Davos; Egypt; Mali; Jordan; Drones; Next week at the UN

Davos: The SG concluded his time at the World Economic Forum in Davos today. While there, Mr. Ban attended a World Economic Forum session on financing green growth, a discussion on post-2015, as well as participated in a plenary session on global education. Speaking at an Every Woman Every Child Reception, the SG noted that “Every Woman Every Child is a shining example of successful multi-stakeholder partnership in action” and should be replicated in other areas such as food and nutrition and climate change.  He also met with the Prime Minister of Lebanon and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss the impact of the Syrian crisis on its neighboring countries.

Egypt: On the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, the SG extends his warmest wishes and reiterates the commitment of the UN to support the country in their efforts to build a more inclusive and democratic future. In doing so, the SG encourages the Egyptian people to remain committed to universal principles of: peaceful dialogue and non-violence, inclusiveness, respect for human rights and the independence of institutions, and democratic processes which are accommodating of the diversity of viewpoints.

Mali: SRSG for West Africa, Said Djinnit, briefed the SC on the situation in Mali today. He noted that the crisis has increased terrorism in the subregion, and called on the international community to enhance support in the areas of border control and counter-terrorism. Violence in the country has produced more than 150,000 refugees in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso, while an additional 230,000 Malians have been internally displaced.

Jordan: UNHCR announced today that it is working with Jordan and partners to open a second refugee camp by the end of the month as a record 30,000 Syrians arrived to the neighboring country in January alone. UNHCR noted that most incoming refugees fled due targeted violence, property loss, lack of medical treatment, high food and fuel prices, and scarce water and electricity and are primarily comprised of families, female-headed households and elderly people.

Drones: The SG’s Spokesperson announced today that the SC has approved the trial use of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), on a case-by-case basis by MONUSCO in the DRC. A procurement procedure has been launched for the effort, formal written consent has been received from the Government of the DRC, and neighboring Great Lakes countries have also been notified. The Spokesperson noted, however, that the SG has expressed concern by the use of armed drones for targeted attacks, as it raises questions about compliance with the fundamental principle of distinction between combatants and non-combatants.

Next week at the UN:

Monday, January 28: John Ging, Operations Director of OCHA, will brief the press on the situation in Syria at the noon briefing.

Tuesday, January 29: The SC will hear a briefing on UN Support Mission in Libya and will hold consultations on Syria.

Wednesday, January 30: The SG chair the high-level International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait; the SC will hear a briefing and hold consultations on the Rule of Law.

Thursday, January 31: H.E. Mr. Masood Khan, PR of Pakistan and President of the SC for the month of January, will brief the press.

Friday, February 1: DPRK will assume the Presidency of the SC, replacing Pakistan.