Ambassador Rice just briefed the press on the Security Council’s program of work for December. Here are some highlights:

-December 13:  The Council will visit to D.C. with meetings at the State Department and White House. This visit will coincide with a dinner at the Blair House for the Permanent Representatives and their spouses.

-December 15: Vice President Joe Biden will lead a high-level event on Iraq, to discuss political progress.  The Secretary General will also attend.

-December 20: Open Debate on Resolutions 1820 & 1888 (Women, peace & security) during which Special Representative of the Secretary General for women in armed conflict Margaret Wallstrom and Peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy will brief

-December 21: “Voices of New Generation” youth event – USUN is asking the world’s youth (13-21) to submit video or written answers to the question, which will then be discussed among the Council, “What is the most vital challenge to international peace and security facing your generation?  Tell the UN Security Council what issue you believe deserves more attention, and explain why it is important.”

-A key issue which will be discussed at various points throughout the month is Sudan, which is due to come up in consultations December 16, when the Council will be briefed by Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sudan Haile Menkarios; December 9, when the Council will hear a briefing from the ICC;  and during a briefing on the Sudan Sanctions Committee.  (N.B. In response to a question on whether the Secretariat has requested augmenting troops in Sudan by 2,000 for the elections, Amb. Rice said there has been no formal proposal and the issue is currently being discussed between the UN and the Governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan.)

-The Council will also hear a briefing on Iran Sanctions December 10, and hold a quarterly debate on Afghanistan, featuring updates on UNAMA by UNAMA chief Steffan de Mistura, on December 22.

-Mandate renewals are expected on Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the Golan Heights (UNDOF).

So, expect a very busy December–all the more so because the Security Council will try to pack everything in before the Christmas and New Year’s holiday.

Special thanks to friend of Dispatch E.R. for helping to compile this info.

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