SG delivers message to Libya Contact Group, urges humanitarian access, High Commissioner Pillay expresses concern about detention of activists in Bahrain and more from UN Direct

Haiti: The report by the Independent Panel of Experts on the cholera epidemic in Haiti was published last night. A UN task force will be convened to study the results so that the UN can ensure prompt follow-up. In regards to whether the UN is going to provide compensation to the families who were affected, Haq explained that the report addresses public health issues, not legal issues. Thus, the report doesn’t present conclusive evidence pointing to the UN Mirabelais camp. At this point, MINUSTAH and the UN country team are assisting in the delivery of aid and relief items.

SG: Today the SG met with the PM Boyko Borisov of Bulgaria, parliamentarians, and the mayor of Sofia. They discussed climate change, nuclear safety, and the fight against corruption among other key topics. The SG also spoke at a university about his recent visit to Tunisia and Egypt where he sensed the euphoria that Bulgaria witnessed two decades ago.

Libya: In a message delivered to the Contact Group on Libya meeting that took place in Rome today, the SG said the ability of the international community to act decisively and swiftly to date in Libya has saved thousands of lives and prevented a humanitarian catastrophe. He emphasized the need to ensure unrestricted access for humanitarian assistance and to coordinate international efforts in this regard. The SG also highlighted the UN’s work with all stakeholders to put in place a political process that meets the aspirations of the Libya people, and its planning for peacebuilding and post-conflict reconstruction. Abdul Ilah Khatib, Special Envoy for Libya, has continued to negotiate with both parties with the aim of achieving an immediate ceasefire. The SG said that there’s consensus that any ceasefire agreement should be credible and verifiable, and consistent with resolution 1973. On the humanitarian front, OCHA reported that 800 third-country nationals and 50 wounded people were evacuated from the Libyan port city of Misrata yesterday. Roughly 125 metric tons of food was delivered to help more than 13,000 people. WFP convoys are expected to follow, but the supply route is insecure and facing challenges.  There are also reports that there isn’t enough fuel for transporting the aid. Meanwhile, Mark Toner, Acting Deputy Spokesman, released a statement that the U.S. urges the Qaddafi regime to cease hostilities in Misrata and allow the IOM and other organizations to provide relief. According to the IOM, migrants from Africa and Asia, including women and children, remain stranded at the port city. Thus, the U.S. has committed an additional $6.5 million for IOM operations, bringing the U.S. government’s emergency assistance in Libya to a total of $53.5 million.

Bahrain: Today, Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed deep concern about the continued detention of hundreds of activists in Bahrain, the prosecution of scores of medical professionals, and the sentencing to death of four protestors after a closed-door military trial. Pillay said that the death penalty without due process and after a trial held in secrecy is illegal and absolutely unacceptable. She said that the defendants are entitled to fair trials before civil courts, in accordance with international legal standards and in keeping with Bahrain’s international human rights obligations.