The SG; Syria; Iraq

The SG: The SG made remarks at the opening ceremony for the 13th session of the Forum on Indigenous Issues this morning.  This afternoon, he briefed the Security Council on the situation in South Sudan.

Syria: Six previously inaccessible towns received life-saving supplies from UN humanitarian agencies and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent last week.UN humanitarian agencies called for cooperation from the Syrian government and the opposition to help humanitarian workers reach those in need.

Iraq: The SG’s Special Representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, expressed concern for increasing armed activities reported in Fallujah. He called for an end to the fighting so that people may receive humanitarian support and reconstruction can begin.

Nigeria: Said Djinnit, the SG’s Special Representative for West Africa and high-level representative to Nigeria, is in Abuja to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan and other senior government officials to discuss UN support in Nigerian efforts to ensure the safe return of the abducted schoolgirls.

Lebanon: Derek Plumbly, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, met with Nabih Berri, Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, to discuss issues related to Resolution 1701.Plumbly also stressed the importance of an independent Lebanese presidential electoral process as May 25 approaches.

WHO Report on Alcohol: WHO released the “Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health” today, which noted about 3.3 million deaths in 2012 worldwide as a result of harmful uses of alcohol. While Europe has the highest level of consumption of alcohol per capita, the report estimates consumption levels were stable throughout the last five years. Consumption levels were also stable in Africa and the Americas but there were increases in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific.

Appointments: The SG appointed Major General Kristin Lund to command UN Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus. Beginning in August, the Norwegian Major General will replace Major General Chao Liu and will be the first female Force Commander in UN history. The SG also appointed Kim Bolduc his Special Representative for Western Sahara. Bolduc succeeds Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber.