January 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 24 December 2008
Download Complete Forecast: PDF


January 2009

In January France will have the presidency of the Council.

The programme of work seems light relative to December due to the small number of mandates due to expire. However, the underlying workload in the Council remains very high. Moreover, the presidency has planned a heavy schedule of thematic work in January with important public meetings in the Council on:

  • Protection of Civilians (This open debate was deferred from November. Security Council Report published on 14 October 2008, a thematic crosscutting report on the Security Council’s performance in implementing protection of civilians’ concepts at the detailed country-specific level in preparation for the debate. Also, an Arria formula meeting is likely prior to the debate.)
  • Refugee Situations (A briefing from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is likely.)
  • Peacekeeping (A look at the peacekeeping issues, including ways to ensure better effectiveness. The format for this meeting is unclear and may be innovative.)

Five new Council members will take their seats in January—Austria, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda.

In addition the Council will need to elect the chairs and vice-chairs of its various committees and working groups and other subsidiary bodies.

A public session on the Middle East is expected. In accordance with normal practice, a briefing is likely. (Our Special Research Report of 17 December 2007 provides background on the history of Council involvement.) But it is unclear whether there will also be an open debate.

Public meetings are also expected on:

  • Chad (adoption of a resolution establishing a military component for MINURCAT—this was unable to be completed in December—see our brief on Chad in the December Forecast);  
  • Nepal (briefing from Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Nepal Ian Martin and renewal of mandate for UNMIN);
  • Côte d’Ivoire (briefing from Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire Choi Young-jin and renewal of mandate for UNOCI); and
  • Iraq (briefings from international financial institutions as requested in resolution 1859).

Council discussions are also expected in informal consultations on:

  • DPRK (report from Chairman of Sanctions Committee)
  • West African regional issues (review of report on UNOWA)
  • Sudan (discussion of UNMIS report deferred from October—see our brief on this issue in the October 2008 Forecast.)

Somalia and DRCare not expected to be formal items on the programme of work at the beginning of the month. But in view of the gravity of the situation in both DRC and Somalia, it is likely that they will be included as footnotes, indicating that close monitoring is expected and action is possible. Briefings or informal meetings on Zimbabwe and Myanmar may also possibly emerge.

A report on Sudan (North/South) and UNMIS is expected in late January. Discussions by the Council are not expected until February, but preliminary meetings of experts are possible.

Full forecast




Sign up for SCR emails

Subscribe to receive SCR publications