The SG’s Travels; Inclusion of Youth; Iran; Darfur; OCHA in Syria and Lebanon; Vetting Syrian Envoy

SG Travel: This week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Timor-Leste. Earlier today, the SG advocated for women’s empowerment at a women’s university in Seoul and met with the ROK’s Foreign Minister and Unification Minister. On Sunday, the SG spoke on the Law of the Sea and launched the Oceans Compact.

SG on Youth: In preparation for International Youth Day, and amidst an economic crisis which has had the greatest impact on young people, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for greater and more meaningful inclusion of youth into decision-making processes around the world, while also warning of a possible “lost generation” if urgent measures are not put in place.

Iran: Ban Ki-moon issued a statement yesterday, expressing that he is “deeply saddened” by the devastating earthquakes that hit Iran on Saturday. He noted that the UN is ready to respond to the humanitarian disaster in whatever way they can. A similar statement issued by the President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, today expressed his deep sympathy for the Government of Iran for the destruction caused by the disaster.

Darfur: Today, the military commander of the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) stressed the importance of ensuring the safety of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in North Darfur, after recent violence in the area resulted in the deaths of four people and injured six others. The President of the GA strongly condemned an attack on Sunday in which a Bangladeshi peacekeeper was killed and another injured while protecting civilians in Nyala, South Darfur.

OCHA in Syria/Lebanon: USG for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, leaves for Syria and Lebanon tomorrow, a visit that will last until Thursday, after returning last week from the DRC and Rwanda. This upcoming trip aims to bring attention to the deteriorating situation in Syria and the influence on its citizens, many of them currently displaced in Lebanon.

Vetting Syrian Envoy: Lakhdar Brahimi, former Algerian foreign affairs minister, has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Kofi Annan as the UN-Arab League’s Joint Special Envoy for Syria, as reported in Turtle Bay and Al Jazeera. The UN has made no statement thus far confirming or denying such reports.