August 2020 Monthly Forecast

Overview

Indonesia has the presidency of the Security Council in August. While the Security Council is expected to continue to work largely remotely, due to COVID-19 restrictions, it may hold some meetings on UN premises. Unless there are further refinements made to the temporary provisional measures agreed to over the last few months, remote meetings will continue to be deemed as unofficial and held as videoconferences (VTC), either open (briefings, debates or open debates) or closed (consultations). A 24-hour written procedure will continue to be used for adoptions unless members agree to hold an in-person meeting.

There will be a strong focus on counter-terrorism issues. Indonesia has chosen to hold a ministerial-level open debate on the linkages between terrorism and transnational organised crime. The possible briefers are UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov, and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ghada Waly. There will also be a briefing on the Secretary-General’s biannual strategic-level report on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh). The expected briefers are Voronkov and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate Michèle Coninsx.

Indonesia’s other open debate is pandemics and the challenges to peacebuilding and sustaining peace.  This follows the Informal Interactive Dialogue on the same topic in July. ​It will be chaired by Indonesia’s foreign minister, Retno L.P. Marsudi. The likely briefers include Guterres, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Sarah Cliffe, Director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation.

Several regular Middle East meetings are on the programme of work. There will be the three monthly Syria meetings: open and closed VTCs on the political and humanitarian situation and a closed VTC on the use of chemical weapons. The monthly meetings on developments in Yemen and on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question are also planned in both open and closed format. In addition, the Council will meet for a briefing on recent developments in Iraq and on the two latest Secretary-General’s reports, on the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq and on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.

Meetings in open and closed format are also planned ahead of adoptions to renew the UN missions in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and Somalia (UNSOM). An adoption is also expected to renew the Mali sanctions regime, as well as the mandate of its Panel of Experts.

The Council will be briefed on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), as well as developments in the country following the post-electoral crisis earlier in the year.

The quarterly briefing by the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee in a closed session is also anticipated in August.

Council members may also participate in a “virtual visiting mission” to meet with key stakeholders in Somalia ahead of the adoption.

The Council will be watching developments in Burundi, Iran,  Libya, Myanmar and Sudan, as well as those related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and additional meetings may be added as necessary.