What's In Blue

Posted Wed 5 Feb 2014

The Council’s Programme of Work for February

In February, under the presidency of Lithuania, the Council will have two open debates with presidential statements as likely outcomes. The biannual open debate on the protection of civilians is expected to include High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos and a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross as briefers. The second open debate is on the rule of law and the Secretary-General is expected to brief.

There are a number of issues related to Europe on the programme of work this month. There will be a meeting on the cooperation between the UN and the EU, presided over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as speakers. Another Europe focused issue on the February programme of work is the quarterly debate on Kosovo where Special Representative Farid Zarif is scheduled to brief. Towards the end of the month the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe, Didier Burkhalter (Switzerland) is expected to brief.

Regular briefings and consultations on Sudan-South Sudan, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and consultations on Sudan sanctions as well as the adoption of a resolution renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, which expires on 17 February, are expected in the second week of February. The Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, is expected to brief by video-conference on the latest developments in Sudan and South Sudan. The Council will most likely hear from Mulet on UNMISS and the situation in South Sudan, while the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina) will brief on the work of the Committee and possibly, on her recent visit to Sudan.

The other adoption on the programme of work is related to the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB). The mission’s mandate expires on 15 February and although it seems unlikely that it will be renewed, the Council may adopt a presidential statement or a resolution on the situation in Burundi and the termination of BNUB.

France and Chad, as co-leads for the Council visiting mission to Mali which took place from 1-3 February, will brief on the visit in the middle of February.

A briefing by José Ramos-Horta, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Mission in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), followed by consultations, is expected at the end of the month. The chair of the Guinea-Bissau configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ambassador Antonio Patriota (Brazil), and representatives of the Economic Community of West African States and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries will also participate. A presidential statement or press statement stressing the importance of free and fair elections and reminding potential spoilers of possible sanctions is a possible outcome.

There will also be a briefing on recent developments in the Central African Republic (CAR). The chair of the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania), will give the first report on this sanctions committee this month.

The Council will have several Syria-related meetings this month. Tomorrow Council members will be briefed by the Special Coordinator of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Mission, Sigrid Kaag. Next week there will be a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria from by Amos. Depending on Amos’s assessment of the degree to which parties are complying with the 2 October 2013 presidential statement on humanitarian access, a resolution addressing humanitarian issues may be tabled for adoption this month. The other Middle East item on the programme of work is the regular briefing and consultations on the Middle East peace process towards the end of the month, where Syria may once again be discussed.

A regular briefing on the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), is also scheduled this month.

Nonproliferation is in the “footnotes” of the programme of work and may come up if there are any developments in either the DPRK or Iran. The other item in the “footnotes” is the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At the end of the month there will also be a “wrap-up” session of the Council’s activities in February which may include looking ahead at emerging issues.

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