During its March presidency of the Security Council, Angola has organised a ministerial-level open debate on the Great Lakes region with a focus on natural resources as drivers of conflict and the wider relationship between development and security in the region. The Secretary-General, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to the region and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security will brief and the foreign ministers of Burundi, the CAR and the DRC are expected to participate. The ministerial-level meeting comes in the same month as the Council’s consideration of the report on the implementation of the DRC’s Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement as well as the renewal of MONUSCO.
Angola has two further initiatives this month: an open debate on the role of women in conflict prevention and resolution in Africa, and an Arria-formula meeting on food security in Africa.
In early March, Council members will undertake a visiting mission to Mali, Guinea-Bissau and the Dakar-based UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel. Other African issues the Council will consider in March are:
- Liberia, the regular briefing on UNMIL;
- Libya, the renewal of UNSMIL and the 1970 sanctions regime;
- Somalia, the renewal of UNSOM; and
- South Sudan, the renewal of the 2206 sanctions regime.
Council members will be following developments in Syria after the cessation of hostilities went into effect on 27 February and the announced resumption of political talks on 7 March if the truce holds. Council members will also have their regular Syria briefings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks. Separately, the spillover effects of the conflict and the refugee crisis in Europe is expected to be a major focus of the Council’s meeting with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy in March.
Other Middle East issues that will be considered this month include:
- Golan Heights, the quarterly briefing on UNDOF;
- Israel/Palestine, the regular monthly meeting; and
- Lebanon, a briefing on implementation of resolution 1701 and UNIFIL.
At press time, the Council was poised to adopt a resolution that would significantly strengthen sanctions against the DPRK in response to its 6 January nuclear test and subsequent 7 February satellite launch. The Council is also expected to adopt another DPRK resolution to renew the 1718 Panel of Experts.
Other issues on the March programme of work include:
- Afghanistan, the renewal of UNAMA;
- Haiti, the regular briefing on MINUSTAH; and
- the adoption of a resolution on the review of the UN peacebuilding architecture.
In addition, it seems possible France might revive negotiations on a draft presidential statement circulated in February that expressed the Council’s intention to strengthen the UN’s presence in Burundi.
Finally, the Council will be following developments on the peace process in Colombia and members expect the Secretary-General to present recommendations for the political mission established by resolution 2261.