December 2020 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 November 2020
Download Complete Forecast: PDF


South Africa has the presidency in December. Members are monitoring the pandemic situation in New York, and if conditions allow, some meetings may be held in UN headquarters.

There will be a ministerial-level debate on “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace: Security Sector Governance and Reform”. South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, will preside over the meeting, which will be held via VTC. AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smaїl Chergui is expected to brief, and several member states that are on the Council agenda and that have undertaken SSR processes, including Colombia, the CAR, the DRC and Iraq, are expected to participate. A resolution is the proposed outcome.

South Africa is also organising a high-level VTC debate on cooperation between the UN and the AU peace and security architectures. President Cyril Ramaphosa (who also heads the AU in 2020) is expected to chair the debate, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres and AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat will brief. A presidential or press statement is a possible outcome.

As its third signature event, South Africa has chosen to have a briefing on “the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law, focusing on strengthening the cooperation between the Security Council and the International Court of Justice”. The president of the ICJ, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, is expected to brief.

Regarding other African issues, an adoption is anticipated to renew the mandate of MONUSCO in the DRC, with a briefing and consultations ahead of the renewal. An adoption is also scheduled to renew counter-piracy measures in Somalia.

There are several meetings related to Sudan and South Sudan this month. On South Sudan, there will be a briefing and consultations on the activities of UNMISS, as well as a briefing by the chair of the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee.

On Sudan, members will have the quarterly briefing by the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee and semi-annual briefing on the ICC’s work by the Prosecutor. The Council is also expected to receive a briefing on UNITAMS and UNAMID.

The Council is expected to focus on Central Africa in December, with a briefing and consultations scheduled on the semi-annual report on the UN Office for Central Africa and the implementation of the UN regional strategy to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Regarding Middle East issues there will be consultations on UNDOF in the Golan Heights, which expires on 31 December.

On Iran, the Council is scheduled to receive the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 2231, which in 2015 endorsed the JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear programme. Briefings are expected from the Joint Commission, established by the parties to the JCPOA to oversee its implementation, and from the Council’s 2231 facilitator, Ambassador Philippe Kridelka (Belgium), Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, and a representative of the EU in its capacity as coordinator of the Joint Commission.

The regular meetings on SyriaYemen and the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, are also on the December programme of work. On Syria, there will be an open and closed meeting covering the political and humanitarian situations and possibly both an open and closed meeting on the use of chemical weapons. The meetings on developments in Yemen and on the situation in the Middle East are also planned in both open and closed format.

A briefing by Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, the Special Adviser and head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL, is also anticipated.

Regarding Asian issues, the quarterly meeting on Afghanistan is expected.

The semi-annual debate on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals will take place in December.

There will also be the annual briefing by outgoing subsidiary body chairs, reviewing their experience and developments during their term as chairs of committees or working groups.

Meetings may be scheduled for adoptions on possible presidential statements to lift the obligation of regular briefings on Burundi and to mark the 31 December end of UNIOGBIS in Guinea-Bissau.

The Council will also be watching developments in Ethiopia, Western Sahara and Nagorno-Karabakh.


Sign up for SCR emails