What's In Blue

Posted Thu 2 Feb 2012

Council’s February Programme of Work

The Council’s February Programme of Work, under the presidency of Togo, includes a focus on Haiti, with a Council mission from 13-16 February followed by a briefing on the mission later in the month. Council members are expected to meet with the Haitian authorities and UN personnel on the ground. There will also be two thematic open debates in February, two country-specific debates (Kosovo and Timor-Leste) and two mandate renewals (UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste [UNMIT] and the Sudan Sanctions Committee).

A high-level debate on the impact of transnational crime on peace, security and stability in West Africa and the Sahel region will be chaired by Togo’s president, Faure Gnassingbé (21 February). It is expected to cover piracy, drug trafficking, small arms and light weapons, as well as terrorism. The Secretary-General and representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are expected to brief.

The second debate is on women, peace and security (23 February) focusing on the Secretary-General’s report on conflict-related sexual violence with a briefing from Margot Wallström, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Sexual Violence.

The main focus at the start of the month will continue to be Syria. Negotiations on a draft resolution are continuing at permanent representative level this afternoon (2 February) and, depending on progress, there may be a move towards adoption of the resolution in the next few days.

Somalia will be on Council’s radar this month. On 6 February, the Council will have consultations and be briefed by Susana Malcorra on the Secretary-General’s report on the AU-endorsed strategic concept for the next phase of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). It is possible that the Council will adopt a resolution raising the troop ceiling for AMISOM later in the month. In February the Council will also be briefed by the Secretariat on the Secretary-General’s report on specialised anti-piracy tribunals in Somalia and other countries in the region.

Sudan continues to be on the Council’s programme of work with consultations on the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) scheduled for early in the month and consultations and mandate renewal of the panel of experts of the Sudan Sanctions Committee expected towards the middle of the month. In addition, it is possible that the Council may have a briefing on the situation along the Sudan and South Sudan border as it did last month. Council members are currently negotiating a press statement on the humanitarian and security situation in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Although Darfur is not on the programme of work, it is possible, depending on the timing of the release of the roadmap for peace in Darfur, that the Council may take this up in February.

There are a number of reports that will come up for discussion this month. A briefing is scheduled in early February on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), followed by consultations.

In early February, the Council will hold a debate on the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Farid Zarif, the Special Representative and head of UNMIK, is expected to brief. In December Russia circulated a draft on illegal trafficking in human organs in Kosovo but it is unclear if this would be taken up at the time of the debate.

There will be a debate on the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), followed the next day by the adoption of a resolution renewing UNMIT’s mandate, possibly until 31 December 2012, after which the mission is likely to conclude.

There are a number of regular briefings on the programme of work including the monthly briefing by DPA head B. Lynn Pascoe on issues of concern. There will be the monthly briefing from Ian Martin, head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which will focus on the mission’s work in post-conflict Libya. The Council will also be briefed at the end of the month by Portugal, the chair of the Libya Sanctions Committee, on the final Panel of Experts’ report.

There will also be the monthly briefing and consultations on the Middle East at the end of the month. Although not yet scheduled, there may be a briefing by the Secretary-General when he returns from his trip to Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

In late February, there will be Council consultations on Yemen where the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar, is expected to brief. This is a follow-up to the Council’s press statement of 25 January, which asked for an update on the situation in Yemen within 30 days.

Towards the end of next week, as is customary every three months, the Chair of the DPRK Sanctions Committee will brief on the Committee’s work. Also on February’s programme of work is the annual briefing by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, is expected to brief the Council on the activities of the OSCE and its priorities for 2012.

Another issue not currently on the programme of work that may require attention from the Council, is the appointment of the Prosecutor for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. The mechanism’s branch for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will begin functioning on 1 July 2012 and Hassan Jallow, the Prosecutor of the ICTR, is expected to be appointed as the Prosecutor.

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