United Nations General Assembly

Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa, on Tuesday assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for September, when the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) will kick off.

Niger has chosen to hold four meetings focused on its areas of priority, according to the Security Council Report (SCR), whose mission is to advance the transparency and effectiveness of the council.

It is organizing a debate on the role of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) in peace and security, with briefings expected from the secretary-general of the OIF, Louise Mushikiwabo, the UN Secretariat and civil society.

The OIF is an international organization representing countries and regions where French is a lingua franca or customary language, where a significant proportion of the population are Francophones (French speakers), or where there is a notable affiliation with French culture.

A debate on children and armed conflict and attacks against schools, with a focus on the Sahel region, is also planned. The anticipated briefers are Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba and UN Children’s Fund Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

There will also be a summit-level debate on global governance in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be held during the virtual high-level week in the UNGA in the third week of September. Expected briefers are UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, and a civil society representative.

Niger also plans to hold a ministerial-level open debate on the humanitarian impact of environmental degradation on peace and security with a particular focus on the Sahel region.

Other debates this month include a debate for the annual briefing on UN peacekeeping reform and the quarterly debate on Afghanistan. Regarding Afghanistan, an adoption is also scheduled to renew the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

Three other adoptions are anticipated to renew the mandates of the UN Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh/ISIL, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia and the UN Support Mission in Libya.

The regular meetings on Syria, Yemen and the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, are also on the program of work.

Regarding African issues, there will be meetings on Sudan and South Sudan.

Also expected in September is the 14th annual meeting with the AU Peace and Security Council.

The council will be watching developments in Belarus, Burundi, Guinea-Bissau, Iran and Mali, according to the SCR.

“We are going to look for building consensus in the conduct of the council,” Abdou Abarry, UNSC president for the month, told journalists at a virtual press briefing.

“Indeed, diplomacy is the search of a solution,” said the Nigerien ambassador, who was showered with questions including one about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program reached in Vienna on July 14, 2015, between Iran and the five permanent members of the UNSC — China, France, Russia, Britain, the United States — plus Germany together with the European Union.

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