What's In Blue

Posted Mon 3 Apr 2017

The Security Council’s April Programme of Work

The US is the president of the Security Council this month. As the centerpiece of its presidency, it plans to hold a meeting on reviewing UN peacekeeping operations which will feature a briefing by Secretary-General António Guterres. The US is also organising a debate on human rights, but this debate has yet to be confirmed; if the debate is convened, it would be the Council’s first thematic debate on this issue.

Late in the month, a ministerial-level briefing on non-proliferation/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is anticipated, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to preside.

Sudan and South Sudan are expected to be a major focus of the month. Tomorrow the Council will be briefed on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), possibly by Acting Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Mamabolo. A briefing is anticipated in April on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) by Special Representative and head of UNMISS David Shearer. Consultations are expected on the implementation of the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and on Sudan/South Sudan issues more broadly; new Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is scheduled to brief on UNISFA, while Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom is a possible briefer on Sudan/South Sudan issues. The quarterly briefing on the work of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee is scheduled for this month, with Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko probably briefing in consultations, in his capacity as chair of the committee.

Open briefings on several other African issues are anticipated in April. Lacroix will brief on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Special Envoy Said Djinnit is expected to brief on the Great Lakes Region, focusing on the implementation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement. A briefing on the work of the Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Kairat Umarov of Kazakhstan, is also expected. Briefings on Libya are anticipated in April, including one on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) by Special Representative Martin Kobler and one on the work of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee by its chair, Ambassador Olof Skoog of Sweden.

Consultations will be held on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), with briefings anticipated by Special Representative Kim Bolduc and possibly by Personal Envoy Christopher Ross. The mandate of MINURSO is expected to be renewed during the month.

The quarterly Middle East open debate is expected to include a briefing by Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov. The US is planning to circulate a concept note to encourage a discussion during the debate on Syria, Lebanon and Iranian support for Hezbollah.

The monthly meetings on chemical weapons, political issues and humanitarian issues in Syria are again on the programme of work. Consultations are anticipated on chemical weapons with briefings by High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo on the use and production of chemical weapons in Syria and by the Head of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) Virginia Gamba on the JIM’s work. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura is expected to brief the Council on political developments, while Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien will brief on the humanitarian crisis via video-teleconference.

The Americas will be a region of Council engagement this month, with meetings scheduled on Colombia and Haiti. The Council will receive a briefing by Special Representative Jean Arnault that focuses on recent developments in Colombia, followed by consultations. A debate on Haiti will be held in April, which will feature a briefing by Special Representative and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré. The Council is expected to extend the mandate of MINUSTAH, which expires on 15 April.

A number of issues are in the footnotes of the programme of work, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, non-proliferation, Iraq and Ukraine.

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