What's In Blue

Posted Mon 2 Oct 2017

Security Council’s Programme of Work for October

France is the president of the Council in October.

A visiting mission to the Sahel focusing on the operationalisation of the joint force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (G5 Sahel) is planned for 19 to 23 October. France is co-leading the visit with Ethiopia and Italy. During the visiting mission, the Council expects to make stops in Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania. There will be a briefing on the visit late in the month.

The Council expects to hold a ministerial-level briefing to discuss ways the international community can support the G5 Sahel, presided over by French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian. Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to brief.

A resolution will be adopted renewing the authorisation for member states to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya that they have reasonable grounds to suspect are being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking.

Also with regard to Libya, the Council is likely to adopt a presidential statement expressing its support for the action plan for the engagement of the UN system in Libya that the Secretary-General outlined on 20 September.

Briefings, followed by consultations, are expected on several UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. A representative of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations will brief on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The progress and deficiencies in implementing the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali is expected to be an important focus of the meeting.

Maman Sidikou, Special Representative and the head of UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), will brief via VTC on the situation in the DRC. The security situation in the country, the preparations for elections, and the strategic review of MONUSCO are expected to be issues raised in the briefing and consultations.

Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will brief on UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), while it is possible that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais, will also brief. The meeting on South Sudan will most likely focus on the political process, the progress of the deployment of the Regional Protection Force, and the impediments facing the mission in carrying out its mandate.

There will further be briefings in consultations on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) from the Special Representative and head of MINURSO, Kim Bolduc, and from the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Horst Köhler.

On Sudan/South Sudan issues, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom is expected to brief on the implementation of resolution 2046 (2012), which called on Sudan, South Sudan, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLM-N) to resolve their differences. There will also be a briefing by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which will be followed by consultations, on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei.

Several Middle East issues are on the programme of work. Early in the month, there will be consultations on UN Disengagement Observer Force (Golan Heights), with a briefing by Under-Secretary-General Lacroix.

A briefing on Yemen is expected to be provided by Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and OCHA Director John Ging. The briefing will be followed by consultations.

The quarterly open debate on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will be held. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman may brief.

Consultations are expected on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory. This meeting is expected to include a briefing from Under-Secretary-General Feltman.

Council members will receive public briefings, followed by consultations, on humanitarian and political issues in Syria. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura is expected to brief on the political situation, while Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock may brief on humanitarian issues. Consultations on the use of chemical weapons in Syria will also be held, with a briefing by Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu.

Issues in the Americas to be discussed include Haiti and Colombia. A debate on the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be held. MINUSTAH’s mandate expires on 15 October, and it will be replaced with a new entity, the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH). With regard to Colombia, the Council may adopt a resolution authorising the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to verify the bilateral ceasefire between the government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army (ELN).

An Arria formula meeting on Myanmar is being planned for the first half of the month. It will most likely focus on recent developments in the country and may include a discussion of the recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission, which was headed by Kofi Annan.

In addition to the heavy focus on specific peace operations during the month, there will be a briefing on strategic force generation. Under-Secretary-General Lacroix, Bangladesh (a major troop-contributing country), and Canada, which is hosting the 2017 Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver (14-15 November), are expected to brief.

The Secretary-General is expected to brief on country-specific impediments to effective responses to the risk of famine and recommendations to address these impediments in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. This is in accordance with the request for such a briefing made in the presidential statement adopted by the Council on 9 August (S/PRST/2017/14).

The annual briefing to the Council by the ICJ president is expected to be held in a private meeting.

Two open debates on thematic issues are planned for late in the month: one on women, peace and security, and a second on children and armed conflict. A presidential statement is an expected outcome of the debate on children and armed conflict.

Members will follow closely issues that are in the footnotes to the programme of work, including non-proliferation, Ukraine and Guinea Bissau.

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