August 2015

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August 2015 Unsubscribe

Secretary-General Replaces Head of MINUSCA
14 August 2015

On August 14th, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced the appointment of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga (Gabon) as the acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Central African Republic. Prior to the appointment, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga had worked at the UN in several capacities, most recently as head of the UN's Mission in Burundi and Coordinator of the UN's response to Boko Haram.

The announcement follows the resignation of Babacar Gaye (Senegal) earlier last week in response to the recent allegations of sexual violence committed by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic as part of the UN's stabilization mission in the country (MINUSCA). According to the Secretary-General, Gaye was asked to step down in order to send a strong message that such crimes, as well as MINUSCA's failure to respond to them, were being taken seriously by the UN system.

Update on abuse allegations in CAR
20 August 2015

UN spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci confirmed the emergence of three new allegations of sexual misconduct by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. These new allegations bring the total number of reported cases of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers in the country to 13.

In response, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened an urgent meeting with the heads of all available UN peace operations and Force Commanders, and a closed session of the Security Council on 12 August. In his statement to the Council and in remarks to the press, Ban expressed his anguish over the reports of sexual exploitation by UN forces and vowed "decisive action" – beginning with the resignation of the SG's Special Representative in the Central African Republic. The story from the UN News Centre is available here.

Appointment of the Next Secretary-General Discussed in the General Assembly
25 August 2015

The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly (AHWG) resumed its negotiations on 25 August, following a brief hiatus for the summer holidays. The group, which is open to all Member States, addresses four "clusters": the role and authority of the General Assembly; the General Assembly's working methods; the institutional memory of the Office of the President of the GA; and the procedures of appointment for the UN Secretary-General. The AHWG aims to submit a draft resolution for adoption by the General Assembly before the end of the 69th session.

Although the group has met annually since 2007, this year's negotiations have been unusually contentious due to particular interest in the appointment process for the Secretary-General. Many Member States view this year as an opportunity to improve upon the notoriously opaque and informal appointment process before the next Secretary-General is appointed in 2016. On August 21st, the 1 for 7 Billion civil society campaign sent a letter to supportive Member States in the Ad Hoc Working Group urging them to continue pushing for "strong and specific" language in the resolution despite the objections of the US and Russia.

Meanwhile, press reports have proliferated on the lack of gender equality in the appointment of past Secretaries-General. On 22 August, the New York Times editorial board expressed its support for a female Secretary-General to be appointed in the UN's 70th anniversary year, describing such an appointment as a "powerfully symbolic" gesture which would "energize" the UN's advocacy for gender equality.

UN Reform

New Text Circulated for Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform
31 July 2015

On the 31st of July, the President of the General Assembly circulated a new text for the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on reform of the Security Council, following consultations with Member States over the past several months. A two part annex document, which compiled all inputs from Member States into the negotiations, accompanied the text. In his remarks, President Kutesa described the text as a "sound basis" for future text-based negotiations on reform of the Security Council. (See Part 1 and Part 2)

Notably, several Member States preferred not to provide input for the framework document, but instead submitted separate statements regarding their position on Security Council reform. The US, Russia, China and Laos each provided statements outside the guidelines provided by the chair of the IGN. The Arab group and the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) group also submitted their own remarks. For more information on the negotiations this year, visit the Center for UN Reform Education.


15 September 2015: Opening of the 70th Session of the General Assembly
25-27 September 2015: UN Sustainable Development Summit
23 October 2015: High-level event on the use of the veto organized by the Accountability, Coherence and Transparency (ACT) Group
November 2015: Human Rights Council elections
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