January in the Security Council
By: Federica Dall’Arche Ciranna
Photo Credit: The Lawyer's Chronicle
January has been a very busy month for the Security Council. Under the presidency of Uruguay, which just joined the Council for a two-year term as an elected member, there will be two open debates. The January 19 Debate focused on the protection of civilians in armed conflict and on the Secretary-General’s June 2015 report on the protection of civilians and the recommendations from the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations relevant to the protection of civilians. The Deputy Secretary-General is expected to brief. The second open debate, scheduled for January 26 and during which the Secretary-General is expected to brief, will focus on the Middle East, with a specific attention on the Israel/Palestine issue.
As every month, the Council is expected to have its regular monthly briefing on Syria and on the chemical weapons track from Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-Soo. The humanitarian track will be briefed by the head of OCHA, Stephen O’Brien, while Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, is expected to brief on the political track. If a ceasefire plan for Syria is agreed, coinciding with the beginning of the Geneva Peace Talks on 25 January, there may be the possibility for the Council to authorise and implement the ceasefire by the end of the month.
Uruguay is not the only new member to join the Council in January 2016. Also joining the Council this month as new members are Egypt, Japan, Senegal and Ukraine. These five new elected members replace Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.