What's In Blue

Posted Mon 3 May 2021

Programme of Work for May 2021

China is the president of the Security Council in May. The Council’s work will continue to be held virtually, although members may consider in-person meetings later in the month.

China has chosen to convene three signature events in May. Early in the month, it will hold a high-level briefing on “Upholding multilateralism and the United Nations-centred international system”. Wang Yi, China’s State Councillor and Minister for Foreign Affairs, is expected to chair the meeting. Volkan Bozkir, the president of the General Assembly, will brief.

China will also organise a high-level open debate on “Addressing the root causes of conflict while promoting post-pandemic recovery in Africa”. State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will again chair the open debate. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Achim Steiner and an AU representative are the anticipated briefers. A presidential statement may be adopted.

There will also be an open debate on “Improving the Safety and Security of Peacekeepers”. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare are expected to brief. A Council product, most likely a presidential statement, is the expected outcome of the meeting.

The annual open debate on protection of civilians (POC) in armed conflict will be held in May. It is expected to focus on the protection of medical workers. Secretary-General Guterres and ICRC President Peter Maurer are the anticipated briefers.

This month, the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution expanding the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to include monitoring compliance with the sentences handed down by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP), the judicial component of the transitional justice system established by the 2016 peace agreement.

The Council will also renew the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). In addition, Special Representative and head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert is scheduled to brief the Council. The sixth report of the Special Adviser and head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) is also anticipated.

Several meetings on the Middle East are on the programme this month. There will be monthly meetings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks in Syria.

The Security Council will also hold its semi-annual meeting on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory. Under‑Secretary‑General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo is the expected briefer.

The Council will convene its monthly briefing, followed by consultations, on Yemen. Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock will brief. General Abhijit Guha, who heads the UN Mission to support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), may brief during the consultations.

The Council will receive a briefing from the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland during its monthly meeting on the Middle East (including the Palestinian Question). A civil society representative may also brief.

Several Council meetings on African issues will take place in May.  The Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and extending the mission’s support for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM).

It will also vote on a draft resolution renewing the South Sudan sanctions regime—including targeted sanctions and the arms embargo—and the mandate of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts.

On Libya, the Council will be briefed on the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) and the sanctions regime by the Special Envoy to Libya and head of UNSMIL, Ján Kubiš, and the chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti (India). Additionally, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will deliver her semi-annual briefing on recent developments concerning cases in Libya.

There will also be a meeting on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is expected to brief. The chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Ambassador Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees (Egypt), and a Group of Five representative may also brief.

There will be a meeting on the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). Special Representative for Sudan and head of UNITAMS Volker Perthes is the expected briefer.

The Council will meet to receive a briefing on the Secretary-General’s report on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) from James Swan, Special Representative for Somalia and head of UNSOM. Francisco Madeira, head of AMISOM, may also brief.

The Council’s semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina will also take place in May. High Representative Valentin Inzko is expected to brief on the latest report of the Office of the High Representative (OHR).

The Council will also hold a meeting to hear a briefing from the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Mona Juul (Norway).

The Security Council will continue to follow closely developments in Myanmar and Ethiopia (Tigray).  Meetings on these and other issues could be scheduled during the month.