What's In Blue

The Security Council’s August Programme of Work

Egypt is the president of the Security Council this month. There will be one open debate in August. This will focus on peacekeeping and sustaining peace. Briefers will include Gert Rosenthal, the chair of the Advisory Group of Experts on the UN peacebuilding architecture, and a member of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations.

Several briefings on thematic issues are planned for the month. The first briefing will be on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons, with briefers expected from the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the UN Office on Counter-Terrorism, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and INTERPOL. A resolution on preventing terrorists from acquiring weapons is expected to be adopted at the meeting.

The second will focus on enhancing the effectiveness of UN sanctions and feature a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tayé-Brook Zerihoun. A resolution on sanctions is being negotiated, and it is possible that it may be adopted during the month.

Later in the month, a third thematic briefing will be held on the relationship between the UN and the League of Arab States. Briefers may include UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

There will also be a briefing on peace and security in Africa, during which UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed will brief on her recent joint visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Nigeria with the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Bineta Diop.

Also under the agenda item of peace and security in Africa, the Council will be briefed on the activities of the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel), consisting of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. This briefing will be followed by consultations.

A number of other African issues will be addressed during the month. The Council has finalised and early in the month will adopt a presidential statement on the political, security and humanitarian situation in Burundi.

Consultations are scheduled on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), featuring a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations El Ghassim Wane.

There will also be a briefing, followed by consultations, from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). It is possible that Alpha Konaré, AU High Representative for South Sudan, and Festus Mogae, Chair of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, will brief as well in the open chamber.

The chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), is expected to brief Council members in consultations on the work of the committee.

There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and on the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee. A senior official from the UN Department of Political Affairs is expected to brief on UNSMIL, while it is possible that the sanctions committee chair, Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden), may brief on the work of the committee.

A briefing, followed by consultations, is also expected on the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS) and on the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee. Briefers may include Special Representative Modibo Touré on UNIOGBIS and Ambassador Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay), the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee chair, on the work of the committee.

A resolution will be adopted during August reauthorising the mandate of AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Several issues related to the Middle East are on the programme. Council members will receive a briefing in consultations on Syria regarding political developments, as well as one on chemical weapons, including on the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM). A public briefing on humanitarian issues in Syria from Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien, which will be followed by consultations, is also expected.

Consultations are expected on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which will include a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General Wane. Later in the month, the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of UNIFIL.

A briefing, followed by consultations, will be held on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine), possibly featuring a briefing by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov.

The chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), is expected to brief Council members in consultations on the committee’s work. In addition, it is possible that a draft resolution may be adopted strengthening sanctions against the DPRK.

There is one European item on the programme at the present time. This will be the quarterly briefing on the situation in Kosovo. The Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Zahir Tanin, is expected to provide the briefing.

The draft of the revised version of Note 507 compiling Council working methods continues to be under discussion. If the text is approved by all Council members, the Note will be issued as S/2017/507. However, it is unclear when this will happen.

The monthly programme is expected to conclude with a wrap-up session.

Non-proliferation, Ukraine, Yemen, Liberia, and the annual report of the Security Council are in the footnotes of the programme of work. The Council will also continue to closely follow developments in Burundi and the Central African Republic. Additional meetings on these and other issues may be scheduled during the month.

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