May 2023 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 April 2023
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In May, Switzerland holds the presidency of the Security Council.     

Switzerland is expected to convene two signature events during its presidency. One will be an open debate on “Futureproofing Trust for Sustaining Peace”, under the “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace” agenda item. Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis will chair the debate. The expected briefers are UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk; Cynthia Chigwenya, AU Youth Ambassador for Peace for Southern Africa; and ‘Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President and Professor of Security, Leadership and Development at King’s College London. It seems that Switzerland is keen to draw attention to the “New Agenda for Peace” during this debate.    

Switzerland’s other signature event for the month will be the annual open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset is expected to chair the debate. Secretary-General António Guterres, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, and a woman civil society representative are the anticipated briefers. The focus of this year’s debate will be on food insecurity and the protection of essential services and critical infrastructure in conflict situations.   

Switzerland will convene the annual briefing by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office (CiO). Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia Bujar Osmani, the current CiO, is expected to brief at the meeting, which will be chaired by Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis. 

Upon the request of the three African members of the Council (Gabon, Ghana, and Mozambique), Switzerland will convene a briefing on peace and security in Africa to discuss the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on the financing of AU-led peace support operations pursuant to a 31 August 2022 presidential statement (S/PRST/2022/6). UN and AU officials as well as a civil society representative are expected to brief.    

African issues on the programme in May are:   

  • Sudan, meeting on the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS); 
  • Sudan/South Sudan, meeting on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA); 
  • South Sudan, renewal of the 2206 South Sudan sanctions regime and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee; 
  • Libya, briefing by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the court’s Libya-related activities; and  
  • Sahel, meeting on the G5 Sahel.  

Middle East issues on the programme include:     

Regarding European issues, the semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to take place in May.  

In terms of Asian issues, Council members are expected to receive a briefing in consultations on the work of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee. 

There may be one or more meetings on Ukraine in May, and other issues could also be raised during the month, depending on developments.     


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