The Council’s Programme of Work for March
The March programme of work of the Security Council covers a broad range of issues with just one day without any meetings scheduled. Six adoptions are currently scheduled over the course of the month. Already, just four days into March, the Council has met twice on Ukraine, first on Saturday, 1 March and then again yesterday (3 March). (Ukraine is in the footnotes of the programme of work and further meetings will be scheduled if needed.)
As President of the Council in March and chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, Luxembourg has chosen an open debate on children and armed conflict as the centerpiece of its Council presidency. The debate will be chaired by Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui, Executive Director of UNICEF Anthony Lake and Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous, as well as a former child soldier, Alhaji Babah Sawaneh, expected to brief. One of the main aims of the debate is to reflect on how to move towards full implementation of the children and armed conflict agenda. A resolution is expected to be adopted during the debate.
Two other debates are expected this month. The quarterly debate on Afghanistan will take place in mid-March during which a resolution renewing the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan is expected to be adopted. The other debate is will be on the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the mission, Sandra Honoré, briefing.
There will be a briefing on peacebuilding by Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson as a follow-up to the 20 December 2012 presidential statement. Eliasson is expected to focus on post-conflict peacebuilding and the role women can play in peacebuilding. The head of the UN Development Fund Helen Clark will speak about UNDP activities in peacebuilding and Ambassador Antonio Patriota (Brazil), chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) will report on the work of the PBC.
Different aspects of the situation in Syria will be discussed over the month. This week Council members will be briefed in consultations on the fifth h report on the implementation of resolution 2118 on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons by Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Mission. In mid-March Council members will be briefed in consultations by UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi on the Geneva II talks. A briefing in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos on the implementation of resolution 2139 on humanitarian access in Syria is scheduled for the end of the March.
Briefings and consultations are also scheduled on the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq and on compliance with resolution 1284 on repatriation of Kuwaiti nationals or their remains and the return of Kuwaiti property. Council members will be briefed in consultations on Yemen by Special Advisor Jamal Benomar, on the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet and by Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly and Muleton the Secretary-General’s report on resolution 1701. There will also be the regular briefing on the Middle East peace process with Special Coordinator Robert Serry briefing.
The Council will also focus on a number of African issues this month. Asselborn will preside over a briefing and consultations on the Central African Republic (CAR) this week. Ladsous will brief Council members on the situation in the CAR and on the Secretary-General’s report on the possible transformation of the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR to a UN peacekeeping operation. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos and High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, will also brief on their recent visits to the CAR. It seems there will also be an “Arria formula” meeting with religious leaders from the CAR, co-chaired by Chad and France.
Other African issues that will be covered this month include a briefing by Nicholas Kay, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia and the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for Somalia, Mahamat Saleh Annadif. Ahead of this there will be an interactive informal dialogue on the AU Mission in Somalia with its force commander, Lieutenant General Silas Ntigurirwa (Burundi), Kay, Annadif and representatives from the AU and Somalia. A resolution re-authorising the partial lifting of the Somalia arms embargo is expected to be adopted tomorrow.
Council members will have several opportunities to focus on Sudan-South Sudan issues. In mid-March there will be consultations on Sudan-South Sudan and on the UN Interim Force for Abyei, with Special Envoy Haile Menkerios briefing on the former, and Ladsous on the latter. There will also be consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on the effectiveness of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur, with Ladsous briefing.
Later in the month Council members will have a chance to discuss the situation in South Sudan during a briefing on the UN Mission in South Sudan where Ladsous will present the Secretary-General’s quarterly report and the UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, will report on her visit to South Sudan.
There will be a briefing and consultations on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The situation in the DRC will be covered by Martin Kobler, head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), while Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson will brief on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region. A resolution renewing MONUSCO’s mandate is also expected to be adopted at the end of the month.
There will also be a briefing, followed by consultations, on Libya. The head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Tarek Mitri, will brief. There will also be a briefing and consultations on the work of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee. Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), chair of the 1970 Committee will brief. Later in the month a resolution is expected to be adopted renewing UNSMIL as well as the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1970 Committee.
There will also be a briefing and consultations on Liberia and the Secretary-General’s report by Karin Landgren, the Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in Liberia. The chair of the Liberia configuration of the PBC, Ambassador Staffan Tillander (Sweden) is expected to brief as well.
A final meeting on Sierra Leone is expected before the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone ends on 31 March. Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen, head of UNIPSIL, is expected to brief, with Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski (Canada), the chair of the Sierra Leone configuration of the PBC, also addressing the Council. This will be followed by consultations. A presidential statement is possible to mark the end of UNIPSIL.
There will also be a briefing on the work of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Gary Quinlan (Australia). A resolution renewing for 13 months the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee is expected to be adopted this week. In addition to Ukraine, as indicated earlier, non-proliferation is also in the footnotes of the programme of work.