Security Council Report – May 2008

The May 2008 Monthly Forcast of the Security Council Report is out.  Highlights include:

Security Sector Reform
The Council is expected to take up the Secretary-General’s 23 January report on security sector reform (SSR) in May. A public meeting is planned at which several speakers are expected, including possibly the Secretary-General and Slovakian Ambassador Peter Burian, whose delegation played an important role in highlighting this issue during its 2006-2007 term in the Council. . . .

Protection of Civilians
In May the Council is expected to hold an open debate on protection of civilians in armed conflict. (In recent years, there has been an understanding in the Council that there would be two major public meetings on protection of civilians each year.) Under Secretary-General John Holmes will update the Council on developments since the Secretary-General’s last report on the topic in October. Issues expected to be raised include humanitarian access, impact of hostilities on civilians, sexual violence, forced displacement and accountability for crimes against civilians. At press time, it was unclear whether Council members would adopt any formal outcome.

A strong Council focus on Darfur is expected in May, in particular in the lead up to the scheduled Council visit to the region at the end of the month. Discussions in the Council are expected to continue on proposed action to apply pressure to the parties to make progress with reaching a ceasefire, resuming the political process, and cooperating with the deployment of the UN-AU Mission (UNAMID) and perhaps the International Criminal Court (ICC). At press time elements of a draft presidential statement, which would set out Council expectations and provide a framework for assessing progress, were expected to emerge. In May, members will also work on the terms of reference for the Council visit to the region, which could potentially include this new framework if and when agreement is reached. The midterm briefing of the Panel of Experts to the Sudan sanctions committee is expected in May, delayed from March. . . .

The Council expects to consider the Secretary-General’s semi-annual report on the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB). The mandate of BINUB does not expire until 31 December. However, because of the recent heavy fighting, the Council will be following the situation closely and a further statement is possible.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
In mid-May, the Council is expected to be briefed by the High Representative for the Implementation of the Peace Agreement in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miroslav Lajcak of Slovakia. His latest report is expected in early May. These regular reports are in accordance with annex 10 of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement and the conclusions of the London Peace Implementation Conference of 1995. For several years, the Council has tended to limit its involvement in this issue to the annual re-authorisation of the EU force in Bosnia and Herzegovina every November. But recent signs of increasing nationalism among political parties may lead the Council to pay closer attention to the underlying problems obstructing progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina although no formal action is expected at this stage.

A briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Nepal and head of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), Ian Martin, is expected in early May. A key issue will be the UNMIN’s future activities. (Resolution 1796 extended UNMIN until 23 July 2008.)

Sierra Leone
The Council is expected to consider the Secretary-General’s report on the now very small UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL). The report is due by 30 April, and UNIOSIL’s mandate expires on 31 September. (The post of the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General has been vacant since January.) A statement by the Council is a possible outcome.

Counter-Terrrorism: Briefings to the Council
Twice a year the Council is briefed by the chairs of its three counter-terrorism committees. The next briefing is expected on 6 May when the chairs of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee (the 1267 Committee), the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC, established under resolution 1373) and the committee on weapons of mass destruction and terrorism (or the 1540 Committee) will address the Council. The joint briefings started in April 2005 and usually include a debate extended to all UN member states. No formal outcome is expected.

Iraq (Oil-for-Food)
The Iraq oil-for-food programme came to an end on 31 December 2007. However, many issues concerning letters of credit remain outstanding and the Council continues to receive progress reports from the Secretary-General on the processing of those issues. The next progress report is expected in May. It will contain a summary of activities of a joint Iraqi-UN Working Group established in November 2007 to speed up the processing. The Council is expected to respond by way of a letter to the Secretary-General.

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