Security Council backs Côte d’Ivoire election results, GA adopts global health & foreign policy resolution, UNAMA issues human rights report and more from UN Direct

Mideast Peace Process: Following up on Robert Serry’s remarks yesterday on the current settlement activity in the West Bank, the SG urgently calling for a negotiated peace and a two-State solution in the Middle East.  He pointed out the United States’ continued effort in support of the negotiations, and looks forward to the upcoming Quartet discussions.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Election Results: The Security Council reiterated in a statement to the press that Alassane Ouattara is President-elect of the country, calling for all parties and stakeholder to respect this outcome and condemning any effort to go against the will of the people who participated in these elections. It stands ready to impose targeted measures against anyone who tries to impede the peace process, obstruct the work of UNOCI, or commit violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Today, Choi Young-jin, the SGSR, met with Ouattara to discuss the post-electoral situation, which was their first discussion since the certification of the election results by Choi. Choi stated his readiness to meet with Laurent Gbagbo.

Global Health & Foreign Policy: this morning the GA unanimously adopted a resolution, co-sponsored by the U.S., which links global health to foreign policy.  The third year the resolution has been passed, this year’s text welcomes the launch of the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health and establishment of UN Women, as well as outlines some key dates for the global health agenda in 2011, such as the high-level meeting in September 2011 on non-communicable diseases, Second Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in January 2011 in Bangkok, the WHO Conference on Social Determinants of Health in Rio in October 2011 and the GA review of HIV/AIDS.  In his remarks, Ambassador Barton underlined the U.S.’ commitment to global health through the Global Health Initiative and $63 billion pledge over the next six years, which will focus on a women and girl centered-approach, country leadership and strengthening health capacity and systems.

UNAMA: today UNAMA released a report on human rights in Afghanistan, which documents harmful practices against women, including forced marriage, honor killings and other forms of violence against women, which it said are pervasive in the country.  Based on interviews throughout 2010 in almost all Afghan provinces, the report found that such practices are rooted in discrimination about the role and position of women in Afghan society.  The report urged the expeditious implementation of the Law on Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW law), noting that most of the crimes are not only illegal under Afghan law, but inconsistent with Sharia law.

PGA: This afternoon, at a Council of Organizations event, the PGA discussed the GA’s agenda and his three top priorities: 1) development; 2) environment; and 3) governance. He went into the importance of attaining the MDGs, which he deemed as the most ambitious program. Nonetheless, Deiss firmly stated that meeting these goals through political will is doable, highlighting that the international community has the economic and financial means necessary. The GA is currently working on monitoring both commitments from Member States and beneficiaries. Deiss also placed emphasis on creating jobs and generating a green economy, explaining that the UN is doing a lot of work on the ground to understand the nature of the local economy and local businesses, in order to establish an environment that supports job creation. In regards to the priority of governance, Deiss stressed the need for small groups like the G20 to be efficient and legitimate. He wants to reaffirm the central role of the UN in global governance, as it’s necessary that multilateral organizations help to tackle global issues such as the financial crisis, global warming, and international criminality. Looking ahead, Deiss has planned informal debates and civil society dialogues for 2011, so that Member States and civil society organizations can work together more efficiently.