posted on MON 19 OCT 2020
Debate on “Comprehensive Review of the Situation in the Persian Gulf Region”

Tomorrow (20 October), the Security Council will hold a ministerial-level debate via videoconference under the agenda item “Maintenance of international peace and security” on: “Comprehensive review of the situation in the Persian Gulf region”. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to preside. Secretary-General António Guterres; Robert Malley, the President and CEO of International Crisis Group; and Vitaly Naumkin, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, are the anticipated briefers.

This meeting is a signature event of Russia’s October presidency of the Council. It builds on a vision for collective security in the Persian Gulf that it shared with members of the Security Council and the wider UN membership through a letter to the Secretary-General in July 2019 (S/2019/604). According to the letter, key principles of this security system for the Gulf would, among other things, be based on: countering terrorism, including by mobilising public opinion in Muslim and other countries against this threat; committing to international law and Security Council resolutions; respecting the security interests of regional and other key actors in the Persian Gulf; and making and carrying out decisions through multilateral approaches. In addition to countering international terrorism, priority issues to be tackled are crises in Iraq, Yemen, and Syria, as well as the implementation of the agreements with respect to Iran’s nuclear programme. Ultimately, according to the letter, the long-term objective would be to create an Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Persian Gulf that includes countries in the region, Russia, China, the US, the EU, and India—as well as other interested actors who would be associate members or observers. Also in July 2019, the Russian Foreign Ministry presented its proposal in Moscow to representatives of Arab states, Iran, Turkey, the other permanent members of the Security Council, the EU, the Arab League, and the BRICS countries (comprising, in addition to Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa) accredited in Moscow.

Russia has continued to promote its collective security vision for the region in recent months. This August, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that a summit of the permanent members of the Security Council be convened, with the participation of Germany and Iran, to generate confidence-building mechanisms in the Persian Gulf area.

In preparation for tomorrow’s meeting, Russia has circulated a concept paper to help guide the discussion. It outlines objectives for the meeting, including: to consider the key factors that characterise the current situation in the Persian Gulf; to ascertain the shared views among states in the region towards potential normalisation of the situation there; to identify common priorities that partners from outside the region can coalesce around to help Gulf countries to strike agreements; to discuss ways to reduce tensions in the Persian Gulf; and to explore ideas for collective security mechanisms in the region.

Questions posed for discussion in the concept note include:

  • What factors hinder the normalisation of relations between the countries in the region?
  • How can we overcome a situation in which unilateral steps prevail over collective action?
  • What political and practical measures would help to reduce mistrust among the states in the region?
  • Is it possible to develop a set of confidence-building measures using one of the crisis situations in the region as an example, which will be further used on a common regional platform?
  • How can the UN be involved in creating a non-conflict atmosphere, encouraging regional actors to engage in dialogue, mediating efforts, and guaranteeing respect for future agreements?
  • What are the ways to further protect the inviolability of the key principles of national sovereignty, as well as integrity and unity of the states’ territories?

In tomorrow’s meeting, members will most likely make an effort to consider cross-cutting issues and common security challenges—such as the threats posed by terrorism and weapons of mass destruction—and discuss ways to promote cooperation in the Persian Gulf area and to contribute more effectively to regional peace and security.  Nonetheless, in spite of this broad focus, some members may choose to share their views on specific country situations. For example, there could be expressions of support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Iran’s nuclear programme from those that support the JCPOA and criticism of it from the US, which opposes the agreement and has tended to emphasise Iran’s destablising role in the region.

posted on MON 19 OCT 2020
Nagorno-Karabakh Consultations

This afternoon (19 October) Security Council members will hold consultations on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK). France, Russia, and the US called for the meeting amid the current escalation of violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding... Read more »

posted on FRI 16 OCT 2020
Central African Republic: Briefing and Consultations

On Monday (19 October), the Security Council will meet for a briefing, followed by consultations, on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2020/994) on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Special Representative for the Central African... Read more »

posted on WED 14 OCT 2020
UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) Mandate Renewal

Tomorrow morning (15 October), the Security Council is scheduled to meet in person to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) for another year, until 15 October 2021. The US, the penholder on... Read more »

posted on WED 14 OCT 2020
Mali: Presidential Statement on Political Transition

Tomorrow (15 October), the Security Council will adopt a presidential statement that welcomes the new transitional arrangements in Mali following the 18 August coup d’état, and outlines expectations of the way forward. France, as the penholder on Mali, circulated a... Read more »

posted on TUE 13 OCT 2020
Colombia Briefing via Videoconference

Tomorrow afternoon (14 October), the Security Council will hold its quarterly meeting on Colombia via videoconference. Special Representative and head of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia Carlos Ruiz Massieu is expected to brief on recent developments and the Secretary-General’s... Read more »

posted on FRI 9 OCT 2020
Cyprus Consultations and Presidential Statement

This afternoon (9 October) the Security Council will hold in-person consultations on Cyprus. Special Representative and head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Elizabeth Spehar is expected to brief via videoconference (VTC). The Republic of Cyprus requested the... Read more »

posted on THU 8 OCT 2020
Arria-formula Meeting on Mediation

Tomorrow (9 October), there will be a virtual Arria-formula meeting on mediation. Council members Belgium, Germany, Viet Nam and non-Council member Switzerland are jointly hosting the meeting. Council members, other UN member states, representatives of the Group of Friends of... Read more »

posted on WED 7 OCT 2020
Mali: Briefing and Consultations

Tomorrow (8 October), the Security Council will hear a briefing from Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Special Representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). This is foreseen as the first formal meeting in the Council... Read more »

posted on THU 1 OCT 2020
Security Council Programme of Work for October

Russia is the president of the Security Council in October. The Council plans to hold several meetings in person this month, although some will take place via videoconference (VTC) due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19. As a signature event of... Read more »

posted on THU 1 OCT 2020
Arria-formula Meeting: Access to education in conflict and post-conflict settings

On Friday (2 October), there will be an Arria-formula meeting on: “Access to education in conflict and post conflict contexts: Role of digital technology and connectivity”. Security Council members co-sponsoring the meeting are Belgium, China, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France,... Read more »

posted on THU 1 OCT 2020
Libya: Adoption of a Resolution

Tomorrow morning (2 October), the Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the authorisation for member states, acting nationally or through regional organisations, to inspect vessels on the high seas off the coast of Libya that they have... Read more »

posted on MON 28 SEP 2020
Annual Meetings with the AU Peace and Security Council

Members of the UN Security Council will hold an informal joint seminar on Tuesday (29 September), followed by a joint consultative meeting the next day (30 September), with members of the AU Peace and Security Council. The consultative meetings have... Read more »

posted on THU 24 SEP 2020
Colombia Verification Mission Mandate Renewal

Tomorrow morning (25 September), the Security Council is set to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Verification Mission in Colombia until 25 September 2021. The Council is expected to vote on the draft resolution in person at... Read more »

posted on THU 24 SEP 2020
Sudan: Briefing on UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan and the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur

Tomorrow (25 September), the Council is scheduled to have an in-person briefing on Sudan in the ECOSOC chamber. The briefing will be followed by closed consultations. Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) Rosemary DiCarlo and Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations... Read more »