Palestine; Middle East; The SC; DRC; TB/HIV; Liberia

Palestine: Ambassador Riyad Mansour, of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN, briefed the press this morning on the upcoming vote in the GA on Palestine’s status. He noted that the opportunity for Palestine to become a non-member permanent observer state is a “historic moment in the history of the UN” and that, if successful, recognition by the GA will pave the way for serious negotiation towards a two-state solution. The vote on the resolution will be held on November 29th at 10 AM, followed by discussion of the “Palestinian question” in the GA that afternoon at 3 PM.

Middle East: Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, briefed the SC this morning on the “dangerous escalation” that took place in the region last week. He noted that Egypt and other parties to the conflict are in the midst of discussions to follow up on the ceasefire. Although the situation on the ground remains relatively calm, Serry expressed that the  “status quo is unsustainable.”

The SC: The SC held an open meeting on Kosovo this afternoon, followed by consultations on the situation in the DRC. Council members will hear from USG for DPKO Hervé Ladsous and from Chef de Cabinet Susana Malcorra, who travelled to Kampala last weekend as a Personal Envoy of the SG.

DRC: In Kinshasa today, the SG’s Special Representative for the DRC, Roger Meece, held a press conference and welcomed the follow-up to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Summit in Kampala. According to MONUSCO, the situation in Goma is “calm but tense,” with 84 patrols conducted in the past 24 hours in the city. Both UNHCR and WFP are working “around the clock” to assist those displaced by the conflict, providing basic services such as water, food, and shelter to more than 140,000 people.

TB/HIV: UNAIDS and the Stop TB Partnership launched a new initiative today that seeks to achieve the 2015 goal of reducing deaths from TB among HIV patients by 50 per cent, or the equivalent of 600,000 lives. Part of a broader effort to combat the dual infection, the initiative will focus on the 10 countries which currently bear three-quarters of all TB/HIV fatalities: Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Liberia: The SG has appointed Aeneas Chapinga Chuma of Zimbabwe as his Deputy Special Representative for Recovery and Governance of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).  Mr. Chuma will also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative, replacing Mr. Moustapha Soumaré of Mali.