World Malaria Day; Cross-border threats; NGOs and human rights; and more

World Malaria Day: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on countries to intensify their efforts to combat malaria, stressing that despite remarkable progress in recent years, much more needs to be done to end the monumental tragedy of one child dying every minute from the disease.

In his message to mark World Malaria Day, Mr. Ban highlighted the role international partnerships between governments, international agencies, donors, corporations and civil society organizations, among other actors, which have saved millions of lives through their work.

A global coalition has boosted proven strategies, including long-lasting insecticidal nets, indoor spraying, rapid diagnostic tests and anti-malaria medicines for populations at risk,” Mr. Ban said. “More children are sleeping safely under nets, more families are gathering in rooms protected from mosquitoes, more communities have access to testing, and more patients get the medicines they need to recover.”

Cross-border threats:
At a meeting convened today by the United States on cross-border threats, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed the need for effective strategies to help States monitor, control and secure their borders against the illicit flows of materials and goods, as well as people, highlighting how the UN is playing a crucial role in this area.

“Preventing illicit flows is beneficial to countries, communities and individuals. It is important for security, development and human rights,” Mr. Ban told the Security Council as it met to discuss improving UN capacity to assist States to counter illicit flows.

He noted that, across the globe, insecure borders enable the trafficking of drugs, weapons, contraband, terrorist funding, materials related to weapons of mass destruction, conflict minerals, wildlife and people.

NGOs and Human Rights:
Recent moves in a number of countries to limit the freedom of NGOs are seriously undermining human rights, said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, urging governments to revise proposed laws that would restrict their capacity to operate independently and effectively.

“A dynamic and autonomous civil society, able to operate freely, is one of the fundamental checks and balances necessary for building a healthy society, and one of the key bridges between governments and their people. It is therefore crucial that NGOs are able to function properly in countries in transition, as well as in established democracies,” she said.

Ms. Pillay spotlighted cases in several countries around the world such as Egypt, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Israel and Venezuela, among others, where recent regulations or attempts to pass regulations are curtailing NGOs’ abilities to operate in those countries.

New senior posts:
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has selected three veteran United Nations staffers to fill senior positions in the Organization, dealing with management, field support and internal oversight services.

Yukio Takasu of Japan, who is currently serving as the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Human Security, has been selected as Under-Secretary-General for Management.

The Secretary-General has also appointed Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh as Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Field Support. Ms. Haq is currently serving as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste.

Finally, it was announced that David Muchoki Kanja of Kenya has been selected for the newly created position of Assistant Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). Mr. Kanja, who is currently serving as the Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Office of Internal Audit, brings 27 years of oversight experience to his new post.