What's In Blue

Posted Mon 1 May 2017

The Security Council’s May Programme of Work

Uruguay is the president of the Security Council this month. This evening and tomorrow are devoted to the annual Security Council Retreat with the Secretary-General. This year’s retreat is expected to focus on peace operations in complex environments and the roles and responsibilities of the Council in authorising and supporting regional forces.

The early part of May also features a Council visiting mission to Colombia, co-led by the UK and Uruguay. The mission is intended to demonstrate the Council’s commitment to the peace process in Colombia and to commend the parties on bringing an end to the conflict. A briefing on the mission has been scheduled for later in the month.

There will be two open debates this month: one on women, peace and security and another on protection of civilians in armed conflict, including health care in conflict. The first open debate will be on the Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, focusing particularly on sexual violence in conflict as a tactic of war and terrorism, with briefings by Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed, Under-Secretary-General Adama Dieng (as officer-in-charge of the Office of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict) and a civil society representative. The second open debate, to be held late in the month, will be a ministerial-level meeting focusing on the protection of civilians, with Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Rodolfo Nin Novoa presiding. Secretary-General António Guterres, a high-level representative of the ICRC, and possibly a civil society member are expected to brief.

In addition to women, peace and security and protection of civilians in armed conflict, other thematic issues featured on the programme include peacekeeping and counter-terrorism. The annual briefing by force commanders will include contributions by the heads of the military components of three peacekeeping missions—UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

The Council is also scheduled to receive a briefing from the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees. The briefers will be Ambassador Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), chair of the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee; Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC); and Ambassador Sacha Sergio Llorentty Solíz (Bolivia), chair of the 1540 Committee, which focuses on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

May will be a busy month in the Council with regard to the Middle East. The monthly briefings on chemical weapons, political issues, and the humanitarian situation in Syria are again on the programme of work. It is anticipated that all of these briefings will be followed by consultations. The monthly briefing on the Middle East, which tends to focus on Israel/Palestine, will also be followed by consultations.

Council members expect to receive in consultations the semi-annual briefing on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559 of 2004, which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory.

Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Ján Kubiš will brief on the latest Secretary-General’s report and provide an update on the government’s efforts to retake Mosul from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

With regard to Yemen, the Secretary General’s Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, will brief in the open chamber on recent developments, including with regard to the political situation and the humanitarian crisis. Consultations are expected to follow the briefing.

African issues to be addressed in May include Libya, Sudan/South Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia. International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will deliver her semi-annual briefing on recent developments concerning cases in Libya.

With regard to Sudan/South Sudan issues, the Council will adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of UN Interim Security Force for Abyei, whose mandate ends on 15 May. The Council further expects to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the 2206 South Sudan sanctions regime, which expires on 31 May.

On Somalia, a briefing is anticipated on the report of the AU-UN joint assessment of AU Mission in Somalia and recommendations from the Secretary-General on the UN’s role in Somalia in the post-election period. Consultations on the work of the Somalia/Eritrea 751/1907 will follow the briefing. The Council is expected to renew the authorisation of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which expires on 31 May.

A number of European issues are on the programme this month. The Council will hold its annual meeting on strengthening the partnership with the EU, under its agenda item on cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organisations. Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will brief.

The quarterly briefing on the situation in Kosovo will be provided by Zahir Tanin, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

The Council is expected to have its biannual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The High Representative for BiH, Valentin Inzko, will brief, presenting the latest report of the Office of the High Representative (OHR).

The chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), is due to brief Security Council members in consultations on the Committee’s work.

Issues in the footnotes of the programme of work include non-proliferation, Ukraine, Great Lakes and Guinea Bissau.