What's In Blue

Posted Tue 2 Dec 2014

Security Council’s December Programme of Work

Chad assumes the presidency in December for the first and only time during its current tenure on the Security Council. There will be two open debates during the month: one on cooperation between the UN and the AU on peace operations and one on countering terrorism and transnational organised crime. Regarding the open debate on UN-AU cooperation on peace operations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and an AU representative are the expected briefers. Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat of Chad will preside, and a presidential statement is the likely outcome of this meeting. The open debate on countering terrorism and transnational organised crime is expected to be a high-level event, focusing on Africa, with Mahamat again presiding. A resolution is the anticipated outcome, and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is expected to brief.

Several other adoptions have been scheduled for December. Resolutions renewing the mandates of the UN Mission in Liberia, the UN Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF), and Liberia sanctions are anticipated. Resolutions will also be adopted on the extension of judges’ and prosecutors’ terms for both the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). While not currently on the programme of work, the Council will continue to negotiate a draft resolution regarding the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, which will train and advise Afghan security forces after 2014, with a possible adoption in the coming weeks. Likewise, the Council may also renew the provisions on humanitarian access in Syria outlined in resolution 2165, which expire in early January, before humanitarian leads Australia and Luxembourg rotate off the Council at the end of the year.

There will be debates this month on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and the ICTR/ICTY. Special Representative and head of UNMIK Farid Zarif will likely brief during the Kosovo debate, while Special Representative and head of UNAMA Nicholas Haysom and Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Yury Fedotov are the anticipated briefers at the Afghanistan debate. The Presidents and Prosecutors of the ICTR, ICTY and Residual Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals will brief the Council during the debate on the international criminal tribunals; these include ICTR and Residual Mechanism President Vagn Joensen and ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow and ICTY and Residual Mechanism President Theodor Meron and ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz.

Briefings followed by consultations will be held in December on several issues focusing on Africa and the Middle East. There will be a briefing and consultations on AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) early in the month, with Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous expected to provide the briefing. There will also be a briefing and consultations on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the 2127 Sanctions Committee on Central Africa Republic (CAR) sanctions, with briefings by Ladsous and CAR Sanctions Committee chair Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaite of Lithuania, respectively. The briefing on the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA)/Lord’s Resistance Army will be provided by Special Representative and head of UNOCA Abdoulaye Bathily, with consultations to follow. On Libya, there are briefings and consultations on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and on the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee; Special Representative and head of UNSMIL Bernardo León will brief on the mission, while Ambassador Eugène-Richard Gasana of Rwanda, chair of the Libya Sanctions Committee, will brief on the Committee’s work.

Regarding Middle East issues, there will be a briefing and consultations on the work of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee by the Committee Chair, Ambassador Murmokaite,. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry will brief the Council on Israel/Palestine, before consultations on the issue. Finally, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos is expected to brief the Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria, with consultations to follow.

Stand-alone briefings are expected in December on the work of subsidiary bodies (i.e. sanctions committees and working groups) chaired by elected members finishing their tenures on the Council, the implementation of the UN integrated Sahel strategy, the ICC’s work on Darfur, and the work of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee. The briefings on the work of subsidiary bodies include outgoing chairs:
• Ambassador María Cristina Perceval of Argentina on the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee and the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions;
• Ambassador Gary Quinlan of Australia on the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee and the 1988 Taliban Sanctions Committee;
• Ambassador Oh Joon of the Republic of Korea on the 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee and the 1540 Committee on non-proliferation;
• Ambassador Sylvie Lucas of Luxembourg on the 1718 Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict; and
• Ambassador Gasana on the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is expected to brief on the Court’s work in Darfur, Special Envoy for the Sahel Hiroute Guebre Sellassie will brief on the Sahel and Ambassador Quinlan will provide the quarterly briefing on the work of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee. A wrap-up session for the month will also be held in briefing format.

There will also be stand-alone consultations on a number of issues, including Syria, Sudan/South Sudan, the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), Liberia sanctions, Yemen and UNDOF. Special Adviser Sigrid Kaag will provide her final briefing on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria in consultations, as she was appointed the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon yesterday. Special Envoy Haile Menkerios (via video tele-conference) and a representative from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) are expected to brief in consultations on Sudan/South Sudan and UNISFA, respectively. Ambassador Dina Kawar of Jordan, chair of the 1521 Liberia Sanctions Committee, will provide the briefing on Committee’s work in consultations. Special Advisor Jamal Benomar is expected to provide Council members with the 60-day briefing on the situation in Yemen in consultations and a DPKO representative will brief Council members in consultations on UNDOF before the Council renews the mission’s mandate.

Issues in the footnotes this month include the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ukraine, Mali and non-proliferation (likely a reference to the DPRK).

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails