Syria; DRC; Japan; Darfur

Syria: Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at UN HQ in Geneva on Friday. The meeting is aimed at furthering their discussions to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria. Brahimi has the SG’s full support in this endeavor.

DRC: Asked about a request by the SG concerning drones in the DRC, the Spokesperson confirmed that a letter on the broader issue of additional resources to strengthen the capacities of MONUSCO from the SG was given to the SC President on December 27. The Spokesperson noted that the letter mentions unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), but only as part of other requested resources. He also stated that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), unarmed, are one tool the UN is considering in order to protect civilians better and to monitor the movements of armed groups. If and when the UN is to use UAV on trial basis in DRC, the usual procedures and consultations with legislative bodies would be respected, they would only be used in full cooperation with the DRC Government, and the UN would need the support of Member States to equip the mission.

Japan: The SG spoke with the new Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, last night by phone. In addition to congratulating the Prime Minister on his appointment, the SG expressed his concern over the use of nuclear weapons in DPRK as well as with the humanitarian situation and need to resolve the issue of abductions in that country. The Prime Minister of Japan echoed the importance of the issues raised by the SG – including the need for “resolute SC action” on the use of nuclear weapons in North Korea – and expressed his determination to strengthen the relationship between Japan and the UN.

Darfur: Acting Joint Special Representative of AU-UNAMID, Aichatou Mindaoudou, visited Zalingei, the capital of Central Darfur State, yesterday. While there, she held talks with the Wali (Governor) of Central Darfur, who informed her that armed groups had taken control of the towns of Golo and Rockero in west Jebel Marra and that approximately 850 families had been displaced. She assured the Governor of the Mission’s continued assistance in facilitating humanitarian assistance to all those in need.