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UN Updates: April 24, 2015

*Keywords: SG=Secretary-General, DSG=Deputy Secretary-General

SG-Travel: The SG departs for travel on April 26 to discuss migration issues with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and meet with his Holiness Pope Francis in Italy. He will then attend the opening meeting of the Chief Executive Board of the UN and UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebration in Paris.
South Darfur: According to a statement released today by UNAMID, the agency’s peacekeepers repelled two attacks by unidentified armed men in Kass, South Darfur.

Azerbaijan: In a press release issued today, OHCHR announced that the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) delegation had succeeded in visiting sites of interest and places of detention during its most recent visit to Azerbaijan.

Mediterranean: Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the Office of the UNHCR, applauded the EU’s mobilization of resources in response to the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.

UK: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged British authorities and media today to limit incitement to hatred by tabloid newspapers, adding that “the nasty underbelly of racism that is characterizing the migration debate in an increasing number of European Union countries has skewed the EU response to the crisis.”

Libya: Today the OHCHR condemned the ‘horrific’ acts of violence that occurred in Libya in this past week, including the deaths in the Mediterranean of people escaping from violence, the execution of Christians, and the killing of members of a prominent family by the Islamic State.

Appointments: Today the SG appointed Philippe Lazzarini of Switzerland as the Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon and appointed Ali H. Al-Za’tari of Jordan as the new Deputy Special Representative and Deputy Head UNSMIL.

Disarmament: At the closing of the Disarmament Commission’s 2015 session today, Permanent Representative of Senegal to the UN, Fode Seck, noted that “although the discussions had been unable to produce consensus documents, they provided fruitful exchange of views.
Togo: In a statement released today, the SG called on all national stakeholders to engage in ensuring that the presidential election in Togo tomorrow be conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner.

Mali: In a statement release today, the SG expressed his concern by a series of attacks against MINUSMA in Mali and against MINUSMA contractors that have killed 5 civilians, injured 13 civilians and 16 UN peacekeepers in the past week.

Myanmar: During today’s Meeting of the Partnership Group on Myanmar, the SG reaffirmed the UN’s commitment “to supporting the Government to address the needs of all vulnerable populations” and noted that the “establishment of an OHCHR office with a full mandate will help strengthen Myanmar’s commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights.”

Syria: Today the USG for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, appealed to the SC “to look seriously at all the options at its disposal which could help to bring an end to the violence in Syria, stop the violations of international law, protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access.”

UNESCO: Three universities in Benin, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire received new IT infrastructure and computing platforms today as a result of a partnership between UNESCO and the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

Malaria: An agreement reached today by UNDP and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is set to provide a strong boost in the fight against malaria: $81 million will be added to the Global Fund’s existing malaria grant in Sudan.

Yemen: Today Rupert Colville, spokesperson for OHCHR, informed that civilians are continuing to die in Yemen, noting that “the total number of people killed is considerably higher.” 

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