HR Council; Syria; Development Dialogue; Iran Nuclear Issue; Small Arms Trade

HR Council: The Human Rights Council opened its annual session today, touching on topics currently considered issue areas by the UN, from ongoing conflict in Syria and its impact on civilians to broader issues such as discrimination and impunity. The SG spoke at the session, urging the Council to “respond to all human rights violations in an even-handed manner, without disproportionately emphasizing any one situation
over another.”

Syria: Human Rights chief Navi Pillay addressed the HR Council today, urging the SC to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court to prosecute the human rights violations in the country perpetrated throughout the conflict (Colum Lynch’s comments on the speech here). The SG also spoke with Pierre Maurer, president of the ICRC, in Geneva today, both in agreement on the urgency needed for a cessation of hostilities in the country. After the recent death of a UNRWA staff member, the agency urges parties to the violence to refrain from fighting in civilian areas.

Development Dialogue: DSG Jan Eliasson opened the GA’s annual dialogue on meeting international development goals on behalf of the SG today, calling for sustainable and” far-reaching vision” that aimed not only to overcome the recent global financial crisis, but also to create jobs and protect the environment. This is the 2012 session of the Development Dialogue, themed ‘Macroeconomic Policies for the Future We Want’ based on Rio+20, established to assess progress being made on the MDGs, the outcome of which will also provide a foundation for the post-2015 framework.

Iran Nuclear Issue: The Director General of the IAE addressed the Board of Governor’s today, renewing his call on Iran to grant inspectors access to the Parchin nuclear facility site. The DG said that despite the intensified dialogue between the Agency and the country since January of this year, no concrete results have been achieved so far. Without Iran’s full engagement, the Agency will not be able to start the process to resolve all outstanding issues, including those concerning possible military
dimensions to its nuclear program.

Small Arms Trade: According to the SG, this weekend saw the “successful” end of the Second Review Conference on the Small Arms Trade. The final report, issued Friday, expresses the international community’s unwavering commitment to combat the devastating impacts of illicit small arms and light weapons.  It also sets out a roadmap for the period 2012-2018, with concrete, actionable steps to implement the Program of Action.