October 2007 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 September 2007
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In October Ghana will have the presidency of the Council.

It seems that Ghana will highlight the issue of Women, Peace and Security as a thematic issue during its presidency. The month will begin with an Arria style meeting focused on this issue, which will feature a presentation by the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, on the impact on women of the conflict in Darfur and Chad.

A formal open meeting of the Council will follow on 23 October. The Council is likely to come under considerable pressure to move beyond reaffirmation of past documents and adopt something concrete by way of a mechanism to inject some better accountability into future handling of this issue.

In addition to the meeting on Women Peace and Security, formal open meetings of the Council are expected on:

  • The Middle East (the regular monthly briefing);
  • Haiti  (renewal of the MINUSTAH mandate);
  • Georgia (renewal of the UNOMIG mandate);
  • Western Sahara  ( renewal of the MINURSO mandate);
  • Sudan (renewal of the UNMIS mandate); and
  • Côte d’Ivoire  (renewal of the sanctions regime and mandate for the Sanctions Committee’s Group of Experts).

Each of the mandate renewals seems likely to involve complex substantive political issues in addition to the renewal questions and could involve considerable work by the Council members’ experts. And in the case of Georgia, procedural problems are also possible. (When it was last on the agenda in July, a dispute was only resolved by meeting in a closed formal format.)

A number of other situations are likely to be discussed in informal consultations and could result in outcomes approved in formal open meetings. These include:

  • Afghanistan (outcome of a recent high-level meeting in New York which recommended a higher level of UN leadership);
  • Darfur (support for the peace process, a possible ceasefire and progress with the UNAMID deployment);
  • Ethiopia/Eritrea  (a possible response to heightened tension could lead to an earlier meeting than previously envisaged);
  • Guinea-Bissau  (an African interest in the Council taking a higher profile on this situation could lead to a formal meeting);
  • Iraq  (UNMOVIC) (safe and effective archiving of the inspection agency’s information will be discussed);
  • Kosovo (a routine report is due but the event seems likely to reopen some tense issues);
  • Lebanon (tensions over the presidential election could lead to early Council discussions);
  • Myanmar (recent developments are likely to trigger a briefing by Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari on his visit, when he returns);
  • North Korea  (recent positive developments may stimulate some Council response);
  • Nepal (a briefing on recent problems with the peace process and implications for the November elections could lead to a Council response); and
  • Somalia (discussion of political reconciliation and peacekeeping issues is likely).

Security Council Report expects to be publishing web based Update Reports on some of these issues during the month.
Full forecast