What's In Blue

Posted Thu 3 Jan 2013

The Council’s January Programme of Work

The Security Council begins the new year with a programme of work that combines open debates on peacekeeping and counter-terrorism with a number of regular briefings, consultations, mission renewals and debates, as well as a possible visiting mission to Yemen.

The two high-level debates were proposed by Pakistan, the President of the Council for January, and are expected to see ministerial participation from a number of Council members and the Secretary-General. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar of Pakistan will preside over the comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism debate which will focus on ways of combating terrorism and may result in a presidential statement as a possible outcome. The peacekeeping debate will explore the nexus between peacekeeping and peacebuilding in the context of multi-dimensional peacekeeping. It seems that the Council may adopt a resolution following the debate.

The situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is likely to be a key focus of attention this month. Following the adoption of the programme of work this morning, the Council had a briefing in consultations on CAR by the DPA head, Jeffrey Feltman. Council members will have another opportunity to discuss the situation in CAR when they are briefed by Margaret Vogt, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the CAR (BINUCA). Later in the month the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution renewing BINUCA’s mandate.

There will also be the regular bi-monthly consultations on Sudan/South Sudan where Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Haile Menkerios is expected to brief. It seems the 8 January Sudan/South Sudan meeting will include a briefing from OCHA on South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Later in the month, Council members will be briefed by peacekeeping head, Hervé Ladsous on the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Council members will continue to pay attention to Africa through briefings on the missions in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and Burundi (BNUB) related to the regular Secretary-General’s reports on these missions. In addition the regular UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA) briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Said Djinnit, will take place towards the end of the month.

The Council’s consideration of the Middle East may include a Council visiting mission to Yemen led by Morocco and the UK towards the end of the month. The programme of work also includes a briefing by Tarek Mitri, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), followed by consultations on developments in Libya. In addition there will be the regular quarterly debate on the Middle East.

Also on the programme of work are consultations on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), followed by the adoption of a resolution renewing the mission. Council members will also hear about the activities of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) this month from Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Miroslav Jenča.

The programme of work this month also includes consultations on Haiti. This is slightly unusual as the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) discussions usually take place twice a year, in April and October. However, it seems there was interest in getting an update on the situation in Haiti from the outgoing Special Representative, Mariano Fernández.

There will also be a briefing on the Secretariat’s ongoing work on rule of law issues by Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson as requested in the 19 January 2012 presidential statement (S/PRST/2012/1) asking the Secretary-General to provide a follow-up report within 12 months “to consider the effectiveness of the UN system’s support to the promotion of the rule of law in conflict and post- conflict situations.”

The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Syria and Yemen are in the footnotes of the programme of work and are all likely to be taken up by the Council in January. Non-proliferation is also in the footnotes as it is possible that the Council may respond to North Korea’s December missile launch sometime this month.

The final item on the programme of work is a wrap-up session which will take place during a private meeting of the Council to share views and perspectives on the its activities over the month of January. (Wrap-up sessions were regularly scheduled at the end of the month between 2001 and 2005, but only Brazil and Portugal have done so in recent years. The suggestion that formal wrap-up sessions be organised when appropriate was included in a presidential note S/2012/922 of 12 December 2012.)

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