During its presidency in August, the UK plans two discretionary events, both anticipated in the last week of the month and likely to be presided over at ministerial level. One of these events will be an open debate on “Mediation and Settlement of Disputes”, with Secretary-General António Guterres and a member of his High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation expected to brief. There may also be a female civil society briefer. Furthermore, the UK has scheduled a public meeting on the situation in Myanmar, one year after the 25 August 2017 attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on security posts and the violent reaction by the Myanmar military forces that led to a massive exodus to Bangladesh. Here, too, Guterres is expected to brief.
There will be several meetings on the Middle East in August:
- a briefing on Yemen by the Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and by OCHA Director of Operations John Ging, with a civil society briefer also possible;
- two briefings on Syria: one on chemical weapons, in consultations, and another on humanitarian events, in public, to be followed by consultations;
- a briefing on Iraq by the Special Representative and head of UNAMI, Ján Kubiš, and possibly a civil society briefer;
- a briefing in consultations on Lebanon on UNIFIL, by an official from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations; and
- the monthly briefing and consultations on Israel/Palestine issues.
The head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, and Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, will brief the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s strategic-level report on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh), followed by consultations.
The chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Karel van Oosterom (Netherlands), is expected to provide Council members with his regular 90-day briefing on the work of the committee.
Several meetings focused on Africa are possible:
- a briefing on Burundi by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Michel Kafando, with the chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission Ambassador Jürg Lauber (Switzerland) also likely to brief;
- various aspects of the situation in Guinea-Bissau, with Special Representative and head of UNIOGBIS José Viegas Filho, Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba (Equatorial Guinea), the chair of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee, and Ambassador Mauro Vieira (Brazil), chair of the Guinea-Bissau configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, expected to participate as briefers;
- the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler, will likely brief in consultations on his most recent activities; and
- though at press time no meetings on the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan were planned, Council members will follow developments in these countries closely and meetings may be scheduled.
The mandate of UNIFIL is due to be renewed in August. Also in August, the Council is expected to consider the renewal of the measures adopted through resolution 2374 in September 2017, which established a targeted sanctions regime on Mali, and the mandate of the panel of experts. The measures—travel ban and assets freeze—are aimed at individuals and entities engaged in actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability of Mali. So far no designations have been made by the 2374 Mali Sanctions Committee.