Expected Council Action
In an annual practice dating back to 2002, subsidiary body chairs from outgoing elected Security Council members are expected to brief the Council in December. The meeting provides an opportunity for the chairs to review developments within the relevant committee or working group during their term, assess their experience and suggest recommendations for improvements.
Ambassador Gaspar Martins (Angola) will brief on the Working Group on Conflict Prevention in Africa.
Ambassador Ramlan Ibrahim (Malaysia) will brief on the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.
Ambassador Gerard von Bohemen (New Zealand) will brief on the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh)/Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee.
Ambassador Román Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain) will brief on the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee and the 1540 Non-Proliferation Committee.
Ambassador Rafael Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela) will brief on the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee and the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee.
Key Recent Developments
On 11 February, at the initiative of Venezuela, the Council held a debate on the working methods of Security Council subsidiary organs. A Note by the President issued on 22 February as a follow-up to the debate outlined a set of measures aimed at enhancing the transparency of subsidiary organs, improving the selection process and the preparation of chairs and increasing the interaction and coordination among subsidiary organs and between these bodies and the Council.
On 15 July, Council members agreed on another Note by the President, drafted by Japan as chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions (IWG), concerning the preparation of newly elected members during the transitional period between the election and the beginning of their term, including the selection and preparation of chairs of subsidiary bodies. Among other things, the note calls on Council members “to make every effort to agree provisionally on the appointment of the chairs of the subsidiary organs for the following year no later than 1 October”. The note also reiterated that consultations on the appointment should begin as soon as possible after the elections and be conducted in a “balanced, transparent, efficient and inclusive way” by two members of the Council “working in full cooperation”, it being understood that the two members in question would be the IWG chair and one permanent member.
On the preparation of incoming chairs, the note encourages outgoing chairs to provide them with written and oral briefings and to hold informal meetings. It also notes that outgoing chairs should provide incoming chairs with all pertinent informal documents and background information and requests the Secretariat to consider further measures to support incoming chairs in their preparations.
Council members reached agreement on the appointment of new chairs for 2017 on 31 October. Incoming elected member Bolivia will take over the chairmanship of the 1540 Committee; Ethiopia, the Working Group on Conflict Prevention in Africa; Italy, the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee; Kazakhstan, the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea, the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL/Da’esh/Al-Qaida and the 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committees; and Sweden, the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. Current elected member Ukraine, which chairs the 2127 Central African Republic Sanctions Committee, will in addition take on the chairmanship of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee.
The Council has been sharply divided between permanent and elected members on issues relating to the working methods of subsidiary organs. Despite the two presidential notes adopted by the Council this year regarding the need for greater transparency at the subsidiary level and improving the selection process and the preparation of chairs, it seems that elected members believe there is room for further improvement. Reaching agreement on the second note—on the selection and preparation of newly elected members during the transitional period—was difficult and took several weeks. (For more details, please refer to our 18 July What’s in Blue story on working methods.) Also difficult was the implementation of the note, notably with regard to the appointment of new chairs, in a process led by Japan and the UK. The final decision was reached on 31 October, 30 days later than aimed for.
UN DOCUMENTS ON SUBSIDIARY BODIES
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|11 February 2016S/PV.7620||This was a debate titled “Working Methods of Security Council Subsidiary Organs”.|
|17 December 2015S/PV.7586||This was a briefing by the chairs of subsidiary bodies.|
|Notes by the President of the Security Council|
|15 July 2016S/2016/619||This was a presidential note concerning transitional arrangements for newly elected Council members.|
|22 February 2016S/2016/170||This was a note by the president of the Council that outlined a set of measures aimed at improving the transparency of the Council’s subsidiary organs, improving the selection process and the preparation of chairs and improving the interaction and coordination among subsidiary organs and between the Council and the subsidiary organs.|
|2 February 2016S/2016/102||This was a concept note circulated by Venezuela for the debate titled “Working Methods of Security Council Subsidiary Organs”.|