Hurricane Sandy; Somalia; Bahrain; IDPs in Mali; Next week at the UN

Hurricane Sandy: The SG today offered his condolences to those currently suffering the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The UN building itself suffered extensive damage from the hurricane, much of its basement flooded during the storm. In Haiti, some 60 people were killed and overall 1.8 million people have been affected by the storm, with up to two million people at risk of malnutrition. WFP, the Haitian Government, and UN partners are distributing food aid, drinking water, water purification supplies, hygiene kits, and other non-food items.

Somalia: Weathering the hurricane on Wednesday, the SC extended the mandate of the international peacekeeping force, AMISOM, providing support to the Government of Somalia in its efforts to bring peace and stability to the country. The Council authorizes the Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment until November 7, 2012.

Bahrain: In response to restrictions Bahraini authorities have imposed on public demonstrations and other public gatherings in Bahrain, the SG “believes these restrictions could aggravate the situation in the country.” According to media reports, the Bahraini Government declared the restrictions on October 30th amidst clashes in recent weeks between anti-government protesters and police. A senior interior ministry official reportedly said that “repeated abuse” of the rights of freedom of expression could no longer be tolerated.

IDPs in Mali: UNHCR announced today that new data on the number of Malians who have left or been driven from their homes amid conflict and other threats show the total is almost 60 per cent higher than previously thought. There are now thought to be at least 203,845 IDPs in the country, up from a previous count of 118,795. The revised figure comes as the agency also highlighted a shortfall in funding it said it needed to help IDPs in Mali, as well as Malian refugees in surrounding countries.

Next week at the UN:

Monday, November 5: There will be a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on the report of the IAEA.

Tuesday, November 6: The SC will hold closed consultations on the situation in Syria.

Wednesday, November 7: The SC will hear a briefing on Libya by the ICC. In the afternoon, there will be a briefing on the SG’s High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Thursday, November 8: The SC will hear a briefing on UNSMIL and on Libya sanctions, followed by closed consultations on the same topics.