What's In Blue

Posted Thu 1 Feb 2024

Programme of Work for February 2024

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

In addition to the scheduled meetings in New York, Council members will conduct a visiting mission to Colombia between 7 and 11 February.

Guyana has chosen to organise one signature event, a high-level open debate which will explore the effects of climate change and food insecurity on the maintenance of international peace and security. Guyanese President Mohamed Irfaan Ali is expected to chair the meeting, at which Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to make opening remarks. Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Simon Stiell, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Deputy Director-General Beth Bechdol, and a civil society representative are the anticipated briefers. Guyana plans to produce a chair’s summary of the meeting.

February marks the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Although a meeting on Ukraine is currently not included on the Security Council’s provisional programme of work, the Council is likely to have one or more meetings on the country during the month.

The Security Council is also expected to hold a briefing on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts based on the Secretary-General’s 18th strategic-level report on the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). The anticipated briefers are Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism and Head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) Natalia Gherman, and Secretary General of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) Jürgen Stock.

Several Middle Eastern issues are on the programme this month.

The Security Council will hold a briefing on the situation in Iraq. Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert will brief on recent developments in the country and on the Secretary-General’s latest reports on UNAMI and the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-party nationals and missing Kuwaiti property. Closed consultations are scheduled to follow the open briefing.

There will be an open briefing, followed by closed consultations, on Yemen. Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg, an OCHA official, Head of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA) Major General Michael Beary are likely to brief. A civil society representative may also brief.

The Security Council will 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. Additional meetings on this issue may be convened depending on developments in Israel and Gaza.

The Council will also hold its monthly meeting on the political and humanitarian situations in Syria. Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen and an OCHA official are expected to brief on political and humanitarian developments, respectively.

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 Security Council will also convene for a briefing on the situation in Libya. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Abdoulaye Bathily will brief on recent political, security, and humanitarian developments in the country. The chair of the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee, Ambassador Yamazaki Kazuyuki (Japan), will also brief on the committee’s activities. Closed consultations are scheduled to follow the open briefing.

The Council plans to hold an open briefing and closed consultations on the situation in Somalia. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Catriona Laing 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 may also brief.

There will be 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.

Regarding Asian issues, the Security Council will hold a private meeting on Afghanistan in line with resolution 2721 of 29 December 2023. This resolution, among other matters, requested the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy on Afghanistan in consultation with a range of stakeholders, welcomed the Secretary-General’s intention to convene the next meeting of the group of Special Envoys and Special Representatives on Afghanistan, and encouraged the meeting to discuss the recommendations of the independent assessment on Afghanistan. The resolution requested the Secretary-General to brief the Council within 60 days on the outcome of these consultations and discussions. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo may brief at the meeting.

The Council plans to hold a private meeting on Myanmar early in the month. Special Envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for Myanmar Alounkeo Kittikhoun and a senior UN Secretariat official may brief.

Council members will also be closely following developments related to Haiti, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the regional spillover from the Israel-Hamas war, including Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. They may choose to convene meetings on these and other issues.

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