What's In Blue

Posted Mon 3 Oct 2016

Security Council’s October Programme of Work

Russia will have the presidency of the Council in October, when Council members will hold their first colour-coded straw poll for the position of the next Secretary-General, giving the first clear indication of which candidates could face a veto in a formal vote. Following the first colour-coded ballot on Wednesday, depending on the results further ballots may be scheduled, or the Council may move to a formal vote.

As the centrepiece of its presidency, Russia has organised a debate on UN cooperation with regional and sub-regional organisations, in particular the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The heads of these organisations as well as the Secretary-General are expected to brief during that debate.

The Council will also hold two annual meetings in October, the open debate on women, peace and security and a private meeting with the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It is anticipated that the Secretary-General will brief during the women, peace and security debate, while ICJ President Judge Ronny Abraham will brief in the private meeting.

Two resolutions are scheduled for adoption this month. The Council is expected to adopt a resolution later in the week renewing authorisation for member states to interdict vessels used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking on the high seas off the coast of Libya. The other adoption scheduled for October is the renewal of MINUSTAH’s mandate in Haiti, which is follows the debate on Haiti at which Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MINUSTAH Sandra Honoré is a possible briefer.

Two draft resolutions have just been circulated. The first on Syria, in response to the situation in Aleppo, was circulated by France and Spain. One round of negotiations has been held, but it is unclear what the next steps in the negotiations will be. This evening Russia circulated a draft resolution on countering violent extremism, but no negotiations have been scheduled as yet..

The Middle East will be a key focus of the Council’s work this month. Members will closely track developments in Syria, following the rupture of the 9 September cessation of hostilities agreement between Russia and the US, and the massive military escalation in Aleppo. The regular monthly briefings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks on Syria have been scheduled. Briefers are expected to include Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura via VTC on the political situation; Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien or another OCHA representative on humanitarian issues; and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Won-soo Kim and Head of the Joint Investigative Mechanism Virginia Gamba on matters related to chemical weapons. Other Council activity is possible, given the urgent nature of the Syrian crisis.

On Israel/Palestine, the quarterly open debate will be held, with Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov and Under-Secretary General O’Brien as potential briefers. An Arria-formula meeting on illegal Israeli settlements, co-organised by Angola, Egypt, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela, has also been scheduled.

On Lebanon, Special Envoy Terje Rød-Larsen will brief Council members in consultations on the implementation of resolution 1559.
Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is expected to brief the Council, followed by consultations.

African issues will continue to be a significant focus of the Council’s work in October . Council members will monitor developments in South Sudan and consider in consultations the Secretary-General’s monthly assessment on the deployment and future requirements of the Regional Protection Force, as well as obstacles to setting up the Force and impediments to UNMISS in carrying out its mandate.

Special Representative Parfait Onanga-Anyanga will brief on the report of the Secretary-General on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, followed by consultations.

On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Maman Sambo Sidikou will brief the Council on MONUSCO, while Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit will brief on the latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous is expected to brief on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, followed by consultations.

On Darfur, the Council will hold a briefing, followed by consultations, on the report of the Secretary-General on UNAMID; Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous is expected to brief.

The Council may receive the second of this year’s semi-annual briefings on the situation in Western Sahara by Special Representative and head of MINURSO Kim Bolduc and Personal Envoy Christopher Ross.

A meeting on Burundi is also expected to be held, focusing on efforts to deploy UN police officers in the country.

Among the issues that are in the footnotes of the programme of work and that could be raised during the month are Guinea-Bissau, the ISIS/Daesh strategic report, non-proliferation, and Ukraine.

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