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

The Security Council’s programme for June will feature an open debate on climate, peace and security, as well as two other signature events focused on increasing regional cooperation and tackling hate speech and extremism, respectively, its President for the month told a Headquarters press conference today.

Lana Zaki Nusseibeh (United Arab Emirates) — whose country holds the 15‑member organ’s rotating presidency for the second time in its history — said Abu Dhabi will aim to continue to build bridges and find spaces for agreement amidst the current deep divisions and polarization.

The ministerial-level open debate on 13 June will be chaired by Mariam Almheiri, the Minister for Climate Change and Environment of the United Arab Emirates.  Highlighting the need for a discussion informed by accounts from peacekeeping and special political missions, she said the Council must play a carefully calibrated role in tackling climate change.  Acknowledging that there are many views in the organ regarding this, she said:  “Our ambition is that this event will help to continue to build a common view on what this role could be.”  Noting that her country is serving as the incoming president of the twenty-eighth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, she said it approaches this role with humility, responsibility and urgency.

Another signature event of her country’s presidency, she said, will be a ministerial-level meeting on the values of human fraternity in promoting and sustaining peace.  This debate, on 14 June, will be chaired by a senior minister from her country and will include briefings by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, and a civil society representative.  Noting that the world is experiencing the highest number of armed conflicts since 1945 as well as an alarming rise in intolerance, hate speech and racism, she said the Council has not always consistently addressed hate speech and extremism as threat multipliers that fuel conflict.

Also spotlighting the briefing on 8 June on enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, which will be chaired by Khalifa Shaheen Al Marar, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of her country, she said it will feature briefings by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ahmed Abu Ghraib, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and a youth civil society representative.  Noting that during her country’s last presidency in March 2022, the Council adopted a presidential statement welcoming strong cooperation between the Organization and the League, she said this meeting will explore further opportunities for collaboration.  The full potential of this partnership has not yet been realized, she said, adding that by organizing this meeting, “we aim to reiterate the importance of Arab-led solutions.”

In addition, the Council will meet on a number of country-specific files on its agenda, she said, pointing to meetings concerning Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, among others.  Further, her country and the United Kingdom will be working together as co-facilitators of a draft resolution on tolerance and international peace and security.

On working methods, she committed to hold regular meetings with the press and, highlighting an innovation that will make Council meetings more inclusive, said that sign language interpretation will be available for at least two Council meetings in June.  Further, her delegation is working hard to ensure the participation of diverse women civil society briefers and will encourage all briefers to include relevant gender analysis in their briefings.

In the ensuing discussion with members of the press, she took several questions about the urgency of the climate agenda, her country’s commitment to tackling climate change and the credentials of Ahmed Al Jaber, who heads one of the largest oil companies in the world, to lead the twenty-eighth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as the United Arab Emirates’ envoy.  Stressing that climate change is an existential issue for her country as for many in the Global South, she said that it built three of the world’s largest solar projects and will continue to finance sustainable technologies through major bilateral initiatives.  “We would welcome the last barrel of oil being drawn from our country,” she said, describing Mr. Al Jaber as a “climate and renewables man”.  While some will object that the Council is not the right place for such discussions, the interlinkages between climate and peace and security are irrefutable, she asserted.

Responding to questions on whether discussions on Ukraine will be held during June despite not currently appearing on the schedule, she said that, if Council members request such meetings, she intends to put them on the agenda.

To a question regarding the draft resolution on tolerance and the criminalization of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual+ community, she said the Council resolution contains lots of human rights language.  Protection of minority groups is essential, she said, adding that it is crucial to keep the language of the text within the Council’s mandate. 

To a number of questions concerning Sudan, she noted that regional and international leaders have been working round the clock on this matter.  Reiterating the Council’s strong commitment to the work of the United Nations as well as that of the African Union and other partners, she also expressed her preparedness to schedule a meeting extending the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

Also answering a question about the continued oppression of women by the Taliban, she noted that the situation in Afghanistan remains high on the Council’s agenda.  The Council’s position on women’s rights in Afghanistan was unequivocal, she pointed out.  Regarding the renewal of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), she said that it is “a complex file” and noted that she expects the mandate to be renewed by the end of June.

Responding to a question about the Palestine Foreign Ministry’s call on Council members to visit the occupied territories, she pointed out that her delegation has been quite active on this file since joining the 15-member organ.  It was very involved in steering the adoption of a presidential statement in February, expressing concern over Israel’s expansion of settlement activity — the first product from the Council in eight years.  Highlighting the Middle East briefing on 27 June, she said that Tor Wennesland, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, is expected to update the Council at that time on Israel-Palestine.  While a Council visit adds value and brings insight to the issues on its agenda, she added, there is nothing concrete to share along those lines at the moment.

Also asked about the meeting between her country and India, Saudi Arabia and the United States, she said that a number of “mini-laterals” are emerging in her part of the world, as countries who share strong ties come together to find “regional solutions to regional problems”.  “It’s a good buttress to the multilateral system,” she said, underscoring the need to bring down barriers and borders in discussions on green energy, technology and job generation.

For the full programme of work, please see:

For information media. Not an official record.