What's In Blue

Posted Mon 1 Feb 2021

Programme of Work for February 2021

The UK holds the presidency of the Security Council in February. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Council’s work is expected to continue to take place virtually this month. As an objective of its presidency, UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward has said that it will strive to address global challenges, including COVID-19, climate change and conflict.

The UK plans to host two signature events this month. The first will be a briefing on the implementation of resolution 2532 on COVID-19, focused on equitable access to vaccines, especially in conflict-affected areas. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is expected to chair.

The second is an open debate on the security risks of climate change. The meeting is expected to consider conflict risks, peacebuilding approaches and ways to support adaptation and resilience in climate-vulnerable contexts. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to brief. It is anticipated that Secretary-General António Guterres will be one of the briefers.

There will also be a briefing on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and the Secretary-General’s twelfth strategic-level report on this issue. Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, the head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and Assistant Secretary-General Michèle Coninsx, the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), are the anticipated briefers.

Council members currently plan to meet on two Asian issues the month: Myanmar, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) sanctions. Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener is expected to brief on Myanmar in consultations. Ambassador Mona Juul (Norway) is due to provide her first briefing, likely in consultations, as the chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee.

Several Middle East issues are on the programme. The monthly meeting on Yemen will consist of a briefing, followed by consultations. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock are expected to brief. General Abhijit Guha, the head of the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), is likely to participate in consultations. Ambassador I. Rhonda King of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the chair of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee, is expected to brief on the committee’s work in the open session prior to the consultations. Anticipated this month as well is the renewal of Yemen financial and travel ban sanctions and the mandate of the Yemen Panel of Experts.

The Council is scheduled to hold its monthly meetings on the chemical, political and humanitarian tracks in Syria. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu will brief in closed consultations on chemical weapons in Syria. There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the political track, which may feature a briefing by Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Lowcock is likely to brief on the humanitarian situation in Syria; consultations are scheduled to follow.

The monthly meeting on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question” will include a briefing followed by consultations. Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland may brief.

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

A number of African issues will be discussed in February. It is a particularly busy month with regard to Somalia. James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) may brief the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on UNSOM. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (Ireland), chair of the 751 Somalia Sanctions Committee, may brief the Council on the activities of the committee. The Council is also expected to renew its authorisation of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) before its 28 February expiration.

The Security Council will renew the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee by 12 February, in advance of its expiration on 12 March, as set out in resolution 2508.

There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and recent developments. Mankeur Ndiaye, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Central African Republic and head of MINUSCA, is likely to brief.

Council members have been negotiating a presidential statement on the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) that may be adopted early in the month.

Haiti is the one issue from the Americas on the programme this month. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), Helen La Lime, is expected to brief on recent developments and the Secretary-General’s latest report on the special political mission, due on 12 February. A civil society representative may also brief. Consultations are expected to follow the briefing.

A meeting on the situation in Ukraine is anticipated this month that is expected to focus on the Minsk agreements.

A wrap-up session is planned at the end of the month.