The Security Council will focus several August meetings on key threats to its sustaining peace agenda, including transnational organized crime and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, its President for the month told reporters during a video press briefing today.
Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia) said the 15-member organ will continue to hold largely virtual sessions, including a 12 August debate on “sustaining peace in the post-pandemic world”. Noting that COVID-19 continues to impact people around the world, he said the meeting will offer participants a chance to explore the impact of the coronavirus on the spectrum of situations on the Council’s agenda. Among the briefers expected are Secretary-General António Guterres — whose March appeal for a global ceasefire amid the pandemic was endorsed by the Council in resolution 2532 (2020) — as well as former Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon and representatives of civil society and academia.
He said a second signature event will be a debate on the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime, to be held on 6 August. “This issue is becoming more and more important in the context of COVID-19,” he stressed, noting that members will have the chance to exchange views and share information. The session will be chaired by Indonesia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and briefers will include Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov.
Throughout August, he continued, the Council will also hold meetings on the situations in Syria, Yemen, Guinea-Bissau and Somalia, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It will hear from several of its subsidiary bodies, including the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1718 (2006) on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
In addition, he noted that meetings are scheduled to renew several of the Council’s mandated peace operations — such as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) — and the sanctions regime imposed on individuals and entities in Mali. Delegates are also in the process of drafting a resolution on the increasingly prominent role of women peacekeepers and an Arria formula meeting is scheduled on the topic of protecting critical cyberinfrastructure.
Mr. Djani responded to various questions from correspondents, including one about the status of a United States draft resolution which would have the Council extend its arms embargo on Iran indefinitely and a proposed revision to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) mandate extension. Negotiations on those items are under way and he will have more information about them soon. He also cited no new developments following the Council’s outreach to the Houthis in Yemen, in which members requested access to the decaying Safer oil tanker moored in the Red Sea.
Asked whether he believes the Council has demonstrated hypocrisy in recognizing Libya’s Government of National Accord as the sole legitimate Government — even as some of its members continue to send weapons and mercenaries to other warring parties — he responded that the organ continues to follow the issue closely. Individual members will have a chance to voice their views on it in the coming weeks. However, another correspondent pointed out that the situation in Libya does not itself appear on the Council’s August programme of work — even as Turkey and Egypt appear to be on the verge of conflict there.
In response to a question about whether his delegation plans to convene any in-person meetings at New York Headquarters — as his predecessor, the Permanent Representative of Germany, had begun to do in July — Mr. Djani expressed a desire to strike a balance between in-person meetings and virtual teleconference sessions. He is working closely with the Secretariat and United Nations senior management to agree on safety protocol, and all decisions will be based on health and safety conditions in New York. Noting that he hopes to be able to convene at least one in-person meeting each week, he also outlined efforts to ensure that full interpretation into the six official United Nations languages is available for all virtual meetings going forward.
For the full programme of work, please see www.un.org/securitycouncil/events/calendar.