posted on Mon 4 Apr 2011 10:46 AM
Insights on the April Programme of Work

Council members met today to discuss the April programme of work. This followed the meeting of political coordinators on Friday on the programme of work.

This month Colombia has the presidency. It is looking very likely that the Council will continue to focus on Côte d’Ivoire and Libya.

This afternoon there will be a briefing in a formal public meeting by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya, Abdelilah Al-Khatib after which members will have consultations on Libya.

Tomorrow morning the Council will be briefed on Côte d’Ivoire by the head of peacekeeping, Alain Le Roy. Côte d’Ivoire will also be discussed on 13 April when the Council is briefed on the Secretary-General’s report on the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire. Later in the month the Counci will also need to meet to make a decision on the mandate of the panel of experts on Côte d’Ivoire.

Haiti is also expected to feature prominently this month. Colombia has chosen Haiti as a priority issue during its presidency and there will be a high-level meeting chaired by the Colombian president on 6 April and briefings by the Secretary-General, and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti, Bill Clinton. The president of Haiti, Rene Garcia Preval is expected to participate as is the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Haiti, Edmond Mulet. A presidential statement is expected to be adopted at the meeting. (Please see our earlier postings on Insights on Haiti for information on the draft.)

It looks like the Council may adopt up to five resolutions in April. The mandates of two UN missions – Western Sahara and Sudan – expire on 30 April and resolutions extending their mandates are expected to be adopted on 27 April.

The Council will have private meetings with the TCCs from Western Sahara and Sudan missions in mid-April ahead of the mandate renewal of these missions.

The Côte d’Ivoire sanctions regime and mandate of the panel of experts is also expected to be renewed at the end of April as is the 1540 Committee on counter-terrorism.

In addition the Council has been negotiating a resolution on piracy off the coast of Somalia and it is now scheduled to be adopted on 11 April.

There are two items on April’s programme of work which seem to follow from February’s informal consultations on the protection issues on the Council’s agenda. In separate briefings in mid-April, the head of UN Women Michelle Bachelet and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Margot Wallström will address Council members. Both briefings are likely to focus on country-specific situations. This will be Bachelet’s first time briefing the Council since UN Women became operational in January 2011.(Please see our earlier stories on Insights on Protection Issues.)

There will also be several briefings as a result of regular Secretary-General’s reports. In early April a briefing from Speical Representative Ad Melkert is expected, followed by Council consultations on UNAMI.

There is also likely to be a briefing on small arms in late April. The Secretary-General’s report on small arms, which should have been produced in April 2010, is now expected to be considered this month.

This month the Council will for the first time also formally take up the issue of Kenya’s
request to defer the ICC proceedings against six Kenyans. (Article 16 of the Rome Statute allows the Council to pass a resolution under Chapter VII authority to defer an ICC investigation or prosecution for 12 months.) Council members are expected to have informal consulations on this issue on 8 April.

There will also be a debate this month on the Middle East. The Council has had a briefing on the Middle East every month since August 2002. Every three months or so this briefing is held during an open debate.

The Council will once again receive a briefing from DPA on emerging conflicts. This briefing is now being seen as a regular monthly event by most Council members.

The “footnotes” to the Programme of Work provide an indication of other situations Council members see as likely to become part of the programme of work over the month. Currently Sudan and non-proliferation are on the footnotes. While the Darfur Political Process (DPP) is on the minds of some Council members, it is unclear if the reference to Sudan in the footnotes refers to the DPP report, which was due in February and is expected out this month, or is there to keep open the possibility of further discussions on Sudan.

Non-proliferation has been in the footnotes for the last few months as some Council members see the need for possible discussions on either DPRK or Iran.

At the end of the month Council members will attend the annual Secretary-General’s retreat. At press time the theme for the meeting had not been announced.