Over the past two years I have had the honour of serving as Chair of the 1718 Sanctions Committee concerning the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as well as Chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.
First and foremost, let me thank the Secretariat and my team at the mission for their crucial work and support.
And also the Committee, and Working Group members for your cooperation during the last two years.
Turning first to my role as Chair of the 1718 Committee:
There has been a deeply troubling increase in the number of ballistic missile tests by the DPRK.
These launches are unprecedented in frequency, diversity, and scale.
And the nuclear rhetoric of the DPRK state media is cause for grave concern.
Against this backdrop, the sanctions regime remains an important instrument to curb the DPRK’s ability to fund its illegal Weapons of Mass destruction program, and their means of delivery.
As Chair I have worked to put the effective implementation of this regime front and centre, and to maintain and advance consensus in the Committee.
This has admittedly not always been easy, but some progress has been made:
My predecessor, Ambassador Heusgen, stressed the importance of the Committee reaching agreement on a conversion rate for the consideration of the restrictions on the delivery of refined petroleum product- the so-called oil cap.
I am pleased to note that the Committee was able to find consensus on this issue.
Yet, there are also many steps the Committee could take to ensure more effective implementation of the sanctions regime.
A starting point would be to update the weapons control lists, and particularly, the WMD ballistic missile dual use lists- which the Committee is mandated to update annually.
In my view, it would also be beneficial for the Committee to seek further designations of vessels and individuals who obviously contribute to sanctions evasions by the DPRK.
The humanitarian situation in the DPRK has also been a constant focus for the 1718 committee. As Chair, I have been committed to the expedient processing of humanitarian exemptions aimed at facilitating important humanitarian assistance to the North-Korean people.
All Committee members have also shown a strong commitment to grant exemptions expediently.
Unfortunately, however, there is a contrast between the many exemptions granted, and the reports of only a small amount of humanitarian assistance reaching the DPRK- because of the border closures imposed by the DPRK government.
In general I believe it is important to separate the issue of humanitarian impacts of sanctions from other political considerations.
Sanctions should not be portrayed wrongfully as an explanation for serious problems which are caused by other factors.
The responsibility for the humanitarian situation in the DPRK remains with the DPRK regime.
Let me also highlight the importance of the work of the Panel of Experts to the 1718 Committee.
Their reporting provides relevant information about the DPRK’s sanctions evasion, and weapons programmes.
It is therefore important that all Member States cooperate with the panel- and that the panel should be able to work in an unhindered manner.
In my view, the Committee would benefit from even closer cooperation with the Panel.
Including through receiving briefings or reports when developments require, or when requested by Member States.
Finally, I hope the DPRK will reverse its path and reply positively to the many attempts for dialogue.
I strongly believe that diplomacy is the right and only way forward for sustained peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.
Colleagues, let me now turn to my time as Chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict:
Here I would like to especially thank SRSG Virgina Gamba and her office for their engagement and excellent leadership.
Also UNICEF, the Department of Peace Operations, and the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs for their close collaboration and tireless work.
Children are amongst the most vulnerable in war and armed conflict- and the Working Group is evidence of the Council’s shared commitment to protect them.
To this end, I have built on my predecessor, Ambassador Kridelka, and Belgium’s work with an ambitious work plan.
The Working Group has- during the last two years- successfully adopted conclusions on a number of country situations, with the constructive engagement of all Council members.
It has been important to me as Chair to consistently strive for conclusions that are fit for purpose, practical, and instruments for real action;
conclusions that have a real impact for the children concerned.
And please be assured we will continue to work right up until our chairmanship is finished at the end of this month.
We have also received and reviewed regular Global Horizontal Notes- to stay alert of recent developments. And had briefings on situations of concern, including on Ukraine.
Furthermore, together with Niger, Norway proposed the first ever standalone resolution on the protection of education in armed conflict.
Resolution 2601 was unanimously adopted.
And the importance of the subject has been demonstrated again and again over the last year.
We have seen how political instability and regime changes in several country situations on the CAAC agenda- as well as the war in Ukraine- have affected the dynamics of the Working Group.
Against this difficult backdrop, my goal as Chair has been to ensure that the Working Group stays active.
The potential impact of the Working Group cannot be overstated.
Its contact with the country task forces, and the governments of the countries concerned should get even more attention.
Norway works actively through its Embassies and Groups of Friends of CAAC to promote the implementation of the conclusions.
Norway has also worked to strengthen the protection of children also in our national capacity on the Council.
In mandate renewals and all other relevant Council products.
The Council must continue to mainstream child protection throughout its work; Ensuring adequate and dedicated capacity in United Nations missions; as well as sufficient funding.
This work is too important not to.
Trine Heimerback briefing on the 1267-committee:
Thank you for this opportunity to share some reflections on chairing the 1267 committee on ISIL/Al-Qaida for two years.
It has been a privilege, and I thank the team in the Norwegian Mission for their support and constructive work.
I will first give some very brief factual information before offering a couple of personal thoughts.
The Commitee have delisted 3 entities, and 14 individuals- mainly as part of the annual review or after recommendations from the Ombudsperson.
A few personal reflections on this work:
The unity of the Council on countering the threats of Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates remains high- And the 1267 sanctions committee- with the support of the Monitoring Team- remains a well-functioning and effective tool to combat ISIL and Al-Qaida.
However, maintaining this unity requires continuous efforts by all Council members- elected and permanent.
It is therefore important to keep the work of the committee focused on its core tasks.
For example, I believe the sanctions regime would have benefitted further if the Committee had been able to agree on more of the designation proposals it had under consideration.
Using the sanctions regime as a tool to promote other agendas will only harm its effectiveness and legitimacy.
I also regret that the focus on core tasks has not led the Committee agreeing to an update of its guidelines.
The Committee would, in my view, also have benefitted from expanding its view to assess and discuss, sexual and gender-based violence committed by ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida and its affiliates.
Turning now to the Ombudsperson.
I am very pleased that the Committee was able to agree on the proposed appointment of the current Ombudsperson, Mr. Malanjum, without undue delay as was experienced in the past.
And I would like to commend the efforts of the Secretariat, and the Committee itself, for supporting a timely and transparent process for his appointment.
As Chair I have witnessed the Ombudsperson’s instrumental role in safeguarding due process- and thereby ensuring both the effectiveness, and legitimacy, of the sanctions regime.
Based on this experience, it is my firm view that expanding the mandate of the Ombudsperson- or introducing similar procedural guarantees in the context of all UN sanctions regimes- would benefit their overall effectiveness and legitimacy.
I am therefore very pleased that the Council, through its recent adoption of resolution 2653 concerning the situation in Haiti, made its intention to authorise the Ombudsperson to ensure due process beyond the 1267 regime so clear.
Let me also use this opportunity to welcome last week’s adoption of the resolution on humanitarian carveouts, proposed by the US and Ireland.
Avoiding unintended negative consequences of Security Council sanctions- including for humanitarian action- is crucial.
Norway finds it particularly important that the exemption also applies to the 1267 sanctions regime.
Finally, let me extend a warm thank you:
To the Committee members, to the Secretariat, to the Ombudsperson, and to the Monitoring Team.