IN OCTOBER, the Security Council conducted most agenda items in-person, while a few items remained virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our delegation continued to work closely in the “A3+1” configuration with our African brothers and sisters (Niger, Kenya, and Tunisia) on many country-specific and thematic issues.
1. Haiti: At the beginning of the month the Security Council held a briefing on “the question concerning Haiti”. During the briefing, the A3+1 reaffirmed its full support for an inclusive Haitian-owned and Haitian-led national dialogue which must include full participation of women and youth accompanied by a national reconciliation process. We also encouraged the Haitian government to maximise use of the tools and instruments available through CARICOM to assist with resolution of the current crisis.
On 15 October, the Security Council voted unanimously to renew the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), the UN’s special political mission. The A3+1 was instrumental in the mandate renewal, which requests an assessment of the mission to determine whether and how its mandate could be adjusted and strengthened to address ongoing challenges and further acknowledged that CARICOM, as a subregional organization, has an important role to play to support efforts in addressing Haiti’s humanitarian, stabilization, reconstruction and sustainable development challenges. On that same day, the A3+1 together with twenty other countries convened a virtual Meeting titled: “Beyond the inconvenient truths about underdevelopment in Haiti: seeking pan-African solutions/pathways and supporting national dialogue and reconciliation”. The meeting sought to encourage genuine dialogue on how Haiti can transform itself from the current state to regain stability and focus on socio-economic development agendas. This meeting included the participation of our Prime Minister, Dr. The Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Haiti, Dr. The Honourable Ariel Henry and the Secretary-General of CARICOM, Dr. Carla Barnett.
2. Ethiopia: The Security Council held an open briefing on the situation in Ethiopia, under the agenda item “Peace and Security in Africa”. This was the tenth time that Council members met to discuss the situation in Ethiopia since the crisis erupted in the Tigray region in November 2020. The A3+1 emphasized that the highest priority, at this stage, is to declare an immediate ceasefire, to allow for an unrestricted humanitarian access to the affected population as well as for the re-establishment of public services in all the conflict areas. We noted that the humanitarian situation in northern Ethiopia, is part of a much bigger and complex crisis which is unfolding with a potential regional spillover effect that threatens peace and security in Ethiopia and beyond.
We reaffirmed our respect for and commitment to the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.
3. Small Arms and Light Weapons: The Security Council held a briefing to consider the Secretary-General’s seventh biennial report on Small Arms and Light Weapons. Our delegation recognized that even though we do not manufacture small arms and light weapons and we do not import them on a large scale, our region continues to be severely impacted by irresponsible and illicit weapons flows, aided by permissive gun laws in many manufacturing countries. We further emphasised the linkage between the misuse of small arms and light weapons and hindrances to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: Diversity, State-building and the search for peace: At the high-level open debate on this agenda item, SVG emphasized that the achievement of unity, social solidarity and socio-economic soundness is only possible through comprehensive development and reparatory solutions. Our delegation urged the delivery of practical, people centred, gender responsive and climate sensitive solutions across the peace and security humanitarian development nexus; implemented in line with the particular needs, cultural perspectives and national priorities of all concerned countries. We advocated for swift bold steps and innovative steps to promote a common agenda that systematically addresses concerns to prevent conflict and build and sustain peace. The Council also held its annual open debate on Women, Peace and Security, where our delegation called for greater representation of women in disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and security sector reform.
Meetings were also held to discuss the situations in the Middle East (Israel/ Palestine, Syria and Yemen), Colombia, Kosovo, The Central African Republic, Sudan and South Sudan. The Council also held a high-level meeting on Cooperation Between the United Nations and Regional and Sub-regional Organisations and an informal meeting on Sea-Level Rise and Implications for International Peace and Security.
Please visit svg-un.org for the full text of all statements and other updates.