The non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan and Central Asia, and the Middle East would be the focus of the Security Council in January, Kairat Umarov (Kazakhstan), Council President for the month, said at a press briefing at Headquarters today.
Presenting the Council’s work programme for January, he noted that Kazakhstan was the first Central Asian country to be elected to preside over the 15-member entity, and expressed his aim of showing objectivity and transparency as its members worked together.
The Security Council would hold a high-level thematic briefing on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction on 18 January. Heads of State and Ministers were expected to attend and would hear an address by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The briefing would consider key issues through the prism of strengthening confidence-building measures, he said, stressing that more attention should be paid to building trust among political leaders and countries.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan would preside over a ministerial level debate on 19 January on building a regional partnership in Central Asia, and the Secretary-General had agreed to brief the attendees on that matter, he said. Afghanistan should be looked at from a security and development perspective, as those issues went hand-in-hand in the creation of a sustainable peace in that country.
The situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, would be addressed in an open debate on 25 January, he said. The peace process in Colombia would be discussed as part of the programme of work, as would Syria, as well as the seven peacekeeping operations in Africa.
Answering questions about the prospect of an emergency Council meeting on Iran at the request of the United States, the possibility of which was raised today by that country’s permanent representative, he said that while Iran was not on the current agenda, he would be ready for the Council to discuss it if any member were to make a request on that matter.
Asked whether the Council would put any pressure on the Government of Syria regarding humanitarian aid and chemical weapons now that the Joint Investigative Mechanism of the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was “dead”, he responded that the question of chemical weapons was going to be examined by the Council on 9 January. It would not be possible to discuss the Mechanism, as that issue had already been decided.
Responding to a question on whether the Council’s discussion on non-proliferation would focus on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said that the briefing would be of a general nature rather than examining that particular example. However, it would probably be one of the subjects up for discussion, as other countries were willing to obtain nuclear capability because of the very tense international situation.
For the full programme of work, please see www.un.org/en/sc/programme.