Press Conference by Security Council President on Programme of Work for November

The Security Council’s programme for November features two open debates on the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as a third on small arms and light weapons, its President for the month told a Headquarters press conference today.

Juan Ramón de la Fuente (Mexico) said that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of Mexico, will chair an open debate on 9 November to analyse the underlying causes of international insecurity, including the impact of corruption, exclusion and inequality on conflicts.  He noted that a presidential statement on the issue, which is “of particular importance to Mexico”, is the expected outcome.

A second open debate, titled “Peace and security through preventive diplomacy:  a common objective to all United Nations principal organs”, will be held on 16 November, he continued.  United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres, and the Presidents of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the International Court of Justice are expected to brief the Council during the meeting, which will focus on strengthening ties between the 15‑member Council and the other organs of the United Nations to enable greater efficiency and coordination in preventing conflict, he said.

Further, the promotion of preventive diplomacy and the protection of civilians, by keeping the well-being of people at the heart of all action, are the main thrusts of Mexico’s presidency, which will be “open, transparent, impartial, flexible and effective”, he said, adding that his country knows exactly what the role implies, since this term marks the fifth time it has participated as an elected member of the Council.

Later, on 22 November, Mexico will convene a meeting on the impact of the diversion of small arms and light weapons on peace and security, chaired by its Secretary of Foreign Affairs.  The meeting will be along the lines of a previous one organized in September by Mexico, in the Arria formula format, he said, adding that the discussion will complement the one on the same theme held in October, during Kenya’s presidency.

On 10 November, a briefing with police commissioners on United Nations peacekeeping operations will aim to explore the issue of women, peace and security, through a special gender focus, he said.

Turning to other activities scheduled for the month, he said that meetings will be held on Syria and Yemen.  Some of them would be held as consultations, to “foster dynamic and frank conversation, and enable progress on those items, rather than a reiteration of what has been said”, he added, noting:  “Over the last few months, as a consequence of the pandemic, the Council held fewer informal consultations. While transparency is important, members of the Council should have the space to analyse and debate issues less formally.”

Further, meetings will also be held on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Somalia and the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), he said.  On 5 November, the Council and the General Assembly will hold elections to fill the vacant post in the International Criminal Court.

The Council will also take up the renewal of mandates on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and Somalia, he said.  In addition, on 17 November, the 15-member organ will discuss Afghanistan, which, he pointed out, will mark the first meeting on the topic since the renewal of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in September.

Responding to questions on the concerning situations in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Sudan, he stressed the need to focus on providing humanitarian assistance, and said these issues are being closely followed and will very likely be addressed by the Council, although it has no formal plans to discuss them on a particular date.

Turning to a question on the situation in Libya, where there are “serious concerns” regarding the holding of elections slated for 24 December, he said the international conference on Libya to be held in Paris on 12 November will provide updated information, as well as an opportunity to gauge progress that has been made and evaluate what needs to be done.

In response to a question on addressing divisions within the Council, he underlined the need for a greater focus on the consultation format, using the “proper” consultations room.  “There, the temptation of reiterating well-known stances might be set aside, which can lead to more lively, dynamic discussions,” he said.

Responding to a smattering of questions on migration and refugees, he said he hoped that these issues will be addressed during the open debate on the involvement of all United Nations organs in furthering preventive diplomacy.  Commenting in his national capacity, he recalled that Mexico has always suggested that migration must be managed in all three areas where the phenomenon occurs:  origin, transit and host areas.  Mexico is ready to support Central American countries to implement a programme it has undertaken in the south-west [United States]; however, doing so will require ample resources and political will, he said.

For the full programme of work, please see:

For information media. Not an official record.