What's In Blue

Posted Tue 2 Jul 2013

July Programme of Work for the Security Council

The US, as president of the Council in July, has chosen to have a ministerial level debate focused on restoring peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Great Lakes region as a highlight event for the month. US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to chair the meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson briefing. Participation is also expected from regional actors including the AU, the DRC and Uganda. The focus of the debate will be how to establish a sustainable peace in the Great Lakes region with a particular emphasis on how the international community can support the recently signed Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region. A presidential statement is a likely outcome.

In July, there will be several other opportunities for the Council to discuss the situation in the DRC. In the second week of July, Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, is expected to brief Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the DRC. Later in the month Council members will be briefed by Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan), the chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, on the mid-term report of its Panel of Experts.

There will also be an open debate on protection of journalists in conflict situations. UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and four journalists are expected to brief during the debate. Council members are likely to focus on a number of issues pertaining to the protection of journalists in conflict areas including best practices, accountability mechanisms for combating impunity, the importance of new technologies in providing timely information in conflict situations and the need to maintain open access to these tools. The journalists are moreover likely to speak of their personal experiences reporting from conflict areas.

In July, the Council will also be adopting six resolutions renewing the mandates of five missions and the mandate of the Monitoring Group of the Somalia/Eritrea Committee. In late 2011 and early 2012, in an attempt to increase efficiency, the Council discussed ways of spreading out mandate renewals throughout the year, known as “periodicity”. This resulted in steps being taken to move away from concentrating renewals in June and December as had been the practice. However, it seems that distribution of mandate renewals continues to be uneven, with June having had just two and July now having six.

The Council will maintain its regular focus on a number of Sudan-related issues in July, holding consultations on Sudan-South Sudan on the second and fourth week of July with Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios expected to brief. In addition there will be consultations and a briefing by the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Hilde Johnson ahead of the adoption of a resolution renewing the mandate of UNMISS. There will also be a briefing by the Joint Special Representative Mohamed ibn Chambas and consultations on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) ahead of the adoption of a resolution renewing UNAMID at the end of the month.

The mandate of the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) is also expected to be renewed this month before its expiry on 31 July. In mid-July there will be a briefing and consultations on Côte d’Ivoire by Ladsous followed by the adoption of a resolution renewing the UNOCI at the end of the month.

Council members will have an opportunity to discuss developments in West Africa more generally during a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Office for West Africa Said Djinnit. Among the issues likely to be discussed are Guinea and Mali.

While there is no other Council activity scheduled on Mali in July, the Council is likely to continue to follow developments there closely following the transfer of authority from the African-led International Support Mission in Mali to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali yesterday (1 July). In addition a presidential statement welcoming the integrated Sahel strategy is likely to be adopted this month.

A briefing on Burundi by the head of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, and the chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Paul Seger (Switzerland), followed by consultations, will allow Council members to discuss progress being made in achieving benchmarks for the future evolution of BNUB into a UN Country Team.

A briefing had been scheduled on the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) but as the report has been delayed it has been taken off the programme of work for now. However the Central African Republic is in the footnotes as Council members expect to continue to follow developments there closely.

The work of the 751/1907 Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee will also be considered by the Council in July during a briefing in consultations by the Committee chair, Ambassador Kim Sook (Republic of Korea). A resolution is expected to be adopted renewing the mandate of the Monitoring Group assisting the Committee before it expires on 25 August. The final report of the Monitoring Group is due in mid-July.
There are a number of Middle East issues on the July programme of work. In mid-July there will be a briefing on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) by the outgoing head and Special Representative Martin Kobler. The Council is also expected to adopt a resolution extending UNAMI, whose mandate expires on 25 July.

The impact of the Syria conflict on Lebanon will be discussed during consultations on the implementation of resolution 1701 where Council members will be briefed by Derek Plumbly, the Special Coordinator for Lebanon. This month there will also be the quarterly open debate on the Middle East where the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, is expected to brief. The situation in Syria is in the footnotes of the programme of work as Council members will continue to follow developments there closely.

The Council is also scheduled on 15 July to be briefed by Ambassador Gary Francis Quinlan (Australia), chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee, on the latest report of the Panel of Experts assisting the Committee. This briefing was originally scheduled for June but had to be postponed as the Committee members were unable to agree on the text of the briefing. It was decided on 25 June that if no compromise was found within ten days the chair would present a report reflecting the divided views of Committee members.

In July, Cyprus and work of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) will also be discussed during Council consultations. At the end of the month the Council is expected to renew UNFICYP’s mandate.

The semi-annual briefing in consultations by the Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia, Miroslav Jenča is also expected this month.

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