What's In Blue

Posted Mon 1 Jun 2020

Programme of Work for June 2020

France holds the presidency of the Security Council in June.

In light of the UN Headquarters’ anticipated partial closure extending to the end of June, the Council is expected to continue using the provisional measures agreed on at the end of March, as adapted in April and May.

There will be an open debate via videoconference (VTC) on children and armed conflict this month. Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict; Henrietta Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF; and a civil society representative are expected to brief. Unless new special measures are adopted in June, it is anticipated that statements by non-Council members will be submitted in writing.

A briefing by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, is planned as an open VTC. He is expected to highlight the situation of refugees in several country-specific cases on the Council’s agenda as well as the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on refugee populations.

The annual meeting with force commanders will be held early in the month.  The force commanders of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), as well as the Acting Force Commander of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), are scheduled to brief in an open VTC.

Security Council members are scheduled to hold an open VTC on the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), which was established in 2010 to carry out the remaining essential functions of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) after their respective closures. The IRMCT’s president, Judge Carmel Agius, and prosecutor, Serge Brammertz, are expected to brief. The adoption of a resolution extending the term of the prosecutor and the operating period of the IRMCT, both of which expire on 30 June 2020, is anticipated.

A large range of African issues will be addressed during the month. Early in the month, the Council is expected to decide on a course of action regarding the drawdown and exit of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the establishment of a follow-on presence to the mission.

There will also be an open VTC by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the court’s work related to Darfur.

The chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Sven Jürgenson (Estonia), is expected to provide the quarterly briefing on the committee’s work in an open VTC. 

An open videoconference (VTC), followed by a closed VTC, on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is anticipated. Special Representative and head of UNMISS David Shearer will brief.  A civil society briefer is also possible.

Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve (Belgium), chair of the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee, will brief the Council on activities of this committee in a closed VTC.

The Council is also expected to renew the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), which expires on 30 June.

Council members expect to hold an open VTC on the Group of Five for the Sahel Joint Force under the agenda item “Peace and security in Africa”. Briefers will be Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania, on behalf of the Group of Five for the Sahel. A closed VTC is expected to follow the open session.

In early June, a closed VTC on EU Operation Irini is planned. Charles Fries, the Deputy Secretary General for Common Security and Defence Policy of the European External Action Service (EEAS), is the anticipated briefer.

The Council is expected to renew the authorisation for member states, acting nationally or through regional organisations, to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya, bound to or from the country, that they have reasonable grounds to believe are violating the arms embargo. The current authorisation expires on 10 June.

An open VTC, followed by a closed VTC, is scheduled on the Secretary-General’s most recent report on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Leila Zerrougui, the Special Representative and head of MONUSCO, is likely to brief. Additionally, Council members will need to renew the measures under the 1533 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) sanctions regime, which expire on 1 July.

The mandate of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) will be renewed before its 30 June expiry. Prior to this, a high-level open VTC on Mali will be held with France’s Foreign Minister participating. There will also be a closed VTC with MINUSMA troop-contributing countries.

The Council will hold an open VTC, followed by a closed VTC, to discuss the latest Secretary-General’s report on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), which is due by 15 June. Mankeur Ndiaye, the Special Representative for the Central African Republic (CAR) and head of MINUSCA, will brief the Council. Matias Bertino Matondo, AU Special Representative and head of the AU Office in the Central African Republic, and a representative of the EU may brief as well.

François Louncény Fall, Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), is expected to brief Council members on the Secretary-General’s semi-annual report on UNOCA and the implementation of the UN’s regional strategy to combat the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in an open VTC.  A closed VTC is expected to follow.

There will be a briefing in a closed VTC on the situation in Burundi. Assistant Secretary-General for Africa Bintou Keita is the anticipated briefer.

Several issues related to the Middle East are on the programme. The monthly meeting on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” will be held as an open VTC, followed by a closed VTC. This will include a briefing by Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov. A civil society representative might brief as well.

The monthly meetings on the political and humanitarian situations in Syria, as well as on the use of chemical weapons in the country, are also anticipated.  High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu will brief on the chemical weapons track, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock will brief on humanitarian issues, and Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen may brief on political developments. It is possible that civil society representatives may brief in the meetings on the humanitarian and political situations in Syria.

In June, the Security Council is expected to extend for six months the mandate of UNDOF, which expires on 30 June. Ahead of the mandate renewal, the Department of Peace Operations (DPO) is expected to brief Council members in a closed VTC on the Secretary-General’s latest 90-day report on UNDOF, and the most recent developments.

The Council is expected to hold its monthly briefing on Yemen, via closed VTC, with Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, Lowcock, and General Abhijit Guha, who heads the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).

The work of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) will be discussed in a open VTC, followed by a closed VTC. Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, the Special Adviser and head of UNITAD, will brief.

Security Council members will hold the quarterly meeting on Afghanistan in June. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), is expected to brief Council members in an open VTC on the latest Secretary-General’s report on UNAMA, due on 17 June. A representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and a civil society participant may also brief.  A closed VTC is scheduled to follow the open session.

Late in the month, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, Ambassador Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve or another representative from Belgium, and an EU representative are expected to brief the Council in an open VTC on the implementation of resolution 2231 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme.  A closed VTC is scheduled to follow.

Security Council members are expected to hold an open VTC on the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). Special Representative Helen La Lime is expected to brief, and a civil society briefer may also participate. A closed VTC is planned after the open session.

On 17 June, the General Assembly is scheduled to elect five new members to the Security Council for 2021-2022. The candidates are Canada, Ireland, and Norway, competing for two seats in the Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG); Djibouti and Kenya competing for one seat in the African Group; India running uncontested in the Asia-Pacific Group; and Mexico running uncontested in the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC). (For more information, please see our Security Council Elections 2020 Research Report.)

Arria-formula meetings are anticipated this month on natural resources and the Great Lakes region and on Venezuela.

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