What's In Blue

Posted Wed 1 Nov 2017

Programme of Work for November 2017

Italy is the president of the Security Council this month.

It is planning to hold a ministerial-level briefing presided over by its Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano, on the root causes of the security challenges in the Mediterranean. The Secretary-General is expected to brief at this meeting.

There will also be several meetings on refugees and trafficking. A briefing by High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi is expected early in the month on the global refugee crisis and the displacement aspects of various conflicts on the Council’s agenda. There will further be an open debate on the trafficking of persons in conflict situations, and a briefing on the destruction and trafficking of cultural heritage by terrorist groups in situations of armed conflict; Council outcomes are a possibility with regard to both of these issues.

A number of other thematic issues are expected to be addressed in November. The fourth annual briefing with heads of police components of peacekeeping operations will be held early in the month, with a resolution as a possible outcome. Briefers are expected to include Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, as well as the police commissioners of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), the UN Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH), and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

The election of five judges of the ICJ by the Security Council and the General Assembly is expected.

Early in the month, the 15 current Council members and the incoming six (Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Netherlands, Kuwait, Peru and Poland) will participate in the annual “Hitting the Ground Running” workshop outside of New York City, organised by Finland. (The Netherlands is serving the second year of a split term that it is sharing with Italy, which leaves the Council after one year at the end of 2017).

Several issues related to the Middle East will be addressed this month. There will be a briefing on the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) from the Special Representative and head of UNAMI Ján Kubiš. This will be followed by consultations.

The monthly briefing on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will also be followed by consultations. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov is expected to brief via video-teleconference.

Consultations are expected late in the month on the implementation of resolution 1701, which called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.

There will briefings on the political and humanitarian situations in Syria; Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura may brief on political issues, while Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock is expected to brief on the humanitarian impact of the conflict. Council members are expected to consider the final report of the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN on the Khan Shaykun and Um Housh chemical weapons attacks in Syria. This will be the focus of briefing early in the month by Izumi Nakamitsu, Under Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, and Edmond Mulet, head of the JIM. An effort to renew the JIM will be made prior to its expiration on 17 November; Russia vetoed a previous effort to renew the JIM on 24 October.

Several African issues are on the programme in November. The Council will renew the mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which expires on 15 November. Earlier in the month, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the Central African Republic (CAR) and head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, will brief the Council. This briefing will be followed by consultations.

A number of Sudan/South Sudan issues are a focus of attention. The Council will renew the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), which expires on 15 November. There will be briefings, followed by consultations, on both the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Under-Secretary-General Lacroix is expected to brief on UNMISS, while Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita is expected to brief on UNAMID. There is also possibility that the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais will brief on the political process in South Sudan, and that Chair of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan Thabo Mbeki will brief on the political process in Darfur.

A briefing is expected in November from the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Michel Kafando, on the situation in Burundi. Consultations will follow the briefing.
Libya is on the programme of work this month. The Council is expected to receive briefings, followed by consultations, from the Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, and from the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Olof Skoog (Sweden). ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is also expected to provide her semi-annual briefing on the court’s work with regard to Libya.

Council members will hold consultations on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) in November, featuring briefings by the Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Horst Koehler and the Special Representative and head of MINURSO Kim Bolduc.

Several Somalia-related matters will be addressed during the month. The 120-day briefing on the 751/1901 Somalia and Eritrea Sanctions Committee by Ambassador Barlybay Sadokov (Kazakhstan) is expected. The Council will also adopt two resolutions on Somalia this month: one renewing counter-piracy measures, and a second on Somalia and Eritrea sanctions that will address the partial lifting of the arms embargo, authorisation for maritime interdiction of illicit arms imports and charcoal exports, and the humanitarian exemption.

Two European issues that the Council expects to discuss during the month are Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo. The Council will hold its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina which is expected to feature a briefing by High Representative Valentin Inzko on his office’s latest report. It will also renew the authorisation of the EU-led multinational stabilisation force (EUFOR ALTHEA) there. The quarterly briefing on the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is expected to be provided by Zahir Tanin, the Special Representative and head of UNMIK.

The chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), will brief in consultations.
At press time, Council members are negotiating a draft resolution on the situation in Myanmar.

While not currently on the programme of work, the Council will most likely follow the situation in Yemen closely during the month. Non-proliferation, Ukraine, Guinea Bissau, and the Great Lakes Region are in the footnotes of the programme.