posted on Thu 17 Feb 2011 10:35 AM
Insights on Protection Issues

Tomorrow, Council members will have informal consultations on three thematic areas on the Council’s agenda–protection of civilians, women, peace and security and children and armed conflict. This is the first time Council members will be considering these three areas together. There will be briefings from the OCHA head, Baroness Valerie Amos, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy and the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallstrom.

Brazil, who as Council president initiated this idea, has made it clear in response to some Council members’ concerns that it is not trying to micro-manage existing mechanisms. Rather it hopes to have a constructive discussion on issues relating to these areas.

A possible outcome of these discussions may be an agreement to look at whether it might be possible to distribute the debates on women, peace and security, sexual violence, protection of civilians and children and armed conflict more evenly over the year. This would require tweaking the reporting schedule for some of the thematic reports.

Some members appear keen to have more regular informal consultations on protection issues in order to give Council members a better idea of the type of implementation or follow-up taking place between reports. It remains to be seen however if there will be enough consensus tomorrow for such discussions to become a regular part of the Council’s programme of work.