What's In Blue

Posted Tue 3 Jan 2023

Programme of Work for January 2023

Japan is the president of the Security Council in January. Council members adopted the provisional programme of work for the month earlier today (3 January). Five elected members—Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, and Switzerland—started their two-year Council terms (2023-2024) on 1 January.

Japan has chosen to organise two signature events this month. It will convene a ministerial-level open debate on “The promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security: the rule of law among nations”. Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Hayashi Yoshimasa is expected to chair the meeting. The anticipated briefers are Secretary-General António Guterres, President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Joan E. Donoghue and Dapo Akande, professor of public international law at Oxford University.

The second signature event, titled “Investment in people to enhance resilience against complex challenges”, will be held under the “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” agenda item. Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith (Bangladesh), and a civil society representative are expected to brief.

Several 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. Deputy to the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Adedeji Ebo will brief on the chemical weapons file, while Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths are expected to brief on political and humanitarian issues, respectively.

Council members are also expected to vote on a draft resolution confirming the extension of the Syria cross-border aid delivery mechanism for another six months. (Resolution 2642 of 12 July 2022 renewed the cross-border aid mechanism for six months, with a further six-month extension subject to a new resolution.)

There will also be an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on Yemen. Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths are expected to brief. Head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) Major General Michael Beary may brief during the consultations.

The Council will hold its quarterly open debate on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question” in January. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland is the anticipated briefer.

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

Regarding West Africa and the Sahel, there will be a briefing and consultations on the activities of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWAS). Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel Giovanie Biha is expected to brief. An Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) representative may also brief.

The Council is expected to renew UNOWAS’ mandate ahead of its 31 January expiry. This is likely to be done through an exchange of letters between the president of the Security Council and the Secretary-General.

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.

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 and a civil society representative may brief.

Regarding European issues, 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 also hold a meeting with UNFICYP’s troop-contributing countries, in which Stewart will participate.

The Council may hold one or more meetings on the situation in Ukraine, depending on developments on the ground.

Two issues in the Americas will be discussed this month. The Council will hold its quarterly meeting on Colombia. 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 are also likely to vote on a draft resolution expanding the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to verify the implementation of the chapter on comprehensive rural reform and the ethnic chapter of the 2016 Final Agreement for Ending the Conflict and Building a Stable and Lasting Peace between the government of Colombia and the former rebel group Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP).

There will be an open briefing and closed consultations on Haiti. Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) Helen La Lime may brief.

This month, 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.

Council members will also be following developments related to Afghanistan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and Nagorno-Karabakh (a contested territory which has an ethnic Armenian majority and is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan). They may choose to convene meetings on these and other issues.

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