What's In Blue

Posted Fri 2 Nov 2012

The November Programme of Work

November is looking like a busy month for the Security Council. On top of what was already a full schedule, the Council will be taking up issues that had to be postponed as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Other activities that have also contributed to a tight schedule include a mini-mission to Timor-Leste and the annual “Hitting the Ground Running” workshop organised by Finland for incoming Council members.

There will be three thematic open debates this month. Two of the open debates – piracy and working methods – were proposed by India, Council President in November, while the third, on women, peace and security, had originally been scheduled for 29 October, the day the storm hit New York. A presidential statement on women, peace and security has already been adopted and it is possible that there will be a presidential statement following the piracy debate. No outcome is expected from the working methods debate.

The Council will pay particular attention to Timor-Leste in November. Several Council members have already left for a “mini-mission” to Timor-Leste. South Africa, the lead country on Timor-Leste, is expected to brief the Council on this mission in mid-November. In addition, the Council is scheduled to hold its final debate on Timor-Leste, with a briefing by the acting head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Finn Reske-Nielsen.

Libya features several times on the programme of work this month. There will be a briefing from International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on Libya and the ICC, as well as a briefing by the head of Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) followed by consultations. In addition there will be a briefing by Ambassador José Filipe Moraes Cabral (Portugal), the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee.

There will also be briefings on several other Middle East situations. Next week, either UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative Ladkhar Brahimi or Feltman will brief on the situation in Syria. The Special Advisor on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, will brief on developments in Yemen in the third week of November.

The monthly briefing and consultations on the Middle East will take place towards the end of the month, as will consultations on the report of the Secretary-General on resolution 1701 (which called for a cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006). A briefing on resolution 1559 (which called for the disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias in the country) by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, Terje Rod-Larsen, has also been rescheduled for November. There will also be a briefing and consultations on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

A number of situations in Africa continue to dominate the programme of work. The Council is expected to meet twice in November on Sudan and South Sudan issues and likely be briefed by Special Envoy Haile Menkerios. There will also be a briefing by Hervé Ladsous on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). In addition the Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) for six months before it expires on 17 November.

The Council is expected to adopt two resolutions on Somalia. Due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy negotiations on the extension of the authorisation of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) were interrupted. This led to a technical roll-over of AMISOM
on 31 October for one week (S/RES/2072). On 7 November, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution extending the mission for one year. The Council is also expected to renew authorisation of Somalia anti-piracy measures. In addition there will be a briefing on the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee by the chair of the Committee, Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri (India).

The DRC is another significant issue for the Council this month. It is expected to receive a briefing from the chair of the 1553 DRC Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbajian), and to renew the DRC sanctions regime and the mandate of the Group of Experts assisting the Committee. A briefing by the head of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), Roger Meece, is also likely.

Another situations in Africa which will be considered by the Council is Western Sahara where a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross, is expected followed by consultations.

Although not currently in the programme of work Sierra Leone and Mali are likely to be discussed during the month. It seems Council members may schedule consultations following Sierra Leone’s elections on 17 November and, on Mali, after it receives the Secretary-General’s report, which is due on 26 November. It is possible that Guinea-Bissau may also warrant discussion over the course of the month.

This month there is also a focus on a number of situations in Europe. The Council will have its six-monthly debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a briefing by High Representative Valentin Inzko. It is likely to also adopt a resolution reauthorising the EU-led multinational stabilisation force (EUFOR ALTHEA) which expires on 16 November. The quarterly debate on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), with a briefing by its head, Farid Zarif, is expected at the end of November.

A number of regular briefings and consultations related to subsidiary bodies and sanctions regimes will take place in November. The chairs of the counter-terrorism related committees – 1267/1989 Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee, the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the 1540 Committee on counter-terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, are expected to brief in mid-November. There will also be consultations on the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee.

A thematic issue on the Council’s programme this month is illicit trafficking. Council members will have consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on illicit cross-border trafficking and movement requested in an April presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/16).

Finally, the Council is expected to go ahead next week with the adoption of its annual report to the General Assembly which was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy.

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