SG briefs Council, press on recent travels, UNDP’s Clark travels to Indonesia and more from UN Direct

SG: following a briefing to the Security Council on his recent travel (which focused on developments in the Middle East & North Africa, nuclear safety and sustainable development), the SG briefed the press in a stakeout, condemning the continuing use of violence against demonstrators in Syria, and calling on the need for an independent investigation, which has also been heeded by High Commissioner Pillay.  The SG has now spoken to Assad over the phone on recent developments twice.  Turning to Libya, he welcomed the Council’s “decisive and unified” action, which has saved lives, while expressing concern about the humanitarian situation and noting that his Special Envoy will travel to Benghazi soon.  He also addressed the violence in Yemen, calling for inclusive dialogue, as well as the Sri Lanka report, which has been shared with the Government.  Yesterday, the UN made the report of the Panel of Experts on accountability public, which is available here.  This morning the SG addressed a special GA session commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl Disaster, underlining the need to continue the global debate on how to ensure the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and maximum safety, a topic he addressed at the Kiev Summit on Safe and Innovative Use of Nuclear Energy, presenting action-oriented proposals to reinforce the global nuclear safety regime.

UNDP: today UNDP Administrator Helen Clark began a 3-day trip to Indonesia to highlight its development agenda for the next five years, which includes a focus on addressing environmental challenges.  Tomorrow, she will talk to local officials on their involvement in the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) project.  Last year, Indonesia and Norway signed a letter of intent for over $1 billion in funding to help protect Indonesia’s forests.

Security Council: today the Council voted to extend the work of the 1540 Committee for 10 years, which addresses the prevention of the acquisition of WMDs and their means of delivery by terrorists and non-State actors.