Security Council Report July 2008

The Security Council Forecast Report for July 2008 is out. Below are some of the highlights.

The Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), which expires on 31 July. A resolution is expected, and it is likely to be the focus for significant new efforts in the Council to address: the ongoing violence and deteriorating humanitarian situation; the lack of full cooperation from Sudan with UNAMID’s deployment; UNAMID’s asset shortfalls; and lack of progress with a ceasefire and peace talks. The Secretary-General’s quarterly report on the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS, deployed in the south) is also expected. The report is expected to include an assessment and recommendations regarding UNMIS’ role in the contested Abyei area. It is unclear whether the report will be discussed in July or August.

The Council is expected to discuss a further UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) report in July. At the time of writing, it was expected on 30 June. Some members are hoping for details of operational aspects of the Secretary-General’s reconfiguration of UNMIK, but this appears unlikely given the short time period between this new report and his 12 June report. An UNMIK report on the 17 March incident in northern Mitrovica, where the UN police retook the UN courthouse from Serbian protestors, may also be discussed in July.

The Secretary-General,s report on Somalia, requested in resolution 1814, is due in July. It is expected to include an update on: the Secretary-General’s strategy for Somalia, including relocation of the UN Political Office (UNPOS) to Somalia; efforts to establish a humanitarian coordination mechanism; and progress with establishing a human rights capacity within UNPOS. A Secretariat briefing and consultations are likely. It is unclear whether formal action will emerge. Members will be paying close attention to developments following the recent agreement between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and elements from the opposition. Of particular importance will be whether concrete proposals for a multinational coalition force for Somalia will emerge. The AU’s mandate for its Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) expires on 18 July, but the mission’s Council authorisation continues until 20 August. Recommendations from the sanctions committee to the Council on targeted measures are due in mid-July..

In July the Council expects the Secretary-General’s quarterly report on Georgia and a briefing by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Jean Arnault. No Council action is required. In addition, the Secretary-General may brief members on findings from the Secretariat’s current assessment of the peace process. This could lead to discussion of the implications of the findings and next steps. The UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG)’s mandate will expire on 15 October.

In July the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Nepal, Ian Martin will brief the Council on the Secretary General’s latest report on the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and the future of the mission. UNMIN’s mandate expires on 23 July. At the time of writing, the UN had not received any request from Nepal regarding UNMIN’s future role.

The Council in July will consider the Secretary-General’s report on resolution 1701, which ended the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006. The improved but still fragile political environment in Lebanon will likely influence discussions in the Council. The new political situation may be an opportunity to revive the long term peace process envisaged in resolution 1701. A presidential statement encouraging further progress on all elements of resolution 1701 is possible.

In July the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, will brief the Council on the outcome of the international conference in Paris on 12 June on support of Afghanistan. The Council will also discuss the Secretary-General’s recommendations for changes in the operations of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), requested in resolution 1806. Possible recommendations include: increasing the number of provincial offices; and adding a third pillar to UNAMA responsible for international aid coordination and aid effectiveness. This open meeting will be the first time the new Special Representative for Afghanistan, appointed on 10 March, will formally brief the Council. The UNAMA mandate expires on 23 March 2009.

Chad/Central African Republic
In July, the Council is expected to discuss the forthcoming report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). The report is due by early July and a Secretariat briefing is likely. Members will have in mind the issue of arrangements to replace the EU Force (EUFOR), but detailed discussions on this are not expected until later in the year. At press time, formal Council action seemed unlikely, but a statement is possible particularly if the situation in the region deteriorates.

Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Council will consider the structure and activities of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) based on the conclusions of the Council mission to the DRC on 7-8 June and the Secretary-General’s quarterly report. The mandate does not expire until 31 December. A Council presidential statement is therefore possible at this stage. Apart from changes in its structure, MONUC may expand its training program for Congolese forces and provide support for new peace initiatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea)
The Chairman of the Sanctions Committee on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Ambassador Marcello Spatafora of Italy, will brief the Council in July. The Committee, which was established by resolution 1718 following North Korea’s October 2006 nuclear test, must report to the Council every 90 days. No formal Council action is expected. However, given the encouraging developments leading towards Pyongyang’s full disclosure of its nuclear programme, it is possible that the Council will issue a press statement. A process for review of the sanctions is also a possible option if the current trend continues.

Cote d’Ivoire
The Council is expecting to receive the Secretary-General’s report on the Cote d’Ivoire peace process. The mandate of the United Nations Mission in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI) expires on 30 July and Council action on renewal is expected.

Sierra Leone
A Council resolution authorising the establishment of a follow on UN presence in Sierra Leone is expected. The new mission will be a peacebuilding office (of approximately sixty to seventy personnel) and will replace the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL), when its mandate expires on 30 September. Members will also be paying close attention to the local council elections in Sierra Leone which are scheduled for 5 July.

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