Security Council Programme of Work for December
Japan is the president of the Security Council this month.
Japan is holding an open debate on addressing complex contemporary challenges to international peace and security. The Secretary-General is expected to brief during the debate.
Issues related to the Middle East feature prominently in the programme this month. A briefing on Yemen is expected from Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on political developments and from Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock on the humanitarian situation (both via VTC). The briefing will be followed by consultations.
With regard to Syria, there will be the regular briefings on the political and humanitarian situation and on chemical weapons. Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura is expected to brief on political developments, while Lowcock will brief on the humanitarian situation. Both briefings will be followed by consultations. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu will brief members in consultations on chemical weapons in Syria.
Council members are expected to negotiate and put to a vote a draft resolution renewing the authorisation for cross-border and cross-line humanitarian access, which expires on 10 January 2018.
The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. Earlier in the month, members will hold consultations on UNDOF, featuring a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita.
The monthly briefing on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will be provided by Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov. This will be followed by consultations.
With respect to Africa issues, there is a heavy focus on Sudan and South Sudan issues. A briefing on the work of the 1591 (Sudan/Darfur) Sanctions Committee will be provided by its chair, Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine).
There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the situation in South Sudan and the work of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will brief, while the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ismail Wais, may participate as well. The Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of UNMISS this month.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will provide the semi-annual briefing on the work of the court with regard to Sudan.
François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), is expected to brief the Council on the Secretary-General’s semi-annual report on UNOCA and the implementation of the UN regional strategy to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). His briefing will be followed by consultations.
At press time, Council members continued to negotiate a resolution on the Great Lakes region that may be adopted early in the month.
Consultations on the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will include a briefing by Special Representative Farid Zarif.
There are a number of Asia issues on the programme. The Secretary-General will brief at a ministerial-level meeting on the threats and challenges posed by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to international peace and security. There may be an outcome, although it is unclear what form it will take.
A meeting on the human rights situation in the DPRK will also take place. In the previous three years, China has objected to the meeting, and the issue was discussed only after a procedural vote was taken. Japan has confirmed that nine members support convening this year’s meeting. (Nine is the number of affirmative votes needed to adopt a procedural resolution).
There will be a meeting on the implementation of resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme. The Council is scheduled to hear briefings by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy) as the Council’s facilitator on resolution 2231, and possibly from a representative of the EU in its capacity as coordinator of the Joint Commission.
There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the situation in Myanmar. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is expected to give the briefing.
The quarterly debate on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the situation in the country is anticipated in the later part of the month. Briefings are anticipated during the debate from Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Special Representative and head of UNAMA; Ambassador Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), the chair of the 1988 (Taliban) Sanctions Committee; and possibly Yuri Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.
The Council expects to hold its semi-annual debate on the ad hoc international criminal tribunals. The presidents and prosecutors of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals—established in 2010 to carry out the essential functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the ICTY after the completion of their respective mandates—are expected to brief and may meet with the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals prior to the debate.
Every December, the chairs of the subsidiary bodies who leave the Council at the end of the year, provide a briefing on their experiences. The Council will receive briefings from the five Permanent Representatives completing their countries’ two-year terms on the Council:
• Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt) on the work of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, the 1566 Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, the 1518 Iraq Sanctions Committee, and the 1533 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Sanctions Committee;
• Ambassador Koro Bessho (Japan) on the work of the 1636 Lebanon Sanctions Committee, the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee, and the Informal Working Group on Documentation and other Procedural Questions;
• Ambassador Fodé Seck (Senegal) on the work of the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee and the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations;
• Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko (Ukraine) on the work of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee and the 2127 Central African Republic (CAR) Sanctions Committee; and
• Ambassador Elbio Roselli (Uruguay) on the work of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee and the Informal Working Group on International Tribunals.
Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi (Italy), splitting the 2017-2018 term with The Netherlands, will also brief on the work of the 1718 Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee and the 2231 implementation arrangement regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The Council is expected to adopt two counter-terrorism resolutions: one renewing the mandate of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED)–the Secretariat body that assists the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC)–and one on foreign terrorist fighters returning home or travelling to other regions.
A briefing on small arms will be provided by High Representative Nakamitsu, focusing on the Secretary-General’s biennial report on the issue.
Assistant Secretary-General Keita will brief on how to fill gaps in force generation in peacekeeping operations.
This afternoon, Council members held an Arria-formula meeting, hosted by Uruguay, Senegal, Sweden and the UK, on unarmed approaches for the protection of civilians.
Non-proliferation and Ukraine are currently in the programme’s footnotes.