The Security Council in April
Germany’s UN Ambassador Wittig in the Security Council
© picture alliance / dpa
In April the US hold the chair of the United Nations Security Council which rotates on a monthly basis. Items on this month’s agenda include a debate about nuclear security. The members of the Security Council will, of course, also focus on various trouble spots around the world.
Since early 2011, for example, the Security Council has been closely following developments in the individual countries affected by the Arab Spring. The Council has in recent weeks repeatedly grappled with the ongoing violence in Syria in particular. On 21 March 2012 the Security Council agreed on a Presidential Statement, thereby providing backing to Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League’s Joint Special Envoy, in his efforts to end the violence in Syria through negotiations. In the coming month the Council will continue to observe how the situation in Syria develops and whether these negotiations succeed.
Iraq, the Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire
The Council will also be briefed on the situation in Iraq and the UN mission there, UNAMI, as well as on the situation in the Sudan and South Sudan and the work of the UN missions there, UNIFSA (Abyei) and UNAMID (Darfur). A discussion of Côte d’Ivoire, including the trade, travel and financial sanctions against a list of Ivorian nationals, is scheduled for 18 April. On 28 April 2011 the Security Council adopted Resolution 1980 to extend these sanctions until 30 April 2012.
A decision about extending the mandate of MINURSO, the UN mission in the Western Sahara, is also slated for late April. Along with these items, all of which are dictated by mandate cycles and reporting requirements, the following issues will also be on the agenda in April:
Taking stock of nuclear security
The US chair has put a briefing on nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and security on the agenda for 19 April. This briefing is intended to take stock of the fight against nuclear proliferation.
Participants at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul
© photothek / Imo
The Security Council adopted Resolution 1887, which was put forward by the US, in September 2009. The Resolution includes the demand that signatory states of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons meet their obligations under the treaty. It also calls upon nuclear powers to engage in negotiations to reduce their nuclear stockpiles.
The results of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul are also to be endorsed during the briefing.
The second Nuclear Security Summit took place on 26-27 March in the South Korean capital Seoul, with more than 50 countries participating. Participants committed to strengthening global nuclear security, reducing the dangers of nuclear terrorism, and preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear material.
The Security Council will engage with a similar issue on 25 April when it holds an open debate on improving UN capacity to assist states to counter illicit cross-border flows of goods and individuals.
Women in conflict situations
Michelle Bachelet, head of UN Women
© dpa / picture alliance
Michelle Bachelet, the head of UN Women, is expected to brief the Security Council on 24 April. Her briefing will focus on the role of women in peacekeeping. In 2000 the Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 on this issue; the Resolution calls for women to be integrated into political processes and institutions, into the planning and staffing of peacekeeping missions and into peace negotiations.
The Security Council most recently endorsed the goals and implementation of Resolution 1325 through a Presidential Statement last October.
The Security Council is the most influential body in the United Nations system and bears primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Council has five permanent and ten non-permanent members. Germany has served as a non-permanent member of the Council since January 2011 and will continue to do so until the end of 2012.
Germany will keep working towards reforming the Security Council to shape it into a body which better represents the world today and thereby to ensure that it retains its authority and that the legitimacy of its decisions continues to be recognized.
Last updated 30.03.2012