Council’s September Programme of Work
This morning (2 September), Council members adopted their provisional programme of work for September. Members were then briefed under “any other business” (AOB) by Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag on the political situation there.
The Council’s programme of work does not appear particularly heavy this month (as is customary in September because of events related to the opening of the general debate of the General Assembly). However, this could change, given that no meetings are currently scheduled on a number of ongoing crises, including Burundi, Mali, South Sudan and Yemen. Ukraine, which is in the footnotes of the programme of work, could also come up for discussion during the month. In recent months, Council members have begun monitoring situations through briefings during AOB, in which case these briefings do not appear on the programme of work. In August there were seven substantive AOB briefings on: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan and Syria.
Russia, as Council president for September, has chosen to hold a ministerial-level open debate on the settlement of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and countering the terrorist threat in the region. Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov is expected to chair, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief. The Council is likely to adopt a presidential statement following the debate.
The only other debate this month is the quarterly debate on Afghanistan. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Nicholas Haysom, is scheduled to brief.
The Council will turn its attention to Liberia several times in September. This morning it adopted a resolution modifying the Liberia sanctions regime and renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1521 sanctions regime. Next week there will be a briefing and consultations on developments in Liberia and the Secretary-General’s latest report on the UN Mission in Liberia, followed by the adoption of a resolution renewing the mission.
An adoption is also expected for the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) ahead of the expiry of its mandate on 15 September. Although not on the programme of work, depending on developments in the political dialogue, Special Representative and head of UNSMIL Bernardino León may brief during the month.
Council members will hold consultations on the implementation of resolution 2046 on the Sudan/South Sudan issues, as well as on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Haile Menkerios, the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, is expected to brief on developments, while Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, is expected to brief on UNISFA’s activities.
The regular monthly briefings on the chemical weapons and humanitarian tracks in Syria by Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo and OCHA’s head, Stephen O’Brien, respectively, are also on the programme of work. O’Brien’s briefing will be followed by consultations, Kim’s briefing will take place in consultations. The regular briefing and consultations on the Middle East is also on the programme of work, with Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov briefing.
Another Middle East issue on the programme in September is Golan Heights. There will be consultations on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) with a briefing by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
A briefing is expected on the work of the 1737 Iran Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Roman Oyarzun (Spain).
Finally, the Council will be briefed in consultations by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, Petko Draganov. As is customary following these semi-annual meetings, a press statement is expected.