November 2007 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 October 2007
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In November Indonesia will have the presidency of the Council.

It seems that the Council may have four major open debates in November:

  • in early November an open thematic debate on Cooperation between the Council and Regional Organisations appears possible;
  • on 19 November an open debate on Protection of Civilians is expected;
  • on 21 November an open debate on the Middle East seems likely; and
  • an open debate (if past practice is followed) is possible following the briefing to the Council of the three Chairs of the Council’s counter-terrorism committees—the CTC, the 1267 and the 1540 Committees.

The Council will also have a closed meeting on 2 November with the President of the International Court of Justice.
With all of these events to schedule, plus accommodating:

  • the annual retreat sponsored by Finland (on 15-16 November) that the Council members have with the incoming newly elected members;
  • a Council mission to Timor-Leste later in the month; and
  • the Thanksgiving holidays.

It will be important for non-Council members wanting to participate in the open debates to register their interest in writing with the president of the Council at an early date.

The only mandate expiring in November is EUFOR, the EU Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A formal meeting to extend the mandate is expected the morning of 15 November. It is possible that, in addition, the Council will also act in November to renew the mandate for the multinational force in Iraq. This would involve renewal a month earlier than it is due. The actual timing will depend on the request from the Government of Iraq.

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:

  • Darfur (the growing fragility of the peace process and the persistence of the fighting seems likely to lead to Council consultations and a possible call for a ceasefire as well as reinforcement of the need for progress with UNAMID deployment);
  • DRC (discussion of the Secretary-General’s recommendations on drawdown of MONUC forces is possible—as is a statement on the fragile situation in the east of the country; but as the MONUC mandate does not expire until December, work is likely to be at the level of Council experts—unless there are dramatic developments);
  • Ethiopia/Eritrea (a Council response to the further deterioration of the situation is likely);
  • Lebanon (tensions over presidential elections are likely to lead to at least two sets of informal consultations on Lebanon—one early in the month focusing on issues under resolution 1559 and one later in the month focusing on issues under resolution 1701);
  • Myanmar (a briefing by Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari is expected when he returns; further action will depend on what he is able to report);
  • Sierra Leone (a report on UNIOSIL’s future role could provide an opportunity for experts to make a start on a draft resolution for adoption in December); and 
  • Somalia (the worsening situation and an expected report from the Secretary-General could lead to Council consultations. If so a focus on political reconciliation and possible support for the AU mission AMISOM is likely).

The non-proliferation issues relating to Iran will be present in Council members’ minds, especially with reports due in November from the IAEA regarding its negotiations with Iran and from the EU/Iran discussions. There are also regular news stories regarding the meetings between the P5 and Germany on drafting of a third sanctions resolution. However, the deadlines for the IAEA and EU reports later in the month seem to suggest that any Council discussion of the issue could take place in December.
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