An open debate on children and armed conflict on 2 August and a high-level briefing on international humanitarian law on 13 August will be among the highlights of the Security Council’s programme for August, Joanna Wronecka (Poland), Council President for the month, said today.
Speaking at a Headquarters press conference, she said Virginia Gamba de Potgieter, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, as well as representatives of civil society from Canada and South Sudan, will brief members at the outset of the debate, which comes on the heels of the Secretary-General’s latest report on that subject (document A/73/907–S/2019/509).
She said the high-level briefing on 13 August — a day after the seventieth anniversary of the signing of the 1949 Geneva Conventions — will focus on international humanitarian law in the context of promoting and strengthening the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security. A presidential statement is possible, she added.
Scheduled to brief during that meeting are Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel; Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and Annyssa Bellal, Senior Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
Chairing both meetings will be Jacek Czaputowicz, Poland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs. He will also preside over the Council’s 20 August debate on challenges to peace and security in the Middle East, and an Arria formula meeting on 22 August — the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief — to discuss the safety of religious minorities in armed conflict situations.
Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, is expected to brief the 20 August meeting, she said, adding that Member States from the Latin American and Caribbean region are invited to participate. Hopefully, the debate will address horizontal issues, such as the root causes of conflict, and come up with new ideas.
Other agenda items on the Council’s work programme for August include briefings on the situations in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Darfur and Iraq, as well as the monthly briefing on the Israeli-Palestinian question on 27 August. Nickolay Mladenov, the Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, will brief members.
Also this month, she said, the 15-member Council will decide whether to renew the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the sanctions regime imposed by resolution 2374 (2017) concerning Mali, both of which expire on 31 August. In addition, the Council plans an interactive dialogue on Burundi for 28 August and will invite that country’s representative to participate. Discussions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are also possible, she said.
Responding to questions, she said the Council is united on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, emphasizing that that “positive dimension” must be maintained.
Asked about a possible Security Council visiting mission to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, she said such a visit would require agreement among Council members. Due to financial costs, it could take the form of a small group, but for the time being, such a suggestion is not on the agenda, she added.
Concerning the absence of the Libya situation from the programme, she recalled that the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in that country briefed the Council on 29 July and presented concrete recommendations. The Council could take up the subject again once the Secretary-General submits his next report on the work of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), due on 26 August, she said.
Regarding the Arria formula meeting on religious minorities in situations of armed conflict, she said it will feature briefings by representatives of several such groups, including the Yazidi.
For the full programme of work, please see www.un.org/securitycouncil/events/calendar.