BRIEFING TO THE PRESS Informal Plan of VTCs of the Security Council April 1st 2020 1:30pm

Publicado el 2020-04-01 18:17:25


Thank you all for participating in this briefing.-

Before I share with you the details of the plans for this month, allow me to-very briefly-comment on the working methods that we intend to implement during our Presidency.
First and foremost it is important to note that the Council will continue its work. We are determined to work with all Council Members to continue the discussions on its agenda, despite the extraordinary circumstances we are facing.
In order to do that, it is clear the Council needed to adapt.
Since mid March, as you all know, the Council has held private VTCs.
Now, under the Presidency of the Dominican Republic, it will hold both, Open and Closed VTCs, contained in the Informal Plan of VTCs of the Security Council.


The Open VTCs will substitute the usual Briefings to the Council, while the Closed VTCs will substitute the Closed Consultations.

But let me explain further the Open VTCs: These Open VTCs will include a LIVE FEED of the section where the briefers present their reports. Upon the conclusion of their reports, the live feed will be terminated. However, the statements of Council Members in the remainder of the Open VTC, will be circulated by the President of the Council, in a compiled document, to all UN Membership and as a document of the Council. We are also planning to continue the practice during the Chinese presidency to adopt press elements or press statements after each meeting.
The objective behind all these arrangements is to make our work as transparent and as inclusive as possible.
Now let me share with you the main elements of our Informal Plan of VTCs of the Security Council for the month of April.

On Tuesday, April 7​, we will hold VTC meetings, both Open and Closed, on the major developments in Mali, including the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation, cooperation between security.


Presences in the country, implementation of the MINUSMA​’s adaptation plan, and potentially the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Mali and the Sahel.

On April 9​, a ​MINURSO (Western Sahara) Closed VTC meeting will take place. The Special Representative and Head of MINURSO Colin Stewart will brief on the most recent developments on the ground.

On April 13, the political situation in Syria will be addressed.
Resolution 2254 adopted in 2015 called for a Syrian led and Syrian owned political process that included the establishment of a Constitutional Committee to draft a new Constitution and call for general elections. After its launch in November, the CC has not met again. During this briefing we expect to hear from the Special Envoy Pedersen about the different actions he has taken with the parties in order to ​mobilize the Committee, after the recent agreement on the agenda for the next session. Of course, the issue of a ​national ceasefire will also be most likely addressed as well as the situation of how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting both the humanitarian and the political situations in a country devastated by almost 10 years of conflict.


On the 14th, we will focus on ​Colombia​. This session will focus on the latest 90-day report from the Secretary General and the most recent developments.

The following day, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Izumi Nakamitsu will brief the Council on the monthly report from the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), regarding the progress in the elimination of the ​Syrian chemical weapons programme, activities carried out by the Technical Secretariat with respect to Syria, progress achieved by the Declaration Assessment Team, as well as activities and updates of current investigations by the Fact Finding Mission.

Moreover, the Council is expecting in early April, the first report of the Identification and Investigation Team of the OPCW on the work done thus far to identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Members of the Council will discuss its findings if the report is issued on the expected date.

Yemen ​will be the focus of our April 16th meeting. This conflict has evolved into the ​biggest humanitarian crisis in the world​, with over 80% of the population needing some form of humanitarian aid. In response to.


The Secretary General’s call for global cessation of hostilities on March 25 and the positive (public) response from both parties, we were looking forward to having them meet under the Special Envoy’s auspices to discuss de-escalation. Unfortunately, over the weekend, there was a serious escalation of hostilities, jeopardizing the Special Envoy’s attempts to mediate discussions. We are following the situation very closely, also when it comes to Covid-19.

Additionally, we will address (UNAMID), the United Nations–African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur on April 20th. This meeting was scheduled for March 2020, but due the COVID-19 emergency it was postponed.

