May 2020 Monthly Forecast

Overview

In May, Estonia has the presidency of the Security Council. In light of the Secretariat’s anticipated closure extending into May, the Council is expected to continue using the provisional measures agreed on at the end of March and beginning of April.

There will be two virtual open debates this month. The first is a meeting on working methods, with briefers still to be announced, and the second is on protection of civilians, where Secretary-General António Guterres and ICRC President Peter Maurer are the anticipated briefers. Because the special measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic will still be in effect at the time of the debates, statements by non-Council members are likely to be submitted in writing.

Several regular Middle East meetings are scheduled. On Syria, open and closed video teleconferences (VTCs) on the political and humanitarian situation and a closed VTC on the use of chemical weapons are anticipated. A closed VTC briefing is expected on developments in Yemen.

Two closed VTC meetings are anticipated on Lebanon. The first is on the implementation of resolution 1701, which called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel in 2006 and which was originally scheduled in March but postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic–related measures. The second meeting is on the implementation of resolution 1559, which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory.

Regarding African issues, there will be several meetings on Libya. The ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, will provide her semi-annual briefing in a closed VTC. There will be open and closed VTCs on UNSMIL and Libya sanctions.

An open VTC briefing on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S), focused on the Secretary-General’s bi-annual report on the FC-G5S, is anticipated. In addition, there will be an open and closed VTC on the UNSOM (Somalia).

Regarding European issues, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, who assumed the position on 1 December, will brief Council members in an open VTC. The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, will brief in an open VTC on his latest report.

The chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen (Germany), is expected to brief Council members in a closed VTC.

In addition, the Council will need to adopt resolutions to renew the mandates of UNAMI (Iraq), UNISFA (Abyei) and AMISOM (Somalia). A resolution will also be needed to renew the South Sudan sanctions regime—including targeted sanctions and the arms embargo—which expires on 31 May. The Council may adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts. The Council may also adopt a resolution establishing a follow-on presence to UNAMID. As agreed at the end of March 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 VTC. Finally, a resolution related to COVID-19 may be adopted in early May.

The Council is expected to follow developments on Burundi, Myanmar and Iran nonproliferation and may hold VTC briefings if needed.