What's In Blue

Council’s May Programme of Work

This morning (2 May) Council members adopted their provisional programme of work for May. While there are a number of routine briefings and mandate renewals scheduled for May, a number of recent issues that occupied the Council’s attention last month – Guinea-Bissau, Sudan/South Sudan, and Syria – are again on the programme of work.

Continuing the trend seen in the last few months, May has begun on a busy note. Following today’s programme of work consultations, the Council met to adopt a resolution on Sudan/South Sudan (S/RES/2046). Tomorrow the Council will be briefed on the DRC by peacekeeping head, Hervé Ladsous, at the request of France, following confrontations and destabilising events in recent days in the east of the country. (See today’s What’s in Blue story on the DRC consultations.)

Azerbaijan, as Council President for May, has chosen to hold a high-level briefing on threats to peace and security caused by terrorist acts which will be held at the end of the week. The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, will preside over the meeting and the Secretary-General is expected to brief on strengthening international cooperation in the implementation of counter-terrorism obligations.

The issue of terrorism will be revisited in the second week of May when the chairs of the counter-terrorism related committees – the 1267/1989 Committee (Al-Qaida), the 1373 Committee (Counter-Terrorism Committee or CTC) and the 1540 Committee concerning weapons of mass destruction- will brief the Council.

West Africa will be a key area of attention this month as a Council mission to Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone is planned at the end of May. A briefing by the co-leads and consultations on the Council mission is scheduled following the week-long visit.

Another situation in West Africa which will continue to be carefully monitored by the Council is Guinea-Bissau. In its presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/15) of 21 April, the Council requested a report from the Secretary-General on the reestablishment of constitutional order. This report is likely to be the focus of the 7 May briefing and consultations. It also appears that the Council may take further decisions on Guinea-Bissau following this meeting.

Following the adoption of the resolution 2046 this morning, the Secretary-General is also expected to inform Council members in the middle of May on compliance of the resolution by South Sudan, Sudan and the SPLM (North). The Council is also expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) before its mandate expires on 22 May.

The Council will also have its regular briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Augustine Mahiga, on the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS). The AU report on the implementation of the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is due on 18 May and may also be discussed during the month.

Libya features several times on the May programme of work. There will be a briefing by Ian Martin, the head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), on the work of the mission followed by Council consultations on 10 May. On the same day the Council will be briefed by the chair of the Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal), on the final report of the Panel of Experts and the report requested in resolution 2017 on proposals to counter and prevent the proliferation of all arms and related materiel. Later in the month there will also be a briefing on Libya by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, as requested in resolution 1970.

Syria is now firmly on the Council’s programme of work following the adoption on 21 April of resolution 2043 which established the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). Council members will be following the situation in Syria closely with two scheduled consultations in May. (Resolution 2043 requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council within 15 days and every 15 days thereafter.)

The regular briefing and consultations on the Middle East and a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor, Jamal Benomar, during consultations on Yemen are also scheduled for May. Another regular Middle East briefing expected in May is the semi-annual briefing by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen on the Secretary-General’s implementation of resolution 1559 on the disarmament of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias.

The only two debates scheduled for May are on Kosovo and on Bosnia and Herzegovina where the Council will be briefed by Farid Zarif, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and by Valentin Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Council is also expecting to hear from the head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Valerie Amos, on her recent mission to Afghanistan.
The chair of the DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal), will provide his regular quarterly meeting in consultations in mid-May.

Non-proliferation is also in the footnotes of the May programme of work as it has been for a number of months in anticipation of possible activity in this area from either DPRK or Iran.

One item that is again not on the programme of work is the monthly “horizon scanning” briefing by DPA. The US chose not to have it in April and it appears that Azerbaijan has also not included it. (Azerbaijan would become only the second Council member not to schedule the monthly DPA briefings since they were started in November 2010.)

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