posted on Wed 2 Jan 2019 4:42 PM
Security Council Programme of Work for January 2019

The Dominican Republic is Security Council president this month. It is one of five new members beginning their two-year Council terms on 1 January, with Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, and South Africa. The Dominican Republic’s signature event for the month will be an open debate on addressing the impacts of climate-related disasters on international peace and security. Potential briefers for this meeting include Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo and UN Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner. President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic is expected to chair the meeting, and several member states are likely to participate at ministerial level.

The Council is expected to discuss several African issues during the month. Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Nicholas Haysom is expected to brief the Council on Somalia. The government has reportedly ordered Haysom to leave the country, alleging that he interfered in its sovereign affairs. Haysom’s briefing will be followed by consultations.

Special Representative and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Leila Zerrougui will brief the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on MONUSCO and the most recent developments in the country. Consultations will follow.

Special Representative and head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Mohamed Ibn Chambas is scheduled to provide a briefing, followed by consultations, on developments in the region and the semi-annual UNOWAS report.

Assistant Secretary-General for Peace Operations Bintou Keita will brief on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Consultations are also expected to follow her briefing.

Special Representative and head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) Ghassan Salamé will provide a briefing, followed by consultations, on Libya.

Council members are scheduled to hold consultations on the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) late in the month, featuring a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Horst Koehler.

Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland), chair of the 1591 Sudan Sanctions Committee, is scheduled to provide the quarterly briefing to the Security Council on the committee’s work.

Before the end of the month, the Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the Central African Republic sanctions regime and its Panel of Experts.

Regarding the Middle East, the monthly meetings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapon files in Syria are scheduled this month in keeping with standard practice. It is unclear who will provide the briefing on political issues, which will be followed by consultations. (Geir O. Pedersen is the Secretary-General’s new Special Envoy for Syria.) High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu is scheduled to brief members in consultations on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock will brief the Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria; consultations are expected to follow his briefing.

The quarterly open debate on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will feature a briefing by Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov (via video-teleconference).

The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) ahead of its 31 January expiry. Earlier in the month, Special Representative and head of mission Elizabeth Spehar is expected to brief members in consultations on the latest UNFICYP report and recent developments. A meeting is also scheduled with UNFICYP troop-contributing countries this month.

The Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), Natalia Gherman, is expected to brief Council members in consultations in January on UNRCCA’s activities.

The Council will receive a briefing on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia from Special Representative and head of mission Carlos Ruiz Massieu. Consultations are expected to follow the briefing.

Non-proliferation and Ukraine are in the footnotes of the programme of work. These and other issues could also be addressed during the month.