Attack in Libya; New Appointment; Brahimi in Egypt; Rights of People with Disabilities; Sierra Leone; Human Security

Attack in Libya: After the devastating attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi – killing four including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens – yesterday, the SG is “deeply saddened” by the news and both Mr. Ban and the SC condemn the attacks “in the strongest terms.” SC President Peter Wittig opened the Council meeting, expressing the SC’s strong condolences for the families of those killed. US Ambassador Susan Rice issued a statement expressing her “profound sadness” and that the “Libyan people also lost a close friend” in losing Ambassador Stevens. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the State Department on the attacks today, stating that the attack should “shock the conscience of all faiths.” The Obama Administration has suggested that these attacks were planned, rather than the result of a random mob attack, prompted by yesterday’s online release of an American-made, anti-Islamic video trailer.

New Appointment: DPA’s Jeffrey Feltman addressed the SC today, introducing the SG’s report on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and announcing the SG’s appointment of a new Special Representative, former Lebanese minister Tarik Mitri, to replace Ian Martin, who helped establish the Mission last year. Feltman also noted that the attack against the US Consulate “further emphasizes the security challenge facing the authorities in Libya.”

Brahimi in Egypt: Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, continued his meetings in Cairo today. On Wednesday, he had a joint meeting with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Nabil El-Araby, and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar; this afternoon Mr. Brahimi met with representatives of the Syrian opposition.

Rights of People with Disabilities: Hundreds of advocates and experts on disability, as well as Government delegates, have gathered at UN HQ for the start of the Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which will have a special focus on women and children. The CRPD – the largest international meeting on disability issues – is held annually after its adoption in 2006. There are currently 119 States that have ratified or acceded to the Convention – these States Parties are required to promote full equality and participation of persons with disabilities in society. 

Sierra Leone: Today, the SC extended the UN mission assisting Sierra Leone with peace-building and long-term development until the end of March 2013, and called on all actors to ensure that upcoming elections are held in a peaceful, inclusive and credible manner.

Human Security:  Last night, the SG issued a statement saying that the GA’s adoption of a resolution on human security marks an important milestone in a common understanding of human security at the UN, bringing together the three pillars of the organization.