April 2020 Monthly Forecast

Posted 31 March 2020
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The Dominican Republic has the Security Council presidency in April. With COVID-19 still likely to make physical meetings difficult, the Council is expected to continue to use the provisional measures set out in the 27 March letter from Ambassador Zhang Jun (China), the March president of the Security Council. Other new working methods may be agreed to during the month.

Resolutions will be adopted through a 24-hour written procedure and presidential statements through electronic agreement. Results will be announced by the Council president by video teleconferencing (VTC). There are no mandate renewals that require adoption in April, but if members choose to adopt a resolution or presidential statement following a meeting, the adoption will follow these new working methods.

Meetings will be held via VTC and at press time it seems that open and closed VTC meetings are being discussed. It seems that for the open VTCs, besides the briefers, members whose interests are affected may be invited to participate (under rule 37), but it was less clear if other member states would be able to do so. Closed meetings would only involve Council members. While to some extent they follow the traditional format of public briefings in the chamber and closed consultations, members have not agreed to consider them as official meetings of the Council or to reflect them in the UN Journal.

On the first working day of the month, following a closed VTC to agree to the work of the Council in April, the president is expected to issue a Presidency Addendum on that work plan. The Presidency Addendum would replace the customary Programme of Work.

The Dominican Republic has chosen to hold an open debate on youth, peace and security late in the month. Secretary-General António Guterres may brief along with civil society representatives from youth-led organisations. A resolution is a possible outcome.

An open briefing is expected on the protection of civilians from hunger during conflict. Expected briefers are the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), David Beasley, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Qu Dongyu and the Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland. A presidential statement is a possible outcome.

The quarterly open debate on Israel/Palestine is also anticipated this month.

Other Middle East issues in April include:

  • Syria: Open and closed VTC briefing on the political and humanitarian situation and closed VTC on the use of chemical weapons; and
  • Yemen, closed VTC on developments in the country.

Regarding African issues, the Council will discuss developments in relation to UNISFA in Abyei and Sudan/South Sudan in open and closed VTC meetings.

Other African issues include:

  • Great Lakes, open VTC briefing on the implementation of the 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region, and other developments,
  • Mali, open and closed VTC on developments in Mali; and
  • Western Sahara, closed VTC briefing on MINURSO.

An open and closed VTC are expected on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on Colombia.

Regarding European issues, there will be an open VTC briefing on Kosovo.

The Council is expected to follow developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Sudan closely and may hold VTC briefings if needed.


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