What's In Blue

Posted Wed 1 May 2019

Programme of Work for May 2019

Indonesia holds the Security Council presidency in May. It is planning to convene two open debates during the month: one on peacekeeping operations and a second on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.  The debate on peacekeeping is expected to focus on training and capacity-building to improve the safety, security and performance of UN peacekeepers. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will chair the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres; the force commander of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Lieutenant General Elias Rodrigues Martins Filho; and the director of the secretariat of the International Forum for the Challenges of Peace Operations, Björn Holmberg, are the anticipated briefers.

The second open debate of the month is the annual open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Secretary-General António Guterres and representatives of the ICRC and civil society are expected to brief.

Early in the month, the annual Security Council retreat will be held on Long Island. The anticipated topics of the retreat are: the evolving nature of conflicts, and transitions of UN missions.

Several Middle East issues are on the programme. The Council will hold its monthly meetings on Syria. In this regard, a briefing on the political and humanitarian situations in Syria is expected to be followed by consultations, while members anticipate receiving a briefing in consultations on chemical weapons in the country.

There will also be the monthly meeting on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine), taking the form of a briefing followed by consultations. In addition, Indonesia, Kuwait, and South Africa are organising an Arria-formula meeting during the month on: “Israeli Settlements and Settlers: Core of the Occupation, Protection Crisis and Obstruction of Peace.”

Council members expect to receive the semi-annual briefing on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559 in consultations. Resolution 1559 called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory.

Special Envoy Martin Griffiths is expected to brief the Council on Yemen, focusing on the implementation of resolutions 2451 and 2452. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and General Michael Lollesgaard, the chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) and head of the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), may also brief. A briefing on the work of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee is planned as well. Consultations are scheduled after the briefings.

The Council will receive briefings in May on the Secretary-General’s latest reports on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and also on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property (including the national archives). It will also renew the mandate of UNAMI, which is set to expire on 31 May. In addition, the Council expects to receive the second report on the activities of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (UNITAD) in May.

Several African issues will be considered during the month. The semi-annual briefing to the Council on the ICC’s work in Libya is anticipated. The Council also expects to receive a briefing, followed by consultations, from 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.

A briefing on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel—Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger (G5 Sahel)—is also anticipated during the month.

The Council will be briefed on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Consultations are scheduled to follow. It is also expected to renew its authorisation of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), due to expire on 31 May.

Two adoptions are scheduled on Sudan/South Sudan issues. The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) prior to its 15 May expiration. It also plans to adopt a resolution renewing the South Sudan sanctions regime, which expires on 31 May, and the Panel of Experts assisting the sanctions committee.

Two European issues are current scheduled this month. Consultations are planned on the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) early in the month.

The Council will also hold its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The High Representative for BiH, Valentin Inzko, will most likely brief, presenting the latest report of the Office of the High Representative (OHR).

One Asian issue is currently on the programme this month. In this regard, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen (Germany), is expected to brief Council members in consultations on the work of the committee. 

The Council is scheduled to receive its annual briefing in May from the chairs of its counter-terrorism-related committees: Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia), chair of the 1540 Committee, which focuses on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and of the 1267/1989/2253 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee; and Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra Velásquez (Peru), chair of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).

The Council will follow developments closely in Venezuela and could engage on this matter during the month.

Issues in the footnotes of the programme include non-proliferation, Burundi, and Ukraine. These and other issues may also be addressed during the month, depending on developments.

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