The Security Council in February
On 1 February 2012 Togo will assume the Presidency of the UN Security Council. The situation in Syria will remain the key focus of attention. The Security Council has for some time been debating a possible resolution to condemn the violence unleashed on the Syrian people by the Assad regime. Morocco has recently put forward a draft resolution based on the Arab League’s peace plan. The Security Council will also give special attention to the African continent again this month.
Looking into the UN Security Council
© picture alliance / dpa
Togo plans to hold a debate on 21 February on the impact of organized transnational crime on the stability of West Africa and the Sahel. Organized crime – including drugs and the arms trade – is a serious problem in West Africa. Weak state structures and the spread of organized crime are closely linked. The impact of the civil war and instability in Libya on the region will be discussed again as part of this debate.
Spotlight on Africa
Several briefings on UN missions in Africa are also on the agenda: MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 7 February; UNISFA in Abyei, a region contested by Sudan and South Sudan, on 9 February; and on 29 February the focus will be on Libya and the envisaged extension of UNSMIL in March 2012.
The monthly meeting of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East and the peace process will be held on 28 February. A report on the situation in Yemen will also be provided that same day.
Sudanese women who have fled to Chad
© picture-alliance/Ton Koene
Women in conflict situations
The Security Council will discuss the issue of “Women, Peace and Security” on 23 February. This is relevant to all UN missions and for peace and security in general. One key issue in this context is the response of the international community to systematic sexual crimes committed by specific parties to conflicts. A common problem is the fact that the perpetrators go unpunished.
The UN Secretary-General submitted an annual report on Sexual Violence in Conflict on 13 January 2012, which, for the first time ever, included a list of parties who are credibly suspected of committing or being responsible for systematic rape or other forms of sexual violence in situations of armed conflict. The basis for this report is Security Council resolution 1960 (2010), which also included provisions on establishing a monitoring mechanism.
Mission to Haiti
The Security Council further plans to travel to Haiti in the middle of the month to show its support for the MINUSTAH
peace mission and to underscore calls for Haiti to assume more responsibility itself. The situation in Haiti has long been difficult and the country is now struggling to rebuild following the catastrophic earthquake of January 2010. Issues that need to be addressed include combating cholera and building up the Haitian police. Talks with the Haitian Government and members of parliament are also planned.
The UN Security Council is composed of five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and ten non permanent members elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term. The Presidency rotates every month to a different member, according to the order of their names in the English alphabet.
Last updated 01.02.2012