Congo will have the Council presidency in August.
August is traditionally a quieter month for the Council. Schedules for review or renewal of mandates are usually structured to avoid August as far as possible. In that respect this year is no exception, with only three mandates due for renewal.
However, as this Forecast goes to print, there are still two major issues from July which are unresolved—the draft resolution authorising the “hybrid” AU-UN operation for Darfur and a draft Council statement on Lebanon. Both of these items could add significantly to the Council workload in August. Given the critical importance of the Darfur resolution, and its political significance, there have been suggestions that some Council members will be represented at the ministerial level when it is adopted.
A thematic debate on African issues initiated by Congo will take place later in August under the agenda item of Prevention of Conflict in Africa.
Formal Council meetings for renewal of mandates will be needed on:
Iraq: the mandate for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) expires on 10 August.
Somalia: the authorisation for the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) expires on 20 August.
Lebanon: the mandate for the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) expires on 31 August.
While simple renewal resolutions in these cases are possible, it seems likely that, at least in respect of Iraq and Somalia, some Council members will want to take the opportunity of these situations coming before the Council to raise new matters and additional proposals for inclusion in the resolutions.
In the case of Iraq, there is an interest in decoupling the UNAMI mandate from the authorisation for the Multinational Force by giving UNAMI its own separate resolution and also revising and significantly updating the UN mandate.
In respect of Lebanon, there seems to be a similar interest in decoupling UNIFIL renewal from the wider political and security issues addressed in resolution 1701.
In the case of Somalia, the AU has requested a package of UN assistance for the beleaguered AMISOM force. This may give rise to discussions similar to those surrounding the initial “light support” package given by the UN to the AU mission in Darfur (AMIS). It also seems likely to give rise to more detailed discussion of the faltering political reconciliation process.
In addition to these scheduled renewals, formal meetings of the Council are also expected on:
Middle East (the standard monthly meeting);
Liberia (responding to the Kimberley Process report on progress with diamond certification and possibly consequential decisions on diamond sanctions);
Sierra Leone (a statement in the context of the Sierra Leone elections on 11 August is likely); and
Chad/Central African Republic (Council authorisation of the proposed EU military operation in eastern Chad-with a possible decision to authorise a UN police and civilian component as well-is a distinct possibility now that President Idriss Deby of Chad has indicated his agreement. Timing is likely to depend on EU progress with planning and formal agreement within the EU machinery.)
In view of the ongoing political uncertainty in Timor-Leste following the recent elections a Council statement may be a possibility.
Annual reports from the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (ICTY and ICTR) are expected. The issues raised seem unlikely to be debated in the full Council at this stage. It seems more likely that they will continue to be pursued in the Council’s Working Group on Ad Hoc Tribunals.