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Security Council Report Monthly Forecast, May 2021

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In May, China will have the presidency of the Security Council. The Council will continue to meet virtually, although members may consider holding a small number of in-person meetings later in the month depending on COVID-19 conditions.

China has chosen to initiate three signature events in May. Early in the month, it will hold a high-level briefing on “Upholding multilateralism and the United Nations-centred international system”. Wang Yi, China’s state councillor and minister for foreign affairs, is expected to chair the meeting. Volkan Bozkir, the president of the General Assembly, is expected to brief.

A high-level open debate on “Addressing the root causes of conflict while promoting postpandemic recovery in Africa” is planned. State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will again chair the open debate. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Achim Steiner and an AU representative are the anticipated briefers. A presidential statement may be adopted.

China is also organising an open debate on “Improving the Safety and Security of Peacekeepers”. Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Under-SecretaryGeneral for Operational Support Atul Khare are expected to brief. A Council product, most likely a presidential statement, is anticipated.

The annual open debate on protection of civilians (POC) in armed conflict will be held in May.

It is expected to focus on the protection of medical care. Secretary-General Guterres and ICRC President Peter Maurer are expected to brief.

The Security Council is expected to renew the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Special Representative and head of UNAMI Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert is scheduled to brief the Council. The sixth report of the Special Adviser and head of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL (UNITAD) is also anticipated.

Other Middle East issues include meetings on:

• Syria, the monthly briefings on political and humanitarian issues and the use of chemical weapons;

• Lebanon, on the implementation of resolution 1559 (2004), which called for the disarmament of all militias and the extension of government control over all Lebanese territory;

• Yemen, the monthly meeting on recent developments; and • The Middle East (including the Palestinian Question), also the monthly meeting.

During the month, the Council is planning to vote on a draft resolution to renew the South Sudan sanctions regime—including targeted sanctions and the arms embargo—and the mandate of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee Panel of Experts.

It is also expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and extending the mission’s support for the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM).
Other African issues include meetings on:

• Sudan, on the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS);

• Libya, on the UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL), on the sanctions regime, and on the ICC’s work in the country;

• Somalia, on the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM); and • Peace and Security in Africa, on the Joint Force of the Group of Five for the Sahel.

A debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina is planned.

The Council will also meet to discuss the work of the 1718 DPRK Sanctions Committee.

Council members will most likely closely follow developments in Ethiopia and Myanmar, among other situations.

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