Press Conference by Security Council President on Work Programme for August

The Security Council would consider peacekeeping operations — with a focus on peacebuilding and sustaining peace — during an open debate to be held on 29 August, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), its President for August, said at a Headquarters press conference today.

Presenting the programme of work for the month, Mr. Aboulatta said today’s briefing on threats to international peace and security would consider, in particular, efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons.  On 3 August, the Council would hear a briefing on general issues concerning United Nations sanctions, specifically enhancing their effectiveness, he added.

The Council would hold two briefings on peace and security in Africa, he continued, noting that the first, on 10 August, would focus on sexual violence in conflict.  The second, on 15 August, would update resolution 2359 (2017) on combating terrorism and transnational crime in the Sahel.

He said that on 25 August, the Council would hear a briefing on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations, the League of Arab States in particular.  Also during the month, the Council would adopt two draft resolutions, on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), respectively, and hear briefings on other peacekeeping operations.

Asked when the Security Council would feel it had a responsibility to intervene in Venezuela, the President emphasized that the situation in that country was an internal matter and not one of international peace and security.

Responding to a question about Thursday’s briefing on sanctions, he spotlighted the need to hear from countries currently under sanctions, as well as those emerging from sanctions.  “At the end of the day, sanctions are not an end but a means,” he pointed out.

Asked about the Council’s position on sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said talks were ongoing within the Council.  He recalled the statement by the Permanent Representative of the United States to the effect that there was no need to continue talking.  However, that was the position of the United States, he said, adding that the Council would continue discussions on that “very complicated and sensitive” issue.

When asked whether he would call an emergency meeting on the situation in the Middle East if developments on the ground deteriorated any further, he said a major crisis had been avoided.  The Presidency would continue to work with Jordan and Israel to resolve the matter, and remained open to holding an emergency meeting if the violence escalated, he added.

Questioned about the Council’s non-issuance of a statement on Yemen, where the humanitarian situation had deteriorated into the worst since the Second World War, he said Council members would respond to a statement expected from Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for that country.

Asked whether the Council would request a more detailed report from the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolution 2334 (2016), he said the report of the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process contained an evaluation of developments and there would be another in August.

To a query about a timeline for a new resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said talks between China and the United States on that “very complicated and sensitive” issue were ongoing.

For the full programme of work, please see www.un.org/en/sc/programme/.

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