What's In Blue

Posted Mon 6 Jan 2014

The January 2014 Programme of Work for the Security Council

The Security Council’s programme of work for January 2014 consists largely of regular briefings, consultations, mandate renewals and debates. In addition, Jordan, the President of the Security Council for January, has chosen to hold an open debate on “War, its lessons, and the search for a permanent peace” under the agenda item “Maintenance of International Peace and Security”. The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, is expected to brief and the aim of the debate is to encourage the Council to draw lessons from the understanding of war and what is necessary to achieve a permanent peace. The discussion is expected to be general rather than focused on any particular conflict and among the issues it will cover are post-conflict reconciliation, particularly in wars that erupt due to ethnic differences.

Issues related to Sudan and South Sudan feature prominently on the programme of work. Following the unrest in South Sudan at the end of the year, the Council is expected to keep a close eye on events there in January. Later this week, Council members will be briefed in consultations most likely by Under-Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous on the UN Mission in South Sudan. On the same day, there will also be the regular monthly briefing in consultations by Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios on the implementation of resolution 2046, which focuses on Sudan-South Sudan relations. Later in the month, the Council will be briefed on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur by Ladsous.

This afternoon (6 January) the Council had an opportunity to discuss another area of concern in Africa -the Central African Republic (CAR)—when it was briefed by Babacar Gaye, the Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the CAR (BINUCA). This will be followed by consultations on the situation in the CAR where members will discuss recent developments. In the following weeks, Council members are expected to negotiate a draft resolution, scheduled for adoption in the third week of January, renewing BINUCA’s mandate.

The Council will also focus on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) this month. In mid-January, the Special Representative and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC, Martin Kobler, and the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, will update the Council on developments in the DRC and Great Lakes region. This will be followed by informal consultations. There will also be consultations on the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, and towards the end of the month, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the DRC sanctions regime and the mandate of the Group of Experts assisting the Committee.

There will be a briefing on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by Special Representative and head of MINUSMA Albert Koenders this month, followed by consultations. There will also be briefings and consultations on two other African issues, Burundi and Côte d’Ivoire, at the end of the month.

There are a number of Middle East issues on the programme of work. The quarterly debate on the Middle East is likely to be chaired by Jordan’s foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, with attendance at ministerial level by several other Council members and the Secretary-General, who will brief.

Council members will also remain closely engaged on Syria this month. This week Council members will be briefed in consultations by Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Mission, on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. In addition, Syria is in the footnotes of the programme of work and a briefing by humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, following her visit to the region, on the implementation of the presidential statement on humanitarian access is a possibility. Syria may also come up during the Middle East debate, although its main focus will be Israel and Palestine. Council members will also be watching developments related to the 22 January Geneva II peace talks, although no follow-up in the Council is currently scheduled. Although outside of the Council’s programme of work, members are likely to attend an Arria formula meeting organised by Luxembourg and the UK on women’s participation in the Syrian transition process.

There will also be a briefing by Jamal Benomar, the Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Yemen, followed by Council consultations. If the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) has concluded by the time of the briefing in the third week of January, the Council may choose to adopt a decision either welcoming its conclusions or expressing its concerns depending on the outcome of the NDC.

Although not on the programme of work at the moment, another Middle East issue that the Council may have to closely follow is Iraq due to the deteriorating situations in Fallujah and Ramadi which have been taken over by Al-Qaida militants.

The Council will also discuss the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) during consultations ahead of the adoption of a resolution renewing UNFICYP’s mandate at the end of the month. Briefings are expected by the Special Representative and head of mission, Lisa Buttenheim, on the UNFICYP report and by the Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, on the status of negotiations.

Finally, there will be the semi-annual briefing on the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia by Special Representative Miroslav Jenča.

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