In January, Norway will hold the presidency of the Security Council.
Norway is expected to organise three signature events. The first is a ministerial-level open debate on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) under the theme “Protecting Participation: Addressing Violence Targeting Women in Peace and Security Processes”. The meeting will be chaired by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and a civil society representative are expected to brief.
The second event is a high-level open debate on protection of civilians under the theme “Wars in cities: protection of civilians in urban settings”.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will chair the meeting. Secretary-General António Guterres, ICRC President Peter Maurer, and a civil society representative are expected to brief.
Aside from these two signature events,
Norway plans to organise a retreat at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund estate in Pocantico, New York. It will be akin to a mini-Oslo Forum, gathering mediators for an extended and substantial sofa talk under the theme “Preventive diplomacy and mediation”. It starts with a lunch discussion with the Secretary-General on the future of preventive diplomacy as he begins his second term in January. In addition, there will be three sessions dealing with specific conflict situations—Colombia, Afghanistan and the situation in the Sahel. Mediators, negotiators and other actors from the field are expected to take part in these discussions.
The Security Council is scheduled to hold its quarterly debate on the Middle East and the Palestinian question. Norway intends to elevate the debate to ministerial level status.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt is expected to chair the meeting.
Other Middle East issues on the programme include:
• Syria, the monthly meetings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks; and
• Yemen, the monthly briefing and consultations on developments.
The Security Council is also scheduled to hold a meeting on Afghanistan. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre is expected to chair the meeting. Norway intends to open the meeting for rule 37 participation by Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries.
There will also be consultations on the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) this month.
African issues on the programme of work in January are:
• Libya, briefing and consultations on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and renewal of the UNSMIL mandate;
• Mali, briefing and consultations on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA);
• Sudan, the semi-annual briefing of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC); and
• West Africa and the Sahel, briefing and consultations on the activities of the UN Regional Office for West Africa (UNOWAS).
The Council may also adopt a resolution initiated by Ghana and Norway on piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea during the month.
The Council is expected to adopt a resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the one European issue on the programme.
In terms of issues in the Americas, there will be a briefing and consultations on Colombia.
A number of issues could be raised in January depending on developments, including DPRK,
Ethiopia, Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, and Ukraine.
Discussions have been ongoing on a possible open meeting on Myanmar marking the one-year anniversary of the coup.
Norway is interested in continuing with last year’s WPS commitment (initiated by Ireland,
Kenya and Mexico) during its presidency, and hopes to make this a shared commitment among the elected members of the Council. Aside from the high-level open debate, the monthly Yemen briefing and consultation is also expected to have a WPS focus.