Security Council’s October Programme of Work
Argentina assumes in October its second presidency during its two-year Council term. There will be three open debates in October: the quarterly open debate on the Middle East and the annual open debates on women, peace and security and working methods. The High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres (by video-teleconference), the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and a civil society representative are the scheduled briefers for the debate on women, peace and security, with a presidential statement as the anticipated outcome. The working methods debate is expected to assess progress made since the last debate in October 2013, identify gaps and make concrete proposals. (Argentina is the chair of the Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural and Other Procedural Questions, the venue for most Council’s working methods work.) Expected as briefers are the Ombudsperson of the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Kimberly Prost and ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda who are likely to focus on due process, targeted sanctions and the relationship between the Security Council and the ICC. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is likely to brief during the open debate on the situation in the Middle East, focusing on Israel/Palestine, but also taking up other developments in the region.
The fifth annual briefing by UN Force Commanders will also take place in October. This year the force commanders from the UN missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mali and Golan Heights are expected to brief.
Adoptions extending the mandates of UN Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA), the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and the AU Mission in Somalia are scheduled. In addition, the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Monitoring Group is up for renewal. An adoption is also planned for the introduction to the annual report of the Security Council to the General Assembly.
Most of the meetings this month are regular briefings and consultations focused on Africa and the Middle East. There will be a briefing by Special Representative Albert Koenders followed by consultations on Mali, which is expected to focus on peace talks and expansion of MINUSMA’s presence in the north. Ahead of the AU Mission in Somalia mandate adoption there will be a briefing by Special Representative Nicholas Kay on developments in Somalia. There will also be consultations on Somalia piracy with Under-Secretary-General Feltman briefing.
UNISFA will be discussed during consultations in early October, with a representative from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) expected to present the Secretary-General’s latest report. Later in the month, a briefing followed by consultations on South Sudan is scheduled. The Council is expected to hear from Ellen Margerethe Loj, who took up the post of Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan in early September.
Special Representative Martin Kobler, head of MONUSCO, and Said Djinnit, the recently appointed Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region will brief on the situation in the DRC prior to consultations.
Council members will hear about the work of the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire sanctions committee from its chair, Ambassador Cristian Barros (Chile) during a briefing to be followed by consultations.
Several meetings on Syria are expected in October. The regular briefings on the chemical weapons and humanitarian tracks will take place at the beginning and end of the month, respectively. Although not on the programme of work, a briefing by Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is also a possibility. Sigrid Kaag, the former Special Coordinator of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Mission, will brief in her good offices capacity on the implementation of resolution 2118 and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang will brief on humanitarian access.
At the end of the month, the Council is scheduled to be briefed in consultations by Special Advisor Jamal Benomar on the recent peace agreement and security situation in Yemen. However, if the situation there deteriorates, there may be a need for an earlier meeting.
Other Middle East issues that will be covered in October include briefings in consultations by Special Envoy Terje Rod-Larsen on the implementation of resolution 1559 on Lebanon and by DPKO on the steps needed to maintain the UN Disengagement Observer Force’s ability to carry out its mandate. Special Envoy Christopher Ross and possibly Special Representative and head of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara Kim Bolduc will brief in consultations.
President of the International Court of Justice Peter Tomka will brief on the Court’s activities in a private meeting. Finally, Argentina has chosen to have a public wrap-up session, which is scheduled for the end of the month.
Ukraine is currently in the footnotes of the programme of work and a briefing by the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović on the human rights situation in Ukraine is likely during the month. Non-proliferation, referring to both the Democratic Republic of Korea and Iran, remains in the footnotes.
This morning, the Council issued a press statement on Libya welcoming the UN-facilitated meeting held in Ghadames among members of the House of Representatives. Libya may require further attention from the Council over the course of the month. Another situation that the Council will be watching closely during the month is the Central African Republic. There may also be interest in getting an update on the new UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).