Kofi Annan Resigns; World Humanitarian Day; Salary Freeze; South Sudan; Mali

Kofi Annan Resigns: The SG announced the resignation of the United Nations-League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy for the Syrian crisis, Kofi Annan today. Mr. Annan informed both the SG and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Mr. Nabil El Araby, of his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on 31 August 2012. The UN Secretary-General is now consulting with his counterpart at the League of Arab States, in order to promptly appoint a successor “who can carry on [with] this crucial peacemaking effort.” Annan’s Six Point Plan still remains the “best hope” for the Syrian people.  Annan held a press conference in Geneva earlier today, issuing his own statement regarding his resignation.  In press coverage of the briefing, multiple sources say that Annan “blames” the Security Council, the Syrian Government, and the armed opposition for failing to provide the support he needed to succeed in the mission: NY
, Turtle Bay, Voice of America.  Ambassador Rice’s statement on Annan’s resignation, where she said the Council Members that blocked collective consequences for non-compliance made his mission “impossible”, is available here.

UN Launches World Humanitarian Day Campaign: The United Nations launched a global campaign aimed to reach one billion people on World Humanitarian Day on August 19th, featuring the music of performing artist Beyoncé. The website, www.whd-iwashere.org, launched today, will provide members of the public with an opportunity to unite and share their individual acts of good.  The goal of the campaign is to reach 1 billion people by August 19.

Salary Freeze: Today the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) decided to implement a salary freeze on NY-based UN employees, effective immediately, a move welcomed by U.S. Ambassador Torsella.  The GA will vote on whether to extend the freeze this fall.

South Sudan: WFP announced that it plans to air drop 2,000 metric tons of food to refugees located in parts of South Sudan with little infrastructure, as food needs sharply increased following an influx of 35,000 refugees from Sudan into the Maban County. Last month alone, WFP supported some 105,000 refugees in the area, and the air drops will allow assistance to continue uninterrupted.

Mali: During his visit to Burkina Faso this week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, expressed that the Refugee Agency is still struggling with a severe lack of funding, despite a recent $10 million donation from the United States and contributions from other donors. The agency has so far received $49.9 million out of the $153 million needed for the emergency operation.