The Security Council in May

Azerbaijan, one of the five new non permanent members of the Security Council, is assuming the Presidency for the month of May. One focus of this month’s programme is a meeting on 4 May on the topic of combating international terrorism, to be led by the Azerbaijani Presidency, which Foreign Minister Westerwelle will be attending.

The Security Council previously addressed this issue in September 2010 during the Turkish Presidency. Azerbaijan is seeking Council approval for a presidential statement. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki moon will speak to the members of the Security Council.

The Council will again visit the topic of terrorism on 10 May, when the members will receive briefings from the chairs of all terrorism-related committees. These committees are the Counter-Terrorism Committee, the sanctions committees on al Qaida and the Taliban, and the committee on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Germany chairs the committees on al Qaida and the Taliban.

African trouble spots on the agenda

UN staff evacuating injured people in South Sudan

UN staff evacuating injured people in South Sudan
© UN Photo

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UN staff evacuating injured people in South Sudan

UN staff evacuating injured people in South Sudan

UN staff evacuating injured people in South Sudan

In May the Security Council will once again turn its regional focus to the situation in various African countries. Having on 2 May issued a resolution condemning the violent clashes between the Sudan and South Sudan and laying out a specific timetable for the cessation of hostilities, the Council will over the course of the month also address Guinea-Bissau and Somalia. On 7 May the members will, on the basis of a report by UN Secretary-General Ban, consult on the situation in the West African country of Guinea-Bissau, where a military coup took place on 13 April.

In East Africa, Somalia has been drawing the Security Council’s attention for years.

The country has been in a state of civil war since 1991, with state authority almost entirely absent. The ongoing plight of large sections of the population is grave as a result of the violent conflict as well as a series of droughts and floods. In 2007 the Security Council mandated the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) to support the peace process in Somalia and ensure the safety of humanitarian aid workers.

Lynn Pasco, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, is expected to brief the council on 15 May on issues including the implementation of the AMISOM mandate.

The Security Council has also planned a trip to West Africa. The UN representatives will visit Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire to learn more about the work of UN peace missions there.

Arab countries

The Council will also continue to address the situation in the Middle East and the Arab world, especially Syria. Closed sessions are to be held on 8 and 30 May on the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria.

On 21 April the Security Council decided by resolution to send up to 300 observers to Syria. The observers are to monitor whether the ceasefire which has been in place since 12 April is being adhered to, and whether UN-Arab League Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s six point plan is being implemented. The resolution demands full freedom of movement for the mission.

Briefings on Libya are also scheduled, including a report from United Nations Support Mission in Libya head Ian Martin on the mission’s progress. Additionally, Luis Moreno Ocampo, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, will update the Council members on 16 May on the proceedings underway against Gaddafi son Saif al Islam and Libyan former intelligence head Sanussi.

Kosovo and Serbia

The regularly held debate on the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) is scheduled for 14 May. As usual, the foreign ministers of Serbia and Kosovo are expected to attend.

UNMIK was established in 1999 through Security Council Resolution 1244. The mission’s mandate charges it with ensuring peaceful and normal living conditions for the population of Kosovo and advancing regional stability in the Western Balkans.

Last updated 02.05.2012

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