What's In Blue

Posted Tue 4 Jan 2022

Programme of Work for January 2022

Norway is the president of the Security Council in January. Council members adopted the provisional programme of work for the month earlier today (4 January). Five new members—Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—commenced their two-year terms (2022-2023) on 1 January.

The Council plans to meet in person this month. However, it may need to conduct some of its work virtually, depending on developments in the COVID-19 situation. These developments may also affect the in-person participation by non-Council members in open debates.

As one of its signature events, Norway will organise a ministerial-level open debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) under the theme “Protecting Participation: Addressing Violence Targeting Women in Peace and Security Processes”. Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt will chair the meeting. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and one or more civil society representatives are expected to brief.

Norway will also convene a high-level open debate on the protection of civilians, which will address the theme “Wars in cities: protection of civilians in urban settings”. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will chair the meeting and participation is expected at the level of head of state/of government. The anticipated briefers are Secretary-General António Guterres, ICRC President Peter Maurer and a civil society representative.

In addition to these signature events, Norway plans to organise a Security Council president’s retreat in January. It will be akin to a mini-Oslo Forum, allowing Council members to hold an informal closed discussion on the theme “Preventive diplomacy and mediation”. At the retreat, Secretary-General António Guterres will present his vision for the future of preventive diplomacy and members will hold a session on “Talking with all conflict actors”. There will also be three sessions addressing specific conflict situations—Colombia, Afghanistan and the Sahel— in which mediators, negotiators and other actors from the field are expected to participate.

The Council’s quarterly open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” will take place in January. It will be convened at ministerial level and chaired by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland and one or more civil society representatives are expected to brief.

Several other Middle Eastern issues are on the programme of work this month.

The Council will hold its monthly meetings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks in Syria. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu will brief on the chemical weapons file. Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen and a civil society representative are expected to brief on the political situation, while Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ramesh Rajasingham and a civil society representative are expected to brief on humanitarian issues.

There will also be an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on Yemen. The anticipated briefers are Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths and a civil society representative.

Two Asian issues will be discussed in January. The Council will hold an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the situation in Afghanistan. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre is expected to chair the meeting. Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Deborah Lyons and a civil society representative are expected to brief. Norway intends to open the meeting for rule 37 participation by Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries.

Council members will hold closed consultations on the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA). Special Representative and head of the UNRCCA Natalia Gherman will brief on the UNRCCA’s work.

The Security Council plans to address several African issues this month.

There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). A UN Secretariat official is expected to brief. The chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti (India), is scheduled to brief on the committee’s work. A civil society representative may also brief. Council members are expected to vote on a draft resolution renewing UNSMIL’s mandate ahead of its 31 January expiry.

There will be a briefing and consultations on the activities of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS). The anticipated briefers are Special Representative and head of UNOWAS Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Ghada Fathi Waly and a civil society representative.

Council members may also vote on a resolution initiated by Ghana and Norway on piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea during the month.

There will be an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Special Representative and head of MINUSMA El-Ghassim Wane will brief. A civil society representative is also expected to brief.

On Sudan, the Council is expected to receive the semi-annual briefing on the ICC’s Darfur-related activities from ICC Prosecutor Karim Asad Ahmad Khan.

This month, the Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) ahead of its 31 January expiry. Prior to that, Council members will receive a briefing in consultations on the situation in Cyprus from Special Representative and head of UNFICYP Colin Stewart.

The Council will hold its quarterly meeting on Colombia in January. The anticipated briefers are Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu and a civil society representative.

Council members will also be closely following developments related to Sudan, Ethiopia, Ukraine, and Myanmar. They may choose to convene meetings on these and other issues.

During its presidency, Norway plans to build on last year’s coordinated WPS focus, which was initiated by Ireland, Kenya and Mexico. In December 2021, then-Council member Niger, Norway, the UAE, and Albania issued a statement of shared commitments on WPS for their respective presidencies. In addition to the high-level open debate on WPS, this month’s Yemen meeting is also expected to have a WPS focus, in line with these commitments.

Sign up for What's In Blue emails