As part of Uruguay’s presidency of the Security Council in January 2016, it has planned an open debate focusing on the Secretary-General’s June 2015 report on the protection of civilians and the recommendations from the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations relevant to the protection of civilians. This is Uruguay’s first month of its current two-year term as an elected Council member. Also joining the Council this month as new members are Egypt, Japan, Senegal and Ukraine. These five new elected members replace Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria which will rotate off the Council at the end of December 2015.
Since late November 2015, Council members have been considering a possible visiting mission to Burundi. At press time, it remained unclear if such a visiting mission would take place in January.
The recent AU peacekeeping initiative for Burundi as well as political talks in Libya and Yemen may require Council attention in January depending on developments. In addition, the Council may need to react to forthcoming recommendations it has requested from the Secretary-General by mid-January for ceasefire monitoring in Syria and for additional protection in and around Juba in South Sudan. Council members will also be closely watching the aftermath of the presidential and legislative elections in Haiti.
On the programme of work related to Africa, the Council is expected to renew the 2127 sanctions regime related to the Central African Republic. There will also be briefings from:
- Special Representative Aïchatou Mindaoudou on UNOCI in Côte d’Ivoire;
- Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous on UNAMID in Darfur and MINUSMA in Mali;
- Special Representative Maman Sidikou on MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;
- UN Special Representative Michael Keating on UNSOM and AU Special Representative Jose Madeira on AMISOM in Somalia; and
- Special Representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas on the UN Office for West Africa.
Related to Europe, Council members expect to be briefed by Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim on UNFICYP in Cyprus ahead of the mission’s anticipated renewal before the end of January. Special Adviser Espen Barthe Eide will also brief on the progress in talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
On Middle East issues, Uruguay’s foreign minister will preside over the Council’s quarterly open debate on Israel/Palestine with a briefing by the Secretary-General. On Syria, the Council will have its regular monthly briefing on the chemical weapons track from Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo and on the humanitarian track from the head of OCHA, Stephen O’Brien. Council members will be closely following whether UN-facilitated talks between the delegations from the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition gets underway as called for in resolution 2254, unanimously adopted on 18 December 2015.