What's In Blue

Programme of Work for November 2020

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the president of the Security Council in November. It appears that most, if not all, of the meetings this month will be held virtually due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19.

As the signature event of its presidency, it has chosen to hold a high-level open debate on “contemporary drivers of conflict and insecurity”, under the Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace agenda. The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, will chair the meeting. The expected briefers are Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed; Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Ibrahim Mayaki; Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Sir Hilary Beckles; and President of the Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Munir Akram (Pakistan).

The annual briefing of police commissioners from UN peace operations is planned this month. Police commissioners from several missions are expected to brief: Pascal Champion of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA); Unaisi Vuniwaqa of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS); Issoufou Yacouba of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA); and Serge Therriault of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH). Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will also participate in the meeting.

There will be the biannual briefing, followed by consultations, on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S), which Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger (G5 Sahel) established in 2017 to combat terrorist and criminal groups in the region.  Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is expected to brief.  It is also possible that Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Mauritania, may brief on behalf of the G5-Sahel.

The Council plans to address several other African issues this month. It expects to renew the mandates of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).  A meeting with MINUSCA troop-contributing countries is also planned for November; Under-Secretary-General Lacroix may participate in the meeting.

The Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution renewing several elements of the Somalia sanctions regime due to expire on 15 November. There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the implementation of the mandates of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Special Representative James Swan is expected to brief. AU Special Representative Francisco Madeira may brief as well.

The Council will hold a briefing, followed by consultations, on the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) and Libya sanctions. Acting Special Representative and head of UNSMIL Stephanie Williams and the chair of the Libya Sanctions Committee, Günter Sautter, are the anticipated briefers. The Council may also adopt a resolution supporting compliance of all national and international stakeholders with the 23 October ceasefire agreement between Libyan conflict parties. Additionally, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is expected to deliver her semi-annual briefing on recent developments concerning cases in Libya.

Several meetings on the Middle East are also anticipated in November. There will be the monthly meetings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks in Syria. The political and humanitarian situations will be addressed in an open session featuring briefings by Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, respectively. Consultations are scheduled to follow.  High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu is expected to brief an open session on chemical weapons issues in Syria.

The Council is expected to hold its monthly briefing on Yemen with the participation of Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, and General Abhijit Guha, who heads the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).

The monthly meeting 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, with consultations scheduled to follow.

Council members also expect to receive a briefing in consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701, due on 11 November. Adopted in 2006, resolution 1701 called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Ján Kubiš is expected to brief. Under-Secretary-General Lacroix may also brief.

Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, will brief on the most recent developments 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 scheduled to follow.

The semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina is the one European issue on the programme this month. High Representative Valentin Inzko is expected to brief on the latest report of the Office of the High Representative (OHR). The Council is also expected to renew the authorisation of the EU-led multinational stabilisation force (EUFOR ALTHEA).

Late in the month, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen (Germany), is expected to brief Council members in consultations on the 90-day report about the committee’s work.

There will be a joint briefing by the chairs of the different counter-terrorism committees this month. Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia), who chairs the 1267/1989/2253 ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee and the 1540 Sanctions Committee (which deals with the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction), will brief on the work of these committees. Ambassador Tarek Ladeb (Tunisia) will brief on the work of the 1373 Counter-Terrorism Committee, which he chairs.

During the month, the Security Council and the General Assembly will elect five judges to the International Court of Justice to commence their term on 6 February 2021.

The 15 current Council members and the incoming five (India, Ireland, Kenya, Norway, and Mexico) will participate in the annual “Hitting the Ground Running” workshop organised by Finland.

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