During its April presidency of the Security Council, China plans to organise two open debates, one on the issue of counter-terrorism and another with a focus on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea in the context of peace consolidation in West Africa.
Early in the month the Council is expected to adopt a resolution on the review of the UN peacebuilding architecture, which member states have been negotiating since mid-January. It will be adopted as concurrent resolutions in both the Security Council and the General Assembly.
Sudan/South Sudan issues will feature prominently on the Council’s programme of work. Council members are considering whether to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan to put pressure on the parties to comply with the August 2015 peace agreement. It is unclear if any of the longstanding divisions among Council members regarding a possible arms embargo can be overcome by the time the 2206 sanctions regime expires on 15 April. There will also be the regular meetings to discuss developments in relation to UNAMID in Darfur, UNMISS in South Sudan and UNISFA in Abyei.
Other African issues the Council will consider in April are:
- Central African Republic, the renewal of MINUSCA;
- Côte d’Ivoire, the activities of UNOCI and action on the 1572 sanctions regime;
- Mali, the activities of MINUSMA; and
- Western Sahara, the renewal of MINURSO which is expected to be particularly contentious following the evacuation of dozens of mission staff in March at Morocco’s request.
Council members will continue to monitor Syria, including the talks in Geneva, how the cessation of hostilities is holding and humanitarian access. Council members will receive their regular monthly briefings on the political, chemical weapons and humanitarian tracks in Syria.
Other Middle East issues that will be considered this month are:
- Israel/Palestine, the quarterly open debate; and
- Yemen, the regular briefing held every other month.
In late March France revived negotiations on a Council outcome on Burundi, circulating a draft resolution expressing the Council’s intention to strengthen the UN’s presence there through a police component. The text was originally circulated as a draft presidential statement in February, but consensus could not be reached.
Finally, Council members will be closely following efforts to form a government of national accord in Libya.