NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 1 -Next week in New York there will be another NYC Marathon. While over 30,000 athletes from all over the world will meet on Sunday at the Verrazzano Bidge, the 15 current Security Council members and the incoming members (Bolivia; Ethiopia; Italy and the Netherlands, who are sharing a split term; Kazakhstan; and Sweden) will participate in the annual “Hitting the Ground Running” workshop outside of Manhattan organised by the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN.
Some Italian diplomats are running the legendary five borough race. For more seder nary types the workshop will provide an opportunity to engage in a frank exchange on the state of the Council, its approach to various agenda items and the dynamics among its members. The report summarising last year’s meeting can be found here.
Senegal holds the Council presidency in November (Italy will do the same a year from now). The month has got off to a busy start with a presidential statement adopted welcoming the election of President Michel Aoun of Lebanon. A presidential statement on Mali condemning ceasefire violations and urging the parties to deliver on their obligations under the peace agreement is under silence until 10 am tomorrow, when the Council will be briefed also on the Mosul offensive by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien and Assistant Secretary for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour.
Senegal’s presidency will feature two open debates, one on asymmetric threats facing peace operations and another on water, peace and security. The annual briefing on UN policing in peacekeeping operations will be held this month with Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous and four police commissioners: Bruce Munyambo (UN Mission in South Sudan), Priscilla Makotose (UN-AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur), Brigadier General Georges-Pierre Monchotte (UN Stablization Mission in Haiti) and Issoufou Yacouba (UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali).
The other thematic issue on the programme of work this month focuses on cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations. The Council is expected to receive a briefing from the Iyad bin Amin Madani, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on cooperation between the UN and the OIC. A debate will be held on cooperation between the UN and the African Union.
Two Arria formula meetings are planned in November, one on ISIL and one on cybersecurity. A visiting mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to be co-led by Angola and France, is anticipated. A variety of Sudan/South Sudan issues will be discussed during the month. Consultations are expected to be held early in the month on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), with Under-Secretary-General Ladsous expected to brief. At a later date in November, the Council will adopt a resolution renewing the UNISFA mandate. Late in the month, the Council is scheduled to hold consultations on Sudan/South Sudan issues, in accordance with resolution 2046. The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom is expected to brief.
Somalia/Eritrea is on the programme. A further resolution will be adopted reauthorising counter-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia. Consultations on Burundi are scheduled. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will deliver her semi-annual briefing to the Council on recent developments concerning cases in Libya. Syria continues to be a major focus of the Council’s attention, with the regular monthly briefings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks. Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria Staffan de Mistura will brief members in consultations on political developments. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien’s briefing in the open chamber on the humanitarian situation will be followed by consultations. The briefing on the use of chemical weapons in Syria is expected late in the month by the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs.
The monthly briefing on the Middle East (Israel/Palestine) will be provided by Nikolai Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, via video-teleconference, and by Under-Secretary-General O’Brien. It will be followed by consultations.
Two consultations have been scheduled on Lebanon. One will include the semi-annual briefing on the latest report on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), which urged the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory. This will be provided by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. The other briefing in consultations, to be provided by Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag and by Ladsous, will focus on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of resolution 1701 (2006), which called for a cessation of hostilities between the Shi’a militant group Hezbollah and Israel overseen by UNIFIL.
European issues are on the programme this month. The semi-annual debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to include a briefing by High Representative Valentin Inzko on his office’s latest report. The Council is further expected to renew the mandate of the EU-led multinational stabilisation force. The quarterly briefing on Kosovo will be provided by Special Representative and Head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Zahir Tanin. It is expected to focus on recent developments in Kosovo and on the latest Secretary-General’s report on UNMIK. (@OnuItalia)