The context of the meeting will be the SG’s report on the follow-on mission. It is expected that the meeting will focus on protection of civilians, political developments, humanitarian situation, accountability issues and human rights, but will specially highlight the existing and potential risks in the ground related to the drawdown and the further exit of the Mission from Darfur.
Also it is possible that questions arise on the options for the post-UNAMID scenario. Usually, USG Bintou Keita briefs the Council on UNAMID from the Secretariat and Sudan participates under rule 37.


On Tuesday April 21​, a meeting regarding the Maintenance of International Peace and Security entitled Protecting Civilians from Conflict Induced Hunger will be held via VTC. This is one of the Presidency’s feature events. Our main objective with this event is to keep the issue alive in the Council and to find ways to better implement Resolution 2417 adopted two years ago. The briefing will also coincide with the launch of the Global Report on Food Crises where it will be clear that conflict continues to be one of the major drivers of food insecurity, hunger and famine. We have a lineup of briefers that really honor us: FAO’s Director General, WFPs, Executive Director David Beasley and NRC Secretary General, Jan Egeland. We hope to adopt a PRST after this meeting.
On April 22, we will have a VTC on The Great Lakes region which will review the Secretary-General's Report on the situation in the region, and the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region. The Special Envoy is expected to present it and be available to provide answers to any outstanding questions.

April 23​ and 24,​ we expect to hold Open VTCs related to the ​Middle East ​as well as a meeting on the United Nations Mission in Kosovo.


The conflict between ​Israel and Palestine ​with its undeniable regional ramifications continues to deepen threats to international peace and security as well as division in the Council. During this event, it is expected that members continue to promote a negotiated solution, based on mutual respect and internationally agreed commitments and principles.
Regarding ​Kosovo​, the Council will hold the first periodic briefing of the year on the situation in Kosovo. The Special Representative and head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Mr. Zahir Tanin, will be the main briefer.
The final week of our presidency, on April 27, we will hold another feature event, an Open VTC on ​Youth, Peace and Security. It will focus on accelerating the implementation of the YPS Agenda, in light of the 5th Anniversary of Resolution 2250.
The first report of the UN Secretary General on YPS was issued in March, reaffirming that the agenda is a central component in supporting national efforts towards peace, and awareness still needs to be translated into concrete actions to ensure that all actors can deliver on the pillars of resolutions 2419 and 250.
Therefore, the aim of the Open VTC is to provide a platform of discussion for Member States to take stock.


On progress made regarding the implementation of these resolutions, and to share best practices and lessons learned at the national and regional level, as well as to discuss recommendations and priorities for action in this respect.

On the 28​ , we will address ​UNISFA (Sudan/South Sudan).
In May 2020, the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Abyei, Sudan (UNISFA) expires. It is expected that the discussions will assess the progress of both countries meeting the benchmarks established by the Secretary General for the eventual departure of the Mission from the area. It will also focus on the reduction of troops, the increase of the police contingent and the SG proposal for the inclusion of civilian elements in the Mission, specifically, the appointment of a Civilian Representative, as Alternate Chief of the Mission. It will also consider the fragile political situation in both Sudan and South Sudan, as well as its effects in Abyei.
It is expected that the Council will encourage parties to redouble efforts to comply with the benchmarks established by the SG, especially those related to pending border disputes and will recommend an update on the implementation of these benchmarks by both states.


Finally, on April 29th we conclude with the monthly briefing on the ​humanitarian situation in Syria. ​During this briefing it is expected that we will continue to monitor the situation developing in the country with the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Syrian context this is critical. With over crowded IPD camps and shelters, detention facilities and others being under any possible international standard, the impact of the pandemic could be overwhelming. The cross-border operation towards the north-west is critical to save the lives of millions, but can also expect more information on the response to the pandemic in the north-east where as you know the UN has very limited access. It is also expected that more information is given regarding the response in the north-east given the closure of the Al-Yarubiya crossing.
Another issue we expect to address will be the report of the Board of Inquiry on attacks to health facilities in the Idlib province during the military escalation that started last April.
With that, I conclude. Ready to receive your questions.

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