posted on FRI 2 DEC 2011 3:27 PM
Council’s December Programme of Work

Council members adopted December’s programme of work this morning (2 December). December is traditionally a busy month because of the high number of mandate renewals. Most of the meetings scheduled for the month under the Russian presidency are related to briefings and consultations leading up to the adoption of these mandate renewal resolutions. In addition there is usually an attempt to wrap up by 22 December, giving the Council in practice only three working weeks in the month.

It appears that the Council could adopt up to 10 resolutions this month. The mandate of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) was extended this afternoon while later in the month the mandates of the UN missions in Burundi, Cyprus, Abyei, Golan Heights and Guinea Bissau are expected to be renewed. Adoptions of resolutions on the renewal of Liberia sanctions and the extension of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) judges’ terms are also scheduled. An Eritrea resolution is also on the table and may be adopted on Monday, 5 December following a possible Council meeting with the Eritrean president and other participants from the region.

This month there will be two debates: the twice yearly debate on the ICTR and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and on Afghanistan, where Staffan de Mistura—the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan—is expected to provide his last briefing to the Council.

Currently there are briefings and consultations expected on Burundi, Central African Republic, Liberia, Cyprus, Golan Heights and Abyei related to the mandate renewals of these missions. Briefings are also expected from the Prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Sudan, Ian Martin, head of UNSMIL, and Gennady Tarasov, the High-Level Coordinator advising the Council on the Iraq-Kuwait missing persons and property issue.

There will be a number of sanctions related meetings this month. The chairs of the Iran and Libya sanctions committee are scheduled to brief Council members in the third week of December and there will also be consultations on the Liberia and Sudan sanctions committees. There will also be the end-of-term round-up by chairpersons of subsidiary bodies whose countries will be finishing their term on the Council. This briefing will cover the working groups on documentation and other procedural questions and peacekeeping, as well as the DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Iraq and Lebanon sanctions committees.

Council members are also keeping an eye on elections in a number of countries and are scheduled to hear from Roger Meese, the head of the UN mission in the DRC, this afternoon and from Albert Gerard Koenders, the head of the UN mission in Cote d’Ivoire on 8 December. There will also be a briefing by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, following his return from Yemen on 19 December.

Council members also appear to be watching developments in Somalia carefully and a briefing by the Secretary-General followed by consultations is scheduled for mid-December.

There are also a number of regular meetings on the programme of work. The horizon scanning briefing by DPA on issues of concern is currently scheduled for 16 December. The Middle East briefing and consultations and the twice yearly briefing by the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy head, Miroslav Jenca, are expected in late December.

Although not on the programme of work at the moment, it is possible that developments in Syria, Sudan and Iran could lead to Council discussions relating to these countries.