What's In Blue

Posted Wed 1 Aug 2018

Security Council Programme of Work in August

The UK is the Security Council president in August.

As a centrepiece of its presidency, the UK plans to hold an open debate on mediation and settlement of disputes late in the month. Secretary-General António Guterres; Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and a member of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation; and a civil society representative are expected to brief. The meeting will be chaired at ministerial level.

One other thematic discussion, focused on counter-terrorism, is planned for August. Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, the head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT), and Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), will brief the Council on the Secretary-General’s strategic-level report on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh), followed by consultations.

The Council is expected to hold a briefing on the situation in Myanmar, one year after the attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) on security posts and the violent reaction by the Myanmar military forces that led to over 750,000 persons fleeing to Bangladesh. Secretary-General António Guterres, who visited Bangladesh in July, is expected to brief. The meeting is likely to be chaired by a UK minister.

The other Asian issue currently on the programme this month is the regular 90-day briefing on the work of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, which will be provided by committee chair Ambassador Karel van Oosterom (Netherlands).

Several Middle East issues will be addressed during the month. Deputy High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Thomas Markram will brief members in consultations on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Also with regard to Syria, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and possibly a civil society representative are expected to brief the Council on humanitarian issues; this briefing will be followed by consultations.

Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and Lowcock, are expected to brief on Yemen early in the month. Consultations are expected to follow the briefing.

The Special Representative and head of UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), Ján Kubiš, is scheduled to brief the Council on developments in Iraq. A civil society briefer is also a possibility. Consultations will follow.

A high-level DPKO official will brief members in consultations on the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The mandate of UNIFIL is expected to be renewed before its 31 August expiration.

The monthly meeting on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will feature a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo. Consultations are scheduled after the meeting.

A number of African issues are on the programme. Consultations are anticipated on Western Sahara during which the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Horst Köhler, will most likely brief on his most recent activities.

Special Envoy Michel Kafando is expected to brief the Council on the situation in Burundi in accordance with resolution 2303 of 29 July 2016, which requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council on Burundi every three months. Ambassador Jürg Lauber (Switzerland), the chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, may also brief. Consultations are expected to follow the briefing.

José Viegas Filho, the Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau (UNIOGBIS), is expected to brief on Guinea-Bissau. Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba (Equatorial Guinea), chair of the 2048 Guinea-Bissau Sanctions Committee, and Ambassador Mauro Vieira (Brazil), chair of the Guinea-Bissau configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), are also expected to brief. Consultations will follow.

Non-proliferation and Ukraine are in the footnotes of the programme of work. Meetings on these and other issues could be scheduled during the month.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails