The Security Council’s Programme of Work for March
During its presidency in March, the UK is planning to focus on conflict prevention in Africa. Tomorrow Council members start a 5-day visiting mission to the Lake Chad Basin region with stops in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The mission is intended to improve members’ understanding of the political and humanitarian crisis in the area of operation of the terrorist group Boko Haram. A briefing on the mission is expected next week soon after the delegation returns.
There will be high-level briefings on Somalia and South Sudan chaired by UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Secretary-General António Guterres and the AU High Representative, former President Alpha Oumar Konaré, will brief on South Sudan. Newly-elected Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo”, together with Special Representative Michael Keating, will participate in the briefing on Somalia. Later in the month, an adoption is expected for the renewal of the mandate of UNSOM.
Another African issue on the programme this month is the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Special Representative Maman Sidikou will provide an update on the implementation of the DRC’s Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement, and the Chair of the 1533 Committee Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt) is expected to brief on the work of the Committee. At the end of the month, MONUSCO’s mandate is expected to be renewed.
Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Conflict Prevention Jamal Benomar, will brief on the Secretary-General’s recent report on the situation in Burundi, including on the status of discussions regarding the deployment of a United Nations police component.
The UK’s third high-level meeting will be a ministerial-level open debate on modern slavery, forced labour and conflict chaired by Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel .
Several Middle East issues will be discussed in March. Early in the month, members are expecting a briefing by Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura on political developments in Syria, with the intra-Syrian talks, which began in Geneva on 23 February, expected to feature prominently. The regular monthly briefings on the Syria humanitarian situation and chemical weapons investigations have been scheduled for later in the month.
Other Middle East issues that will be considered this month include the Golan Heights, on which there will be the quarterly briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous. The monthly briefing on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will be provided by Nikolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and the first report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2334 on Israeli settlements may be discussed. There will be consultations on Lebanon, with briefings by Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations El Ghassim Wane
A briefing on Yemen by Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is scheduled for the end of the month, together with an update by the chair of the 2140 Yemen sanctions regime, Ambassador Koro Bessho (Japan).
Other issues on the March programme of work include the adoption of a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which expires on 17 March. The Council will also hold its quarterly debate on Afghanistan during which Special Representative Tadamichi Yamamoto is expected to brief, together with a civil society representative.
On non-proliferation, the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution to renew the mandate of the Panel of Experts of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee. There will also be a briefing by the chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia).
Other issues that could be raised during the month include Ukraine and Western Sahara.