(Editors’ Note: This is the latest in Just Security’s weekly series keeping readers up to date on developments at the United Nations at the intersection of national security, human rights, and the rule of law.)
Security Council Briefing on Kosovo and Serbia Relations
On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council heard a briefing from the Special Representative for Kosovo, Caroline Zaideh, on the latest developments in the region since the agreements for negotiations and mutual engagement between the country and its neighbor Serbia were reached in February and March 2023. She reported that the pathway for peace between the Balkan nations was overshadowed by clashes between civilians and Kosovo Force personnel. She also warned against unilateral actions in areas covered by the governing agreements, such as when the Central Bank of Kosovo pronounced unilaterally that euro will be the only currency allowed in Kosovo for cash transactions starting in February 2024.
U.N. Appeals for over $4 Billion in Funding for Sudan and Neighboring Countries
On Wednesday, the U.N.’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, called on member States to pledge $4.1 billion to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of some 25 million civilians in war-plagued Sudan and a displaced population of 1.5 million people in neighboring countries, including the Central African Republic, Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.. The package comprises two key components, Humanitarian Needs and Response allocating $2.7 billion for those within in Sudan, and Regional Refugee Plan $1.4 billion for those outside Sudan. Hostilities continue to damage water supply networks and other critical civilian infrastructure in Sudan, leading to the spread of diseases including cholera, measles, and malaria as two-thirds of the population lacks access to health care, according to a U.N. press release.
Security Council Briefing on Ukraine
On Tuesday, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Rosemary A. DiCarlo, informed the Security Council an alarming increase in civilian casualties in Ukraine in December and January, and that 40 percent of the population needed humanitarian assistance. In the discussion following the report, many delegates in the Security Council called on Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine to allow for humanitarian aid to reach the civilians affected by the harsh winter conditions in the region.