What's In Blue

The April Programme of Work of the Security Council

April looks to be a lighter month than March with 11 formal meetings scheduled (nine public and two private) and eight consultations at press time. Among the formal meetings are four thematic meetings on genocide, security sector reform, women, peace and security and a “wrap-up” session at the end of the month. Also on the programme of work are five adoptions, with a sixth on the Central African Republic (CAR) likely to be added.

The April programme of work also takes into consideration that some Council members will be travelling to Rwanda for the 20th anniversary of the genocide, as well as to Istanbul for a retreat organised by Turkey focused on relations between the Security Council and regional organisations. In addition, two days this month are taken up with the Secretary-General’s annual retreat, to be held in the fourth week of April, which is a rare opportunity for Council members to engage in collective brainstorming on specific issues alongside the Secretariat.

The main focus of the Council in April will be on African issues: Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Darfur, Mali, Sudan and South Sudan, Western Sahara, with CAR and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the footnotes. The Council will focus on three Middle East issues- Israel-Palestine, Syria and Yemen. Ukraine is in the footnotes of the programme of work as is non-proliferation in regards to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Meetings on Ukraine may be scheduled depending on further developments and a human rights report on Ukraine may be presented to the Council.

There will be two open debates, one on security sector reform (SSR) and another on women, peace and security with a focus on sexual violence. The Secretary-General is expected to brief at both debates, with his Special Representative on Sexual Violence, Zainab Bangura, also briefing at the latter. A third thematic meeting will be a briefing on “Threats to international peace and security: prevention of and fight against genocide” to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Resolutions are possible outcomes from the SSR and genocide in Rwanda meetings.

Tomorrow the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution on the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) focused on the special report of the Secretary-General on the mandate review of the mission, with a possible briefing by the head of UNAMID, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who is in town. Chambas is scheduled to brief the Council on the Secretary-General’s report on UNAMID later in the month. Council members will have a chance to discuss South Sudan and Sudan-South Sudan issues next week during briefings in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Haile Menkerios ( by videoconferencing), respectively.

A resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is expected to be adopted later this month. Ahead of the adoption, Council members will be briefed by the Special Representative and head of MINURSO, Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber, and Christopher Ross, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Western Sahara.

Another mandate renewal that is expected this month is that of the Côte d’Ivoire sanctions regime and the mandate of the Group of Experts assisting the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee. This is expected to take place at the end of the month. Earlier in the month the chair of the Sanctions Committee (Chile) will brief on the work of the Committee.

There will also be a briefing and consultations on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) with a briefing by the head of MINUSMA, Albert Gerard Koenders.

Although not on the programme of work, the CAR is in the footnotes as Council members are currently negotiating a resolution which is expected to transform the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR into a UN peacekeeping operation.
With regard to Middle East issues, there will be two briefings in consultations on Syria this month. Tomorrow the Council will be briefed by the Special Coordinator of the OPCW-UN Joint Mission, Sigrid Kaag. At the end of the month a briefing is expected on the implementation of resolution 2139 on humanitarian access by Humanitarian Coordinator Valerie Amos. No outcome is expected from either meeting, although a draft resolution with stronger measures may be a possibility next month, if Amos’ briefing does not indicate progress on the humanitarian front.

The Council will be briefed on Yemen by Special Advisor Jamal Benomar, as well as on the work of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee, by its chair Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaité (Lithuania).

The regular quarterly Middle East debate is also scheduled for the end of the month followed by consultations. Special Coordinator Robert Serry is scheduled to brief.

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