What's In Blue

Posted Tue 4 Jun 2013

June Programme of Work for the Council

June is expected to be a busy month for the Council under the UK presidency with two, possibly three open debates, three debates and two adoptions besides a number of regular briefings and consultations. The centerpiece of the UK presidency of the Council is expected to be the open debate on women, peace and security focusing on sexual violence. A likely outcome is a resolution reflecting many of the Secretary-General’s recommendations from his 14 March report on sexual violence in conflict (S/2013/149).

The programme of work also includes the semi-annual debate on the ad hoc international criminal tribunals. Although it seems that this was originally scheduled to be an open debate, some members have objected to opening this meeting to the larger membership. (Negotiations are continuing at the political coordinator level, and if there is no agreement by tomorrow morning, a procedural vote on the format of the debate may be taken.)

The other open debate is on the linkages between conflict prevention and natural resources. Briefers are likely to include Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, Kofi Annan, who is a member of the Africa Progress Panel which recently published a report on governance of extractive industries in Africa, and a high-level representative of the World Bank. A presidential statement is a likely outcome.

Of the three debates to be held this month, two are on country-specific situations and one is a thematic debate. The quarterly debate on Afghanistan will include a briefing by Ján KubiŜ, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, and the quarterly Kosovo debate -postponed from May- will include a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, Farid Zarif.

The annual debate on children and armed conflict will also take place in June, with Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui expected to brief on the Secretary-General’s 12th report on children and armed conflict. Council members are currently negotiating a presidential statement which is expected to be adopted at the debate. In the past, the children and armed conflict debate has always been an open debate, but it was decided only in late May to have it in June making it difficult to find the time for an open debate in an already packed schedule. There are also a number of briefings this month including one on Somalia where the UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, is likely to preside and Eliasson will brief. Other possible briefers include high-level representatives from the Somalia government. Council members are currently negotiating a presidential statement which is expected to be adopted at this meeting.

Besides the regular briefings and consultations, the UK has also chosen this month to have both a horizon scanning briefing from the Department of Political Affairs, which took place this morning (4 June) and a wrap-up session which is scheduled for 27 June. The horizon scanning meeting covered the preparations for the second Geneva conference on Syria, Mali and Iraq-Kuwait.

There will also be two adoptions this month. A resolution renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee is now in blue and scheduled for adoption tomorrow (5 June). Iran will also come up in mid-June when the chair of the 1737 Committee, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), is expected to present his quarterly briefing on the work of the Committee to the Council.

The second adoption is expected to take place at the end of the month when the Council is likely to extend for six months the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. Ahead of the adoption there will be a briefing in consultations by the head of peacekeeping, Hervé Ladsous, on the UNDOF report. There will also be a meeting of UNDOF troop contributing countries (TCCs) where Council members will be able to hear TCCs concerns and discuss possible options for improving the safety and security of UN personnel.

This month the Council will turn their attention to Mali ahead of the possible start of the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) currently scheduled for 1 July. The newly appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSMA, Albert Gerard Koenders, is expected to brief Council members on the security situation in Mali as requested in resolution 2100 as well as on the Secretary-General’s report which is expected to provide an assessment of the security conditions on the ground. The Council also expects a briefing by Special Envoy Romano Prodi on the Secretary-General’s report on the Sahel which is expected to contain the UN integrated strategy for the Sahel requested by the Council in resolution 2056 of 5 July 2012.

Another African issue which continues to receive regular attention from the Council is Sudan. There will be the regular bimonthly meetings on Sudan-South Sudan as well as the semi-annual briefing from the ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, on the work of the ICC on Sudan. A TCC meeting on UN Mission in South Sudan is also expected to be held late in the month, as the mission’s mandate is likely to be renewed in July. There will also be a briefing in consultations by the chair of the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Masood Khan (Pakistan), on the mid-term report of its Panel of Experts.

Besides the monthly briefing and consultations on the Middle East, there are a number of other meetings related to issues in the Middle East on the June programme of work. There will be a briefing on Yemen by Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, followed by consultations. In addition the Council is expected to renew the mandate of the Office of the Special Adviser on Yemen before its expiry on 18th June through an exchange of letters between the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council. There will also be a number of opportunities for Council members to focus on Libya this month. Tarek Mitri, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), will brief the Council to be followed by consultations. The Council will also receive the periodic briefing by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanction Committee, Ambassador Eugéne-Richard Gasana (Rwanda).

Iraq-Kuwait is also on the programme of work with a briefing in consultations scheduled on the Secretary-General’s report on Iraq’s compliance with resolution 1284 (1999). This issue was discussed during the horizon scanning meeting today, and a key focus during the consultations is likely to be a possible successor mechanism to the High-Level Coordinator on Iraq-Kuwait.

The Council will also have the opportunity during a peacekeeping briefing by Ladsous at the end of June to hear from UN Force Commanders from the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC, UN Mission in Liberia, and the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire.

The issues which are in the footnotes of the programme of work and may come up during the month are Syria and DRC, the Central African Republic and non-proliferation related to either Iran or the Democratic Republic of Korea.

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