Mali; DPRK; Israel; ICC

Mali: The SC was briefed by USG for DPA, Jeffrey Feltman, on the situation in Mali today, followed by closed consultations. The SG spoke with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius yesterday, where Fabius informed the SG of recent French military operations in the country at the Malian Government’s request. The SG welcomes the response of bilateral partners, at the request and with the consent of the government of Mali, to its call for assistance. The SG issued a statement on the situation, noting that he spoke with the President of Côte d’Ivoire and Chair of ECOWAS, Mr. Alassane Ouattara, on Saturday, who briefed him on the upcoming ECOWAS summit – planned for January 19 in Abuja – and the plans of several of its member states to deploy military forces. Despite limited access to the North due to insecurity, the WFP has managed, through its partners, to move emergency food to 270,000 conflicted-affected people, including 70,000 internally displaced persons.

DPRK: UN human rights chief Navi Pillay called on the international community to launch an inquiry into the “deplorable” human rights violations in the DPRK. Ms. Pillay is concerned that international attention focused almost exclusively on the country’s rocket launches and nuclear program, rather than on the enforcement of human rights. She urges the international community to take a “much firmer step” towards finding the truth about the elaborate network of prison camps and apply pressure on DPRK to bring about change for its 20 million citizens.

Israel: The SG once again called on Israel to dismiss its plan to build settlements in East Jerusalem today. Reiterating his statement issued on December 2nd, the SG expresses his “grave disappointment” and is following with concern the settlement plans and recent demonstrations in the E-1 area. He repeated that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and that any such settlement plans must be rescinded.

ICC: The SG’s Spokesperson, referring to a recent letter from Switzerland and more than 50 other Member States, said today that it would be up to the Security Council to determine how to deal with the request for the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court.