What's In Blue

Posted Tue 1 Sep 2020

Programme of Work for September 2020

Niger is the president of the Security Council in September. Although the Security Council is expected to continue to work largely remotely via videoconference (VTC), due to COVID-19 restrictions, it plans to hold some meetings—including adoptions—in person on UN premises.

Niger is planning to hold four signature events during its presidency. It will hold a debate in open VTC format on the role of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) in peace and security. OIF Secretary-General Louise Mushikiwabo, a UN Secretariat official, and possibly a civil society representative are expected to brief.

A debate in open VTC format on children and armed conflict and attacks against schools, with a focus on the Sahel region, is also planned. The anticipated briefers are Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba and a representative from the Global Coalition for the Protection of Education from Attack (GCPEA). UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore and a child civil society representative may also brief. Niger and Belgium, the chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, are co-authoring a draft presidential statement on attacks against schools that may be adopted ahead of the debate.

There will be a summit-level debate in open VTC format on global governance in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be held during the virtual high-level week in the General Assembly in the third week of September. Expected briefers are UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger is expected to preside. A presidential statement is a potential outcome.

Niger also plans to hold a ministerial-level open debate, also as an open VTC, on the humanitarian impact of environmental degradation on peace and security. Peter Maurer, the President of the ICRC, and Ibrahim Thiaw, the Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, are the scheduled briefers. Inna Modja (Earth Ambassador, artist and activist) may brief as well.

 A debate in open VTC format is planned during the month on Afghanistan. Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Deborah Lyons and Saad Mohseni, Chief Executive of MOBY Group, are the scheduled briefers during the Afghanistan meeting. The mandate of UNAMA will also be renewed during September.

A closed VTC on Myanmar is expected during September.

Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is the scheduled briefer for this month’s peacekeeping debate, which will take place in open VTC format. This meeting constitutes the annual comprehensive briefing on UN peacekeeping reform as required by resolution 2378 of 20 September 2017.

There will be an open VTC under the agenda item “Maintenance of international peace and security” during which members are expected to have a follow-up discussion of resolution 2532 of 1 July. Resolution 2532 demanded a general and immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations on the Council’s agenda and called upon all parties to armed conflicts to engage immediately in a 90-day humanitarian pause in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A number of African issues are on the programme. Early in the month, there will be an open VTC, followed by a closed VTC, on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and Libya sanctions. The Acting Special Representative and head of UNSMIL, Stephanie Williams, will brief. The Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany, Ambassador Günter Sautter, is expected to brief the Council on Libya sanctions in his capacity as chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee. A resolution renewing the mandate of UNSMIL will also be adopted during the month.

An open VTC, followed by a closed VTC, is scheduled on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Special Representative and head of UNMISS David Shearer will be the briefer.

There will also be an open VTC on the work of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee. Ambassador Sven Jürgenson (Estonia), the chair of the committee, will provide the quarterly briefing on the committee’s work.

Council members will hold an open VTC, followed by a closed VTC, on the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo and Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix are the anticipated briefers.

Also expected in late September is the 14th annual meeting with the AU Peace and Security Council.

With regard to the Middle East, the Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD), prior to its 21 September expiry.

Council members will also hold the monthly meetings on the political, humanitarian, and chemical weapons tracks in Syria. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock is scheduled to brief on the humanitarian situation in Syria in an open VTC; a closed VTC is scheduled to follow.  Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen may brief on Syria political developments in an open VTC, followed by a closed VTC. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu is scheduled to brief on chemical weapons in Syria in a closed VTC.

Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and Under-Secretary-General Lowcock are expected to brief during the monthly meeting on Yemen, which will be held as an open VTC, followed by a closed VTC.

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. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov is the likely briefer.

Colombia is on the programme this month. The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, which expires on 25 September.

Arria-formula meetings are anticipated this month on Belarus and on youth, peace and security.

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