What's In Blue

Posted Tue 2 Oct 2012

The October Programme of Work

This morning the Council adopted its October programme of work. There will be three open debates this month – on the Middle East, the Council’s linkages with the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as women, peace and security. Additionally, two country-specific debates are scheduled – on Haiti and Somalia. The Council expects to renew the mandate of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH); and to adopt resolutions with two authorisations – that of the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan (ISAF) and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Guatemala, the Council president for October, has chosen to highlight during its presidency the issue of combating impunity under the international law, with specific focus on the linkages between the Council and the ICC. The foreign minister of Guatemala, Harold Caballeros, will preside over the open debate to be held under the agenda item “Promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security,” scheduled for mid-October. The Secretary-General is expected to brief and both the Prosecutor and President of the ICC are likely to participate. No outcome is planned from this debate.

The annual women, peace and security open debate will be held in late October. The president of Guatemala, Otto Pérez Molina, may preside over this debate while the head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, and DPKO head Hervé Ladsous are expected to brief. The Secretary-General is expected to present his annual report on this issue (due this week) and is likely to emphasise the role of women’s civil society organisations in the prevention and resolution of armed conflict. Guatemala is expected to circulate a concept note and the Council is likely to adopt a presidential statement on the issue.

In the early part of October, one of the key issues is the renewal of MINUSTAH. Tomorrow, Guatemala’s foreign minister will preside over a debate on Haiti and early next week the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mission’s mandate.

There will be continued focus on Sudan and South Sudan over the month. There are two consultations scheduled on the state of negotiations between the two countries. (Following the adoption of resolution 2046 on 2 May, Council members have been briefed by DPA on the implementation of this resolution every two weeks.) During the second consultations, it is possible that Thabo Mbeki—Chair of the AU High-level Implementation Panel—and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, will brief. There will also be consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei and the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

Another African issue which is likely to take up a considerable amount of Council’s attention is Mali. Later this week Council members will hold consultations on the Malian government’s request to ECOWAS to field an ECOWAS mission and the ECOWAS request for Council support for this mission. Mali is also in the footnotes of the programme of work and discussions will likely continue during the course of the month.

Somalia will first be discussed during a debate in mid-October and will come up again later in the month when the Council is expected to reauthorise AMISOM before its mandate expires on 31 October. At the debate, Augustine Mahiga, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, and Ramtane Lamara, the AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, are expected to brief.

The other reauthorisation this month – for ISAF – will take place early next week ahead of its expiry on 13 October. As is traditional, there will be no wider discussion on Afghanistan ahead of adopting this resolution.

The quarterly Middle East debate is also scheduled in October and DPA head Jeffrey Feltman is expected to brief.

Syria is in the footnotes as it is possible that there may be a briefing by Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.

Other issues on the programme of work include briefings in consultations on the implementation of resolution 1559 (which called for the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias in the country) and the work of the Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee (the 1572 Committee). In addition Council members plan to adopt the Security Council Annual Report.

There will also be a briefing by the President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Justice Shireen Avis Fisher, and the Chief Prosecutor of the Court, Brenda Hollis, as well as the annual private meeting with the president of the International Court of Justice, Judge Peter Tomka.

There is also a possible Council visiting mission in October being considered but no firm decision has been taken as yet.

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