September Programme of Work for the Council
This morning (September 4) Council members adopted the Security Council’s provisional programme of work for September. Following this meeting Council members went straight into their first item of work: a briefing held under the “horizon scanning” formula by the head of the Department of Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, on his recent trip to the Middle East during which he visited Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Australia, as President of the Security Council for September, has chosen as the centerpiece of its presidency a debate on small arms which will take place on 26 September. It is likely to be chaired by the Prime Minister of Australia with the Secretary-General and high-level participantion is expected from some Council members. (The event will take place the same week as the opening of the General Assembly which is attended by heads of state and government and foreign ministers.) A resolution is a possible outcome.
The rest of the month largely features issues which are part of the Council’s routine schedule of briefings, consultations or mandate renewals. No Council action is anticipated following most of these meetings. However, there are a number of ongoing issues which are in the footnotes of the programme of work and may require more sustained attention and action from the Council over the course of the month. These include Syria, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali as well as non-proliferation.
The only other debate this month is the quarterly debate on Afghanistan with Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), scheduled to brief.
The only adoption scheduled in the September programme of work is for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) which expires on 30 September. Ahead of the 18 September adoption Council members will receive briefings from UNMIL head Karin Landgren and Ambassador Staffan Tillander (Sweden), chair of the Liberia configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC).
Regular briefings and consultations to review progress in a number of missions in Africa are also scheduled. Council members will be briefed by Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), as well as Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski (Canada), the chair of the Sierra Leone configuration of the PBC.
There will also be a briefing on the first report of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Nicholas Kay, and AU Special Representative, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, (both by videoconfence) which will be followed by consultations.
A briefing in consultations by José Ramos-Horta, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), to discuss the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau is scheduled to take place tomorrow (5 September). It seems that Togo, the lead country on this issue, is thinking of proposing a press statement at this meeting.
The Council will maintain its regular focus on Sudan-South Sudan issues in September. As mandated by resolution 2046, Council members will hold two meetings in consultations on compliance by Sudan and South Sudan with this resolution.
Middle East Issues
While international focus on the Middle East is on developments in Syria, the Council does not have any meetings scheduled on this situation in its September programme of work. Council members may, however, take the opportunity to discuss Syria during the monthly Middle East consultations where the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, is expected to brief. Syria may also come up in the context of discussions on the security situation in the Golan Heights during the regular consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous is expected to brief.
There will also be a briefing on Yemen by Jamal Benomar, the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Yemen, and Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This meeting will be held the same week as a high-level meeting of the Friends of Yemen which is likely to take place on the sidelines of the General Assembly.
The Council will have the opportunity to turn its attention to Libya during a briefing by Tarek Mitri, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which will be followed by consultations. In addition the Council will also receive the periodic briefing by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Eugéne-Richard-Gasana (Rwanda), and hold consultations on Libya sanctions.
There will also be the regular 90-day sanctions report to the Council on the work of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia).