What's In Blue

Posted Thu 1 Aug 2019

Programme of Work for August 2019

Poland is president of the Security Council in August. The month got off to a busy start. Today, a discussion was held by members under “any other business” on recent missile launches by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which included a briefing by Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.

Late in the month, Germany is expected to provide Council members with the quarterly briefing in consultations on the work of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee in its capacity as the Committee’s chair.

Poland has emphasised the importance of international humanitarian law during its Council tenure. In this regard, it is planning a high-level briefing this month on the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law with a focus on international humanitarian law that will most likely be chaired by Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz. The anticipated briefers are Under-Secretary-General Miguel de Serpa Soares, ICRC President Peter Maurer, and Annyssa Bellal, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. A presidential statement is a possible outcome.

In addition, Poland will host a debate on challenges in the Middle East, including human rights and humanitarian issues in the region. Briefers from the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) are expected to participate. It is also likely that countries from the region and some regional organisations will be invited.

The Council will hold an open debate on the annual report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict early in the month. Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba will present the annual report. Other speakers are likely to include the Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore; Mariatu Kamara, UNICEF Canada’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict; and Majok Peter Awan, a former child soldier and currently a UN child protection officer. Foreign Minister Czaputowicz is expected to chair.

There will also be a briefing 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). 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), are expected to brief.

The Council will receive the monthly briefings on the political process, the humanitarian situation, and the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Special Envoy Geir Pedersen may brief on the political process, while Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu are expected to brief on the humanitarian situation and the use of chemical weapons, respectively.

The Council will hold its monthly briefing on Yemen with Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. Lowcock is likely to update the Council on the humanitarian situation. Consultations are scheduled to follow.

The monthly meeting on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will likely consist of a briefing, followed by consultations. It is anticipated that Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov will brief.

Late in the month, the Council is scheduled to renew the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which expires on 31 August. Earlier in the month, Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Mohamed Khaled Khiari will brief members on UNIFIL in consultations, and there will be a meeting with UNIFIL troop-contributing countries.

A briefing, followed by consultations, is planned for late in the month on the most recent developments in the situation in Iraq and on the two latest Secretary-General’s reports—on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.

Regarding African issues, the Security Council will have a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). The Council may also hear an update from the Secretariat in a separate meeting on ongoing developments towards the normalisation of relations between Djibouti and Eritrea, under the agenda item “Peace and security in Africa”.

Council members will hold consultations to discuss the strategic review of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita is expected to participate. An outcome addressing the conclusions of the review is possible.

The Council is expected to receive a briefing on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in accordance with resolution 2479 of 27 June, which requested the Secretary-General to provide the Security Council with an oral update about the situation on the ground 60 days after the adoption of the resolution. 

Also this month, the Council is due to renew the Mali sanctions regime, which expires on 31 August, as well as the mandate of its Panel of Experts, which expires on 30 September.

An informal interactive dialogue on Burundi is expected to be held late in August.

There will also be an Arria-formula this month on the theme of advancing the safety and security of religious minorities in armed conflict.

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

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