Three priorities � the terrorist threat in the Sahel, peacekeeping and the ongoing crises in Myanmar and the Middle East � would be the focus of the Security Council's work in the coming weeks, Francois Delattre (France), Council President for the month, said at a press briefing today at Headquarters.
Presenting its work programme for the month of October, Mr. Delattre said the Council must support efforts of the international community to counter the threat of terrorist groups that were destabilizing the Sahel region. Pointing out that the work of the Group of Five Sahel States (G5 Sahel) Joint Force complemented the work of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), he said the latter would be focus of a briefing on 5 October, followed by consultations. The Council would also visit the region from 19 to 23 October to assess the situation on the ground. In addition, a related ministerial-level meeting, presided by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development, Jean-Yves Le Drian, would take place on 30 October.
Also on the programme was stocktaking of a large number of peacekeeping operations, including the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on 11, 12 and 17 October, respectively. Meetings would be held on 24 October on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and on 26 October on the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).
The Council would vote, on 5 October, on a resolution to renew the mandate of resolution 2240 (2015) on migrant smuggling in Libya. Later that day, a briefing would address strategic force generation, focusing on rapid deployment units.
An open debate on women and peace and security would be held on 27 October, which would consider their protection and role as essential actors in the settlement of international crises, he said. On 31 October, an open debate would be dedicated to children and armed conflict, presided over by Foreign Minister Le Drian, with the aim of adopting a presidential statement regarding terrorist organizations who recruited child soldiers.
The Council would address a number of crises, such as the situation in the Middle East, including Yemen and Lebanon, with an open debate on 18 October, he said. The Council would also focus on Syria, including on chemical weapons, political aspects of the situation and the humanitarian impact of the crisis. He would convene an informal meeting on the situation in Myanmar to discuss the situation on the ground and to address recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, chaired by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, with the aim of reaching a unanimous statement on the situation.
Turning to reporters' questions, he replied to a query about Myanmar that although Council discussions had not been easy, the atmosphere had been good.
Addressing a question about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he said consultations on the matter would be held on 4 October that would focus mainly on reports on Syria and on the activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) � United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism. Council members might consider the Joint Investigative Mechanism's report later in October or perhaps postpone discussions to November.
Turning to questions about developments in the Sahel region, he said there was a growing consensus in the Council to support the Joint Force, taking into account recommendations that had been made by the Secretary-General.
Regarding sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, he said that the Council was focusing on the nuclear threat and had, through a number of resolutions, established a firm sanctions regime to exert pressure. It was essential to implement fully the sanctions already in place, he added.
Answering a question about whether the Council would take a position on United States President Donald Trump's declaration that Iran had violated on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, he said that as a joint commission was monitoring the agreement, he did not envision that the Council had to take a position on the matter. Responding to another query, he said that while the question of Iraq and the Kurdish referendum was not on the agenda, discussions could be held.
Source: United Nations