Virtual Press Conference by Security Council President on Programme of Work for May

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01-May-2020 00:44:51
Ambassador Sven Jürgenson, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Estonia to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of May, briefs the press on the Council’s programme of work for the month of May.

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Transparency, efficiency and respect for international law — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — are broad themes that will feature high on the Security Council’s agenda, its President for May told reporters today.

Speaking by videoconference, incoming President Sven Jürgenson (Estonia) said that, together with France and Germany, his country has drawn up joint guidelines to promote transparency and efficiency in the Council’s work, striving to maximize the number of Member States participating in its open meetings.

During the first week, he said the Council will hold virtual consultations on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and its biannual discussion of the International Criminal Court investigation in Libya.

On 8 May, a high-level open Arria formula meeting on peace and security in Europe will be held, he said, featuring briefings by the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and the President of the European Commission.

During the second week, on 12 May, he said the Council will hold a virtual meeting and consultations on the situation in Iraq, followed a day later by consultations on Yemen, and on the situation in Lebanon. On 15 May, its annual debate on working methods will be held, a timely discussion in which delegates can provide input on ways to enhance the Council’s transparency and efficiency.

He said the third week will feature a briefing on the situation in Syria, followed by a briefing and consultations on the situation in Libya. On 20 May, the Council will be briefed and hold consultations on the humanitarian situation in Syria. On 21 May, it will hear a briefing on the situation in Somalia, followed by consultations on the topic.

In another signatory event on 22 May, the Council will hold an Arria formula meeting on cybersecurity, featuring the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, among other experts, focused on maintenance of international security amid cyberthreats. It will aim to raise awareness about cyber challenges, with discussions focused on national, regional and global policy mechanisms to advance responsible State behaviour.

On 27 May, a briefing on the protection of civilians in armed conflict will include the Secretary-General, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and additional briefers.

On 28 May, discussions will focus on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, with a briefing by the Vice-President of the European Commission, among others.

Also during May, he said the Council expects to renew mandates for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA).

Taking questions, first on whether the Council’s discussions would be available to the press, he said the 15-member organ is close to operating as it does under normal circumstances. Consultations are the only meetings that are not streamed.

Asked about the status of any resolutions related to the coronavirus, he said that initially, there were two resolutions. They are combined and now on the table; however, there is no consensus.

Since then, work has been ongoing for three weeks. “There is no political agreement,” he said, especially between two Council members. “I know the world is looking up to us,” and he expressed hope that Estonia, as Council President, will be able to facilitate progress. There are stumbling blocks, he conceded.

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