Security Council approves program of work for November under UK Presidency, Ambassador Rice condemns radio shutdown in Sudan and more from UN Direct.

Haiti: OCHA is currently prepositioning supplies in Jérémie, Les Cayes, Jacmel and Léogane as it continues to prepare for Hurricane Tomas.  Last night, Nigel Fisher, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, led an inter-agency mission to these cities to evaluate the level of emergency preparedness.  The UN is anticipating that a key challenge after the storm will be the difficulty of distributing supplies due to damaged infrastructure. In regards to the second batch of cholera tests conducted on the Nepalese military camp, it was confirmed that none of the peacekeepers have contracted the infection; however, MINUSTAH will continue running tests.

Security Council program for November: today the Security Council approved the program of work for November under the Presidency of the United Kingdom.  Briefing the press today, Ambassador Sir Lyall Grant said the “centerpiece” of the Presidency will be a Ministerial debate on Sudan November 16 intended to maintain the Council’s focus on the upcoming referenda.  The debate will follow the opening of voter registration November 14.  Other prominent debates will cover the three counterterrorism committees (1267, 1373, 1540) on November 15 and the protection of civilians November 22.  Two key adoptions expected will be on action against Somali piracy and DRC sanctions.

Ambassador Rice: today Ambassador Rice issued a statement condemning the reported shutdown of the Khartoum office of Radio Dabanga and the arrest of 13 staff and rights activists who shared the office.  The station was one of the few remaining media outlets reporting from Sudan on Darfur.  In a strongly worded statement, Ambassador Rice said that the arrests indicate an “emerging pattern of harassment and intimidation by the Government of Sudan against civil society”.  Asked about this in the press conference today, the Spokesperson said the SG is concerned by the reports, adding the UN calls on the Government to ensure the rights of journalists are respected.