Council still in closed consultations on Libya no-fly zone, SG in Guatemala, affirms UN’s willigness to support Japan, and more from UN Direct

Libya: The SG has remained abreast of the situation in Libya and the critical discussion underway at the Security Council aimed at protecting civilians. He spoke with the FM Kousa on the phone late Tuesday night. Special Envoy for Libya Khatib left Libya today after two days of discussions. He met with senior Libyan officials and conveyed the strong calls by the international community to stop the fighting and allow for access of UN agencies for humanitarian reasons. The Special Envoy’s efforts are continuing, which includes contact with political groups in Benghazi and authorities in Tripoli. Also, there have been reports of an assault on Benghazi. — the SG is urging all parties in the conflict to accept an immediate ceasefire and abide by SCR. 1970.

Japan: The SG spoke with Naoto Khan, the PM of Japan this morning. He extended his sympathy and condolences. In addition, the SG commended the people of Japan on the massive efforts undertaken to assist those affected. The SG and PM discussed the current situation at the Fukushima nuclear plants. The SG reiterated that the UN stands ready to provide any additional support. This morning, the Security Council observed a minute of silence for victims of the earthquake and tsunami. It is worth highlighting that the WFP have been asked to support humanitarian efforts there by providing specialized logistics support in the delivery of water, tents, and blankets to families who need them the most. In addition, Japan wants IAEA to help in the areas of environmental monitoring and the effects of radiation on human health, which follows IAEA’s offer to support Japan’s efforts and directly support and coordinate international assistance. The Agency continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities and is monitoring the situation as it evolves.

SG Travel: He is currently in Guatemala where he recently spoke with President Alvaro Colom, members of his cabinet, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu. They addressed the press afterwards. The SG will also meet with heads of state of Central America – Costa Rica, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. This afternoon, he launched the UN Peacebuilding Fund’s engagement in Guatemala.

Liberia: This morning, Ellen Løj, SRSG in Liberia and head of UNMIL, briefed the Security Council this morning about the Mission’s work. She updated the Council on voter registration and other preparations ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. Løj emphasized the importance of the independence and objectivity of the work of the National Electoral Commission. She also pointed out the challenges facing Liberia’s security sector.

Security Council: There were closed consultations regarding the no-fly zone resolution in Libya today. Also, at 3 PM, there was a discussion between Council members and the AU representatives in NY.

Côte d’Ivoire: UNOCI is condemning the deadly violence that is increasing in several towns and Abidjan, in particular. UNOCI said that last night, 18 people, including three women and a baby, were injured by a grenade. One person died. It urged the immediate end to the violence.

Sudan: The SG’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Francis Deng, and Edward Luck, the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, issued a statement today about the deadly violence in Abyei, in which 100 people have been killed. They warned that the clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces and the SPLM could easily trigger further ethnic-based violence in the region and urged both parties to refrain from any actions that could put lives in danger and risk a return to full-scale hostilities. Meanwhile, in Darfur, UNAMID dispatched a human rights team to Amar Jadeed, a South Darfur village, to investigate recent allegations of widespread rape.