What's In Blue

Posted Fri 2 Aug 2013

August Programme of Work for the Security Council

Argentina, the president of the Council in August, has chosen an open debate on the cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organisations as a highlight of its presidency. President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina is expected to chair the meeting, and several other Council members will participate at the foreign minister level. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon—as well as officials representing the AU, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the League of Arab States and the Union of South American Nations—are scheduled to brief. A presidential statement is the anticipated outcome.

There will also be an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, with a focus on humanitarian and human rights issues. The meeting will be chaired by Susana Ruiz Cerutti, the legal adviser to the foreign ministry of Argentina and a member of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Mission, a permanent international body that investigates allegations of grave breaches and serious violations of international humanitarian law. The Secretary-General, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos, and the International Committee of the Red Cross Director for International Law and Cooperation, Philip Spoerri, are expected to brief the Council.

Two additional debates – one on Haiti and one on Kosovo – will be held during the month of August. The new Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Sandra Honoré, is expected to brief on the Secretary-General’s semi-annual report on MINUSTAH, as well as developments in Haiti. Farid Zarif, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), will also brief on events in Kosovo and the Secretary-General’s most recent report on UNMIK.

In August, the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for an additional year. (This is the only resolution expected to be adopted in August, following the six adoptions in July.) In the days prior to the renewal, Council members will be briefed in consultations on UNIFIL, likely by Assistant-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet.

The Council expects to be briefed in August by Babacar Gaye, the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA), on the Secretary-General’s latest report on BINUCA and developments on the ground. Ivan Simonovic, head of the New York Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who has visited the country recently, and Amos, are also likely to brief on the human rights and humanitarian situation, respectively, in the Central African Republic. The briefing will be followed by consultations.

The Council will maintain its regular focus on Sudan/South Sudan issues in August. As mandated by resolution 2046, Council members will hold two meetings in consultations on compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with the resolution. During the first of these consultations, Council members will also discuss the most recent report of the Secretary-General on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei, as well as developments in this disputed region. This month there will also be the quarterly briefing in consultations by the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee chair, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina), on the Committee’s work.

Also in August, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas of Luxembourg, chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, will brief Council members in consultations on the work of that Sanctions Committee.

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco will likely brief on the Middle East, to be followed by consultations. The resumption of direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians will likely be a topic of discussion.

Argentina is planning a wrap-up session at the end of the month in a private meeting under the agenda item “Implementation of the Note S/2010/507” which addresses several Council working methods issues.

Finally, there are several matters in the footnotes that the Council will likely be following closely and that could find their way onto the program of work in August. Among the country-specific issues in the footnotes are the Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali. The Council’s annual report, non-proliferation, and ICTY (judges) are also in the footnotes. (The Council needs to select three candidates for an ICTY judgeship from a list of six provided by member states through the Secretary-General and forward these nominations to the General-Assembly, which will elect one of the candidates.)

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