Photo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa | Cedit: Colombo Telegraph - Photo: 2021

UN Security Council Faces Critical Issues Under Vietnamese Presidency

By Radwan Jakeem

NEW YORK (IDN) — As Viet Nam takes the presidency of the UN Security Council in for the month of April, the 15-member Council’s report for March in Hindsight examines mercenarism and the mercenaries’ heavy involvement in illicit, destabilising activities in a number of countries on the Security Council’s agenda.

Viet Nam has chosen to hold several signature events during the month. A ministerial-level open debate on mine action is anticipated with UN Secretary-General António Guterres as a likely briefer. A resolution is a possible outcome.

A high-level open debate on enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations, focusing on confidence-building measures and dialogue, is also planned for April. Secretary-General Guterres, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and representatives of regional organisations are anticipated briefers. A presidential statement is likely to be pursued.

Viet Nam also plans to hold a ministerial-level open debate on the protection of civilian infrastructure. Mr Guterres may brief. Other briefers are expected to include Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer and a representative of the International Peace Institute. A resolution is a potential outcome.

The annual open debate on conflict-related sexual violence is expected in April. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten is expected to brief. Representatives of civil society are also likely to participate.

The mandate of the 1540 Committee—which aims to address concerns that non-state actors might use weapons of mass destruction for terrorist purposes—will be renewed in April.

The Council is also expected in April to renew the measures related to the illicit export of petroleum from Libya and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 1970 Libya Sanctions Committee. 

Other African issues include meetings on:

  • Mali, on the Secretary-General’s most recent MINUSMA report;
  • The Great Lakes region, on the Secretary-General’s bi-annual report on the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework;
  • Western Sahara, to receive a briefing on developments and MINURSO’s operations; and
  • Sudan/South Sudan, on the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the mandate of UNISFA.

Regarding the Middle East, there will be the regular briefings on the political, humanitarian and chemical weapons tracks in Syria, as well as the monthly meeting on developments in Yemen.

The quarterly open debate on the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question, is also scheduled for April.

A briefing on Kosovo, focusing on recent developments and the latest report of the Secretary-General, is the one European issue currently anticipated on the Council’s programme this month.

Regarding the Americas, there will be a meeting on Colombia, focusing on recent developments and the Secretary-General’s latest 90-day report on the UN Verification Mission in Colombia. The Council may also adopt a resolution expanding the mandate of the mission to include monitoring compliance with the sentences handed down by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP).

Council members will also most likely closely follow developments in Ethiopia and Myanmar. [IDN-InDepthNews – 31 March 2021]

Photo: The UN Security Council chamber. Source: The United Nations.

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