From January 1st to 31st, Kazakhstan, for the first time in its history, assumes the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council.
As part of its role, the Presidency coordinates the Council’s activities and, with the assistance of the UN Secretariat, ensures continuity within the Council’s daily work. The Presidency also makes statements on behalf of the Council, in consultation with the Security Council members, as well as releasing press statements following discussions within informal consultations and whenever the Security Council reaches agreement on the text of a document.
It is expected that on January 2, the permanent representatives of the UN Security Council will review the programme of the Presidency for the month ahead. It is also planning to hold briefings on the Council’s programme of work for UN member states that are not members of the Security Council, as well as for the media and NGOs. Following a proposal by Kazakhstan , the Security Council, will for the first time, hold an official ceremony where the flags of Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Peru and Poland will be flown to honour their election as new non-permanent members of the Council for the next two years.
The UN Security Council Thematic Debates entitled “WMD Non-proliferation: Confidence-building Measures”, chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, are also planned to take place on 18th of January. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, as well as the Chair of the Governing Board of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Ambassador Jan Eliasson, former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, have been invited to address the debates.
On January 19th, the UN Security Council will hold a Ministerial-level debate on the threats to international peace and security focusing on the topic: “Building a Regional Partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia as a Model to Link Security and Development.” It is expected that Foreign Ministers of Central Asian nations and Afghanistan, as well as heads of foreign-policy establishments of the UNSC member states, will attend.
On January 25th, the UNSC will hold its quarterly open debate on the topic “the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question” which will focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It will be attended by permanent representatives of UN member states.
In addition, open and closed discussions of the Council, on the situation in Syria, Libya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Darfur, West Africa and Sahel, South Sudan, Mali, Somalia, Cyprus and Colombia will be held under the Presidency of Kazakhstan in January.
Several resolutions and Presidential statements are scheduled to be adopted.
The priorities of Kazakhstan as a member of the UN Security Council in 2017-2018 are indicated in President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s policy address to the UNSC “Kazakhstan’s Concept and Vision for Sustaining Global Partnerships for a Secure, Just and Prosperous World.” These include: 1) achieving a world free of nuclear weapons; 2) eliminating the threat of a global war and reaching the settlement of local conflicts; 3) promoting the interests of Central Asia while strengthening regional security and cooperation; 4) countering terrorism; 5) peace and security in Africa; 6) ensuring an inextricable link between security and sustainable development; 7) adapting the Security Council and the entire UN system to the threats and challenges of the 21st century.
Presidency of the UNSC has a significant international status because the Security Council can make decisions regarding coercive measures, economic sanctions and collective military action. According to the UN Charter, the Security Council bears the primary responsibility for maintaining peace and international security, and all UN member states are obliged to help in implementing its decisions.