Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for February

The Security Council would hold two open debates this month, one on the United Nations Charter and the other on post-conflict peacebuilding and review of the peacebuilding architecture, the 15-member body’s President for February said today at a Headquarters press conference.

Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela) said the ministerial-level open debate on the Charter would take place on 15 February and hear from the Secretary-General.  The meeting would focus on such Charter principles as respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, he added.  Emphasizing that the Council should be the guarantor of those principles, he said the debate would provide an opportunity to take stock of the consequences of foreign interference in such nations as Iraq, Libya and Syria, and to stress the importance of applying Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter rather than Chapter VII.

He said the open debate on the peacebuilding architecture, slated for 23 February, would take up a topic currently under review by the General Assembly.  The aim was to start a Council discourse on the topic and synchronize discussions in the two bodies.

On 11 February, there would be a debate on the Council’s working methods, with an emphasis on sanctions committees, he said.  The meeting would not be open to non-Council members, but some of the countries targeted by sanctions were invited to express their views, which would be taken into account so as to maintain an effective mechanism, rather than a punitive one.

He said that on 9 February, the Council would hear a briefing on the initial strategic report requested by the Secretary-General on the threat posed by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) to international peace and security.  With three meetings devoted to Syria, Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura would brief on 24 February regarding the political talks in Geneva, while briefings on the chemical weapons and humanitarian tracks would be held on 22 and 25 February, respectively.

On Yemen, there would be a briefing on 17 February, he said.  On 26 February, the Council would hold a wrap-up session, and on 29 February, Germany’s Minister for Foreign Affairs would brief on the activities of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), in his capacity as that body’s Chair.

Asked about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea during the ensuing question-and-answer session, he said that some Council members were working on a draft resolution pertaining to the nuclear testing carried out by that country on 6 January, but no date had been set for action.

Questioned further about the open debates, he said the Council was not expecting resolutions from either of those meetings.

Regarding Yemen, he said there was a lack of balance in the way that the Council dealt with certain issues, pointing out that Syria remained consistently high on its agenda, but Yemen did not.  That was why the delegation of Venezuela had included a briefing on Yemen by Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in the programme of work, he added.

The President said the situation in Burundi was in the footnote, but the Council would continue to monitor the situation.

Questioned further about the debate on sanctions committees, he clarified that the Council would not discuss sanctions themselves, but rather, ways in which to review the relevance of the sanctions committees’ work.

For information media. Not an official record.