This afternoon, Kuwait and Sweden have put a draft resolution into blue that would establish a month-long cessation of hostilities in Syria. Two rounds of negotiations were held on the draft, as well as intense bilateral negotiations between the penholders and Russia. At press time, it did not seem acceptable to Russia in its current form, but it was uncertain when the vote would take place.
Kuwait will have the presidency in February and has chosen as its centrepiece a ministerial-level briefing on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter in the maintenance of international peace and security, with the Secretary-General as the main speaker. It is also planning to hold an open debate on working methods (Kuwait is the chair of the Working Group on Documentation and Other Procedural Questions).
For much of its existence, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)—which was created as an advisory body to the Council and the General Assembly—has been looked at cynically by some members of the Security Council, as not providing much-added value to the Council’s work. Council members, but also the UN general membership and many among the staff in the UN Secretariat, have viewed the PBC as something of a disappointment.
On Monday (20 November), the Security Council will be briefed by the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Michel Kafando, and the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission Burundi configuration, Ambassador Jürg Lauber (Switzerland), on the situation in Burundi, followed by consultations. A representative from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is expected to participate in the consultations. Resolution 2303 of 29 July 2016 requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the situation in Burundi every three months.