What's In Blue

Posted Tue 4 Nov 2014

Security Council’s November Programme of Work

Australia’s November presidency of the Security Council has gotten off to a busy start in the Council with consultations held on South Sudan and Libya this afternoon, followed by a briefing under “Any Other Business” on the situation in Burkina Faso. The consultations on South Sudan include video teleconference briefings on the recent violence in South Sudan by Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Ellen Margrethe Løj and UNMISS Force Commander Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam. Bernardino León, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya, is briefing on the deteriorating security situation in Libya and his recent meetings with Libyan politicians. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative and Head of UN Office for West Africa, is expected to brief Council members via video teleconference on current developments in Burkina Faso.

South Sudan and Libya are also on the agenda later this month. ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will deliver her semi-annual briefing on recent developments concerning cases in Libya. The Council is also expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of UNMISS.

A number of other African issues will be discussed throughout the month. There will be a briefing and consultations on Guinea Bissau, which will include a discussion of the Secretary-General’s written update on his comprehensive review of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS). Special Representative of the Secretary-General Miguel Trovoada and Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, the chair of Peacebuilding Commission’s Guinea-Bissau country configuration, are the expected briefers. The Council is also expected to adopt a resolution extending the mandate of UNIOGBIS.

There will also be a resolution adopted this month renewing counter-piracy measures for Somalia, due to expire on 18 November. This follows on the heels of the Council’s intensive engagement on Somalia issues last month, which included the adoption of resolution 2182 reauthorising AU Mission in Somalia for one year.

While the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not on the current programme of work, a draft presidential statement following up on the consultations on MONUSCO held last week is currently under silence till tomorrow morning and a formal meeting is likely tomorrow afternoon to adopt it.

Briefings and consultations are anticipated on Liberia and Burundi. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and Ambassador Mårten Grunditz (Sweden), chair of the Liberia configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, are expected to brief on Liberia, and will likely focus on the activities of UN Mission in Liberia and the Ebola crisis in the country. A separate meeting on Ebola may also be scheduled during the month. Additionally, Special Representative and Head of the UN Office in Burundi Parfait Onanga-Anyanga will brief on the situation in Burundi, along with Ambassador Paul Seger (Switzerland), the chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission.

Australia has chosen as the centerpiece of its presidency of the Council this month an open debate on global efforts to counter terrorism, violent extremism and the growing threat of foreign terrorist fighters. Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will preside over the ministerial level open debate with the Secretary-General briefing. A presidential statement is the anticipated outcome.

Australia has also organised briefings on two other thematic issues. There will be a briefing by Ladsous on peacekeeping focused on UN Policing, with the first stand-alone resolution on UN policing as the likely outcome. At the end of the month Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, will brief on issues related to UN sanctions across the different sanctions regimes; a resolution is a possible outcome to this meeting.

Meetings on the work of three sanctions committees will be held during the month. Ambassador Sylvie Lucas (Luxembourg), chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea Sanctions Committee, will provide the quarterly briefing on the committee’s work in consultations, while Ambassador María Cristina Perceval (Argentina), chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, is scheduled to provide the quarterly briefing on the committee’s work in Darfur in a public session, which will be followed by consultations. There will also be a briefing on the work of the 1540 committee on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by its chair, Ambassador Oh Joon (Republic of Korea).

Several issues related to the Middle East are on the agenda this month. Tomorrow, Special Advisor Sigrid Kaag will brief during consultations on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons via video teleconference. Late in the month, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, will brief on the humanitarian situation in Syria in an open session, which will be followed by consultations.

There will also be briefings, followed by consultations, on the Middle East by Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen and on the situation in Iraq by Special Representative Nikolay Mladenov and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Council members also expect to receive a briefing in consultations by Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701, which called for a cessation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.

Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to be discussed this month. During the Council’s quarterly debate on Kosovo, Special Representative and Head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Farid Zarif is expected to present the latest Secretary-General’s report on UNMIK. The Council is also scheduled to hold its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina and adopt a resolution in November renewing the authorisation of the EU-led multinational stabilisation force for a year. At the debate, High Representative Valentin Inzko is likely to brief on recent developments and present his office’s latest report to the Council.

The Security Council and the General Assembly are expected to hold elections on 6 November for the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Five judges will need to be elected to the ICJ, each for a nine-year term starting on 6 February 2015.
In the second week of November, Council members will participate in the workshop with newly elected members organised annually by Finland.

Finally, Australia has chosen to hold a public wrap-up session late in the month.

In addition to scheduled items, there are also a number of issues in the footnotes that could be discussed during November. These include Central African Republic, Ebola, Mali, non-proliferation (usually referring to both DPRK and Iran), Ukraine and Yemen. Council members will also likely be watching closely the situation in Burkina Faso and Libya.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails