Council’s September Programme of Work
New Zealand assumed the presidency of the Security Council today for the month of September. Earlier this afternoon members adopted the programme of work for the month. This was followed by a briefing by Special Representative for Central Africa Abdoulaye Bathily on the situation in Gabon under “any other business” at the request of France.
There will be two high-level briefings during New Zealand’s September presidency. The first one with a Syria focus, will be at head of state level and presided over by New Zealand’s Prime Minister, John Key, with the Secretary-General briefing. The aim is to try and assess the UN’s performance and role in the conflict. There will also be a high-level meeting on counterrorism and aviation security, with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully presiding. A resolution is the expected outcome.
Council members are expected to continue to hold two more undifferentiated straw polls on the 9 and 26 September to gauge the viability of candidates that have been nominated for the position of the next Secretary-General. It seems as New Zealand has a candidate for the position of Secretary-General, Russia, as incoming president in October, will conduct the straw polls.
The Council will be closely following developments in South Sudan. Earlier today, Council members departed on a mission to South Sudan and on the way back they will stop in Addis Ababa for meetings with the AU Peace and Security Council and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Later in the month, the Council will consider the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Mission in South Sudan, which is expected to include detailed information on the regional protection force authorised in resolution 2304 in August.
There will be discussions on several other African issues this month. The mandate of the UN Mission in Liberia expires on 30 September, and the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate in its current configuration for a period of three months, pending the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s assessment mission due in November. On Libya, Special Representative Martin Kobler will brief the Council, followed by consultations. The Council will also receive a briefing by the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Ramlan Ibrahim (Malaysia). A report on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, as well as a report from the AU on the AU Mission in Somalia, are expected in September. A discussion of both reports and a briefing by Special Representative Michael Keating is expected at the end of the month. Ambassador Rafael Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela), the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, is expected to provide the quarterly briefing to Council members.
Council members will continue to follow developments on the Syria political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations will brief Council members in consultations on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights and the Secretary-General’s report on UNDOF is due 22 September.The Council will also hold its regular monthly meeting on Israel/Palestine.
Regarding Asian issues, the Council will hold its quarterly debate on Afghanistan, during which it will consider the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Tadamichi Yamamo, who was appointed as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Afghanistan and head of UNAMA in June, is expected to brief.
There will also be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Secretary-General’s recommendations regarding measures to prevent attacks on health care in armed conflict, as requested by resolution 2286 of 3 May.
The Council is expected to adopt a resolution amending the statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to allow for the Secretary-General to appoint an ad hoc and temporary judge to the Appeals Chamber under certain conditions.
It is possible that the Council will adopt a resolution proposed by the US marking the 20-year anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and encouraging further ratification of the treaty.