Syria; Lebanon; Pakistan; FDI; Darfur

Syria: Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi has ended his trip to Damascus and is now in Cairo. Negotiations for the potential cease-fire this week are still underway, yet President Assad suggested that he would only agree if Western powers stopped supporting the opposition during his meeting with Brahimi. Speaking to the press yesterday, DPKO Chief Herve Ladsous said that DPKO is preparing plans for if a ceasefire does take place and the Council calls for the involvement of UN peacekeepers, noting that it is still too early to say what kind of mandate and force could be called for. UNHCR is also pre-positioning relief in case a ceasefire is agreed upon.

Lebanon: UNHCR announced today that the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has exceeded 100,000, making Lebanon the third country in the region to pass that threshold. Turkey and Jordan already have refugee populations above that level, and across the region, the number has climbed to more than 358,000. The Refugee Agency says that, nearly four weeks after its launch, the revised Syria Regional Response Plan for $487.9 million remains only about a third funded.

Pakistan: According to Government estimates, nearly 5 million people have been affected by the flooding this year in southern Pakistan. UN agencies and non-governmental organizations are delivering assistance in support of Government-led relief efforts and CERF has allocated nearly $10 million to provide water, food, shelter and healthcare to thousands of families devastated by the flooding.

FDI: An UNCTAD report released today announced that drops in foreign direct investment (FDI) entering the US and EU opened the way for developing countries to absorb half of global FDI flows for the first time. The tenth Global Investment Trend Monitor also noted that global FDI declined by 8% in the first half of 2012 as economic recovery suffered new setbacks in the second quarter of the year, with inflows decreasing by five per cent for the developing world.

Darfur: The Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement – one of the rebel groups in the Sudanese region of Darfur – have signed a declaration affirming their commitment to the ongoing peace process there. The parties agreed to the immediate cessation of hostilities and the resumption of negotiations “in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict” on the basis of the so-called Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), as well as a time frame to start talks after the Muslim religious holiday of Eid Al-Adha, taking place on Friday, 26 October.