HR Council; SG’s Travels; R2P; Sierra Leone; Security Council

HR Council: Sudan pulled out of the race for the hotly contested bid for a seat on the Human Rights Council, after Khartoum told the African Union that it “is no longer interested in taking up one of the vacancies available….” This withdrawal comes after the US, Western governments, and human rights organization contested the Sudanese nomination.

SG’s Travels: This evening, the SG will leave for Turin, Italy, where he will chair a retreat for the senior officials of the UN system. Early next week, he will travel to Switzerland, which is marking its tenth year as a UN Member State.

R2P: The SG presented his fourth annual report on the Responsibility to Protect at an informal interactive dialogue of the GA this morning, stressing that a timely and decisive response is vital in the face of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Today’s dialogue is the fourth held since 2009 and focuses on timely and decisive responses – the third pillar of the responsibility to protect. The SG highlighted the need to act when a State fails to protect its own people in a statement to the GA, pointing to the immense human cost of failing to protect the population of Syria, where more than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, have died since the uprisings started 18 months ago.

Sierra Leone: OCHA announced today that more than 15,000 cases of cholera have been reported across Sierra Leone since the beginning of 2012. The SG’s Spokesperso noted that UN agencies and humanitarian partners say that the epidemic, which is affecting 14 out of 15 districts, has dramatically worsened during August and the number of deaths has more than doubled in recent weeks to nearly 250. The Government is reporting that this is the worst cholera outbreak in 15 years and has declared a national public health emergency.

Security Council: The SC held its first consultations for the month of September and adopted its program of work for the month.