What's In Blue

Programme of Work for October 2020

Russia is the president of the Security Council in October. The Council plans to hold several meetings in person this month, although some will take place via videoconference (VTC) due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19.

As a signature event of its presidency, Russia plans to hold a debate via VTC  focusing on a comprehensive review of the peace and security situation in the Persian Gulf region under the agenda item “Maintenance of international peace and security”. Secretary-General António Guterres is a possible briefer. Gulf countries have also been invited to participate.

There will be two open debates in VTC format in October. The quarterly open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question” will feature a briefing by Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov.

An open debate on Women, Peace and Security marking the 20th anniversary of resolution 1325—the Council’s first on the topic of women, peace and security—is scheduled for late in the month. Anticipated briefers include the Secretary-General, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngucka, a female peacekeeper, and a civil society representative. A resolution is a possible outcome.

Several African issues are on the programme this month. Early in the month, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the authorisation for member states to inspect vessels suspected of being used for migrant smuggling or human trafficking off the coast of Libya.

An open VTC, followed by a closed VTC, is anticipated on the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee. Special Representative and head of MONUSCO Leila Zerrougui will brief on MONUSCO and Ambassador Abdou Abarry (Niger), chair of the DRC Sanctions Committee, will brief on the Committee’s work.

In addition, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia is scheduled to provide his biannual briefing to the Council in October on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region.

An open meeting, followed by a closed session, is planned on Mali. The Special Representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), Mahamat Saleh Annadif, is the anticipated briefer.

There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Mankeur Ndiaye, Special Representative for the CAR and head of MINUSCA, and Matias Bertino Matondo, AU Special Representative and head of the AU Office in the CAR, are expected to brief.

The mandate of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) will be renewed this month. Prior to that, Colin Stewart, the Special Representative for Western Sahara and head of MINURSO, will brief Council members in a closed session on the mission’s work and developments in Western Sahara.

A briefing is anticipated on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and Sudan/South Sudan more generally. Closed consultations are scheduled to follow. Likely briefers are Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Parfait Onanga-Anyanga.

Ambassador Philippe Kridelka of Belgium, the Chair of the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee, is expected to provide the 120-day briefing on the Committee’s work in consultations.

In addition to the open debate on the Persian Gulf region and the quarterly open debate on the Middle East, there will be several other meetings on Middle East topics.

The usual monthly Syria meetings are anticipated. The political and humanitarian briefings on Syria are likely to be combined and provided by Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, respectively. Consultations are scheduled to follow the open briefings. High Representative for Disarmament Izumi Nakamitsu is expected to brief on the use of chemical weapons in Syria in an in-person meeting.

Closed consultations are anticipated on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. A representative of the Department of Peace Operations will brief.

The Council will hold its monthly meeting on Yemen as a briefing, followed by consultations. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and Under-Secretary-General Lowcock are expected to brief.

Consultations on the implementation of resolution 1559—which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over Lebanese territory—are planned for the month. A representative from the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, most likely Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo, will brief.

Regarding the Americas, both Haiti and Colombia are on the programme. The Council expects to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). Earlier in the month, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of BINUH Helen La Lime is expected to brief on Haiti in an open meeting. A closed session is expected to follow.

There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on Colombia. Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu is the anticipated briefer.

The one European issue currently on the programme this month is Kosovo. Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Zahir Tanin, will brief, possibly in a VTC session.

The President of the International Court of Justice, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, will provide the annual briefing to the Council, most likely in a private meeting.

The Council will continue to follow the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.  Meetings on this and other issues may be scheduled during the month.

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