What's In Blue

Plan of Work for September 2023

Albania is the president of the Security Council in September.

Council members were unable to reach agreement on the provisional programme of work for the month, due to Russia’s apparent objection to the inclusion of Ukraine on the programme. Instead, Albania has circulated a “plan of work”, which will be published on the presidency’s website and social media. Council members were similarly unable to agree on last month’s programme of work because of objections raised by Russia to the programme proposed by the US, August’s Council President. (For more information, see our 1 August What’s in Blue story.)

Albania plans to organise two signature events. It will convene an open debate on “Advancing Public-Private Humanitarian Partnership”. The meeting is expected to focus on how to better coordinate between member states, the private sector, philanthropies, and other humanitarian actors in responding to humanitarian crises.  Albanian Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Olta Xhaçka will chair the meeting. The expected briefers are Cindy H. McCain, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP); Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Futures—a philanthropic venture that funds science and technology research; Michael Miebach, CEO of the payment-processing corporation Mastercard; and a civil society representative.

The second signature event is a high-level open debate on “Upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter through effective multilateralism: Maintenance of peace and security of Ukraine”. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is expected to chair the meeting, which will be held during the UN General Assembly’s high-level segment. Secretary-General António Guterres may brief. At a press conference on this month’s plan of work held today (1 September), Ambassador Ferit Hoxha (Albania) noted that the open debate would be the first meeting on Ukraine held at the level of heads of state. He expressed hope that the meeting could serve as an opportunity for leaders to examine ways to resolve the crisis, including by discussing proposed peace initiatives.

In September, the Council will convene for its annual working methods open debate, which will be held under the “Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2017/507)” agenda item. Ambassador Ferit Hoxha (Albania), the chair of the Informal Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions (IWG), is the anticipated briefer.

This month, the Security Council will hold a briefing on peacekeeping reform pursuant to resolution 2378 of 20 September 2017. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is expected to brief.

Council members will also hold a high-level Informal Interactive Dialogue (IID) with representatives of the League of Arab States (LAS). Albanian Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Olta Xhaçka will chair the meeting, which is being convened in accordance with a 29 January 2021 Security Council presidential statement (S/PRST/2021/2) that encouraged the holding of an informal meeting between Council members and LAS representatives on the margins of the General Assembly’s high-level segment. The expected participants are LAS Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and members of the Arab Summit Troika—a group of three rotating countries that monitor the implementation of resolutions and commitments adopted by the LAS, which consists of the outgoing, current, and incoming Arab Summit chairs (Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain).

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

Regarding Iraq, the Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD), which expires on 17 September.

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 for Syria Geir O. Pedersen and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths are the scheduled briefers in a joint meeting on political and humanitarian issues. A civil society representative may also brief at the joint meeting.

Council members will convene for closed consultations on Yemen. The expected briefers are Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Joyce Msuya, and Head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) Major General Michael Beary.

Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland is expected to brief during the Council’s monthly meeting on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”.

Several African issues will also be discussed in September.

Council members are expected to vote on a draft resolution renewing the authorisation granted by resolution 2240 of 9 October 2015, allowing member states acting in their national capacity or through regional organisations to intercept vessels off the coast of Libya suspected of migrant smuggling or human trafficking.

On Sudan, there will be an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). An official from the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths are expected to brief. A civil society representative may also brief. This month, the chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Harold Adlai Agyeman (Ghana), is expected to provide the quarterly briefing on the committee’s work.

The Council will convene for an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and head of UNMISS Nicholas Haysom and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Joyce Msuya will brief. A civil society representative may also brief.

There will be a briefing and consultations on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Bintou Keita is expected to brief. A civil society representative might also brief. The chair of the 1533 DRC Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Michel Xavier Biang (Gabon), may also brief on the committee’s work.

On Somalia, the Security Council is expected to negotiate a draft resolution allowing the one-off disposal of charcoal stockpiles in and around the city of Kismayo. Members may also hold a meeting to discuss the situation in Las Anod, a disputed area between Puntland and Somaliland.

Regarding Asian issues, the Security Council will convene for its quarterly meeting on Afghanistan. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Roza Otunbayeva is expected to brief. UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous and a civil society representative may also brief.

The situation in Haiti is likely to be discussed this month. Council members are expected to start negotiating a draft resolution authorising the deployment of a multinational non-UN force, in light of Kenya’s announcement in late July that it would be willing to lead such a force.

Council members will also be closely following developments in Niger and Gabon, where leaders have been deposed in military coups d’état on 26 July and 30 August, respectively. Members may choose to convene meetings on these and other issues.

Albania has outlined several working methods commitments for its presidency this month. These include enhancing transparency by seeking to reach agreement among Council members on press elements to be delivered at the end of closed consultations. Albania has also pledged to circulate a suggested focus to Council members and briefers ahead of each meeting to guide Council discussions with the aim of achieving action-oriented outputs.

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