Le Roy gives Council update on Haiti, sexual violence is cause for concern in Cote d’Ivoire, Opium prices up in Afghanistan, and more from UN Direct

Haiti: Today, Alain Le Roy, USG for Peacekeeping Operations, briefed the Security Council on Haiti in an open meeting. After a year marked by the earthquake and the cholera epidemic, Le Roy said that the country’s priority is to focus on the current political crisis in order to address reconstruction and recovery challenges. He said the country’s Electoral Commission should accept the recommendations of OAS technical mission, or face a constitutional crisis.  USG Amos also briefed the Council on efforts to combat the cholera epidemic.  In her remarks, Ambassador Rice touched on the elections, security situation, humanitarian activities, and reconstruction.  In regards to the elections, she urged the Electoral Council to implement the OAS report recommendations, adding her concern about the impact of Duvalier’s return.  On the humanitarian front, Rice emphasized that the political impasse must be resolved so Haiti can most effectively respond to the cholera outbreak.

Côte d’Ivoire: Simon Munzo, head of the HR Division of UNOCI, said that the Mission has confirmed 13 new deaths due to the post-electoral violence. A total of at least 260 have died, 68 people have gone missing, and cases of sexual violence have been reported.  Ndolamb Ngokwey, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Côte d’Ivoire, said he was particularly concerned by the sexual violence in the western part of the country, including children ages 6-9. The UN has been providing water, hygiene kits, and medical equipments to IDPs. There are now roughly 16,000 IDPs and 29,000 Ivorian refugees in Liberia and other neighboring countries.

UNODC: today UNODC released its 2010 Afghanistan Opium Survey, which is reporting high opium prices (up 164% from 2009) due to lower production and military operations, which it says could cause more farmers to grow the crop.

Lebanon: Today, Michael Williams, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, met with Lebanese PM Saad Hariri, and discussed international initiates by Turkey and Qatar, as well as the vision for a new Government and stability in the country. Williams told reporters that it’s possible to have a new government provided that there is good will and cooperation of all political parties in working for justice and stability. The SG continues to monitor the situation in Lebanon closely.