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

The Security Council would hold two open debates this month, the first on the issue of counter-terrorism and the other concerning cooperation on peace and security matters between the United Nations and the African Union, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt), the 15-member organ’s President for May, said at a Headquarters press conference.

Providing an overview of the Council’s forthcoming work, he said it would convene this morning for a briefing by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières on the protection of civilians, with a focus on health care in armed conflict.  The Council expected to adopt a resolution on that matter.

He said that, on 11 May, Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, would participate in the open debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, he said.  However, the list of briefers had not yet been finalized.  A Council visiting mission would then depart for Mogadishu with a view to providing support to the upcoming elections in Somalia, after which it would travel to Cairo to meet with the League of Arab States, he said.

On 24 May, once back in New York, he said, the Council would hold the open debate on United Nations-African Union peace and security cooperation, in particular the application of Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter and the future of the African peace and security architecture.  On 26 May, the Council would hear a briefing on peace and security challenges in the Sahel region, particularly desertification and the environment.

To a question about the situation in Libya, the Council President responded that the United Nations was working to bring all concerned parties together, and described the fight against terrorism as the most important task ahead.

Asked about a potential resolution on Palestine, he said there would be an Arab League committee meeting on moves towards Arab-Israeli peace and curbing Israeli settlement activity.  However, until that meeting took place, it would not be brought to the Council, he emphasized.

On resuming talks with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he said there might be a discussion in May.  He pointed out, however, that, despite the Council’s intention, that country continued to launch missiles.

Asked about the possibility of lifting sanctions against South Sudan, he acknowledged ongoing discussions, but stressed that the first step must be to create a suitable environment in order to bring all concerned parties together.

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