Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for January

5 January 2015

Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for January

Building strong foundations intertwining development and security underpinned a range of issues on the Security Council’s schedule for January, the Permanent Representative of Chile, whose delegation holds the 15-member body’s presidency for the month, said at a Headquarters press conference today.

Ambassador Cristián Barros Melet said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet would chair an open debate on 19 January on inclusive development for the maintenance of international peace and security.  Participants would include Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Peacebuilding Commission Chair Antonio de Aguiar Patriota and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee.  Noting the importance of political stability and other factors critical to development, he stressed the need for early warning mechanisms for cases of exclusion and support for mitigating such situations.

He noted the Council’s plans to hold an open debate on 27 January on the protection of civilians, especially women, in conflict, in which Mr. Ban and a Red Cross representative were expected to participate.

Throughout the month, the Council would focus on other pressing issues, convening several open and closed discussions on the Middle East and Syria.  On 15 January, Chile’s Minister for Foreign Affairs would preside over a debate on the region, with presentations expected by Interim Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jens Toyberg-Frandzen.

The Council would hold three meetings on Syria, with High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane scheduled to make a presentation during consultations on 6 January.  Briefing on recent developments on 22 and 28 January, also in consultations, was the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Kyung-wha Kang would report on recent developments.

From 23 to 25 January, Council members would undertake a mission to Haiti, on which they would brief on 29 January.

On 6 January, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous was expected to update members on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Also on the schedule was a briefing on 14 January on post-conflict peacebuilding, with presentations anticipated by Under-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and Mr. Patriota, and consideration of the Secretary-General’s latest report on the topic.  Special Representative Mohamed ibn Chambas would deliver a presentation on 8 January on the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA).

On 13 January, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire Aïchatou Mindaoudou would brief the Council on the United Nations Operation in that country, known as UNOCI.  The Council president would report on his recent visit to that country in his capacity as Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 1572 (2004).

Mandate renewals would be the focus of several meetings.  On 14 January, the Council would consider its Central African Republic sanctions committee, and the following week, the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), whose mandate ended in December 2014.  In that connection, the Council would hear a presentation by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.

On 22 January, Mr. Ladsous would participate in a briefing on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), whose mandate was due to expire in February.  Also participating would be the Permanent Representative of Jordan, as head of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004).

On 21 January, the Council would convene a meeting on the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), and following consultations on 26 January, would take a decision on 28 January about renewing the mandate.  Also that day, consultations would be held on the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, during which Miroslav Jenča, Special Representative and Head of the Centre, would brief.

To questions about the Haiti mission, he said the Council wanted to reiterate to the Haitian Government the urgent need to convene elections and to create a feasible electoral timetable.  Concerning cholera, he said the topic was usually not considered in the Council, but the body would nevertheless exert its utmost efforts to ensure that the peacekeeping forces operated according to their mandate.  He noted in his national capacity the enormous efforts being made by Chile to combat the cholera in Haiti.

Responding to a question on whether a new Palestinian resolution was expected this month, he said he had no information on a draft text.  In his national capacity, he said he was well aware of media reports stating that a new text could be presented next week.

Regarding expulsion of United Nations staff from Sudan, he said, in his capacity as Council president, that the 15-member body had discussed the issue and had fully supported the Secretary-General’s statement on the matter.

Asked about plans to discuss the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said the Council had adopted an important resolution on the issue in December and with the topic now on its agenda, the item could be discussed in future meetings.

Replying to a question about Syria, he said the situation, including the humanitarian aspects, chemical weapons issues and a new report from the Special Envoy, would be taken up during three meetings.  In his national capacity, he noted that the Russian Federation was organizing a dialogue with Syria in Moscow, which Chile saw as a “particularly important step forward”.

Asked whether the United Nations might set up offices in Cuba, he said the country was not currently included on the schedule.

When asked why Ukraine had not been included in the schedule, he said Lithuania and the United Kingdom had requested it and it was likely that it would indeed be taken up during the month.In response to additional questions, he said the Council was circulating a draft resolution on civilian protection.  Concerning the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS) and terrorism, he said the topic was one of the most complex issues before the Council.  If something unusual occurred, the countries concerned would likely call for a special meeting of the Council.

For information media. Not an official record.