posted on Wed 2 Feb 2011 3:32 PM
Insights on February’s Programme of Work

Council members met today to discuss February’s Programme of Work. This month Brazil has the presidency and the Council could have around 15 days of scheduled meetings. Most of the items will be briefings or consultations. One open debate is scheduled.

The majority of the briefings are related to previously scheduled reports from the Secretariat concerning the peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, DRC, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau and Liberia. Others are part of a more or less regular cycle such as the briefings from the EU and OSCE.

The only mandate renewal expected in February is for UNMIT in Timor-Leste.

The open debate on the interdependence between security and development is expected to build on the debates over the last year on peacekeeping and peacebuilding and under Rule 37 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council, states that are not members of the Security Council wishing to participate must formally write to the president of the Council. An outcome document is likely but in the absence of substantial preparatory negotiations there is little expectation that it will contain any significant new decisions. However, it should be seen in a broader context as a part of the wider series of initiatives by Turkey, Nigeria, and Uganda in 2010 to make the case for a more proactive and holistic approach by the Council to issues on its agenda addressing root causes as well as symptoms of conflict.

Two events this month indicate continuing interest in improving the range and quality of information available to the Council by more systematic and routinised interaction with the Secretariat. On 17 February Council members in consultations will discuss with DPKO the issue of national consent for peacekeeping by the host country. On 23 February there will be a briefing by DPA on emerging conflicts. It is not known at this stage what DPA will focus on.

Two of the scheduled consultations touch on the area of working methods. Consultations with new SRSG for Burundi, Karin Landgren, early in the month will be the first time in two years the Council has followed the decision in its working methods Note from the President issued in 2006 that it should meet with SRSGs before they take up their post. The consultations on protection on 18 February will be the first time the Council will be discussing working methods systematically on protection issues.

Côte d’Ivoire is likely to be in the footnotes of the programme given the ongoing tensions there. On the other hand the draft resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestine tabled on 19 January is unlikely to be considered in February.