What's In Blue

Posted Mon 4 Aug 2014

Council’s August Programme of Work

August, once considered a quiet month for the Security Council, is likely to be busy this year. On its programme of work for August, the Security Council has included one open debate, two debates, ten briefings, fifteen consultations, two adoptions, two troop-contributing country meetings and a Council visit to Europe and Africa. Given a number of volatile situations on the Council’s agenda it seems likely that there may be additional briefings scheduled on Iraq, Israel/Palestine and Ukraine. Although there is a regular briefing scheduled for the end of August on Libya, it is possible that the Council may have to address the instability there earlier in the month. A meeting may also have to be scheduled to adopt a presidential statement on the Sahel circulated by Chad late last month. Already today (4 August), following the adoption of the programme of work, Council members received briefings on Iraq and Lebanon under “any other business”.

As President of the Council for the month of August, the UK has chosen conflict prevention as a key focus. With the hundredth anniversary of World War I in mind, the UK felt it was a good time to focus the Council on conflict prevention. There will be an open debate on the role of the Council in conflict prevention, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay briefing. A resolution on conflict prevention is a likely outcome.

Two debates are also planned. The first is a high-level debate on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), presided over by the UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds. Special Representative Martin Kobler and Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson are expected to brief. The quarterly debate on Kosovo is also scheduled this month with a briefing by Special Representative Farid Zarif, by video-teleconference.

There will also be a briefing on protection of humanitarian workers in armed conflict under the “protection of civilians” agenda item. This will be held to commemorate World Humanitarian Day on 19 August. The likely briefers are Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and ICRC President Peter Maurer, together with a representative from an NGO in Afghanistan. A resolution is likely to be adopted during the briefing.

Besides the two resolutions expected to be adopted at the conflict prevention open debate and protection of civilians briefing, another two other adoptions are scheduled for the renewal of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

Over the month there are a number of regular meetings scheduled. As usual, Council members will have their monthly consultations on Sudan-South Sudan, which will also include discussion of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei in August. In addition, there will be briefings followed by consultations on South Sudan and Darfur,with the Council likely to adopt a resolution renewing UNAMID at the end of the month. There is likely to be greater attention paid to South Sudan with the Council likely to include the country in their mission to Africa. There will also be a briefing in consultations by the chair of the 1592 Sudan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina).

The regular meetings on Syria will continue this month with consultations on the Syria chemical weapons track by Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Mission. Late in August the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will brief on the progress in delivering aid across Syria’s borders and conflict lines. There will also be regular briefings followed by consultations on developments in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Lebanon, Libya, the Middle East and Yemen.

In addition, the chairs of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee and the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Jordan and Luxembourg respectively, will brief on the work of their sanctions committees.

Following the Council visiting mission to Europe and Africa there will be a briefing by the co-chairs of the different segments.

Like Rwanda in July, the UK has chosen to have a public wrap-up session at the end of the month under the agenda item “Implementation of the Note S/2010/507”.

The footnotes of the programme of work include non-proliferation, in anticipation of possible developments in the DPRK or Iran, as well as Ukraine. The Council’s annual report to the General Assembly for the period 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2014 is also in the footnotes as it may be adopted this month.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails