What's In Blue

Posted Tue 1 Nov 2016

Security Council’s November Programme of Work

Senegal holds the Council presidency in November. Earlier today (1 November), members adopted the programme of work for the month. The month has got off to a busy start for the Council. The Council adopted a presidential statement today welcoming the election of President Michel Aoun of Lebanon. A presidential statement on Mali condemning ceasefire violations and urging the parties to deliver on their obligations under the peace agreement is under silence until 10 am tomorrow. Senegal’s presidency will feature two open debates, one on asymmetric threats facing peace operations and another on water, peace and security. UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson; Francophonie Secretary-General Michaëlla Jean; Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate Jean-Paul Laborde; and Director of the International Peace Institute’s Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations Arthur Boutellis are expected to brief during this ministerial-level debate, which will be chaired by the Foreign Minister of Senegal. It is anticipated that the open debate on water, peace and security will include briefings by Peter Maurer, ICRC President; Danilo Türk, Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace; and Sundeep Waslekar, President of the Strategic Foresight Group, a think-tank that develops policy ideas for global challenges.

The annual briefing on UN policing in peacekeeping operations will be held this month. Briefings are expected by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and four police commissioners: Bruce Munyambo (UN Mission in South Sudan), Priscilla Makotose (UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur), Brigadier General Georges-Pierre Monchotte (UN Stablization Mission in Haiti) and Issoufou Yacouba (UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali).

The other thematic issue on the programme of work this month focuses on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations. The Council is expected to receive a briefing from the Iyad bin Amin Madani, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on cooperation between the UN and the OIC. A debate will be held on cooperation between the UN and the AU which will feature briefings by Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the AU Haile Menkerios and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui.

African issues continue to be a major focus of the Council’s work in November. Tomorrow, Said Djinnit, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, will brief the Council on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement and other developments in the region. The briefing will be followed by consultations.

A visiting mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to be co-led by Angola and France, is anticipated. Council members are expected to begin their mission in Kinshasa, where they will meet with key political actors, followed by a visit to Beni and Goma in the east. From there they will travel to Luanda, Angola, for an update on the 26 October summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) by Angolan President José dos Santos, who is currently chair of the ICGLR. It appears that Council members have decided to hold the visit prior to the planned 19 November protests and the 27 November constitutional deadline for the election in the DRC, in an attempt to promote a message of stability and compromise among all political stakeholders.

A variety of Sudan/South Sudan issues will be discussed during the month. There will be briefings on the work of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the South Sudan Sanctions Committee, both followed by consultations. Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ellen Margrethe Løj is expected to brief on UNMISS, while Ambassador Fodé Seck of Senegal, the Chair of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee, will brief on the Committee’s work.

Consultations are expected to be held early in the month on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), with Under-Secretary-General Ladsous expected to brief. At a later date in November, the Council will adopt a resolution renewing the UNISFA mandate.
Late in the month, the Council is scheduled to hold consultations on Sudan/South Sudan issues, in accordance with resolution 2046. The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom is expected to brief.

Somalia/Eritrea is on the programme this month. Venezuelan Ambassador Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño, chair of the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee, will provide the 120-day briefing to members in consultations on the Committee’s work. A resolution renewing the mandate of the Committee’s Monitoring Group and the partial lifting of the arms embargo will be adopted. A further resolution will be adopted reauthorising counter-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia.

Consultations on Burundi are scheduled. While yet to be confirmed, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Jamal Benomar, may brief in the consultations, during which he would most likely focus on his recent meetings in the region and on the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Burundi.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will deliver her semi-annual briefing to the Council on recent developments concerning cases in Libya.

Regarding Middle East issues, Syria continues to be a major focus of the Council’s attention, with the regular monthly briefings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks. Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura will brief members in consultations on political developments. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien’s briefing in the open chamber on the humanitarian situation will be followed by consultations. The briefing on the use of chemical weapons in Syria is expected late in the month by the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs.

The monthly briefing on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will be provided by Nikolai Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, via video-teleconference, and by Under-Secretary-General O’Brien. It will be followed by consultations.

Tomorrow, Council members will be briefed on the Mosul offensive by O’Brien and Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour. There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the work of UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Special Representative Ján Kubiš will brief on UNAMI, and will most likely provide an update on the campaign to retake Mosul from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Two consultations have been scheduled on Lebanon. One will include the semi-annual briefing on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), which urged the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory. This will be provided by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. The other briefing in consultations, to be provided by Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and by Ladsous, will focus on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006), which called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel.

European issues are on the programme this month. The semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to include a briefing by High Representative Valentin Inzko on his office’s latest report. The Council is further expected to renew the mandate of the EU-led multinational stabilisation force. The quarterly briefing on Kosovo will be provided by Special Representative and Head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Zahir Tanin. It is expected to focus on recent developments in Kosovo and on the latest Secretary-General’s report on UNMIK.

The Chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Román Oyarzun of Spain, is expected to brief members in consultations on the Committee’s work.

Two Arria formula meetings are planned this month, one on ISIL and one on cybersecurity.

Other issues that could be raised during the month include non-proliferation, Ukraine, Guinea-Bissau, Western Sahara and Yemen.

Later this week, the 15 current Council members and the incoming members (Bolivia; Ethiopia; Italy and the Netherlands, who are sharing a split term; Kazakhstan; and Sweden) will participate in the annual “Hitting the Ground Running” workshop outside of New York City, organised by the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN. The workshop provides an opportunity for members to engage in a frank exchange on the state of the Council, its approach to various agenda items and the dynamics among its members. The report summarising last year’s meeting can be found here.

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