What's In Blue

Posted Mon 2 Dec 2019

Security Council Programme of Work for December

The US has the presidency in December.

The programme of work focuses largely on regular briefings and mandate renewals and is compressed due to a desire to conclude business by 20 December.

Several mandate renewals are anticipated this month on African issues. Early in the month, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing counter-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia, which are set to expire on 6 December.

The Council will also renew the mandate of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) before it expires on 20 December.

During the month, the Council is also expected to renew the mandate of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) for an additional three years. This is likely to be done through an exchange of letters between the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General.

There will be a briefing on inter-communal violence and terrorism in West Africa, which is being organised by the US in conjunction with Côte d’Ivoire. Special Representative and head of UNOWAS Mohammed Ibn Chambas is expected to brief.

A briefing and consultations are scheduled on the semi-annual report on the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and the implementation of the UN strategy in the region to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army. Special Representative and head of UNOCA François Louncény Fall is the anticipated briefer.

A briefing, followed by consultations, is anticipated on the work of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee. Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland), who chairs the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee, is expected to brief on the Committee’s work.

Ambassador Wronecka is also expected to brief Council members in consultations on the work of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee in her capacity as the chair of that committee.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will provide the semi-annual briefing on the court’s work on Darfur.

This will be a busy month on Middle East issues. On Syria, Council members are expected to vote on a resolution to renew the authorisation for cross-border and cross-line humanitarian access, which was most recently extended through resolution 2449 of 13 December 2018.  There will also be the monthly meetings on humanitarian issues, political developments and the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The Council is expected to extend for six months the mandate of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), which expires on 31 December. Ahead of the mandate renewal, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) is expected to brief Council members in consultations on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on UNDOF and the most recent developments.

The Council is expected to receive a briefing by the Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, on the most recent developments in Iraq and on the two latest Secretary-General’s reports—on UNAMI and on the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and missing Kuwaiti property, including the national archives.

In December, the Council is scheduled to receive the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme. The Council also expects reports from the Joint Commission, established by the parties to the JCPOA to oversee its implementation, and from the Council’s 2231 facilitator, Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium). Briefings are expected from Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, Pecsteen, and a representative of the EU in its capacity as coordinator of the Joint Commission.

The Council will receive its monthly briefing on Yemen from Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock may brief on the humanitarian situation, and General Abhijit Guha, the head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) and chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), is likely to brief in consultations.

The monthly briefing on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) is likely to be followed by consultations.

The Security Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly meeting on Afghanistan. This will consist of a briefing, followed by consultations. Additionally, the Security Council will renew the mandate of the Monitoring Team assisting the 1988 Afghanistan Sanctions Committee, set to expire on 17 December.

A meeting on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is also possible.

The only debate scheduled for December is the semi-annual debate on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. The IRMCT’s president, Judge Carmel Agius, and prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, are expected to brief during the debate.

There will also be an annual briefing by outgoing chairs of subsidiary bodies, during which they will describe their terms as chairs of sanctions committees or working groups.

An informal wrap-up event is anticipated on 20 December.

The US is also planning to hold side events on peacekeeping performance, on philanthropy in post-conflict situations, and on criminalisation of LGBTI people in certain countries.

The US will also host two visits of Council members. One trip, to Washington, D.C. will include a lunch with US President Donald J. Trump; another, to Kentucky, the home state of US Permanent Representative Kelly Craft, is expected to allow for frank discussion among Council members on pertinent issues.

Ukraine is in the footnotes of the programme of work. Meetings on this and other issues could be held depending on developments.

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