Congolese commander arrested over rape allegations, DSG and SG prepare for Europe travel, OCHA appeals for $208 million more from UN Direct

Week Ahead: lots of activity next week, with the SG and DSG on the road.  On Monday, the DSG will attend the first meeting of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health in Geneva, of which she is a Commissioner. The Commission is chaired by President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and PM Stephen Harper of Canada, and will lead a process to establish a framework for global reporting, oversight, and accountability on women’s and children’s health. Afterwards, she will travel to Paris for the Commemoration of Holocaust victims, followed by Auschwitz-Birkenau to attend commemorative events.  She will be back in NY on February 2nd.  Thursday, January 27 is the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, and the UN will be holding events throughout the week, starting with exhibitions opening at HQ on Monday and ending with a Memorial Ceremony on Thursday.  The SG will be in Geneva Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by Davos on Thursday and Friday.  At 1pm Thursday Michelle Bachelet will launch UN Women’s 100 Day Action Plan at a press briefing (the first UN Women Executive Board meeting will run January 24-26).  Next week the next UPR session will be held at the HRC in Geneva.

SG: This morning, the SG addressed an open debate at the Security Council on institution-building, explaining that building effective and legitimate institutions is a difficult task, even under the most favorable circumstances. He added that the track record of institution-building is mixed and we can do better.  In her remarks, Ambassador Rice enumerated the difficulties inherent in institution-building, but also successes the UN has facilitated in place such as Liberia, adding that the quick deployment of civilian expertise is essential for countries emerging from conflict.  On the latter point, she said the findings of an International Review of Civilian Capacity will be released in the near future.

Côte d’Ivoire: the SG’s spokesperson today made clear that the call of the Ivoirian defense and security forces supporting Gbagbo to stop and search UN vehicles is a serious violation of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Security Council Resolution 1962 (2010), and is therefore unacceptable. The UN has also condemned the use of RTI to broadcast false information about UNOCI, as well as the obstruction of UNOCI’s work.

DRC: MONUSCO is reporting that Congolese authorities have arrested Lieutenant Colonel Kibibi Mutware in Fizi, the commander of the troops who were responsible for the raping and looting which took place in Fizi January 1-2, which the UN investigated.  Victims have said that Mutware also participated in the violations.

OCHA: Today, OCHA launched its 2011 appeal, asking for $208 million in voluntary contributions to cover extra-budgetary operations in 2011 (contributing to a total 2011 budget of $250 million).  Last year, OCHA coordinated $11 billion in humanitarian programming for 19 crises affecting 71 million people.  In 2010 250 disasters occurred, and OCHA is currently looking to find new and better ways of carrying out its work with a better understanding of global challenges such as climate change.  Speaking at this morning’s launch, a representative from the U.S. Mission said it has been pleased with OCHA’s strengthening of the cluster coordination system, highlighting the challenge of delivering assistance in high-risk environments.