Sudan Briefing at the Security Council; Indigenous People; Cote D’Ivoire; and more from today at the UN

Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health: today the WHO announced that it is establishing a high-level commission to develop an accountability framework for the resources committed to the Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health in September, to ensure results are delivered.  It’s four key tasks will be to track resources and results; identify a set of indicators to measure women’s and children’s health needs; propose steps to improve health information gathering in low-income countries; and explore opportunities for innovation using ICT.  Upon the announcement, the SG said, “We must ensure that partners deliver on their promises but, in turn, it is crucial that they know whether investments are leading to sustainable progress”.  The Commission will be co-chaired by the President of Tanzania and Prime Minister of Canada.  The SG of the ITU and DG of the WHO will serve as vice-chairs.  The first meeting is expected to be held January 26, 2011 and a final report will be presented in May 2011.

Sexual Violence in Conflict: this afternoon the Security Council is holding a debate on sexual violence in conflict (Resolutions 1820 and 1888), which will feature briefings by SRSG Wallström and USG Le Roy.  A resolution is expected to be adopted, which would enable the SG to list people responsible for committing sexual violence in conflict in his reports.

Sudan: this morning USG Le Roy briefed the Council on referendum preparations, expressing his concern regarding the status of the Abyei referendum.  He also told the Council that the UN is working on options for an augmentation of UNMIS troops to prevent the security situation from deteriorating and increase the UN’s capacity to monitor ceasefire violations, as well as the protection of civilians.  The Council issued a Presidential Statement welcoming the Sudanese parties’ affirmation of the CPA and the conclusion of a peaceful registration process, as well as reaffirming its support for the SG’s Panel on the Referenda.  The statement further expressed its concern for the lack of agreement on Abyei and urged progress in this regard.

Humanitarian Response: yesterday, the GA adopted a resolution co-sponsored by the U.S. on strengthening the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance.  The SG’s Report on the issue, document A/65/82, outlines several measures the UN is taking to strengthen disaster preparedness and response, including the development of a Global Impact and Vulnerability Alert System (GIVAS) to gather and analyze data in real-time to identify triggers of vulnerability, and the “Saving Lives Together’ framework which strengthens security collaboration among the UN, international organizations and NGOs through information sharing and best practices.  In his statement, Ambassador Barton expressed the U.S.’ support for the Saving Lives Together initiative and their enthusiasm for the results of the independent study commissioned by OCHA on emergency response, which are expected soon.  He also underlined the U.S.’s support for the “UN Action Against Violence in Conflict” initiative and the development of a handbook and guidance on the issue.

Côte d’Ivoire: UNOCI is calling for parties to refrain from violence.  Almost 800 military and police personnel, as well as eight armored personnel carriers, have been deployed to provide security at the Golf Hotel with the Force Licorne and Forces Nouvelles.  The SRSG for Côte d’Ivoire has increased his diplomatic efforts amid the political stalemate and heightening tension.

Indigenous People: today President Obama announced the U.S.’ support for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.