February Programme of Work
This afternoon, the Security Council adopted its provisional programme of work for February. Venezuela, as Council president this month, has elected to hold two open debates. The first debate will focus on the respect of purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will chair the open debate, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefing. The second open debate will be on post-conflict peacebuilding and the review of the peacebuilding architecture: Peacebuilding Commission Chair Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden), chair of the Guinea-Bissau country configuration; Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil); and chair of the Advisory Group of Experts on the review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Ambassador Gert Rosenthal (Guatemala) will brief.
A third debate will be held this month on Security Council working methods, with a focus on sanctions committees. The former chair of 1572 and 2206 Committees, Ambassador Christian Barros (Chile), and the former chair of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations, Ambassador Cherif Mahamat Zene (Chad), will brief.
There are several other sanctions-related events on the February Programme. Senegal will brief as chair of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee, and the Council will consider adopting a resolution to renew the South Sudan sanctions regime and the mandate of the related Panel of Experts. Venezuela will brief as chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee and 751/1907 Somalia-Eritrea Sanctions Committee; the Council is also expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the Sudan Sanctions Panel of Experts, which expires on 12 February.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman will brief on the Secretary-General’s strategic report on UN efforts in support of member states in countering ISIL, as requested by resolution 2253, which created the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. Spain will brief as chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, and the Council may adopt a resolution strengthening sanctions in response to the DPRK’s 6 January nuclear test. Finally, Japan as chair of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee will brief Council members ahead of the renewal of the sanctions regime and the Panel of Experts.
The Council plans to consider several Middle East issues. Special Representative Ján Kubiš will brief on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq. There will be a regular briefing on Israel/Palestine by Feltman. This month there will be three meetings on Syria: a briefing by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura on the political process, and the monthly briefings later in the month on the humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks. Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed will brief on Yemen.
Meetings on African issues in February include briefings by Special Representative Miguel Trovoada on Guinea-Bissau ahead of the renewal of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau’s mandate; a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous on the UN Mission in South Sudan; and by Special Envoy Haile Menkerios on Sudan/South Sudan issues.
On European issues, there will be a briefing by Special Representativen Zahir Tanin on the UN Mission in Kosovo, and a briefing by Chairperson in Office Frank-Walter Steinmeier of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
On other issues, Special Representative Petko Draganov will brief on the activities of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. A technical resolution extending the term of the prosecutor for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals is expected to be adopted in February.
Venezuela also plans to hold a wrap-up session at the end of the month to take stock of the Council’s activities in February.
Additionally, developments regarding the establishment of a new political mission in Colombia to monitor and verify the bilateral ceasefire between the government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army may require attention. Over the month, the Council is also expected to follow developments in Burundi, Libya and Yemen closely, and additional meetings may be scheduled.