December Programme of Work for the Security Council
The Sahel and West Africa feature prominently on the December programme of work of the Security Council. France, the President of the Council for December, has chosen to hold a high-level meeting on drug trafficking in the Sahel and West Africa during which the Council is expected to adopt a presidential statement. The head of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Said Djinnit, and Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime will brief the Council.
Earlier in the month, there will be a briefing by Djinnit on UNOWA, followed by consultations. There will also be a briefing on the implementation of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel by Special Envoy for the Sahel Romano Prodi. The Secretary-General, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and representatives from the AU and EU will also be participating in the later meeting and are expected to brief the Council on the joint mission to the Sahel region which took place in early November. In addition, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous will brief in consultations on the activities of the French forces in Mali and their interaction with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Two debates are scheduled for the month. The first debate, to be held later this week, will be on the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda (ICTR), with briefings by their respective presidents and prosecutors, Theodore Meron and Serge Brammertz for the ICTY and Vagn Joensen and Hassan Bubacar Jallow for the ICTR. The Council will meet again later in the month on the ICTY, to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the judges.
The second debate featured this month will be the regular quarterly debate on Afghanistan, and will include a briefing by Ján Kubiš, the Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on the Secretary-General’s latest report on Afghanistan.
A “horizon scanning” briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco will focus on the role of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) in preventive diplomacy. It is expected that Fernandez-Taranco will cover the work of DPA in Special Political Missions, mediation, good offices and elections using examples coming from Guinea, Yemen or the Maldives.
There will be several meetings on situations in the Middle East this month. This morning the Council was briefed in consultations by Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos on the humanitarian situation in Syria. Tomorrow, it will hear from the Special Coordinator of the joint mission of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Sigrid Kaag, on the implementation of resolution 2118, which required the verifiable destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
The Council will also have three meetings related to the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF): the adoption of a resolution renewing UNDOF’s mandate, a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Ladsous and a meeting with UNDOF troop-contributing countries. The monthly briefing by Special Coordinator Robert Serry on the Middle East peace process will also be held, followed by consultations.
There are also a number of African issues on the December programme of work. Early in the month, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution authorising the African-led International Support Mission for the Central African Republic—known by its French acronym MISCA—and requesting the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund for MISCA as well as an international commission of inquiry to investigate international humanitarian law and human rights law violations in the CAR since 1 January. The Council will receive briefings and hold consultations on Libya and Somalia, with Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya Tarek Mitri and Special Representative for Somalia Nicholas Kay on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia as the scheduled briefers.
As usual there are a number of Sudan-related meetings this month. Council members will receive the semi-annual briefing by International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the work of the Court regarding the situation in Darfur and will also be briefed in consultations on Sudan-South Sudan issues and on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet.
On the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Council members will be briefed in consultations by Ladsous, alongside Special Representative for the DRC Martin Kobler and Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson on the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region and the situation on the ground.
There will also be briefings by the heads of three sanctions committees in December. The first such briefing will be on the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Masood Khan (Pakistan), most likely in consultations. The Council will also adopt a resolution renewing the sanctions on Liberia, possibly lifting some of them. The resolution will also renew the mandate of the panel of experts assisting the Liberia Sanctions Committee. The Council will also be briefed on the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), followed by consultations. Finally the Council will receive a briefing by Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia), chair of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee.
The Council will hold a briefing on subsidiary bodies, during which it will receive briefings by the outgoing chairs of the following committees: Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev (Azerbaijan), chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee; Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala), chair of the 1572 Cote d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee and of the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals; Ambassador Masood Khan (Pakistan), chair of the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee and of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations; and Ambassador Mohammed Loulichki (Morocco), chair of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee, the 1566 Working Group and of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee. The Council will also hold a formal session to adopt a resolution extending the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate this month.
In December there will also be an Arria formula meeting, organised by France and Guatemala, on the protection of journalists scheduled for the middle of the month. ICC Prosecutor Bensouda, the Executive Director of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, a representative of Reporters Without Borders and other journalists are expected to participate in the Arria Formula.
While not a meeting of the Council, an event relevant to the Council will take place on 6 December, when the General Assembly votes on whether Jordan should fill the vacancy created when Saudi Arabia declined to take the Security Council seat to which it was elected on 18 October. If Jordan receives support from two thirds of the General Assembly in the secret balloting, it will take up the two-year seat on 1 January, along with elected members Chad, Chile, Lithuania and Nigeria.