Programme of Work for May 2023
Switzerland is the president of the Security Council in May. Council members adopted the provisional programme of work for the month earlier today (1 May).
As one of the signature events of its presidency, Switzerland will organise an open debate on “Futureproofing Trust for Sustaining Peace”, under the “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace” agenda item. Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis will chair the debate. The expected briefers are UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk; Cynthia Chigwenya, AU Youth Ambassador for Peace for Southern Africa; and ‘Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President and Professor of Security, Leadership and Development at King’s College London.
The second signature event is the Security Council’s annual open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. President of the Swiss Confederation Alain Berset is expected to chair the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, and a woman civil society representative are the anticipated briefers. The focus of this year’s debate will be on food insecurity and the protection of essential services and critical infrastructure in conflict situations.
Upon the request of the Council’s three African members (Gabon, Ghana, and Mozambique), Switzerland will convene a briefing on peace and security in Africa to discuss the Secretary-General’s upcoming report on the financing of AU-led peace support operations, that will be submitted pursuant to a 31 August 2022 presidential statement (S/PRST/2022/6). UN and AU officials as well as a civil society representative are expected to brief.
The Security Council will convene for the annual briefing by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) in May. North Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, in his capacity as the current CiO, will brief at the meeting, which will be chaired by Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.
The Security Council may hold one or more meetings on the situation in Ukraine, depending on developments on the ground.
The Council will also hold its semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in May.
This month, the chair of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (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.
Several African issues will be discussed in May.
Regarding Sudan, the Council is scheduled to hold an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) in the latter part of the month. Special Representative for Sudan and head of UNITAMS Volker Perthes is expected to brief. A civil society representative may also brief. Council members will also continue to closely monitor the situation in the country, and may convene additional meetings on the issue, depending on developments on the ground.
On Sudan/South Sudan, the Council is expected to hold an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA). Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO) Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee and Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa Hanna Serwaa Tetteh are the anticipated briefers.
The Security Council also expects to receive the biannual briefing of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor, Karim Asad Ahmad Khan, on the ICC’s Libya-related activities.
There will be a briefing, followed by consultations, on the counter-terrorism Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel (FC-G5S), established in 2017 by Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger (G5 Sahel). Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO) Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee is expected to brief. G5 Sahel Executive Secretary Eric Tiaré and a civil society representative may also brief.
Council members expect to vote on a draft resolution renewing the South Sudan sanctions regime, including targeted sanctions and the arms embargo, which expires on 31 May and the mandate of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts, which expires on 1 July.
Several Middle Eastern issues are on the programme of work this month.
The Security Council is expected to vote on a draft resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Prior to that, Special Representative for Iraq and head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will brief the Council on recent developments in Iraq and the Secretary-General’s upcoming reports on UNAMI and the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-party nationals and missing Kuwaiti property. A civil society representative may 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 track. The joint meeting on political and humanitarian issues will feature briefings from Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths. A civil society representative may also brief at that meeting.
Council members expect to receive their biannual briefing in consultations on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1559. Adopted in 2004, this resolution called for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon, the disarmament of all militias, and the extension of government control over the whole Lebanese territory. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo is the anticipated briefer.
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. A civil society representative may also brief. Head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) Major General Michael Beary may brief during the consultations.
The Security Council will convene for 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. A civil society representative may also brief.
Council members will also be closely following developments related to Afghanistan. They may choose to convene a meeting on this or other issues during the month, depending on developments.