What's In Blue

Posted Mon 29 Apr 2013

Wrap-Up Session for April 2013

Tomorrow morning the Security Council is expected to hold a wrap-up session for the month of April. This will be the third wrap-up session of the monthly programme of work since January 2013. (Pakistan and ROK held similar sessions in January and February, while Russia chose not to hold one in March.) Like the two previous sessions, this wrap-up session will be held as a private meeting where non-Council members will be able to attend under rule 37 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council, but will not participate. As with all private meetings of the Council, a communiqué will be issued at the conclusion of the meeting in keeping with rule 55 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure. (The communiqué will likely list the non-Council members who observed the meeting.)

It seems that Rwanda, the President of the Council for April, would like to assess the Council’s handling of the issues that it dealt with over the month and how the Council can improve its working methods. Rwanda circulated a concept note which highlighted possible areas for Council members to focus on. As conflict prevention was a key focus in April, one suggestion was to focus on how the Council can better incorporate conflict prevention in the daily work of the Council, including through effective use of Article 99 of the UN Charter.

If this suggestion is taken up, Council members may choose to reflect on the various ways they could try to keep abreast of emerging issues that could potentially threaten international peace and security. For example, in April Council members received a briefing on Guinea under “any other business”. This may also provide an opportunity for members to discuss the merits of reviving the “horizon scanning” briefings by the Department of Political Affairs which were held from the end of 2010 till March 2012.

In looking back at the Council’s work in April, the meetings on addressing the root causes of prevention of conflict and sexual violence in conflict are likely to be highlighted. It is also anticipated that the adoption of resolution 2100 on the situation in Mali will be covered by most Council members. Some members may be interested in giving their views on the negotiation process that led to the resolution establishing a new UN mission in Mali. There may also be interest in discussing the Council’s follow-up to the adoption of the resolution.

The humanitarian briefings on the situation in Syria on 18 April and the briefing by UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on 19 April may also be covered during the wrap-up session. Council members were able to agree on press elements on the humanitarian situation in Syria but the continuing stalemate has made it difficult for a formal decision of the Council on Syria. It is unclear if Council members would be open to having a frank discussion on its handling of the Syria situation in a meeting with other member states present.

It seems that getting agreement on having a wrap-up session was not easy. There are indications that Togo, the President of the Council for May, is interested in including a wrap-up session as part of the Council’s programme of work next month but there may be opposition from some members, particularly Russia, as it is not convinced that these wrap-up sessions are useful.

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