Sri Lanka; UNFPA; The SC; DRC

Sri Lanka: The Internal Review Panel report on Sri Lanka was released today, raising a number of significant issues including the UN response to the terrible situation facing civilians in the north of Sri Lanka during the war in 2009.  The report concludes that the UN failed to meet its responsibilities – highlighting, in particular, the roles played by the Secretariat, the agencies and programs of the UN Country Team, and the members of the SC and Human Rights Council. In response to the report, the SG stated that the he will ensure the UN “draws the appropriate lessons and does its utmost to earn the confidence of the world’s people” and will organize a senior-level team to give careful consideration to the recommendations of the Panel and advise the SG on a way forward.

UNFPA: UNFPA released its 2012 State of the World’s Population report today, which establishes a case for voluntary family planning as a human right. The report urges additional investments in family planning that could save developing countries more than $11 billion a year in maternal and newborn health care costs.  222 million women in developing countries currently have an unmet need for family planning.

The SC: The SC held consultations on Sudan and South Sudan today, hearing from both the USG for DPKO, Hervé Ladsous, and the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios. In the afternoon, the Council was due to hold a formal meeting on Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by briefings by the chairs of the Council’s subsidiary bodies.

DRC: It was reported today by UN human rights investigators that rebel groups in the eastern DRC arbitrarily executed at least 264 civilians, including 83 children, over a five-month period this year.  In a news release, the UN Joint Human Rights Office also warned that the actual number of atrocities could be “considerably greater” because security restraints prevented the investigators from being able to confirm “many more” reports of human rights violations. These findings have led to calls for action from the head of MONUSCO and the UN human rights chief.