Joy Ogwu’s Address to the UN Council

Professor Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, assumed the one-month rotational Presidency of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. On the assumption of her new role, the professor, in her address to UN members states, gave a run down of the provisional programme of work approved by the Security Council for the month of April and which she would be overseeing within the period as the president of the Council. Below is her address.



Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

2.         I welcome you all to this briefing and I must say that I am pleased to see the fairly large turnout of non-Council Member States. This is a clear indication that a lot of interest exists in the activities of the Council and in the engagement of the Council with non-Member States.

3.         As you are aware, the Security Council has just approved the provisional programme of work for the month of April.  It is my privilege and honour to brief you on the issues on the programme.

4.         In terms of open debates, three will be held in April. On 25 April there will be an open debate on the theme: Women, Peace and Security with the sub-theme: Sexual Violence in Conflict. SRSG Zainab Bangura is expected to brief. The Secretary-General’s report S/2014/181 of 12 March 2014, covering the period January – December 2013, will serve as a guide for discussions. There will be no outcome following the open debate. We believe there are sufficient tools to implement the women peace and security agenda in existing resolutions and PRSTs. We expect the debate to highlight  the need to address impunity and hold perpetrators to account for acts of sexual violence in armed conflict. It should also draw attention to the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions in tackling sexual violence and increasing women’s participation in peacebuilding and transition processes.

5.         The third debate on 28 April will be a thematic open debate under the theme: Maintenance of International Peace and Security, with the sub-theme: Security Sector Reform (SSR). The Secretary-General is expected to brief. The second Secretary-General’s report on SSR released in August 2013 will be relevant to the discussions.

6. On 29 April there will be the quarterly open debate on the Middle East. Special Coordinator Robert Serry will brief the Council.

7.         SSR has grown from a concept within the UN to becoming a core component of the UN’s engagement in peacekeeping, peacebuilding and development. As a tool in the prevention of conflict, there is a need to strengthen the role of the UN in supporting SSR.

8.         The issues to be considered by participating delegations are:

                        i.         Strengthening national ownership of SSR

                       ii.         Supporting the prioritisation of SSR in Missions

                     iii.         Clarifying understanding of the UN’s approach to SSR, including its comparative advantage

                     iv.         Strengthening the review of progress on SSR

                       v.         Strengthening UN capacities to deliver

                     vi.         Strengthening the One-UN System approach


9.         It is expected that, as an outcome of the debate, the Security Council will adopt a resolution to mark the significant achievements made in shaping the approach of the United Nations to SSR. The resolution would highlight the positive contribution of the SSR agenda toward the maintenance of international peace and security and signal the commitment of the Security Council to strengthening the important role of the UN in supporting SSR. This will be the first Security Council resolution on SSR.


10.       I welcome you all to participate in this open debate, which is on a subject of great importance not only in a post-conflict peace building context, but also from the perspective of conflict prevention.


11.       The Briefing on the 16 April under the theme: threats to international peace and security, is in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Its expected outcome is a resolution which the delegation of Rwanda has drafted and which is currently being negotiated. Only Council Members and the briefers, among whom we expect the DSG, will speak at this event.


12.       There are a number of country-specific issues on the agenda of the Council in April.


13.       On 3 April, the UN/OPCW Joint Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag will brief on the implementation in the Syrian Arab Republic of the decision of the OPCW Executive Council of 27 September 2013 and resolution 2118 (2013). The resolution prohibits the use, development, production and stockpile of chemical weapons by Syria and requires Syria to destroy them. The Director-General of the OPCW and the UN Secretary General are required by the resolution to brief the Council in a coordinated manner on Syria’s compliance.


14.       On 10 April the Council will hold consultations on Sudan/South Sudan and UNMISS. SESG Haile Menkerios will brief the Council via VTC on 10 April on the basis of the Secretary General’s report. USG Ladsous will also brief on the status of compliance by Sudan, South Sudan and the SPLM-N with the decisions set forth in resolution 2046 (2012).


15.       The Council will hold consultations on Western Sahara on 17 April. The Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy Christopher Ross and SRSG Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber will brief on the status and progress of negotiations and the implementation of resolution 2099 (2013). (Copy attached) It is expected that the Council will be informed of challenges to the operations of MINURSO and steps taken to address them. The mandate of MINURSO will expire on 30 April 2014.


16.       SRSG Albert Koenders will brief the Council on 23 April on the situation in Mali and the implementation of the mandate of MINUSMA. The briefing will include updates on the security situation, the priority elements defined in resolution 2100 (2013) and the implementation of the transitional road map. It is expected that relevant information on the progress, promotion and protection of human rights and international humanitarian law as well as review of troop levels, force generation and deployment of MINUSMA’s constituent elements will also be revealed.


17.       The Council will be briefed by Joint Special Representative and Head of UNAMID, Mohamed Ibn Chambas on 24 April. It will be recalled that the SG was required by resolution 2113 (2013) to report to the Council every 90 days on progress in the implementation of UNAMID’s mandate, including the operational and self-sustainment capabilities of troop and police contingents. An update on progress on the political track, the security and humanitarian situation, including in the IDP sites and refugee camps, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law is also expected.


18.       In March, the SG in his report, offered five recommendations on improving the effectiveness of the AU/UN Hybrid Mission. Three strategic priorities were identified in the Report namely: Mediation between the Government and non-signatory armed movements on basis of the DDPD, while taking into account ongoing transformation at the national level; The protection of Civilians, the facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance including safety and security of humanitarian personnel; and Mediation of community conflict including thorough measures to address its root causes. All these are highlighted in the Resolution to be adopted on 3 April 2014.


19.       On 24 April, the Chair of the 1572 Committee concerning sanctions on Cote d’Ivoire, will present the report of the Committee to the Council. The sanctions regime was authorised by resolution 1572 of 2004, to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to Cote d’Ivoire, of arms and any related materiel by Member States. Discussions will centre on an assessment of the progress achieved in the stabilisation of the Country and thus, the possibility of modification or lifting of all or part of the residual measures.


20.       On 30 April the Council will hold consultations on the Middle East with a focus on the humanitarian situation in Syria. USG Valerie Amos will brief the Council on the implementation of SCR 2139, which is aimed at improving access for humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced persons in Syria.


21.       On 30 April the Chair of the 2140 Committee concerning newly established sanctions regime on Yemen, H.E. Ms Raimonda Murmokaitè, Permanent Representative of Lithuania, will present the report of the Committee to the Council. 


22.       30 April, the Council will hold a private meeting on the implementation of Note S/2010/507. This is to demonstrate Nigeria’s support for openness and transparency in the work of the Council. As is the usual practice, a Concept Note will be circulated and the Presidency strongly encourages UN Member States not members of the Security Council to attend the meeting in accordance with Rules 37 and 39 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the Security Council.


I thank you.


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