” she added.

UN Security Council does not approve Mahmoud Abbas draft resolution: 
8 in favor - Jordan, France, China, Russia, Argentina, Chad, Chile, and Luxembourg,
2 against - US and Australia 
5 abstentions - UK, South Korea, Rwanda, Lithuania, and Nigeria. Please note that Lithuania has exported some of the most known killers and racist Zionists to Palestine.

Yemen: A rare ‘success’ 'at risk | BBC

By Barbara Plett

As turmoil seeped across Arab borders in 2011, the UN Security Council threw its weight behind a political transition plan for a nation roiled by protests and violence, stopping the drift towards civil war and leading to the resignation of the authoritarian leader.

No, this is not a fantasy about what might have been for Syria. It is the reality of what happened in Yemen.

And it is the reason council members see Yemen as a rare success story in their track record on the Arab uprisings, last week making it the destination of their first visit to the Middle East in five years.


Photo: USAID/Flickr


That’s the type of celebrity people should have as a role model, someone who cares for something real, someone that fights for something that means something. Angelina Jolie is a inspiration. 

NYT: Russia and China Block U.N. Action on Crisis in Syria


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UNITED NATIONS — A United Nations Security Council effort to end the violence in Syria collapsed in acrimony with a double veto by Russia and China on Saturday, hours after the Syrian military attacked the city of Homs in what opposition leaders described as the deadliest government assault in the nearly 11-month uprising.

The veto and the mounting violence underlined the dynamics shaping what is proving to be the Arab world’s bloodiest revolt: diplomatic stalemate and failure as Syria plunges deeper into what many are already calling a civil war. Diplomats have lamented their lack of options in pressuring the Syrian government, and even some Syrian dissidents worry about what the growing confrontation will mean for a country reeling from bloodshed and hardship.

The veto is almost sure to embolden the government of President Bashar al-Assad, which brazenly carried out the assault on Homs on the day that the Security Council had planned to vote. It came, too, around the anniversary of its crackdown in 1982 on another Syrian city, Hama, by Mr. Assad’s father, Hafez, in which at least 10,000 people were killed in one of the bloodiest episodes in modern Arab history.

“It’s quite clear — this is a license to do more of the same and worse,” said Peter Harling, an expert on Syria at the International Crisis Group. “The regime will take it for granted that it can escalate further. We’re entering a new phase that will be far more violent still than what we’ve seen now.”

FULL ARTICLE (New York Times)

Photo: Reuters