Greater efficiency and transparency, particularly in light of ongoing violations of international humanitarian law around the world, will be among the Security Council’s top priorities for the month ahead, Olof Skoog (Sweden), Council President for July, said at a Headquarters press briefing today.
Laying out the Council’s monthly programme of work, Mr. Skoog said the general deterioration of international humanitarian law and how that negative trend is affecting children will be the topic of an open debate on 9 July. Presiding over the meeting will be Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden, and the Council is expected to adopt a draft resolution on children and armed conflict.
Another debate, on climate‑related security risks, is scheduled for 11 July, he said, adding that it will be the first time the topic is debated in the Council since 2011. The final debate of the month will be the Council’s quarterly open debate on the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, on 24 July.
He said a briefing on peace and security in Africa, focusing specifically on the women, peace and security agenda in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin, is scheduled for 10 July. On 18 July, another briefing, on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, particularly the African Union, is scheduled, while the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) will be discussed during a briefing on 17 July.
On 16 July, he continued, the Council will hold a briefing on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Libya sanctions regime, while another briefing, on the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and sanctions on that country is set for 25 July.
He said two briefings are planned for 26 July — one on the humanitarian situation in Syria and the other on the situation in Colombia. A briefing on the 751, 1907 Committee dealing with sanctions against Somalia and Eritrea will close out the month on 30 July.
The Council is also expected to take up a number of issues for adoption throughout the month, including the South Sudan sanctions regime and the African Union‑United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) on 12 July. On 25 July, a meeting to extend the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is expected, with another meeting the following day to renew the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Asked about the climate and security debate, Mr. Skoog noted that some countries are not in support of such an event taking place in the Security Council because they believed that other United Nations bodies are better suited to deal with that issue. Nevertheless, countries eventually agreed to the meeting’s format, although no outcome is expected.
When questioned why the Council will discuss Yemen and Myanmar in closed consultations, even though transparency is such a priority for the Swedish presidency, he said that in such instances, it is of utmost importance to “strike a balance”. He went on to say that it is not always beneficial to meet in the open because doing so exposes the divisions within the Council, causing that organ to lose “leverage”.
On the recent Singapore summit between the leaders of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said there is currently no strong demand for the Council to act on that issue, including the possible easing of sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
For the full programme of work, please see www.un.org/en/sc/programme/.