What's In Blue

Posted Mon 2 Mar 2020

Programme of Work for March 2020

China has the presidency of the Security Council in March. It has chosen to hold three discretionary events this month. The first will be a debate in early March on “Countering terrorism and extremism in Africa” featuring briefings by Chef de Cabinet Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti and AU Permanent Observer Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed. A presidential statement is a possible outcome.

The second event is an open debate on “Upholding multilateralism and promoting political settlement of disputes”, which will take place mid-month. Secretary-General António Guterres, General Assembly President Tjjjani Muhammad-Bande and the President of the International Court of Justice, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (via VTC), are expected to brief.

The third event, a debate on “UN peacekeeping operations: Better capacity building, more safety and security”, will take place later in the month. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare are the anticipated briefers. A product, such as a resolution or a presidential statement, is expected.

Several African country issues are on the Council’s programme this month. The Council will hold a meeting with troop contributing countries to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). It also anticipates a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on UNMISS. Special Representative and head of UNMISS David Shearer is the anticipated briefer, via VTC. The mandate of UNMISS will be renewed in March.

The Council expects to receive a briefing on the special report of the UN Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the AU Commission on the UN/AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Lacroix may brief. Consultations are scheduled to follow the briefing.

There will likely be an adoption of a resolution establishing a follow-on presence to UNAMID by 31 March in accordance with resolution 2495. In addition, the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee Ambassador, Ambassador Sven Jürgenson (Estonia), will provide the quarterly briefing on the committee’s work.

There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the activities of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) this month. Deputy Permanent Representative Jürgen Schulz (Germany), the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, is also expected to brief the Council on the committee’s work prior to consultations.

A briefing, followed by consultations, is also anticipated this month on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

The mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) is due for renewal before its expiry on 31 March.

The Middle East also features on the March programme of work. There will be a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, on the most recent developments in the situation 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. Consultations are expected to follow.

The Council expects to hold its monthly briefing, followed by consultations, on Yemen with Special Envoy Martin Griffiths (via VTC) and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock planning to brief.

The Council will receive the monthly briefings on the humanitarian situation, the political process and the use of chemical weapons in Syria. OCHA Director for Operations and Advocacy Reena Ghelani is expected to brief on the humanitarian situation, and Special Envoy Geir Pedersen will brief on the political process. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu will brief members in consultations on the use of chemical weapons.

The monthly briefing on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” will feature a briefing by Nickolay Mladenov, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. Consultations are scheduled after the briefing.

Ján Kubiš, Special Coordinator for Lebanon, and Lacroix are expected to provide members with an update in consultations on the implementation of resolution 1701, which called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel.

Lacroix is scheduled to brief members in consultations on the activities of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) late in the month.

The Council will be briefed by the chair of the 1540 Committee, Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia), on the work of the committee, which deals with the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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

There will be the quarterly debate on Afghanistan, where a senior UN secretariat representative is expected to brief on the latest Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The US-Taliban peace agreement, which was signed on 29 February, may be addressed in the meeting.

Non-proliferation and Ukraine are in the footnotes of the programme. These and other issues may be addressed by the Council during the month.

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