What's In Blue

Posted Tue 1 Aug 2023

Security Council Plan of Work for August 2023

The United States is the president of the Security Council in August. In an unusual but not unprecedented development, Council members were unable to reach agreement on the provisional programme of work for the month, due to Russia’s objections primarily to the inclusion of Ukraine on the programme.[1] Instead, a “plan of work” has been circulated, which includes a meeting on Ukraine scheduled for 24 August.

During her briefing to the press earlier today, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (US) said that the protection of human rights would be a fundamental theme of the US presidency.

As the signature event of its presidency, the US plans to convene a ministerial-level open debate early in the month on “Famine and conflict-induced food insecurity. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will chair. Expected briefers include UN Famine Prevention and Response Coordinator Reena Ghelani; Navyn Salem, the founder and CEO of Edesia—a non-profit that combats malnutrition; and President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband.

Also anticipated in August is a briefing on the Secretary-General’s bi-annual strategic-level report on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) to international peace and security. Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism and head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) Natalia Gherman, and a civil society representative are the expected briefers.

Several Middle Eastern issues are on the plan of work this month. A briefing and consultations are planned on the Syria political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks. Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen is the scheduled briefer on the Syria political track, while an OCHA representative will brief on humanitarian issues in the country. Office of Disarmament Affairs (ODA) Deputy to the High Representative Adedeji Ebo is the anticipated briefer on chemical weapons issues.

The plan of action includes the monthly open briefing and closed consultations on Yemen. Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg is expected to brief via videoconference. An OCHA representative may brief as well. The head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA), Major General Michael Beary, is expected to brief during the consultations.

The monthly meeting on “The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” will include a briefing via videoconference by Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland. Consultations are scheduled to follow.

The Council will hold a private meeting with troop-contributing countries of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon. Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Mohamed Khaled Khiari is expected to brief Council members on UNIFIL’s work in closed consultations. Late in the month, the Council is scheduled to adopt a resolution renewing UNIFIL’s mandate.

Regarding African issues, there is an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on Mali to consider the Secretary-General’s plan for the transfer of the tasks of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Special Representative and head of MINUSMA El-Ghassim Wane is the anticipated briefer in the open session. A civil society representative may brief in the open session as well. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare are expected to participate in the closed consultations.

An open briefing, followed by closed consultations, is planned on the work of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the 1970 Libya sanctions regime. Special Representative and head of UNSMIL Abdoulaye Bathily will brief on UNSMIL’s activities. A civil society representative may participate in the meeting as well. The chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Kimihiro Ishikane (Japan), is expected to brief on the committee’s activities.

Two Asian issues are currently on the plan of action. Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Kaha Imnadze is expected to brief Security Council members on UNRCCA’s work in closed consultations.

Closed consultations on the activities of the 1718 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are scheduled in August as well. Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl (Switzerland) is scheduled to brief Council members on the 90-day report on the Committee’s work.

The Council is likely to address issues in the Americas this month. Council members have been negotiating a draft resolution addressing the Colombian government’s request for expanding the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia to support dialogue efforts with armed groups operating in the country, including through the monitoring of ceasefires. A vote on this draft resolution might be scheduled in the near future.

The situation in Haiti is likely to be discussed this month. During her press briefing today, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said that the US would be working with other Council members on a resolution to support a multi-national force, in light of Kenya’s recent announcement that it would be willing to lead such a force.

Council members will also be following the situation in Niger closely. Meetings on Niger and other issues could be scheduled this month, depending on developments.

A wrap-up session is planned for 31 August.

[1] In September 2018, also during the US presidency, the adoption of the provisional program of work was delayed because of objections to holding a meeting on Nicaragua.


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