In April, the UK will hold the presidency of the Security Council.
The UK plans to organise two signature events. The first signature event is a briefing on the implementation of resolution 2565 on the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, adopted during the UK presidency in February 2021. The UK Minister of State for South Asia, North Africa, the UN and the Commonwealth, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, is expected to chair the meeting. Assistant Secretary-General Ted Chaiban, the Global Lead Coordinator for COVID-19 Vaccine Country-Readiness and Delivery; Esperanza Martinez, head of the ICRC’s COVID-19 Crisis Management Team; and a civil society representative are expected to brief.
The second signature event is the annual open debate on conflict-related sexual violence, which this year is entitled “Accountability as Prevention: Ending Cycles of Sexual Violence in Conflict”. Lord Ahmad is expected to chair the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, and one or more civil society representatives are the anticipated briefers. The UK has recently joined the statement of shared commitments on Women, Peace and Security jointly undertaken by Albania, Brazil, Norway, the United Arab Emirates and former Council member Niger. In the statement, these countries committed to make Women, Peace and Security a “top priority” during their respective presidencies.
The UK also plans to organise Sofa Talks at Greentree on 8 April to facilitate informal discussion on the significance of data and technology in supporting the Council’s work in conflict prevention and resolution.
In April, the Security Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly open debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Other Middle East issues on the programme include:
- Syria, meetings on political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks; and
- Yemen, monthly meeting on developments.
African issues on the programme of work in April are:
- Libya, renewal of the mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), consultations on UNSMIL, and the semi-annual briefing by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on cases in Libya;
- Mali, briefing and consultations on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA);
- Western Sahara, briefing in consultations on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO);
- Sudan/South Sudan, briefing and consultations on the implementation of the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA); and
- Great Lakes, the semi-annual briefing on the implementation of the 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSC Framework) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region.
European issues this month include a briefing on the situation in Ukraine, as well as the semi-annual briefing on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Additional meetings on Ukraine may also be scheduled.
In terms of Latin American issues, the Council is expected to hold a briefing and consultations on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.
The UK intends to encourage interactive discussion and outcome-oriented action during its April presidency. It would also like to highlight conflict prevention and peacebuilding issues as thematic priorities in the consideration of the various country files. Furthermore, the UK intends to draw attention to the issue of reprisals against civil society briefers.