What's In Blue

Posted Thu 2 Jan 2020

Security Council Programme of Work for January

Viet Nam has the presidency of the Security Council in January. It has chosen to hold a ministerial-level debate on “Maintenance of international peace and security: Upholding the UN Charter” as the signature event of its presidency. Viet Nam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh, is expected to chair the meeting, and Secretary-General António Guterres and Chair of the Elders Mary Robinson are expected to brief.  A presidential statement is a possible outcome of the meeting. There will also be a briefing on cooperation with regional and sub-regional organisations, with a focus on ASEAN. The Secretary-General and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi may provide briefings.

The Council is expecting updates on the activities of two UN regional offices. There will be a briefing on the UN Office in West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), followed by consultations. Special Representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas is expected to brief. The Council is expected to renew UNOWAS’ mandate through an exchange of letters with the Secretary-General, having extended the mission’s mandate for one month in December 2019 until 31 January. A briefing in consultations is expected on the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), with Special Representative Natalia Gherman briefing.

Several African issues are on the Council’s agenda.  There will be an update on the activities of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), with Special Representative Ghassan Salamé likely to brief. The briefing will be followed by consultations.

The Council also expects to receive a briefing on the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the Secretary-General’s bi-annual letter on the security situation, MINUSMA’s performance, and transition planning. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is likely to brief. An adoption is expected at the end of the month to renew the mandate of the 2127 Central African Republic (CAR) sanctions regime and its Panel of Experts.

The Middle East also features on the January programme of work. The quarterly open debate on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will be held during the month. Regarding Yemen, the Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) before mid-January. The monthly briefing, followed by consultations, is also expected on the implementation of resolutions 2451 and 2452. Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and Reena Ghelani, OCHA’s Operations Director, are possible briefers. Abhijit Guha, the head of UNMHA and chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), may also participate in consultations.

In addition to its monthly meetings on the political and humanitarian situations in Syria, as well as on the use of chemical weapons in the country, Council members will meet tomorrow (3 January) for a briefing in consultations on the situation in Idlib province in north-western Syria.  The Council failed to re-authorise the cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism in Syria in December. Council members are likely to continue negotiating the new mandate ahead of the current mandate expiration on 10 January.

Meetings on South America and Europe are also expected. There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu is expected to brief. The Council will also be briefed by Special Representative and head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Elizabeth Spehar on recent developments and the latest report on UNFICYP. An adoption is anticipated by the end of the month to renew UNFICYP’s mandate.

An informal interactive dialogue will be held on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at the request of the United States.

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

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