posted on WED 4 JAN 2012 6:30 PM
Council’s January Programme of Work

Today (4 January) Council members adopted January’s programme of work. Among the highlights this month under South Africa’s presidency is a debate on the UN-AU relationship, as well as open debates on justice and rule of law, and the Middle East.

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to preside over the high-level debate on the strategic partnership between the UN and the AU in the maintenance of peace and security, with the Secretary-General briefing on his report on this subject. The justice and rule of law open debate may be preceded by an Arria formula meeting. The regular Middle East open debate, which is held every three months, will take place later in January and include a briefing by Special Coordinator Robert Serry.

Sudan continues to be a key focus in January. Tomorrow (Thursday, 5 January), Council members are scheduled to be briefed on the latest developments and rising tensions in South Sudan by peacekeeping head, Hervé Ladsous. Council members will focus on South Sudan again in late January when they are scheduled to have consultations on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and may be reviewing the force level of the mission. (On 8 July 2011, in resolution 1996, the Council expressed its intention to review the force level of UNMISS after three months and six months to determine whether conditions on the ground could permit a reduction of military personnel from a maximum of 7,000 to 6,000.)

Early in the month there will be a briefing, most probably by the AU-UN Joint Special Representative, Ibrahim Gambari, on the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the AU-UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). This meeting is expected to be chaired by South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana.

Council members are also expected to pay attention to Somalia with a briefing currently scheduled on 11 January, one day ahead of the open debate on the UN-AU partnership. Foreign Minister Nkoana is again expected to chair with an African delegation participating, led by the AU. The focus is likely to be the deployment of an enhanced AMISOM.

Several reports are scheduled for discussion in January. The six-monthly report from the Secretary-General on the activities of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), which came out in December will be taken up in mid-January. The head of UNOWA, Said Djinnit, is expected to brief the Council.

Towards the end of the month, the Council is expected to be briefed by Special Representative Bert Koenders on the midterm report on the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). Council members are scheduled to have consultations on Côte d’Ivoire following the briefing and may issue a press statement welcoming the successful conduct of the December 2011 legislative elections.

Also towards the end of January, Council members will be briefed on the findings of the UN inter-agency assessment mission that was jointly sent by the UN and AU to the Sahel region in December 2011 to assess the impact of the Libya crisis on the contiguous countries of Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Chad.

In mid-January, the Council is scheduled to have consultations on Iraq’s progress towards ratification of the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in accordance with resolution 1957. Council members will also discuss Iraq’s compliance with making required deposits to the compensation fund established under resolution 687 (1991) and the post-Development Fund for Iraq mechanism.

Libya continues to be on the Council’s programme of work in the form of a monthly briefing from Ian Martin, head of UNSMIL. Council members are watching the situation closely as Libya moves from conflict to peacebuilding.

The Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, is scheduled to brief in consultations in line with the invitation in resolution 1998 to brief the Council “on the modalities of the inclusion of parties into the annexes of the periodic report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict”.

For the first time, the Council will be briefed this month on the work of the 1988 Committee on the Taliban since it was created in June 2011. The briefing is likely to focus on the constitution of the 1988 Committee and the approval of the guidelines for the Committee’s work.

Among the regular Council activities is the 60-day briefing on Yemen, as requested in resolution 2014. Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser on Yemen, is expected to provide a report on the implementation of the resolution. Additionally, DPA head B. Lynn Pascoe will provide a monthly briefing on issues of concern. This month the briefing is expected to focus largely on Syria. In addition, the Russian draft resolution on Syria is still on the table and Council members are expected to continue discussions on this issue in January.

Council members are also keeping an eye on the post-election situation in the DRC and non-proliferation issues with respect to the DPRK.