What's In Blue

Posted Thu 2 Apr 2015

Security Council’s April Programme of Work

Earlier today (2 April) the Council adopted its programme of work for the month. The April programme looks relatively light with 11 formal meetings (nine public and two private with troop-contributing countries) and eight consultations scheduled at press time. Among the formal meetings are three open debates. Also on the work programme are four adoptions of resolutions related to either mandate renewals or drawdown of troops. Jordan, the Council president for April, has indicated that having some days without meetings scheduled may be a good thing as it will give the Council time to consider in more depth issues that may come up unexpectedly during the month. Among developments that the Council is following closely and could be added to the programme of work are events in Darfur, Iran, Libya, South Sudan, Yemen, Ukraine and the Boko Haram-affected areas of Africa.

Jordan has chosen to have a ministerial-level open debate during their presidency on the “role of youth in countering violent extremism and promoting peace”. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II of Jordan is expected to preside and the Secretary-General is expected to brief together with UN Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark. There will also be two regular open debates, one on women, peace and security with a focus on sexual violence and the other on the Middle East, with Israel/Palestine issues taking centre stage. Special Representative on Sexual Violence Zainab Bangura will brief at the sexual violence debate. The quarterly Middle East open debate will be held at ministerial-level with Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Affairs, Nasser Judeh, expected to preside and the Secretary-General possibly briefing.

A resolution authorising a resumption of the drawdown for the UN Mission in Liberia was adopted this morning. Three other adoptions renewing mandates will take place at the end of the month. A resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is expected to be adopted later this month. Prior to the mandate renewal members expect a briefing in consultations on the situation in Western Sahara from Kim Bolduc, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of MINURSO, and Christopher Ross, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy.

Another scheduled mandate renewal is for the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Prior to the renewal, Special Representative Babacar Gaye will brief the Council on developments in the CAR and the latest MINUSCA report.

The third mandate renewal expected this month is that of the Côte d’Ivoire sanctions regime and the mandate of the Group of Experts assisting the 1572 Côte d’Ivoire Sanctions Committee. Earlier in the month the chair of the Sanctions Committee Ambassador Cristián Barros (Chile) will brief on the work of the Committee.

There will also be a briefing and consultations on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) with a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous.

With regard to Syria issues, meetings are expected on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks. This afternoon the Council was briefed in consultations by UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos will give the monthly briefing on humanitarian access in Syria, which is likely to be held at ministerial-level and chaired by Jordanian foreign minister Nasser Judeh. It seems the Council may pursue an outcome addressing the humanitarian impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on neighboring countries. That same day Council members will hear from Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura on the political track.

At the end of the month there will be a briefing in consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559 concerning Lebanon, by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen.

In addition, Jordan is organising an Arria-formula meeting on the destruction of antiquities and cultural heritage and their illicit trade during conflict. The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and Interpol Secretary-General Jűrgen Stock as well as an Iraqi academic and expert on art and archeology will participate.

In addition, next week Council members will attend the Secretary-General’s annual retreat where they will focus on some of the key issues in peacekeeping and sanctions facing the UN today.

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