Security Council visits to Myanmar and Iraq had been approved by the respective Governments and were in the process of being formalized, said Gustavo Meza-Cuadra (Peru), Council President for the month, as he laid out the 15-member organ’s programme of work for April at a press briefing at Headquarters today.
The visits to Myanmar and Iraq would be aimed at drawing attention to the on-going challenges present in each country, said Mr. Meza-Cuadra, adding that the terms of reference for those trips as well as the itineraries were yet to be finalized. He went on to note that members of the Security Council would also travel to Sweden from 19 to 22 April for their annual retreat with the Secretary-General.
The Council would conduct an open debate on 16 April on the Secretary-General’s annual report on conflict-related sexual violence, focusing particularly on empowerment, gender equality and justice. Another open debate on youth, peace and security was planned for 23 April, during which it was expected that the Council would adopt a resolution. The Council’s quarterly debate on the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, was scheduled for 26 April.
Also on the programme was a briefing on 25 April on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, which would coincide with the high-level event planned on that topic by the President of the General Assembly. The focus of that debate would be the implementation of the concurrent resolutions previously adopted by those two bodies on the peacebuilding architecture.
Turning to regional priorities, Mr. Meza-Cuadra highlighted that the Council would receive a briefing on Colombia on 19 April and the country’s Foreign Minister was invited to attend. A debate on the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUJUSTH) would take place on 3 April, ahead of the expected renewal of the Mission’s mandate the following day.
Further, the renewal of the mandate for the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was on the programme for 25 April, he said.
Throughout April, the Council was expected to receive briefings on Syria, the first of which was scheduled for 4 April on the chemical weapons situation in the country; the second, scheduled for 25 April, would focus on the political and humanitarian situation.
Other planned briefings for the month included one on 17 April on Yemen, which would include the first presentation to the Council by the new Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths. A final briefing on United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which completed its mandate on 30 March, would take place on 19 April.
Briefings on the Great Lakes Region, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the 1540 Committee on non-proliferation would take place on 10, 11 and 12 April, respectively. Council members would also be briefed on the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) on 18 April.
Mr. Meza-Cuadra then fielded several questions from correspondents related to the anticipated trip to Myanmar, during which he stressed that the specific details were still taking shape, including whether Council members would visit Rakhine state in Myanmar or Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
When asked about the Council’s emergency meeting held the previous week over clashes in Gaza and the status of a press statement on the situation there, Mr. Meza-Cuadra said that one country had objected to the press statement, which meant that it was not adopted. He said the Council would remain very attentive to the events in Gaza as they unfolded, particularly regarding the humanitarian situation.
In response to questions about the fact that the briefing on the political and humanitarian situations in Syria was not planned until the end of the month, he told correspondents that it was possible that the crisis in that country, including the grave situation in eastern Ghouta, would be taken up at an earlier date, as required.
For the full programme of work, please see www.un.org/en/sc/programme/.