What's In Blue

Posted Fri 2 Oct 2015

Security Council’s October Programme of Work

This afternoon (2 October), Council members adopted their programme of work for October. Spain, the Council president for the month, has chosen as the centrepiece of its presidency an open debate on women, peace and security. It is expected to focus on how the international community can better deliver on women, peace and security commitments that are still unfulfilled 15 years after the adoption of resolution 1325. Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, is expected to preside with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and two civil society representatives expected to brief. A resolution is a possible outcome.

Another key event this month is the annual open debate on the Council’s working methods, which will focus on relations between the Security Council and other UN bodies.

The Council will hold its biannual debate on Haiti where it will be briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Sandra Honoré. This will be followed later in the month by the adoption of a resolution to renew MINUSTAH’s mandate.

Another adoption is scheduled this month to renew Somalia-Eritrea sanctions. The authorisation for maritime interdiction of illicit charcoal exports and illegal arms imports expires 24 October; and the partial lifting of the arms embargo expires 30 October. A briefing followed by consultations is also expected on the Secretary-General’s report on the support package to the Somali National Army and on the strategic review of the UN Support Office for the AU Mission in Somalia, by Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare.

There are several other briefings followed by consultations on situations in Africa during the month, including: developments in Mali and the latest Secretary-General’s report on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), by the mission’s head, Mongi Hamdi; developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the latest report on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) by its head, Martin Kobler, and Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit; and the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet.

There are a number of regular meetings scheduled on the Middle East including the quarterly open debate on the Middle East, focusing on Israel/Palestine issues, with Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefing. There will also be the regular monthly briefing held in consultations on the chemical weapons track in Syria by Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo, with a new element this month being the likely inclusion of updates regarding the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM), established to determine responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. OCHA’s head Stephen O’Brien will brief and take part in consultations on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is expected to brief on the situation in Yemen. A briefing followed by consultations is also scheduled on the work of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee, by its chair, Ambassador Raimonda Murkmokait&#279 (Lithuania).

Other sanctions-related briefings in consultations are expected on two recent reports of the 1267/1989 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee’s Monitoring Team: on the financing of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and the Al-Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria; and on the terrorism threat in Libya, from the 1267/1989 Sanctions Committee chair, Ambassador Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand).

Members will be briefed in consultations on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559 on Lebanon by Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen.

A formal session will be held to adopt the introduction of the Council’s annual report to the General Assembly.

The Council may need to schedule additional meetings on situations it is following closely, including Burkina-Faso, Burundi and the Central African Republic, as well as Ukraine and Côte d’Ivoire, which both have elections scheduled for 25 October. Members have been negotiating a draft resolution to enhance the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan and may begin discussions on a draft resolution on countering terrorism in the Middle East following the high-level debate on 30 October. If there is agreement, a formal meeting will be needed for adoptions.

The General Assembly is scheduled to elect five non-permanent Security Council members on 15 October. At press time all five candidates—Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay—were running unopposed.