SG addresses Council of Europe and European Parliament, set to depart on four-nation Asia tour next week

SG in Europe: Today, the SG spoke to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, underlining the need for the reinforcement of the universal compact of human rights. He warned that immigration and economic recession has created anxiety, which can lead to discrimination and exclusion, necessitating the protection of the basic rights of migrants.  He also welcomed the Council of Europe’s meeting tomorrow to discuss the integration of Roma people in Europe.  Addressing the European Parliament later on, he warned against “the politics of politicization”, stating that “Europe cannot afford stereotyping that closes minds and breeds hatred”.  He also discussed the need to tackle poverty, combat climate change and build a world free of nuclear weapons.

SG to travel to Asia: the SG will travel to Asia on October 26, starting in Bangkok, Thailand, and then going to Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.  In each country, he plans on meeting with Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams.  While in Vietnam, he will attend the ASEAN-UN Summit.  His China leg will include visits to Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing and his participation in the Closing Ceremony of the World Expo 2010.

Sudan: answering a question on potential buildups of UNMIS in the North-South border area, SRSG Haile Menkerios said UNMIS has been making adjustments to the deployment of existing troops throughout the cease-fire zones, consistent with its mandate and with full knowledge of both parties.

Pakistan: OCHA is currently reporting that roughly 20.2 million people have been affected by the flooding and 14 million require humanitarian aid, 7 million of which are without shelter.  Food has been supplied to an estimated 8.8 million people, medicine to 5.15 million and shelter needs to 3.4 million.  Currently, 3.7 million people have access to clean water on a daily basis.  However, the Response Plan for Pakistan remains 36% funded and UNICEF is reporting a 26% increase (compared to 2009) in polio cases among children.

DPKO & DFS on SEA figures: today DPKO and DFS released the third quarter 2010 statistics on cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving UN peacekeeping personnel.  Compared to 2009, 2010 is showing a 21% decrease in cases throughout the first three quarters.  In the third quarter there were 19 allegations of sexual abuse.