Press Conference by Security Council President on Programme of Work for October
The Security Council’s programme for October will commence this afternoon with action on a resolution authorizing the deployment of an international police force in Haiti, its President for the month told a Headquarters press conference today.
Sérgio França Danese (Brazil) — whose country holds the 15-nation organ’s rotating presidency for October — emphasized its commitment to the Council’s working methods and intent to conduct the Council’s business in the most transparent, inclusive and open manner in constant dialogue with all Council members. “The programme of work is duly approved by full consensus,” he said, noting that the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Mauro Vieira, will chair the Council’s meetings from 20 to 25 October, during which time two signature events will be held.
They include a debate on 20 October titled “Peace through Dialogue: The Contribution of Regional, Subregional and Bilateral Arrangements to the Prevention and Peaceful Resolution of Disputes” and the twenty-fifth annual high-level open debate on women, peace and security on 25 October.
“Brazil will take that opportunity to pay tribute to a great Brazilian — Dr. Bertha Lutz — one of only six women who were plenipotentiary delegates in 1945 at the San Francisco Conference when the Charter [of the United Nations] was signed,” he added, noting that Dr. Lutz had a pivotal role in inscribing gender equality in the Charter of the United Nations and is a pioneer of the women, peace and security agenda more than five decades before the first resolution was adopted on the issue.
He pointed out that as Council members will be traveling tomorrow to hold its annual joint consultative meeting with the African Union Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, the Council will restart its regular work in Headquarters on Monday, 9 October.
Noting that the programme of work includes mandate renewals for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and sanctions for Haiti and Libya, he said the Council will hold a briefing on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on 10 October, a briefing on Colombia on 11 October which the Foreign Minister of Colombia is expected to attend.
African issues feature prominently on the Council’s agenda this month, he said, adding that a 12 October briefing on the Secretary-General's report on “Strengthening the participation between the United Nations and African Union on issues of peace and security in Africa, including the work of the UN Office to the African Union”, will be an opportunity for a debriefing on the Council’s trip to Addis Ababa the prior week.
On 19 October, the adoption of the resolution renewing Haiti’s sanctions regime is expected, he said, noting that it was decided that that would take place separately from the briefing on the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) scheduled for 23 October. On 24 October, the Council will hold an open debate on the Middle East, he added, pointing out that it is not expected that those latter two meetings will be converted to high-level meetings, but the participation of some high-level authorities could be expected.
Other highlights include the Council’s meeting with the President of the International Court of Justice, Joan E. Donoghue, to be held sometime between 23 and 27 October, and a 30 October annual briefing by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi.
Responding to questions on Ukraine and why it does not appear in the programme of work, he said some issues were not included, with the knowledge that countries will ask for specific meetings, adding that the Council presidency would be happy to chair meetings agreed on by Council members. His country’s position was very well stated by President Luiz Inacio Lula of Brazil during his speech to the General Assembly, he said, noting that it is looking forward to an open negotiation process and for peace to be given a chance.
Further asked whether Ukraine was not included in the programme of work because the Russian Federation had objected to the past three months’ programmes of work which included Ukraine, he said Brazil did not schedule a specific meeting on Ukraine as the matter had been on the agenda for several months and that most probably some countries will ask for such a meeting, in which case, the matter could be considered. “It is important that the Council starts with a working programme, even if to get that consensus we have to be careful about some issues,” he said. As Council President, he hopes to have a frank exchange with all members and try to get things done as best as possible, he added.
When asked about what Brazil, as Council President, can do to help the Palestinian people achieve the two-State solution, he said an open debate on the Palestinian issue will be held on 24 October.
Responding to various questions about the international police force in Haiti if the resolution is adopted this afternoon, he said Brazil would be pleased if the resolution is adopted. It participated in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for 13 years and led the Mission, and will examine possibilities for cooperation with the international police force, while considering lessons learned from its prior experience.
The timeframe for the international mission in Haiti is one year renewable for another year, as set forth in the draft resolution, he said, stressing that “this is not a UN mission”. As an international mission, countries will be participating directly in it in discussion with the Haitian authorities. While it is not a UN mission, “it has the blessing of the UN, the Council — a necessary step for the mission to succeed”.
When asked if any of the meetings on Western Sahara will be open, he said that the meeting will be a closed one, in line with Council practice.
On whether meetings on Armenia and Azerbaijan are anticipated he said the Council will be watchful of developments there, adding that other countries will probably raise the issue, at which time the request will be included as appropriate.
When asked about Libya and the mandate renewal, the Brazil mission’s political coordinator, speaking at the request of Mr. Danese, said only a technical roll-over is expected, although the outcome could differ depending on Council members’ positions. About elections in Libya, Mr. Danese said the Council will support national authorities if they manage to reach agreement on holding elections.
Responding to several questions about Council reform, he said Brazil will try to show with action that it can add to the Council’s representation, legitimacy, efficacy and efficiency. Noting that Council reform is not on its agenda, but one discussed in the General Assembly, he said Brazil will work with other countries to show that the Council needs reform and needs to be more representative to be more efficient.
For the full programme of work, please see: www.un.org/securitycouncil/events/calendar.