|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
PRESS CONFERENCE BY Security Council President on Work Programme for March
The situation in the Central African Republic, issues of children and armed conflict, and events in Afghanistan would be among the Security Council’s top priorities in March, the Permanent Representative of Luxembourg said today at a Headquarters press conference.
Briefing on developments during her country’s March presidency, Sylvie Lucas said the Council’s work programme would be fluid, depending on current events. She noted the 15-member body had met twice in the last week to discuss the situation in Ukraine and would continue to closely monitor events. “The presidency is prepared to convene other meetings, if necessary,” she said.
The work programme covered a broad range of subjects, she said. On 7 March, the Council would hold an open debate on children and armed conflict, over which the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg would preside. The Secretary-General, the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) would also participate, as would a former child solder from Sierra Leone.
Recalling that Luxembourg was Chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, she said the debate would focus on moving towards full implementation of the item’s agenda, assisting countries concerned and strengthening the capacity of actors on the ground to support children. She hoped a resolution would be adopted to strengthen prevention capacity at the national and international levels.
On 6 March, the Council would hear a briefing and hold consultations on the situation in the Central African Republic, she said, during which the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations would introduce the Secretary-General’s report, while members would discuss the recommendation for a peacekeeping operation to take over from the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA). The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and the High Commissioner for Refugees were also expected to brief.
Turning to Libya, she said that on 13 March, the Council would extend the mandate of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), as well as the panel of experts assisting the sanctions committee. On 10 March, it would hear a briefing and hold consultations on that country.
On 17 March, the Council would hold its quarterly debate on the situation in Afghanistan, she said, during which the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) could be renewed. On 27 March, the Council would renew the mandate of United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Prior to that, it would hear a briefing on the situation by the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region.
Concerning Sudan and South Sudan, she said the Council would hold consultations on 12 March, which would centre on relations between the countries and the situation in Abyei. The Secretary-General’s recommendations also would be discussed, with a view to improving the effectiveness of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
Later, on 18 March, the Council would hear a briefing and hold consultations on the situation in South Sudan, she said, during which the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations would present the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The Executive Director of UN-Women would report on her 18 to 19 February visit to the country.
Other priority areas of attention included the situations in Liberia, the Middle East, Haiti, Iran and Yemen, she said, noting that the Council would take up the situation in Sierra Leone for the last time on 26 March, likely adopting a presidential statement in light of the imminent closing of the Office in that country.
Taking questions, she said the Secretary-General’s upcoming luncheon would provide an opportunity to learn about the situation in Ukraine. Thus far, events there had not precluded the Council from advancing its work on other issues. “We haven’t seen collateral damage in this respect,” she said.
At the 1 March emergency meeting on Ukraine, she said, the Council had heard a call for utmost efforts to be made to prevent a further escalation of events. Any other meeting on the situation would be held upon request, as it was a matter of grave concern. The Council’s two meetings had offered members an opportunity to put forward their positions and to call on parties for calm.
To questions on Syria, she said the report on children and armed conflict in Syria had been introduced on 14 February, and the Working Group would discuss its conclusions. Going forward, the Council would hear a report by Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, she said, noting that the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) had recently chaired a high-level meeting in Geneva that considered ways to advance the situation.
As for humanitarian access in Syria, she said the Council would have to wait for the Secretary-General’s report, due on 24 March, which would inform any conclusions to be drawn.
To questions on children and armed conflict, she said the Secretary-General’s report contained two lists: one of parties and another of situations that did not appear on the Council’s agenda but were nonetheless of concern. Those lists had been created on the basis of four of the six grave violations of children's rights. The Secretary-General used information provided by the monitoring and reporting mechanisms to decide upon listing.
Asked if the open debate would focus on the use of children as suicide bombers, she said efforts would continue to engage non‑State actors. While the specific issue of children used as bombers had not been discussed at the working group level, the issue of children being misused as instruments of war had been considered. Children must always be treated as victims, especially in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts. Their concerns also should be considered during drafting of peace agreements.
As for whether the recent missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had violated any Council resolutions, she said the Council had not received any request or notification to that effect.
To a question on the creation of a sanctions committee and panel of experts on the situation in Yemen, she recalled the adoption of resolution 2040 (2014) on 27 February and said the next step would be to determine a committee chair and have the Secretariat examine potential members for the expert panel. Every effort would be made to establish the sanctions committee as soon as possible in order to send a strong message to parties in Yemen and to those attempting to spoil the country’s transition process.
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