SG addresses issue of nuclear safety at summit in Ukraine, humanitarian agencies mobilize in Libya and more from UN Direct

SG: Today, the SG addressed a summit on nuclear safety in Kiev, Ukraine, and discussed the explosion at Chernobyl 25 years ago. He went on further to explain that the tragedy at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant continues to unfold, which leads to the question of how the UN and international community can ensure both the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and maximum safety. At this point, the SG urged for a top-to-bottom review of current nuclear safety standards at the national and international levels through 1) the strengthening of IAEA; 2) a sharper focus on the link between natural disasters and nuclear safety; 3) a cost-benefit analysis of nuclear energy; and 4) a stronger connection between nuclear safety and nuclear security. He noted that such an approach is critical in the run-up to the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

Libya: The WFP has managed to open a humanitarian corridor into Western Libya. Yesterday, eight trucks with enough food for 50,000 people for 30 days traveled to that part of the country. This Wednesday, a UNICEF ship carrying supplies (i.e. first aid kits, drinking water, water purification tablets, hygiene material, and recreational material for children) for 15,000-25,000 people will dock in Misrata. UNHCR has seen a growing number of Libyan refugees arriving in Tunisia from Libya’s Western Mountains regions. This past weekend, roughly 6,000 Libyan nations arrived in southern Tunisia. Also, the WHO is working with Misrata hospital, which is having a hard time conducting surgeries due to its overstretched capacities. 120 Misrata hospital patients need evacuation. In regards to children, Radhika Coomaraswamy, the SRSG on Children and Armed Conflict, explained that the situation in Misrata is of particular concern at a time when heavy shelling, bombardment, and land mines claim children as victims.

Security Council: This afternoon at 3 PM, the Council will hold consultations on Côte d’Ivoire sanctions.