What's In Blue

Posted Sun 3 Mar 2019

Programme of Work for March 2019*

France holds the presidency in March. France and Germany, which will be Council president in April, have chosen to hold “joint presidencies” covering both months. The March programme has been adopted, while members have taken note of and welcomed the outline of the April programme. The programmes for both months have been made publicly available. (Security Council Report will provide an overview of the April programme in What’s in Blue on Monday, 1 April).

In their press conference on Friday (1 March), Ambassadors François Delattre (France) and Christoph Heusgen (Germany) emphasised that an overarching goal of the joint presidencies is to defend and strengthen multilateralism. They further noted that the joint presidencies seek to galvanize the Franco-German partnership in the UN context in New York and to give voice to a European perspective in the Council.

They outlined several priorities for March and April: to highlight the role of women in conflict situations, with a focus on their protection and their own empowerment in this regard; to strengthen international humanitarian law; to combat the financing of terrorism; and to support disarmament.

Germany and France have indicated that they will strive to improve the working methods of the Council during their joint presidencies by encouraging increased interactivity between Council members and briefers in the open chamber. In this regard, they are encouraging members to ask questions to which briefers will be able to respond. To foster this interaction, they are further requesting that Council members receive briefers’ notes in advance, so that they are better prepared to engage ahead of meetings.

In March, there will be one open debate on combating the financing of terrorism, during which a resolution may be adopted.

The Council is expected to carry out a visiting mission to Mali and Burkina Faso this month. A briefing on the visiting mission and a ministerial meeting on Mali with the participation of Secretary-General António Guterres and Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubèye Maïga are scheduled shortly after the delegation returns.

A number of other African issues will be on the programme this month. The Council will hold a briefing on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which will be provided by Special Representative and head of UNMISS David Shearer. Consultations are scheduled to follow.

A briefing on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), also followed by consultations, will also be provided this month, most likely by Special Representative and head of MONUSCO Leila Zerrougui.

The mandates of UNMISS, MONUSCO and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) will be renewed during the month.

Council members are expected to receive a briefing in consultations in March by the Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Ghassan Salamé, and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany, Ambassador Jürgen Schulz, who chairs the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee.

Said Djinnit will brief the Council for the last time this month as Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, before being succeeded by Huang Xia. Consultations are expected to follow his briefing.

The Council will be briefed in March on Yemen on the implementation of resolutions 2451 and 2452, which established the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA). Special Envoy Martin Griffiths will most likely provide the briefing.

It will also receive the monthly briefings on Syria. Briefings, followed by consultations, will be convened on the humanitarian situation and the political process in Syria. OCHA   Director for Operations and Advocacy Reena Ghelani will brief on the humanitarian track, while Special Envoy Geir Pedersen may brief on political developments. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu is expected to brief members in consultations on the use of chemical weapons in the country.

Consultations are further anticipated late in March on the UN Disengagement Force in the Golan Heights (UNDOF). Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix may provide the briefing.

The monthly meeting on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will consist of a briefing, followed by consultations. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov is expected to provide the briefing.

Council members expect to hold consultations on resolution 1701, which called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel in 2006. In this context, briefings in consultations are expected from Ján Kubiš, the newly appointed Special Coordinator for Lebanon, and possibly from a representative of the Department of Peace Operations.

In a change of practice, the Council will hold its quarterly meeting on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as a briefing, followed by consultations, rather than in debate format, prior to renewing the mission’s mandate later in the month. Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, and a member of the Afghanistan High Peace Council are expected to brief.

The Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee.

A briefing of the 1540 Sanctions Committee, which focuses on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, is also anticipated during the month. Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani of Indonesia, which chairs the Committee, is expected to brief.

Council members anticipate a briefing in consultations on Haiti (MINUJUSTH), most likely from Special Representative and head of MINUJUSTH, Helen Meagher La Lime. It will also consider the most recent report on the implementation of resolution 2410—which set a timeline for the gradual drawdown of formed police units—and political and security developments in the context of the 15 April expiry of MINUJUSTH’s mandate.

Two meetings are anticipated on issues related to Europe: Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, is expected to brief the Council on UN-EU cooperation in maintaining international peace and security; and Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák, who is the current Chairperson-in-Office for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), will brief on the activities of the OSCE.

There will be an informal interactive dialogue on the Middle East region. Arria-formula meetings are anticipated on women’s participation in peace processes, on Crimea, and on criminal justice and human rights.

Non-proliferation and Ukraine are in the footnotes of the March programme. The Council may meet on these and other issues not on the programme as needed.


* On 4 March, the story was revised to reflect that France and Germany are holding “joint presidencies” in March and April, rather than a “joint presidency”.

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