September 2008 Monthly Forecast

Posted 27 August 2008
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Burkina Faso will hold the Council’s September presidency. This is always a busy month at the UN, but most activities revolve around the General Assembly’s annual debate, due to start this year on the 23rd.

Several meetings on issues related to the Council’s agenda are likely to be scheduled to take advantage of the presence of high-level participants. They will be held, however, in parallel or on the margins, and will include a high-level meeting on Africa planned for 22 September, as well as a meeting of the Middle East Quartet some time during the general debate. A high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals is also planned. Iran’s nuclear programme and a possibility of additional Council sanctions may also be discussed by the visiting leaders of E3+3.

The September programme of the Council at this stage appears relatively light.

Burkina Faso is planning to hold one open debate on mediation and the settlement of conflicts, drawing on that country’s leaders’ rich recent experience. President of Burkina Faso Blaise Compaoré will chair the meeting expected to take place in the third week of the month.

Two mandates need to be renewed:

The Council is likely to continue devoting a considerable amount of attention to Georgia in September. At press time two draft resolutions, one by France and the other by Russia, had been circulated, and Russia on 26 August recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Although the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan does not expire until 13 October, the Council may renew it in September, as was the case the last two years.

There will also be the usual monthly briefing on the Middle East, probably in the third week of the month. Since the Middle East Quartet will be meeting in New York, it has been suggested that the Quartet provide a briefing to the Council. No decision had been made at press time.

There is likely to be considerable activity related to sanctions.

  • The Council will receive a briefing from the chair of the Iran Sanctions Committee (1737).
  • Reports from sanctions monitoring bodies for Somalia and Sudan are also due.
  • At press time, members were discussing strengthening the Somalia sanctions regime through the adoption of new targeted sanctions in Somalia calling for additional measures against peace spoilers and arms embargo violators. A new resolution may be adopted in September.

Other issues that may come up in September are:

  • the adoption of the introduction to the annual report of the Council to the General Assembly (in the last several years this has been done in a public meeting);
  • discussions on the Secretary-General’s report on the operation in Haitidue 31 August, and on the October renewal of MINUSTAH;
  • a briefing on the Djibouti/Eritrea situation, requested by the Council in June;
  • a briefing on the visit of the Special Envoy to Myanmar;
  • discussions on Zimbabwe as a follow up to the Council’s June presidential statement (S/PRST/2008/23); and
  • discussions on a report, expected in late August or early September, by the Lebanese Independent Border Assessment Team (LIBAT).

Some additional issues have been on the minds of members, but it is unclear whether they will emerge in September. These include:

  • the issue of whether to suspend proceedings before the International Criminal Court on Darfur; and
  • arrangements for the deployment of an international military presence in Somalia.

Full forecast


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