Syria: OHCHR announced the results of a preliminary data analysis today, which found that over 60,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since March 15, 2011. HR Chief Navi Pillay noted that the analysis provides a very useful basis upon which future investigations can be built to enhance accountability and provide justice and reparations to victims’ families. Regarding humanitarian funding for the conflict, the SG announced on December 28 that there would be a donor conference in Kuwait City on January 30.

GA: The GA concluded the main part of its sixty-seventh session last week with the adoption of nearly two dozen texts recommended by the Fifth Committee. Included in the adopted draft resolutions were the programme budget for 2012-2013, the proposed budget outline for 2014-15, the scale of assessments for those budgets, International Tribunals, the UN pension system, and more. Acting by consensus, the Committee approved an estimated 5% increase in the regular budget for 2012-13, bringing the total to $5.39 billion. The Assembly also retained the existing formula for assessing Member States’ financial contributions to the UN regular budget and its peacekeeping operations during the 2013-2015 period, including the 0.01% ceiling for assessing the rate of least developed countries and the 22% maximum assessment rate for all other countries, including the United States. US Representative Joseph Torsella also issued a statement, outlining the US-UN successes within the Fifth Committee over the past year.

DRC: This morning, MONUSCO dismissed several rumors related to the presence of an armed group in the Eastern DRC, after a fact-checking team was sent to North Kivu this weekend. The SC’s DRC Sanctions Committee also imposed targeted sanctions on two armed groups – the M23 and FDLR – operating in the DRC on Monday. The US, in a statement after the session, “will continue to use every tool at our disposal to maintain the
pressure on those responsible for the violence in the eastern DRC and to advance ongoing efforts toward a political settlement to the crisis.”

UNAMID: Two UNAMID peacekeepers were freed today after 136 days in captivity, taken hostage by unidentified assailants while on patrol in the town of Kabkabiya in North Darfur. The Mission said that Mr. Hasan Al-Mazawdeh and Mr. Qasim Al-Sarhan, who are nationals of Jordan, were medically checked and both appear to be unharmed and in good health.

CAR: The SG’s Office continues to follow the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) with serious concern and is in communication with SRSG Margaret Vogt. The SG reiterates the SC’s statement from December 27 of last year, which calls on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians, respect human rights and seek a peaceful solution by engaging constructively in the regional effort led by the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS).