May 2008 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 April 2008
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In May the UK will have the presidency of the Council. There are no mandates up for renewal during the month.

Four important thematic public Council meetings are expected:

  • On 6 May, an open debate on Counter-Terrorism, following briefings by the Chairs of the three Council anti-terrorism committees (1267,CTC and 1540).
  • On 12 May, an open meeting on Security Sector Reform is likely. There will be a series of statements including by Slovakia which sponsored this topic in 2006-2007 when it was on the Council. This will be followed by discussion in Informals on a possible Council statement.
  • On 20 May, a UK national initiative, foreshadowed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the Council on 16 April, will be the subject of an open debate. Possibly this will be at the ministerial level and chaired by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The agenda item for the debate is likely to be Post-Conflict Peacebuilding. But the issue is not so much the work of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). Rather the goal is to address the situations not covered by the PBC where the Council is engaged but does not have the tools to properly oversee the effective integration of security, humanitarian, development, human rights and governance activities in the field.
  • On 27 May, the six monthly open debate on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict is expected.

A public session on the Middle East, in accordance with normal practice,is expected—probably about the middle of the month. A briefing followed by consultations is likely, although the format will depend on developments.

Open meetings are also likely on:

  • Somalia (it seemed at press time that the Council would need to carry over into May its discussions on action (two draft resolutions seem to be being considered) to respond to the Secretary-General’s “strategic approach” presented on 14 March. (Please see our April Forecast Report for background.);
  • Lebanon (similarly it seemed that a response to the Secretary General’s report under resolution 1559 would need to be deferred till May and discussion in consultations is expected—perhaps to be followed by a Council statement. (Please see our April Forecast Report for background.);
  • Sudan (at press time discussions were underway informally about the need—in preparation for the Council visiting mission to the country at the end of May—to articulate a clearer strategy on Darfur.);
  • Sierra Leone (a briefing is expected);
  • Burundi (a briefing is expected); and
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (a briefing is expected).

Action is also possible on:

  • Nepal ( in the light of developments in the post election situation);
  • Ethiopia/Eritrea (major decisions on the future of the force may need to be taken—please see our April Forecast Report for background);
  • Uganda (a briefing from UN Envoy Joaquim Chissano on the LRA issue is possible—please see our 11 April Update Report for background); and
  • Iraq (action on outstanding issues under the now terminated “oil for food programme” is possible—most likely in the form of a letter to the Secretary-General.)

In addition consultations are possible on:

  • Lebanon(progresswith the Tribunal and UNIIIC);
  • “Terms of Reference” for the Council visiting mission to Sudan and the neighbouring region in late May and early June will need to be decided; and
  • Myanmar (in the aftermath of the referendum on the new constitution).

Full forecast