SG Back from Tehran; Iran; Syrian Refugees; Food Prices; SC President; This week at the UN

SG Back from Tehran: SG Ban Ki-moon is back in New York after his visit to Tehran for the 16th NAM Summit. The SG spoke to the press before leaving, stating he was leaving mindful of the challenges, but also satisfied that he had conveyed the messages that must be aired at this crucial time. The SG had a number of bilateral meetings in Tehran on Friday, including with the Syrian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, as well as Nabil El-Araby, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. He reiterated that violence must stop on all sides and that the flow of weapons to both sides should also be halted, and urged Syria to allow a greater number of humanitarian partners to operate in the country so that aid can reach those who desperately need it.

Iran: In a statement released on Friday, the SG noted that it is regrettable that Iran has yet to reach agreement with the IAEA on a plan to resolve all outstanding nuclear issues.

Syrian Refugees: UNHCR reported today that the number of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries from the violence in Syria rose to over 100,000 in August – the highest monthly total to date. According to the report, 103,416 people sought asylum in countries neighboring Syria in that month, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration as of September 2 to 235,368 – mainly in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.

Food Prices: FAO, IFAD, and WFP have all appealed for action on international food prices following fears of a repeat of the 2007-2008 world food crisis. In a joint statement released today, the directors of all three agencies said that we need to act urgently to make sure that price shocks do not turn into a catastrophe hurting tens of millions over the coming months. 

SC President: France ended its post as president of the SC on Friday, with German Ambassador Peter Wittig taking the presidency for the month of September.

This week at the UN:

Tuesday, September 4: the GA will hold a meeting on Syria; the SG and Joint Special Representative are expected to participate.

Wednesday, September 5: September’s president of the SC, Germany’s Peter Wittig, will hold a press conference at 12:30 PM.

Friday, September 7: the UN conference to review the progress made on the small arms trade ends today.