SG Announces High-Level Panel; Darfur; Camp Ashraf; Côte d’Ivoire; Guinea-Bissau; Syria; Mali

SG Announces High-Level Panel: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed 26 civil society, private sector and government leaders from all regions to a High-level Panel to advise on the global development agenda beyond 2015 today. The list includes: H.E. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Indonesia, Co-Chair); H.E. Ms. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Liberia, Co-Chair); H.E. Mr. David Cameron (UK, Co-Chair); Fulbert Gero Amoussouga (Benin); Vanessa Petrelli Correa (Brazil); Yingfan Wang (China); Maria Angela Holguin (Colombia); Gisela Alonso (Cuba); Jean-Michel Severino (France); Horst Kohler (Germany); Naoto Kan (Japan); H.M. Queen Rania of Jordan (Jordan); Betty Maina (Kenya); Abhijit Banerjee (India); Andris Piebalgs (Latvia); Patricia Espinosa (Mexico); Paul Polman (Netherlands); Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria); Elvira Nabiullina (Russian Federation); Graca Machel (South Africa); Sung-Hwan Kim (Republic of Korea); Gunilla Carlsson (Sweden); Emilia Pires (Timor-Leste); Kadir Topbas (Turkey); John Podesta (USA); Tawakel Karman (Yemen); Amina J. Mohammed (ex officio)

Darfur: The Security Council extended the mandate of the joint United
Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) for another year today
, and demanded that all parties to the conflict in the Sudanese region immediately end violence and work towards a comprehensive peace settlement. By a vote of 14 in favor, with one abstention, the Council also decided that the uniformed personnel serving with the Mission will be reconfigured, over a period of 12 to 18 months, to consist of up to 16,200 military personnel, 2,310 police personnel and 17 formed police units of up to 140 personnel each.

Camp Ashraf: At a meeting with the Iraqi Government, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, today urged the authorities to avoid violence in resolving the situation of more than 1,000 Iranian exiles currently located in a camp in Iraq. “The relocation has come a long way since February and the situation has remained peaceful so far,” Kobler, said. “This should not be endangered. The UN went every extra mile and will continue to leave no stone unturned to fulfill this humanitarian mission.” According to a news release from the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) – which Mr. Kobler also heads – the envoy urged the Government to refrain from violence under any circumstances, and to be generous when it comes to the humanitarian needs of the residents of Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf.

Côte d’Ivoire: According to an independent UN expert today, internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Côte d’Ivoire need durable solutions based on a human rights approach to be able to rebuild their lives. “The needs of IDPs as well as those of their host or return communities continue to be dire,” the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, said at the end of a nine-day visit to the African country.

Guinea-Bissau: The Security Council today called on all political actors and civil society in Guinea-Bissau to engage in a consensual, inclusive and nationally-owned process to restore constitutional order in the country. In a statement read out to the press by Ambassador Néstor Osorio of Colombia, which holds the Council’s presidency for the month of July, the 15-member body also encouraged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (known by the Portuguese acronym CPLP), in collaboration with the United Nations and African Union, to support this process.

Syria: With armed violence still continuing in parts of Syria, thousands of people are fleeing their homes on a daily basis and seeking refuge in schools, mosques and public buildings, as well as in neighboring countries, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today. Violence continues to rage in Syria’s most populous city, Aleppo, with local organizations registering each day about 300 displaced families in need of urgent assistance, a UNHCR spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, told reporters in Geneva.

Mali: A United Nations top official today urged the international community to boost its support for the hundreds of thousands of Malian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries due to recent violence. At the start of a three-day visit to Burkina Faso to review the situation for Malian refugees, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, also appealed to donors to provide funding for the increasingly critical situation refugees face, and urged countries to help find a political solution to the crisis in the Western African country.