What's In Blue

Posted Mon 5 Jan 2015

Security Council’s January Programme of Work

In January, Chile holds its only presidency during its current tenure on the Security Council. Three open debates are scheduled this month on: the Middle East, inclusive development and the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

The quarterly open debate on the Middle East will be chaired by Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz and will include a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jens Toyberg-Frandzen.

The signature event of Chile’s presidency is the debate on inclusive development for the maintenance of international peace and security. The country’s president, Michelle Bachelet, will preside over this ministerial-level debate. Briefers include Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Peacebuilding Commission Chair Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia. A presidential statement is the anticipated outcome.

The third open debate, which will focus on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, will feature briefings by the Secretary-General and ICRC Permanent Observer Philip Spoerri. It will focus in particular on the protection needs of women. A presidential statement is the expected outcome of this debate.

At Chile’s initiative, a Council visiting mission to Haiti is currently being planned for 23-25 January for the purpose of emphasising the need to hold elections and assessing the implementation of resolution 2180. (Adopted on 14 October 2014, resolution 2180 extended the mandate of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti for one year and authorised a reduction in its military personnel from 5,021 to 2,370.) There will likely be a briefing on the Council’s visiting mission late in the month.

Also anticipated is a thematic briefing on post-conflict peacebuilding, focusing on the Secretary-General’s 23 September 2014 report on this issue. Foreign Minister Muñoz is again expected to preside. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Patriota are expected to brief and a presidential statement is a likely outcome.

There will be open briefings, followed by consultations, on several African issues this month. These include the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali during which Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous is expected to brief; the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) with Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNOWA Mohamed Ibn Chambas briefing; the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire with Special Representative Aïchatou Mindaoudou providing the briefing; the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) with Ladsous briefing; and the UN Office in Burundi featuring a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.

The work of two sanctions committees will be discussed in January. There will be consultations on the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee with its chair, Ambassador Cristián Barros of Chile, briefing. Additionally, in conjunction with its deliberations on MONUSCO, the Council will also hold a briefing and consultations on the work of the 1533 DRC sanctions Committee with its chair, Ambassador Dina Kawar of Jordan, providing the briefing in an open session.

The Council’s focus on Syria continues in January. UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane is expected to brief tomorrow in consultations on the destruction of chemical weapons, while Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura will brief in consultations later in the month on the political track. Also anticipated is a briefing, followed by consultations, on the humanitarian situation in Syria with Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-wha Kang expected to brief.

Miroslav Jenča, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), is expected to provide the semi-annual briefing to the Council on the work of the UNRCCA in consultations. A press statement is anticipated, as is customary following these meetings.

At press time, the Council is expected to adopt three resolutions in January. One resolution is likely to renew the mandate of UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for an additional six months. Prior to the adoption, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Lisa Buttenheim will brief Council members in consultations on the latest developments in Cyprus and on the upcoming UNFICYP report, due by 9 January. Resolutions are also likely to be adopted renewing the mandate of the sanctions regime and panel of experts for the Central African Republic and the sanctions regime and the group of experts for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, respectively.
A wrap-up session in briefing format is also anticipated.

Ukraine is in the footnotes this month, and there is a strong possibility that the issue will be discussed in January. Non-proliferation, customarily a reference to the nuclear weapons programs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iran, is also in the footnotes.

While not on the programme of work or in the footnotes, the final report of the Commission of Inquiry mandated by the Council in resolution 2127 to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and abuses of human rights in the Central African Republic will likely be addressed by the Council this month in an informal interactive dialogue. Council members are also likely to closely follow developments in Sudan and South Sudan during the course of the month.

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