What's In Blue

Posted Wed 1 Feb 2023

Programme of Work for February 2023

Malta is the president of the Security Council in February. Council members adopted the provisional programme of work for the month earlier today (1 February).

Malta has chosen to organise two signature events. There will be a ministerial-level open debate on sea-level rise and its implications for international peace and security. Malta’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg is expected to chair the meeting. The anticipated briefers are Secretary-General António Guterres, General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi, a representative of the International Law Commission Study Group on Sea-level Rise, and a civil society representative.

The second signature event is a briefing on children and armed conflict that will focus on prevention of grave violations against children. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba; the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid; and a civil society representative are expected to brief. Malta plans to prepare a summary of the briefing as an outcome of the meeting.

Aside from these signature events, Malta will convene a briefing on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations, which will focus on the partnership with the EU. Borg is expected to chair the meeting. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles is the anticipated briefer.

The Security Council is also expected to hold a high-level debate on the situation in Ukraine on 24 February to mark the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country. Borg will chair the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres and a civil society representative may brief.

Three other meetings on Ukraine are scheduled for February. There will be a meeting on the humanitarian situation on 6 February, which was requested by Ecuador and France, and a meeting requested by Russia on Western arms supplies to Ukraine on 8 February. On 17 February, the Council will hold a meeting on the “Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements”, also known as the Minsk II agreement, at the request of Russia.

Several Middle Eastern issues are on the programme this month.

The Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the Yemen financial and travel ban sanctions, which expire on 28 February, and the mandate of the Yemen Panel of Experts, which expires on 28 March. Council members will also be briefed on Yemen in closed consultations. Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Joyce Msuya are expected to brief. The head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), Major General Michael Beary, and the chair of the 2140 Yemen Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Ferit Hoxha (Albania), may also brief.

On Iraq, there will be a briefing on the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Special Representative and head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will brief on recent developments in Iraq and the Secretary-General’s reports on UNAMI and the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-party nationals and missing Kuwaiti property. A civil society representative might also brief. Closed consultations are scheduled to follow the open briefing.

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. The Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Fernando Arias, may also brief at the meeting on the chemical weapons track. 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.

The Council will also hold its monthly meeting on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question”. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland is expected to brief. Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Philippe Lazzarini may also brief.

Several African issues will be discussed in February.

Council members are expected to vote on a draft resolution renewing the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee.

The Council will convene for an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic (CAR) and head of MINUSCA Valentine Rugwabiza is the anticipated briefer.

There will be an open briefing and closed consultations on Somalia. Acting Special Representative for Somalia and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Kiki Gbeho is expected to brief. Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission (SRCC) for Somalia and head of the AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Souef Mohamed El-Amine and a civil society representative may brief. Additionally, the Council will hold a briefing with the chair of the 751 Al-Shabaab Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Ishikane Kimihiro (Japan).

The Security Council will hold an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and head of UNSMIL Abdoulaye Bathily is expected to brief.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the one Asian issue on this month’s programme. The chair of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl (Switzerland), is expected to brief Council members in closed consultations on the 90-day report regarding the committee’s work.

In February, the Security Council is scheduled to hold a briefing on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts based on the Secretary-General’s 16th strategic-level report on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov and Acting Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Weixiong Chen are expected to brief. A civil society representative may also brief.

Council members will also be closely following developments related to Afghanistan, Haiti, and Iran. They may choose to convene meetings on these and other issues.

Malta has signed on to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) commitments and intends to highlight this issue during its presidency. This month’s Somalia meeting is expected to have a WPS focus, in line with these commitments.

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